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New Amps purchase questions


baroco
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Hi guys I have a bit of a conundrum at the moment regarding a new amp purchase and am looking for a bit of advice. I have only really got back into playing since the lockdowns started last year and am looking at getting a new amp. I currently mostly use my micro cube which I don't really like at all and also have an Ashdown Electric Blue 150 and Carlsbro Bass Bomber both from the early 2000s that need repairing or most likely dumping. I mostly play at home but will be jamming a bit with a guitarist friend who also plays drums again soon with the purpose of recording some songs. Its possible there could be some small gigs but that is way down the line at the moment. The style would be heavy rock/grungey metal.

Anyway my problem is that I really don't know what size amp (or brand)to get. My budget is around €400 and I'd rather buy new. I was first looking at the Orange Crush 50 then looking at the Fender Rumble 100 as it isn't much dearer and have also looked at the Ashdown Studio range and the Blackstar Unity range. I have a lot of pedals so effects on the amp aren't really important.
Should I just buy a smaller 40w-60w amp for home and jamming and if I need to down the line get something bigger? Is there any point in getting a 100W amp over a 50w presuming both will struggle on their own against a drummer(or will they?) or is it better to have 50w for home/practice and 200-300w+ for possible gigging/playing with a full band? If I have a 50w or 100W with a DI out could that be used for a gig if there was a decent PA?
Any recommendations between the amps I have listed or others?
Sorry for all the questions but I really haven't a clue about all this stuff and all music shops are currently closed where I live.
 
 
Edited by baroco
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If it were me, I would be looking at a 300w combo, ideally a 1x15 or a 2x10. That way, it covers both practice and gigs. 

You will get far more value for your money secondhand. 

If you must purchase new, this Ashdown combo would fit the bill: 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/bass-dept/bass-amps/bass-amp-combos/ashdown-studio-15-bass-combo-300w-1-x-15 

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As above, more for your money second hand but if it has to be new then the Ashdown Studio fits the bill. For the genre mentioned I wouldn’t even think of a 100 watt amp, you’d soon find you needed to replace it.

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All sound advice from the members above - you can't go wrong with an Ashdown.

Equipment is like cars - you'll definitely take a financial hit buying new - especially when you see nearly new gear changing hands for hundreds of pounds less.

Keep your eyes on the market place (try not to buy everything you like) for the bargain you're looking for - there will be at least one. Buying used means you'll get more for your money.

Good luck with your hunt.

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Thanks so much for your replies. I had a bad experience with second hand equipment years ago but I suppose I'm not completely against it. Sorry I should also have said I am in Ireland so can't really buy anything from the UK at the moment due to customs and VAT etc unless it is from Northern Ireland. 

If I had to go new do you think a 50w amp or around that it is a waste of money considering I'd be spending around €250 -€300 on that and for another €150 odd can get the Ashdown Studio 15 and is a 100w amp kind of in no mans land being a bit big for home practice and too small to play with a full band?  

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I think Lozz is right. For heavy rock/grunge, you're going to need a bit of power. I'd also suggest separate head and cab(s) rather than a combo. That way, you can add cabs if you need to. It also means that you can use the head plus a small cab for home/jamming. A decent used Ashdown head with 200w plus should do the trick. Add cab(s) to taste or needs.

Have you had your Electric Blue looked at by a repairer? If it's a relatively cheap fix, it might do you for now. You could spend your budget on cabs and upgrade the head at a later date.

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I had thought about a head and cab but just think its maybe overkill for something that I will mainly be using myself at home for the foreseeable future? I've never owned anything other than combos tho so probably shouldn't assume. If it did get to the stage of gigs they would not be bigger than a pub I'd say as this is very much a hobby project! And as I mentioned I'm in Ireland where the choice of second hand bass gear is pretty small.

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Here's my amp history. Tells its own story!

80w 1x12 combo

150w 4x10 combo

150w 2x10 combo > 300w with an extra cab

600w power amp into whatever cab was unlucky to be around.

The first two were never enough against a drummer. The 80w 1x12 would just about hold its own against 2 acoustic guitars and a singer with hand percussion.

It's always better to have a bit of power to spare. Most (solid state) equipment sounds audibly strained when pushed to its limits.

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16 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Ashdown MAG300 at a stupid price (if you can get to Leicester)

https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-bass-amplifiers/ashdown-bass-amp-head-mag300/1402238554

Can I send you the bill for the amp I just bought @TheGreek ? Seems like it's the least you could do  ... I clicked your link, and within minutes I'd found and bought a totally different amp on Gumtree.

🤦‍♂️

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Thanks for the replies everyone I'm still trying to decide what way to go but will definitely be going for 200+ watts either in combo or head and cab. The Ashdown Studio 15 is my current frontrunner but am looking at a few second hand options as well. 

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If you’re buying in Ireland and use the Adverts app all the sellers have reviews.
 

Generally buying electrical equipment from sellers with lots of good reviews is a safe bet. Just ask them a load of questions so they have to explicitly state (in writing) that it powers up, pots are ok etc. 

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On 24/04/2021 at 07:46, DubDelay said:

If you’re buying in Ireland and use the Adverts app all the sellers have reviews.
 

Generally buying electrical equipment from sellers with lots of good reviews is a safe bet. Just ask them a load of questions so they have to explicitly state (in writing) that it powers up, pots are ok etc. 

Yea thanks for that advice about asking them to state everything is working I wouldn't have thought of that. I'd be looking on adverts almost everyday. My pedal collection has increased considerably in the last year because of it!

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Hi guys just a quick update - I have the chance to buy a second hand Gallien Kreuger Mb112 ii for around €350 and as I have no experience with GK I was just wondering what anyone thought of those amps? There seem to be quite positive reviews online, it is 200W and it can be connected to a powered GK cab to add more power etc but those seem to be scarce enough at the moment and I don't know if it can be connected to any other type of cab. Would I be better going for this at €350 over a brand new Ashdown Studio 15 at €400? The Ashdown is obviously 300w but can't be extended and they are similar weight and size. The GK retails at €510 new on Thomann.

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They’ll have quite different core sounds so I’d do a search on YouTube and vote with your ears. Ashdown is a nice warm sound, fits nicely into the mix and although you can add plenty of highs they don’t get too harsh. GK is much cleaner and sharper, growls like a good un, and can get harsh if required on that top end.

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  • 2 months later...

Just to update everyone I found the Orange Crush 50 amp second half for half the new price so hav bought that for now and if needed in future I will look at something bigger. Thanks everyone for your help! 

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On 07/07/2021 at 09:01, baroco said:

Just to update everyone I found the Orange Crush 50 amp second half for half the new price so hav bought that for now and if needed in future I will look at something bigger. Thanks everyone for your help! 

You are almost definitely going to need something in the way of a proper gigging rig when you get into a band. It's a rare rock band that operates on a 50w bass amp. Certainly many folks are transitioning to IEM based stages but I doubt that applies to you.

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