Simple question are we moving back to combo amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rtslinger, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    No combos for me. I like my light weight 410 too much. Also, no class D for me. My current amps are an A.M.P. BH420 and it's younger cousin a Thunderfunk TFB420.
    Joebone and nbsipics like this.
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    At small gigs, I have been known to play through a small Phil Jones combo that has around 100W and two 5" speakers. I have other combos that I could use for bigger gigs, but I prefer separate heads and cabs.

    If combo's were my only option moving forward, I'd probably get one of the new GK combos and an extension cab.
    nbsipics likes this.
  3. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Once you go TF, you never go back... :)
    Thumpin6string and Staccato like this.
  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    I’ve finally gone all combo. The MarkBass 12 is still my grab & go cocktail / upright / jazz amp - and I have the extension 12 just in case.

    The new GK Legacy 12 is amazing on electric bass and one is plenty for a pub gig. I’ve been using the extension neo 12 with my 5 string on louder cover gigs and it’s a fantastic stack.

    Logistics Bonus: each rig fits neatly on an R12 Rock N Roller cart for a highly maneuverable one trip load in with minimal setup & teardown.
  5. We?... do you have a frog in your pocket?
    BlueTalon likes this.
  6. I had the Markbass 12 combo and extension speaker mini stack like Jason above. It was modular and portable. Now my rehearsal and gig rig is a Quilter BB800 and GR Bass Aerotech 212 Slim cabinet. Much more power and a huge clear sound and it weighs about as much as the Markbass 12 cabinet by itself. I can hand carry everything in one trip which to me is priceless.
    Nick von Nick and Jason Hollar like this.
  7. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I don't really love the idea of putting a tone-shaping preamp, power section, and speaker all in one box. The result is a very inflexible setup because it's so self-contained. It also comes with some other thorny engineering challenges like making knobs accessible, visible, and not prone to snapping off during transportation. More like pick two on that one, amirite?

    However, you know what is friggen awesome and has virtually 100% converted the pro-audio world? POWERED CABS. Speaker and power section in an integrated unit. It makes a heck of a lot of sense to me for bass equipment, too.
    You can get whatever tone shaping preamp you want out of a million possibilities, set it on the floor in front of you and run a mic cable back. With line-level inputs you can plug into into any conceivable array of easily chainable and swappable cabinets without having to worry about calculating ohm/watt loads. Have a 1x8 in your bedroom, 1x15 at the rehearsal spot, bring an extra 15, or as many modular 10s as you like, to the gig, and you can plug the same preamp into all of them. Or hey, maybe you just find a 2x10 is all you ever need at any volume, I've made it work, but sometimes you need a modern zing and sometimes you need a vintage thump. Just switch out the stompbox!

    Heck maybe you just get bored and wanna experiment with new tones without totally re-investing in a new setup. Powered cabs make that easier, too.

    That's just theoretical though because there are sadly few powered speakers on the market well suited for bass playing as of now. It's something I hope manufacturers do a lot more of in the near future.

    Anyways here's two pics of my fearful 15x6 with a Dayton Audio DSP poweramp in the back. If the market won't make em, I will!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  8. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Just because something is an engineering challenge doesn't mean it doesn't have a satisfactory engineering solution. And "inflexible" is a relative term. This forum has many examples of people assembling questionable rigs with questionable results. A good combo avoids that mess.
  9. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    Kemper. No amp, no speakers. Cable in, cable out. The tone of any amp/cab combo you desire, tuner and effects built in...a couple pounds in three rack spaces. Absolutely nothing else except your bass and a stand needed. Welcome to the 21st century. 20200410_100003.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  10. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Simple answer: No.

    I have all the lightweight amp(s) and portable cab(s) I need to last me a lifetime, so I don't see any need to buy something else.
  11. Anecdotally a lot of you are playing a lot of places and music styles where you need to play loud enough to deafen 1,000+ people. I’m not of that category and haven’t been since the 70s. Indeed I rarely play for as many as 100 people these days. My Markbass CMD121P is ideal. WRT other options, I’m sure I’d do well with a Fender Rumble 100 or 200, or a GK MB110 or MB120, or an Ampeg BA115, or a PJB Flightcase, or ..., or ..., As far as “my tone” I have enough experience that an amp would have to be really bad to keep me from adjusting the knobs for a suitable sound. I’m no cork sniffer. Gimme some good bandmates and a set list and we’ll get feet on the floor with booties shaking, followed by applause. Nobody on the dance floor cares about “my tone” when they’re dancing and smiling.
  12. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    We’re certainly seeing an increased interest in, and respect for, combos. When I joined TB, the prevailing attitude seemed to be that serious players shouldn’t use combos at all, but that attitude seems to be more or less gone.
    Morrighan, RColie and BlueTalon like this.
  13. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    LOL no one who's heard it has questioned the uncannily clean sound of my B string thru this rig, I can tell you that.
  14. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I wasn't insinuating that your rig is questionable in any way. I just take exception to your general characterizations of combos (like anything else, some may be crap, while others may be excellent), and was just pointing out that a good combo, where the amp & cab & speaker were designed as a unit by engineers with specific goals, can often be much better than ad hoc rigs we sometimes see here.
    Jason Schulhz and agedhorse like this.
  15. bassandboy


    Aug 24, 2018
    Honolulu, HI
    100% agree. I have a Phil Jones powered cab for small gigs and a Wayne Jones powered cab for bigger gigs (no relation ). I have all my tone shaping on a pedalboard and have definitely swapped preamps and other pedals around until I found what worked for me, keeping those cabs the whole while. And if the gig already has a backline so Phil & Wayne can stay home, I just plug into the effects return and still have my tone without having to worry about “my sound” as I did when I was taking a combo to shows.
    M0ses likes this.
  16. Modularity of amp and cabs is hard to beat with the light weight options available today.
    Personally play a GK MB 212 II with powered MBP 212 cab.

    However were I to be a truly gigging bassist, would prob choose a Mesa TT800 with 2x12 Mesa or GK neo cabs..or Bergantino.

    My " do not have to move" jam- barn " rig would prob be my Mesa RoadReady 18, a 212 and an Ampeg SVT-6 PRO
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  17. wes stephenson

    wes stephenson Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Dallas Texas!!!!
    I’m not.
  18. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I feel that more bassists choosing to go with combos is a knock-on effect due to powerful, full-range and easily managed PA systems are now more affordable than ever for the average bar band. Not to mention modelling has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. I'm seeing more and more pub bands going ampless with IEMs these days and only using combo amps when they really need one.
    Nick von Nick likes this.
  19. Katoosie


    Jun 12, 2020
    I switched from a combo to an amp and a cab!
    DrMole likes this.
  20. Renegade bass

    Renegade bass

    Nov 2, 2020
    I can go from straight in to the PA from my board via my BDi21's XLR, I have an Ashdown EB 180w combo again with balanced XLR out if I need or, can use combo as my monitor or bring the 2x10, 1x15 and head. I still like standing in front of a stack though.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 25, 2021

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