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Upgrading Advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tripehound, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Hello bass people - first time post here.....

    Been playing for a long long time and yet it's only now that I have realised that, whilst I have a nice collection of reasonably expensive guitars, I spent a measly £55 on a second-hand amp (a Fender Rumble 100) and then felt pleased with the deal. Seeing as the amp is anything up to half your sound, I've not really been that clever - and I know there are plenty of other musos who will have done the same.

    Nothing wrong with the Fender really - a good amp with a few design shortcomings such as the vulnerable knobs (ooer missus) but a decent sound and it's light as a feather to shift compared to the ancient Peavey combo it replaced.

    Trouble is - it's a six piece band (vox,gtr,kbds,sax,bass,drums) and when we play larger venues there ain't a lot of headroom left. Putting it through our own PA is not a sensible proposition as it's mainly for vox, lacks bass bins, etc. I also feel I may be shortchanging myself on tone - I want the best possible as it's too late in life for compromises.

    The band play a wide assortment of original and cover material which includes, Dylan, Mott the Hoople, Stones, Radiohead, Talking Heads etc. I use a Jazz Deluxe, a Line 6 Variax, a Hofner Violin or an S.D. Curlee depending upon my mood.

    So ... it's time to do the decent thing and buy a decent setup that meets my needs for tone, portability and power.

    Here's my criteria then:-

    1. Can hold its own in a full band playing small to medium venues
    2. Can be shifted and lifted by one person
    3. Will fit in a hatchback (with the seats down)
    4. Warm tones that lean towards a classic sound rather than a bitey, gritty sound (if I need that I have a pod)
    5. Can still deliver a top end to the sound when needed - I like a bit of definition
    6. Costs up to about £800
    7. Like the idea of valve (all or preamp) but prepared to consider solid state

    My thoughts have included the Fender Bassman TV Duo Ten or Fifteen (seems expensive but those who've bought them seem very happy) but they seem hard to find to try out. Also the Ampeg PF series with the Portaflex cabinets - but I'm very open to suggestions.

    And that's what I'm after - some ideas - any ideas in fact! It's a nice dilemma to have....
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    You need a bigger speaker cab than any combo will provide, unless the combo has an ext spkr jack. Best bet is an amp with 300-500 watts and a good 4x10 cab. Anything less, you're in the same boat, limited by lack of speakers.
  3. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    If you want to stick to a combo, you could go with a Trace Elliot either the 1210 or 1215 (1210 is 2x10, 1215 is 1x15, both with tweeters, both with 600w heads). They should be about in your price range. I just got a steal on the head out of a 1210 (same exact head as the 1215 besides the label, and also presumably identical or very close to the AH 600 12 head). I've only used mine for about 2 practices so far, but I am really liking it. I'm running it through an older Trace 2x10 and a 1x15 loaded with an old JBL, and it sounds awesome. Those combos weigh about 75 or 80 pounds, so they're not light, but it's doable with one person. The 7 series combos are similar but with a few less features and maybe less power, so they're a bit cheaper.
  4. Sounds like you are on the east side of the pond? G-K makes a nice light, loud, not tonally challenged combo, the MB212. The PF500 from Ampeg is a good choice also but not familiar with the cab options.
  5. Thanks for the pointers gentlemen (I assume). Yup - eastern pondside, Nottingham to be precise. Think Kevin Costner mincing about in tights... that's Nottingham. Will try to look at TE and GK but feel drawn to lacquered tweed....

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