What comes first, the amp or the gig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CallMeAl, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Hey everyone!

    I've got this internal debate going on, and I'd like to bounce it of the more experienced players.

    I'm an experienced trumpet player, and no stranger to the stage. I have dabbled on and off with bass for 20 years. I've decided to go all in with bass, and have been playing with a paying cover band for the past 2 years. I love it, and am looking ahead to the future.

    My band has a low stage volume, and I can use a Rumble 100c. (Drummer plays a cajon.) We do our own PA, and I always have line in when we need it. My BL specifically told me I dont need anything bigger; Yet I find myself GASing for a Rumble 500c. I tell myself it would prepare myself for future possibilities. I would love to play with a kit drummer again, maybe in a big funk and soul band.

    I'm not talking about going pro here. It's a hobby, but I take it seriously. I want to take a "part time pro" mindset.

    So my big question: should I get the amp first to prepare myself for landing possibilities, or should I wait til i get a gig then buy the amp? Do bands expect players (on this level) to be equipped right out of the gate, or can I just say "I'll buy the amp when we need it?"

    TIA!! I have very much appreciated the support and advice from TB thus far in my journey! :)
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  2. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Well it doesn't look like the Rumble 100 has any room to add another cabinet, so I would say to look around for that 500C, as it would be a big step up from where you are. I've owned the 500C and it served me well for a while. I eventually went back to separate head and cab, for the modular approach. I now have 3 different heads, and 4 different cabs.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Ever heard the saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"?
    Bands that get paid expect you to have your gear sorted from day one.
  4. Giffro


    Apr 29, 2017
    South Australia
    I have the Rumble 500c and even have an ext. 115 Rumble cab. Always ready for any sized venue or any sized gig with that powerful lightweight rig. I wouldnt go for less after many heavy rigs in a 50+ year semi-pro gigging career. Go for the 500 if you love playing bass and are going to stick with it and improve...you dont need to stoke 500 watts if you dont want to, but its ready if you need it.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    It's the chicken comes first.

    It really depends on the area you're at I guess. Almost every place in NYC have a decent bass amp. I gigged ampless at some point. I wouldn't buy a bigger amp unless I need it.
  6. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Sounds a little like the current BL is concerned about your becoming too loud, i.e., bigger amp=louder bass player. But get what you want to play through...then you'll be ready to move on/up when the time comes. I'd consider getting something tiny but potent, that would probably carry you in a louder setting but doesn't look "too loud" visually. Hot mini-head and two small cabs, maybe?
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I have, and my intuition believes that. I'm just trying to make sure I'm being practical and not falling prey to GAS. I think my hang up is that I'm not actively looking for another project ATM.

    most of what I've seen/am interested in is winery, brewery, outdoor festivals and summer concerts. Shows I've seen are self-back lined. Not really interested in getting into the club scene.

    That's probably true. His main complaint is that the Rumble 100c is "boomy, or muddy." I've been pretty darn happy with its performance in this setting, though I do think I push the little guy too hard on occasion. Frankly a 200c would be plenty for this project, but the 500c seems like a better "long game" amp.

    Also I demoed the 200 and 500 last weekend (which really fired up the GAS!) And the 500 knocked my socks off. I think BL would be very happy with the crisp, clear sound of the 2x10.
    lat, EatS1stBassist and jlepre like this.
  8. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    I had the 500C/210 and it really did a nice job. Still had the nice deep lows, but was able to be a bit more articulate. In the end it just wasn't practical for my needs. I was doing alot of sub work, in various sized venues, and I needed to be modular.
  9. Erokker

    Erokker Guest

    Feb 15, 2019
    I have a Rumble 100 combo as well as a Rumble 500 head. I run the head into one or two GK Neo 15s. You could probably find the head used for cheap (I paid $200) and match it to the cab(s) of your choice. Regarding your band mate complaining of the 100 being boomy, I agree. I tamed mine by plugging one of the ports.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Stick with what you've got for now. You can always get something bigger later, but if you don't need it, you don't need it.
  11. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I've definately considered head/cab. Also wondered if the magic of the combo will be lost with different cabs. (Not that it couldn't be better. I just really liked the combo.)

    I'll have to try the port plug! You mean under the grill? What did you plug it with?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  12. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    You guys are like the angel and devil on my shoulders! :roflmao:
  13. I would stick with what you have but keep an eye out for something interesting at a good price. Who knows if you would get in that big group, and if you were in that big group whether you would want to go into the PA.
  14. IME bandmates and venues expect that you're set up and ready to play, which means having the ability to adapt to the band and venue. One of the key things that you mentioned is that you already feel like you sometimes push the 100 too hard which in my opinion means you might want a little more headroom anyway. I have a head/cab that works fine for the venues I play in (mostly bars with FOH support but in a very loud band), but I have made mods to my rig give myself the option to add another cab when we play outdoor or bigger venues. I don't think it can hurt (except in the pocketbook) to have a little extra mmmffff... and options are always nice. Plus, there are volume knobs on high-wattage heads. All that being said, I have a tendency to give in to the GAS..... so what do I know?
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  15. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Good advice, but it does nothing for that bad case of GAS. :D
    pcake, JimmyM and alanloomis1980 like this.
  16. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Its definately a "leader" relationship; he books the gigs and writes the checks. He even recommended the rumble 100 in the first place. I explicitly asked him if I should get something bigger, and he said we are good. So I guess I dont want to stir the pot, as they say.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You'll likely not find a funk/soul band that is "not really interested in getting into the club scene". I have met a TON of bands through playing festivals and even running sound. I have yet to me a funk/soul band that doesn't play clubs.... unless they only play high-dollar weddings and corporate parties.... in which case they all play for a living.

    If you have no interest in playing clubs, you may want to lock down the gig first. I don't think you'll find one with a full band. If you do, it'll likely be older players who don't play very loud anyway.
  18. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Sell him on the idea that your getting a new amp absolutely will help with that boomy, muddy sound that he doesn't like.
    five7, Wisebass, Impermanence and 4 others like this.
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    When you do start looking you can order that bigger amp and have it in your hands in a couple days. Why get something now that may sit for months unused?
  20. Ian McLaughlin

    Ian McLaughlin

    Aug 11, 2018
    Hold for now.

    Keep an eye on listings for the rare steal.