Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Which lightweight head?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by jazzercountry, Aug 6, 2005.


  1. jazzercountry

    jazzercountry Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Howdy,

    Trying to decide which head to use to power an Accugroove Tri 112, which is rather tricky as it's an 8 ohm cabinet. Granted I can bring another one for a louder gig, but I'm mainly looking for something easy to hump around campus - otherwise I'd just use my slab rig (Aguilar DB680/QSC PLX 1202 through the same pair of cabs).

    Sooo, I need something with sufficient juice at 8 ohms for combo/big band (not too big) volume that's light enough to carry around. The absolute most I can spend is going to be 800 bucks.

    I like a dark tone, and I have a Realist and a bass max on my bass (Chrissy plywood with obligatos), so I'd like if it had a high enough impedance input to avoid dragging around a preamp for my Bass Max.

    So far I'm thinking:
    AI Focus (too expensive?) or Clarus (no headroom @ 8 ohms?)
    Mesa Walkabout - dirty/underpowered?
    iAmp 500 - input impedance high enough?
    Thunderfunk - ??
    Eden - ??
    The list goes on....

    Anyhow, thanks much for your collective wisdom - this is the only place where I can ask people about this sort of thing.

    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  2. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you're talking lightweight, is there anything else besides the WW (pick your model) or the AI amps? Even the EA heads are too heavy for my liking.
     
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Being that 800 is you budget then a WW is out of the question (plus the wait). The iAmp 500 might be a little more than 800 and I believe it's about 14 lbs. There's also the Focus SA but you'll need a preamp to go along with it (so that'll put you over budget).
     
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Small + light = $$.

    $800 is a good budget but not for small and light - at least not AI or WW light. I use an Eden WT-550 with my Bergantino HT112. It works well. It has a powerfull EQ section and it seems to handle my Bass Max fine. 20 pounds an dabout $900 new. You could get a nice used one within your budget. 300 watts @ 8 ohms.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Amplifiers have gotten seriously expensive over the last 10 years.
    A Walter Woods MI 100 was $675.00 shipped in 1977 (I looked it up)

    If you want light, powerful, and flexible then you might want to try and find a used AI Focus or wait until you have the money to buy a new one.
    The series II models are selling at a discount right now since AI is getting
    ready to release the series III's. Folks who want more power and the
    newest version of the amp may trade there older ones. Unless you absolutely have to have one right now I'd hold off.

    Ric :)
     
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Where?
     
  7. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    I think $675 is about what I paid for a MI-225 in 1981. I think I paid around $450 for my MI-100 just before that.

    Have you tried a GK MB150 head? I know it's only 100 watts, but I've done big band gigs with one and a single 15 and it was more than enough power. Sounded great too! It's only 10 lbs and you can get one for less than $400. Most dealers will also give you a 30 return policy so you can check it out.
     
  8. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Ampeg Portabass is another option. The have a clear sound and are quite light.
     
  9. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I know for a fact that the MI 100 single channel was $675 (plus $30 shipping) in 1984. (I just looked at my invoice)
     
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    But back on topic . . . if it were me, and only around $800, I would probably opt for the iAmp 500.
     
  11. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    He must have raised his prices from 1981. You originally said 1977?
     
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Just for the record, I looked in my files and found the bill of sale for
    my first MI 100. It was $600.00 plus $15.00 for the shipping. Thats
    a grand total of $615.00. Inflation is a................!!! Sorry, 1979 is the date on the bill of sale.

    Ric
     
  13. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    Well, I can't find my invoice and I may be wrong, but I don't remember paying that much for mine.
     
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    It was 1979.
     
  15. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    I just found an article from 1987 Guitar Player that has the list price then at $800 for the MI-100.
     
  16. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    I use a clarus head with various cabinets and it does great and it weighs almost nothing. you might try to find a 4 ohm cabinet to use with the clarus but i use 8 ohm cabs and it does fine. i bet you'd be okay with it especially since bass max is such a high output pickup. what about two small 4 or 8 ohm cabinets? one for you as a sort of monitor and one for everyone else?

    I'm with you, I like to keep things simple and light.
     
  17. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    "Well, I can't find my invoice and I may be wrong, but I don't remember paying that much for mine."

    Mine is a Dual Channel, Single Channels were $500.00 back then

    Ric
     
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Since we kind of got of topic, I was wondering if you would recommend
    the Portabass. I'd only played bass guitar through one in a music store
    once. Are they faithful reproducers of AB. They have an new amp coming out and I wondered if its worth a look.

    Ric
     
  19. To take another tack on this.... $600-$700 for a 100 watt Walter in the late 70's or early 80's would translate to about $1,000 today in inflation adjusted dollars. His lowest power amp today, which is still triple the watts of the old low wattage one mentioned, is probably around $1,400. Seems like the price of amps versus power and features has actually gone down to me (especially considering you can get a wonderful sounding 600 watt Focus or an iAmp500 or a Thunderfunk 420 for under $1000! :hyper: !
     
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hey, right on target as usual. Thanks for bring things back into focus Ken!

    So Ryan, what we have so far is

    Ultra Light Weight Amps
    AI Clarus 6 pounds (200 watts @ 4 ohms, 350@ 2ohms, AB friendly tone Shaping =notch and high pass filters, buffered input for piezo's) $579.00-$669,00 One Channel-Dual Channel

    AI Focus 4 pounds (350 watts @8ohms, 600 watts @ 4ohms , DI, AB friendly tone Shaping =notch and high pass filters, buffered input for piezo's) $1,061,00-$1,142.00 One Channel-Dual Channel)
    Class D Power Supply

    GK MBS or MBE150's Series III Weight 10 lbs (100 watts @8 ohms, 150@4, ) MBE has 2 band semi parametric midrange DI) Class M Power Supply couldn't find a price on does $700.00 sound right?

    Light Weight Amps

    iAMP 500 13 lbs ( 350@ ohms, 500 watt at 4&2 ohms, AB friendly tone shaping, DI) Digital Amp with Torroidal Power Supply

    Ampeg Portabass 800 20 lbs, (300 Watts 8ohms, 550@ 4 ohms, 800 at 2 ohms, DI low and high cut switches transformer balanced D $999.00
    MDT Power Supply

    Eden WT550 20 lbs, 300/500/750W RMS into 8,4,and 2 ohms.
    $1,399 retail 3 Band Semi parametric midrange controls DI Torroidal Power Supply
    Hybrid Tube Pre amp

    Thunderfunk 420 and 550 15 lbs
    420 (only 2 left in stock $899.00) 550 $1049.00
    4 Band Semi parametric eq with timber and enhance controls
    400 watts into 4ohms minimum 550 Power Supply :help:

    IMHO you can't go wrong with the Clarus, Focus or the iAMP 500
    because of their tone shaping abilities and feedback control for AB

    That said, the Clarus or the GK are probably the best values

    I'm not qualified to review the Thunderfunk or the Eden for
    AB yet

    Ric :confused: Didn't do to well on the $800.00 shopping limit, did we!