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Joining a band , what amp etc?

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After 20-23 years absence from playing in a band, it looks like I may be joining a band. I took up playing bass again about 8 years ago and since then the GAS feeling has had it's peak moments.

Now that I will be joining a 5 piece rock/hard rock band, two guitars drummer, singer and me I will need some gear for rehearsals and maybe gigs later on.

I own a Fender Rumble 100 V3. It's freaking loud in home environment, less than quarter of master and gain is sufficient for home use. I tested the master volume at 3 o'clock setting and it was very loud. Not sure if it will keep up with distorted guitars and a drum.

I like the idea of Fender Rumble 500 watt V3 combo with added extension cab to get the full 500 watts or even without to use 350w at rehearsals. What I like about Fender Rumble is the versitality and vintage look.

Any other ideas on combos, amps plus cabs for the above scenario? 

I do like the idea of the old fashioned fridge units but I don't have ontourage staff to shuffle it for me and probably never will 😄

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You can't go too far wrong with the Fender Rumble gear. Its light, loud and fat sounding. I just picked up a second hand Ashdown ABM 600 head to go with a barefaced retro 410. That rig is astonishingly loud and deep. Ultimately there's a mountain of stuff out there. If you like the Fender Rumble sound then the 500 is excellent value for money. 

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The Rumble 500 combo will be plenty (unless the guitarists insist on bringing their 100w stacks along, and playing them at full volume!).

Even something like an Ashdown ABM/MAG 300 will be plenty.

But if you're happy with the Rumble 100, then go with the 500, and add the cab at a later date as and when you need it.

Definitely check out the second hand market though. You can get some pretty good deals on gear.

Edited by Skybone
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2 minutes ago, Skybone said:

The Rumble 500 combo will be plenty (unless the guitarists insist on bringing their 100w stacks along, and playing them at full volume!).

Even something like an Ashdown ABM/MAG 300 will be plenty.

But if you're happy with the Rumble 100, then go with the 500, and add the cab at a later date as and when you need it.

Definitely check out the second hand market though. You can get some pretty good deals on gear.

This! Get a Rumble 500, and if needs be add cab later. 

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Question is, will gigs have PA support?

Also you said ‘maybe’ gigs - be a shame to buy stuff and then no gigs happen.

Why not use it as an excuse to get them to play at sensible volume, also saving your ears while you arrange and get it together, and if it comes off and looks like it will be a go-er then splash out

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Looks like a good choice. 

There's no doubt in my mind that the way to go is to get the noise level down on stage and put as much as you can through the PA. All that noise going through the vocal mics just means you can never get a really clean sound from the band. why carry fridges around when the PA's are so much better than 20 years ago. With a 23 year break you must be in your 40's at least and you'll need to protect your hearing also.

Having said that we aren't there yet. The sound levels from drums aren't easily done away with and there are a lot of technically illiterate band members who think they can only sound good with their amps up full. Not every band has a top PA and there are a lot of people on mixing desks who don't really get it. 

The Fender or something like it will do just about everything you want. Onstage monitoring, driving the band from back line with vocals only PA and it has DI out for the PA. I've learned not to go on without backline, I've had too many gigs where soundchecks have been fine and you go on and someone has lost the settings and you have no bass through the monitors. If I've got an amp with me I can turn it off if the monitoring is good or turn it up if something goes wrong. If you've got something like the Rumble you can cover any situation, loud enough to keep up with the drummer, DI for the well engineered PA and a volume control for everything in between.

Everything else is down to taste.

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For rehearsal you want it as quiet as possible, no point deafening yourself because the guitarist thinks he is at Wembley. We have had a fight in one of my bands to get to sensible levels as the guitarist would bring a massive Marshall stack despite there being a perfectly adequate rig there.

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I've gone through so much backline kit in the last four decades, I've lost track of what I've owned, but one thing I am prepared to impart is that with so many advances in amplification-tech, size really isn't everything.

Live gigs aren't about masses of backline (anymore?) and I'm currently running - size for size - the smallest rig in decades.

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I use a Markbass CMD 121 for smaller pub gigs with my loud rock covers band.

For bigger places I add the matching cab for a bit of heft.

Both loud and punchy enough for a 5 piece rock covers band, and small and light enough to fit in the boot of a ford fiesta.

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As Phil says, it's better to put as much through the PA as you can. . . . . good luck getting Rock guitarists on board with that plan!!

Is this the 210 combo? The Rumble 500 is 250 watts without the extension cab and 500 watts with the extension cab. I don't play Rock or "Hard Rock" whatever that is, most of the guitarists I play with are from a Blues/Blues Rock background and none of them are quiet enough for me to use a 250watt amp. I'll play at the lowest volume I can but theses days I rarely get FOH so I have to be able to cover everything from my rig. I use 800 watt amps and 1200 watts of cabs, just to keep the sound clean at whatever volume I need.

It's not just about filling the room, the PA will do a better job at that, but you need a balanced sound on stage. If your guitarists are loud you have to match their level or you don't hear yourself. Buy a good set of ear plugs.

It's a good point to get the rehearsals down to a lower volume level. You're not onstage and the whole point is to work together to improve as a unit. You can't do that when you're in pain from a guitarist who "needs to be this loud, to get my sound!!" I'm surprised when people say their 112 is enough for the hard hitting drummer in their band. We must have very different experiences and definitions of loud drummers!! If 250 watts will do then you're fine, if it isn't get the extension cab. Really, don't skimp on the budget for those earplugs.

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All this get loud for the sound is also bollox as well, so many guitarists on touring bands etc are using low wattage solid state heads with a low stage volume and get a massive crunchy sound, Tech is moving on.

Get them down to your level i reckon and then see!

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12 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Is this the 210 combo? The Rumble 500 is 250 watts without the extension cab and 500 watts with the extension cab. I don't play Rock or "Hard Rock" whatever that is, most of the guitarists I play with are from a Blues/Blues Rock background and none of them are quiet enough for me to use a 250watt amp. I'll play at the lowest volume I can but theses days I rarely get FOH so I have to be able to cover everything from my rig. I use 800 watt amps and 1200 watts of cabs, just to keep the sound clean at whatever volume I need.

With you on the benefit of having headroom from your rig, should you ever need it.

One point to correct though, if I may: my understanding is that the Rumble 500 is 350W (not 250W) solo'd at 8ohm 'internally' through the combo speakers and 500W with an extension cab. 

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Getting the band to play quietly is all very well and definitely desirable, particularly at rehearsals. But the limiting factor is always going to be the acoustic drums and whether the drummer is comfortable using bamboo rods or similar to keep his volume down. The power output you need at gigs will be dictated by the size of the venue and whether there is a PA available capable of handling bass well - typically need at least 12" speakers and ideally something like an RCF 735A. Definitely no harm in having a bit of headroom up your sleeve, if you'll excuse my mixed metaphors! :) 

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29 minutes ago, Reaper said:

One point to correct though, if I may: my understanding is that the Rumble 500 is 350W (not 250W) solo'd at 8ohm 'internally' through the combo speakers and 500W with an extension cab. 

I don't know this amp so I was looking at a photo of the back of the Rumble and the extension socket says, "8 ohm min, 250w", so my assumption was the other 250 was in the cab.

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16 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I don't know this amp so I was looking at a photo of the back of the Rumble and the extension socket says, "8 ohm min, 250w", so my assumption was the other 250 was in the cab.

The combo is 350w and you can add another 250w extension cab

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Might be worth trying your Rumble 100 at rehearsals and seeing if that works before you shell out on a 500? If you are going through the PA for gigs you might be able to get away with just the 100 as you will get sound through monitors anyway. The temptation is always to go out and buy some more gear but maybe just wait and see how things pan out first?

(Disclaimer: its much more fun buying more gear however!)

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For a 5-piece Rock/hard rock band I’d be looking at an amp (500 watts or so) plus a 410 cab. As you already have a smaller Fender Rumble I’d look at the Rumble head/410 (it’s a light 410 too). If budget is a factor, and you’re not fussed about not having super lightweight gear then an Ashdown or Hartke rig will do the job and do it well for not much outlay.

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Another shout for Markbass.

You'l get a great stage sound. I use a Little Mark 3 with a 2 X 10 Traveller cabinet (with tweeter). It's very light but is suitable for small to medium venues, and rehearsals, and more with PA support. The DI output is great - also has a DI volume control which is very handy. 

For larger venues without PA support I add a 2 X 10 deep cabinet - it's a very loud set up - particularly at the back of a venue. 

An excellent compact bass rig - plenty of headroom and thoroughly reliable - also available used. 

image.thumb.jpeg.28d35473319c63f4f3512ff1504a646e.jpeg

 

Edited by drTStingray
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52 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

Might be worth trying your Rumble 100 at rehearsals and seeing if that works before you shell out on a 500? If you are going through the PA for gigs you might be able to get away with just the 100 as you will get sound through monitors anyway. The temptation is always to go out and buy some more gear but maybe just wait and see how things pan out first?

(Disclaimer: its much more fun buying more gear however!)

My misses said You're not buying anything until you have few rehearsals 😄

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I would try your Rumble 100, and buy an XLR cable to DI to the PA.  Using the PA as well as your amp even at rehearsals will help massively. Also a lot of times at gigs a smaller amp is a bit of an advantage for stage space.

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Will you be playing original music, and gigging on the circuit that caters to original bands, or will you be playing covers?

Where will you rehearse, in a commercial rehearsal facility or will you be rehearsing in an environment where you have to provide everything yourselves?

Where will you be storing your gear?

Where are the venues you are most likely to end up playing, and are they easily accessible by vehicle for loading?

If for instance you are playing all original material in a big city, you might not need an amp at all and putting your money to a high quality DI solution that gives the sound you want and can be fed into the efx return on practice room/shared backline or direct to the PA on larger gigs might be a better solution than an amp.

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