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Who uses small combo amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by twangchief, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. twangchief

    twangchief Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    Altoona, PA
    Who uses a small combo amp (1-15, 2-10...) on stage. This is something I've been giving some thought to. I've seen the small SWR 2-10 combo, Hartke and a few others. The option of using a good quality kickback cabinet is a possibility also.

    I purchased a Avatar B212 and B210 to use on stage to essentially hear myself. We have a good house system. This is an older band that I played with years ago and I'm just getting back into the playing scene again after 10 years. I was on a tight budget so I went for one of the best values in speakers...Avatar. I stack the 210 on the 212 and 80% of the time I'm too close to my rig to here the 212. I've been using the B210 by itself lately and use the B212 as a big, furry matching stand. The B210 is really working hard but it sounds fine. Hope those Eminence Deltas are sturdy.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Artisan


    Apr 14, 2004

    I don't understand why you are not powering the 2x12 enclosure, if you are concerned that your 2x10 is working too hard. Is it the angle that the 2x12 is sitting at and its position on the bottom that is causing the hearing problem?

    To answer your question directly, no, I'm not using a combo amp to play live dates, since I'm not playing live dates lately, but it would be really tempting to do so if I had a steady gig at a given location with a good sound system.

    If I did use a combo amp, it would probably be something like Carvin's 4x10 enclosure with the built-in 350 watt head. I'm old school and I like my bass to rumble.

    In fact, I would like it even better if they made a combo that utilized a tweeter horn, a 10" midrange speaker and an 18" woofer. That would be very satisfying. :cool:

  3. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    i have the Avatar 212 and 410...way cool...I hear the 212 just fine about 6-7 feet away. I have a Hartke 4000 powering it...400 watts @ 4 ohms
  4. marcbass

    marcbass Guest

    Apr 19, 2004
    I use very small amps live.

    I've had all the large once before like Ampeg SVT4PRO + Ampeg 6x10" cab or Fender Bassman 100 + 4x12" cab.

    Now I only use an EBS HD350 head with two EBS NEO 112 cabs.

    Before that I used a Ampeg B1 combo. 150watt 1x12" combo.

    That's small. But I like to have e nice clean sound on stage, not to much low deep bass that makes everything crash..

    The 12" speakers really gives me the low mid bass that I'm looking for!
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    same here. I use an Ashdown 1x12 combo live. Last show I actually just went direct with monitor feed, it worked well enough. I'm planning a Berg NV215... but an EX112 would be plenty for me I think. I don't rehearse loud and I don't play loud stages. The PA and sound guy are there for a reason.
  6. I used to drag the big rig - Ampeg SVTIIIPRO, Ampeg SVT410HE and a 1 X 15" or 1 X 18" cabinet. Now I use an Ampeg B248 combo (200 W) and, if needed, a 1 X 15" cabinet which gives me 350 W. Nobody ever complains about a lack of bass, believe me.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    My "big rig" is an SWR Redhead 2x10" combo. I rarely use it though. Most of my gigs are quiet Jazz gigs where I either use my Upright acoustic, or I use my small Roland Cube 30.
  8. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    One thing you might try is to leave one cab sitting level on the floor and put your amp on that. Then tilt back the other cab so it's more like a monitor for you.

    I have a 410 cab and I put a hinged board under it. I tilt back my 410 cab and I have two brackets that hold my amphead on it.

    I lean it back, swing out the board and voila! I've got a tilt back 410. I can keep my volume down low on stage, I can still feel the bass and I don't blow everyone else away. It's really the simplest way to hear yourself without having to add any more speakers or turn your volume up.

    Most cabs sit too low and we don't have ears on our knees! Too often we have to turn up the volume to hear ourselves properly, but in the process we then get too loud for the mix.
  9. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I recall reading something that the sound is dependent on you keeping the cab sitting flat on the floor. Can you or anyone expound on that??/
  10. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I do believe that the only thing that refers to is what is called "coupling". The cab making contact with the floor creates a resonance in the floor with regards to the extreme low frequencies. It is not necessary to keep your cab on the floor. Lots of bass players put their cabs on stands or cases, etc. to raise them enough to hear them properly.

    However, I found that by tilting my cab back, it points up at me so I can hear all the subtle notes, yet the entire back of the cab is still on the floor and it does still have a coupling effect. I find it to be much better than putting it on a stand.
  11. BigRed


    Apr 1, 2004
    Palestine, TX
    I use a Roland DB500...very nice, big sound. If you need a lot more sound, the Roland DB900 is 320 watts and 4-10", 2-12" Passive Radiators and a horn. Lots of sound.

    Of course you could always go with the Bose PAS...$2000-2300 though, it could break the bank.
  12. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Nemesis user here. Five years of reliability after steady gigging. Former Acoustic 301 user.

    GAS never goes away. Euphonic is probably the next evolution in amps for me. Clubs are small here, which is just fine. No REAL need for big stuff which is fine. That starts to did into car space, back pain issues that have zero appeal to me.

    I'm looking forward to the development of some sort of hologram bass amp stack that stays at home but appears behind me on stage.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I used to use a Traynor combo, a whopping 20 watts (!!!!) with a 15" speaker. Goes to show that the speaker efficiency has a lot more to do with usable volume than the amp wattage.

    I also had another Traynor (75 watts with 1-15") and an SWR Baby Blue (150 watts into 2-8"). All did the job but a lot of times they were often run flat out to keep up.

    I no longer use combos regularly since I wanted more headroom and I own some compact speakers. Most gigs I now run a Walter Woods head into a Bergantino 1-12", actually a smaller (in terms of physical size) setup than my old combos!!!!
  14. I´ve always been a fan of small amps. I prefer lo-mid punch over huge bottom end. And stages we play in are usually so small that I (like everybody else) have to make compromises with my stage volume. Besides, I actually don´t like hearing myself too loud - It makes it harder for me to lock in with the drums.

    Currently I´m driving a EBS NEO-112 cab with EBS-1 pre and Crown XLS402 power amp. I´m getting another NEO as soon as I can afford it - two of them weigh less than most 15s! Before that I had a Hartke Kickback 12; there were few gigs when I was struggling a bit for headroom, but 95% of the time it gave me plenty of volume.
  15. Yeah. I do use small combos. I find that, as I get older (and as my arthritis gets worse), I find the big monster rigs become less and less appealing to me. Whether or not this will work for you in any given situation, of course, depends upon a variety of factors. (What sound are you looking for? How loud is the band? How much volume do you need from the amp?)

    This Friday, I'll be playing a concert with a jazz combo. It's a very low volume situation (all other instruments are acoustic) in a concert hall that tends to boom really badly if you use much low frequencies. I'll play that gig with the smallest of my 6 amplifiers, an SWR Workingman's 10. I tried one gig with the same group in that same hall using my Aggie GS112 as an extension cabinet, mainly to provide some support for the B string. That was too boomy. This week, it'll be the SWR alone, and I've been getting a great sound with that setup. Basically, the sound is mostly upper mids, some highs, and practically nothing else. Not a sound I would choose for a blues or rock gig. But it works in that setting. (We've got some low brass in the group -- a bari and a 'bone, so that sound seems to set well in the mix.)

    For my jam band (mostly blues, Motown, and 70's R&R), I use the Aggie by itself, fed by one channel of my Crest power amp (about 260 watts into 8 ohms). I also put one of my preamps in front of the power amp, of course. We do not play out, just jam once a month for fun. That works great for those jam sessions, and we do have a guitar player who plays pretty loud. For actual rock gigs with a full band (these only come along about once or twice per year), I plan to either get a second Aggie, or a single cabinet with dual 12's, or use the Aggie along with one 15" cabinet. For that, I would bridge the Crest into four ohms for a total of 800 watts. Should be plenty. In fact, I would probably just refuse to play with any band that played so loudly that 800 watts and two cabinets wasn't enough amplifier.
  16. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
    A few years ago my dad bought me a custom made combo amp for my B-day, it was a GK 400b(i forget exactlly) with a 12" and 18", it was like $400, had huge bottom end, and great tone but was a b*tch to move, it had wheels but two people to move it always, and stairs ... well hoped you packed extra deoterent. it was about 120 lbs, a monster, thats is the main reason i bought 410 115 and rackmount,
    but its a great concept
  17. Loren


    Feb 2, 2004
    for the past 10 years i've used a 100w 1x12 marshall valve amp. i use it along with the di and run two signals to the board. the amp is a 3 channel job which suits me well when going for that 'live in leeds' distorted bass tone (my preferred tone).
  18. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
    im curious, would there be any range limitation on the device, what im getting at is, if my stack breaks, could i borrow yours, im in the states :rolleyes:
  19. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Sure...I'll be there for ya.

    The risk to only having one amp is the limitation when you find yourself showing up in a room that is a little bigger for you, and you don't have a decent enough front end system to run the bass through.

    I guess a couple of modular 1-12 cabs with lightweight powerful head is really the way to go.

    Everything is a compromise isn't it?
  20. twangchief

    twangchief Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    Altoona, PA
    Hey BMC,

    I was looking at the 210 nemesis. Which one are you using?

    How roady worthy and roady proof do you think it is?


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