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Opinions on potential rigs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NightTripper, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    I'll cut to the chase here. I want to buy a rig soon because I only have a Rumble 15 and needless to say, you can't play out with that. Budget $1200 tops. Here are some things I've been thinking about and comparing. Any opinions and advice are very much appreciated.

    Ashdown MAG 600 or Mibass 550 with ABM 410 (the one with blue speakers).

    Ampeg SVT 410HE with PF500.

    The Ashdown rig has more watts. However, I don't imagine myself playing very large venues (my area mostly has cafes, small to medium sized clubs, etc.). Apparently no one ever writes reviews on Ashdown stuff, at least that I can find, so I don't know what the general opinions on these are.

    Ampeg, of course, is classic and the go-to for many bassists. I have tried the 410 and the PF500, but not together. I loved the sound of both of them though. However, the widely-reported reliability issues with the PF500 make me hesitant.

    Avatar cabs also look interesting, but I have no idea what they sound like. Any other ideas are welcome too. I need something nice and reliable as this will likely be my only rig for a long time (I'm a college student). I am into all kinds of music, mostly '60s - '80s, anything from psychedelia to dance music and modern indie stuff. So I want something versatile, but I mostly lean to a vintage type of sound. I'm currently using a Squier VM Jaguar with Chromes. Thanks for reading, I'll be keeping watch for any answers!
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Whatever you do, I suggest you buy used so you can stretch your dollars as far as possible. Personally, I'd go with the Ampeg rig. I'm not a huge fan of the MAG series from Ashdown (although I can say that they are very reliable heads).
  3. Proraptor


    Apr 19, 2012
    Id buy used swr goliath, with hartke ha5500 or a gk
  4. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    Yes, used is definitely something I'm considering. Jmatt, what don't you like about the MAGs?

    Proraptor, I like how SWRs sound so I might give that further consideration if I can find one used. I haven't cared for the GK products I've tried. I'm sure they're quality products, but it just isn't the tone I'm looking for. I've never tried a Hartke, so I'll keep that in mind.
  5. i dont have "reliability issues" with with PF500.
    real nice sound. but i like the PF 115HE cabinet as much as the head so personally, id recommend one or two PF 115 with PF500. i play a squier with flatwounds too and i really like that combination.
  6. +1. I use a pf 500 with an svt 115en as well and it sounds great and has been reliable thus far. I am however looking for a good 210 to pair it with.
  7. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I haven't heard of any reliability issues with the PF 500 either. It would work great with a PF 115 cab, is well within your budget. You can add another cab if you want to and be within your budget. A 115 will handle smaller bars and gigs easily and both cabs together should be more than enough for about anything. That would be tempting for me in your price range and desire for vintage tone.

    I don't like the 410he. Punchy, but not big enough on the low end for me, but if you like it that's great.

    Take a look at the Tone Hammer heads too before you buy if you want a Vintage tone.....at least look.
  8. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I never found SWR heads versatile or even good sounding. The lack of low midrange frequencies is a big factor here. If you like how they sound, definitely look for the highest wattage model you can find used and go for it. If you can swing it, get two cabs, one for most shows and two for shows featuring no PA support. 210's are great for this.

    Ashdown MAG heads - it's budget gear. Since you are looking to spend some decent money here, it' silly to buy budget gear and when used options should be much better.
  9. +1 on the SWR Goliath cabs. I use a Goliath III with a Carvin BX500 head and couldn't be happier. They can be had used for pretty cheap, at least around SoCal.
  10. My standard response, used GK rig, you will like it. Or a new set in case you have cash.
  11. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    You guys make good points. Yes, the MAGs are budget gear, but then so is the PF500. I guess what I had in mind was to get a cab I could keep indefinitely and a head that would be reliable but I could eventually upgrade if I wanted to. I suppose the reverse of that would work as well.

    Thanks for the other suggestions as well (and keep 'em coming!). I will try Carvin if I can come across any. I want to try before I buy if possible, and the choices in my area are very limited. I guess Ampeg is the most rational choice for me so far since I've been able to try quite a few of their products and have liked them all.
  12. Carvin has a good return policy but my guess is that if you get one you won't send it back. The customer service at Carvin is also top notch.
  13. Ampeg V4. Genuine, real-deal vintage tone for next to nothing. I cant really recommend a cab, as i was never much of a cab conneseuier. Pm me, i can sell you a nice ampeg rig (if mods allow it)

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I use the Ashdown MiBass 550 with ABM (blue line speakers) cabs and it is a very versatile rig to say the least.

    What kind of music do you mainly play?

    Ashdown endorser.
  15. This with either an Ampeg fridge or 215.
  16. atlboriqua


    Nov 13, 2007
    MarkBass has some great sounding combos and you'll be surprised how loud their smaller ones can get.
  17. I would say the Markbass 2x10 would fit your bill perfectly.

    GC's used site has a couple of Pre Fender gray grill SWR Redheads also. These are killer.
  18. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    I go for a mostly vintage type of sound. Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Talking Heads, that sort of thing. Some modern indie kind of stuff too (and that mostly has a retro bass sound anyway). I like my bass sound deep but tight, if that makes sense. The only problem is I probably won't have a chance to try any Ashdown stuff first. It isn't too expensive, and it looks cool, but I have no idea how it sounds, which of course is the most important thing.
  19. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    Ha, I completely forgot about GC's used site. Thanks!
  20. +1
    Use a VT Bass Deluxe into a Carvin BX500 (Dirt Cheap, Super Light, Sounds Great) into a Goliath III

    I'll take a DI from the VT Bass for FOH but when there's no sound reinforcement, the Goliath III gets the job done.

    The Goliath comes in either 4Ohm or 8Ohm, mine is 8
    The BX500 puts out 500 watts at 4Ohms(and can go down to 2Ohms) and 375 at 8Ohms if memory serves. I have never needed more volume with the 375W 8Ohm combo.