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So should I just buy an Ampeg?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kencollapse, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Hey, new here.

    I apologize in advance if this has already been posted over and over. I've looked around a bit, but couldn't really find the answers I was looking for.

    Here goes:

    I can now afford whatever I want as far as amp/cab is concerned. However, the local stores suck quite a bit for selection. Furthermore, I'm not too sure how to go about buying something. I can read amateur reviews of stuff on the internet all week and still not be further ahead. :confused:

    Also, every (indie rock) band I see has their bassist going through the Ampeg stack. I am consistently playing more and more shows, and am preparing to tour next year.

    Am I splitting hairs when wondering about amps/cabs? Basically, should I just go out and get the Ampeg stack?

    What would you advise as far as how to look around for amps? Or just tell me what you would buy for an indie-rock dude (who doesn't suck).

  2. Yes and no. If you have used an Ampeg and have loved the sound you got, then by all means go ahead and get one. But there are many other good tones out there, many other amps and cabs. A GK will sound nothing like an Ampeg, which will sound nothing like a Mesa. Get what sounds good to you.
  3. Thanks!
    Is there are post around here that explains - straight-up - key differences/what to look for between Ampeg, GK, Mesa, and others? (p.s. I'm kind of dumb.:rolleyes: )

    Thanks again.
  4. use your ears.....thats all you need to do. go out and play different amp combos (not combo amps, combinations of amps and cabs). dont be affraid to go into a music store and play through every head till you find one you like, then ask to play that head through the different cabs they have there....find the settup you like and keep looking for a while (that is unless you absolutely know youve found the tone your looking for) theres no right or wrong when it comes to amps. find the sound you want and go from there
  5. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I think you are splitting hairs a bit. There's a lot of good gear out there other than Ampeg and I've seen indie bands using a lot of GK, Peavey and Yorkville gear arounf the Toronto area. The advice the others here have given is good. Get out and try as much as you can. Check to see if there's a place in Calgary that rents bass gear that you can try out live for a few days. Here in the Toronto area there's a good choice of rental gear. I haven't been in Calgary for many years so I don't know what it's like there. Find the big local live sound company and see what they supply for backlines at shows that come through. If you can really afford anything, call Dave at Club Bass in Toronto and see what he has that he recommends. It'll cost, as he's into the boutique gear, but he's an experienced bassist and will be very helpful. They will ship anywhere.

    It's pretty near impossible to pick gear according to reviews on forums. There are just too many differences in opinion, personal favouritism, differences in styles and playing ability and the fact that many who offer opinions haven't really used the gear they recommend in a real world situation. Bass gear magazines are not helpful either.
  6. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    It all depends on the sound that you are looking for. Can you give us an example of what kind of bass sounded you desire?

    Also, +1 on trying out all the gear you can. Even if you have to drive out 2 hours just to try a piece of gear, it's worth it. That's how I got my Genz, and I love it. Verrry loud for 200 watts.
  7. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Odd. There used to be an indie band here in Memphis a couple of years ago called the Collapse. They were really good.
  8. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    About choosing an amp: Play as many as you can get your hands on. Don't go into a store with predetermined opinions, you might be surprised what you find palatable to your ear. PLAY EVERYTHING.

    Also, there are so many variables that affect your tone. You might find a head that you like, but no cabs that sound good with it, and vice versa. Another thing, playing in a music store will not give you an accurate feel for the tone of what you're testing out. You'll get an idea, but the key to finding "The" amp is to use it live, in your main playing situation.

    About buying an amp: Buy used! Your tastes will most likely change, and if you buy used for a good price you can later sell your rig and not take too much of a loss. You can find some incredible deals here on TB, and most of the time, if you get a good price, you can sell for almost what you paid. (or even get back exactly what you paid!). If you find something you like in the store, I'd buy online to get a lower price. Some of these used gear sales from private owners are amazing, and most of the time beat the used prices in any music store.

    Out of curiosity, what bass do you play? What other gear do you have?
  9. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    +1 on everything so far.

    One thing to keep in mind, all of the gear that's been mentioned so far sounds great. Ampeg, GK, Mesa Boogie, SWR, and the list goes on, can all be the perfect rig given the appropriate situation. Your preference will be the key, as any of the above mentioned equipment will get the job done. I've played through most of your non-boutique bass rigs, whether as backline or personal gear, and I've never been unable to get a workable tone. Some I liked a little better than others, but once you reach a certain price point, it really does become a matter of personal taste. Believe me, your band will be just as happy with an Ampeg SVT CL/810E, as they would be with a GK 1001/4x10-1x15 stack. They both sound amazing, and kick major ass I might add. So have fun with your shopping, and let us know what you decide on.

    My 2 cents:hyper:
  10. tlwaps


    Feb 13, 2006
    I use an Ampeg SVT810E cab with an SVT4PRO head and love it. But then again I play heavy metal and I llove the "Ampeg" sound. Mesa makes great gear, so does GK, Basson, Agular...etc. The only available advice, which has already been given, is for you to go and play on everything you can. Even if you have to drive a couple hours to get there, go for it and see what you like. Then make your decision.

    Personally, I'd go with an Ampeg SVT2PRO head and the SVT810E cab. I plan on buying the 2PRO in the future.
  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Ampeg is cool. A bit overpriced. They spend a lot on marketing (and if you are buying from a store like GC, you are paying for the stores overhead as well). There are slightly better values coming out these days like Ashdown and Genz Benz. I've heard "the Ampeg stack" sound great, and I've heard it sound like ass too.

    Ampeg cabs wont give you the most aggressive sound, but they will give you some nice tone for rock in the lower midrange. I describe it as slightly "dark" sounding. If you want a big round sound, Ampeg can do that.

    If money isnt a problem, a tube head or at least tube pre is probably what you want.
  12. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    the bottom line is there is no way to come to a conclusion until you try the gear out. there are so many other factors to the equation...the biggest being your hands....then you have to take into account your bass, the rooms your playing, etc.....

    i will sound tottaly different than you on the same stack...

    if you have money to throw around...narrow it down to 3 brands fom advice on here.....buy one USED..try it out....if you don't like it sell it and move to the next one....

  13. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Cort, Traynor
    There is a lot to be said for a separate power amp and pre-amp. If you get a good lightweight power amp, then get a pre-amp that you are not quite satisfied with, then just swap out the pre. For instance, you could have 2 410 cabs OR 4 15 cabs OR 2 810 cabs OR ... and your pre would bassically define your sound.
    If you go this route I wouldn't skimp on power - you can always turn down but you can't always turn up.
    AND I have been through a kazillion different amps & cabs searching for that AMAZING SOUND. Most of them came close but... If you find one on the first try you will be in a minority.
    Just a thought.
  14. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    If you are going to be gigging/touring a lot, keep in mind the reliability factor. There is a difference in build quality and reliability among the various manufacturers, some of it correlates with price while some does not...

    Some of the best are Aguilar, GK, Mesa...

    A bit more average are Ampeg, perhaps Eden, SWR

    Problematic is Ashdown, especially for the coin the are asking...

  15. browner


    Jul 22, 2006
    Ow do! I'm pretty much in the same boat as you re- 'cost not an isssue' and starting touring soon in a 'indie-rock' band and I kinda asked this question a while ago.
    So I discovered that most folks have varying opinions on what you should get but most say you can't go wrong with an ampeg rig. After trying the ashdown and eden I decided to go with my gut feeling and my favourite and plump for the SVT-VR.
    Now as far as reliability goes I'll
  16. browner


    Jul 22, 2006
    have to wait and see!
    P.s I am a computer dufus!
  17. you can't reall y decide on an amp by just trying it in the store because it will sound very differently in a live setting. Amps like Ampeg, Hartke and Peavey sound bad when soloed but great in the mix IMO. Eden, Aguilar sound great alone, in a heavy band not so. This is of course subjective... :cool:
  18. MarkMyWordsXx


    May 17, 2006
    yea it really depends on your prefrence. theres no definative guide to whats good and whats bad. i like ampegs, but i dont like the classic tube head. many, many many people love it.

    that doesnt make them good or bad, its just a tone.

    i like to compare it to cars, are trucks better than sports cars? depends on what your using it for. race a truck and see how you do, on the other hand tru to haul your gear in a sports car.

    yes there are exceptions, but you get the point

    if its hard for you to go out and test gear then you might just have to read up, alot, on the gear your looking at. IMO theres no substitute to getting out there and listening for yourself
  19. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    Ampeg makes decent equipment, but over time you may grow out of it. As you progress as a musician, so will your drive for "better" tone. There will always be something you hear that sounds "better" than what you have. I'd say don't settle, save up and get what you want now. Saves you the trouble of buying/selling over and over again. Good luck!
  20. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    You have to ask your self ,why?
    I think you know the right thing to do.
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