Quilter vs Mesa Subway vs Tonehammer for Rusty Box

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MetcalfBass, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Alright, so here is my situation:

    Up until last night, I’ve been running an Ampeg SVT-VR into a 212 cab. Ran as usual when I plugged in a couple nights ago. Plug in last night for band practice, and my amp sounds like a banshee (not in a good way). Looks like a power tube is out at least, and there may be more issues — a future visit to my local amp guy is in store, to say the least.

    Regardless of the issues with the amp, last night did make up my mind to get a class D as — at least — a backup amp, if not my gigging amp. My board is currently: tuner > DG Super Symmetry Compressor > Rusty Box > MDB-1 > TFR > Rainbow Machine > DOD FX72 flanger (the SS and RB are always on).

    I play a passive P-bass, and generally have a post-rock/stoner rock type sound. Knowing this, any thoughts as whether I should pursue a Quilter BB 800, Tonehammer 500/700 or one of the Mesa Subways? I’m also considering just running the the RB into a power amp. Thanks in advance.
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I run an SVT7-Pro + 2x10 cab when an amp is required.
    Church gives me a choice of Sansamp BDDI or ..... NO amp.

    I have an Ampeg SCRDI on my pedal board that I normally use when going ampless.
    It can also be swapped out with the Sansamp BDDI Deluxe I have.

    I've been ampless on and off (mostly without) for the last 2 yrs. I want to keep things simple. I'm IEM and we have PA provided 99.99% of our gigs, so I prefer to go pedalboard + DI instead of lugging the amp/cab.

    Given that both my DI pedals are Ampeg-centric, I literally ordered the Subway D800+ pedal about 2 hrs ago 'cus I wanted a change!
    Should be here Tues. Will post feedback on it (not a formal review) ASAP.

    Playing both a Spector Euro5LX or Fender Elite Jazz right now.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Wisebass and agedhorse like this.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I’m a new D-800 user. I’m liking it a lot. Plenty of power and the DI is superb.

    The live magic is in the voice control. As the manual states, set it to taste and then use the EQ to adjust as necessary. I can see where a D-800+ Would be awesome as with the sweepable mids, it would be very good at carrying a room and fixing room resonance issues where the D-800 might require external eq for that. This might be the first time in many, many years when I have actually read a manual for a bass amp and followed the instructions ;-)

    I have a Source Audio Prog EQ that I can leverage for the time being...
    Element Zero, red_rhino and s0c9 like this.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Quilter BB800 is a great choice. There's a new model, BB802 with different feature set available now.
    Big String likes this.
  5. Is the BB802 available yet? Not finding much about, other than what's on the Quilter website. And as far as the D800+, I think I'm going to have to try to get my hands on one and try it.
  6. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    AS with any magical head or sweepable Eq. The sweep lets you actually put it where it should be from the start lol.

    Ive played anything from jazz to blues to rock to various cover bands/ tribute blah blah.

    But yes have roots in doom/ industrial or post rock as well. And yep always on distortion. Never cared for compressor , but yet well aware of the always on crowd and players that swear by it. Once you find the magic compressor and whatever of the classic 3 designs its copied lol then sweet. guys pretty much fall in love with the right compressor.

    Anyhoo far answer your questions. dirt pedal straight to amp or straight to board always has its ups and downs. And with any dirt as mentioned the real magic is finding a preamp with the pretty generic tone curve mainly in the mids that makes high gain sound right. Either its in the right place from the start or a " ajustable" one that gives you a zillion worthless options and the actual good one that works.

    otherwise depending on if your dirt pedal has bass boost or you use the bass boost on the amplifier pre. to bring back bass loss the pedal will have to get a decent grind. basically the formula for any good dirt pedal. enough high pass so its not farty or to chewy. then EQ to bring back the bass cut.

    as far as your head questions. my opinion on any class d is the same. hate them all of them. huge blanket statement i know lol. if any of them worked well for certain genres and a high SPL band situation. id recommend one. then of course there is none so who cares.

    Far as your SVT problems, welcome to the club. plenty guys on here to tell you they have no mystical magical problems with them. guys that actually gig them at high volume or on tour/ high booking rate. matter of time. i eventually sold all 3 of the SVTs ive owned. And for any distortion type doom or pretty clean post rock situation. I usually find any 300 to 400 watt lead sled that doesnt overheat at 4 ohms is fine. specially if your main tone is always on dirt pedal. otherwise youll find a 300 watt led sled turd hitting breakup in conjunction with a pedal. is just as magical as a tube amp.

    straight to board with any dirt or even many bass head DI will put to much bass to the board. or you need to boost bass to make up for pedal losses. then again will put to much bass to the main board. you dont need mystical magical ajustable high pass. just preset at 30hz and 4th order steep highpass will fix any bass signal problem rather clean or dirty. likewise with dirt a final filter again steep 4th order low pass will clean up all the sizzle and garbage from distortion. usually 3k works some like 5k. this of course you can do yourself, unless any sound guy idiot has figured out how to high pass and low pass his bass channel to fix the majority of krap direct signals you will get from any player.

    otherwise a " quasi" fix all is a multiband EQ pedal. hard cut the super lows and use 100 hz and up to get " deep" bass. likewise with upper sizzle hard cut the upper highs to kill sizzle. Mystical magically mid cut is 220 or 440. likewise mystical magical mid boost can be 440 or 880. for extra presence the classic 1.2k boost or cut is another favorite. six billion worthless preamps eventually get it or dont get it


    Dec 21, 2007
    Cowtown, USA
    You should also look at the Orange Terror Bass 500.
    I run mine with the Rusty Box in front always on.
    Awesome tone that’s an ideal back up for a SVT (or as your main head).
  8. Good call. I also found a GK 800RB nearby that I’m considering.
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  9. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I was skeptical about buying another Class D amp .. but now that I have a Mesa WD800 I'm loving it. I now have enough confidence in this amp to not bring my backup Hartke LH500 to a gig. I'm running it into Two Hartke Hydrive 12's. Hoping to get the Mesa twin 15 cab and be done with it. I can literally plug this amp into any bass cab I come across and it kicks butt.
  10. I really dig my Mesa D-800. Only class D amp that I’ve played that I actually liked. Have actually considered buying a second as a backup. it’s only 5.5 lbs if I remember right (for comparison only 2lbs more than the subway DI+ pre amp pedal) so it would be ideal as a backup being so easy to move. It just works for me. If you do check it out my main comments about using it are run the deep switch on and even with my active bass I prefer using the input switch set to passive and using the input knob to get the input level straight, it just seems to sound beefier/warmer that way. I run the EQ mostly flat except for a small boost to the bass knob. The “voicing knob” gives you a different kind of midrange scoop than the mid controls will. I tend to set it on about 8oclock so it’s just barely doing it’s thing but isn’t too scooped out.
    ObsessiveArcher, DJ Bebop and Helix like this.
  11. onamission

    onamission Supporting Member

    Don't forget TC, I really like my BH550. Features, weight, power and price, hard to beat....
    Malafaia, Low8 and Teck_Instructor like this.
  12. moogieotter

    moogieotter Custom Title

    Jun 16, 2009
    Duluth, GA
    Did he get that 800RB yet?
  13. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    I like my Mesa preamp DI with just about any poweramp.
  14. I was considering either a slightly used D-800 or an 800RB to back up my Mesa Buster, but at 500–600 USD, I wasn't in a hurry to pull the trigger. Then I saw a beat-up but sound 800RB for 350, got shipping thrown in, and received it today. FWIW, I can vouch for either of those for a heavy sound.
    Wisebass likes this.
  15. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    I sometimes use a tone similar to yours. I love the Orange TB500. Insane amounts of volume, classic tone stack. Lightweight. Edit: and reliable.
  16. Master Chief

    Master Chief

    Jun 4, 2010
    I use the Rusty Box with a Crown XLS1502 power amp and I'm extremely satisfied.
    El Apestoso likes this.
  17. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi MetcalfBass :)

    A used Quilter gets you 800 Watt at a pretty cool price. (sometimes cheaper than a power amp!)

    You can use it as a power amp with your RB or use it' s EQ. Pretty cool "budget solution"!

    The Subways are great! Maybe a bit expensive to be only used for getting your sound loud?

    The Eq section is too good to be unused! :D The 800+ has an adjustable HPF.

    That' s an interesting feature, especially for loud gigs without FOH support. Give it a try!

    Of course there are a lot of used lead sleds these days that still work fine.

    Most of them are dirt cheap.

    Happy hunting!!!

    CharlyG likes this.
  18. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    I would choose Tonehammer.
  19. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I got a Tonehammer 700 as a backup head for my SVT-VR. Sounds so good, I use it as my primary rig about half the time.