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Weight v Power

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by littlenige, Sep 17, 2008.


  1. littlenige

    littlenige

    Jul 28, 2007
    Spain
    Hi folks,

    I currently use a Peavey TNT 130 combo which for me offers great punch and sound quality - but being a decrepid old timer with back/hip problems am looking to replace it later this year. The Peavey weighs somewhere around 36kilo's which is just killing me. I'm looking to find a great sounding punchy combo that weighs as little as poss and need as much volume as the Peavey if not a bit more. Mark Bass and GKrueger are the obvious contenders that I have found thus far. I play in a blues/rock/reggae outfit - some outdoor gigs (well the sun shines in Spain!).

    Am I missing any other manufacturers that I should consider? My initial thoughts on the GK as I read some reviews were that it sounded great - then I read others that said it was not all that loud (thinking along the lines of the GALLIEN KRUEGER MB150E-112 III for example). Budget is around 1000 euros max. Your advice greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. There are a lot of very nice small, lightweight heads, and also small, lightweight cabs that sound great. There are, however, a limited number of lightweight combo's that I'm aware of.

    The GK MB150 is a classic, and still sounds great. However, it's VERY small (not much bigger than a large phone book), and will only put out so much sound. Also, with no tweeter, and a very small sealed cabinet design, it's very 'midrange voiced', which is why so many double bass guys love them. I don't think this would be your best option for gigging with an electric bass.

    The Genz Benz Shuttle combo's (especially the 6.0/112 model) are very nice. High quality, very lightweight, a unique 'head clamp' design that allows you to use the head with a larger cab. The tone is 'warm but quite modern and mid focused. Very nice.
    ]
    There are two Markbass 112 combos... a really small and light one with a piezo tweeter, and a somewhat larger one with a higher quality tweeter. I can't remember the model numbers, but it's obvious if you visit the site. The small 112 combo is pretty cool... loud, punchy and really lightweight, and the power section is the popular LMII. Also highly recommended. There is also the 'Jeff Berlin' model, which would be the closest to your Peavey combo in that it has one 15" speaker and no tweeter. It would be MUCH lighter than your Peavey, and would put out a louder, more even sound IMO.

    IMO and IME

    Edit: Not sure about availability, but TecAmp also makes some very cool lightweight stuff (based on the Puma line of heads), and has a few combo's. They are expensive in the US, but maybe more reasonable where you live.
     
  3. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Caveat: I don't know the availability of any of this stuff in your area -- sorry!

    I'm using an AI Focus which, combined with a Sansamp, gives you a lot of tonal control, and weighs in around 5 pounds (both together). Plus AI has an incredible warranty/repair policy, so a great investment. You can find these in the 500-600USD range

    I also just snagged an Ashdown Superfly -- they're going for about $230USD these days (a newer model is coming out and the earlier one is being sold off quickly). 10 pounds there. But some very mixed reviews of this unit, so YMMV.

    I like the Shuttle "combo" since the cab is actually separate. And the Markbass LMKII combo version is basically the same. But I still think there might be more efficient 1x12 cabs out there that will give you a ton more output capacity than the 15" in your Peavey, and at much less weight. I like Schroeders (mini12+ is 600USD retail, can be found for 300-400 resale). In Europe there's some other guy making insanely light cabs -- Zook or something like that? Hunt around here on TB -- someone did a lightweight cab roundup, and mentioned it there.

    In the end, you should have no problem putting a sub-40lb rig together. And for the sake of your back, don't get a combo -- if you can carry the weight in two hands, or sling half of it over your back, you'll find load-in that much easier!

    best of luck!

    ltt
     
  4. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Update on my AI Focus: so I had some friends over for a little jam, and we were short a PA, so I used my Focus as a vocal amp. We don't know for sure what happened, but somehow that setup fried the output transformer on the amp -- smoke coming out of it and everything. So I called AI, assuming I was about to get hit with a 100-dollar-repair, and the guy who answered talked to me about it, concluded it was a burnt out transformer, and told me to box it up and ship it over to them and they'd fix it. It took all of a week, maybe? No charge - at all. I paid for shipping to them, and that was it. And if you read their warranty, that's the deal -- their amps are essentially guaranteed for life, and service is free -- regardless of how many owners have passed it around. They put in a caveat that something might be unfixable, and sometimes a trade-in might be your only option. But I get stuck with fees when other shops just LOOK at my broken gear, and here's a great American company that truly covers their products, and doesn't punish you if their stuff breaks under normal use. It's a very strong reason that I will probably never give this amp up.

    Huge props to Acoustic Image!
     
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    +1 for Acoustic image. If you got a Clarus or Focus head and two 1x10" or 1x12" cabinets (such as the EA whizzy for example), you would have a very modular and portable setup. I currently use a Contra combo for small rehearsals (would not recommend it for bass guitar gigs) and a Focus+Peavey 4x10 cab for playing loud.

    I know the Peavey TNT130 well; it was my first big amp. Surprisingly loud for its rated wattage! A tiny combo like the GK MB would be a huge decrease in volume, imho.
     
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    How's about an iAmp micro 300 for your gig bag and a separate cab. A 4 ohm 1x12, 2x10 or 1x15 - based on neo drivers and you'd be there.

    I'm driving Bag End 1x15's with mine - with a pair of the cab's I'm still under a grand USD in the used market.
     
  7. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    dang -- never saw that (iAmp micro 300) before -- that's TINY! My focus: 10 x 9 x 2.5 4lbs (600w)
    iAmp: 8.5 x 5.4 x 2.1 2.3lbs (300w)
    That's nuts!
     
  8. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Shuttle 6.0 fits in my bass gig bag (Lakland branded case). Combos are fine, but this is every bit as convenient.

    So I'm left looking for an efficient cab. The TNT 130 is surprisingly loud, base on my recollections of playing drums next to them for years and years. My current plan is to get a fairly efficient 2x12 with a luggage handle and kick back wheels. My current front-runner is a Dr. Bass 2460D. The Genz Benz NeoX 212T is my runner up. I recognize that Dr. Bass is probably not available to you there and that Genz would probably also be a challenge.

    A cab based on the Eminence Kappalite 3015 would also be a good choice.

    Mark Bass is Italian, isn't it? I've heard so many great things about the Little Mark II head, but I believe I've read that the cabs are pretty inefficient. Efficiency is why the Peavey has worked for you all of these years and is amazingly overlooked in most reviews. Perhaps something by Warwick or EBS would be a good thing to check. I think that Ashdown also has a rep for being inefficient.

    Good luck with your quest. I hope I helped, but I probably didn't.

    KO
     
  9. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
  10. frickbass

    frickbass

    May 3, 2009
    I was looking for a small combo that was easy to carry and had some guts. I found the little400 watt markbass mini12 fit the bill. I spend more than I wanted, but the easy of travel and sound was the perfect fit for my needs. It beats a 150pound monster.
     
  11. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    I also like the GB Shuttle/NeoX stuff. And with a head and a cab, you can easily expand if necessary. A Shuttle head and a NeoX 112T would be very light, quite loud, and very clean sounding.
     
  12. Jojabeau

    Jojabeau

    Feb 8, 2008
    Mid Atlantic
    I dont like combos because I hate the weight. A Markbass 112 is nice but outside- rock? NO way without serious PA support. If you volume coimes from the PA skip the amp and get a good DI (Radial Sansamp). Otherwise get a SS head and but a neo 210 (Avatar rocks and is reasonable). I gig with a Avatar 212 and 210 but if I DI I leave the 212 at home. Best of luck!
     

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