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Small rigs for small groups

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bopeuph, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Before I buy something extravagant, I think I should get something fairly inexpensive that can be used in a small combo setting. I see many guys playing on a small 1x10 combo or something similar, and it puts out for trio/jam gigs. What kind of stuff is out there that can be bought at a really great deal? I do want a bigger rig later on, but I can't afford too much.

  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    SWR Workingman's 10 is OK for around 200 bucks on Ebay. It has a weird midrange tone that is hard to dial out (IME), but for the money it's pretty good.

    The little Yorkville 50 is reported to be good.
  3. bassist14


    Oct 17, 2005
  4. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I also recommend a used SWR WorkingMan amp. I have a WM12 that can handle reasonable sized gigs & rehearsals. Haven't used the WM10 for DB but liked it as a bass guitar amp for university big band. Actually used it for several shows in large concert halls (with good acoustics) with no PA support; both band director and audience members said it put out just fine. I find cranking the Aural Enhancer to about the 1 o'clock position smooths out the mids nicely.

    Also heard good things about the Yorkville 50 and 100 watt amps. Within the next several months Yorkville will be rebranding its amps with the Traynor name--I bet a lot of places will be blowing out the older Yorkvilles for cheap.

    Another route would be to get a smallish head (like a GK 400RB) and cabinet. I have an '87 400RB (original owner) that I love for both DB and BG--you can find 'em for about $200 used. Nice smallish cabinet like the Bag End 15" cube or maybe an Avatar Neo 112 (about $250) and you could handle bigger gigs.
  5. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I have the Backline110 by GK... I picked it up on sale for about 200 ..I love the thing
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think the WM-10 is a really great electric bass amp for its
    size, but just doesn't sound right for upright bass. The
    WM-12 is a much better upright amp.
  7. lowEndRick


    Apr 8, 2006
    +1 on the GK Backline 110. I got mine for even cheaper at guitar center.
  8. If you can find a great deal on a little 50w amp from Yorkville, get it!! I have an old BM50 50w combo and I used it in jam session and gig for many years. He's light weight & Small. You can get a used one for less than 150$can......
  9. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    People have been telling me to check out keyboard amps as well. My last teacher uses a small Roland keyboard amp for his electric. He said don't even bother for the upright with that amp though. I tried a Roland amp with a 15 in it, and it sucked horribly for both upright and electric. Had a horrible buzz. I've heard the Peavey KBA300 is a great upright amp. Then again, it's a 15" speaker. Man, do I hate having to shop for new equipment!

  10. lowEndRick


    Apr 8, 2006
    You don't need a 15" speaker for a small group or small venue. Get a light weight amp with at least 50w and it will do the job. The GK Backline 110 has 70w and is tiny. The Yorkville with 50w will also do a fine job. For the money you can't go wrong with either one.
  11. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    What about the Hartke Kickback models?

  12. Dave Whitla

    Dave Whitla

    Apr 25, 2006
    I have a little Trace Elliot Boxer 30 that is really nice sounding on small gigs, and also has worked pretty well as a monitor for bigger things. Last year I jumped in with both feet and got an AI CodaIII, which I use pretty much all the time now, even for smaller things, because it's so light! But I'd still recommend the Trace Elliot.
  13. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709
    I have a Hartke 12 inch Kickback bass amp. It is ok. I really want a AI CodaIII, really. I have a friend that has a first gen AI Coda. It is really nice. Very good sound, extremely light. Just right. I don't know of an eleventh commandment, but I do covet his amp.

    Walt MI/USA
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The AI Focus is a great choice for this purpose, as it has plenty of power, can be used to mix a mic and a pickup if desired, and is a good match with any number of small speakers...and also has the oomph to power bigger ones on louder gigs as well.

    The inevitable pic:


  15. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    The AI stuff is definitely what I'll be looking at when I have the money. But right now, a few hundred at the most.

    Thanks for the advice so far, keep 'em coming.

  16. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Don't discount the Ampeg B50r--a 1x12, 50 watt combo. It's got classic looks and tone. I use mine with URB in a 13 piece big band and it's plenty loud. I got mine used for less than two bills. :cool:
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'll vouch for a few amps.

    SWR WM12. I've got one, my college has a few, and they're great for the price. I'm looking forward to replacing mine with something smaller, but-i'm also public transit dependent [Chicago L trains].

    Roland orangish cube amp. We had one in a combo room at school and surprisingly enough-i liked the sound of that amp. I left the EQ flat and just adjusted volume. Felt like a brick though.

    Peavey Combos-i forget what all ones i've played through, but they're built like tanks, pretty inexpensive, and sound OK.

    I'd be curious to try out the WM10 in addition to the SWR LA series of amps [i forget if they're still made].

    I'm learning there's a covet to bass amps-light weight, high power, low price. Pick 2/3. That being said i'm saving up for probably an EA Micro 300 + Wizzy 10 or Epifani UL10. So i'd be getting high[ish] power and light weight at the expense of cost.
  18. wingnut


    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    Hate to admit it, but those little 180w behringer combo wedges (be sure to get paper cones) really do work for URB. There's a guy here in Vegas that has been using them for years with no problems.
  19. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I had the...

    SWR WM10. Used it a bunch for 3 years. Cheap. Portable. OK sound. Not very powerful.

    SWR WM12. Used it for almost everything or 2 years. Really liked the sound. Still have it. Great for doubling. Heavy. Bulky.

    GK 150MBS. My main amp now. Use it for most everything now. Very portable (I have the shoulder bag). I dig the tone. Louder than the WM10 and more potable. Not great for outdoor stuff without a pa.
  20. My first small combo was a Fender RAD. It is more recently sold as the Rumble 25. I've had this little amp since '91 and even though it is much better for EBG, it isn't bad at all for small ensemble, small venue DB work. At only 25 Watts, it is surprisingly clean and punchy. Beware of moisture if you get one of these. The covering is not water proof and neither is the glue in the particle board that the cabinet is made of. After it got doused with a 20 oz. fruit drink, I had to build a new cabinet for it. I liked it so much that I recently had it serviced and a new input jack put in and everything cleaned up. For what I paid for it, it has been one very reliable piece of equipment. I have an AI Coda now that is totally killer, but I still keep the little Fender because it makes a good small back-up rig. And it's sweet with the wild looking solid poplar cab I built. Most people think it is a Fender factory custom job.

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