#1
Hello denizens of the bass forum!

So a little back story: when I first started playing an instrument it was bass, and the majority of bands I've been in have had me on bass, but since I've been at uni I think I've played maybe a few hours of bass because my current band has me on guitar and playing bass as well, carting gear around is impractical.

That said... I want to get back in to it. I was back at my parents' place for a couple of days with only my bass and I remembered how much I enjoy it, so I want to get back in to it more.

The real problem, as ever, is gear. I have ideas on the kind of basses I like but when it comes to amps and such I'm relatively clueless, I just know what sound I like.

On to the meat of the question:

What kind of amps can I get that will do for gigging but are physically small? I'm generally a metal player and I like my bass tone as clean as possible from the amp so I can mess about with it with pedals and such.


TL;DR: I would like a physically small amp that will do for metal shows, halp?
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#2
If clean/neutral and small is your thing, look at something like a Genz Benz Shuttle into a Barefaced Midget T or possibly Super Twelve T if that's not too big for you. As you're in the UK, Barefaced is definitely the way to go in your situation.
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#4
Quote by Ziphoblat
As you're in the UK, Barefaced is definitely the way to go in your situation.

+1 they have an awesome reputation, definitely something to look into. There are some other compact cabs out there, I know Markbass Travelers and the TC Electronic RS series are fairly compact. If weight is an issue look at neo cabs which will be more expensive, but lighter. I don't know what kind of cab configuration you'd prefer, but you might want to consider stacking 2x10's vertically (IMO easier to transport around than one 4x10 but YMMV).

As for amps there's a plethora of mini and micro heads with lots of headroom available:
Markbass Little Mark series
Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0, 9.0, and the ShuttleMAX 6.0 and 12.0
Genz Benz Streamliner
Eden WTX 500 and WT550
Aguilar Tonehammer 350/500
GK MB500 and MB Fusion
TC Electronic RH450 and 750 (and the BH250 if the Toneprints thing interests you).

If money is no object, then there's stuff like Acoustic Image and Phil Jones, but that's starting to get really pricey.

Most of those will be in the 300w+ range which is where you'll want to be for plenty of clean headroom. Most of them are also small enough to fit in a backpack and some (like the GK's) could probably even fit in the pocket of a gig bag.
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Spector and Markbass
#5
Excellent, thank you very much guys! Would something like a Markbass 102p (the 2X10 Traveller one) coupled with an GKMB500 be enough to really be heard at most gigs without a PA? It just concerns me that a little 2X10 or similar wouldn't be able to move enough air...

Also, I don't know if this is really a consideration much but I tend to play in low tunings and in fact intend to pick up a 6 string when I can afford it. I've been under the impression in the past that you need more speakers (my bigger rig has a 1x15 in it) to really get the low B to sound any good...

Apologies if any of these questions are stupid but like I said; bass gear is really not a thing I know much at all about...

Edit: should probably mention that, unless there really is no real alternative, something like the Barefaced stuff is probably a little out of my budget, the GK head + Markbass cab is probably about the ideal price range for me.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Sep 15, 2013,
#6
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
It just concerns me that a little 2X10 or similar wouldn't be able to move enough air...

That's why you'd probably want to get two 2x10s. In the case of the 102p you'd probably want two of the 8 ohm versions (there is a 4 ohm version available but IIRC they have the same power handling). A single one might do for practice, but for gigging without PA assistance you'll probably want some like two 2x10s (vertical stacking is a popular configuration for that) or a 4x10, etc.
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Spector and Markbass
#7
Quote by Tostitos
That's why you'd probably want to get two 2x10s. In the case of the 102p you'd probably want two of the 8 ohm versions (there is a 4 ohm version available but IIRC they have the same power handling). A single one might do for practice, but for gigging without PA assistance you'll probably want some like two 2x10s (vertical stacking is a popular configuration for that) or a 4x10, etc.


Ok, that's what I thought, thanks!

While I'm here... got any recommendations for practice amps? I have one but it's so terrible I'd rather not have to use it ever again...
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#8
What's your budget, The AER Amp One is the perfect amp for you, it really is a kind of sonic TARDIS (UK readers and Sci Fi buffs will understand) It uses a single 12" speaker and a 200W amp along with some clever electronics to give a really deep solid clean sound from a tiny combo. It doesn't sound electronic though, if anything it has a valve like quality to the sound. You will overpower your drummer with one of these with ease, at that point you have to both go through the PA anyway so it is big enough for anything. The down side is that it is around the £1,000 mark and nobody ever seems to sell them on.

If your budget is more limited then look at the Hartke kickback combo's. They struggle for absolute volume but are good enough for full band rehearsals and I have used them successfully on stage. Though you have to use the PA for support they crank out enough for you and the band to use them as a bass monitors. They have a DI output. This is my preferred set up because I like to keep the bass out of the vocal mics but my Drummer likes to feel his trousers flap. Even so I can make his ears bleed with a 2x10 so that is what I use.

The reason some of the new lightweights like the Barefacedare so successful is that they have long throw speakers, by travelling further before distorting they can shift the same air as two conventional speakers of the same size. This is also ideal for producing deep bass. The downside is that they aren't quite so efficient and need a bit more power to get the best out of them. Luckily amp watts are getting cheaper making this a good engineering solution. Class D and switch mode power supplies are also making the amps smaller and lighter.