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Upgrading Rig: What Cabinet Would You Recommend?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by QuickGloves175, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    CURRENT RIG: I currently play an Ampeg BA115-T. It sounded pretty good when I was first starting to play bass (I'm originally and still am a guitar player). However, I play bass in a hard rock/metal band and we're starting to record and play more. I purchased a used GK Backline 600 head and am looking to get a cabinet. From what I've read so far, getting a really solid cabinet upfront will save time and money in the long run. :hyper:
    Basses: Jackson Kelly 4-String (Original 90's Model-P/J EMGs)
    Dean Zone 4-String (I love the natural thickness of tone and compression from the humbucker!)

    ADVICE PLEASE: I want a dynamic cab that will be able to handle a variety of basses, heads and performance situations. One that when the time and the $$ arrive I will be able to keep when I upgrade my head, and if I decide to add another cabinet it likely won't be replaced. I was looking at the Aguilar GS-212 as it would be tighter than my current 1x15 combo yet give more low end than a 2x10 or 4x10. I'm open to what experienced players have to say though.

    Something to keep in mind: Eventually I'd like to be running a Mesa Boogie Strategy or Prodigy head.

    Thanks in advance for your advice! :)
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's not necessarily true that it'll give more lows than a 410, or a 210 for that matter. A GS-212 goes down to 41 hz, and I can think of several 210's and 410's that go as low or lower. That said, 41 hz is right around the range of low end that I like, and I don't dig cabs that go much lower. But if you do, you can find lower-reaching cabs using 15"s, 12"s, or even 10"s.

    For metal a 212 would be decent enough to start out on, and if you don't run too loud onstage and have good PA, it would likely be enough, but if you want loud stage volume, I'd suggest two of them so you don't end up blowing them trying to get them to do something they can't.
  3. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    Alright, thanks! Essentially I want something to use as a personal stage monitor between a couple guitar half-stacks (one of them an all-tube Peavey) and to be good enough as a standalone for smaller e.g. 250 persons or less outdoors events/festivals. And honestly even during practices the combo I have now is getting lost in the mix, and I feel like if I try to run it much harder I'll blow a speaker or transformer...
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    As a guitarist turned bassist, one of the more daunting challenges lying ahead of you, is to unlearn many of the preconceptions about gear and sound reproduction that you've picked up in the guitar world, and approach playing the bass without those preconceptions, but with a fresh set of ears. We see this kind of thing around here among converted guitarists all the time. Believe me.

    The musical function is different, therefore the tone goals are rather different. Because the tone goals are different, the physics involved to fulfill those tone goals are different. Therefore the gear - including the design and purpose of the gear - is also different.

  5. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    I want something that has good low-end but is punchy and tight, can have some growl if I want it to but for the most part has good clean headroom. Suggestions?
  6. tom-g


    Oct 2, 2007

    Umh, no!
  7. Dogghouse


    Jan 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara
    Bass Guy @ Seymour Duncan
    Right on to MysticMichael's points. Bass needs watts, capacity and clean. Most big bass company's cabs are better than ever. But I still cannot find anything to beat the 10 year old Eden cabs I run. 210 & 410XLT's. Aguilar, GK, Ampeg, even Fender all have some new ones that compare well though. Put your money in watts.
  8. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    Well currently I just have a combo and a head, no separate cab at all to run it through :/ I will likely be selling the combo and the head and investing in something larger, right now it's just killing me to be using this little 100W 1x15 combo... What about a GK Neo-412? Would that be way too much for my 180W @ 8/300W @ 4 ohm head? I do want to be able to get a more powerful head eventually. I want tight with a good tonal spectrum, and a cab that's got a relatively "flat" naturally tuned sound. I am an audio engineer so that's important too, I want to know that whatever tone I get is sculpted from the EQ settings and not enhanced/cut from a cab's tuning characteristics. SN: I am 21 y/o and also a boxer, so not too worried about size and weight issues at this point.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Then perhaps the more precise way to state it would be..."the physics applicable to sound reproduction for bass vary somewhat from the physics applicable to sound reproduction for guitar".

    Satisfied? :eyebrow:

  10. Vintagefiend

    Vintagefiend I don't care for 410 cabinets at all.

    Aug 6, 2013
    Columbia, MO
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You still haven't mentioned the make & model of amp head that you intend to use. That's a critical consideration in choice of cab(s).

    Also, and FYI, while the terms "good low end", "punchy" and "tight" can be applicable to a cabinet, "growl" and "headroom" are more a function of the amp. Any decent cabinet can yield good growl - IF your instrument and amp generate a sufficient amount of it. Likewise, the term "headroom" refers to excess power - beyond what is necessary to achieve satisfactory volume levels. The corollary for a cabinet would probably be power-handling capacity.

    The GK Neo 412 is widely regarded as a great cab - a great rock cab in particular. At 300 watts, it could still get pretty loud. But you might need to turn up all the way in order to get there. And if there is any strain on your amp along the way, you will hear it (lack of sufficient headroom).

    Suggestion: If you want to stick with Gallien Krueger (why not?), and you want to keep it clean and powerful all the way, get a 1001RB-II. Seven hundred watts @ 4 ohms will give you all the juice you could ever need.

    If you want a more aggressive, "hitting the rails on the power amp" sort of sound, with the capacity for some serious growl and snarl, get the 700RB-II (480 watts @ 4 ohms)...and crank it! :bassist:

  12. gearhead1972


    Feb 21, 2012
    Kent NY
    Original post

  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Yeah, "flat" gets tossed around here a lot, with many players never really understanding what it means in actual application. What most of the actually want, without realizing it, is simply a cab with a frequency response that happens to appeal to their ear. :meh:

    In actuality, completely "flat" is rare, if not nonexistent. Which means that it's all just a matter of degree. The flatter cab out there are generally the boutiques anyway, some costing two to three times as much as your garden-variety Hartkes and GKs and Fenders and Avatars. So there's a cost-benefit curve to consider. :meh:

  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    OK, you got me. I confess: It slipped past me. :rolleyes:

  15. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    So far I've only heard good things about the neo 4x12 cabinets. I would eventually like one of the more powerful previously mentioned GK heads or a Mesa Prodigy (love Mesa amps and that's what I use for guitar). I tried a GK neo 4x10 with my Backline at a music store and it sounded pretty good, I just didn't get the chance to really put it through its paces as the employees and other customers would have been upset... I liked that it sounded so clear and clean, as long as you set up the head right. Being able to cut through high practice/stage volumes AND have really clear articulation are paramount. I just don't want to invest $400 or more on a cab now and then still want to move up to something different later :scowl:

    Also I use 4-strings basses tuned down to C-G-C-F but may also invest in a 5-string. Would a 4x12 or 4x10 likely have a better and more accurate response to these tuning conditions?
  16. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    For my ears, I like 1x15 and 2x15s. Id pick anything under this format from MarkBass or Hartke, especially the Hydrive.
  17. I traded my Eden D410XLT for two 2x12 Schroeder cabs. 4x12's do bass mucho justice!!!
  18. QuickGloves175


    Mar 6, 2014
    Thanks @Vintagefiend and @Bulldawg82 ! The Eden D410XLT is one that I was considering, but had read that they have a "cushier?" sound, especially at the lower frequencies. Glad to get some positive testimonial responses about 12's over 10's. :) Maybe I should invest in one 2x12 now and then get another if/when I get a more powerful head? When I tried some 2x10 cabinets they just sounded too thin and didn't seem loud enough for what I want even for practice.
  19. I vote for a 4 x 12" configuration. Either two 2 x 12 or one 4 x 12. Either will easily fit into a heavy metal or just plain stupid loud genre. You can get entry level GK 2 x 12 cabs for $500 - $600, both rated at 600 watts. Or the GK 4 x 12 for around $1,000, rated at 1,200 watts. And you need to know that if the guitarist is using 100 watts you need 1,000 watts.
  20. Take about 30 minutes to an hour and hop over to the post on the GK MB800Fusion head. Lots of users mating that 800 watt head with either 2 or 4 12" speakers. Chief (one of the moderators on this forum) being one of them.