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300w bass head - small gigs


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Looking for a loud 300W bass head 

It will be used only with a single 8ohm cab and needed for small pub / bar gigs with a drummer and guitarist playing soft rock / pop kind of stuff 

My main amp is rated at 800w so I’m covered for the majority of gigs but fancy a second bass head that gives out a decent volume for its rating 

I guess running into a single 8ohm it will be pushing out around 200W approx 

Ideas please ? 

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Depends on whether you want a dinky head or are OK with a big (if not that heavy) lump.  Ashdown 300 (MAG evo or similar). Great tone, variety of controls, go on for ever, no worries fixing it if it goes wrong and cheap as chips.  What's not to like?

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Posted (edited)

As long as the 300 head is loud enough into 8ohms I’m happy

Prefer new or newish say five years old tops 

There are loads of 200 / 250 heads such as Elf, TC Bam, Mark Bass Black Edition etc that look ok but I don’t think they would be loud enough into 8 ohms ... Maybe the Ashdown ABM300 or RM300 ?? 

Edited by BassAdder27
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You really can't go wrong with an Ashdown 300w MAG head (or combo). Puts out something like 200w @ 8 Ohms, 300w @ 4 Ohms. Should be able to pick one up relatively inexpensively second hand too.

I have the 2x10 combo, and that's plenty loud enough for band use.

Just checked the Ashdown site, the EvoIII puts out 220w @ 8 Ohms, 330w @ 8 Ohms.

Edited by Skybone
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Mesa Walkabout has been my main head for over ten years. Sounds great and brilliant overdrive tones, but if you are looking to maximise clean headroom it isn't the greatest. If you can find one used a Mesa M3 head would be a great head. 

EBS HD350 would be a good all round head and you can get them for a good price used and reliability wise they are pretty great.

The Ashdown ABM300 would be a good bet, but the 500 would probably weigh about the same and by much louder. However if you already own an RM head it might just be too similar to you already have. 

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Thanks guys .. yep I’m trying to keep costs down as it’s more than likely going to be my second choice amp out of the house where I’m more likely to take the RM800

So budget I would say £300 approx or less ! 

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3 hours ago, BassAdder27 said:

My main amp is rated at 800w so I’m covered for the majority of gigs but fancy a second bass head that gives out a decent volume for its rating

If you're looking for a head that sounds half as loud as 800 watts then 80 watts will suffice. Considering how small and light your RM800 is I don't see the need.

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You probably don't want a load of techno-babble but have a think about what you are actually trying to achieve here. There's lots of talk about watts which doesn't make sense. The ratio of power to sound is logarithmic. you need to double the power to get a noticeable 3db increase in volume and you need ten times the power to be twice as loud. You can pretty much not worry about going from 200 to 300W and the difference between 300W and 500W isn't huge. You really aren't going to notice a difference between a 250W amp and a 300W amp. The only thing you'd gain might be a tiny bit of headroom but then why not use your RM800 and just not turn it up too high. If you want a second amp for other reasons, because you want different eq for example or a back up then that's fine but just for  a reduction in power, that's what the volume control is for. 

Oh Bill has popped up whilst I'm typing, I'll guess he's saying something similar

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For £300 new I’d go with the Markbass Nano 300. I mean, I actually did - it became my main amp for gigs in 2018/19. I worked out that it sounded great and was really all I needed (and more) power-wise, so I won’t be looking for anything different to get back gigging again either.

We play loud power/melodic metal and I usually end up plugging into whatever cab is on loan or belongs to the venue, so rarely have the advantage of my efficient cabs (but do sometimes end up with a massive old-school air shifting beast) and it still copes just fine with a beaten-up and generic old 4x10.

I’m as GAS afflicted as the next guy so I’ve got/had other much more powerful amps and don’t feel like I’m missing out by not taking them to the majority of gigs.

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Thanks guys ... some good suggestions 

Also some good reasons not to get one !

The other benefit is I can have the small head rig as a backup 

I think based on my budget it could be a new head 200 to 300w so perhaps the RM300 ? 

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Why do you want another head? (Asks the guy with three....)

Is it just an excuse to have another amp or a genuine need? The RM800 is perfect for small pub gigs as well as bigger stages. Save your money :)

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Yep I guess the desire is to have a second amp 

Yes I can use the RM800 for everything even home practice 

My only other amp is an Ampeg BA110 40w combo which naturally wouldn’t be loud enough! 

 

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If you want backup and assuming that cost is not too critical, I agree with Bill and others who say you may as well get something of 500w or so. That will do for both smaller jobs and as a stand in for your main amp should it ever blow a gasket.

Edited by Dan Dare
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Posted (edited)

I guess if I stick to my £300 tops kind of budget for new I’m limited to the smaller wattage heads which perhaps will spend most of its life unused in preference to using the RM800 for all gigs 

I will give it some thought and maybe park the idea for now. 

 

Edited by BassAdder27
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Second hand TC RH450?  I've got the 750 and love it.  And don't fall for all the crap that was spouted about them during 'Watt-gate' - they're plenty loud enough for your purposes.  Hugely adjustable EQ, three pre-sets, in-built tuner and terrific compressor - what's not to love?  Oh, and portability too!

 

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