#1
this is my first post, and i read the faq, but if i do something wrong i apologize in advance. anyway.

i have been in a band for the past three years, consisting of two guitarists, singer and drummer. recently our bassist up and left us, so we're turning into a four piece. i'm the new bassist and i don't have a single ****ing clue what i'm getting into, whats good or bad, what to use, and what not to use. i need some help with getting gear and i've turned to you guys and ladies. i have a decent budget, but nothing crazy.

My guitar rig:
- Peavey 6534+
- valveking 4x12
- boss dd-7 delay pedal
- line six fm4
- ibanez ts-9
- hall of fame reverb

i've played a lot of shows, even done a mini tour. so i know how to use my rig. i just don't know what good companies, models etc. i should be looking at. im currently running an ibanez gio series bass through a line six spider3 because i need a rig. your help/ advice is greatly appreciated !!
#2
Any Ibanez will do you good. I've started out with an Ibanez Gio, now owning three SR's... Very consistent quality.
As far as amps go, do you need a combo or a head/cab? I've always stayed true to Ashdown's combo's and cabs, great deep sound and durability. As far as heads go, stay out of the cheap crap like Behringer. Once I went with Hartke (as cheap as 400 bucks) everything fell into place.
Of course, Ampeg is one of the best companies when it comes to bass amplification, but they're quite expensive.

Just my story though ^___^
#3
Ampeg has a reputation based on the fact they were practically one of the pioneers in bass amps and have awe inspiring 810 cabs. However they are not the only choice in the bunch and they are not transparent to the point that many bass players can listen to a recording or a band and say, yup that's an Ampeg.

Avoid Behringer and lower end GKs, however the best way to approach this is to figure out what you want (weight? tone? options?) and then

TRY EVERY AMP IN THAT FITS THOSE CRITERIA BOTH NEW AND USED

I started out with a GK combo and a Ampeg combo for gigging. When I realized both weren't the best choices for what I needed in a gigging amp, I shopped around quite a bit and ended up with an Eden head and cabinet. It met my tone criteria and had the options I wanted.

Ibanez is a good choice for bass, esp. if you like their guitars already. I owned an SR800 at one point; it was a solid bass that was very versatile.

If you looking to budget for equipment, always remember that a lower end bass will always sound better through a higher end amp. The opposite is rarely, if ever true. Invest in a good amp and you can't go wrong.
#4
I have to disagree with Anarkee just a bit on Ibanez guitars and basses. I loath Ibanez guitars (being an ESP guitar fan) but LOVE their basses. I am the same way with ESP basses, I absolutely hate them. Best thing to do is go to a local shop or outlet guitar store (home shop, Sam Ash, Guitar Center, ETC) and just play. I will not knock a person who has a GIO 6 string bass. I have one and use it on certain songs. It has a deeper natural tone than my SR 756 and my BTB 656.

When you find your bass of choice. Start playing through different amps and see what feels good to you. Will you be playing through the amp itself or will you being going through the board itself via a DI box? I will add Burgera Bass Amps to the list of things you want to avoid. They are extremely touchy when it comes to distorting and hard to control. Hartke's are a good start and later try out some of the high end bass amps.

Above all, work on your tone shaping and EQ. If the bass amp you get does not have a graphic EQ, get the pedal. Listen to the other guitar players tone and shape it to sound like a deeper version. I have had guitar players that I have had to use a "flat" setting and guitar players where I had to really work on tweeking the tone to fit. Just listen to the notes. If you "disappear" on certain notes, Tweek the bass amp to give clarity.
#5
I'm looking for a 4x10 cab and a 400-800watt head? I'm new to the bass game and have literally no clue what I should be looking for. Preferably rack mount but not to picky really. As for tone, I'm bad at describing it. Basically I want a really nice clean tone that would act nicely when effects are added to it. I've been looking at Ibanez basses as well as ltd or esp basses. Also, any tone pedals that I should try out? Im using my ts-9 for a light crunchy tone, but I want a more muddy tone as well. Thanks for the input ! This has helped me look in the right direction
#7
Rather than a 4x10 I'd buy two 2x10's and stack them. Vertical alignment is preferable to horizontal, and you'll have the speakers higher up (closer to your ears).
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#8
There's only one way to choose a rig and that is to try it, Play through it and try carrying it, bass gear can be heavy and awkward to fit into a car. Mainly just listen to it, one persons clean sound isn't the same as another's so take internet advice with a dose of salt.

I'd advise you to buy something used and cheap(ish) to start with unless you find your dream tone. You will in all probability change your mind if you stick with bass and can lose money if you buy in haste. Get something that does a good job and live with it for a few months then buy when you are clearer. Used Peavey stuff is incredibly good value and seems bulletproof, if a bit heavy. Old Peavey 4x10's and 15's are great value second hand, look for something with the Black Widow drivers in, Peavey's best. The advice about 2 2x10's is absolutely correct and you can take just one 2x10 for rehearsal and smaller gigs but it is a slightly more expensive route. Other brands are available of course but go for something with a good name.

The bass itself is a personal thing, I've got small hands so I prefer slim necks for example, I play anything but haven't needed to play rock so the versatility of a J-bass suits me. I'd probably re-string the Ibanez and get a set up done until I had a better idea of what I wanted.

Hope you find what you want
Last edited by Phil Starr at Sep 19, 2013,
#9
Quote by theCanadianGing
I'm looking for an amp and cab that would be the equivalent to a 4x12 and a 100watt guitar amp.

then I'd look at 300W+ with a minimum of 4 10" speakers (not necessarily a single 4x10" cab).
If your band style reflects the typical metal style associated with the 6505/6534/whatever then I'd go for something fairly clean sounding and couple it with a Sansamp BDDI or something similar. Brands to check out would be Acoustic and Kustom if you want to keep it cheap, maybe Hartke and Ashdown too. In your position I'd probably go with a Sansamp BDDI for grit, into a Hartke LH-500, and an Ashdown MAG-414T or a pair of MAG-210T's if I could afford it.
As for basses the only advice I find is worth giving is go somewhere and try everything. I find that most brands have a distinctive feel and sound to them, so you need to find one that suits you, then start looking at models within that brand.
#10
#11
You have received some very good advice, but allow me to address something that is probably obvious, but has not been said: your choice of amplifier rig (not your choice of bass) is going to be heavily influenced by what your bandmates are using. Unlike a lot of people who come here looking for advice, you are going right into gigging. That's good, because it sets parameters that will determine what will work for you.

Now, looking at your guitar rig, I have to believe that your band is on the loud side. A 6534+ through a 4x12 cabinet is some serious guitar firepower. I take it we are not talking about smooth jazz in a quiet lounge, right? Then you are going to need some heavy artillery to be heard in the mix, unless your band has access to a very good P.A. and you mic everything, or you go direct into the board with a D.I. Box.

The traditional equation says that the bassist needs three times the wattage of the guitarist in order to keep up. This is because bass frequencies are harder to amplify than are the midrange and treble frequencies of the average guitar. Fortunately for you, the electric bassist is not owned body and soul by the Cult of The Tube. Yes, there are fine tube bass amps out there and bassists do like them, but your bandmates will not demand your first-born son as a sacrifice to The Tube if you show up with a solid-state bass amplifier. There are plenty of good ones from which to choose, too.

The big trend in bass amplification these days is the "Micro-Amp." In this case, "Micro" refers to the physical size of the thing. There is nothing "Micro" about the power they pack. Some of those amps (GK, SWR, Carvin, Genz-Benz, Markbass, etc.) are in the 500 to 900 watt range and they sound fantastic. I was particularly impressed with GK's MB-Series amps. Great tone, loud as hell and it will fit in your gig bag. Not bad, huh? Take a look at the Micro Amps that are in your price range. The SWR and Genz-Benz will be at the top of the price heap; the Carvin and the GK near the bottom. I am quite fond of Carvin's gear, and I own a fair amount of it. If you are in the U.S., they are a very good place to start looking.

Speakers? Well; there is no real consensus among bassists. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was all about the 15" speakers, with the occasional 18" monster woofer thrown in. Now it is mainly 10" speakers, which sound tighter and project better. A lot of bassists these days like 2x10 cabinets, but if your band is playing the heavy stuff through 100-watt, high-gain tube amps into 4x12 cabinets, then a 2x10 is not going to cut it unless you mic it through a powerful, capable P.A. You would be better off looking at a 4x10 cabinet. Acoustic makes a good one at a reasonable price, as does Carvin. Neo speakers are all the rage among bassists, and they are certainly fine speakers. They are also very light, in comparison to the standard speakers. The drawback is that they cost more. But if you come across a cabinet with Neo speakers that you can afford, give it a try.

Pedals? Well; most bassists do not use a lot of pedals. The only thing I would recommend right off the bat is a compressor. Compression is very important to a bassist (don't overdo it, though) and there are some good compressor pedals out there. Some of the most respected are the EBS MultiComp and the Keeley Compressor. The Keeley is very nice, but on the pricey side. A good MXR or Boss will serve you well.

What bass to get? Ah; the age-old question! Well; your choice of bass is going to be determined primarily by your budget. The more you have to spend; the more bass you can get. Decide a few things first: How many strings do you want/need? If your band is into the heavy, down-tuned stuff, then you are probably going to need a five-string bass. If not, then a four-string bass will do. Ibanez makes good basses throughout the price spectrum, and a lot of people use them. Fender starts with the Squier line, moves up to the Modern Player line, and goes up from there. Fender remains the standard by which all electric basses are measured, and you cannot go wrong with a Fender bass.

Good luck with your band!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#12
My old bassist had an 8x10 cab. stupid heavy, and our jam space is up a flight of stairs. i'm basically looking for a good intermediate style amp, the two tens sounds like a perfect idea, since we've downgraded to a garage so one 2x10 would be perfect. any specific amp companies, or specific models you like? i want to go in to a store with SOME idea of what to look for. also any pedals you like? we're more of a progressive style band, and i liked to incorporate a lot of different sounds on guitar, and i don't want to give that up. (i've already had to sell my eventide space . ) again, thanks for all the feedback !
#13
@FatalGear41, my guitarist runs an orange thunderverb or rockaverb 50, i cant remember, through an orange cab.
#14
OK, then. While not a 6534+ through a 4x12, that is still some pretty serious firepower for guitar. Orange amps are definitely on the loud side. So you want to look for an amp with at least 300 watts RMS. Since it will be solid-state (and won't enhance the even harmonics unless you crank the living crap out of it), you'll need it to compete with the perceived increased loudness coming from you guitarist's tube amplifier rig.

As I said, the "Micro Amps" are the big trend in bass amplification, but that does not mean you have to go that way. You get get regular-sized amplifier heads from Peavey, Acoustic, Carvin, etc. at good prices that will definitely cut through. Peavey has redesigned their bass amps - they still have the Tour Series heads (450 and 700 watts) and their newer version, called the Headliner (600 watts, single rack space, big-assed heat sink on the back - pretty sweet) that will serve you well. Peavey has the "Headliner" series of cabinets that are priced a bit less than their "Tour" series, and they have a 2x10" that is 400 watts at 8 ohms - not bad for a 2x10" cabinet. Acoustic has re-emerged as Guitar Center's "house brand," and the stuff is pretty good and very reasonably priced. They make the B300H and the B800H heads (300 watts and 800 watts) that sound pretty damned good. They have very tweakable EQ sections. Their 4x10 cabinet is 600 watts at 8 ohms, and it has a good, tight sound.

For Micro Amps, I'd look at the GK MB series first, unless you have a pretty good budget. If you do, look at SWR (Hell; look at anything by SWR. Their stuff isn't cheap, but it is fantastic). You also want to look at the speaker outputs on a prospective amp. Speakon connectors are all the rage now, and they do work better, but if the amp has only standard 1/4" jacks, then that will do just fine.

Pedals? For bass, it is the compressor and then everything else is icing on the cake. There are very few bass distortion boxes that sound good. If you want one, try as many of them as you can find. The EHX Big Muff for bass is considered one of the best. A nice delay or echo unit is great if you get into the proggy stuff. Chorus on bass was done to death in the 1980s; I don't know if you will find it useful. An Auto Wah is an envelope filter pedal; where would Funk music be without it? You can try it to see if it will work for your band.

Good luck!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#15
If you're worried about a 2x10 keeping up then a good 2x12 should compete with anything unless your band is too loud (in which case there are some other issues that need addressing). I'm genuinely afraid of what I might experience if I got the volume turned up past half on my amp with my 2x12 cab. The Genz Benz NeoX-212T is a great cabinet.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#16
Getting an amp can be tricky. The minimum wattage needed(as I was told) is to know your guitarist amp. If the guitar amp is a 100w solid state, your bass minimum is a 200w solid state or a 100w tube. If the guitar amp is a 100w tube, your minimum is a 300w solid or a 200w tube. When I started in my current band. The guitarist had a 60w line 6 and I have (still have) a 600w acoustic bass amp... His wide open set me to a max of 4 on my volume knob and 2 on my gain. When I switched to a burgera 550. His wide open was my 3 on volume and 2 on the gain. Our new guitarist has a 100w tube. I had to turn my volume and gain up slightly.

As for a cab. A 212 with a 115 stack works wonders. You get the highs and lows allocated perfectly. Effects... A compressor is a key effect. If you want to experiment. Get a boss me 50b
#17
Quote by damienbass
As for a cab. A 212 with a 115 stack works wonders. You get the highs and lows allocated perfectly. Effects... A compressor is a key effect. If you want to experiment. Get a boss me 50b


Don't really want to derail the thread but speaker size has little to nothing to do with the frequency response of the cabinet and you'll nearly always have better results using speakers of the same size due to phase coherence.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#18
Quote by Ziphoblat
Don't really want to derail the thread but speaker size has little to nothing to do with the frequency response of the cabinet and you'll nearly always have better results using speakers of the same size due to phase coherence.


Plus, frequencies won't be 'allocated perfectly' unless you have a crossover involved. Both cabinets will receive the full range of frequencies.
#19
I've played through a GK 410T for many years and always had a problem with getting good low ends out of it. Its a good cab for all intents and purposes, but it was paired with a 115B that I should have bought but didnt. The worst part about a 410 is that in an outdoor setting, unless you are going through a PA, a 410 doesnt project very well. Even in an indoor setting, it can be hard to get low end to cut through the mix out of a 410 without fiddling with the EQ on the amp to match the room. Alot of it depends on the room and the volume your band plays at too. YMMV.

I switched to an older Randall 215 (not sure of the model at the moment) a few years ago strictly for band practice, as this thing is way too big to gig with, and the difference was astronomical. Better low end and didnt lose the highs. It is also louder at lower volume settings on the amp. Pretty rad. Also, I should mention that I play all 4 ohm equipment, so that might make a little bit of difference between what I have and what is mostly available these days.
Last edited by RobinTH at Sep 20, 2013,
#20
thanks for all the input! definitely did NOT expect so much :p i went to a music store the other night, and spent probably 3 hours just playing different set ups and basses. i've made up my mind, and this is what i'll be getting:

-GK MB500
-Ibanez SR500
-GK 4x10" ( cant remember model, but its rated for 800w and it has neo speakers?)
also running:
-line six fm4
-boss dd7
-boss chromatic tuner
-ts9
-darkglass microtubes b3k
-boss compressor ( probably going to upgrade to either a keeley comp, or a rack mount.)
-electro harmonix bass micro synth.

what do you guys think ?
#21
The specs look pretty good. 500w @ 4ohms is more than enough power. Even 350w @ 8ohms is pretty good for most people until you get into heavy metal or a really, really loud band.

Since the amp can run at either 4 or 8 ohms, I'd opt for the 4 ohm cabinet. According to the MF & GC websites, you can choose which cab you want. 4 ohms is less resistance, which means more power/volume - less stress on the head and cleaner at higher volumes. I like the fact that you have the choice of what you want the amp to run at, so if you ever plug into someone elses cab that runs at 8 ohms, you can just flip a switch and rock out.

If you arent familiar with running stacked amp/cabs, make sure you buy a good speaker cable to go from the head to the cab. Dont use an instrument cable. It will not sound good.
#22
Quote by theCanadianGing
thanks for all the input! definitely did NOT expect so much :p i went to a music store the other night, and spent probably 3 hours just playing different set ups and basses. i've made up my mind, and this is what i'll be getting:

-GK MB500
-Ibanez SR500
-GK 4x10" ( cant remember model, but its rated for 800w and it has neo speakers?)
also running:
-line six fm4
-boss dd7
-boss chromatic tuner
-ts9
-darkglass microtubes b3k
-boss compressor ( probably going to upgrade to either a keeley comp, or a rack mount.)
-electro harmonix bass micro synth.

what do you guys think ?


That should be an excellent setup, and the SR500 is a fine bass. Good luck with your band, and welcome to the Low End!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#23
That rig will get you going and then some. Good choices and as FatalGear said, welcome to the land of bass awesomeness