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Opinions on Small Portable Combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tapp, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    What do you guys use for small practice amp sized rigs. I play local musicals (theater),etc and many times I need a small footprint very portable amp. I usually use my '65 Ampeg B-15 but I don't want to lug it around much anymore. I need something that will get good clarity but can get that nice round tone too. Just simple. Has anyone tried the new Fender combos or Ashdown stuff?

  2. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    I haven't used the Fender or Ashdown combos outside of a store. But, I currently use a SWR Baby Baby Blue, and really dig it for practice and sometimes a bit of jamming. Easy to lug is definitely key.
  3. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Thanks Lowrez. I haven't tried SWR combos lately. I used to own a Redhead way back and thought it was a good amp. I'll check them out.

  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Have you tried the GK Micro series combo's? They are extremely small and light. They are relatively mid-rangy (no tweeter and a very small cab), but sound great in moderate volume situations where you need a very punchy sound that can cut through (they are great for playing jazz with an electric bass). The whole combo is only about 25 pounds and about the same size as a couple of phone books.
  5. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    I'm playing a musical right now, I'm using my new Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout. It's only a 1x12, so it's pretty easy to carry. Last night I walked up stairs with the bass in one hand, and the Scout in the other. Terrific tone. I love it.

  6. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Get an Ampeg B100R. It is louder and clearer than the B15N with less weight. I have both (1970 B15N-which sounds nice at lower volumes) and the B100R IMO is a better amp.

    Purchase the casters for it and it is very transportable too.
  7. +1 for the BBB.

    I have both the Blue and a new Eden CXC-110. Although I like the Eden tone, the BBB is smaller and lighter, and doesn't sacrifice much other than the lowest frequencies. It's really easy to one-hand carry with the top handle.

    I've done a number of theatre shows with the Blue, and it's compact size is perfect for a small pit. It has more than enough power for most venues. I never ran it more than maybe 3 on the master volume.
  8. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    You may not be able to climb stairs with it in one hand and your bass in the other, but it's absolutely worth it for the sound.
  9. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Thanks guys, lots of good suggestions! I really like my old B-15 but sometimes it's just a little too soft sounding if that makes sense? It's round and toneful but lacks the punch of the modern stuff. I work on these old tube amps so I've thought about updating it's components but I kinda like the character "as-is" so I may not mess with it.

    Has anyone tried the new Fender Bassman combos?

  10. I seem to recall the Munji posted on one of them a couple months ago. He thought it was pretty good and surprised.
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Another GREAT combo... blows the Ampeg combo's away IMO and is smaller.
  12. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    sounds like a job for an eden cxc-110 to me. round, warm, about 40 lbs. fairly loud.

    if you want lighter and even simpler try yorkville bm50.

    sorry I cannot recommend a "miracle" small, lightweight,loud, inexpensive, but yorkville is about $250 and louder than its size suggests.
  13. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I have both the Walkabout Scout Combo and the Yorkville XM50C. They're both very good although miles apart in price.

    The Scout is wonderful for both the round sound or clear if you want it. It'll play louder and cleaner than just about anything that size and weight. It's top notch equipment but you do pay for that tone. It weighs 50 lbs. I have a folding aluminium cart to move mine around.

    The Yorkville is a surprising amp for its price. It weighs 30 lbs and puts out a very big sound for only 50 watts and one 10" speaker. I think the Yorkville amps are a real bargain and well worth considering if price is important. I tried mine against small Rolands and others in the store and it blew all of them away. Great warranty too.
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I had great success using an SWR WM10 for theatre shows. We did JC Superstar in a 400 seat theatre and I had it on about 2 and was still loud.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    the best of the big manufacturers is ashdown. their stuff has consistently impressed me. from the low line to the upper end ABM gear, cant go wrong.

    if you REALLY wanna splurge, check out an Epifani UL112C combo. only 48 lbs. like carrying an empty briefcase.
  16. how about one of the small acoustic image combo's or the small markbass
    don't know about the AI's but the markbass sounds really good
  17. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Don't discount the Ampeg B50r-- similar to the B100r, but only 50 watts and a bit lighter. It sounds great with electric and upright.

    I also have an AI Contra I that works wonderfully.
  18. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    I wouldn't call the B100r portable; it is rather heavy. I have a different criteria, I guess. If I can't carry it without a hassle up and down stairs for subways, I isn't all that for my purposes.

    I have a GK MB150E. Great little, light, portable combo. I purchased the carry-bag from Tuki. It was one of the few truly portable amps that can somewhat hang with a drummer in the right setting. It is very midrange-voiced, but that's why you can hear it.

    I have heard but never played through some of those Acoustic Image combos. I was interested in those as well, but the price difference kept me away.
  19. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    I've found that the Ashdown Electric Blue 10 combo has that round but not-too-soft sound thats great for 4-string bass and has good volume for those close-quarter gigs. however, i always had it mic'ed for larger rooms so I cant really say how loud it can get, but it sounds nice
  20. I'll throw another +1 out there for the Mesa/Boogie Walkabout 112 combo. That thing has a lot of oomph to it.