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Which Bass Amp to play live?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 0liver, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. 0liver


    Oct 10, 2012
    Hey guys,

    the time has come and I really need to decide which combo is the most appropriate for my musical intentions.

    The thing is:

    With my long-time friend (he's playing electric guitar) we want to start playing live on a smaller appearances like vernissages, weddings, jam sessions etc. where I expect to be from around 50 to 100 people max (he has a Crate 65W combo).

    We want to play mostly jazz & blues occasionaly blues rock and rock tracks. Drums and piano will play as a jamtrack from MP3 so aux is really needed.

    I'm looking for a solid, easy portable combo with really good sound and the ability to play bass and jamtracks together.

    It's going to be my first amp, i haven't got any experiences yet, so i woud be very glad if you could help me to decide. Here's my tips, but I'm open to any other recommendations :

    Orange Cush 100 BXT
    Ampeg BA-115
    Gallien Krueger MB-112
    Hartke Kickback 15

    Thank you very much for your time.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    All of them will likely fit the bill. I'm a little partial to the Ampeg stuff, but any of them would work. I'd also suggest checking out the Ampeg Micro CL as well as the BA115.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, but I'd suggest keeping the choices with 15" spkrs, as it will be a little easier to get louder, if needed. Any 100+ watt 1x15 combo should do, but according to your own personal "taste".
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Ampeg BA115's generally sound good to me. The are nice and light, too.

    Hartke Kickbacks have a REALLY good parametric/sweepable mid control, and they deliver plenty of volume for their size and price.
  5. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Check out the TC BG250- you will be impressed- price to performance, IT CAN"T be BEAT IMHO.
  6. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Good thing : Stay at 15 inch combo's :)

    What's your budget? Ashdown makes some good combo's too. The Ashdown MAG C115-300 Evo III is a fine choice with about 307 Watt :)
  7. 0liver


    Oct 10, 2012
    I must say that I'm interested in Gallien Krueger MB-112 because it's much cheaper. But it's really as good as the other stuff?
  8. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I don't have any experience with GK at all. But the Orange amp is a good one too :)
  9. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I'd never herd of this word; and I'm "wordy."

    Personally, I'd probably vote for an MBFusion500, and a Neo 115, but that's just me.

    ver·nis·sage (vrn-säzh)
    A private showing held before the opening of an art exhibition.
    [French, from vernis, varnish, from Old French; see varnish.]
  11. logans59


    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    I'm also in the market for a good 15 in combo and I've tried all of those. My favorite was by far the Hartke
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wouldn't look down on a good 210 combo by any means. Or a 112. However, I'd be tempted to get a 115 over a 112 because they are usually able to go louder.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That'll be enough name calling and fingerpointing at drummers, or anyone.
    If I came back in this thread to remind you all of rule one, or, quoting posts that break rule one, I'll deal with it differently than just cleaning it up.
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    OP, if you guys want to do the 2-man + backing track thing any of the combos mentioned would likely carry your bass well enough. I'd be more concerned with it getting a good "real sounding" representation of the drum and piano tracks.

    I'd most likely be loking at a little more "full-range/neutral" sounding setup, or a small PA system.

    I'd at least take your looper or laptop or whatever you're using for the backing tracks with you and check out that sounds in some different amps. If there are vocals happening as well, you'd also be doing yourself a favor checking out some smaller powered mixer + speakers PA systems. Kind of in between a rock and a hard place there in finding something that'll do justice to the bass and kick sounds, and sound nice with the backing tracks at the same time without getting into some expensive stuff.
    Floyd S Marsee Jr likes this.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    What I'm trying to say up there is a lot of small PA systems aren't going to have enough booty for a good bass and kick sound without adding a small subwoofer to them and a lot of bass combos aren't going to have all that great of representation for a nice piano and snare/cymbal sound.

    Your answer mght be a keyboard amp. A lot of those have 2,3 or 4 inputs on them and enough range to do it all fairly well.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Something like one of these http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/XP800L and maybe even just a single one of these http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/LS1503 would get you guys a pretty good overall sound in smaller places. Shop for similair stuff used and you could probably get your whole outfit gig ready for $300-$400. Maybe put a TubeMP between your bass and the mixer to beef it up some.

    Or look out for a used keyboard amp like those Rolands you see everywhere.

    Thinking of a good representation of the whole package here and not just amplifying the bass.
  17. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Most combo amps will work to some degree.

    Have you considered the Carvin AG100D? I don't want to be sales pitch guy, but this may suite your needs. I have one and it offers up a good bass tone while being essentially a portable PA. It combines 100w through a single 12" with a bullet tweeter and reproduces my iPod nicely. It has 3 independent chanels with their own active EQ, dual effects processors built in, and a global graphic EQ.

    There is also an extension speaker available, and both the combo and speaker cab can be pole mounted. I know a husband and wife duo that does the coffee shop thing (dual vox + Ac guitar) with this set up and they love it. Oh and you can select from about 7 or 8 different vinyl finishes as well if you care about that sort of thing.

    Check out the link for more info.

    I hope this helps in some way and good luck on your new venture. :bassist:
  18. 0liver


    Oct 10, 2012
    You mean playing bass separate from PA through amp and jam track (+ probably guitar) through PA?
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006

    You mentioned needing aux in on the bass amp to play the jam tracks, so, that got me to thinking of more full range speaker systems that would make those jam tracks sound better than coming through a typical bass combo amp.
  20. +1.

    I'll do a gig in a month and that's the amp I'll use. Very light, portable, powerful, sounds good... a good bang for the buck.