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Please recommend versatile amp and cab on a budget

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rainermaria, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. rainermaria


    Jan 17, 2010
    At the risk of adding yet another thread to the “recommend me an amp!” category, I need your help. After spending many years recording guitar and bass in my bedroom using amp sims, I want to 1) put together my own original jazz/fusion/rock/indie band, and 2) perhaps hire out my guitar and bass playing services to other bands in more or less the same categories. As mainly a guitarist, I can find my way around the guitar amp world more easily than the bass amp world. That’s where you come in. What I need is a fairly cost effective, reliable and quite versatile setup that will work for rehearsal and for small and medium-sized club gigs. My plan is to watch the used market like a hawk, and try to get the most bang for the buck. I live in Prague, and even though we generally have the same stuff as in the US, it is generally much more expensive. Anyway, my question: What in particular do you think I should be looking for? I’d like to keep the whole thing under $800, if possible (but under $600 would be ideal!). I play a fretless and a fretted jazz bass, but I would like to add a Fender P to the arsenal at some point. I’d like the amp and cab to go low, big, warm and clean (also a bit “woody”, with good definition on my fretless), but also I would like to be able to get just a wee-bit dirty using the gain with my fretted bass. I’m not sure, but I think that may mean I’m leaning a bit more towards GK and Eden, but would also like to be able to dial in a bit of an Ampeg sound. Where would something like a Hartke HA3500 fit in (there’s a used one available as I write this). Anyway, let me know if I’m off track. Should I go with a combo? Should I go with a head and a 1x15 cab, maybe adding a 2x10 later as needed? Do I need a tweeter? Do I want a tube preamp and a SS power stage? Do I want it all tube? Should I start by trying to find the ideal cab, and then try to find an amp that matches it? Or the other way around? Portability is a plus, so I’ll be avoiding anything monstrous like an 8x10 cab. What would you consider to be the prime suspects I should keep an eye out for on the used market, offering the most bang for the buck? (By the way, I’ve already looked at some of the FAQ stickies. It would seem that I should be looking for an amp somewhere between 350-500w, and perhaps 1x 8ohm cab to start with (perhaps a 1x15) and 2x8ohm cabs long term (a 1x15 and a 2x10). Am I on the right track?)
  2. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    It sounds like you can do this on your own, besides being here in the states, I don't know what is good over there.....Best of luck :)
  3. Wow you really made a long post! Start with the best cab you can afford. 212 or 115. When you add a cab get an identical cab. 350-500 watts is a good gigable range. The G-K is a solid contender, Eden not a personal favorite but that may mean little to your ears. The HA3500 may be a good workable option for you, go play through some rigs with your own bass. That is best way to know what will work for you.
  4. rainermaria


    Jan 17, 2010
    Yeah, sorry for the long post. I just wanted to cover everything. So, if I add another cab later, it should be identical? As in, if I have a 4x10 cab, I would add another 4x10 cab? I think I've read that somewhere else as well, but I see so many bass players with, for example a 4x10 and a 1x15. Would they always be using crossovers in that case?

    And the only problem with testing amps and cabs with my bass is that right now I have no amp or cab, and I'd be buying each piece used and not in a store--and most likely separately. That's why I'm hoping to get the first piece absolutely right (whether an amp or a cab). After I settle on the first piece, then I can test the other with the gear I already have.

    Excuse my ignorance, but is there any consensus on a really solid "do-it-all" amp? Do you think a GK hits all the bases?
  5. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    noone uses crosscover, that's why people say DON'T DO IT! xD

    GK makes nice stuff. Don't know about reability, but tone is killer. Also check Hartke and Ampeg, you can get a nice half stack for that money :)
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you're interested in Ampeg, I'd recommend a PF350 or PF500 with a PF115he or PF210he, or maybe an SVT 410he if you need more volume, but that would take you over $800. The PF cabs sound huge and are really versatile and get very loud for their size, though.
  7. I would look for a used Peavey VB-2 and a 410 TVX. The TVX is a real work horse, and the VB-2 is a lighter weight all tube option.

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