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Storky

Trading down to a combo - advice appreciated

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I want to replace my old Ampeg PF 500 head (which also means disposing of my lovely pair of Van DeKley 12” cabs) with a combo. I’m thinking either the Fender Rumble Stage 800 or The Ashdown RM-C210-500 Evo II. What do you guys think?

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I'd keep the cabs and replace the amp if it were me.

A combo is much less flexible.

Frank.

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The Ashdown RM 500/210 combo has an 8 ohm extension speaker jack . The e.q. is good and the compressor is useful. I have the RM 500 head and it has not seemed lacking in tone or power.

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Thanks for your advice. Anyone else think I’m crazy loosing the cabs, (they are great), it’s just the appeal of a smaller, one lift solution. 😏

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5 hours ago, machinehead said:

A combo is much less flexible.

Agree I'm afraid. I just went the other way. Good combos are quite heavy. I prefer the flexibility of separate amp/cab so I can make changes to either. Portability is easier I think - and designs are optimised, I mean a decent 112 or 210 say, is designed to be just that (you have 2 of them!). There are quite a few bargain used combos around and a lot have had bedroom use only, but the challenge is getting the amp and cab you want all from one maker in one box. Sorry, but I'd stick with what you have - keep one of the cabs and get one of the micro heads... go from there.

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4 minutes ago, Soledad said:

Agree I'm afraid. I just went the other way. Good combos are quite heavy. I prefer the flexibility of separate amp/cab so I can make changes to either. Portability is easier I think - and designs are optimised, I mean a decent 112 or 210 say, is designed to be just that (you have 2 of them!). There are quite a few bargain used combos around and a lot have had bedroom use only, but the challenge is getting the amp and cab you want all from one maker in one box. Sorry, but I'd stick with what you have - keep one of the cabs and get one of the micro heads... go from there.

Thanks for the opinion. I did think that might be the sensible approach. But that opens up a new can of worms; I.e  what head to get?

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16 minutes ago, Storky said:

what head to get

Obviously a lot to choose from, and that's part of the benefit of going separates. Personally I'd look second-hand - that way you can sell-on and swap around at very little cost until you hit on a favourite. I picked up an as-new TC 250 for way under new price (thanks to BobbyD here) - I like it but if I didn't I could pass it on with only a small loss, like a tenner! Markbass do get good words, never tried one myself. Just enjoy the hunt and know it's like girlfriends - you likely won't marry the first.

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I have had many occasions over the years where I have thought a combo would work best for me, but luckily I snap out of it quite quickly.

You already have two superb cabs which are pretty powerful alone and all you should need together for bigger gigs.

Head wise I really like the Ampeg but I remember it being a bit hefty. It depends on whether you have PA support and what size band/gigs you have, but I have a Aguilar TH350 and never needed any more. I have used it in an 11 piece soul band and a loud pop/dance band. It’s cheap secondhand and so is the TH500.

If I was really flush, I would love to try the Vandedkley head, or some Mesa heads, but to be honest most of the new class D micro heads are decent. You won’t go wrong with MarkBass, EBS (I had one and it was amazing) or Genzler etc

 

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Great advice, thanks.

I play the social club circuit with a handful of functions. 60s stuff mainly. Only vocals through the PA....

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I recently made the switch to a Stage 800. I've always had a 2x12 and head. Having less to carry was a reason for switching. The Rumble has also replaced my pedals and tuner. It's still 17kg and a fairly big box, but it's a one hand lift, without the additional trips to carry pedals and a box of cables and amp head. I've had Vanderkley in the past, and some other very nice gear. The Fender sounds great. Even if you don't like how it sounds out of the box, get to work with the modelling. 

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't say a combo is trading "down", it's just different.  There are some superb combos out there.

As has been said, separates are more flexible in many ways, but in some situations a combo could be a better option.

4 hours ago, Storky said:

I play the social club circuit with a handful of functions. 60s stuff mainly. Only vocals through the PA....

The Markbass Alain Caron Lite would be a good choice here (500+300 bi-amp combo, 36lbs), if you were absolutely set on a lightweight but loud combo, but I'd agree that getting a really nice powerful head would be a better option.

Edited by franzbassist

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If a combo suits more, as in less to carry about, Easy set up etc then I’d - same as @grenadillabama - look at the Ashdown RM210 combo. They’re light and sound very good. Also not much money. 

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Posted (edited)

My choice for years has been Glockenklang Soul combo. Sound is perfect. Weight is not, 38 kg = 83 lbs. So I took them apart and as the amp is 11 kg, the set is far more convenient to carry around. I had to replace the elements because of an accident and guys at G. offered me an option of neodyme elements. The cab is now 22 kg and far easier to carry.

So I have two cabs, that Soul 2 x 10" and an Alusonic 2 x 12". They sound different. The other is tight & nearly sophisticated (follows me very well) and the other is a bit more rough & rock.

As you have found a pair of nice sounding cabs, I would not part with them.

Edited by itu

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I’ve used a Rumble in a rehearsal room - light, loud and versatile - I was very pleasantly surprised and would consider one for easy gigging.  There’s also an AER Amp Three for sale on here too - I had an Amp One and it was very special (the brand is certainly worth consideration). If you stick with separates, have a look at the Bergantino amp options (BAmp and Forte). Not cheap but a superb unit.  You’d need to think about protection for gigs - a very cute box but doesn’t appear massively robust (mine’s in a Peli)

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1 hour ago, franzbassist said:

The Markbass Alain Caron Lite would be a good choice here (500+300 bi-amp combo, 36kg), if you were absolutely set on a lightweight but powerful combo, 

Noticed a typo: it's 36lb, which is just over 16kg. Very good combos, from what I've heard. There's one currently in the marketplace (not mine) https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/338814-markbass-alain-caron-combo-121-lite-1x12-500300w/

 

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6 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

Noticed a typo: it's 36lb, which is just over 16kg.

Good spot.  Now corrected.

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28 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

There is something nice about a simple combo set up.  I might glue my head to my cab.

Might make sleeping a bit awkward.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

I might glue my head to my cab.

Should avoid any issues around hearing it through the mix. 

Edited by Al Krow
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4 hours ago, Storky said:

 Anyone else think I’m crazy loosing the cabs. . . .

Sorry. . . but yes!

Replace the amp with something better and improve your sound.

IME separates are more flexible when you need to upgrade. IMO a one-handed load in is greatly overrated and shouldn't take precedence over a great sound.

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14 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Sorry. . . but yes!

Replace the amp with something better and improve your sound.

IME separates are more flexible when you need to upgrade. IMO a one-handed load in is greatly overrated and shouldn't take precedence over a great sound.

Agreed, I like combos for using at home for not for rehearsing or gigging. The only combos that have ever really worked live for me have been pretty bloody heavy and hard to move anyway, Walkabout Scout 15" being a case in point :)

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2 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

There is something nice about a simple combo set up.  I might glue my head to my cab.

😂 Funny.

For rehearsals I carry a Barefaced one10 and a small amp inside a cajon bag.  It's nice and lightweight and IMO just as convenient as a combo...

Having previously owned an AER amp two combo, I'm really tempted by the AER amp three for sale here at the moment.  I know I don't need it though. 😉

Frank.

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2 hours ago, Beedster said:

Agreed, I like combos for using at home for not for rehearsing or gigging. The only combos that have ever really worked live for me have been pretty bloody heavy and hard to move anyway, Walkabout Scout 15" being a case in point :)

I appreciate the comments. Popped into gak this afternoon, (what poor service 😏, but that’s another thread), tried a rumble 500 which was quite impressive, but I’ll have to check out some others. Now going to guitar guitar! 😉

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Have a look at the Ashdown heads, I think Loz has a RM500 in the classifieds, there may even be a RM800 from memory (but then again my memory is not that good😁).

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3 hours ago, Beedster said:

Agreed, I like combos for using at home for not for rehearsing or gigging. The only combos that have ever really worked live for me have been pretty bloody heavy and hard to move anyway, Walkabout Scout 15" being a case in point :)

Having thought about this, I'm also remembering those times when combos make things safer, for example I've pulled a Speakon/Speakon cable out of my bag to find I've bought my 1x15 which needs a Speakon/Jack. Last week in fact :) 

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