#1
So I need an amp to play with a metalcore group. I'm on a pretty tight budget ($300-ish, though I may extend it a little for the right amp). The thing is, most of the bands that I see in this style are using Ampeg SVTs, which sound good and are ridiculously expensive. Is there a way to get that sound in my budget?

I'm playing with a loud drummer and two guitarists using 100-watt tube half stacks, so I'll probably need a good deal of volume.

I use a Precision Bass with an EMG pickup.
For tonal references...I'm going for something kind of "clanky," like Shayley Bourget (Of Mice and Men) or Tim Payne (Thursday).
I use a pick most of the time. I NEVER slap, if that makes a difference.

I am completely fine buying used. I just don't know what to look for in an amp, really. 4x10s? 1x15s? Stack? Combo? Wattage? Make? All these things are still a mystery to me.
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
Last edited by sonic_777111 at Aug 28, 2011,
#2
That is a pretty tight budget, but you never know what you could get (I got a huge stack with only $200, but I had to go used obviously). Are you willing to go used? You'll have much more options that way.

Anyway, you could buy a combo or a stack, preferably stack so you'll get much more tonal variety. If you truly want to get that SVT without getting an SVT, you could always buy a VT bass pedal.

http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/characterseries.html

I heard it *closely* emulates the SVT sound. Never used one myself, so I can't help you there. I would suggest holding off on the pedal for now and find your own sound. For $300, if you go new you can try getting a Peavey TKO

http://www.zzounds.com/item--PEVTTKO

it'll be $50 over budget but you can't go wrong with Peavey stuff. I use their gear, and you just can't kill their stuff. Some will say that a 1x15 won't be loud enough, but I disagree, if you know how to properly EQ it, you could stand out. However, if you're facing 2 guitarist with 100 watt tube heads, you might have a problem.

If you go used, you can look for an old Acoustic B410 and the matching head to go with it. However, when going used, IME anyway, it's much easier to find old Ampeg or Peavey gear. Either is fine, but you might be a bit tight with the $300 range. Try looking for a Peavey Mark III or IV head. Those are pretty old but with the right cabinet, you can make miracles happen.

Look in your local craigslist for deals or hell, ebay always helps too.
pinga
#3
As I said in the original post I'm completely fine going used. I see Peavey Mark IIIs popping up on Craigslist and at my local Guitar Centre once in a while...I was wondering if one of those would work, and since apparently they do, I think that's what I'll go for. Thanks!

I thought a bit about getting a VT Deluxe and a cheap Behringer head, because the Behringers have plenty of volume and seem to be fairly common and inexpensive. My only concern with them is reliability; do they break a lot?
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
Last edited by sonic_777111 at Aug 28, 2011,
#4
Quote by sonic_777111
As I said in the original post I'm completely fine going used. I see Peavey Mark IIIs popping up on Craigslist and at my local Guitar Centre once in a while...I was wondering if one of those would work, and since apparently they do, I think that's what I'll go for. Thanks!

I thought a bit about getting a VT Deluxe and a cheap Behringer head, because the Behringers have plenty of volume and seem to be fairly common and inexpensive. My only concern with them is reliability; do they break a lot?

Oh, well there you go. Going used is definitely the way to go if you need alot of bang for your buck. I own a Peavey Mark VIII head and it's great and damn rugged.

As far as Behringer goes. Ive owned one Behringer product in my life. It worked great for what I needed it for. There was a time where I was the only one on this board repping their products. 9 out of 10 people will tell you their products are terrible, unreliable and overrated (in terms of wattage). I would NOT recommend them.
pinga
#5
because the Behringers have plenty of volume


*watts

And not RMS watts either, peak wattage (an almost meaningless number when considering how loud an amp is going to go) in an attempt to false advertise their products.

You'll find that any Behringer amplifier will be considerably quiet for the power it claims to have. If the thing doesn't break when you turn it on for the first time.

Don't touch their products with a barge pole.
#6
There's a Behringer-hate bandwagon for a very good reason. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

If you're looking for something SVT-like, I'd suggest an Acoustic B200H and a 4x10, and throw Tech 21 VT Bass in front of it (might stretch your budget a little far though). A Peavey Mark head would also be a good bet, providing you find one in good working condition.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#7
Quote by Ziphoblat
*watts

You'll find that any Behringer amplifier will be considerably quiet for the power it claims to have. If the thing doesn't break when you turn it on for the first time.


Thing is, I borrowed one and couldn't get it above 8 o'clock on the volume knob without drowning everyone else out (and I always have to crank the borrowed Line 6 1x12 I normally use). Yes, there actually is a lot of volume.
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
#8
I'd also recommend a Peavey, if you happen across one. I've used a TNT 115 for years, and it has been nothing but rock solid through touring and gigging.

I'll also jump aboard the Behringer hate bandwagon. I had one of their heads for some time (whatever they peddle out as a 450w head). It couldn't even overpower my Peavey at the time, and that was running through a Behringer 8x10 cab. I also thought I could use the Behringer cab with a different head, since it was rated at 2000w. I tried my Carvin BX1200 head (rated at 1250w mono) with the cabinet, and the speakers balked at volumes over 3. I traded off that 8x10 for a 1x18 as soon as the opportunity arose.

In short, I'd avoid Behringer for anything besides PA speakers or boards (which I hear are decent).
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#9
Long story short, avoid Behringer. A few other notes:

You can grab a Peavey TNT 115, and it is a damn good amp. But a few notes should be taking into account. Just because your guitar players are using "100 watt tube half stacks" does not mean that you will need a monster rig. Volume is not determined in watts, a lot of it has to do with the speakers you are using to really project your sound. 4x10 will sound louder and more present than a 115 (generally speaking) because you are pushing 40 inches of air rather than 15 inches. Also they emphasize the high end frequencies more than a 15" speaker will. It's just the nature of 10" speakers.

Also proper eq-ing will get you to cut through and be heard, or it will bury you in the mix if you fail to do so. Make sure you are pushing your mids, but not to the point of muddiness. If you are playing with a pick most of the time like you say and going for a "clanky" tone then I'd recommend getting a 4x10 cabinet and making sure you emphasize your high end, push your mids enough to fit in well. You'll push enough air, should hopefully get the tone that you want, and be generally happy with what you are using.

Wattage is determinate of headroom, or cleanliness of an amp per se. Doubling up in true volume means that you'll need to multiply your wattage by ten. A 200 watt amp is not always louder than a 100 watt amp, but it will be cleaner at louder volumes and as such will sound better, or not, it's all relative and open to opinion. Your speakers will play a greater role in that.

I find that about 200-300 watts is enough for most band settings. With your budget you'll definitely need to go used to get anything decent. Check your local craigslist. Speaking of which what is your area? I see Florida but what area? I would still recommend pushing your budget to about $500 for a head and a cab if you can manage it, but if not then understandable. So hopefully this knowledge helps you a bit. As far as brand recommendations:

Peavey
Acoustic
Gallien-Krueger
Fender (debatable, I've heard they updated the Rumble series).
Ashdown.

Models will vary depending upon availability.
Good luck!
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#10
You're going to need some serious firepower to keep up with a pair of 100-watt tube halfstacks and a loud drummer in a metalcore band. You're probably going to have to up your budget. A Peavey Mark head is a great place to start, but you'll likely need a 4x10 cabinet to go with it. Don't go below 300 watts in the amplifier; even more would be better. I take it you guys play loud? You might be able to get away with something smaller by mic'ing it through the P.A. system, but a lot of club systems just aren't up to it. They're designed mainly for the vocals and monitor mixes.

If you want the SVT growl without the high price and back-breaking weight (85 pounds just for the head!), try the Tech21 VT Bass Pedal as recommended.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#11
Hey OP,

In the late 90's i played what was considered 'Metalcore'... we played with bands like: Botch, Cave In, Pg.99, Majority Rule, Reversal of Man, Curlupanddie, Zao (one of my main basses was bought from their bassist at the time, in '99), Training for Utopia, Orchid, Backstabbers Inc., Drowningman, Saetia, Jerome's Dream, Thursday, Converge, Envy... etc...

We were all poor punk dudes in the band, so we had to use stuff on the cheap. The best way of accomplishing that, was to buy USED.

My cab stayed constant... i got a great deal on an Ampeg 2x15 from the 70's for about $200. 4 ohms. It sounded GREAT.

My head evolved, however. I started with a Sunn Colliseum Bass head. That was stolen, and i picked up a Kustom200 bass head. From there i also picked up a 70's Acoustic 370 head, then a Peavey Mark 3, and finally (for that band's run) an Ampeg V4-b tube head.

The older solidstate heads have great power, and still give a good cutting overdriven tone.

So, i wholeheartedly suggest you go USED... I had a complete, amazing sounding rig for $350.
"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."
#12
Quote by JF-SH1
Long story short, avoid Behringer. A few other notes:

You can grab a Peavey TNT 115, and it is a damn good amp. But a few notes should be taking into account. Just because your guitar players are using "100 watt tube half stacks" does not mean that you will need a monster rig. Volume is not determined in watts, a lot of it has to do with the speakers you are using to really project your sound. 4x10 will sound louder and more present than a 115 (generally speaking) because you are pushing 40 inches of air rather than 15 inches. Also they emphasize the high end frequencies more than a 15" speaker will. It's just the nature of 10" speakers.
!

Actually this is wrong.

You're right about the watts, it's not the most important thing, its about the amount of speakers. But it's not as simple as a 1x15 moving 15'' of air vs a 4x10 moving 40''. There's ALOT more than just basic math. I can't tell you because im still learning about it myself but it all has to do with effiency of the speakers, excursion, ported vs unported etc etc.
pinga
#13
Quote by Cb4rabid
Actually this is wrong.

You're right about the watts, it's not the most important thing, its about the amount of speakers. But it's not as simple as a 1x15 moving 15'' of air vs a 4x10 moving 40''. There's ALOT more than just basic math. I can't tell you because im still learning about it myself but it all has to do with effiency of the speakers, excursion, ported vs unported etc etc.


Well, ultimately it is about the amount of air that's been moved, but it's definitely right to say that plenty of factors will affect this. Many cabs will move a lot of air, just in the wrong places.
#14
Quote by Ziphoblat
Well, ultimately it is about the amount of air that's been moved, but it's definitely right to say that plenty of factors will affect this. Many cabs will move a lot of air, just in the wrong places.

Yeah I know, but what I meant is that a 15'' doesn't necessarily move 15'' of air, it's more than that or less depending on how the cab was built, how efficient the speaker was, etc. I wish physics was simpler though
pinga