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Stub Mandrel

Best affordable combos for small 'cocktail' gigs?

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Ah, no drums and a heavy 150 watt head, well in that case a lightweight combo makes plenty sense.

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When I started playing again I bought a G&K 110 Backline - still have it. It's ideal for home practice and for rehearsal. I even bought the 12" version (100w instead of 70w) but TBH it didn't do anything the 110 couldn't. Available on eBay for around £100-150.

At home I use an Ashdown EVO 180 - great tone and you can pick them up used on eBay for around £100.

I know the OP is asking about lightweight combos but anybody looking to go down the lightweight route really needs to consider the TE Elf with their lightweight cab of their choice - and there's plenty to choose from. Haven't seen too many TE Elfs for sale on the used market but at £250 new they're within most people's budget. 

In fact, there are so many options nowadays you're going to be hard pushed not to find something you want.

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I'd get a Markbass Minimark 802 and stick a versatile EQ pedal (perhaps the Source Audio programmable EQ or Boss EQ200) in front of it.

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

@Muzz have to agree with you mate. For me the quality of the cab is critical factor here.

I've gone from being a combo devotee to separates for that very reason.

It's pretty hard to find a combo that will match a BF SC plus any D class head you fancy for quality and overall weight, but obviously there are many combos that will beat those separates on price! 

I'd say that for this little set up it is extremely important.  Not the cheapest option but I have a BF One10 for this very scenario - home practice, small gigs and now have a TE Elf for the amp.  I previously used a Tecamp Puma 300 but liked it so much I traded it up for a 500 so I can gig with it on occasion.

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Hmm.. after looking at some 'real world' reports on the Rumble 40 it's probably that or the Ashdown Studio 10.

Practically I think I have to wait a month or so anyway, so I'll just bumble my way through this first gig and see what happens (it may be a complete disaster...) Looks like we will rehearse properly next week, so I'll find out what gear we will use .

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I have a Rumble 100 and can't praise it enough. Bought it to use on acoustic duo gigs with my EAB, but have done some hotel gigs with it over this festive period and it has coped brilliantly. Guitar / bass / loud keyboard player line up with no probs. I also love the tone and especially the portability - the combo is even lighter (a shade under 10kgs) than my BF Compact cab which I've previously used with a class D head for these type of gigs. You see them going s/h for less than £200, and the new prices appear to have dropped a bit recently too, around the £250 /£260 mark.

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3 minutes ago, Paul S said:

I'd be jumping all over the HB combo in the classifieds, I think.

Blimey, didn't see that. Looks like a great deal.

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Any love or otherwise for the Peavey Mini Max - 500 watts with 2 x 8 ohm cabs but powerfull enough to fill a smaller room with a full band using just one 2x10 at 300? watts. Tone is great with plenty of room to spare, volume-wise. Get a 112 light neo cab and Bobs ur Unc.

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I picked up a Fender Frontline 15 on E bay for £11.

Works for me in a small pub with amplified acoustic guitars and a Cajon

 

 

 

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Another vote for the TC BG250 208 from me. Granted I’ve upgraded mine to put the full 250W through the combos internal speakers (in truth a marginal improvement) but even in stock trim, these things are built for the coffee shop style and acoustic gigs. If I could ween our two guitards off their 100W Marshall’s I’d happily gig with it more regularly allowing the PA to do the heavy lifting.

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Barefaced one10 and any lightweight head you like.  Job done...

Mine stays connected in a cajon bag - just the same as a combo.

Frank.

Frank

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I usually gig with a Barefaced Compact and an 800 watt amp, which is very loud. But in smaller venues i can use my Rumble V3 100 combo. They sound great, are a 1 finger lift and are loud enough to compete with a sensible drummer.

I bought mine for £165 second-hand and is one of my better buys. I love the little thing.

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On 27/12/2019 at 18:38, JPJ said:

Another vote for the TC BG250 208 from me. Granted I’ve upgraded mine to put the full 250W through the combos internal speakers (in truth a marginal improvement) but even in stock trim, these things are built for the coffee shop style and acoustic gigs. If I could ween our two guitards off their 100W Marshall’s I’d happily gig with it more regularly allowing the PA to do the heavy lifting.

Well colour me shocked. My band was playing a multi-band event with backline provided yesterday. Early Facebook photos from the gig showed an Ashdown Mag combo was the house bass rig. Now I've never really learned (or tried in truth) to get along with any flavour of Ashdown, so knowing the sound guy and his rig, I threw the BG250 208 in the back of the car 'just in case'. On arrival, the previous band's bass player had used his own rig and the house Ashdown was no where to be seen - RESULT! In came the little TC. I stood the amp on my leads trunk to get a little more height, turned the master up to just below half, and went for it. Unbelievably she coped admirably without any complaints. This little thing continues to surprise and amaze me in a nice way.

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I use a Hartke HD50 combo for these types of gigs. It's got a built in limiter which is what persuaded me to get it, very smooth with an active bass.

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Tried out the Ashdown Studio 12 today. Sound was pretty meh until I put the preshape on. Then ok but not as 'solid' sounding as the Rumble and not very loud either IMHO. wIth a an American Player fretless Jazz .

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6 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Tried out the Ashdown Studio 12 today. Sound was pretty meh until I put the preshape on. Then ok but not as 'solid' sounding as the Rumble and not very loud either IMHO. wIth a an American Player fretless Jazz .

Interesting. I just picked up a studio 10 after I tried it side by side with a Rumble 40, Orange Crush 50 and Blackstar Unity 60.  With a Precision the sound was spot on, easily beat the rest by miles and I'm a huge Rumble 500 fan. 

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On 01/01/2020 at 17:00, Muppet said:

Interesting. I just picked up a studio 10 after I tried it side by side with a Rumble 40, Orange Crush 50 and Blackstar Unity 60.  With a Precision the sound was spot on, easily beat the rest by miles and I'm a huge Rumble 500 fan. 

I wonder if the sound was partly down to the bass I was using - it had flats on and with the best will in the world these don't flatter an amp.

When I have the moolah ready to make a purchase I'll find somewhere that lets me do a proper A/B test on as many different amps as possible. As I am genuinely looking for something I don't feel guilty about trying out gear - or saying no if it doesn't suit.

The Ashdown and Rumble are both much lighter than the Crush, plus although I love my Crush 25 as a practice amp, I think the distortion on the bigger models is horrible and fizzy.

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4 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

When I have the moolah ready to make a purchase I'll find somewhere that lets me do a proper A/B test on as many different amps as possible. As I am genuinely looking for something I don't feel guilty about trying out gear - or saying no if it doesn't suit.

I just went in to PMT on an afternoon, bagged their sofa and got them to bring me everything of a certain size that they had in stock!  I really really wanted to like the Orange 50 because it looks so cool, but I just couldn't get on with the sound.   It's a good problem to have though when there's so much quality stuff for under the £300 mark. 

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1 hour ago, Muppet said:

I just went in to PMT on an afternoon, bagged their sofa and got them to bring me everything of a certain size that they had in stock!  I really really wanted to like the Orange 50 because it looks so cool, but I just couldn't get on with the sound.   It's a good problem to have though when there's so much quality stuff for under the £300 mark. 

On an unrelated note... your avatar always make me feel the need to do a wee.

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I picked up a used GK MB500 head. It weighs under 4 pounds. I keep in my gig bag as a backup.

One of these with a Bergantino HDN112 would be perfect. I know its not a combo, but easily transportable and modular is always good, IMO

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4 hours ago, Muppet said:

I just went in to PMT on an afternoon, bagged their sofa and got them to bring me everything of a certain size that they had in stock!  I really really wanted to like the Orange 50 because it looks so cool, but I just couldn't get on with the sound.   It's a good problem to have though when there's so much quality stuff for under the £300 mark. 

Assuming it was the Northampton one, they`re pretty darn good in there aren`t they, no pressure on sales, happy for any item to be tried out for however long.

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8 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Assuming it was the Northampton one, they`re pretty darn good in there aren`t they, no pressure on sales, happy for any item to be tried out for however long.

Yeah Northampton it was! They just left me to it, just checking every now and then to see if I wanted another combo to try. 

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19 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Assuming it was the Northampton one, they`re pretty darn good in there aren`t they, no pressure on sales, happy for any item to be tried out for however long.

PMT are a pretty good place for trying things out.

You know your playing is improving when they turn the piped music down... 🙂

 

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Did a cocktail gig last Sept. I used my EBS session. Kickback design, plenty loud enough. Used a fretless bass and a Bassix EUB.  Sounded cool with both.

Not the lightest combo in the world but good sound, small in size and built like a tank. Got mine on here, s/h. Think it was about £120

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