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beeejums
03-01-2010, 02:34 AM
So I was just asked to play bass in a country ( :( ) and blues ( :D ) cover band. It's my first "real" band, unless you want to count a couple of punk bands I played with... which could hardly be counted as "professional" or even "good." My bass amp didn't weather these punk bands very well, and was at one point left by a friend on my front porch while I was on vacation. For a few days. In the weather. Now it has a loose wire and I have to beat it to get it to work right. I'm going to try to fix it, but it's in such rough shape I'm thinking this is the excuse I've been wanting to upgrade.

I'm looking at a Hartke B600. What I have now is a Marshall 60 watt combo. I definitely want another combo. the guy at the local store tells me that if 60 watts works with my current amp, then 60 watts would work with any amp (even though the Hartke has less in the way of speakers). The band tells me that my amp is big enough. The guy from Sweetwater when I called for another opinion wanted me to buy a 400 watt head and a cabinet with at least two 15" speakers, and I'm inclined to think he was full of it.

What do you think? This is all a learning experience for me...

Monkeyswithladders
03-01-2010, 10:54 AM
For the past like 5-7 years, I've used this combo amp from Ampeg for all my practice, recording, and live needs:

http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ampeg-BA115-Bass-Amp-Series-Combo?sku=481777

I really love it, and it's plenty loud enough to handle most small live situations-- and it also has an output for hooking up to the house, so it really can handle it all for being only 100w.

If I were buying a new amp today however, I'd definitely buy this one:
http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/GallienKrueger-MB115-1x15-200W-Ultralight-Bass-Combo-Amp?sku=581052

It's 200w for not too much money, and it only weighs 33 lbs... craziness. There are a few other models they make of that amp for a little more money with better speaker options, but one 15" speaker would satisfy me for getting the lower price.

Chris Tarman
03-01-2010, 11:50 AM
I've never played through a combo that I thought sounded "right" with a band, but I know there are some good ones. I personally like to have plenty of "headroom", power-wise. That lets the AMP do the work and I can play softer and with more expression, and still get loud if I need to. But then, most of the bands I have played with haven't run the bass through the PA, so I am dependent on my rig to fill the room and let me hear what I am doing (which can be tricky even when you're pretty loud). So usually I run an Ampeg 4x10 cabinet with an Ampeg SVT III head. I can add a 2x10 cab for slightly bigger rooms. When I played a lot with a country/rock band a few years ago, I used an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet which lived in the band trailer when it wasn't on stage. I don't use that if I have to move it back and forth from gig to my house though. The 8x10 and my Ampeg head could fill a room nicely. The other nice thing about it was it sounded humungous even at low volume, and I could always hear myself because the speakers weren't down by my waist. Hmm... I might have to drag that thing out of storage again! I have tried some Ampeg combos that were pretty nice sounding on their own, but I don't know how they would work in a band setting. I think Ampeg is tough to beat. When you look at how many bands in all sorts of styes use Ampeg, and then consider the fact that they were making bass amps like 5 or 6 years before there were even electric basses (it's TRUE! "Ampeg" is short for "Amplified Peg", which was a peg with a pick-up for upright basses invented in the '40s), they're kind of the benchmark.

KamakOzzie
03-01-2010, 03:04 PM
The guy from Sweetwater when I called for another opinion wanted me to buy a 400 watt head and a cabinet with at least two 15" speakers, and I'm inclined to think he was full of it.

What do you think? This is all a learning experience for me...

I think he was just recommending a Koaloha over a Lanikai, so to speak. You won't go wrong by getting more power. It gets the speaker moving quicker at the leading edge of the notes, giving you a cleaner, punchier tone. Going from 60 to 600 watts only gives a 10 db increase in volume, but is really noticable in the attack and clarity.
One choice would be a single 15" cabinet and add another if you find you need it in certain rooms.

beeejums
03-02-2010, 02:47 PM
I think he was just recommending a Koaloha over a Lanikai, so to speak. You won't go wrong by getting more power. It gets the speaker moving quicker at the leading edge of the notes, giving you a cleaner, punchier tone. Going from 60 to 600 watts only gives a 10 db increase in volume, but is really noticable in the attack and clarity.
One choice would be a single 15" cabinet and add another if you find you need it in certain rooms.

That makes a lot of sense...

I wonder if it's an option to take the perfectly good 15" speaker I have out of the broken amp and make it into a speaker cabinet? That might help lower the cost of my upgrade...

pie_man_25
03-22-2010, 02:54 AM
That makes a lot of sense...

I wonder if it's an option to take the perfectly good 15" speaker I have out of the broken amp and make it into a speaker cabinet? That might help lower the cost of my upgrade...

that's actually a good idea. Well it could be, first you'd have to make sure that the speaker could handle the wattage of the amp, secondlt, rating the impedance is important too, but it's probably 8 ohms, most 15" are. That is definitely an option though, I have made a speaker cabinet before though, a 110 cab that pairs with my warwick head, kinda makes a case for it, just leave it in my bedroom for practicing. I barely use it, it probably helps though that the speaker is an old radioshack speaker and the cab is made from particle board. I'd seggest using plywood, or MDF maybe even. I know a lot of high end companies boast making them out of "void-free" birch plywood, that'd probable be a good thing to look for, but I know Behringer makes good ones out of MDF, their heads aren't terribly versatile, but the cabs are pretty good.

heymelbs
03-27-2010, 03:41 PM
I have a 120 watt combo amp that I started gigging with. My experience was that I couldn't compete sonically against the electric guitar amps and the drums. I now have a 350 watt amp with a 2x12 cabinet and that's much better than 120, but sometimes it's not quite enough in some situations. The nice thing about the latter amp / cab combination is that I do have a much better bass presence, a much better match for the other instruments also. Now I just sit down there with the bass drum like I should. The rest of the band here's me much better also, and it doesn't even have to be that loud. Actually I'd love a 1200 watt amp with 8 x 10 cab, but my back can't handle it.

ricdoug
03-30-2010, 09:28 PM
I own one of these and it is the favorite of my 4 bass amps:

http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Acoustic-B200-200W-1x15-Bass-Combo?sku=482902

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/7/0/7/561707.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/7/0/3/561703.jpg

Bassukuguy
04-19-2010, 09:01 PM
I generally play a Fender Bassman 250 combo. its a solid little thing that puts out alot of sound for the size. My only little complaint is that it has 2x10's instead of 1x15 i think it would have better punch to it if was there. but that being said, look at where you will be playing and if its possible to line out of your amp into the PA. if its good enough for Geddy Lee its good enough for me.

angelopb
04-20-2010, 05:29 AM
I would go for that Acoustic. A 115 combo would be the most bang for the buck.
If you have extra coin, go for something like the markbass Jeff Berlin combo- light! and great sound.
If you can find a B-stock Ampeg B200R combo, I would recommend that. its like 220 watts and has a tube pre and looks and sound to die for. I have seen them go cheap on muscians friend on occasion.
Some people also liek the carvin amps. You really want the most watts you can afford. I would stay away from the hartke for tonal reasons, personally speaking.