#1
I just wanted to take a minute to expound upon the wonders of using a separate pre and power amp instead of using a bass head for your rig.

Currently, I am running
Bass>Sansamp Bass Driver DI Programmable footswitch> Poweramp> Avatar 2x10

I'm getting around ~300 watts into the 8 ohm avatar cab. Sounds incredible. Not like my Markbass combo did, but just as good, just in a different way.

Now, altogether this cost me about 600 dollars, bass included. Obviously, I was searching for deals, and the only thing I bought new was the Sansamp. You can probably buy a pretty decent combo amp for that price on the used market with well over 300 watts, or even a separate bass head and cabinet.

But lets look at the potential of this rig. With a normal bass head you have to choose: Do I get one 4 ohm cab or two 8 ohm cabs? Sometimes, rarely, you will see a 2 ohm capable bass head. Even more rarely will you see a dual power amp bass head such as the older, bland sounding, Carvin Redline series.

With a separate pre and power amp, I don't really have to worry at all about matching resistance with my cabs anymore. Just plug any ohm cab into the other channel and done...

Also, lets say I have a 2x10 cab and a 6x10 or something weird. With a traditional bass head, these cabs would be receiving equal power, which isn't very ideal. With a dual channel power amp, you can use one cab on each channel, and then use the front panel volume knobs to balance the power between cabs, allowing for even more tone tweaking possibilities.

I'm sure many of you know this already, but I'm really quite shocked as to how much more open my rig is to customization now, and I wanted to spread what I've learned.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#2
Congrats on finding your ideal rig on such a budget.

I have two similar rigs; one couples an old Bass Pod XT (preamp) with a 1500W Carvin HD1500 stereo power amp, another uses the Carvin BX1500 (with internal 1500W stereo power amp). The latter is a descendent of the Carvin Redline series you called "bland."
#3
Yes, I have used the older redline model heads twice before (purchased twice) and was always disappointed in the preamp. Used with an external preamp, however, I can see the benefits, as they go for cheap on the ebay.

Carvin seems to be good about offering a lot of options in their amp heads.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#4
Several pros here in LA run through a Sansamp and send their bass signal wherever they want... Power amp, live house mix, recording interface etc. it's a great way to go if you can get your sound from the preamp. No need to drag around several refrigerator cabs.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Feb 8, 2016,
#5
Unless you augment your 2x10 with FOH there are usually only certain types of music where a 2x10 will suffice.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#6
Quote by John Swift
Unless you augment your 2x10 with FOH there are usually only certain types of music where a 2x10 will suffice.

I realize that. My point is that when I do need another cab, my options are limitless.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#7
Ah the wonders of variable ohm operable power amps.

My only worry is ever matching wattage to the handling power of the cabs, but some scream that such concerns are passe.

I do anyway, and I have yet to blow a driver, even after staging 3000 watts of Genz Benz Power and Speakers, or the 2400watt rig when opening for Pat Travers and Molly Hatchet.

After 10 years of service the NeoX 400 112t Combo went down on me for service.

Bass in my estimation does a number on things vibrating them over time. Entropy accelerated.
Move the Amp and Pre away from the transducers.

So I tried the GBE 600.
Wanted more power.

Yet the preamp thing became the choke point in everything. The GBE 600 shared the NeoX400 Pre, but the GBE 750 and 1200 did not. How do I get my beloved tone and the power I want?

Preamp stage is just too important in my book. SansAmp is nothing to sneer at. My present choice is the GBE600 which Andy Fuchs is extracting from the Power Section and is supposed to get to me as a stand alone Pre.

Second Choice is the Yamaha PB-1 from the 80's. Not having the Genz Pre from Fuchs, and not having one more space in the 4U Hardigg, one of the three Yammies in archive have been working the GBE1200 power section for me for 6 months, with great weight and reasonable satisfaction, but still not the same.

What I did learn in my struggle to get the NeoX400 Pre driving more power was that neither Genz Digital Power, nor Yamaha Digital Hybrid Power does the trick for me.

There is plainly something missing in Digital to me.

The NeoX400 copper toroidal power section was part of my tone, so only one or two GBE 1200's will do my tone in a power ramp up for a Fest or Arena.

Meanwhile Jeff Genzler says the:

2x NeoX400 112t Combo
4x NeoX112t
2x NeoX212t
1x GBE600
2x GBE1200

is "quite an arsenal"

Nothing else sounds like a chunk of copper.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#8
If you buy the right preamp you shouldn't encounter any problem.
I've experienced many different variants regarding Bass rigs over many years of gigging in many different genres of music.
I've been using the Ashdown RPM1 preamp for the last few years.
The RPM1 has features that many other preamps lack.
Firstly and in my mind most importantly a variable active crossover with variable balance along with full range option. A variable sub bass feature plus variable valve on the input.
I also use more power amplifier wise than the wattage handling rating of the loudspeakers because speaker development is far more advanced these days.
A loudspeaker can be damaged by an under powered amplifier going into clipping on the output stage trying to drive too large a load regarding loudspeaker rating, in 54 years of gigging I've blown just one loudspeaker.
Neos have been a massive benefit to bassists backs and I won't consider anything else, my latest setup is a Markbass combo and I'm happy to say one of the best pieces of kit I've ever owned or played through.
So up for sale is my previous gear of RPM1 preamp, powered cabs, oh and an Ashdown Little Giant 1000.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#9
Tasty John real tasty
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#10
i run an ebs microbass ii these days

it's pretty juicy
modes are a social construct