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The new mission: Ghetto live bass rig!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jimfist, May 11, 2015.


  1. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Anyone else gigging lower-end gear, even though they own much better "known commodity" high end gear?

    I recently put together a "ghetto" rig consisting of:

    - Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 bass, passive ($179 new)
    - Zoom B3 multiFX ($149 factory restock w/warranty)
    - Ibanez Promethean P300h head (used $175)
    - 2 x Seismic 15" coaxial passive (monitor) full-range SAX-15M ($399pr new)

    total cost of rig: +/-$900

    I was impressed with this to the point it has made me totally rethink the need for some of my other high end basses, preamps, heads and cabinets. Especially noteworthy was how articulate and punchy this Mikro bass was. I will need to go to a heavier gauge string set to tighten up the playing "floppiness", but no kidding, this bass was an eye-opener. I tend to be pretty tough on my basses, too, and the Ibanez Mikro held up to my gig abuse. We'll see how long it lasts, though...LOL!

    I own individual basses, preamps and amp heads that cost more than this entire rig, but somehow this little rig kicks serious ass. The neat thing is that I don't lose sleep over the prospect of any of this stuff getting damaged, lost, or stolen (knock on wood!) since it is all easy to replace for relatively low $$$.

    I say, if it works, why fix it?
     
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    There is a certain something to be said for changing it up. Often times, I end up coming back to my normal gear with a new appreciation for it after a while... Then again I gig an old mb2-500 and 2 1 x 10's. I also use the B3 - which I love... I've bought and sold filters that cost significantly more than the B3... Basses are Lakland 44-01's the vast majority of the time. Cheapest thing they make... Hardly boutique but totally gig worthy...
     
  3. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm glad someone posted to the thread. I guess it's either a dumb topic, or just not too interesting. LOL. The more I thought about it, seems that the tendency on gear forums is to "up the game", rather than race to the bottom in terms of cost (with cost equating to quality, generally, with new gear).

    Other than the Ibanez Mikro, which is clearly an entry level bass, the other gear is low cost but perfectly respectable, though far from top shelf. I'll bet there are players out there who would love to have an A-rig that consists of what I'm calling my "ghetto" rig, so perspective is everything, and I know that I'm very fortunate to have the means to support my G.A.S. LOL. Of course, I've been doing this for over 30 years, too...

    [Speaking again of the Mikro, there is something about the small scale, body and neck, and simplicity of the bass itself that makes it feel very resonant in the low end frequencies, but not so much the fundamentals - more like 100hz and above. Acoustically you can hear and feel it, and it translates very well through the simple bridge design and basic P/J passive pickups. All of my other basses have some sort of active component in them - EQ or Pickups - so the Mikro has forced me back into the passive electronics realm. I like it a lot. Fun little bass.]

    But I think it is also worth mentioning that you don't need to break the bank to have a very good sounding rig for not too much money, and that includes the instrument. The quality of inexpensive gear these days is off the charts compared to previous decades.

    What is key to this equation is: skill and experience, both on the instrument and with the gear. Knowing what to to, how to do it, and WHY to do it is essential, probably more than the gear itself. 20 years ago, I doubt I'd have been able to get the same tones out of a bass guitar (any bass guitar) from this type of rig. Getting from point "A" (20 years ago) to point "B" (today) has been quite a long process, and I still feel like I'm not done.

    I guess the moral of this story is: the sooner you learn what makes a bass tone tick - from your fingers to the strings to the pickups to the preamp processing to the amp and to the speaker - the better chance you'll be able to get good tones from ANY gear you plug into. This is a big part of winning at "the game", IMHO. Get there sooner rather than later, and you'll be winning for a longer period of time.
     
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    It's all fingers and ears after a point, no ?
     
    Geri O and jimfist like this.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    big +1, and it's one reason i almost give gear reviews and endorsements from real pro players less weight than otherwise; they can make any damn thing sound good!

    my own rig is hardly "ghetto", but @georgestrings called it "all business" in another thread and by golly he's right! an old AM std P-bass with a better pickup into a sansamp pedal into an old PLX power amp into two compact LDS single 15 cabs, and i have a no-frills rig that crushes in any situation, is totally "pro", and wasn't that expensive.
     
    jimfist likes this.
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    interesting to note that we all carry pairs of identical cabs with single drivers, rather than a 2x driver or multiple driver (low/mid/hi) larger single cabinet. I devised my rig to be especially small and lightweight, but loud enough to piss people off. LOL.
     
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Well... I also have a fEarful 12.6 and 12. Sub pair, plus a modern 2x15. Made to look 'vintage'. We used fEarful style construction techniques, flared ports and 3015's. It's a sleeper and a killer...

    I tend to just carry what works though and for the majority of my gig's the 2 1x10's is fine. Singlemalt here was the builder. I gave him the dim's from the 1x10 that I liked and he figured out the details, including the hatch cover that does double duty as the wedge in the middle. That's my shallow stage configuration.

    I'm in the PA all the time. I let my drummer set the time mostly and it's easy for my guitarist to follow him. So my rig is primarily a monitor for Jose the drummer and I. He probably hears more of it than I do...

    I lived with SVT's and Fridge cabs for the 70's and early 80's. I'm real comfortable with the sound of a bare 10... image.
     
    jimfist likes this.
  8. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    cool little rig. :thumbsup:

    One of my other rigs is a GK 1001RBII powering one or two Dr. Bass (let's not go there!) 15" cabs loaded each with Ciare coaxial drivers, true biamped. I had to stop gigging it for most clubs since too many commented that it was too loud out front, and those heads just don't sound as good unless you open them up a bit. I never liked the way a single cab sounded, and it was awkward to place and hear well, so I now only use 2 cabs when I know I can let it rip. Too bad about Dr. Bass...good boxes, crap business practices. Now, my micro head rig does plenty well.

    My Ampeg 8x10 is for rehearsal only, these days. no more lugging it around.
     
  9. [​IMG]

    Hartke LH1000
    Fender 4x10 (BXR410H)
    Fender 1x15 (BXR115B)

    So far I've only gigged the 4x10 by itself. Still waiting to stack them up outside of home :(

    Total cost for everything, $625. Bought at a local Cash Converters after I played on it for like 4 hours. The cabs don't even have speakon connectors, which is good cause I'd probably blow them up.

    Bass is an Ibanez SR305 ($399) that I didn't need to buy but is now my main. My $150 Craigslist Corsair 5 String is definitely worthy of seeing gig time, which I may bring it out for the next show. Just gotta order a second set of Black Nylon flats for it.

    There's a possibility that being cheap on the gear will bite me one day, but so far so good, so I'm gonna keep at it. My goal now is to find a bargain on an 8x10 lol.
     
    jimfist likes this.

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