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To buy....or to modify??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wake & Bass, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. wake & Bass

    wake & Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Arden, NC
    I've been off TB for a while, but this is something that has been on my mind for a while and wanted to get some other opinions. So here we go:
    I have an Ampeg BA115 that I got brand new in 07' from GC for $350 out the door. After disconnecting the tweeter (thank you TB), the amp has treated me well over the years and certainly has paid for itself many, many times over. It has survived a couple of falls, but is still in good shape and has always been reliable. Most of my gigs have been with this amp (although I do have a 'big' rig as well), and, like I said, it continues to serve me well. So where am I going with all of this??.....well with all of the newer, lighter combos out there lately, I am wondering if I should ditch this amp (let's face it, it's really not that great, and I know that) or buy one of the newer offerings? I really do like some of the features of the BA (the kickback design, the compact size, the ports in the back), but it has it's downsides as well (heavy for the size, kind of awkward to carry, you can't put casters on it (I should mention here that I do have slight back issues) and power.) For what I paid for this, I can get something 'better' but may not have the features that I prefer. If you take the amp out of the BA, add a jack plate, replace the speaker, add side handles and pair it up with micro head, I think it would be a good little cabinet? (And weight wise is very manageable) Has anyone done this?
    So I am thinking that the cost for the components (speaker, micro head, parts) would equal about the cost for newer combo (TC, Carvin, GK?) If I were to sell the BA, I have to go through the whole CL thing, and blah, blah, and I really don't want to go through that whole thing
    I have played the TC250 combo and the GK MB115 and they sound great, and the weight is good, but they are a bit tall and no kickback feature (I know, I know, that's kind of being a bit picky). I like the size and the weight of the Carvin 115 combo (reminds me of my old Polytone) and again, no kickback. However, I did like the small MB200 head and I did play through a Fender Rumble 350 that was surprising. And the Ampeg PF350, that's nice as well. Paired with a good speaker, I think any one of these heads might sound good through the BA (as a cab) All of these have around the same power which would be more than enough for what I need, so......To buy or modify? Just throwing it out there.....
  2. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    If you modify, the one thing that may not work well is replacing the speaker in your BA115 cab. You might get lucky and find a 15" neo that works well with the properties of your existing cab, but you are just as likely to end up with a new speaker/old cab combo that is boomy in a small frequency range and starved everywhere else. If you can find the Thiele-Small specs of your existing 15" driver and then find a neo 15" driver that matches those, you should end up with a decent-sounding cab.
  3. IMO:

    Most combo amps speaker sections are a bunch of compromises.
    Dropping any new driver into an existing cabinet ends up in a crapshoot at best.

    All in all you would be better off selling the combo as it is and buying something else you like.
  4. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    You could save up to 12 pounds with a neodymium driver, which could possibly be even more sensitive than your current one.
  5. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Regarding the Rumble 350 (combo), I'll be putting in 2 Eminence 2010s which will bring it to 50 pounds down from 62 pounds!
  6. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    my ampeg B3 combo sounded great by itself -- not very loud, but tonewise, it was great. When the head got fried I paired the speaker up with a few different heads. a pre + mackie power amp, then a markbass little mark II.

    I did a couple gigs with the LMII + ampeg cabinet. Didn't really like the tone anymore, and couldn't handle much power before it started to sound unfocused and weird.
  7. wake & Bass

    wake & Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Arden, NC
    wow, thanks for some fast responses! I must admit that I am leaning toward something new, but after hearing hearing that GK head (through and new pf115 cab) and that Fender head (it was a good deal and I did come close to getting it regardless) both just this past weekend (hence the post), I was having second thoughts. I thought the speaker replacement would be a crapshoot because of the cab design (I have done this before a long time ago with cab and it did not work out!) I was also thinking that if I replaced just the speaker in the BA with a neo, I wonder, since the amp itself would surely weigh more that the speaker would, if the combo would be 'top heavy' and since it's a kickback, would tend to want to fall down.....and go boom? Anyway, thanks again for the comments.

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