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Opinions and suggestions for new gear

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by atheos, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Ok, here goes my first post here... It's a bit long but I hope you'll live with that :cool:

    We're in the middle of some changes in out band's line-up and it seems that I'm forced to upgrade my gear. The big thing is that we're going to have a new drummer with acoustic drums - the previous drummer had Roland V-Drums. So far we have rehearsed using headphones and PODs and plugged everything to house PA on gigs. Naturally that won't do anymore.

    My current gear is Ibanez ICB300EX (modified with active electronics bypass) and Line6 Bass POD XT Live plus a Behringer VD1 muff clone. Now I'm in need of decent amplifier that can provide enough kick in reheasals and on gigs. My guess is that 300 watts would be enough. I'm not into tubes so I'm looking for a solid state amp. I also need FX loop for distortion effects or a DI box to split the clean signal to FOH. That would be a BSS.

    I'm interested in Laney RB7, it seems to have enough features for me and it's kind of trusted brand. We have an old Laney keyboard amp that has taken a sh*tload of beating and still works like a charm.

    Then comes the effects problem. I could use my POD but I'm not sure if I like the tone it has - it has been "good enough" so far. Plus it's HUGE. Then I noticed that there's a new Sansamp out, the Bass Driver Deluxe. I thought that I could sell my POD and buy a Sansamp, then plug the SA into the Laney's FX loop and the VD1 into SA's FX loop. I'm not a fan of SA drive sound but the clean is absolutely lovely.

    I could get clean DI directly from the amp (it's pre-fx I presume) and dirt from SA + VD1 and use the SA to change the tone on stage. The DI is for gigs to have better control of low frequencies - you just can't do that with distorted sound. As we all know :) So if the SA's FX loop's on/off state is also programmable I could have my VD1 on all the time and just use the SA to choose when it's audible or not. Is it? Anyone knows? I couldn't find an online manual... In cases where I wouldn't need the Laney (e.g. exceptionally good wedges and powerful PA), I could use the SA+VD1 alone.

    So in a nutshell, I'd like to hear some opinions. Laney RB7 and Sansamp Bass Driver Deluxe. Is the Laney any good? Is the BDD's FX loop state programmable, i.e. can I have one programmed sound where the FX loop is on and another sound in where it's off? Oh yeah, the budget... I have to be cheap-a*s and not to spend more than EUR 500 in total (that's around $730, maybe a grand by the end of the year :cool:). The Laney would be EUR 435 and I might get enough money from selling the POD to buy the SA.

    And finally, I'd like to hear opinions only from people who have actual knowledge and/or who have actually used the devices I mentioned. I can make educated guesses myself too.
  2. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    How can you not like tube-tones?! :p If you dig the sansamp stuff you should really love it!

    I have the behringer rip-off, bdi21, does the same job but is a hell of a lot cheaper! It adds dirt, in form of drive also, but it does not drown you out, as long as you boost your mids (and I recommend a minor treble boost aswell, if you want that twang' sound)

    I know it's not much info, but I hope I could help :)
  3. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Oh, I forgot to mention... I like the tube SOUND but I still don't want a tube amp because the tubes need warming up, occasional service and may break from an impact. I have a friend whose Mesa lost two tubes when he tossed the head into the car a bit too hard, another friend lost a tube when some jackass put the amp on and cranked it up immediately. So I'm looking into a Sansamp.

    The BDI21 may be nice but it lacks features. I need a couple of different presets (at least clean, distorted, slap, maybe another distortion and another clean too) with a bit different EQs and levels. That's why the Deluxe seems nice. And I'm not into having too many Behringers :cool:

    After a bit of a research I noticed that people generally don't like the Laney. The next thing that came across my mind is Gallien-Krueger Backline 600 head with Harley Benton cab. Yeah, they're super cheap but how can you f*ck up a cab?? Plus I could paint our band's logo on the grill without having to fear that the thing would lost any value :cool:. I don't need a super sound from the amp, I'm gonna do recordings with the SA (or with a borrowed tube amp) so the amp is good if I can hear it in rehearsals and gigs, that's all I need. And the DI out (pre-EQ, pre-FX - the GK would have 'em) and FX loop.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    While it's true that the audience will hear mostly what you run into the PA, I speak from experience when I say that it really sucks to play through an amp that's just OK. It should never be an excuse for bad tone, but it's not near as much fun to gig with an amp that's just barely getting the job done or one that's adequate but doesn't inspire you.

    In other words, I'd try to bump up a level of quality if I were you. GK makes good stuff, but don't cheap out on the cab just because you want to paint a logo on it. I will gladly cheap out on basses (one of my favorites is an SX PJ blem I got for $90), and I will cheap out on amps if there's no other choice, but if you cheap out on the speakers, you will sound cheap. And maybe the audience won't hear it over your sound in the PA, but you will.

    EDIT: That doesn't mean you should buy the most expensive cab out there, but don't go dirt cheap just because it's dirt cheap.
  5. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Actually I thought to go dirt cheap with the cab since I've heard several comments that the HB (the 4x10 version) actually isn't all that bad for the price. Just take the logo off and it sounds immediately a lot better :cool: It doesn't have an adjustable horn but hey, that's like max 30 minute operation to add a bypass switch or even a level knob. Somebody complained about the horn of the 1x15 HB cab but I believe the 4x10 will do the job for me, with or without the horn. And 1x15 would be too lazy for our fast riffs anyway.

    Sure, it's not an Ampeg but then again, I don't need one yet, maybe in a couple of years. Besides, I need that stuff right now but don't have a spare $1500 so I must compromise a bit. Since we weren't prepared to have acoustic drums in the band the gear investments are really going to hurt everybody. But that's the only way to proceed.

    I'll replace the POD with the Sansamp, that's sure thing now since I got the confirmation that the FX loop state indeed is programmable. Sweeeet.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  7. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    The GK seemed to be next to impossible to get in reasonable time so I ordered myself Hartke LH500 head (yeah, it's half tube) and the HB 4x10 cab. It'll be enough for at least rehearsals and the head sounded nice when I tried it out at a local store (which unfortunately sold it for 100 euros more than Thomann). I'll see what the cab sounds. If it's not good enough for gigs I can borrow an Ampeg 4x10 cab from the bassist who plays in our drummer's second band since there's no way we would have conflicting gigs :cool: Just don't want to keep borrowing his stuff all the time like I'm doing now.

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