The best way to shop for a rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Hey guys. I haven't found a thread that really covers this yet, so if there is one, post a link and I'll gladly delete this thread.

    I have only played through combo amps in the past, and now I am in the market for a regular rig, ie: a head and a cabinet or two. But I'm not sure how to shop around for both. I plan on bringing a bass with me, so I know how I'll sound through it, but how do you know what the differences between the heads and cabs will sound like? For instance, if there is a particular head I am interested in, should I try it through several different cabs, and see if there are tonal qualities that are consistent to that particular head, so I know the tone is not coming from the cabinet? Or do I take several heads and try them through one cabinet to see what characteristics are inherent to that cab? Being that I've never shopped around for a rig (basses and combos are much easier :D), I'd like to get everyone's advice on the matter.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    There's a very easy way to shop for a rig : Ashdown ;)

    Most seriously : yes, you should try several combinations of heads and cabs.

    But first, take your bass to the shop, and find a head that gives good response.

    Then compare how it sounds with several combinations. There is no real rule, it all depends on what you're looking for.

    My personal preference goes to 2 configurations :

    1 head + 1 2x10" cab + 1 1x15" cab
    1 head + 1 4x10" cab + 1 1x15" cab

    Such combinations give versatility to your rig, IMHO.

    All the best,
  3. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    determine how much cash you have. descide whether you want new or used. i would say new cab used head. anyway. then go to a store where the sales people will let you open the amps up ( meaning turn them up to gig levels). then descide what combinations you like, and come home and search online or in the classifieds ( or from gard)for the cheapest prices. component rigs are a great idea. my last suggestion is get 2 smaller cabs rather than one big cab. i have a 4x10 that weighs right over 100 pounds. too much in my opinion.
  4. i agree with the small cab comment, 2 smaller cabs are better then 1 larger one! unless you have roadies that is :)

    also, try and go for a rack mountable head, i say this because when i was looking around for a head, i was interested in the Ampeg SVT 350h which was £700 then i found the Ampeg B2R which is exactly the same, but without the 'Classic' casing, and it was £200 cheaper!!!! and i can rack mount it with an Aphex 204 :D

    good luck

  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Cab has the most impact on the sound in the entire chain. Or rather, the combination of cab and room.
    The main task for the preamp is to adjust the signal to fit that combination.
    The poweramp just exapnds the signal.

    So, how to shop... bring your bass, because that shows the shop people that you are serious, and they will help you more. PLay through several cabs. Then play the best cabs with different amplifiers. Finally, bring the three best combinations to your ordinary venue, and try them there. Pick the best within your budget.

    That is the best way, IMO. But perhaps the shop people will be of some other opinion....