#1
I've been surviving using DI boxes and a Line 6 pod for a couple of years now because of budget issues, but since I have some important life stuff out of the way now I can start looking into gigging and getting a steady band. However, I really don't want to start searching for a serious project using only the POD, it's a nice unit for guitar playing but honestly I never liked it for bass.

So simply put, I'm looking for a bass amp that works well in a band setting as well as live. I have a pretty solid grasp on amps, audio tech and trustworthy brands etc. but getting a second opinion never hurts, at least in order to minimize nasty surprises.

Here's the usual:

Budget: around 500 euros, preferably below 600$. A bit low, I know, but what can I do?
Condition: totally fine with used amps, but please note that I live in Finland and have to deal with Finlands used gear scene.
Genres: mainly jazz, fusion, funk etc. but I play pretty much anything. I'd like to do session work someday as well so versatility is welcome.
Current gear: A Marcus Miller V7 as my main bass, and some off-brand beginner bass as a backup. (I'm working on a budget as you can see)
Location: FInland as mentioned. I have no problem with ordering from thomann.de
Both a combo and a head+cab are fine. I can squeeze a little extra for the stack though if necessary, but let's try to keep it sub-800e

Amps I've looked at include stuff from Ampeg, Markbass and Fender. EBS and TC have also caught my eye. I'd prefer a 4 band EQ but it's not really a deal breaker if other options offer superior sound quality.

So, tell me what you think. I'm open for all suggestions. Thanks.
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Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#2
The MarkBass tube heads are my favourite.. They aren't a tube amp as such but they do have a mini pentode in the preamp.
And their neo cabs rock. The 6x10 is extremely good and really easy to move around.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#3
MarkBass has been the main brand I've been looking at alongside Ampeg, but I'm not sure if I can find the tube versions anywhere. Local shops don't carry them anymore, nor does thomann. Their Little Mark series still look pretty nice.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#4
The bassist in my band plays a GK head through a 4x10 Cabinet. It's quite portable and extremely effective. I've heard him through the GK112MB as well, and I was impressed with it's clarity. I've seen more than just a couple of MarkBass Tube heads on stages all around the greater DC area. While popularity doesn't always equal dominance, of sorts, it is something to consider.

I do not have a lot of experience with Bass Amps, but I am very pleased with the sounds and tones that my Bassist has gotten from his GK rig. It has a Tube PreAmp stage, if I am not mistaken.

I hope you find what you're looking for. Good Luck!
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#5
i reckon you should probably ask in the bass forum- i know it says at the top of this forum that it's for amps, but most of us (even those who play a little bass) are guitarists first and bassists second, and you'll probably get better and more answers in there. or at least you'll get a second opinion.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#6
Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac

but I am very pleased with the sounds and tones that my Bassist has gotten from his GK rig.


GK is a brand I also recognize and have heard good things about so I'll definitely consider it. I can try most of these amps out before buying them so I can always just trust my ears. But asking beforehand like this helps me eliminate some choices beforehand so that I don't have to play through dozens of amps blindly. but yeah I'll look into the GK amps more, definitely.

Quote by Dave_Mc
i reckon you should probably ask in the bass forum- i know it says at the top of this forum that it's for amps, but most of us (even those who play a little bass) are guitarists first and bassists second, and you'll probably get better and more answers in there. or at least you'll get a second opinion.


I spent a lot of time thinking about this but ultimately decided to post here, partly due to larger traffic in this sub. I might ask again in the bass forum at some point if I need more pointers. I also play guitar and like to discuss gear stuff so I have been thinking about being more active at gg+a anyway, but maybe I can find more relevant things to discuss
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jul 29, 2016,
#7
^ yeah there's more traffic in here but most of us (I think, anyway) know more about guitar
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
I actually meant the Little Mark Tube. The non tube Little Marks are really good too if you can't find a tube one.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#9
i really like the markbass stuff. i run audio at my church regularly that uses one and i have yet to find a fault. it goes into the desk though to the PA for the heavy lifting though.

the neodymium speakers are soooo much easier to haul around than normal speakers, if you have to move it a round, IMO it is a must. IIRC it is also the little mark 800watt model.

as far as other bass amps, i have a friend (i will on occasion run audio for them too) that has a GK that sounds pretty good.

i use a genz benz 210t and it loud enough for using as a monitor for myself (or a bassist), but it needs to go through a PA. but i think i paid under $200 for it used. if i played bass much, i would upgrade, but i don't see that happening any time soon. lol.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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#10
Quote by Cathbard
I actually meant the Little Mark Tube. The non tube Little Marks are really good too if you can't find a tube one.


I figured, yes either the 250 or the 500 watt little mark seems like the strongest contender here. I'll try them out when I next visit the local shop.

trashedlostfdup

The neo cabs are also wayyy out of budget, which is really unfortunate. If I want o find one I'll need to really look into the used market and keep an eye out.

As far as power goes, I'm not sure if I need the 800w unit. Even if it is a solid state bass amp, I'm pretty sure that a 500w stack has plentiful volume and it seems like I could look more into GK sure.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jul 30, 2016,
#11
maybe a little late but maybe you could try acoustic bass amps. not sure how well they are for band practice but, John Paul Jones used them from late 60s until 77.
#12
I found a Crate BX-100 on Craigslist for $65 and played a couple of gigs with a very heavy-handed drummer on an acoustic kit and a guitarist who slaved a second amp to his first and it had no trouble keeping up. I know that Crate doesn't have the best reputation, but I've actually been really happy with mine. It has a line out to connect to the PA / monitor system and an 8 band eq. For guitar, I'm a big tube amp fan, but for bass, I'm not sure that it matters as much. Or maybe I'm just not that good a bassist to where it matters, ;-)
#13
Quote by cliffburtoncopy
maybe a little late but maybe you could try acoustic bass amps. not sure how well they are for band practice but, John Paul Jones used them from late 60s until 77.


I got a notification anyway haha. Not sure if this counts as a necrobump but I'm not a mod on this sub so I couldn't do anything anyway.

Acoustic amps are really rare around here. Can't find them new afaik and haven't seen a single one used.

Quote by jds2
I found a Crate BX-100 on Craigslist for $65 and played a couple of gigs with a very heavy-handed drummer on an acoustic kit and a guitarist who slaved a second amp to his first and it had no trouble keeping up. I know that Crate doesn't have the best reputation, but I've actually been really happy with mine. It has a line out to connect to the PA / monitor system and an 8 band eq. For guitar, I'm a big tube amp fan, but for bass, I'm not sure that it matters as much. Or maybe I'm just not that good a bassist to where it matters, ;-)


Crate doesn't have the greatest reputation indeed, and I'm afraid that can be a deal breaker. I don't have any reason to settle for a potentially inferior amp if I can afford a MarkBass or the like.

As a somewhat of an update on this thread (that's from july lol) there are quite a bit of Hartke heads for sale around here for nice used prices and I'm considering one of those. Gonna buy an amp anyway after new years, maybe something better pops up still.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#14
There's a Bass Pod XT out there that has bass amp emulations. All you'd need would be a power amp and speaker setup.
The Pod X3 incorporated the emulations from the Bass Pod XT, so you'd only need to replace your current pod with that one.
Tube amps are really unnecessary for bass -- most bass applications need a lot of power.

Most of the newer bass cabinet designs are pretty much full range and using NEO-based speakers with big Xmax numbers. The weight is much reduced over things like 4x10's and they'll still put out big, solid bass (sometimes even extended). Check barefacedbass.com in the UK, but there are also some great DIY setups like the fEARful 15/6/1 (kits and drivers/crossovers, etc.) available from placed like speakerhardware.com .
#15
dspellman

I didn't really think about getting a tube amp, but a solid state sure. I'd rather get an amp than an another pod though.

I'll check the other suggestions though, I like DIY stuff. Might be that I just get an used, easy combo for cheap in the end
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#16
If you do decide to go down the modelling route check out the Zoom MS-60B. It has a fairly convincing MarkBass model plus a buttload of effects.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
I'm a big fan of Ashdown stuff,

Markbass do some really good hybrid type amps.

Little Mark Tube I think it is.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100