Suggestions and experiences with truly portable amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Mar 5, 2001.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Now that I've gotten to the point I suck marginally less, I'd like to start getting out and jamming with friends to further improve my skills. I find I need a light, small, light, decent sounding at kids-and-wife-in-the-house volume, light portable amplifier in the $100 to $200 range. My Peavey Basic 40 combo is a bit big and heavy for lugging around.

    I need it to be small enough to easily fit in my trunk (I have a good sized car - a new Impala), since I don't want to scuff up the leather. The only drummer we know is a bagger/cartchaser up at the grocery store that bathes once a month whether he needs it or not, so I'll only be competing against a drum machine and one or two guitars at moderate volumes. Our usual space is down a steep, narrow stairway, so small is the word. Did I mention I wanted it to be light?

    I've looked at a couple of small, cheap amps up at the store, but it always seems to be Wanker Hour - it's kind of hard to evaluate a 10 or 15 watt bass amp when some kid across the store is doing his EVH impression, poorly, dimed on a stack.

    I've identified the following as prospects, and welcome additions to the list and comments from past or present owners:

    Trace Elliot Boxer 30 (I'm leaning towards this one as of today, but no effects loop.)

    Vox T-25 (I've only seen it on the web, but like the idea of a 10" - good reviews on Harmony Central. No effects loop.)

    Peavey Microbass (Won the BP shootout a few years ago, but the competition wasn't too stiff!)

    SWR LA-8 (Once again, I've only seen this on the 'net - brand new, it seems. Anyone see one at NAMM? Max price for my range. Has an effects loop. I tend to like the SWR family sound.)

    What I really wish is that MusicYo would have Epi gin up something for their Electar line. I'm really happy with my Electar 10 tube g****r amp!
  2. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA

    Electar amps over at has a 60watt bass combo for 189.99 called the Spartan and its only 46 lbs. In fact, I was looking on Talkbass just to find out some unbiased info on it. None of the bass review sites has any info. I guess its still pretty new. Looks decent enough and the reviews for their guitar amps seem pretty positive. Anyone out there know what's up with the Electar Spartan?

  3. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    GK has a small combo that weighs something like 25 lbs and uses a 12" speaker. It also has a none too weak 120 watts. Very small, and light. Anybody else heard of this one?
  4. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Yes, I have one, it's the MB150: 24lbs, very small, 100W into the internal speaker, 150W if you add an extension cab. Sounds great, I like it very much.

    BUT: It's around $1.000, not $100-200....


    G-K MB 150 E
  5. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, I have the older GK 200MB. They are expensive new, and used they still seem to be over $300. They are worth it though. Best sound/volume in a small combo that I could find. A TON of features. Mine has compressor, chorus (footswitchable), fx loop, stereo xlr out, 4 band eq, and extra power when you use an extension cab. You can defeat the internal speaker if you're running a big cab at max power. Extremely portable.
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Wow, this thread is certainly out of date for me!

    I ended up putting my G-K 400RB head and a used Peavey 2x8+1x15 cab down in the practice space (it stays there). And my home rig is a rack - A SansAmp RBI rackmount preamp into a Carvin DCM100 into a pair of Bag End S15-D cabs.

    I *still* want a G-K MB150 combo, though...

  7. Sounds like you got your portability issue solved. However, if you can go a little over your budget, an Ashdown Electric Blue 130 - 15 is the amp for you. 130 watts into a 15" speaker, 5 band graphic EQ, effects loop, bright and deep swirches and a DI out. It weighs in about 30lbs, and I saw an add in selling them for $389!

    Just my 2 cents worth!
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Wow - I'll have to check one out. Thanks!