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Small combo - what are you playing?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tradernick, May 21, 2011.

  1. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Thought I'd ask you guys before starting the web search process.

    I did a small gig tonight with my GK MB150S. I don't use the small rig that much. I got it because all my upright-playing friends seemed to use one.

    I switched to a Sadowsky Ultra-Vintage 4 about a year ago and to be honest, this GK Microbass combo isn't doing it for me. On the gig tonight, it just wasn't sounding like it was up to the task of voicing what the Sadowsky has to offer.

    What are you guys using for very small combos these days? I'm usually using these on a trio gig I get with one acoustic guitar being played through an amp and one sax/vocalist, but ideally I want something that can hold its own with a cocktail kit. I'm an old guy and there are now a lot more small boutique makers than there were when I was a gearhead. I'm in Toronto so something I can buy in L & M/Steve's or maybe Club Bass would be good, but I'll order in if necessary. It needs to be small, so it's probably a single 12" or maybe a single 10".

    Price is not an issue, but reliability is.
  2. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Mostly, I am using my shuttle 6.0 or 9.0 with a TC Electronics 2x10 (not combo I know) But....when the gig is small enough, I take my Carvin PB 150...it's a 1x10 at 100 watts. It is a great combo for resturaunts and weddings and smaller bars. Take a look at the new Carvin combo amps. They have a 12" combo that I bet just smokes....also a 10" and a 15" combo available.
  3. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Thanks Datsgor, just starting to find these amps mentioned on some of the forums. I didn't even know that TC was making cabs! Always thought of them as just outboard gear. Ideally I want a combo so I'll look into the Carvin stuff. It's not a name I would have thought of right away.

    Here's another one I'm reading about right now, the 12" version

    Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout Bass Combo Amplifier

    EDIT: Shuttle 6.0 600 Watts @ 3.75 pounds?? Man, at that weight I might be tempted to carry around the two pieces...
  4. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Yea....that Mesa combo kicks butt. Nothing but great things with that amp. Tight tube goodness....thick and creamy.
    I forgot you said price was not an issue.....

    The Genz Benz shuttle combos are excellent.
    Mesa has a couple of options too.
    Markbass.....never tried, but great things are said about them.

    Lot's of new lightweight stuff, Genx Benz, Markbass, TC Electronics...that's about all I can think of now.

  5. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    I thought the thread was about small combos, not 150-300w "small"! :)
    I've an Ibanez swx 20, yeh 20w and 8" element, that is small!
  6. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Reliablility point...My Carvin is almost 20 years old. Not a single problem. Ever.
    Maintenance point...it did blow the fuse last year. So, after 18 years, I had to replace the fuse.
    Peace, John
  7. I've literally been gigging the Genz-Benz Shuttle 3.0-8T since August 2010, every week except 3 weekends here or there. The XLR connection is what made it work, combined with the fact that I can make that thing sound like hard rock or jazzy uprighty woody midtoney on command, on an instant.

    It was only in the past 2-3 weeks that I realized how heavily the drummer (in a band of 5, in a church venue) was relying on me for tempo, rhythm, timing, and accentuation that I realized I might need an extension cab. The combo itself (with XLR and in-house PA) takes care of 150+ people. It's the DRUMMER that needs an extension cab from me. I figure with that Shuttle 3.0 head, I should eventually be able to provide my drummer with a dedicated extension cab that functions exclusively as a drum player bass monitor. I likely have to look beyond the selection of Genz-Benz itself for a 12" extension cab at 200W at 8 ohms,but it's ONLY the drummer who needs it. Not me. Not the audience. Not the director.

    If I am going to get an extension cab for an 8" combo, highest quality available, I think I should look beyond 10" fpr that extension cab.

    Any suggestions? Eden has some options.
  8. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Duke, you're right in a way. My definition of small has to do with physical size. The GK Microbass is small and light and I basically want something small enough that I can walk into the gig with my bass in one had and my amp in the other. Having said that, I'm really intrigued by the TC Electronics stuff. I have a favourable impression of the company from hearing how their rack mount gear sounds.

    TC Electronic | Combo450

    Hoping to hear form anyone using this rig or the Mesa Boogie rig I linked to above, or the Markbass CMD single 12" rig


    I'll start to search here for threads on these amps tomorrow.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Why would you have to look beyond GB for an extension? Are you aware of this: STL-12T (works great with the Shuttle 3.0)
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I've got the MB150E combo, which is still my "grab and go" rig. Mine only has to sound good with a cheap Ibanez. ;)

    But something to think about is that the new micro heads have changed the rules of the "combo vs separates" game. You can fit a micro head in the pocket of your gig bag and carry a lightweight speaker in your other hand.
  11. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Really starting to figure out how true this is. Makes for more decisions of course, and some of this stuff isn't going to be available for me to demo up here, but I need to get over the idea that only a single piece combo will do. Like you said, these heads are so light and small, they can be carried in the pocket on the side of my Sadowsky case.

    Can't find a thread on the TC Combo 450 yet. Maybe it's new? Also, saw quite a few threads here mentioning reliability issues with the Mesa stuff, which is surprising to me.
  12. Thank you, agedhorse. You've likely made a sale RIGHT THERE. Thank you.
  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    I suggest you take a look through this thread for some ideas: Micro-rigs of doom

    Requirement for micro-rig of doom (MROD) is one-trip load in. Should help you out with all the cool light weight rigs out there. I'm pretty sure you'll find one that matches your needs.

    If that's not enough, here are a few more threads to check out:

    >30 light-weight cabs,amps, combos
    "Light weight" heads
    TB micro-amp tone reviews

    1 Buying a combo
    Opinions/experiences-great small combo amps
    The ultimate custom built combo?
  14. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Stumbo, thanks a lot for taking the time to put that together. Exactly what I needed. I started doing some searches and now I've got 10 browser windows open looking at rigs and reviews, but I need to crash. I'll delve into that Micro Rigs of Doom thread (and the others) by tomorrow night for sure.
  15. mprvise


    Dec 18, 2010
    Got a Shuttle 6.0 12-T recently and could not be happier. Super light and sounds fantastic.
  16. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Ok, thanks. Just used the Genz-Benz International dealer locator and they apparently stock them at Steve's. I don't go around there too often but I'll be going to check them out. I've never played through a Genz-Benz rig.

    And now I'm really going to crash. Really.
  17. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    I'm loving my Ibanez Promethean P5110 combo. Best sounding amp I've ever owned. 250 watts into it's own 10" speaker. 500 watts when an additional cab is added. The head is removable from the combo so you could use it with bigger cabs if need be. I currently use it with the P110c extension cab and it rocks. Check it out here.... Ibanez.com | Electronics, Tuners, Pedals, Accessories | Promethean Intro
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    My only combo now is an Aguilar AG500-112C. I use a GS112NT exension cabinet. I haven't heard any better 112 combos, and it sounds twice as better with the extension cab.

  19. nocontrols


    Apr 2, 2011
    For practicing solo in my studio apartment, I have an Acoustic B20. It's way too small to gig but it's absolutely perfect for what I'm using it for now. If I were playing small or quieter gigs, I'd get a 200w combo minimum, like a nice 1x15. I like the Acoustic B200.
  20. nocontrols


    Apr 2, 2011
    I've not owned a Promethean but I love the way they sound. I like the modular system Ibanez is trying to create there, where the power amp is detachable from the combo... a Promethean stack would be very cool.

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