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Recommendations for a small hi-fi bass combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TAZ, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. I am finding the need to have my own bass combo to act as a personal stage monitor that I can rely on instead of the stage monitors. I need a clear, full and articulate sounding system for listening to my bass. The stage monitors are not adequate for my needs probably because of hearing loss and that a rumble or thud for a bass tone in the monitors doesn't cut it.

    This is to satify situations where I go through the house system only or I'm in a stage environment where my backline equipment is more visual theater than practical - because any meanful output screws with the sound engineers balance.

    Let's skip the in-ear solutions for this discusion for now. Primarily because some of the venues, while lots of house technology is available, the skill level and time to integrate someone with a request to connect up with an in-ear system is a trying experience.

    Combo recommendations or combination of equipment is fine but want to keep it small but tone rules.

    Thank all for your input and experience, it will be sincerely appreciated.
  2. makohund


    Dec 12, 2002
    "super 12" cab + micro head of choice.

    fEARful 12/6/1
    baer m112
    barefaced big baby

    Me, I'd do an airhead 12/6/1. Probably with a Carvin BX500 in it. Or maybe GK MB series. Small, light, convenient.
  3. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    If you don't need much volume the Acoustic Image line is spot on IMHO.
  4. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  5. thanks for the suggestions thus far...
  6. Whats your budget? How loud, how heavy? I guess when you're talking combos there's always a compromise with these which is appropriate for each user.

    Markbass CMD121H might be worth a look. Great unit.
  7. TinIndian


    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    You can find Ampeg BA115's around used for under 200.00 all day. The cab tilts back has a good EQ and a DI.
  8. keko


    Oct 21, 2011
    Zagreb, Croatia, EU
    Check mine, placed on the custom made plastic coated plywood stand:


    Carvin MB12
    200W in combo mode
    250W with 8 Ohms external speaker (4 Ohms together)
    3-way full neodymium magnet speakers 12"/6.5"/1"
    D-class output power amp
    Separate control for DI out including pre/post switch
    Ultra lightweight (30.5 lbs only!!!)
    Studio class compressor

    Very loud on the stage when raised and angeled like shown above, covers my band's PA support (3.5-5 kW) system with less a than half master volume knob opened!!! ;)


    Aug 30, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If you can find an older Genz Benz combo, I think they made 15", 2 -10" and 12" versions, these are fairly transparent and not too heavy. Their tilt back feature would be perfect for what you described.
  10. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    +1. I found a used AI Clarus SL (2.5 lbs) & connect to a G-K 112 MBX speaker (12 lbs, 8 ohms). More than adequate for practice, small rooms & as a stage monitor + a quiet, built in DI. The G-B Shuttle 3 looks similar to the AI, is also 8 ohms & is available new.
  11. stambroker


    Aug 12, 2011
    My band's studio has an SWR Redhead that is phenomenal for just that purpose, OP. I've seen similar results with the Basic Black.
  12. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Genz Benz 12" Shuttle Combo. Super light, tilts back.
  13. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    I agree. Had the 210 and it was great. Also, check out a G-B NEOX 400 combo if you can find one. 400 watts, 112T ported cab. Lots of bass, FET and tube channels, titlable. A bit heavy -- probably 70 pounds.
  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    If loads of volume is not an issue (as asked above) a Markbass Minimark hits the, er, mark. :D Great sounding DI, too. :) I put mine on a waiter's tray stand to get it up high enough for personal monitoring.
  15. A lot of smart suggestions that are helping me crystalize the direction to solve this problem.
  16. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Please let us know what you choose & why. TIA
  17. A real hi-fi amp with a great D.I. is the SWR Baby Baby Blue II or the newly incarnated Spellbinder. A little on the pricey side and low on the power side but both have a tilt back feature and a super clean sound. I've used my BBBII as a monitor quite a few times and it's always been great. I've even done gigs with it with a pretty loud drummer with a Big Ben 18" extension cab. The D.I. is hi-end studio quality so your amp will sound great through the p.a. too.

    If you can find them the BBBII's aren't all that pricey on the used market, although like the Spellbinder, it was pricey to buy new.

    This is just one more suggestion. There are many other good suggestions already made in this thread but my BBBII is such a versatile little amp I like to give it props when I can. It's a studio monster, stage monitor, practice amp, gig amp with extension cabs.... for what they sell for used, I'll never get rid of mine.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I really loved the BB II I had until I compared it against a Minimark. ;) Yes, the EQ is more flexible on the Baby Blue, but the MM had it all over the SWR in tone. :)

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