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Recommend me a Solid State Micro Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thisSNsucks, May 10, 2010.

  1. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    So lately I've been doing some travelling down to NYC for rehearsals. Right now I have two heads, an Aguilar AG500 and an Aguilar DB751. No way I'm lugging the DB751 around on the subway so I've been bringing the AG, which isn't terrible but I'd love to get something that I can just throw into a gig bag for convenience sake.

    I'm really not too knowledgeable about these new micro heads (are they still new? lol) but there seems to be a lot out there!

    I'm looking for something solid state, a little hi-fi, bright and punchy, modern bass tone. Price can be anything under $1000.

    The GK MB500 seems like a good option cause I do love that GK tone, but I heard some less than great things about their reliability, but maybe thats different now.

    Then there's the Eden WT500, but I've never had the chance to play an Eden head.

    Markbass seems like a good choice too, but only if I can get over my distaste for black and yellow lol.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0?

    I haven't tasted one for myself, but GB seems to get a lot of love.
  3. MusserMusic


    Mar 28, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I have a Markbass F500 that I really dig when I don't want to lug my DB750. There are some really nice sounding SS light weights out there that would make your life easier without suffering (too much) the loss of using the DB751.
  4. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    +1 on the Markbass F500 and it fits in a laptop bag.
  5. I have the Eden wtx 500. Great little head. Running at 4ohms lots of power and warm tone. 6lbs.
  6. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    Those Shuttles are supposed to be pretty great. I think they're tube pre's. Not that I have anything against tubes, I just want as simple as I can go.
  7. JVbass


    Feb 15, 2009
    Cleveland OH
    Little Mark III. Incredible amp!
  8. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    F500 won't take you anywhere near the DB750 tone universe, so be prepared if you want to switch. I tried an F1 with the hope that I could learn to like it. Like you, I was coming from the Aguilar tone profile. It just didn't stick. It was the polar opposite of the sound I grew accustomed to with my Aguilar gear.

    I would try the Little Mark II or the Shuttle 9.0. No first-hand acquaintance with the Shuttle 9, but I really liked the 3. The Little Mark is a lot friendlier to the neophyte Markbass convert if he or she is coming from the Aguilar background. IMO.
  9. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Not recommending but rather just making you aware of the Ibanez Promethean head.

    It seems to be a middle ground for sound. Not too far towards Hi-Fi, but still able to dial back into some older tones. I also haven't demoed one myself, but I spent a couple of days reading about them listening to youtubes. Seems like just a solid sounding amp that works!

    I'm going the small route myself and after reading and listening to most of the main ones----I decided to experiment and get an Peavey IPR poweramp (small D class like these little heads) and then use a pedal as the pre. Specifically I'm going with the Hartke VXL and then I will probably have a boss graphic EQ pedal in the chain for a switchable EQ. So we'll see how it sounds! I'll be buying it within 1 month, probably sooner. Will probably be posting about it in the thread for IPR poweramps.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    how complicated is a single tube? jeez, you'd think owning aggies you'd know that tubes aren't that delicate.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'll say Eden WTX-500. It doesn't have the characteristic Eden tone stack, but can produce some mighty fine sound with more than adequate volume into the right cab.
  12. The Markbass F1 and F500 fit nicely into a gig bag. Either will fit in the padded pocket of my Sadowsky Portabag, and I hardly know there's an amp in there. :smug:
  13. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Genz Benz.. I have a 6 but if I had a do over I'd get a 9.0 and be done... The amps have great tone.. very flexible. Has a mute... can be used alone as a headphone amp.. 4 lbs.. I have heard good things about the MkBass heads.. but I only tried one in the store.
  14. Jheake


    Jan 21, 2010
    Gilbert az
    SWR Headlite..... 3.75 lbs comes with a carrying bag and, is a SWR amp.
  15. 'a little hi fi, bright and punchy'.....

    The two heads that IMO match that tone profile are the Markbass F500 (or F1 if you don't need all the bells and whistles) and the Shuttle 9 (I'd stay away from the Shuttle 6 myself... the 9 is the same size, just a touch more expensive, and has a much fuller low end). Both are great sounding, loud, and have good reliability records. The F500 is a bit cleaner, the Shuttle 9 has a touch of grind to it and is a touch louder. Both are quite bright and modern sounding, and both are very small and within your price range. Both can be purchased from Musician's Friend with a 'no questions asked' return policy.

    I would avoid the GK micro's... besides the reliability issues, they are quite noisy/hissy, and the voicing is really a bit over the top (HUGE low end, massively sizzly top end).
  16. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    I have a GK MB2-500 and from your description, I would recommend it. I had an issue at first, mailed it to GK, and they fixed it. No probs since. Seems there was a problem with heat and the board at first. You can get them for $300 on Ebay and it is a little beast. Super punchy and bright. You can get the GK growl going with the boost feature.
    I tried an Eden recently and I didn't see that it was greater at all honestly.
  17. +1

    I have a little mark ii that fits great in my hardcase of cables and things. I've been considering a F500 or F1 so I can put it on my gig-bag pocket.

    Anyone want to trade? ;)
  18. beebassdude

    beebassdude Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sterling, VA
    ive tried the genz benz heads, the EA micro heads, and i always come back to the MarkBass LittleMark II. the head just rules, its 500 watts and is just so nice sounding.

    markbass makes killer stuff. id suggest the F1 as well.
  19. poisonoakie


    Nov 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    I used to play Eden but gave it up after having some issues with their reliability. Switched to Mark Bass. I play the LM Tube 800, and also have a LMII. Maybe they aren't true "micro" heads, but at about 6lbs each, they are really quite easy to transport. And I've dug them both out of snow bangs, entangled in barbed wire, after they flew out of my Bronco as I flipped it and rolled it 7 times or so. They both still work flawlessly, although the outer cases are scratched and dented from where they bounced off of the freeway. They sound great through my Bergantino 4X12. Go with Mark Bass. Go over the yellow with a sharpie.
  20. From my experience... depending on pricepoint... my faves are:

    -GK MB2-500
    -MarkBass LMII (I haven't tried the LMIII... much difference?)
    -Eden WTX-500

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