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Combo help

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Hi guys 

Please help

I’ve Just joined my first band at the age of 53 😊.

I need to buy a gigging combo for pubs, village halls, small function rooms etc.

The band plays pop, disco and soul covers and comprises of drums, keys, guitar,  vocals and a couple of brass.

Im looking for a warm clean combo with enough power  to handle the above venues, I mainly play finger style and i’m not a slapper (only at weekends!!)

Budget, under £700.

Please guide me in the right direction as I haven’t a clue, only played on a 50w amp before!!

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by lancer
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Any reason you particularly want a combo? Head & cab is much more flexible option...

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Will the bass signal also be going through the PA?  If so, you could definitely get away with a smaller combo than if not. 

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If you're after warm, clean and oodles of power, then you could do far worse than this. Get yourself a padded cover made up (if the seller doesn't have one already) and you'll be good to go!

Arguably one of the best combos out there - I had one as my goto gigging combo for 4 years and it never broke into a sweat.

I've actually since replaced with separates, as per some of the comments above, but the combined (used) cost of my rig is double this excellent combo's second hand price. 

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When I started playing bass again at the tender age of 58 (see? You're not alone!!), I bought a combo, mostly because the technology had all changed since last I'd played bass regularly 3 decades before - and I couldn't  get my head around the intricacies of all of the heads and cabs out there quickly enough, I wanted a simple solution.  And because I also play guitar and use a combo for that, I knew that the "one-stop shop" simplicity of the combo would work for me. So I bought a TC Electronics BG250-112, a nice, simple, 1 x 12" combo that was light but powerful enough for what I was doing (250 watts). That worked for me for the first year or so.

During that first year, I was doing my research and soon enough I moved on to a reasonably powerful and flexible head and cabinet(s) set-up. So now I'm going to sell the combo, as I now have more headroom than I'll ever need before going to a PA, and a much better sound for my purposes. The TC's a decent piece of kit, but now my needs have changed, so it's no longer what's required.

However to get to my current set-up, I had to go through re-acquiring the knowledge of what I needed by having, then moving on from, the combo. 

Sometimes you have to ask other people, sometimes you get the knowledge yourself. You're in a great place here to obtain a plethora of other opinions.  Good luck!!

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I've just got a Fender Rumble 500 for my return to gigging phase of life. Bloody marvellous it is... and light.

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Just my opinion, but separates are the way to go for the following reason:

If you're worried about having to be loud enough for lots of different venues and perhaps not having pa support etc, I'd recommend a 4x10 cab. Pretty much get away with anything with one of those as long as its driven correctly.

However, in time you might not need to lug a 4x10 around, so perhaps a 2x10 or a 1x12 etc would be better suited (or even better suited to certain venues leaving the 4x10 for the bigger ones).

With that in mind, and to save you buying another new combo, I'd spend the majority of the budget on a top quality, powerful amp head, and the rest on second hand cabs (or even one cab to start with) and see what works for you.

Head wise it depends what you really like. Loads of eq and functions and buttons? Or simpler the better? Lightweight? Built in fx? The worlds your oyster.

Theres lots of ashdown abm combos around for around £200, if you wanted a combi, but I'm not sure if they'll be loud enough. I had an abm2 500 (1x15) and it wasnt enough for me. I also wouldnt recommend a 4x10 combo - very heavy.

My main rig (and pretty much rig for everything) is a quilter 800 and laney n410. Total weight around 22kg and loud and good enough for any gig.

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Gotta disagree in terms of spending most of your budget on an amp: IMO a quality cab is at least as important to a great bass sound as the amp head. So don't skimp on the cab if you're going down the separates route!

The Fender Rumble 500 and MB AC 121 Lite are two much loved combos, and you won't go too far wrong with either, if you decide to stick to Plan A. 

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6 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Gotta disagree in terms of spending most of your budget on an amp: IMO a quality cab is at least as important to a great bass sound as the amp head. So don't skimp on the cab if you're going down the separates route!

 

I meant get a quality cab, but second hand. With a £700 budget i wouldnt want to be spending say £350 on each and being stuck with them. 

It isnt going to be as effective or as flexible as a new £500 head and £200 second hand cab - which you could sell for what you bought it for if it didnt work out. (Or even £600 and £100). Loads of great used cabs out there for £100-200.

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I think it’s possible to get sucked in to a never ending gear fest, probably spending way more than you need while seeking the best of the best.

I’m guilty of the constant search for perfection, but sometimes I wonder if I could have just bought a Rumble 500 and been just as happy!

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18 minutes ago, la bam said:

I meant get a quality cab, but second hand. With a £700 budget i wouldnt want to be spending say £350 on each and being stuck with them. 

It isnt going to be as effective or as flexible as a new £500 head and £200 second hand cab - which you could sell for what you bought it for if it didnt work out. (Or even £600 and £100). Loads of great used cabs out there for £100-200.

I'd get both the amp and the cab used and get quality for both! And if the OP buys used and decides it's not for him he hopefully shouldn't make much of a loss if he decides to move it on.

Edited by Al Krow

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16 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

I think it’s possible to get sucked in to a never ending gear fest, probably spending way more than you need while seeking the best of the best.

Haha - very true!

16 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

I’m guilty of the constant search for perfection, but sometimes I wonder if I could have just bought a Rumble 500 and been just as happy!

Very probably 😉

Join @bassfan's 2020 gear abstinence challenge and make a start on your journey of zen and the art of playing bass 😁

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+1 on the Fender Rumbles. I bought a 200 combo when the v3 Rumbles were released almost 5 years ago (?). I just preferred the sound of the 15" speaker over the 2x10" speakers in the 500 combo.

Some cool features of the Rumbles are:

1) you can daisy-chain the combos via the FX Send (on the 1st) to FX Return (on the 2nd), so you can own a couple of the them and use one or two depending on the venue

2) the input GAIN is really a variable input pad (running it fully CCW works fine)

3) it has a built-in compressor/limiter

4) you can use the Overdrive section as a MUTE instead (both knobs fully OFF; can be engaged/disengaged with a foot switch)

There's an excellent Fender Rumble WIKI on the TalkBass website at:

Fender Rumble Club WIKI

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I've  heard 2 other bands where the bass is using a Rumble 500 recently and they've both sounded great, perhaps I shouldn't have sold mine ☹️

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15 hours ago, la bam said:

Just my opinion, but separates are the way to go for the following reason:

If you're worried about having to be loud enough for lots of different venues and perhaps not having pa support etc, I'd recommend a 4x10 cab. Pretty much get away with anything with one of those as long as its driven correctly.

However, in time you might not need to lug a 4x10 around, so perhaps a 2x10 or a 1x12 etc would be better suited (or even better suited to certain venues leaving the 4x10 for the bigger ones).

With that in mind, and to save you buying another new combo, I'd spend the majority of the budget on a top quality, powerful amp head, and the rest on second hand cabs (or even one cab to start with) and see what works for you.

Head wise it depends what you really like. Loads of eq and functions and buttons? Or simpler the better? Lightweight? Built in fx? The worlds your oyster.

Theres lots of ashdown abm combos around for around £200, if you wanted a combi, but I'm not sure if they'll be loud enough. I had an abm2 500 (1x15) and it wasnt enough for me. I also wouldnt recommend a 4x10 combo - very heavy.

My main rig (and pretty much rig for everything) is a quilter 800 and laney n410. Total weight around 22kg and loud and good enough for any gig.

This. My rig at the moment consists of a Genz Benz Streamliner 900 that I run into a Genz Benz Neox 2 x 12" for most gigs, and that set-up is great; but for rehearsal rooms and small venues, I have a Barefaced One10, which copes pretty well with most things that I throw at (through) it.

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There's a couple of heads from Markbas and Laney plus lightweight cabs from Barefaced, Markbass and EBS in the classifieds that could fit the bill.

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Buy the Rumble 500. All you need for small gigs, pubs, clubs etc. And you can also add another 8 ohms cab for the full 500 if req. 

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14 hours ago, jezzaboy said:

Buy the Rumble 500. All you need for small gigs, pubs, clubs etc. And you can also add another 8 ohms cab for the full 500 if req. 

Ah yes, you've just reminded me why the Markbass AC 121 is still my favourite choice combo: it (pretty uniquely) delivers a full 500W through its own cab without the need for an extension cab, whereas the Rumble, if I remember, correctly is at 350W.

Not that should make too much of a difference volume wise, but it did mean that I never needed to push the MB AC 121 hard, and it never really broke into a sweat as the sole unaided bit of bass backline even with full rock band. 

Edited by Al Krow

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On 22/01/2020 at 19:35, TheMaartian said:

I just preferred the sound of the 15" speaker over the 2x10" speakers in the 500 combo.

Agreed with this, the 2x10 Rumble combos never sounded good enough to my ears.  Strangely, I found it was the high mids/top end that got lost and not the lows.  The 1x15 equivalent is quality!

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