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What We're Doing With $6,000...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by *ToNeS*, Mar 21, 2004.


  1. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Quite a few of you were gracious enough to help me out on ideas for a bunch of gear within the financial scope of $6,000 (Australian) some time ago (thanks to everyone once again, by the way) - What To Do With $6,000?. < There's the thread if you would like to recap.

    Anyho, myself, my band and our engineer have been diligently checking out the situation and thus far have come up with this entirely revamped setup (which definitely exceeds our investor's budget, but hey! The light is still green! Fancy)... Some things are still undecided on, so feel free to chip in any suggestions you may have.

    BASS: Spector NS-5CRFM 5-String (natural oil finish). We preferred almost everything about this bass over its nearest competitors, which were a Stingray 5 and a ton of Warwicks (FNA Jazzman, Thumb, Corvette line, etc.). It's got the new Aguilar preamp inside it too, which makes it even more beastly (it is the loudest bass I've ever heard!). The USA Bolt-on Spectors really didn't do much for our ears, and the USA Neck-thru was not available for demo. Pity, huh!

    AMP: Leading the way at the moment are the SWR SM-900 and the Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II. Both are amazing amps, both capable of wildly different yet equally appealing things. This area has been the hardest part of the journey thus far, seeing as the head unit must be capable of A-Grade onstage sound reproduction and recording ability. I'm very torn personally, however I have been leaning towards the GK.

    CAB(S): Seeing as Aguilar products are not readily available to us here in Australia, in our minds this left either Eden or SWR. Up until this point I have been using Warwick 411-Pro cabs, but their emphasis on midrange and inability to accurately maintain frequencies below 30kHz meant that I was due for an upgrade. We went with SWR, choosing not one but two SWR 4x10 Goliath III cabinets (8 Ohm models). The Edens were lovely, but seemed to only reach their full capacity when paired with an Eden head, and I _hate_ Eden amps.

    FX: Really not much in the way of choice here. We're leaning towards the Boss GT6B multi-effect floor unit (you know, the RED one!), but personally I've had it with tap-dancing live. I want rack effects, and I want them now! This area has been paid the least attention so far, as it is presumed we can work with it fairly quickly and easily. Help!

    Okay, there it all is so far. Thanks again to everyone that went out of their way to show me different things and point me at various bits of gear and such, that was extremely helpful. Like I said, if you would like to jump in with further suggestions or advice, please do!
     
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    You can buy stuff with Australian money? :confused: ;)








    j/k :D - sounds cool Tones, check ou the Rocktron Blue thunder for a rack effect.
     
  3. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Instead of choosing 2 Goliath 3's it MIGHT be cheaper for you to go with one Megoliath, although moving it might be a bigger pain for ya. Your call :p
     
  4. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    :rolleyes:
    Ahh ha..ahh ha..ahh ha :p

    I want to be there when you buy it tones, i want to be there when you plug that spector at billy hydes and blow the be-jesus out of the guitarist section. oh please please please!!

    anyway good score, i know id be doing a similar thing with 6 grand ;)
     
  5. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Ah, ya missed all the frenetic tapping action, matey! Rob Little flatly refused to throw down with me subterranean-frequency style, so there I was, whaling to impress. More like, whaling to annoy :D I love that guy! Such a cad. Did push-ups on his fingers for me. Now that's a stand-up guy. But, I'm fresh out of the hospital after having surgery on my right wrist, so I really shouldn't be playing. Hard thing to live without, bass is.

    Blisshead mate, tell me more about effects. Rocktron Blue Thunder? Sounds exciting, but new to me. Explain.
     
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  7. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Aww dang.
    Yeah, Rob is an awsome guy, but he just tries a wee bit hard for my liking sometimes. Still, he knows he's stuff, and he really hates Guy from BC :D
     
  8. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Be sure to match up those SWR cabs with the SM-900. That's a classic setup that just works. The SM-900 is definately the better of those two heads anyhow. The first time you play through that rig with your band you'll freak out!
     
  9. If you have not gotten the rest of your rig....check out the new Sadowsky Metro basses or the Sadowsky Tokyo line....they are both in your budget.....for cabinets try out Hartke 4200 series cabinets (or 2) (I believe Will Lee was/is using them at one point) you should be able to get them for around $500 or so US apiece and they really kill for punch and clarity in a live setting (especially in pairs because of the design) 30Hz-15khz single cabinet to probably 26 or 27 hz (low B Fundamnetal) - 16khz for a pair frequency response! I own a single (as well as many other cabs) 4200 cabinet and I LOVE the clarity that I get with all of my basses. check out
    http://www.samsontech.com and then click on Hartke Systems. The GK 1001 is a great head with a lot of power and features for the money....I agree that the SWR is also a really good choice as well. For Effects look at Line 6 pedals and rackmounts...they are inexpensive but surprisingly good for live use.

    Good Hunting!

    tommixx
     
  10. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Unless you are getting a super deal on that bass (I mean less than 50% retail) you are far better off importing one into Australia yourself.

    The rise in the $Aus means that almost every guitar shop in Aus is ripping you off on the cost of instruments. Remember, they bought their floor stock when the Aus dollar was worth almost 50% less than it is now...so they must sell it higher than its current market value. Example:

    You can get a Lakland Skyline Joe Osbourne into Australia (in your hands) for about $Aus1300-1400 that includes shipping insurance duties etc. However if you look at the price in www.bassplayer.com.au - $2500.

    Don't let the guys in the music store BS you about this - it is not hard to import into Aus and you will save yourself alot of money at the moment - at least do the math on importing one yourself and make the store match the price + a small margin - don't let them have you for an extra $500-1000 just because they bought their stock at the wrong time.

    The same doesnt apply for cabs because the shipping cost will eat you alive :) - amps you can do if they have a switchable volate power supply.
     
  11. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Right with you, buddy. We've taken your advice onboard, and took a pricing list based on the lowest online import prices we could find to present to the store people. They shat their pants initially, but soon realised they could really do with our business (aside from purchasing all of this bass gear, we are also buying a $4,000 Les Paul Classic) so negotiations on things begin tomorrow! That's right, we go back in Wednesday to make their manager bend over, drop trou, and match our lowest prices. If he can't, well, no worries. Musician's Friend is a beautiful thing :D

    Cabs, yeah, they'll have to be bought here. We can get those Goliath III's for $1,000 a pop if we play our cards right. The amp head is a worry, though; I've heard horror stories of the GK 1001RB blowing up in people's faces due to improper voltage or something? Mark, can you help me out? What's the deal with that?

    I'm hearing a bit of support for the SM-900, but my drummer has taken a curious liking to the SWR Mo'Bass head - I'm really not too keen on it myself. It's more like a toy for people who can't handle regular effects, IMO. Chime in if you have experience with it!

    tommixx, Hartke cabs were an early consideration, but they are extremely bright with little option of dialing that out if you don't want it, and they don't seem to handle the low B as well as you say they should. We tried a Stingray 5 with the SM-900 powering a Hartke Transporter 4x10 and the thing was about the go into meltdown!
     
  12. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Well I wouldn't import an amp head unless you know what you are doing and ensure that it has a switchable voltage power supply (it will also have to have an external power cable (ie not built in) otherwise a US amp wont fit into our plugs!

    Can't say I have had any experience with the GK head, but I can't imagine there would be any serious reliability issues - if you got one here it would be repairable under warranty anyway. The SWR might be a better option because its now backed by Fender which has a much larger presence in AUstralia than GK.

    I had head of people having problems with the older GK 800RB, but that was always the users fault, puting the wrong impendences into the high power channel etc.

    BTW musicians friend doesnt ship OS - but places like BassNW, Bass Central and Vintage Bass Trading Co (to name a few) will - also you will be able to get a pretty honest quote off them for what you would pay for the same bass stateside + shipping to Aus - you then have to add 10% for GST (to bass + shipping cost) and about $100 fee for the customs agent to do the paperwork for you in AUs.
     
  13. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Actually, the Mo Bass head is a great amp. I agree that it looks cheesy but I know that it sounds really good. It's also more simplistic than the SM-900, which I like. The effects that it offers are all very usable and the sounds are right up there with other company's offerings. Matched with the footpedal it's a great choice.
     
  14. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Damn, you're right. MF doesn't ship overseas! Hopefully no-one else out there is as enlightened as you on the matter. Still, the bulk of your suggestion is - import the bass, buy the rest here. Am I reading that right? This, to me, seems like the optimal way to go also. How much do I stand to save on importing that Spector I have my eye on (over at Billy Hyde's it retails for $2,999)?

    emjazz, the thing with the Mo'Bass for me is that, whilst the onboard effects are quite nice for what they are (exception: the Chorus is the best I've heard, ever), not one of my band's songs utilise any of them. So it seems to me that if I had it, almost 75% of it's rather expensive functions are going to go completely unused and I don't know if I could live with that! :eek: The dry signal is very sweet, although surely the SM-900 is capable of producing that tone and more. I mean, just look at all of those knobs!
     
  15. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I use a GK 1001RB II into a EA VL210 and an Aguilar GS112

    I play funk/jazz/jam to really hard/heavy rock. My setup is not only very portable, but will smack the **** out of my drummer and guitar player. The tone is there, and it is nice being told to turn down occassionally. That GK head is ridiculous.
     
  16. Shri

    Shri

    Feb 25, 2003
    France, Paris
    Nice choice Tones !! :D just about the cabs, i would have bought GK ones to go with the GK head... or even Mesa boogie ones.
    But i'm happy for you, it's great to have that kind of gear! :cool:
     
  17. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Shri my man, after several hours of final testing this afternoon (we tried some Mesa Boogie heads, even) it has been settled - the SWR SM-900 won out over the GK! After some brief tutouring on how it works and what it's capable of, I was convinced and so were my guys. That thing is amazing - being able to configure two completely seperate tones and then BLEND them is an absolutely beautiful thing and I was buggered if I could find anything that I liked more in any other product. I've ordered in some DR Black Beauties for the new Spector, and with those two Goliath III cabs in tow, the setup should smoke!

    So excited. I should lie down, but I'm too wired :hyper: Will post pix when we get it all together and set it up!
     
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Wait, you haven't bought the amp yet? How about a nice Walter Woods Ultra? You can get a used one on eBay for a little over two grand USD, and they're worth every penny. 1200 very loud watts, two complete preamps with independent tone controls and effects loops, and all of 7 pounds. Just a thought...
     
  19. Shri

    Shri

    Feb 25, 2003
    France, Paris
    Oh ....it sounds interesting ! i've never tried a SM900 so i can't give my advice on that.I know few SWR products actually. I just tried some workingman combo and didn't like them but i loved the redhead combo one. But i tried mesa boogie heads and loved them all !!! wonderful tone !! I might give a try to a SM900 one day though... Several people told me it's a great head. I'm glad you found your dream setup!! It's not easy to be able to do that so i'm happy for you. I guess you'll have some gigs planned in australia with that gear. What kind of music do you play? do you have a band? and a website? cheers mate! :D
     
  20. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Oh, for sure, I never thought in a zillion years that I'd wind up with an all-SWR rig, but hey - it was a sound that was just impossible to ignore! Although all of the other makes we tried were of obscenely high quality (particularly Mesa and Gallien-Krueger), it was only subtle little nuances that led us to our decision. I don't really think you could go wrong with any of those fantastic brands. It was a lot of fun demo'ing everything, I gotta say.

    Man, in all of this I don't think I've even plugged my band yet. Jeez, I'm so slack. Yes, I play in an Australian four-piece called 'The Format' and we've been at it for a while on the local scene (kicked up somewhere in 2003 if memory serves), and hey, if you want you can go check out our website at http://www.theformat.com.au.

    Wicked! :D