very different amp ideas dancing in my head - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lurch, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Lurch


    Feb 1, 2004
    Hi talkbassers! First post here, and I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts and input on my delimma here :)

    I am considering quite different amps for my rig, and I know I may seem to be a bit 'cracked' in the head due to the widely different options I'm considering, but I figure you won't be too entirely hard on me due to me being a bit 'green' in these matters :help: :)

    After doing as much research as I can the past months, these are the options that I've narrowed my scope down to - which are roughly the same amount of $$$ (and in no particular order):

    1 - Ampeg fliptop...either a vintage one or the new ones made as 're-issues' or whatever.

    2 - Ampeg SVT Classic

    3 - Ashdown ABM 500 EVO II

    .................. I live in the city, and the majority of venues I'll be playing are medium-sized - quite occaisionally small venues, rarely large venues. I mainly play a P Bass with flats, and am very much a plug n play sort of guy that doesn't like to fiddle around with much. I only use a tuner stomp box but might add a chorus and perhaps an od-distortion-fuzz in the future.

    I admit to not have heard the Ampeg fliptop amp - however, I have heard the b100r which I really liked, and I think I'd like the fliptop even more. I know its much heavier, but the casters will help a great deal, so that's not much of an issue for me. It's a combo of sorts, and I like 15s, so I think this will fit the bill nicely for me...perhaps also be able to add another extension cab when needed? I also noticed that REMs bassist (name escapes me...Mike Mills? Or is that their drummer?) used a fliptop in a recent performance and had it mic'd - I figure that could be the option for me if/when I play in venues that have a PA and require more volume. For some reason, I can't quite put my finger on it, but this has been a very attractive option/choice for me of the 3 - but as I said, I fully admit to have never heard one of these live, but I'm aware of their rep. It seems a bit odd, but this is the one that intrigues me the most...can you help talk me in or out of this?

    Ampeg SVT Classic - 'nuff said. It is a behemoth of course, and seeing as it's 85 pounds or whatever, in addition to whatever cabs I'd get for it, that's a few heavy trips, but I'm fairly young and in shape, so no worries if it ends up being my choice. My concern is mostly that it's size/weight don't justify it's usefulness for me, as I think the roaring 300 watts of tube will be way more than I'll need or use for the majority of my performances.

    Ashdown - I have played through these ABM EVO heads in stores and love their old school round warmth combined with their punch. Aesthetically, they're also quite pleasing, and at 30 pounds or so, and that's a plus. They have a DI which is nice, the subharmonizer and all that jazz...I'm not a big tweaker, but the bottom line for me is, these puppies sound great.

    I know I'm asking for a lot of subjective types of calls and input here, but what are your thoughts? I've tried to be as specific as I can, so if I need to provide more info., please don't hesitate to ask! Thanks so much for your help!
  2. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    IMO, all the extra weight isn't needed. If you're stuck on the EVO, go with that and get some lightweight cabs.

    Until I'm rich and famouse enough to have roadies to carry my gear, I'm down with keeping the weight down. There is PLENTY of great tone in lightweight rigs nowadays.
  3. Lurch


    Feb 1, 2004
    That's definitely a consideration, natrab. If a rig would be rated at an 8.0-8.5 for tone and be very easy to transport, and then the hefty SVT rig would be 9.9 for tone but be a pain to transport, I'd give the nod to the 8.0 smaller rig anyday, as I'm not a pro. However, I don't feel the fliptop would be a problem for me weight-wise because of the casters. I hope I didn't give the impression that I'm 'set' on any of these amps at the moment - I really like the idea of the fliptop and I also really like the tone of the Ashdown. I figure the fliptop could be mic'd without too much trouble in venues that needed it, and the Ashdown, well, it'd be fine on it's own, but I'd need to pick up some cabs for it, preferably 2 - one cab as the standard standalone that I'd use the majority of the time, and another cab to add when needed.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Corrections to my faulty logic? :help: :)
  4. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    It all comes down to the type of music you're playing. With me, most of the time on the tone scale it isn't noticable between 7.0-10.0 when I'm up on stage. However I play ska and punk type music. The only time you really notice my tone is when I play solo lines or funk/slap lines. For me, my Mesa handles that fine.

    My recommendation is try a bunch of gear out. I jumped into buying an Ampeg Pre/Power rig and I ended up getting rid of it in favor of the tonal options of the Mesa. Just go play amps. Find one that's the right price, right tone, and the right weight and you'll love it either way. Just be sure to spend some time with it before you jump in.
  5. Lurch


    Feb 1, 2004
    Another problem for me is the fact that I believe what you hear when playing alone, in a shop, or wherever isn't the best gauge to use when it comes to how that amp/combo will sound in the mix. My goal is to try everything out, and I have tried out SVTs and the Ashdowns, but haven't tried out the Fliptops...any further thoughts/input is appreciated :)
  6. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I had the flip-top in my youth; sold it and never missed it. THe new ones cost a furtune and weigh a ton; not for me.

    I have a B-100r and find it to be a very decent rig indeed, particularly if you like the P-Bass/flats sound.

    How about a B-100r, and a B-50r? Carry as much or as little as you need for a gig and get the best of both as needed.