Small is beautiful

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ivorjones, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Ivorjones


    Dec 16, 2012
    I'm looking for a small powerful bass amp for gigging in small to medium sized clubs. I'm interested in a Phil Jones super flight case ! At 250 watts should be enough. Anyone got any views please?
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    What sort of tonal profile do you like? Modern, vintage, versatile? Is weight a factor? Is price?

    One of my first budget minded recommendations would be a Carvin MB15 with extension cab. With two paramids, comp, and other toys it's definitely capable of a variety of tones and a fair amount of volume. I use the MB10 as a stage monitor for upright and it works beatifully for that purpose.
  3. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    There is a LOT of excellent options out there without stripping your bank account.
  4. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    What's the budget?
  5. Ivorjones


    Dec 16, 2012
    Budget not a problem but it has to be small enough to fit into a sports car as I don't always have the use of the people carrier and as we do in excess of 50 gigs a year I can't rely on having the right transport. I currently use a 1990's Trace Elliot 450 watt combo and cabinet. The combo does the work on its own most of the time. My concern with the Phil Jones was, is there enough volume??
  6. Honkycat


    Sep 18, 2012
    I would go for the Aguilar TH500 (which I have never played,but has great credentials),or one of the Genz Benz micro heads....There are countless other great compact heads to pick from these days.
  7. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Speaker area is more critical than power. What size speaker did your prev. combo have and will you have PA support? These 2 questions, as well as the specific volume of your band need answering before any meaningful, specific recommendations can be made.
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Regardless of how many watts the amp produces, this is a single 10" speaker, which will be excursion-limited to about 100 watts (probably less) before it compresses. It might be great for a jazz trio with a drummer using brushes, or a not-so-loud rock band with a sophisticated PA system for bass and a bassist who keep it elevated and close to his ears. In an average rock band/bar setting, however it will be like pissing into the wind, no matter how much it costs.
  9. greggster59


    Oct 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    It's a great amp but not powerful in the sense I think you mean.

    I had one for a while and it sounded warm and natural but had no kick. If you are looking to amplify a double bass for a jazz gig the the Super Flight Case is a great choice. If you are playing rock or fusion you may find it doesn't project well in the presence of the other instruments and may get a bit lost in the mix.
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    The Phil Jones products do not deliver as much volume per pound or per dollar as compared to other offerings at or below their price points. Whether you like their sound is subjective. I found them to be clean/accurate.
  11. Ivorjones


    Dec 16, 2012
    My current Trace Elliot combo has a 15 inch speaker and the cabinet when I use it also has a 15 inch speaker. I do not go through the PA and we are a four piece rock n roll, rhythm and blues band. Lead guitar, drums (normally not miked up) bass and singer who plays the harp. As I mentioned before size (or lack of it) is important, but it has to be able to do the business. It will be used as an alternative when I can't take my usual combo.
  12. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    IMO your best bet is one of the "super 12" cabs that has longer excursion and can truly use 300-500 watts. Think Audiokinesis, fEarful, LDS, Barefaced, etc. These are not mass produced (do a search here) but will give you the biggest bang in the smallest space. A fEarful 112, as an example, will be as loud as your old 115, smaller and lighter. You can have it built out of fiberglass and get in the 30 lb range easily, or in wood. Add a GK MB800 (5lbs, size of a cigar box) and you have a rig MUCH smaller and lighter than your current one, with deeper lows, clearer throughout the spectrum. The cab will run you about 1K via an authorized builder (depending on box material, with color, finish to your taste) and the head about 550 (lowest price is

    I think there's an Audiokinesis TC12 in the classifieds now.

    On another note, if you prefer stock cabs, a pair of most 12s will work fine, with a decent micro head pushing 500 watts into 4 Ohms. There are dozens of options.
  13. Ivorjones


    Dec 16, 2012
    Thanks very much. I hadn't thought about going down that route, I'll be checking that out tomorrow. Thanks again.
  14. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    +1. I've gigged the MB15 and 115MB extension several times, and lemme tell you, that little stack packs a frickin' wallop. Even the MB15 alone can do far more work than its size would suggest.

    Hint: If you decide to get either or both, go get some of that 2" acoustic foam from Parts Express, and line all "available" sides. It'll cut way down on boom and wolf notes.
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Exactly what I would recommend.

    The Thunderchild or fEARful stuff cannot be beat for 'sound per pound'. The reason is the exceptional drivers they use (that have alot of Xmax) combined with excellent midrange.

    I have a 12/6 and gk mb800 and its about as loud as you can go in a light, portable package.
  16. I was playing drums one night when a sit in bass
    player showed up with a Genz Benz 10" shuttle.
    I laughed until I heard this little thing. I went out and
    got one the next week. I ended up with 12" shuttle and
    Liked it fine. The amp is a 600 watt 4ohm amp so I
    ended up dropping a 4ohm speaker in the cabinet that comes
    with an 8ohm speaker. It's a great small/medium
    inside venue rig. I love it. With the 8ohm speaker still
    in the cab you only get 375 watts out of the amp but still
    very loud and clear.
  17. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The PJ stage seems like a good small club amp.
    2 speakers face up so you can hear yourself if you're on-top of the amp, four face out to the audience.
    2/3rd's of the power goes forward, 1/3 goes up to the stage
    It's an interesting concept, but nobody else does it. It may be good or bad depending on how you expect to use it. No external speaker jack.

    The new Peavey seem like an affordable alternative. Heavier, also no external speaker, but also includes a tuner.
  18. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Lots of praise on TB for the Markbass 121P combo. Small, light, powerful, and much more low end than you'd expect. Not cheap but a great small alternative in a combo.