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Sleeper combos on the secondary market

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mindwell, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. mindwell

    mindwell Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Wichita, KS
    Acoustic USA endorser
    Don't get me wrong--my various big rigs aren't going anywhere. But I don't *always* need to knock down walls, and a smaller onstage footprint sometimes really would be a help.

    So what thoughts/recommendations/experiences would folks have with regard to combo amps that are a) up to $600 used and no more than 70-ish pounds, b) stout yet flexible enough to support anything from a large horn band to a power trio, fingerstyle, slap, and pick, and c) good with a b-string?

    Of the combos I own/have owned, I loved the tone of the SWR Baby Blue, and my Portaflexes (B-15N and SB-12). These, however, aren't loud or low enough. Had a Peavey Databass and loved the volume and footprint; the tone, not so much. Is there some magical beast that does it all?

    Having read lots and lots of threads, I'm as interested in hearing intuitive observations as technical details. So, given the stipulations above, what brings the whump?
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    The Roland combos don't get much love on TB, but I have been using an old DB700 combo for 10 years now, in similar gig situations that you mention. With PA support, it's a great stage monitor, and is loud enough to drive the 4 piece Blues band gigs I get in small bars. I retro fitted a JBL K140 in it, and it has sweet tone for days. On the heavy side though, especially with the JBL, but it's worth it, imho. They don't pop up that often here; I see them on Ebay once in awhile. The newer ones had a powered extension cab as an option.
  3. sensei_steve

    sensei_steve Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    Reisterstown, MD
    My swr spellbinder blue sounds awesome in a home practice with one or two gui****s and a keyboard. With its parametric tone controls, i can dial in almost any tone. However, it just doesn't cut it playing out with gui****s, keyboards, drummer and pa.
    On the other hand, my hartke 12" kickback totally rocks it. I've heard mine, and on other occasions heard my friend's kickback, totally hold its own, cut thru and sound great with a full band with several gui****s, keyboards, drummer and pa in a small to medium size bar. Who knew?
  4. Mickey Burns

    Mickey Burns

    Jun 30, 2013
  5. droo46


    Jun 16, 2011
    GK MB212. I've been gigging with mine for a couple years and it's always been more than enough for any setting. 35 lbs and 500 watts.
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I can see the convenience of a combo for sure but I think the "neo-cab/micro-head" combination is worth looking into as well.
  7. I've played through quite a few combos. While I am usually an Ampeg guy, if I were looking for a combo I'd get a Fender BXR300c. Built like a tank, US built, ported 115 with capabilities of an extension cab.... Around 75lbs....
  8. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    My LMII and Thunderchild weigh a combined 38 lbs, blows you budget though. I did walk into a GC and see new Markbass Jeff Berlin or Randy Jacksons combos on sale for $850, probably worth the extra couple hundred.
  9. SVT CL+Fender 810 Pro. Tried it side by with the Ampeg 810 and chose the fender. I may be wrong-my ears are buggered(tinnitus).
  10. Blairb


    Nov 1, 2007
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you like the B-15, the micro Portaflex rigs are pretty sweet. And so is the Micro VR, although it won't get as loud as the PF rigs.
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
  13. EBS Drome - the older ones made in Sweden. Amazing, versatile, musical, portable. 120watts into 12 in speaker. Lots of ins/outs. Much louder than it should be. Still going strong after 10 years.
    I wish I had two of them...
  14. mindwell

    mindwell Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Wichita, KS
    Acoustic USA endorser
    Thanks for the excellent suggestions and discussion! Lots of interesting ideas here to consider--the EBS, Fender, and GK all sound particularly on point. And Blairb put his finger on something that I think I had in mind with my initial post:

    In that spirit, I'd be interested to hear any further ideas that people might have?
  15. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    If you want to consider some cutting-edge cabs, look no further than the BIG E speakers being made by TBer Mike Arnopol, as well as Duke LeJeune's remarkable Audio Kinesis cabs, Greenboy's fEarful cabs, Baer's ML-series cabs, and just about anything produced by Jim Bergantino. If I've left anyone off of this list, I apologize.
  16. @ jpbass5 - now that you mention it - I think I played through a Drome several years ago on a road gig. Yeah - it was killer loud - even with my rock/blues band & 5 string bass.
  17. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    SWR Working Pro 12/15. 200 watts with kick back feature.
    I don't know if they are still made.
    Kinda rare on TB classifieds.
  18. Yes, quite good with my 5 string as well. I really like this thing.....

  19. Cutty


    Jun 25, 2006
    I have a Roland DB500,it's great combo,and loud for it's size,see if you can try one,they are no longer made so may be hard to find,good luck.
  20. solodb


    Jun 3, 2011
    British Columbia
    Always watch for a Yamaha B115iii, it's got a fantastic pre-amp same as the renowned PB-1 with dual semi-parametric EQs; and it's 100 watts are really loud! It's only down- side I know is :if the output IC's are faulty , they are proprietary and hard to find.