Which combo for me? Fender or GK?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FronTowardEnemy, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Fender Rumble 500c

    14 vote(s)
  2. Gallien Krueger MB210-II

    23 vote(s)
  3. Other (Specify)

    5 vote(s)
  4. Obligatory carrots

    6 vote(s)
  1. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Looking for a lightweight combo for easy transport.

    I play in a Foo Fighter Tribute band here in Chicago.

    We have 3 guitars, all use line6 helix with 10” PA powered monitors, and a great rock drummer who knows how to control volume. Stage volume isn’t really an issue and we have PA support 100% of the time.

    I have for amps right now, a Fender Super Bassman, Ashdown Little Bastard, Genz Benz ShuttleMax 9.2, and a Tech 21 LandMark 300.

    For cabs I have, a Genz Benz Uber 410T, Avatar Neo 212, Tech 21 B410, and an old Crate 115.

    I also have a GK 400RB III 210 combo.

    I play Fender P and J basses, and have an extensive pedal board for ampless in ear monitoring if need be.

    I like the way I sound through all amps, as I sound like myself no matter what I play through, however crappy I may be.

    So what do you guys think would be a good fit for a combo amp, used for light transport gigging on smaller stages, for a working rock band?

    I love my tube amps and will bring out the SB and Uber for gigs that are 2+ hours long. For other gigs my main amp combo is my GB SM 9.2 paired with the Avatar Neo 212. This combo sounds and works well but I have to carry the cab as a trip on itself. (I did however just buy a little foldable hand truck)

    But for gigs that are an hour long, I would just like to carry my bass in one hand and a competent amp in the other.

    Budget is around $1000 but would like to keep it as low as possible.

    So any advice, concerns, comments?

    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest trying the hand truck a few times before dropping $1k.

    @BassCliff uses a 4-wheel cart to move his combo, two basses and stuff. Maybe he'll stop by and chime in.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  3. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Yeah, I do have almost too much as it is. Thanks.
    EatS1stBassist, Wisebass and Stumbo like this.
  4. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Yes, get a Rock-n-Roller cart for your gear. You'll kick yourself for not making the investment sooner. I use am MB500 and a 210 cab for most of my gigs just to hear myself on stage. It's rare when we don't have full PA support. If you absolutely must buy a new combo, I think the GK 2x12 style combos (MB212) are kind of sexy.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Sounds good, but I own a 2017 Honda Civic Si and space is limited for a bigger cart. I have looked into the rock and roller cart and they seem great.

    Maybe I need to buy a gig van.
    EatS1stBassist and Wisebass like this.
  6. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    With all that good equipment, I’d have a hard time downgrading to a cheaper combo.

    I’d personally run that ShuttleMax (6.5 lb) with that Avatar Neo 212 (56 lb?) and call that my “lightweight” rig. Especially if you’re already used to lugging the cab.

    Or invest in another lightweight 212 cab. Genz Benz, Tecamp, TC, Aguilar, etc
  7. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi FronTowardEnemy :)

    TB is a great forum! You start asking a question about smaller amps…:D

    … and end up buying a bigger car! :laugh::roflmao:


    btw: Thx for the carrot option! :thumbsup:
  8. munkeyfish

    munkeyfish Supporting Member

    You have such great amp setups now...

    Hard to say. Maybe the lighter cab option is best. But if you really feel the need to get a new combo, I got the GK MB212II combo and it replaced a LOT of amps in my rotation. 500watts all on. No need for more cabs. And about 41lbs.
  9. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Neither. If you're in a FF tribute band, I would use what Nate uses. P Basses and Ashdown.
    FronTowardEnemy likes this.
  10. munkeyfish

    munkeyfish Supporting Member

    Eh...he used Peavey before Ashdown. I think Nate is going to sound like Nate no matter what amp is behind him.
  11. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Thanks. I do have some really great gear, as I tried to cover all my gig situations.

    I use the SM 9.2 and Avatar as my light weight rig right now and love it.

    I just hate when I gig down town in the city and have to park and carry my rig through tight crowds and up stairs.

    I guess I will give the cart a good work out on my last few gigs of the year.
    EatS1stBassist and BassAndReeds like this.
  12. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Back in the 90s I had a Chevy G20 and was able haul around my entire band, gear and all.

    Now I prefer smaller and lighter with a 40+ MPG vehicle.
    EatS1stBassist and Wisebass like this.
  13. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    I know I have some killer gear and maybe GAS is just getting the best of me. That MB212 is pretty cool.

    Might just look for a lighter and smaller cab for those “oh man” gigs.
  14. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi FronTowardEnemy :)

    I had a VW bus (Transporter) :hyper:

    Those were the days.:D

    Equipment was big and heavy and the music was loud and louder! :laugh:

    This is what I would do.:thumbsup: For 1000$ you can get something, that makes you smile soundwise.

    And the good thing is, your smile stays when you have to carry it!

    Back in the 90s that was impossible.

    may the bass be with you

  15. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Rumble 200c! Great amp at any price.
  16. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    So, you want a one-handed carry combo amp for stage monitor on a quiet stage and you always have FOH support? From that description almost anything would do, maybe even a little 40-100 watt 20+/- lb. combo. Or, for more power, a 140-350 watt 35+/- lb. combo. The new Fender Rumbles fill that range nicely, with surprisingly nice overdrive, contour, bright and vintage settings built-in. Of course, the 500 combo is at the top of that list. And you can always add an 8-ohm cab to get the full 500 watts out of it.
  17. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    IMO light/ultralight 212 cab w/handtruck.
    Barefaced Super Twin, or Big Twin if you prefer one with a tweeter.
    Small/medium gigs and every rehearsal for me:
    Handtruck, bass, Bf ST w/Mesa D800+.
    Some medium/Larger gigs:
    Bf ST or Bf610 w/Ag DB751.
    Thought briefly about a 212 or 210 combo for alleged ease in transporting/load-in etc. Nope. If either the head dies or speaker issues; it's a giant lead weight or giant coaster.
    Good luck.
    FronTowardEnemy likes this.
  18. That GK MB212 is all the amp you will need. Compact and weighing in at about 40lbs it is an excellent amp for your style of music. Definitely worth a look. :thumbsup:
  19. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    I'd say that's the best bet. If you like the Avatar Neo 212, you may like the Neo 210 for a smaller rig (just prop it up vertically). I tried the Avatar 112 and wasn't impressed, the 210 just killed it. Otherwise I'd suggest the GK combo, I personally hated the Fender Rumble combos as the speakers (even using just the cabs) had this terrible mid-scoop. Made it near impossible to cut and nobody liked the tone of them. When I went back to my GK+ Avatar combo everyone said "Use that one! It's way better!"
  20. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Damn it is a tough choice. Hence why I restrained myself from voting.

    I would recommend getting one of the GK MB series: https://www.thomann.de/intl/si/gallien_krueger_solid_state_bass_combos.html (nevermind the EU prices etc. go USA shopping obviously)

    For one sole reason: The MBs have a less sharp voicing compared to the RB series which I kind of dig, the RBs are for the most time to sharp and stiff for my taste (I owned an RB1001 for 10 years). The coolest thing ever though is the extension cab system the gk mb series have. In contrast to the common speakon/jack extension option, being dependend on impedance matching, the gk mb have no problem with that since they use an XLR extension essentially making every GK MB extension cabinet much like an active PA system. Every cab has their own power amplifier installed so you can stack cabs till forever, never have a single problem with impedance and also being able to get the full 500W power from the main combo without extending with another cab. Just great design and I wonder why other brands never thought about doing the same thing. Also, you never have to worry about power distribution, meaning you could make a 1x10 + 2x10 setup and not worry about whether the 1x10 receives as much power as the 2x10 cab since each cab is being powered separately. How awesome is that? In theory and practice, you could literally get yourself a gk mb 210, then buy 3 more 210s and have a modular 210/410/610/810 on demand, with the same gear which is ridiculously amazing.

    BUT! I have had great results and was super impressed with the Rumble 500 V3 combo, great unit, nice creamy sound, able to get all sorts of things out of it, also has a drive circuitry in there for specific cases should you need one and it does sound pretty good.

    Downside is the lack of the before-mentioned XLR system, relying on 1/4 jack extension meaning that you actually don't have the option of accessing the 500W output rating without having another cab to "unlock" it. Also, if you slap a lot or want that growly piano-like bass growl out of your strings this combo isn't for you as it is more focused towards the vintage middle-ish type of thing. GK is the complete opposite - modern growly fusion type of vibe.

    So choose your pick, I would recommend you to try them both, although from pure practicality perspective, GK honestly wins this one.