I'm asking for the bassist in my band. He can't seem to get on this forum for some reason...so excuse me not knowing bass terms, but...he needs a bass amp/head/speaker/whatever. He has a bass guitar..he wants to replace everything else in his setup.

We play a lot of post-rockish sounding stuff..lots of cleans and lots of pureness...if that's the right word. Basically we want the smoothest sounding bass tone possible...some sustain I guess? uh...yeah just really pretty sounding tone.

If you need me to elaborate, just ask. I suck at this.

I don't know what he uses now, but it's borrowed so I guess it doesn't matter. We do play gigs and will need something that can get loud enough for that.
The cheaper the better, but of course we want quality, so a nice compromise would be nice. He said he'd like to get the head for $350ish or less used if possible, and the cab or speakers or whatever for somewhere similar, though a bit more would be okay.

If you guys could just point us in the right direction, it would be really appreciated. I understand that the head used by the explosions in the sky bassist is no longer made, otherwise that would be excellent.

Thanks in advance.
For cleans you want as much headroom as possible! The closer you get to maxing a head's alloted wattage, the more dirty sounding it gets. For a lot of people this is desirable (myself included).

But, for cleans, you want a lot of watts so that you can get the volume you want without sacrificing clarity.

Unfortunately, a $350 budget isn't a whole lot to work with.

Fortunately, it CAN be done!


Specifically a Mark VI, Mark VII, Mark VIII, or FireBass. These heads have a decent, IIRC, 400+ wattage.

I've seen EITS a few times, and every time the bassist was using an Ampeg SVT-2(pro). These are still in production, but cost about $2000. Actually, most post rock guys (Russian Circles, Fall of Efrafa, Godspeed..., Mogwai, etc etc etc...) play out of tube heads, and actually have that twinge of dirty tube overdrive to their tone. I play a lot of post rock, and i also play out of a tube head (Traynor YBA-3 CS). But, also like a lot of post rock dudes, i have a pretty expansive pedalboard that effects tone a lot...

As for cabs... i like 10's for clean tones and 15's for some overdrive. But realistically it wont matter THAT much. I reccomend just getting the largest cab you can for your price range. With more air being moved, the less you have to drive your amp, and the less it will be pushed to the distortion point. For cheap, it will probably be choosing between a 4x10, 2x15, or a 4x12. Look for an old Peavey TVX 4x12!!! If not, i'd suggest a 2x15 over a 4x10.... but finding a decent 6x10 or 8x10 in the $400 range is not unheard of... just be patient and look around.

Good luck!
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
If he bumps the budget up just a touch he might be able to find a used Markbass Little Mark II or III within his price range, I picked mine up for $370, and I usually see them go for about $400 give or take. Plenty of headroom (300w @ 8 ohms, 500w @ 4 ohms), and they're transparent as all hell.

Listen to Din ^ about cabs, I'd just like to add, you may see Behringer 4x10s and 8x10s floating around for dirt cheap, only go there as a last resort (i.e. there is absolutely nothing else suitable in your price range).
Composite Aficionado

Spector and Markbass
Id say go with a really good 15" speaker cab with a kappalite 3015fl in it. Porbably one of the best speakers on the market.

People like greenback, and bill fitz maurice use them in their cabs. So look for one of those.

For a head your looking at something with headroom so you dont have to drive it and something thats naturally transparent.
Hartke, Markbass, EBS, genz benz, carvin etc etcd and countless others make transparent sounding heads. Have a look a round but try and raise your budget a bit.

EDIT: a problem with the style of cabs and generally their makers that din of win has suggested is that they do produce a lot of their own distortion which takes away from the clean vibe, but is something alot of people have got used to so you dont really depends what your after. Try a load of stuff.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
Last edited by fatgoogle at Mar 29, 2011,
a great 4x10 is enough that a lower budget head can power without distortion. I suggest the little mark or a nice SWR. It may a little growl, but the lows are clean and punchy.

Bass tones are hard to find.
My Band
Mesa Boogie M-Pulse 360
Madison MAB 4x10
Warwick Thumb BO 5
I've been playing for 25 years. I would recommend my rig to absolutely anyone. I play through a GK 1001 RB-II, pushing an SWR Workingman's Tower (8x10). It's clean, full, incredibly rich, has amazing tone, and will make your BONES vibrate. If you are patient and look hard, you may be able to find them for about $700 for both of them. Check the classifieds on bass/guitar blogsites, craigslist, and ebay. And remember, be patient, don't settle.

Here are some good starting places:


HAPPY HUNTING!!!! Here's what mine looks like:

"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
Last edited by deeptubes at Mar 30, 2011,
Just get a power amp and run it through a simple pre. Cheap and clean as can be.
Quote by Zycho
Just get a power amp and run it through a simple pre. Cheap and clean as can be.

That can be done except, as always, the speakers
are a $$$ problem.

Take hart,,,,,,,,,,

Crown amps are super sounding amps.

I got a Crown XLS 202 on eBay for the minimum bid.
It was $100 plus $30 shipping. I got a Hartke Bass
Attack for $70 and free shipping. The Bass Attack will
work as a preamp for the Crown.

That's a supper clean 700 watts bridged into 8 ohms
with preamp for $200.

It sounds awesome and can stay on for days with no

But, the kicker is the $700 speaker cabinet. That is a
big part of the equation,

Last edited by tabdog at Mar 31, 2011,