Small yet powerful combos

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Snarf, May 22, 2005.

  1. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I need a new combo. My old Nemesis NC200 (made before the Nemesis line got way smaller) is just way too big to move. So, I have some things in mind:

    Carvin PB100-10 ( - 10 inch speaker, 100 watts, very well like on Harmony Central. 36 lbs, people say it projects enough volume to compete with small, mid-volume rock bands. Luckily, I don't play rock, so more headroom for me.

    GK Microbass ( - 12 inch speaker, 100 watts, seems to be an industry standard for small jazz-oriented combos. 26 lbs, unfortunately costs more than twice the Carvin. Which really sucks. Plus it's GK, which implies to me it might be a little brighter than I want.

    I'm a jazz and funk player, so I need warmth, but I need something that's not going to kill itself when I slap. I don't know whether the 12 inch speaker is worth the extra $400, when I can get the Carvin, which gets amazing reviews, for only $300. Any input on those amps? Or any suggestions for other amps? Keep in mind my budget is quite limited, so no Mesa Walkabout for me.
  2. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Out of my mind, back in 5 minutes! Supporting Member

    If you can find one, you should get the Ashdown ABM C110-300 combo! Amazing tone and sound level in a small package. It is bigger than either the Carvin or the GK, but is in a totally different class. I'm sorry I got rid of mine but could not justify keeping it for a practice amp - I got a Carvin for $200!

    Dan K.
  3. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I'm not seeing that particular amp on the Ashdown website. Got a link?
  4. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I use a Carvin PB-100 with a 15" speaker for practice and it sounds good but the speaker is awful. If I put the volume on more than two the speaker farts and crackles. This is weird because I have another Carvin cabinet with 2 ten inch speakers and it sounds good at fairly high volumes.
  5. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I should probably clarify that I am not meaning this to be only a practice rig. I'm also gearing it towards small club-type performances. Anything else, the DI will be used, naturally. But this is a performance motivated purchase.
  6. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    Sorry for not making my post more clear. If an amp you were considering (Carvin PB100) can't cut it for relatively low volume rehearsals it can't cut any type of gig.
    I like the mid sized Ashdown combos, at least 100 watts for low volume gigs. I also like the Hartke Kickback amps, they are pretty loud and they sound good.
  7. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Well, I'll look into the Hartke. All the Ashdown stuff I've looked at is too heavy for me. I'm a spindly weak geek who sits in his room playing text-based RPG's when not in school or playing bass. So anything above 35-40 pounds is getting to be too much.

    The reason I'm really seriously considering something like that Carvin 10-inch deal is because I play through an old Yorkville BM50, 50 watts through a ten-inch speaker, at school. I used this amp in the school's production of Seussical, and could play very comfortably in an ensemble consisting of a drummer (behind glass), pianist, keyboardist, brass, woodwinds, percussion, violin, and guitar. The amp could fill the auditorium very well, and it only had half the power of the Carvin. That's why 110 cabs interest me, because they've worked for me before and they're very easy on the back.
  8. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    You know the Carvin PB100 with a replacement Eminence driver could be a possibility. I actually like the tone of the PB100, I just don't like the speaker. You can find Eminence drivers on ebay for not too much money.
  9. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The Carvin won't cut it, but I dunno about the GK.

    I CAN tell you however that the Yorkville XM200 is the LOUDEST freakin' 200 watt amp i've ever heard, and it's pretty portable. Also well made, affordable, and the best warranty in the bussiness.

    Check it out.
  10. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Unfortunately it's also HEAVY. I'm looking to scale down from my 60 lb 200 watt 115 combo. I need something as small and light as possible, and Yorkville won't do that unfortunately.

    Meh, screw amps. I hate them. I'll just play totally unplugged.
  11. hondo8671


    Apr 22, 2004
    i had one to! and it was the loudest small 200 watt combo i have ever played! it is a little heavy! but you can move it around with no problem! and for the sound you cant beat the price$$ :bassist:
  12. Derakh Djinn

    Derakh Djinn

    May 23, 2005
    I think what he wants is a lighter rig, not another amp at the same weight.

    You might want to check into a Kustom KBA 100X , its got 100 watts of power through a 15" Celestion speaker, its fairly decent weight, and you can pick one up for around 350$ on zzounds, it even has some digital effects if you're into that sorta thing.

    As for the carvin, they just switched to a new speaker brand so there is a possability the speaker problem may no longer be an issue, you might want to check to see if its the same speaker that has been reported troublesome.

    GK is great equipment and its hard to go wrong with them, as long as you have the money.

    My recomendation is find a Kustom dealer in your area by checking and go try it out and see if its sound fits your tone. Good luck and don't forget to let us know what you decide!
  13. I would check out the new 25lb Fender Rumble 100. It is only a 10, however.

    Personally, I play an Eden CXC110 and would whole-heartedly recommend same. I have the matching ext. cab when I need more. It also develops 330 watts @ 4 ohms. It can run 2 ohms but I have not done it.


    I love combos, but you have many light cabs and light heads. Flitesound makes a 115 that weighs 23 lbs and you can get in 4ohms. The single shroeders are 12's and they weigh under 30lbs, I believe. I have not heard them or anything about them. The EA Whizzy is a great cab. It is 29lbs.

    As far as heads, AI Clarus are tiny but the bone-dry tone may lack sex appeal for many. The eden traveller is 13 lbs. That new ashdown digital amp looks pretty trick, and is like the same price of the Yamaha lightweight head.
  14. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    Check out roland's cube series
  15. I'd second a look at the hartke kickback series. I played a kickback 10 and liked it pretty well. If you have been successfull with under 100 watts in the past the kickback ( @ about 120w) should work. I found the "10" sounded good even with a 5-string but would do even better with a 4 string and it only weighs 35 lbs. The only drawback(s) may be:

    1) you may want the sound of a paper cone + piezo
    (though the aluminum cone sounded pretty "snappy")

    2) the kickback should be renamed the roll-back because it has a tendency to be easy to push over in the kickback position (though it never happened to me I could see it happening).
  16. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    The Hartkes definitely look interesting. Not sure how hip I am to the aluminum cones.

    I'm also looking at the Fender Bassman 100 and 150. The weight of the 100 is VERY nice, at 26 lbs, even lighter than the Carvin. Same power, same speaker size. Plus it tilts back, nice if you want to project the sound even more. Looks like a serious contender. (

    The 150 is 40 lbs with 12" speaker. I like the specs a lot, but not too sure on the weight. I need something that's going to be easy to carry up and down very narrow stairs and the like. ( Still, it's a lot better than a 60 lb combo.

    I'm going to have to try out some of these combos. Hartke and Fender are common enough for me to be able to find in western Connecticut.

    Thanks for the input, those who contributed something useful. Anything else I should look at or know about?

    EDIT: Wow, I'm liking that CXC110. How much did you pay for that, if you don't mind me asking?
  17. I paid $650 NEW. I later got the 29lb ext. cab for $240 delievered. This is a real amp- lots of power and pro bells and whistles-like studio quality compressor, wet and savory overdrive and balanced D.I.

    My only complaint is that this is one heavy 10 at 39lbs. They should have a wheel kit for it, but I am not sure how that would hinder its ability to stack. I am not a wimp or anything, but I agree with your weight preferences.

    I will say that this is one LOUD 10, probably because the cab has enough airspace to move air.

    I, personally, am not a fan of the Hartke sound. They are somewhat controversal: some people absolutely love them and others can't stand them. At least with other amps, people are merely indifferent to them; not polarized. However, I have recently played through the KB 10 at an outdoor open mic w/a small cocktail drum kit and it did a pretty good job. It is one of those amps that sound better in a group setting but horrible alone.

    That bassman 100 looks like the best so far for the coin. 25lbs and 100 watts and readily availible. I dig the simple pre on it. I mistakenly called it the Rumble earlier.

    The Eden is in another class. That amp retails (who cares about MSRP anyway) for $1100, the same as the SWR Baby Baby Blue. The SWR is is the same weight and price, but with half the wattage and acoustical output.

    I would either get the Bassman 100 or the Eden cxc110, depending on your budget. But 39lbs is a lot heavier than 25lbs. If you can tolerate 14lbs more pounds of carrying and the higher price tag, you will rewarded.
  18. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hmm, the Eden is def. out of my pricerange. Looks like it's going to be the Fender, if I try it out and at least don't hate the tone.
  19. 44me


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bedford, NH USA
    My small club / rehearsal amp is an NC210 – well under 50lbs, small, nice tone, reasonable volume, and well built. The Eden is a nice sounding combo if you don’t mind the extra weight. I don’t think you are going to find anything close in the 30lb range. If I were looking for something easier to move I’d go with a lightweight head and a cab. Pulling 10 – 15 pounds out of the cab is pretty significant, and opens the door to a lot of great gear.

    - John
  20. Yeah that Fender looks like the ticket. Let us know how it sounds.