Which Amp head would you buy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Smokey P, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    Between all the 500+ watt options like the genzler megellan, Mesa subway, quilter block, darkglass, orange options, and pretty much any other bass amp that can be had for under $1000, which would you go with and why? Sound? Weight? Aesthetic? Any that I’m missing that should be considered?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  2. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    Oh I forgot Aguilar and Bergantino too
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  3. The new GK stuff has caught my eye. I've always loved the bright character and have had several GK items. I know what I'm getting.
  4. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    What GK options?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    For me the decision is simple, I go for sound and the Orange Terror Bass gives it to me. I would also include the Mesa TT800, but that is over $1000. So to keep it under $1000 I would also include the Mesa WD800.
  6. amcginty

    amcginty Boneafied

    Jun 24, 2010
    Austin Texas
    I have tried the Mesa and Genzler I ended up getting a Bergantino fort'e D head. It's perfect for the range of music I play. It has a lot more head room and available volume. It has great tone and is very responsive to your playing technique. The distortion circuit is very versatile and easy to use. For me there was no contest between the amps that I have tried and the Berg. The fort'e is 800 watts and over $1,000 but its its worth it.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I went with the Mesa WD-800, as they are tried and true. You just can't go wrong.

    Plus the things that Mesa has over most others:
    Made in USA.
    Best Warranty.
    Best service.
    P. Aaron, lomo, kho and 21 others like this.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I would be most interested in trying the amps in the Mesa Subway line. I have an older amp that Agedhorse designed, and it's absolutely fabulous. The natural voicing of the amp is already pretty close to what I prefer, and the controls are well thought out and work very well (better than most). I have other amps that sound great, but there controls are not as functional and well thought out.

    The problem with getting a Subway for me is I would probably want three: D800+, WD800, and TT800. Each of these amps has somewhat of it's own unique personality...so if you are interested, ideally you would play all of them and pick the one that sounds and feel best TO YOU.

    I tend to like lot's of controls and adjust my amp on every gig. If you like less controls and don't tend to fiddle, you may prefer the D800. My understanding is both the D800 and D800+ are voiced about the same, but the D800+ has more flexible tone controls, an adjustable HPF, and it can be set to sound a bit brighter than the D800.

    I am sure I would enjoy trying out a Genzler Magellan and the new Gallien Krueger amps as well.

    Ultimately it really shouldn't matter what I think because my needs and preference are probably very different from yours.

    Good Luck on the hunt!
  9. The Legacy stuff is looking really good to me.
  10. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    You've listed a bunch of great options! If you identify the tone/volume you're after. The music you play. The cabs you use. The bass you use, e.g. 5 string? We can help you identify the best candidate(s)!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
    DJ Bebop, pcake and Smokey P like this.
  11. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    I play a musicman sr 5 (love it) and my upright thru one or two 112 cabs (of different make but are in phase and compliment each other well). As far as style of music, everything from pop/funk to doom metal, lots of jazz and free jazz, some Latin and reggae as well. But I’ll pretty much take any gig.
  12. kcducttaper


    Jul 1, 2019
    I just got a Mesa WD800 delivered a couple weeks ago and it's definitely my favorite amp! It has most everything I want and nothing I don't.

    Here are a few highlights on why I like it:
    - High pass filter can be adjusted for maximum thunder, tightest sound, or anywhere in between.
    - Low EQ is a shelf (not a parametric like many other brands) so when I boost/cut it, it's affecting all of the frequencies from 80Hz to wherever I've got my high pass filter set. This is key for me as I play a 5-string and want solid thunder from my B string. I've found that some other amps start to roll off below a D or C# where the Mesa doesn't (when set appropriately).
    - 3x sweepable mid controls. I almost require at least one sweepable mid these days just to dial my sound in super tight. 2 is better, and 3 is just showing off (but also super useful).
    - Selectable power dampening really seems to add a little bit of 'softening' to the sound - like it's got a bit more saturation to help smooth things out.
    - It's got a full-sized tube in the preamp that can give some of the classic tube driven grit if desired. I own some other amps that 'have a tube', but they're about the size of half a stick of chapstick and don't provide any tube-y breakup at all. The Mesa does.
    - It can handle a 2 ohm load.
  13. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Cool! Which cabs? What impedance? 8 ohms each, so a 4 ohm amp would be fine?
  14. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Do you like more of a clear/crisp tone, or more of a tube/warm/vintage/wooly tone?
  15. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Bayside, New York
    My main heads are the MESA WD800 and Aguilar TH700. Both very different but both really great. I always bring along my Quilter 800 as a backup or as my main head. It’s super portable and sounds great. I love the Mute and headphone input on the face of the head.. very convenient for home quiet practice.
  16. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Sounds like you need lots of versatility. Based on my experience, there's several that I would rule out - GK, Orange. I have no experience with Quilter(although the eq setup seemed off to me) or Darkglass. I've owned Mesa, Berg, and Genzler Magellan. All of the Mesas are great stuff, I have owned a D800 and 800+ and would do so again. I tend to favor Genzler, for you given the range of musical styles you play you would benefit from the Magellan 800 with its two channels, contours, and drive channel.
    RColie, Al Rivera, BOOG and 3 others like this.
  17. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    4 ohm amp would be fine. Between the warm tubey sound or crispier tone, I really haven’t decided forever yet lol, probably lean more towards the warm tube vibe but I also do a good amount of slapping in some bands.
  18. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    +1 on Mesa, either WD-800 or TT-800.
    Rebel Rocker, tekhedd, HJFree and 5 others like this.
  19. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Mesa. 800+ or if you want a hybrid the TT but I think that's over $1,000? They are light and robust and super easy to dial in. They pack a punch. The built-in HPF makes your life better. And they have the best aftermarket service in the business and have been able to say that for many years. There's a reason people here speak so fondly of Mesa.
    Plus, don't quote me, but I have heard if anything ever fails @agedhorse will come to your house and bring snacks for you while it's being serviced. That's what I heard. I don't really know if it is true.

    I love the Mesa products I've used. I know they last forever and can take a pounding. And they sound fantastic.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  20. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I put all your inputs into my supercomputer, and the solution is the TT800. One SS Subway channel, and one Tube channel. #versatility

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 28, 2021

Share This Page