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What would you keep?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by claytitan, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Ok guys. Long winded post here. I presently own a mishmash of equipment. In addition it is a little larger than I would like footprint wise. I have a small home with two little ones and space is at a premium. I am strongly considering getting rid of most everything and starting over. I have $500-600 I can add to anything I sell but not really much more than that at the moment. Not gigging right now but I am looking for weekend warrior opportunities. I like just about all music styles but I prefer rock, country and R & B. Average joe top forty stuff - nothing real hard or heavy.

    Here’s what I have:
    Markbass 151HR
    Ampeg BA115HP

    The GK sounds great and would probably sound even better with a matching 151HR. I just don’t know if I really want to go that direction. I am thinking I would like to go smaller on the cab(s).

    The Ampeg also sounds great. It is a great practice amp but is a little light on the volume to gig with. Heavy as hell (90lbs???). I don't know if it is really suitable as a backup.

    I think what I want is a Markbass LMIII or a combo (the new 12 or jeff berlin). Smaller cabs (maybe two 12’s) or possibly a LDS 15/6 if I get the head. Maybe get a countryman 85 to sound good out front should the need arise. The DI is a last resort if an amp goes as well. Done. Small footprint in my house and at the gig. Easy to move.
  2. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    Sounds like you are heading the right direction. Many here on TB would also point out Avatar as a good speaker selection. Your GK is probably great and the weight is not bad if memory serves me.

    You can get 2x10 Avatars used here on TB for sub $250! Two of them and you'd have a nice modular rig which can scale to the degree you describe. LDS is another great value. I just spoke to LDS about building me a 6x10 and I was very happy with the money we were talking. Ultimately I did not pull the trigger with him only because I found a used 6x10 for "to good of a deal to pass up" but had I not I would have ordered one from LDS the next day.

    In my quest to downsize I sold of a whole bunch of Warwick amplification products and in partial trade I got an original SWR Redhead. I gotta tell you I love it. It sees more use than my 6x10 by a mile. I have also got an SWR Goliath Jr. (2x10) that I can stick under it and have a nice 400W 4x10 set up for a good in-between solution. Though I have not used both yet. Single load-in to any church gig the Redhead on its wheels and my 5 string on my back and I am done! Granted its heavy but it is one lift in and out of my wagon.

    As I write this I realize I am advocating something other than what I started with... I would not rule out a 2x10 Combo or other pro level combo either because they very convenient and quite potent. In most cased they are very easy to add an extension cabinet.

    Markbass, Mesa, SWR, Eden, Ashdown... they all make really nice pro level combo's. If you look you can easily get an SWR Redhead on the used market for sub $600 and then decide what to keep or sell which might augment such a combo. Every time I have played a Markbass combo I have always been blow away as well and they are much lighter than the Redhead. You are on the right track just listen to your ears!
  3. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Heh. I've been looking at exactly the same question and considering virtually the same gear. I have (2) 1001RBII's and a GK 4x10 and have been considering downsizing mainly because of the cab which is just huge and weighs a ton.

    In my case, the Markbass amps are closest to the tone I like. I tried my carvin bunny through the new 12 combo and the Jeff Berlin over at our local GC the other day.

    The Jeff Berlin sounded the best and the smaller combo (basically the LMIII in the 12" cabinet) was the next best.

    But once I got home and the insanity started to wear off a bit it began to occur to me that:
    - the MB stuff is just ridiculously priced. Sorry, but 850 bucks for a 12" combo? That is just stupid no matter how nice the components are. 1 large for the Jeff Berlin is less stupid because it sounds so good but still way too much to pay for what you get.
    - downsizing the amp head itself makes a lot less sense than downsizing the _cabinet_. That's where the size and weight of a house comes in and where the lion's share of the tone is created. Even a lead sled like the 1001RBII isn't that hard to carry around by itself and it's still one of the finest, most durable heads you can get. 480W at 8 ohms, 750 at 4 is plenty.
    - the GK has a midbass knob on it. Got home and, er, yep there it was right there on the front panel. Cranked it up a bit and turned the others down some and presto, an almost 97% reproduction of the Jeff Berlin sound. And for $0.00 instead of $1000+
    - I'm not yet completely convinced the drawbacks of the switching power supplies used in the new lightweight heads have been completely dealt with. The main disadvantage is RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) which can get into any other digital circuitry you may be using, after that it's the additional complexity and scary failure modes, both of which will make it very wise to buy extended warranties on the equipment and being sure a service center is nearby. The conventional PS used in the GK is going to be utterly bullet-proof and the giant toroidal transformer they use all but eliminates the 60hz magnetic field that normally exists around it.
    But that's probably a minor concern compared to the cost of moving over to something else.
    - GK's factory is here in the US and they have been very responsive to problems I've had with my 1001RBII's. MB's factory is lawrd-only-knows-where over in Italy somewhere and lawrd only knows how quick and easy getting service is in the event you do have a problem.
    - the ever-crappy USD will always keep MB equipment expensive in the US.

    So here's my plan and maybe it's an alternative you might think about as well. I'm simply going to build a smaller cab and use my GK with it. Separate 10 or 12" drivers are available from lots of places (i.e. you can buy pretty good neo's from Carvin for example for about $90 a pop) and all the wood/screws and materials I need are available down at Lowe's.
    Size and design of the cab is not too hard to do with just a pocket calculator. Built a bunch of cabs when I was in high school and it's not rocket science, at least not high-end rocket science even if you do a bass-reflex design. An infinite baffle (sealed) cab is trivial.
    As for the voicing, I'd be willing to bet I could get pretty close with a decent 12" Neo in a small ported cab and proper EQ on the head.

    Best thing, something like a single 12" of small size can be done for a fraction of the cost of a premade MB or other cab.

    Just don't crank it up past the power handling capability of the driver you use and all should be golden. And if that's needed, I'll just drag the 4x10 along instead.

    As for Ampeg I personally have never played through an Ampeg I've ever liked. They always seemed to have a little more mud than most other stuff. So I personally have never considered getting one.

    So that's my current downsizing idea.

  4. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Good points all around. Maybe I should keep the GK head and just look at different cabs. I know that thing can sound fantastic. Many of the bars downtown provide them as backline. I can sell the 151HR and the Ampeg. I am considering something from LDS. I'd like something that can handle most bar gigs that isn't huge and heavy. That's why I was considering the 15/6. I don't know if that would only be available at 4 ohms. If yes, then I don't have an option for an additional cab. Though from what I hear the 15/6 with 460W @ 8 ohms from the head should be plenty.

    I can pickup an LMIII later if I really want it.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    An LDS 15/6 should put out at least much air as a regular 410. If I was downsizing I wouldn't get anything but one of those cabs. As a matter of fact, I am ;) Not those particular cabs, but a high xmax woofer/mid driver cab.
  6. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Do you mind giving us a little more detail? What are some of the 15/6 options out there?
  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Well after all my bitching about it I'm still thinking of replacing one of my 1001's with a LMIII or similar as I don't need two of these heads. I'm keeping one of them tho of course..... The MB heads I'm not as upset about as I am the combos.....

    A 1x12 is probably still too small to gig with unless your drummer is really light with the sticks. Usually too much to hope for. And a really high power handling 12 with a big voice coil and high xmax is probably going to weigh a ton too (i.e. a JBL) which would put you right back where you started with hauling some heavy monster around.

    Still I hate paying money for cabinets because I know - sortof - how to build them myself for far cheaper than the prebuilt ones. Heads don't p*** me off as much as cabs.

    But since I'm not gigging anymore I just don't need the monsters anymore either...

  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In America, not much. LDS is probably the only commercial builder doing one. Some people buy those Carvin 3-way cabs and upgrade the speakers with Eminence Kappalite 3015LF's. Audio Kinesis is coming out with a series of cabs based on it, but they're not out yet. Really isn't much to buy without getting it custom built...yet.
  9. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I really enjoy 2x10 cabs and would suggest you think over the option of having a pair of them. One on its end with the GK on top has a small footprint and works fine for a smaller setting, but adding the second one when you need to go bigger is a no brainer. Two of the same model of cab will probably give you little to worry about in terms of phasing issues or imbalances and even if you have a smaller car (like my Corolla), they can both transport without much fuss.

    There are lots of choices out there, but I agree that Avatar is worth a look.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    My 2 cents:

    I'd keep the 1001 and sell off the rest. Use that to fund a pair of 210's or a 212 that has the speakers aligned vertical, (small footprint and better sound) and you're all set. The custom built 15/6 would be an even better sounding cab, loaded with the right speakers it will do the job of the other cabs and still be quite small.

    Don't get sucked into this "I need a 4lb. amplifier stuff". You already own the GK so no $ coming out of the pocket there. They sound great, have tons of power, are extremely reliable and still only weigh 20something pounds.

    If that's too heavy for ya, take up the piccollo.:D
  11. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. Yep, I need to take a chill pill on the amp thing. I've got a good amp. I just need to pair it. I've got the cash or close to it for a good 15/6. That is the direction I am going. Based on what I hear on this site and Jimmy's early post I'm sure that is the way to go. My next post is going to be for advice on that.

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