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Sabbat

Amp upgrade help

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Posted (edited)

Greetings everyone, 

'I've been playing bass for a year and so and now decided to join a band and start to gig. It's time to upgrade my amp. I own a Fender Rumble 15 W that however good as a home practice/entry-level amp, it is definitely not for a band practice and live setting. I've been searching the market and learning more about amplification like ohmage,impedance, watts so on and so on. 

It's really overwhelming given that are a lot of brands and since I don't live near a big store like Thomann I can't really try them myself having to rely mostly on online reviews and demo videos. 

I play mostly Metal on really low tunnings I would need an amp/cab that can bear a lot of low end but with versatility to cut through the mix, B string, Overdrive and Fuzz without cranking or burn out. I really dig a floor-shaking powerful tone. 

My budget would be at around 1000€. So far the ones that caught my eye are the following:

Head:

Hartke LH 1000 

Cab:

Hartke HyDrive HD410

Head:

Ampeg PF-800

Cab: 

Ampeg PF-410HLF

Head

Peavey MiniMega 

Cab: 

Peavey Headliner™ 410 4x1

My main basses:

Lakland Skyline 44-64 GZ PJ

Ibanez SR305E  

I really want to get this right because these things are expensive and to return them it's a pain in the rear... According to you more experienced bassists out there, what would be the safest bet? If you have any other brands or head/cab combination recommendations you know and tried out, feel free to suggest. 

Thank you very much for your help!

Edited by Sabbat

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Posted (edited)

I’ll always recommend Ashdown gear,  not just because I’m selling a load at the moment (still keeping a load too) but because it’s quality, reliable  gear at very affordable prices, plus based in the UK with amazing customer service. The ABM range is getting to be pretty much as industry standard as Ampeg on big gigs/festivals. 

Edited by Lozz196
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You do can mix and match an amp and a cab. Consider portability (weight as well as size), dBs (sensitivity + wattage = loudness), and versatility (from jazz to metal and anything in between). 

Amp = adjustments and the driving power.

Cab = sound.

If you will be a gigging bassist, the amp power output might be 300 - 1000 W. Cab is very personal, but two elements (or two similar cabs) is better than one and 4 can be considered (4 x 10") if the size is not an issue (yes, an 8 x 10" exists, but...). Of course if your gigs were with a folk band, a single 12" can be enough.

My preference has evolved from 15" to 2 x 10" to 2 x 12". And few others in between. But I like the power and the sound of two elements. Still the box is reasonable in size. 10" and 12" are flexible, 15" is a bit too dark for me.

Your music suggests a 4 x 10". If the loudness is not enough, buy two similar. Remember to cut the lowest frequencies to get that power efficient and loud scream out feom your system. Very low freqs (<50 Hz) are truly power hungry stuff.

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I echo the comments about Ashdown kit - used in a local rehearsal studio and I rather like it. The drive channel is good too and beats more expensive amps in that department, IMO.
Haven't been impressed by the Hartke Hydrive to be honest.

Playing metal, I'd say as long as you had a powerful head then a lot of your tone will come from preamp / drive pedals - I use my Rumble Head as such, making the most of the EQ and character switches. 
Consider what a band may have PA-wise if you want to mike a cab for sending to the PA; this will negate the need for a monster rig.  Everyone has opinions on cabs - mainly their own!  I like my Barefaced BB2 and I'm sure there will be other brands popping up for sale on here fairly regularly.
Depending on where you are, there will likely be BCers around who can let you try their kit out.

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+1 on the Hartke gear, perfect for your needs - the HD500 combo would be awesome

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your suggestions and recommendations really appreciate. My decision is almost made. For me it's either Ampeg or Hartke since that's the gear most of the bands I like use. I've 1 possible winner taking into account all the reviews and recommendations I've read:

Hartke LH500 Head - lt produces 500 watts when connected to a speaker system with a 4-ohm load.

Ampeg SVT-410 HLF Cab - 

  • Rated power: 500 W
  • Impedance: 4 O
  • Equipped with: 4x 10" speakers + horn

500 W seems enough for what I want to do. I will most likely only play small to medium size gigs. As for distortion I own two great pedals for that a Dark Glass Vintage Microtubes and a Green Russian Big Muff.

 

Also considering: 

Ampeg SVT-7PRO Bass Head

  • Power: 1000 Watt RMS @ 4 Ohms, 600 Watt RMS @ 8 Ohm

Hartke HyDrive HD410 

  • Power rating: 1000 watts
  • Impedance: 8 ohms

 

 

Edited by Sabbat

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Hartke LH1000 is a good honest head as is the Peavey Mini Mega

Hartke Hydrive cabs are limited - better options out there within your budget

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+1 for Ashdown. 

If it was me, and it was and I did, I would do this:

1. Ashdown ABM 500  £175

2. Barefaced SuperTwin £675

3. Dark glass distortion pedal  £150

These are obviously rough s/h prices

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Both of my amps are Ashdown (ABM 600 & Rootmaster 800) and both of my cabs are Barefaced (Super Compact & Super Twin). Either amp with either cab sounds good for many types of music.

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A grand will get you a fully fledged rig if u shop about. U could pretty much get whatever u want with probably a bit of change left over if u went second hand, and not boutique!!! I saw a flightcased Svt and hlf Svt cab going on eBay recently for a chunk less than your budget. That would slam for u!!!

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