Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by McHack, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Hopefully, someone can answer this for me, as I'm not technically savvy enough to have dealt w/ a situation any better than I did last night.

    Here's the gist.

    Last night, I went to GC as I really just wanted to research cables & power amps... Anyway, I get there, & begin to sniff around the Live Audio section, checking out speaker cables, power amps, etc... I get involved in a discussion who is apparently thier lead sound guy, & I explain what I'm really trying to do, which is build a gig ready bass rig, & incorporate the pieces I have available to me, while allowing for upgrades...

    Next thing I know, he's trying to talk me into buying this, and that... well, you NEED a sonic maximizer, and you need this studio quality preamp,,, oh you dont want a bass pre amp,,, if you want it dirty, just get a stomp box, etc, etc, etc...

    On one level, I found it somewhat educational, if not a bit overwhelming... but I found myself ill equipped to defend my preconceptions of what I needed. The only thing that kept coming to mind was, if I'm so wrong, why is there even a market for bass specific gear? He seems very knowledgable, but I also kept thinking, "He's just trying to make sales".

    Sooooo... I guess I'm a bit flustered, as I guess I dont know EXACTLY what I need, & its driving me nuts.
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I'll make it simple for you.

    What you need:
    -Pre-amp that will bring your bass' signal up to the correct strength for a power amp.

    -Power amp that will make you bass loud enough to be heard.

    -Speakers that will convert the electrical signal into an audible signal.

    -Cables that will transmit the signal between each piece.

    and thats it.

    Everything else is extra, but extra things are nice sometimes. A lot of those things will help your tone, but some will make your tone better to others while making it worse in your ears. Get what sounds good to you and ignore what everyone else says. The only thing that other people can tell me about that will change my mind on gear purchases is reliability.
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    You need three things.

    1. You NEED a preamp of some kind.

    2. You NEED a power amp of some kind.

    3. You NEED an speaker cab of some kind.

    Everything else is personal preference.

    Bass specific gear is made exactly for bass. Yes, it will work just fine. Most folks use bass equipment for bass guitar. However some guys like to use studio quality mic preamps and such. Fine for them. Nothing wrong with that. Do YOU need to do the same thing?? No.

    For rig.

    A bass preamp.

    A PA power amp.

    Assorted cabs.

    And it is a highly respectable rig at that.

    Don't let the salesmen feed you a pile of BS. Take your time, figure out what YOU want and get it.

    And honestly it doesn't sound like you are quite there yet.

    This is a very helpful forum, don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any.



    EDIT: Oh yeah, and assorted cables as per Nick man. I guess he beat me to it.
  4. What you need is a good bass preamp and a decent poweramp if you want to do a rack setup.Anything else this guy wants to sell you is fluff.You don't need to spend a lot of money,$200 to$300 for the preamp and $300 to $400 for the poweramp will get you a rig that can compete with anyones.I got my RBI preamp for $200 as a scratch and dent and my Crown poweramp for $400 new and they sound great and haven't given me a bit of trouble in the 3 years I've had them.BBE make a good inexpensive preamp with the sonic maximizer built in and QSC,Carvin and Stewart make great affordable poweramps.The main thing is to get something with great basic tone and power before adding all the bells and whistles.For cables you'll need a 1/4" sheilded cable from the preamp to the poweramp and a speakon or 1/4"speaker cable from the amp to the cabinet.It's not rocket science,that salesman was trying to sell you snake oil.Listen to the guys on this board a while,they'll steer you right.
  5. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Talking to Guitar Center staff about that stuff can be hazardous. It's kind of ridiculous for him to tell you what you need.
  6. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    OK... cool...

    Basically, in listening to you guys... I knew what I needed already going in, & big words & rapid hand movements distracted me... You've all described my intended signal path, EXACTLY... so, it seems I'm on the right track.

    I just wanted to pick his brain for a bit, & forgot to cockblock all the extra shizzly, I dont need. Just gotta remember, GC staff isnt really there to help... they're there to sell.
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Danged right.

    Farking bostiches.


  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    A salesman who's really that knowledgable? Possibly. I'd have asked him where his band's next gig is so I could check them out. If his reply was "I'm not in a band right now" that would have been my cue to exit, stage right.
  9. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Why? What if your band/all of your bands broke up? Would that make you a less respectable musician? It certainly wouldnt affect your cab building skills.
  10. A salesman has two interchangeable parts: his mouth and his @sshole.

    You can tell when a salesman is lying: his mouth is moving.


    Knowing the above, what you need is spending more time practicing your Art and less time in GC.


    Getting your Art to the audience requires basic parts:
    • Preamplifer
    • Power Amplifier
    • Speakers

    The preamp can be a Head (pre+power combination) or separates. I prefer separates, because you can upgrade one and keep the other. Separate components are more flexible and allow you to install other components later, such as EQ or a Cosmic Confabulator, or anything else that runs as a LINE level device.

    Speakers is a topic unto itself, and the subject of endless debate between Talk Bass scholars. Read the posts, learn the knowledge.
  11. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Seriously, you always have to consider the other guys angle/bias and factor that into anything said.

    I'd be cautious of anyone belching what I needed before asking a lot of questions about what I had, what I was wanting to accomplish, what the applicaton was, etc. and if somewhere along the way there wasn't some reference to cost saving measures then all the more skeptical (you're going into a dorm this fall and you want a couple 4x10's and rountmount?). Some guy rolfing jargon that obviously insn't soaking in is not a good sign either.

    There are some guys really in the know that have THERE way of being and no other and are the place to go for their way of being - but not for anything else. They're not likely to waste anytime trying to reason or win you over because they've been there, done that, drawn their conclusions, and have plenty of people come to them for there way of being and don't need you taking up their time. I doubt you'd ever see one of these guys at GC.

    I've heard of some good deals coming out of GC at times though.
  12. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    My personal foolproof GC "user" strategy....

    * Never ask GC staff for gear recomendations
    * Never make eye contact with GC staff members
    * Never set foot in a GC store
    * If GC purchase is unavoidable, use MF online
    * Never deviate from personal user strategy

    Works perfectly. LOL
  13. I don't think GC the company in itself is a bad company. I prefer not to buy online if I can absolutely help it, especially with music gear. I do agree with Templar though. Know what you need/want, and then go get it. The only thing you need to ask staff members for is if they have what you need in stock and if they don't, then you either browse around (hey, who can't help but just look around in a guitar store) and figure out *for yourself* an alternative, or leave.
  14. It's spelled "speech"

  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Lay off GC you guys.

    The first post of advice in this thread came from a GC salesman. You'll find people trying to rip you off anywhere you go. The only reason you guys are connecting GC with sales snakes is that its one of the stop 2 retailers for the gear you need so its the only place you guys come across.

    Now if you dont mind, I need to get to work.
  16. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA

    Does this mean you agree or disagree?


  17. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    In my experience, GC is infinitely better than Sam Ash in this regard.

    It's to the point where i wont even go in a SA store. When i drive passed i usually fart.

    seriously though, the GC guys in my area tend to be way more helpful (which usually means leaving me alone), not super hard selling, and have far far less attitude than those at SA. A lazy, condescending "you are bothering me" attitude seems to be in the SA culture. This on observations that span almost 2 decades.

    **disclosure- my experience with GC is limited to 2 storesin north NJ, and SA is limited to 1- paramus.

    Uh, i reread my post and noticed that i hijacked this thread as a means of voicing my extreme dislike for SA. sorry.
  18. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, I had absolutely no intention of getting a "bash GC" thread started. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, & jsut wanted a sounding board to make sure what I wanted, was what I needed.
  19. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Nick Man, IIRC, in a previous thread you attempted to defend the GC-Ebay-Instrument Exchange corruption. I believe I asked you if you worked at GC and didn't hear your answer. Many of us here have personal experience with extremely poor salesmanship at GC, and we are doing each other a service describing our experiences. Don't know about the rest of these guys but your statement, "Lay off GC you guys" wont change the fact that GC is a big business that hires unskilled personnel who in many cases have little or no knowledge of their product and very little experience in the music business.
  20. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    When you read it all including the sentence right before what you quoted you see what Im saying.

    Its not a GC thing. Its a human thing. Some people are good, and some are scum. Dont toss my coworkers and me into the same pool as the scum.

    To put it simply. I dissagree with you guys.