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Overly General Question: What amp should I get?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sushi Box FX, Jul 31, 2020 at 11:43 AM.


  1. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    So let me preface this by saying I am not a bassist. I'm not even a guitarist, I'm actually a drummer. But I also build pedals, so that pushes a lot of my guitar/bass purchases.

    I only recently found out how intensely bassist love their pedals, so I've been working on a bunch more designs, but it's made me realize that my bass rig is lacking, and it seems like a shame to test things on a sub-par rig. I don't know when it will happen, but at the very least I want to upgrade my head to a big-boy amp.

    So right now I have a GK Backline 600 head running through a Peavey 210 cab. It sounds fine, but I know it could sound a lot better.

    So the golden question: If I was your friend that knew nothing about bass but had $600 or so to spend on a head (new or used) what would you recommend?
     
  2. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    The BL600 is well regarded hereabouts, just saying.

    New Quilter bass amp!

    I am speculating that one of the Quilter products would be a good platform for your pedals. The BassBlock 800 is popular and a number of folks are using less powerful models designed for guitars to great effect.

    Have fun, sounds fascinating!
     
    Sushi Box FX likes this.
  3. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    Thanks, that's relieving to hear. As a drummer and guitar enthusiast I got it 100% because I liked the way the distortion sounded :p

    I tried a quilter guitar amp a few years ago and wasn't blown away by it, but I could see it being a good platform for bass. Thanks!
     
  4. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I'd recommend you save your money. Nothing wrong with that rig. Also, not everyone that buys pedals has a state of the art bass rig. Lots of people have "normal" rigs.
     
  5. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    It's not often that musicians tell me to save my money :p my wife said she likes your answer the best so far though.
     
  6. Solude

    Solude

    Sep 16, 2017
    I would not be looking for a head but a cabinet. Something more common in the wild from Ampeg, GK, Mesa or even Fender.
     
    Standalone and Sushi Box FX like this.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    For some reason this reminds me of a story the Chief Technology Officer at a company I worked for years ago told me. This is back in the old days when a couple MB of ram cost hundreds of dollars. Anyway, he was a programmer and decides to write a computer game (back before you needed a team of 1,000 to do it). He maxes out his credit cards and buys the most high end computer he can afford and writes a state of the art computer game. One problem - you needed a state of the art high end computer to run it on and very few people had one. DOH!!!
     
    teh-slb and Sushi Box FX like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Honestly, if it's just a shop amp, I think you're fine as you are. Nice cheap rig with decent sound.
     
    Standalone likes this.
  9. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    And as much as I would like to delude myself into thinking I'm good enough to play bass in a band, realistically it will probably never be more than a shop amp. So I guess keep the GK and invest in a decent IR?
     
    Standalone and JimmyM like this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I guess you could, but do you even need an IR? Got a way to run it through your amp or is this just for running into a computer?
     
  11. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    I'm looking at the Two Note torpedo which I could run the amp through and throw a dummy load on the speaker output, then I could use that to record. I get consistent comments on how I don't have enough decent demos of my pedals, and an IR setup into the computer would make it way easier than having to run a cab and mic everything, plus I could get tonal consistency.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  12. As a fellow drummer to another - if you are building pedals to eventually sell to the the public.... test them on the most common amp used by the bassists you will eventually sell to. Because that’s how it will sound to them. Most of the ones who will buy your pedal, probably have a Fender Rumble Series or an Ampeg of some kind.
     
  13. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    That's a fair point, though it also pushes me to an IR as a lot of the customers I've talked to recently have mentioned they like running a preamp into an IR direct into the house. Crazy kids these days and their newfangled technology!
     
    Guild B301 likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You don't need a dummy load on a solid state amp. They're fine running without them. Only on all-tube amps do you need to worry about that. Now if you have an all-tube guitar amp that you also want to run into a board for demos...
     
    Standalone likes this.
  15. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    For pedal demos you can record right into the computer and use hundreds of bass amp emulations. IK multimedia done many manufactures and classics like Ampeg Fender etc. You can run their cab Sims or likewise additional IR software in any straight forward DAW

    For something more cooler or standard. If you want sitting behind you in a video. Everyone knows a Ampeg. Heck a used 210HE or SVT15E or even older Ampeg combos like
    The First not newer BA115 or BA210
    Probably similar sound what you have already. Just a icon or familiar brand with less rat fur and wierd goober looks like most brands. Good old black grill and vinyl. You can still even use direct to plugin for audio. Even use Ampeg software. These are just basic used affordable combos/cabs
     
  16. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    California, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    That's the general idea. I don't do exclusively bass pedals, I still do plenty for guitar, and my tube amp definitely wants a dummy load.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  17. joshmmorrison

    joshmmorrison Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    I believe he does if he's utilizing the speaker out into the two notes Cab since its not a load box...or just connect the out from the cabM to your speaker so its In between them. (If you're taking about the Cab M)
     
  18. RabidMusic

    RabidMusic Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Kentucky
    Small amp - An older version of the Ampeg BA-112. The one with the knobs on the top. Avoid the newer models with the knobs on the front. They don't sound as good. The older model is neutral and takes pedals very well. I have a bunch of small amps and it is my favorite. I liked it so much I bought the new version when it came out, then gave the new amp away two weeks later.

    Multi use - A line six unit like the Pod Go and an EV ZLX-15P. The Go has an effects loop and you can test your pedals at various spots in the chain. Also, it is generally believed that the digital multi pedal units don't do a good job with distortion so a lot of people, like me, buy pedals to match with my Line 6 gear. There is a big market for these units and it may be worth testing your pedal with one. Plus, you can always get other uses out of the EV cabinet.

    Head - I love my Genz Benz Shuttle. One channel tube, one solid state. Much more neutral than something like an SVT. Might also be good for testing your pedals.
     
  19. MD-BassPlayer

    MD-BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    That amp rig is fine. I think the bass would be more important to test voicing. I’d suggest a P bass and a J bass for testing and maybe have a few people that have more extensive instrument collections beta test for you. Crowd source it!
     
    Standalone likes this.
  20. musicman556

    musicman556

    Jul 3, 2019
    Smyrna, TN
    Get you a Mesa Subway 115 cab. It's a smidge out of your price range, but worth saving for.

    I just got one this week and CANNOT BELIEVE how awesome it is! A completely different beast than all the Apmeg, Fender, Hartke, and Aguilar cabs I've had over the years. That GK head is actually pretty good. I think the weak point is your cab.

    That Mesa 115 is SO honest and accurate, but still has its own throaty, gutteral punch. You talked about your pedal-building... I think the clarity of the Mesa 115 is such that it will make a great test-bed for your trying out your designs. The SW115 has been discussed ad nauseum here on TB. A quick search will give you hours of reading on it. :)

    Sorry that isn't exactly what you asked, but after my life-changing week with that 115, that is my advice.

    If you want some Ampeg 410HLF cabs, I have 2 for sale now! Haha!
     
    Sushi Box FX likes this.

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