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Recommend me the Best Bass Amp......

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheGraphixLab, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. TheGraphixLab


    Apr 26, 2006
    Alright, so a vague question right!? But I'm interested in what works for you and why. I've had limited trials on a variety of amps so want everyones evaluations of what they like and why.

    I'm playing a Warwick Streamer, six string, so have to cover the highs and lows. I currently have an Ashdown MAGC410T (300 Watt / 4x10 combo) and find it not near loud enough and seriously lacking low end.

    I'm shopping for the best and don't want to instantly be looking to upgrade. I'd like something that offers both Solid State and Tube Amping. I'm planning on pushing a 1x15 (or 2x15) and 4x10 Stack (open to cabinet suggestions too).

    I'd like to avoid sounding to generic but really would like to be able to cover all sounds/styles. Bright, Crunchy, Growl . . . . Deep, rumbling lows . . . . . even retro, creamy funk.........

    I hold all of ya'lls opinons high and appreciate the experiences (good and bad) you've had with hands on I haven't had the luxury of. Your input will send me shopping in the right direction.

    As I mentioned, budget isn't so much an issue. I plan to spend at least a couple grand.

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    There are so many "best" amps and cabs.... I think I could name a half dozen "best" of each, based solely on reading the posts in this forum. So rather than basing your decision on however many or few responses you get in this thread, I would recommend spending a few days reading through several pages of this forum. You'll get a broader, more balanced picture, as there will be multiple contrasting opinions about each piece discussed. And you'll see the transitions of specific GAS-prone TB'ers as they discover "best" after "best" after "best"... often devolving to one of the earlier "bests", sometimes repeatedly.

    You've said budget is not so much of a concern, but "the best" preamps can be over a grand, "the best" amp heads can be over two grand, and the same goes for "the best" cabs.

    Beyond that, how concerned are you about weight? Simplicity versus endless features? All-in-one versus modularity?
  3. Askia


    Feb 24, 2006
    Versatility, portability, great sound and price-wise, I advise you markass amps! :bassist:
  4. BillyC


    Jun 11, 2007
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
  6. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    For me, Eden WT550 into a 4-ohm D212XLT. Why?
    - Sounds phenomenal
    - Ease of use
    - Relatively light and portable
    - Can handle all my gigs
    - Expandable (i.e., can add a cab)

    Sounds phenomenal: this is the biggest factor. I've owned and played through tons of different stuff, and this setup sounds superior for me. Simply great in a band context. I love the big lows with excellent definition. I get compliments from other musicians and lay people just about every time I play, and I'm not exaggerating, it's almost getting old. Almost. Bandleaders, drummers (yes drummers), other bass players. Chicks who never thought about it before have figured out that bass is not another guitar.

    Ease of use: not just the knobs, layout, setting up input stage, etc. ... the real ease is that this setup allows me to not worry about anything past my fingers. That is, what I do with my hands translates directly into what comes out of the speakers. And that makes playing a joy.

    Relatively light and portable: I'm a very practical/function over form type guy. The head is 20 lbs and I use a gig bag for it. The cab is about 60 lbs but doesn't feel too heavy, lifts easily, and has wheels. There's lighter setups, but I haven't found anything that comes close to performing this well at this size, so its portability is a nice bonus.

    Can handle all my gigs: full sound, plenty loud to carry a big stage, plenty loud for clubs where I don't have PA support. The only time I had to push it to its limit I was able to hang with two guitars who each had two amps/cabs (Fender Concert 112, some Fender 412 half stack, Fender Twin, and a blackface Bassman/410) plus a keyboard with a Peavey 300W combo that screamed, and some pretty loud drums.

    Expandable: I only do this outdoors (and sometimes not even then), but since the head can operate to 2 ohms I can still add a cab (I add my D210MBX) for more speaker area and power.

    I've been playing for 22 years and have previously owned Fenders, Ampeg, MusicMan, GK, Trace Elliot, and SWR amps, maybe a couple more, and another Eden amp. So it's been a journey but I've reached my destination. I make damn good money and can afford many times what I paid for this setup, but since I put this together I haven't even considered getting anything else.
  7. quee


    Jul 28, 2005
    Whatever advice you get, make sure you try out your new gear before you buy it, preferably at a gig, even if it means travelling a long way it will be well worth the effort.

    It's impossible to say which is the best as it's such a subjective thing.

    I would recommend trying out some of ampeg svt heads, old and new with an ampeg 8x10.
    Some of them sound great and have a unique character to them, which if you like, then it's hard to beat, as long don't mind carrying the thing around!

    Good luck!
  8. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    You just described an Eden head. I would suggest a WT550.
  9. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Judging by your criteria, and what others have said, Genz Benz would sound like your ticket. The 1200 should do you fine:)
  10. Markbass!
  11. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Go shopping. You're asking people "What's my favorite color?"

    Everybody has their own opinion about what is the best. Form your own opinion.
  12. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    You've been given some great suggestions, but as K2000 said, taste comes into it now. You have to listen for yourself once you've found a few that have the features you want.

    Eden does it for me, while Markbass doesn't, but they are definitely peers and are equally high quality and designed for making music in the real world.
  13. myhot4


    Jul 11, 2006
    Sydney Australia
    I like Eden, but will you like it? I like it because its plug and play. Its basically set your gain and let her rip. All amps have a growl, each have their own voice and are proud of this. Eden has an on the edge tone. Some find it dirty. GK has its own growl as well. So does Genz Benz and Ampeg. I guess you can call it the amps X factor. best way to find which one is for you, is to just get out there and try them out.
  14. Eden

    WT800B/C head
    D410XLT cabinet - highs and growling
    D210XST cabinet - lows and

    If this isn't loud enough for you:)

    This is the rig that I am going to for large stages.

    I have MoThunder

    Eden Metro 210XLT combo
    Eden D210XST

    It kills the room with clarity and power. IMHO
  15. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Thought I loved the Eden WT550, and I guess I did for a while, but I bought the wt550 because I couldn't hear a Thunderfunk TFB550. I played it safe and went with something I could demo. Later curiosity got the best of me and I bought a Thunderfunk, sound unheard! There were lots of reviews and many people would mention the TFB550 in the same post as the WT550. they are both similar AND very different. In my mind the Thunderfunk won out over the Eden.

    The reasons I like the Thunderfunk over most other amps:
    --FOUR Semi-parametric tone controls from 30hz to 4k? I love to
    be able to tweak, especially in the cut-through freqs.
    --The amp can sound warm like and eden, or thinner, clearer,
    more hifi like RBI or aguilar ag500 (another amp I almost
    --The amp weighs 15LBS!!! 550w into 4ohms!!!
    --It has "The Switch"! change between a thick darker sound
    and a thinner more hifi sound with a click of the switch.
    although not intended for mid performance sound changes (its
    not a noiseless switch, it pops)
    --Has a 'timbre' control. kind of like a master 'tone' control. turn
    clockwise it rolls off certain lows, turn left it rolls off certain
    --It sounds great to me!! especially with my Aguilar 12's and bergie 12's.

    ***Downsides to Thunderfunk...
    --doesn't do 2ohms, at high volumes
    --more expensive than similar heads $1299 direct price.
    --The 'switch' **POP** is scary, but I just turn down the master while switching.

  16. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Eden, t-funk, benz-genz, mark, they're all good. I've been thinking lately that I could have any of these amps and sound good... tinkering on the margins I say when comparing one of these to the others. However, what sold me on Eden was I could run it at 2 ohms for 750 watts. :p
  17. what works for me is Behringer

    Its cheap
    its sounds good
    it allows me to have a wall of sound
    its cheap
    its thick sounding
    its punchy it funky
    its cheap
    the only thing i don't like about Behringer is the weight but its cheap so i can't complain that much
  18. TheGraphixLab


    Apr 26, 2006
    Wow, Hey thanks for the nice feedback. Good stuff here!

    I should have mentioned that the rig will be stationary. It'll be set up in jam / recording studio so weight isn't an issue (actually more heavy is better IMO).

    Ostinato: good point. Statistically the Genz-Benz 1200 looks like it'll get my first test run.

    Lots of nods for Eden. What's the deal with their "Hybrid Tube" circuitry?

    For cabs, I'm considering a:
    SWR Goliath Jr 2x10 -&- Big Ben 1x18 stack
    GK 410RBH -&- 115RBH stack

    ...so if anyone has experience with these, I'm interested in your evaluations.

    The couple bad reviews of the Eden D-215XLT about the cheap cast frame is enough logical turn-off to kinda rule that out.

    but hey, thanks for alls time to respond, makes me feel more confident about not making a mistake when purchasing!
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That just means they threw a 12AX7 tube into the preamp, in addition to all the solid state circuitry. Lots of amps/preamps have that feature, but the Eden version seems well-liked.
  20. TheGraphixLab


    Apr 26, 2006