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Old 01-14-2013, 01:59 AM   #1
Traxxas22
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Gigging Bass Rig

Hello UG, first time poster here with a newb question. I know this will be a pretty objective topic but I just wanted to get some opinions before I bought anything.

I finally had a pretty good night at the boats last night so after my wife snatched up most of my winnings, I'm left with about $1200 to play with. Here's what is in my shopping cart right now.

Im looking at the Epiphone Thunderbird. I have a huge man crush on Nikki Sixx and play a ton of Crue and GNR, and pretty much anything with a driving rock power chord sound, so from everything I've read about the Thunderbird, I think this is the way I'm leaning.

I also have the Peavey Max 115 II 1x15 300w combo that I'm looking at. I can't find a whole lot of info about this amp, but I'm just pretty loyal to Peavey since I have had great luck out of my Bandit and my PA.

Anyway, that is kinda the direction I'm leaning, however I've never really done any gigging until now, so I really don't know what's out there. I'm hoping $1200 is enough to get a nice little package together and still have some left over to play with, but what are you guy's thoughts? Just wondering what some of you guys would do with that budget? Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
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i'd look used, could probably get a set-up worth near enough double. $1200 can go a long way if you go used.
the t-birds aren't often praised on this forum, but i'm sure someone with more knowledge on them will comment
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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T-birds are not great. In fairness they will handle that kind of music but that's about it. They're full of design flaws and can only really do one sound (mud). I'd be looking at a good precision bass if I were you... that way if you ever feel like branching into other genres you'll be better equipped to do so, and a P-bass will still excell at the sort of rock music you listed.

My only experience with the Peavey TNT line is a 1x15 combo they have in one of the rooms where my band rehearse... in my opinion it's terrible. I could never get a good balanced sound out of it. It always sounded muddy and undefined, unless I really cranked the top end in which case it became thin and glassy. Didn't seem capable of reproducing both ends of the frequency spectrum simultaneously, so a miss in my book. Could just be because it's an abused rehearsal space amp, but it was that amp that finally made me start lugging my own rig to rehearsals and gigs regardless of whether there was gear provided.

I'm not familiar with used prices your side of the pond so I can't offer too much advice on what to look for, but I think Genz Benz recently brought out a well-received budget amp... not sure if it will be in your budget but worth investigating, you can't go wrong with Genz Benz.

Okay, I was bored and decided to knock a rig together. This is fifty dollars over budget but would be well worth it (imo). You'd have an absolute monster of a classic rock tone that goes loud enough to gig comfortably but would still be extremely versatile and articulate, leagues above a T-bird into a cheap Peavey combo (imo)... here's what I'd suggest:

Squier VM Precision Bass
Genz Benz Contour 500 watt 1x15 combo
Sansamp VT character pedal

The VM Squier line are regarded as being of particularly high quality, not your usual Squier. They're typically compared to the MIM standards in terms of quality, sometimes higher. You really can't go wrong with a P-bass.

The Genz Benz combo will be lighter than most other combos of equal power because of the class D power amp. It will go loud enough to hear comfortably above a drummer and give you solid balanced tones.

The VT pedal essentially emulates the classic Ampeg tones (the staple point of a vast majority of rock tones). Should make for an extremely versatile rig and allow you to get those valve amp tones without breaking the bank, or your back.
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Last edited by Ziphoblat : 01-14-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
John Swift
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If you're going for a combo a pre-requisite should be the facility for an extension cab. I don't think Peavey and some others have this facility.
A 2x10 combo for home use and sat on top of a 1x15 for backline gigging is a good line up.
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Last edited by John Swift : 01-14-2013 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
Traxxas22
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Thanks for the input guys, Im gonna consider that rig Zilph. There's just so much out there it can be overwhelming at first. Glad I slowed down long enough to ask questions. I'm usually a bad impulse buyer that leads me to alot of frustration down the road, so thanks alot for the help.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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I think this has an extension cab output: http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Stor...779-i2729824.gc, and that would leave 950 for the bass (+ extra cab if necessary)

Bass e.g.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Stor...278-i2916309.gc

or maybe if you get lucky, a real Gibson Thunderbird. They seem to be used around the 900-1000 mark. If that's your thing. A p is probably better though.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
The VM Squier line are regarded as being of particularly high quality, not your usual Squier. They're typically compared to the MIM standards in terms of quality, sometimes higher. You really can't go wrong with a P-bass.

The Genz Benz combo will be lighter than most other combos of equal power because of the class D power amp. It will go loud enough to hear comfortably above a drummer and give you solid balanced tones.

The VT pedal essentially emulates the classic Ampeg tones (the staple point of a vast majority of rock tones). Should make for an extremely versatile rig and allow you to get those valve amp tones without breaking the bank, or your back.

I second the Tech 21 VT Bass, I have it and i consider it one of the best parts of my equiment. It's versatile, and all the tones that brings you are great. Do yourself a favor and look for it.

As far as the bass goes, i suggest that you try a Thunderbird (look for a good one, like the epi t-bird pro, cause the regulars really suck) and compare it with the Aquier Vintage Modified Precision Bass. I'd also give a try to a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass and a Sterling SUB ray, just to be sure you try some different bass tones, and pick the one you like the most. All of those are great basses for the money they cost.

That should use half your budget, maybe even less if you find those things used, and you'll have like 600/700 just for the amp. In that case, i'd try to get a decent cab with a +300 watt head. I haven't played the Genz Benz recommended by Ziphoblat, but it definetly seems good enough. I'd also thake a look at the Gallien Krueger MB series if I were you, or if you going the head+cab route, definetly look for hartke. They make excellent budget amps/cabs.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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Assuming you are in the U.S.A., you can get Carvin's BX1500 head and a 4x10 cabinet that will shake the rafters, and it goes for about US$900.00:

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/BX1500-410

That's plenty of firepower for gigs.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Look for a Used Genz Benz Neo-X 400.
That will make drummers stop dead in the middle of a fill and gawk. (It did for me against a Drummer that was approached by Stevie Nicks. in days of yor)
It shoyld leave $800 for your bass.
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