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So my bass player is looking for a rig...help?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xethicx, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. xethicx


    Feb 26, 2014
    My bass player is looking for a new rig. He admittedly knows very little about bass rigs and while I know a little, I thought I would ask the guys that live and breathe bass for a little help.

    We play metal, and he plays a Schecter 5 string bass, middle end bass, sounds and plays nice.

    He needs the rig to be loud, compact and cost effective as well.

    The amp that caught my eye for him was the Fender rumble 2x10 combo. Seems to meet all the criteria that he's looking for but there's nowhere in town here that we could try one out. Any experience with the fender rumble 350 out there? Will it hold up volume wise in a real loud jam setting?

    If there's any other amps that I should be checking out for him or anyone selling anything on this forum that has something he might be interested in, please let me know

    Thanks fellas.
  2. sunbrother


    May 3, 2013
    What's his price range?
  3. flam


    Sep 20, 2010
    Tempe, Arizona
    What is he competing with for guitar and drums?
  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    IMO, for what youre after, the few things you said you wanted, no, that Fender Rumble would not be the way to go IMO. Thats just me though. If you want loud and powerful and an amp n cab that will handle a low B well, I myself would go Gallien Krueger, a Neo 410 or two 212's or a 412 and a GK 1001/700RB. Those would just be my first suggestions. Mesa would be a good line to check out but those are quite expensive. Not sure what your price point is. Nothing wrong with Fender, I just dont think LOUD and METAL when I see a Rumble series amp, especially a combo. But GK can be had for rather inexpensively on the used market and here on TB. But if you want something that is going to generate a lot of power and volume, I would stay away from most combos. Most of them I said. There are some out there that can hang with a band, but not with a metal band IMO. Just my $.02.
  5. Loud, Compact, and Cost Effective.

    Rule of thumb is to pick which two are most important to you, because you're very unlikely to find all 3. If I had to start all over and was looking for a cost effective lightweight rig I'd look into the GKMB200 or MB2-500. Look into the GK MBE line or the GK NEO line of cabs USED. They're pricey but you don't want to skimp on your speakers.

    I have a hard time believing that a 2X10 will keep up with a guitarist and a drummer when you say the rig needs to be loud. Usually more speakers = more volume, so you may be best to cut out the 'compact' section of your needs and get a big cab with a lightweight head to power it.

    Most amps are only rated down to 4 ohms. This means you can run (1) or (2) 8 ohm cabs off of the amp which = 4 ohms. Or 1 4 ohm cab (usually the larger cabs but ALWAYS check when buying a cab as this can limit your expandability with whatever amp you choose). I'm pretty certain the Fender Rumble cabs are 4 ohms so you can't run an extension cab with most amps out there.
  6. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Pick two.

    What is his price range, what are his size limitations, and how loud (what is he competing against) does he need to be?
  7. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Fe Fi Fo Fum I smell the blood of one who strums!!!

    Guitar player alert!! :D

    For guitar a combo is a viable route, not so much for bass. He'd be better off in the long run with a head/cabinet rig. As posted above things depend greatly on what the player can afford, how loud the band is and the size of the places you play.

    I haven't been amp hunting in decades. My advice on what he should purchase would be flawed. Really the only way is to go and try everything he can get his hands on until he finds an amp that makes him smile.

    I use the 2x10 format but I'd not even dream of trying to play a gig with just one. A pair, however, is a completely different story. Looking at my avatar you'll see two of my cabinets in a vertical stack sitting just off the stage. A vertical stack of four drivers is much better for being heard properly out in the room.
  8. NashStudioBass


    Mar 14, 2014
    Eden wt800 and xlt 410 cab all the way
  9. raventepes


    Jan 7, 2012
    Reno, NV
    Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a definitive answer for this. Tone is everything, and a bass player's tone is as individual as the player him or herself. Someone may prefer the sound of a 4x10 (which, admittedly dominant in metal), whereas some may prefer to run a 4x10 with a 1x15 or a 2x10 with a 1x15, or even a 4x12 set up. Also, keep in mind that, all else equal, one manufacturer's product will sound different than the next. Personally, I like a 4x10 with a 1x15 rig for some things, but for others, I'll take a 4x12. Like I said...just really depends on the tone you're after. I'm a metal bassist, but I crave bottom end. But that's me...your bassist will probably be different.

    The best thing you and your bassist can do is go out there with his bass and play through every set up you can. And I say HIS bass because any other bass will throw off the tone, some.
  10. I could happily play metal with a Rumble 350, but I would be struggling to find bandmates. It wouldn't be very satisfying for most drummers, even if they had the chops to do it. It's an extraordinary drummer that can play llike Animal without actually hitting very hard.
  11. Hi and welcome to TB.

    Does your bass player have a computer and internet access?

    Anyway a little 210 combo isn't going to cut it for loud metal.

    Tell him to checkout the GK MB800 amp and two NEO410/8 bass cabinets.

    What guitar amp and cabs are you using?
  12. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I played with some metal guys two or three years ago for about six months. Your mileage may vary--but not by much. They were loud. Everyone wore ear protection at rehearsal. (This made no sense to me--just turn it down!)

    Anyway, now that I've invited everyone to get off my lawn.. :)

    Do not get a combo amp.

    You want a head with 500w or more @ 4ohms. Maybe even 800w.

    You will probably want 4 or more 10" speakers, 4 or more 12" speakers. In my mind, a 4x12 cab or an 8x10 cab is probably called for.

    Doing this can be expensive. Welcome to bassworld. Buy used. Look for the brands providing good value: peavey or GK, etc.

    It's tough to deal with the fact that any guitar player can walk in carrying a combo amp with one hand and compete volume-wise with a 500w 8x10 bass rig, but those are the facts. Guitarists with half stack dual rectifiers can basically blow away any bass rig that one person can set up.

    To recap:

    500w or more

    8x10 or 4x12 speaker cab(s)

    Buy used, avoid super cheap brands and super expensive brands
  13. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    Something with 500watts for sure for the amp. As long as the band isn't playing at monster volumes a good 210 cab can be enough.
  14. sxaxsx


    May 23, 2012
    Harrisburg PA
    I agree with everything that was already said. Specifically that a head and cab will be more versatile and allow for him to upgrade and add speakers if he needs to down the road. A combo won't have the volume needed for a loud band.

    Portability is going to be the hard part. A guitar 4x12 easily fits in my car, but a bass 4x10 does not. Even though its shorter in both height and width, bass cabs tend to be deeper and so my cars trunk shelf gets in the way. There are bass heads out there that put out 500+ watts and weigh less than 2 pounds but getting light cabs is a whole other issue.

    What are the guitar amps you guys are using? Because when I hear "loud metal" I assume that the guitarists are using 4x12 cabs. If the guitarists are using half stacks why would the bassist assume he can be as loud as them with a combo?
    I would suggest a solid state head with more than 300 watts and a 4x10. But if a 4x10 doesn't fit in the car you could use 2 2x10's or 2 1x15's.
    Depending on the tone he is looking for will determine how many watts he really needs. If he is looking for super deep, and clean with a 5 string he will need more watts and headroom than if he likes a mid range heavy tone with some grind.
    I would look at amps by Galliean Krueger specifically the 700rb or 1001rb (I love the 800rb, but not for 5 string metal, the 700 and 1001 will handle the B string way better). Also look at Hartke, Peavey. Peavey use to make an amp called the Firebass which you can find cheap used, check Guitar Centers used section on their site, but the Firebass is by no means light.
    Or if he is stuck on the Fender rumble 350, look at the head version, at least then he has a portable head that he can plug into a cab that will push more air than 2x10 will.
  15. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    500 watts if it's solid state. If it's tube....harder to pin down, but I've been more than ok with a 180 watt Mesa 400 with all but one really loud drummer.

    410 (or 2x210s) minimum; but if you really want presence 2x410s, 1x810, or a 4x12 will work. Fearful/less 2x15 configs would work too.

    410XST > 410XLT in this case IMO; especially since the newer WT800s do 1100 watts @ 4ohms. XST runs up to 1000 watts, XLT caps at 700.

  16. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Rumble 350 is not enough for a moderately loud band, metal or whatever. Plus—as others have noted a 5-string puts greater demands on the bass rig.

    Yes, 500+ watts into 4 ohms minimum (800 watts is good). 2x115, 2x212, 2x410, 610, and 810 cabinets of good quality are about it—unless you have a very serious PA with good subs and 2000 watts.

    Budget $400-500 for a head, and ~$600 and up for cabs. Welcome to Talkbass and bass amplification in particular.
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    This, in spades, twice over.

  18. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    This. It's all about power consumption and frequency response, big bass needs big watts.

    Also, Chances are he'll be playing louder at rehearsal than on an actual gig!
  19. OP xethicx - if you're still here?

    You should have your play player join us here on TB.

  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Good choice, but you're still looking at about $1K for that used. But worth every penny - "buy once, cry once."