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barrycreed

When the Covid goes, and gigs resume, what amp?

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Howdee all, long time no post. Been getting back into bass in the last year or so. Well, I never really left it alone, just I've been gigging for years as a guitarist and the odd bass gig. Did have a regular gig years ago with a trad rock folk type thingy which was a ball of fun.

Amps in the past were a 1x15 Peavey combo and an Ashdown head and cab. Both ok, I suppose a pain to lug around. Having a monitor was a rare thing.

Assuming we can gig again in the future, I'd like to go back playing bass live. I will assume I'll be playing in places with small stages, or tight corners to squeeze into and monitors may not be a regular thing. Any ideas of a nice handy combo or head/can to gig with that wouldn't break the bank or be total rubbish either?

I have been thinking of Markbass, or the Trace Elliot Elf head, but wouldn't rule out any of the other brands either. Peavey, ampeg, etc.

Don't really mind if it's a head and cab or a combo. I suppose a head and cab might be handy in that I could always mix and match cabs but would see nothing wrong with a combo.

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Three things that will help us all on offering some advice & recommendations:

Budget

Type of music/band line-up

Does it have to be lightweight gear
 

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What's your budget in pounds?

A popular combo is Markbass CMD 121P, £579, 12kg, footprint 38x36cm.

It hits a sweetspot, which I mean that you could find something cheaper - but that won't be as loud, or it will be heavier.  You could find something smaller or lighter - but it will cost more, or it won't be as loud.  Etc.

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3 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

What's your budget in pounds?

A popular combo is Markbass CMD 121P, £579, 12kg, footprint 38x36cm.

It hits a sweetspot, which I mean that you could find something cheaper - but that won't be as loud, or it will be heavier.  You could find something smaller or lighter - but it will cost more, or it won't be as loud.  Etc.

Cheap, loud, light. Pick any 2. 

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Ignore us, go and try stuff and buy what hits the spot for you. It's the only way to make a good decision.

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Firstly if you are aiming for a typical drums guitar vocals band then I would look for either a good 1x15 cab and at least 300W but ideally 500W 

I can recommend the Ashdown RM series bass heads such as RM500 

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What BassAdder27 says but also consider Barefaced cabs for lightweight and portability.

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If you've not bought gear for a while i think you'll be pleasantly surprised, especially as you mention lugging the old Peavey stuff around. It really did weigh a tonne though.

Most amps now are class D or switch mode. They are stunningly lighter and usually offer huge power specs, some of the older ones were certainly over specced and under performed but there are now plenty of good ones. I'd look for something that gave 300W into 8 ohms 500W into 4 and for me the sweet spot is 2 separate 12" cabs. I find one is good enough for rehearsals and most small gigs and two will cover everything else. That is just me though, don't get hung up upon size, @Dan Dare is right, listen to the amps not us. But then again you need a short list to start you off.

I have a Mark Bass Tube 500 and a Peavey Minimax, I prefer the Peavey. They are both tiny and only weigh a few pounds. I can't help you with cabs, i build my own and use those but there should be plenty of suggestions. I'd be looking for a single high quality 12 to start off with and if I like it and need more volume then get a second one the same. If you buy used then you can usually sell them on with very little lost.

The other option you might want to consider would be to go the PA cab route. high quality PA cabs with the amps built in are relatively cheaper than the same quality bass amp and will have the same bass handling abilities. You can then feed it through a pre-amp or pedal which will often give you a choice of simulating almost any amp and speaker you want. If you search for FRFR on BassChat you'll see this is well discussed

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Budget. ooo, not too sure, but wouldn't need to spend a whole lot. I am thinking of buying used, might offer good value, around £400 roughly? or €400 where I am!

I would like to play alt rock covers, or heavy blues, that kind of stuff. But I did play trad before, so would be interested in that scene too. Anything really!

It doesn't have to be lightweight really, but I think the days of lugging heavy amps are over with what's available these days no?

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Here we go then.... Fender Rumble combos! Your budget should get you a s/h Rumble 500 with some change too. 350 watts into its internal 2x10 speakers / 500 if you add another 8 ohm cab although you probably won’t need it as they’re loud as hell. Not heavy either, and great classic tones easy to dial in. Hold their value as well should you decide to upgrade from there.

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Mesa (all rube ideally) plus 1516EV. Many would say overkill for a small pub with 20 socially distanced punters. I’d disagree :) 

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1 hour ago, Beedster said:

Mesa (all rube ideally) plus 1516EV. Many would say overkill for a small pub with 20 socially distanced punters. I’d disagree :) 

As would anyone with ears and a soul.

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12 hours ago, Beedster said:

Mesa (all rube ideally) plus 1516EV. Many would say overkill for a small pub with 20 socially distanced punters. I’d disagree :) 

If this rig was available for £400 ( the OP’s budget) then that’s what I’d be recommending  too....😂

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For the budget it’s difficult to not think of the Fender Rumble, it fits the bill nicely on all aspects.

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Picking up on the MB Combo theme, this combo was bang on £400 used plus P&P:

Rig - 20.10 (spare).jpg

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28 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Pair of Helix racks into a pair of Powersoft power amps into 4 Barefaced Big Twin cabs.

 

Why?

Why not!

I would love that - can we add a Verellen Meatsmoke for good measure in a parallel path

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58 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

I would love that - can we add a Verellen Meatsmoke for good measure in a parallel path

I was not aware of that amp. I was disappointed it wasn't a BBQ.

But the demo I've just listened to is excellent!

 

EDIT: It weighs 90lb!!!!!!!

Edited by fretmeister

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4 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I was not aware of that amp. I was disappointed it wasn't a BBQ.

But the demo I've just listened to is excellent!

 

EDIT: It weighs 90lb!!!!!!!

The name attracted me to it as well - have I popped another thing on your radar!

They do a preamp of it as well - it’s just brutal

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I've got a Peavey MiniMax that I bought from a fellow basschater for £180 (could have been a bit less, I can't remember, but it definitely under £200) and I've put it together with a Fender Rumble 210, that I bought new. It's light, not cheap but not expensive, and it has volume but not what you'd call LOUD! If I needed more headroom then I'd add another cab I suppose. I've done gigs with similar set ups and they've managed well...but then I've got to an age where I refuse to play loud :) 

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