#1
Hey guys, I could use a hand with a potential upgrade. My boy has started playing his bass a bit more but I've been noticing he goes elsewhere to play someone else's more than his own. I told him I'd been thinking maybe he'd like to upgrade a bit and he said he was thinking that too but didn't know what or how.

Anyway, I wanted to show you what he has and then some options I'm seeing on craigslist -- then get your input. I'm thinking at the very least he should have something a bit more exciting looking. I know for me I get GAS for guitars initially based on look. Seems he'd be no different...

He currently has a Washburn XB102



These are some options I was looking at. Are these better than the Washburn? I wouldn't say he has a "style" of music yet. Him and his friends go into the music room and just sort of find a groove and jam. Very noobish but they have fun -- definitely more on the rock side of things though.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/2692971119.html
http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/msg/2701376756.html
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/2707439367.html
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/2706669636.html
Richard

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#2
I would say go with one of the Schecters.
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#3
I'd stay away from the Schecter because of their lack luster tone (my opinion). The one that looks nicest to me based on looks alone is the Ltd, but those electronics might not be much better either. It's important that your son tries them out for himself, although I know it might be difficult seeing as they're all on CL.

Make sure they SOUND good as opposed to just looking good.
pinga
#4
This one's a better Ibanez, a little more expensive, but better if you can swing the drive to Bothell: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/2708883285.html

Here's another pretty good Ibby, probably a better bet then the Schecters: http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/msg/2709166337.html

Keep your eyes peeled for old MIA Peaveys too, they pop up on the Seattle CL every so often and are a great bang for your buck. Look for a good 'ol Fender too, there are some kind of pricey MIM Fender Jazz's on there right now, but I know there was an MIA Precision going for like $500 not too long ago.
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#5
The Ltd looks nice! I'd buy that... It also has a 3 band EQ, which is great for dialing in different tones an such. Like another guy up there said it would also be good to let him try out some basses for himself. But yeah, I'd personally go with the Ltd.
#6
Okay, thanks a lot for the feedback. Here's another thought, though. After thinking it over, I'm thinking between the guitar and the amp, it might be better to start with the amp. What do you think?

To me it doesn't get very loud and it just doesn't sound... inspiring? Not sure if that's the right word. I know it doesn't matter what a bass amp sounds like. They don't really have any individual tonal character and there's no real difference between them all. But shouldn't it inspire a player a bit?

He mentioned when he slaps or pops the strings how it sounds pretty much nothing like when his Korn hero does it. Amp? Speaker(s)? Effects?




BTW, I'm totally trolling you guys about the sound quality of bass amps.
Richard

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#7
Its definitely less motivating to pick up your instrument when someone else has one that feels and sounds better. I have no idea how washburns play, but its a lot harder to play a gig with a nice bass and an underpowered amp than vice versa.
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#8
I fear you will hate hearing this, but you have to lose that Behringer amplifier. The quality control is notoriously bad, and they certainly aren't known for their tone. They've been known to catch fire from time to time. You'll find no love for them around here.

A lot of it is going to depend on two things: Number One: How much are you willing to spend on an amplifier? Number Two: How much do you like your neighbors and value your eardrums?

To get the sounds he's looking for, you need headroom and efficient speakers (or an efficient speaker). Headroom is volume; pure and simple. The ability of the amplifier to play at loud volumes without distorting. As for the speakers, you want something that will reproduce the sound properly without breaking up or coloring it. As the amp is played at higher volumes, you hear a responsiveness, nuances with respect to string attack, and enhanced harmonics. All of these things contribute to good tone. To get the best of these worlds, you need serious wattage to move serious air. A lot has been done in recent years to make these rigs more portable, but they're still deafeningly loud.

Luckily, you needn't go that route. Something in the 100 to 200 watts RMS range, with a 1x12 or a 1x15 speaker would be ideal. If he really wants to sound like Mr. Fieldy of Korn, you'd be looking at a very powerful rig. However, something like Acoustic's B200 1x15 combo should serve him very well, even if he uses it to play small gigs. They have fine tone, they can get a variety of sounds and it won't break the bank.

When you're ready to evict him from your house, he can get a Mesa Titan V12 1200-watt monster amplifier and an Ampeg 8x10 refrigerator cabinet like his hero. Then he will have his own personal weapon of mass destruction.

As for basses, it does sound like he's progressed beyond the Washburn. The Schecter and the LTD are good basses, and I second the recommendation of the Ibanez Ergodyne bass if you can find one near you. Mr. Fieldy of Korn plays a signature model 5-string Ibanez bass. It is a rather basic (no pun intended) instrument. There isn't anything special about it save for the fact that it has his name on it, so there are plenty of good basses at affordable prices that will get you those tones.

Good luck to the both of you, and tell him to stick with it!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#9
Quote by FatalGear41
I fear you will hate hearing this, but you have to lose that Behringer amplifier. The quality control is notoriously bad, and they certainly aren't known for their tone. They've been known to catch fire from time to time. You'll find no love for them around here.

A lot of it is going to depend on two things: Number One: How much are you willing to spend on an amplifier? Number Two: How much do you like your neighbors and value your eardrums?

To get the sounds he's looking for, you need headroom and efficient speakers (or an efficient speaker). Headroom is volume; pure and simple. The ability of the amplifier to play at loud volumes without distorting. As for the speakers, you want something that will reproduce the sound properly without breaking up or coloring it. As the amp is played at higher volumes, you hear a responsiveness, nuances with respect to string attack, and enhanced harmonics. All of these things contribute to good tone. To get the best of these worlds, you need serious wattage to move serious air. A lot has been done in recent years to make these rigs more portable, but they're still deafeningly loud.

Luckily, you needn't go that route. Something in the 100 to 200 watts RMS range, with a 1x12 or a 1x15 speaker would be ideal. If he really wants to sound like Mr. Fieldy of Korn, you'd be looking at a very powerful rig. However, something like Acoustic's B200 1x15 combo should serve him very well, even if he uses it to play small gigs. They have fine tone, they can get a variety of sounds and it won't break the bank.

When you're ready to evict him from your house, he can get a Mesa Titan V12 1200-watt monster amplifier and an Ampeg 8x10 refrigerator cabinet like his hero. Then he will have his own personal weapon of mass destruction.

As for basses, it does sound like he's progressed beyond the Washburn. The Schecter and the LTD are good basses, and I second the recommendation of the Ibanez Ergodyne bass if you can find one near you. Mr. Fieldy of Korn plays a signature model 5-string Ibanez bass. It is a rather basic (no pun intended) instrument. There isn't anything special about it save for the fact that it has his name on it, so there are plenty of good basses at affordable prices that will get you those tones.

Good luck to the both of you, and tell him to stick with it!

Thank you very much for all the information! I was hoping to find some brands that are considered "good" or "typical" in the world of bass amps and you've given me a start. Are these brands thought well of?
  • Acoustic
  • Ampeg
  • Randall
  • Gallien-Krueger
  • ????


As far as price range goes I was initially thinking $300 - $500 (ish).

I saw this Ampeg and wondered if it was in the range of what you're talking about: http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=984428
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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#10
Quote by richardlpalmer
Thank you very much for all the information! I was hoping to find some brands that are considered "good" or "typical" in the world of bass amps and you've given me a start. Are these brands thought well of?
  • Acoustic
  • Ampeg
  • Randall
  • Gallien-Krueger
  • ????


As far as price range goes I was initially thinking $300 - $500 (ish).

Acoustic is a well recommended brand. They're Guitar Centers in-house brand, but they're generally regarded as decent amps that give you a really good bang for your buck. GK is good too, provided you stay away from their Backline stuff. Ampeg is a big name in the bass world, however unless you're buying used I would recommend against their lower priced amps (the BA combos) are a bit lackluster for being priced the way they are.

Take a look at these, they're all 1x15 combos with plenty of power, they're all from respected manufacturers, and they all fit into your budget new so you wouldn't have to depend on used availability:

Acoustic B200:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/acoustic-b200-200w-1x15-bass-combo

GK MB115
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/gallien-krueger-mb115-1x15-200w-ultralight-bass-combo-amp

Peavey Tour TKO 115
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/peavey-tour-tko-115-400w-1x15-bass-combo-amp
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#11
Also check out Hartke amps. They are pretty affordable and sound amazing. I own a Hartke HA 3500 and I can get almost every tone I'd like. It has 350 watts and rocks everything. With a 4x10 and a 1x15 cabinet you are also loud enough at each and every gig.

I can also recommend the newer Hartke, the LH-500. It is more minimalistic in sound control, but has more power and is cheaper.
#12
If size and such are a factor and price. I have a GK MB200 head, it's 2 pounds and 200 watts at $250 new. Get that and a used 2x10 or 1x15 at 8 ohms he's got 120 watts and room to grow, get a 4 ohm cab and he's got a 200 watt mini rig he can take anywhere in one trip.
#13
Okay, cool. The above items have been duly noted!

Next question, I see this is on sale for the moment: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Acoustic-B450-450W-2x10-Bass-Combo-Amp-105491534-i1476649.gc (adding it to your shopping cart shows it priced at $349.99).

Is that too much amp? And I also notice it has 2x10 instead of 1x15. I also notice you guys mentioning 2 cabs (some loaded with 10s, others with a 15). Would this amp be suitable for home practice? Too much? Not useful unless there's a separate 1x15 cab?
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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Last edited by richardlpalmer at Nov 21, 2011,
#14
It's perfect, he can always turn it down, but you can't always turn an amp up. He's got enough headroom to play anywhere from his room to an arena.

1x15"s tend to be the cheapest in cab form, as 10"s are the modern favorite 8x10" cabs being the epitome of bass. Being cheap and used to the tone, I only own 15"s and play through 1-3 at a time, it's a low mid range vintage vibe.

A lot of bassists use a 4x10 or 2x10 cab and a 1x15 combination, it's supposedly to increase low end, but if a cheap 1x15 is used it draws too much power and gets zapped.
#15
Quote by askrere
It's perfect, he can always turn it down, but you can't always turn an amp up. He's got enough headroom to play anywhere from his room to an arena.

1x15"s tend to be the cheapest in cab form, as 10"s are the modern favorite 8x10" cabs being the epitome of bass. Being cheap and used to the tone, I only own 15"s and play through 1-3 at a time, it's a low mid range vintage vibe.

A lot of bassists use a 4x10 or 2x10 cab and a 1x15 combination, it's supposedly to increase low end, but if a cheap 1x15 is used it draws too much power and gets zapped.

Thanks!

With my guitar amps they're all tube. So having an over-powered amp for home use isn't very satisfying at all. The tubes are just never pushed so the tone is "meh" at best. So I strive to find lower wattage amps that I can push but that have juuuuuust enough headroom to sound good at lower volumes -- oh, and that are still giggable.

But even 18 tube watts for a guitar can be very loud. So seeing something like this, with 450 watts seems potentially ridiculous. But I know bass is a different animal altogether, so really appreciate the input...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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#16
I play a 200 watt head as previously mentioned, a lot of people think 300+ is best for gigs and such, through 2 15's and a drummer and guitarist I do fine.

And I get you, I have a classic 30 combo with matching extension speaker, great loud and quiet thanks to the drive channel for lower volume gain, and my bad monkey. With SS drive only on some amps sounds good so more watts means less chance of crap tone. I recently bought a tube preamp though, and now am in the process of buying a tube power amp for a relatively dirt cheap albeit only 120 watt tube amp.
#17
Bought the Acoustic B450 450W 2x10 Bass Combo Amp via the link above. It's weird, when I called the store to see if they had it in stock they didn't see this price as available in the store. And when the guy searched for it online he saw what I saw -- in the search results it shows the $349.99 price, but when looking at the item itself didn't see it, he saw $649. It wasn't until he added it to the shopping cart did he see the $349.99 price.

So, I don't know if this is a good deal for anyone else, but it's worth noting the item needs to be added to the shopping cart to get that price.

Anyway, I was on the phone for over 30 minutes trying to purchase it from the store and finally hung up after 32. I bought it online and used the "Ship to store" option so there wasn't a shipping charge. Looking forward to getting it in a few days.
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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#18
Enjoy the amp! A good 2x10 combo is always a solid choice for bass.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#19
Yea, If I had the money, I'd totally buy that and ditch a lot of my gear, but oh well. Best wishes to you and your son.
#20
Heck, while it was in my shopping cart I did a quick bing search for GC coupons and found one for 10% off -- that took care of my tax plus a bit.

And just 5 minutes ago I got an email notification letting me know I didn't have to wait for shipping, I could pick it up immediately from my local store. How cool is that?
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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#21
Good on you. I wish my dad was a fellow musician :p. Your son should be happy, i've heard good things about those Acoustic combos.
pinga