1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Which head should i get..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fake Trees, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. SWR workingman's 2004

    5 vote(s)
  2. GK 400RB

    22 vote(s)
  3. Ampeg B2R

    28 vote(s)
  4. Hartke 3500

    16 vote(s)
  5. Other (plz specify... $300-500)

    13 vote(s)
  1. Fake Trees

    Fake Trees

    Feb 9, 2003
    Ok i can get any of the following for about the same price. I need it to do a few gigs (some outdoors), and practice with two guitars (Line 6 combos, might be upgrading to half stacks, not so soon) and a drummer (not amplified), limited budget this is what i'm looking at:

    Ampeg B2R
    Hartke 3500
    SWR workingman 2004
    Gallien-Kreuger 400RB-II.

    I hve only had the chance to play the 400RB and the 2004, which are the ones with the least power, i am almost excluding these. Now, the Ampeg and the Hartke are more powerful and both have graphic EQ's so thats what it really boils down to. I am getting a Avatar B115H to go with my head and if im not loud enough i'll get 210 or a 410. I am more intrested in sound than loudness, however so thats why I still included the lower powered ones in the poll. Any imput on these amplifiers would be greatly apreciated. Thanks

    (BTW... plz don't comment on a head you have never tried or heard)
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I didn't vote because I'm really only familiar with the Ampeg...

    The Ampeg is a great sounding amp...but it's underpowered. Seems far weaker than it's ratings would suggest.

    I had the head version (SVT-350H) and the limit light would flash regularly..and not at ear splitting levels. I've notice the same problem with other local bassists using them.

    The SWR would be a nice amp if you like the SWR sound. I have a Bass 350 and it's pretty bright sounding.

    Don't know a thing about Hartke or GK.

    Good luck!!!
  3. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    I recommend the Hartke HA3500. It sounds good to my ears and out of all the 350 watts @ 4 ohms heads it seems to be the loudest. Alot of people on this forum use Avatar cabs with Hartke heads and I haven't heard anything negative about those setups.
  4. I voted for the Ampeg, probably mostly out of personal preference. Ampeg heads are normally really reliable (I haven't had any trouble with my SVT-3 and I push it hard), and if something does go wrong, they have a 5 year warranty. The B2-R has a good amount of power and has nice tone shaping abilities. I would say if you are able, try them all and choose with your ears, or just go with the Ampeg:D :D !!

  5. natebass


    Sep 6, 2001
    Bremerton, WA
    I voted for the GK - it was pretty much a standard of the industry, almost any bass you can imagine will sound at the very least decent with it, and it's been my experience that you can even run over them with a car (I did - accidentally) and then play a gig with them. They've revamped them (put an XLR on it) and increased the wattage. I really don't think you can go too wrong with it.
  6. Piezoman


    Nov 29, 2002
    Bronx, New York
    I have heard a ton of horrible stuff about hartkes so i'd say no that. The ampeg I would say is your best bet. But, If you wanna spend 100 more bucks, you could get the workingmans 400 watt joint.

    I would suggest you find another cab though because workingman 4x10 handles 400 watts at 8 ohms which does not match the amp. The amp will blow. But SWR's are supposed to be good and just get a stronger cab.
  7. Fake Trees

    Fake Trees

    Feb 9, 2003
    Umm.... actually the b410 handles 1200 watts. Im almost shure ill get the B2R because it is a scratch and dent special (is there anything wrong with these?) at $409
  8. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove Can we please just groove for a while? Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    One suggestion I would make is possibly looking for a used Carvin R-1000.....1 kilowatt, SUPER VERSATILE...it's very loud, can put out any tone you can imagine, and will give you alot more bang for your buck than any of those name brand amps...Plus, if/when your guitarists upgrade to half stacks, you wont be needing to upgrade your power...

    Just a suggestion, good luck

    Ps - what kinda cabs are you running?
  9. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove Can we please just groove for a while? Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Sorry, I just realized that you mentioned the cabs you'd be using...

    I would definately reccomend adding a 2x10 or a 4x10 if possible...also, the carvin has a graphic EQ as well, so it fits the criteria you gave.

    You also have top remember that if you are only using an 8 ohm 1x15 cab with an amp rated at around 250-450 watts, you'll only be getting half of that power (maybe a little more). If you use 2 8 ohm cabs (ie - adding a 2x10 or 4x10) you'll be using the amps full power...
  10. I have the B2R. The Ampeg sounds great pushing massive lows and mids, but the highs could be a bit better IMO. Of course the fact that my horn isn't working in my cab may have something to do with that.

    I've found this amp to sound really good at 8 ohms (pushing 200 watts) but I wish it was a bit louder. It sounds absolutely amazing when you're getting the full power out of it at 4 ohms.

    You could probably find a massive amount of info on these too by doing a search.
  11. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Sorry, didn't know we were adding comments to our voting...

    I'm currently playing through a used SWR - 400 that I found on E-Bay for $400. (U.S.)
    That falls within your $300 - $500 price range, yes? Ofcourse, it is "used".

    I sold my Ampeg B-2R for that same amount, $400, and used that cash to buy the SWR. The timing was a bit hazardous, with the Ampeg selling before the SWR closed bid!

    My original amp, a Hartke 3500, was just to 'electronic' and didn't seem to carry any of the lower end fart and punchiness I'd heard from other bassist's rigs. Put it up for sale after just about a year, and took that cash to shop for another head.

    Spent alot of time, listening, asking questions, and even made a couple of purchases... I found, playing the heads in the store, wasn't very accurate. Both my purchases were returned well within the 'money back / not completely satisfied' return policies. (the Guitar Center sales people hated seeing me walk in the door;^o
    Finally, whew... I dragged both my Fender 'P' and cabinet around for the shopping and testing. The Ampeg B-2R did everything I wanted to hear from my bass!

    Agreed, Ampeg makes nice gear at various power and price levels... personally, that SVT is way over priced, but it sure kicks the wattage!

    Try out the Ampeg - versatility, enough headroom for most venues of 2,000 - 3,000 seats or so, and may still be at a reasonable price.

    michael s.
  12. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Im a huge fan of Ampegs, but the GK is really nice as well. I really dislike the Hartkes. theyre cheap, but not up to par with those other heads IMO.
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I love what a big wattage SWR does, (no, I don't have one but have used more than my fair share). There are lots of them on the used market. Solid as a rock and gives a big bass sound in every watt.

    But don't rule out a Carvin R1000. I'm in the process of going to an all-rack rig but I am keeping my R1000 as a back-up....Superb tonal versatility, no plastic knobs, incredibly dependable workhorse (at least, that's how my Series II is). These are a steal on the used market.
  14. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Get the GK.You could probably get the old 700RB or 1001RB for about $500 considering the new ones(GK amps) are already out.Knowledge is power at Guitar Center.Let them know you are aware they are discontinued(they will not volunteer this information)and bargain them down.You could also get the new 400RBIV.It has been upgraded to 280 watts and will surely be louder than any of your other choices.IME any of these amps(400RB IV,700RB,1001RB) would be a better choice than the 2004,B2R or 3500.
  15. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    look for a used SWR bass 350 on ebay. they'll go for $400-$500, and they're AWESOME!
  16. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    He could an SM400S for that price.Much better than a Bass 350 IMO.
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    IMO The B2R is a much better head than the others that were mentioned in your poll but you have to (if you can) play all of them & make a final decision.
  18. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    true, you can't go wrong with 4 bands of parametric EQ, but i'm into simpler stuff. :D
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I have been using a Hartke3500 through a 215 cab from day one of my bass playing. I have hooked the head up to other cabs as well. I have had some tone issues recently, but it is only because of my cab.

    I have never had any problems getting the tone I want from the head. I replaced the tube in it earlier this year. Not because it was bad, but the tech had it open for cleaning and thought I should pop a new one in to see if the sound changed. It still performs flawlessly.

    I play a fretless 5-string and I can play my low B so loud that it causes involuntary bowel moevments in those standing around it. :)

    Disregard the negative comments from those who have heard bad things about Hartke. For many people, Hartke is not a "cool" brand of bass gear to own. This head is excellent, and does the job well.
  20. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    More votes for Hartke, than for SWR? What gives?