Which Budget Amp with no compromise on sound ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MMFender, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    I will order a budget cabinet amp with no compromise on sound.
    I heard of :
    - Marshall Bass State 65 Watt
    - ASHDOWN Electric Blue Range (180 Watts with PA output)
    - Ampeg BA series.
    - Hartke budget amps.

    But i want at least 65 Watt. I will use it mostly in my bedroom
    or rehaersels but i may need it occasionaly on stage so a PA output is cool. I love the sounds of : - Adam Clayton of U2
    - Flea of RHCP
    - Victor Wooten
    - Marcus Miller

    I know there are loads of brands like EDEN etc...
    I got a MARCUS MİLLER signature model JAZZ bass.
    with active/passive switch but i need a darker sound as it sounds so thin with my sucker Aria Pro amp.
  2. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    I strongly recommend the Sansamp RBI with the power amp of choice.
  3. +1 The Sansamp will sound great for many different styles.
  4. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    The Sansamp RBI is nice but I think it is out of the price range he is interested in. The Sansamp is about $300 new and then you still need a poweramp and cab.

    I'm assuming, on the ones you have mentioned, you are looking in the $300 range? If so, the only one you mention that has the power you want is the Ashdown. I haven't tried that particular combo but imagine it would sound decent.
  5. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    I didn't see where he mentioned a specific budget, and wanted "no compromise in sound" while on a budget.
    He made it sound like he could get by on only a couple hundred watts.
    Therefore, he could go used on the power amp with the idea that he could always upgrade in the future(or bi-amp, for that matter).
  6. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Maybe I read it wrong. I was thinking he wanted a good combo. I actually searched the different combos available from the brands he mentioned and most fell right around the $300 mark. He did state however that he wanted atleast 65 watts, not a couple hundred. Going by all that info, I made a guess at what he was trying to do. If its wrong, I'm sorry. Stuff happens :)
  7. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    Sorry i meant a combo amp (the amp that has EQ and eveything on it. isnt it called a combo ? sorry for my confusion)
    100 Watt is really cool for me.
    80 watt would be ok too.
    Ashdown Electric Blue models seem cool.
    as my favorite sound is Adam Clayton of U2 who uses Ahsdown maybe i should look for Ashdown.
    But there are so many brands around.
    I wonder if the sound differences are really big
    between Hartke - Eden - Ampeg - Ashdown - Warwick -
    Carvin - Peavey - Marshall etc...( the ones that are around the same price range )

    PS: I am 25 years old female by the way.So u can say "she" :)
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Is there anything available locally. Tone is pretty subjective and there is always the danger of somebody talking about a slightly different model to the one you end up with (see the recent discussion of Peavey Microbass Combos). In addition, it's worth considering what your options will be if you have a problem with the amp and need to get it repaired.

    I've never (yet) been to Istanbul but is there anything to try out locally?

  9. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    Unfortunately bass amps are hard to find around here.
    As Behringer bass combo is very popular here
    (as low price and high volume)
    u can find it anywhere but i hate those amps.

    U can find Marshall Bass State sometimes.
    For Ampeg i have to wait and it is expensive here.
    So i dont have many choices.
    There are many Fender amps but i dont like them either.

    So does anyone know if Ashdown Blue Line series is high quality ? Anyone tried ? Do u think i can trust the name and
    order Ashdown ? Adam Clayton uses one but of course he uses a very expensive serie.Sometimes the cheaper models of respected brands may be just a disillusionment.what od u think?

    as a friend said : " i want a little practice amp that would sound decent at VERY low volume (as in late night apt playing) "
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What's the power rating of your Aria amp? If it's got the volume but is just lacking in the tone department, it might be worth seeing if you could get one of the Sans Amp Bass Driver DI boxes (search under this or SABDDI and you'll find a wealth of threads, most quite positive). I've found mine to be excellent in many situations - playing straight into the PA, making using the old Peavey I keep at church quite a pleasant experience and even enhancing the tone of my Ashdown rig (Mag head / Mini 1x15 cabinet).

    Obviously the ideal situation is still to try one locally but, if you've got enough raw power in your existing amp, it would certainly be a lot cheaper to ship a small, solid state pedal than a large combo amp (less chance of being damaged in transit as well).

  11. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    Hey, no need to apologize. Good detective work! :)
  12. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    Any time you consider combos, your already compromising ...on your flexability, and on your BACK! Those things get heavy trying to lift 'em into a hatchback at 4:30AM.
    A combo amp is a pre/power amp in the same cabinet as the speaker. When you just said 'amp,' I assumed you were refering to a pre/power amp.
    80-100 watts is more than enough for practice, but may barely be enough if your rehearsing within a rock band situation, and the same holds true for shows.
    The Ashdown stuff is very nice, BTW. Here's what I'd be looking to try-

    Here's the link- http://www.ashdownmusic.co.uk/bass/detail.asp?ID=80

    My apologies for the gender reference. :oops:
  13. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    Ok here is what i got :
    I already got a SansAmp Bass Driver DI Box.
    I use it on stage direct to PA.
    I also got an
    EBS COmpressor
    EBS Octaver
    EBS Unichorus
    Ibanez bass Synthesiser

    My Aria Pro II is 50 Watt.
    But i hate to plug my DI box and compressor everytime i want to play.(all the cables etc...)
    What do u think ?
  14. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    Do you think i should look for a nice HEAD to use with my Aria tone sucker ?
  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Okay - so you've actually got a good range of FX (including the mighty SABDDI). I can't find anything useful about the amp online though. From what you're saying, the problem is "tone suckage" from the amp. Even when I'm using my Ashdown rig, I often take the extra time to plug the SABDDI into the chain (although generally not when I'm just practising quietly at home).

    If the amp is loud enough (when you don't have PA support to call on) and sounds good enough with the SABDDI, maybe you could stick to what you've got for rehearsals and get a headphone amp solution for private practise (although, if you find plugging the SABDDI in to be a pain, you'll probably hate wearing headphones, too!).

    If the amp is too quiet, jumping from 50W to 65W is unlikely to make an appreciable difference. You'd need to go to 500W to sound twice as loud, so would probably want 150W+ to make it worthwhile trading up. I'm happy with my Ashdown stuff but haven't played the Electric Blue stuff enough to comment on it.

  16. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    What do you think of Marshall Bass State 65 ?
    Even the 35 Watt Marshall seemed louder than an AMPEG BA 100 watt.
    maybe my ears werent hearing well that day. :p

    Ps: What do u think of KORG PX bass amp simulator (small box to use with headphones)
  17. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I love my Ampeg B-100R. I liked the tones from it a lot better than the BA series myself. Little more vintage of a sound, less modern.
  18. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I really like my Gallien-Kruger MB150S112 combo. It's absolutely tiny -- weighs less than 11 kilos -- but has loads of power. The amp is capable of putting out 150 watts, though it only runs 90 watts into the internal 12" speaker. To get the full 150 watts, you need to add an external speaker, and GK's 112BMX is perfect -- a second 12" speaker, and it weighs only 5.5 kilos.

    This combo is plenty loud for rehearsals, and it has direct out for going to the PA in bigger gigs. Check it out here:

    GK MG150S 112 Combo

    Your back will thank you.
  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I haven't tried the Marshalls or the Ampegs mentioned. I do like the GK MB combo but it is expensive. However, over the years, I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather spend my money on things I've tried myself; reviews, opinions (and manufacturers websites) are the starting point for research but I want to hear it for myself first.

    If you can sometimes find the Marshall amps locally at a reasonable price and you like the sound (especially if you can test one one side by side with your existing amp) they might be a good choice.

  20. My bass in your

    My bass in your

    Nov 1, 2003
    Hello MMFender,
    If you can get your hands on Ashdown I'd try to get an Electric Blue Head, the EB180H. Add a generic 2x10" cabinet and you're already pretty far!
    Yeah yeah, everybody hates it to set all the stuff up if you just want to practise... Consider getting an effects case.

    As for the Ashdwon quality, I've been told that some parts for Ashdowns amps are made in Malaysia. And that some fall out. However, Ashdowns reputation is pretty good, soI won't worry.