#1
Hey all, I've been playing guitar for 9 years and recently started playing bass with a band that is interested in getting more serious. In a strange way, it is almost like a veil has been lifted off my eyes because bass has this real feeling that, as much as I love it still, I have never experienced with guitar.

Looking into buying some gear, but I don't know the big names or what fits me yet, so I thought you guys might be able to help me out.

Looking for a driver/modeler, a friend highly recommended a VT Bass Deluxe... pretty set on that, but I'm looking for amp/cabs that would go well with it. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that might help. I'm more of a better value than higher price sort of guy, if that helps (aka, not loaded)
TOP 500 Contributors
If you've got a real metalcore song that you want tabbed, let me know. I'll see what I can do.
#2
Well you can certainly get a better value if you're willing/able to shop around for used gear.

The VT Bass Deluxe is a great piece of kit, and I would highly recommend it if you're looking for that kind of classic Ampeg SVT type vibe. As to whether you need it or not, that's up to you and whether you can achieve the tone you want with or without it.

Seems like you're more in the dark about the amp though, and on that note it would be helpful if you could give us a price range to work with and what you intend to use it for. For example a solid practice amp can be had for cheap, but you'll for sure need something more if you need to heard over a drummer in practice, or if you need it to gig without a DI, etc.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#3
Regarding the amp - since you are getting started on bass I would recommend a combo amp. I bought a new combo amp earlier this year and went through the process of researching available models from the major vendors, looking at features, comparing features vs. price to get the best value for the money. I looked at Fender Rumble, Gallien Krueger MBxxx series, Ampeg BAxxx series, Acoustic. I narrowed this list down to Ampeg and Gallien Krueger, and eventually bought a GK MB200 - a great 200 watt combo amp with a 12 inch speaker for about $400 new. Maybe this is obvious, but if you have a nearby music store, I would recommend that you go there with your bass and try as many amps as you can, even better if they have some of the models that interest you.

I agree with Tostitos about the Sansamp VT Bass. I own one and I love it. Sansamp also makes the Bass Driver and Para Driver models, which are similar to the VT bass but they are not meant to specifically emulate an SVT amp. There are many (maybe too many) bass preamps and modelers so it will depend on your personal taste or desired sound. Myself for example - I don't like fuzzy distortion on bass but I DO like overdrive (which is different). The Sansamp models have tube-emulated overdrive and you can dial in just the right amount of dirt.
#4
I did the transition a short while back. Well, actually added bass to keys and guitar.
I found the bass, cheap, on the used wall at a GC. It's a Fender Squier with precision and jazz bass pickups (standard P&J), and a 4-string. Around the same time I found a Bass Pod XT "bean," which models a bunch of well-known bass amps (including SVTs), has headphone outputs and will also run out to whatever amps/full-range systems are available. Total expenditure, not counting a cable and/or headphones, under $200.
#5
Alright, price range I'm looking at is in the 0-600 roughly, but preferably in the 300-500 range. I was definitely thinking a combo in the 200W range so I can fill out smaller venues if I don't have a PA to in to. My bass buddy who owns the VT says it is sort of an amp modeler and that he can get a variety of sounds with it quite easily. I've heard the SVT thing mentioned before but I don't know what characterizes that particular sound.

I've heard a lot of people love Ampeg stuff. Any reason why your picked the GK over the Ampeg, smtp4me?
TOP 500 Contributors
If you've got a real metalcore song that you want tabbed, let me know. I'll see what I can do.
#6
A
Quote by millarso
Alright, price range I'm looking at is in the 0-600 roughly, but preferably in the 300-500 range. I was definitely thinking a combo in the 200W range so I can fill out smaller venues if I don't have a PA to in to. My bass buddy who owns the VT says it is sort of an amp modeler and that he can get a variety of sounds with it quite easily. I've heard the SVT thing mentioned before but I don't know what characterizes that particular sound.

I've heard a lot of people love Ampeg stuff. Any reason why your picked the GK over the Ampeg, smtp4me?


The best description I can give of the Ampeg sound is that is "round". It's really distinctive and recognizable live and in recordings once you know what it sounds like.

On what to buy, I agree with smtp4me's approach. Set your budget and try everything you can in that range. Don't get pulled in by the name game, you are the one who,has to live with your decision, so,focus on the sound you want as well as features
#7
millarso

I picked the GK because I liked the overall tone better. It was not an easy decision and I went back and forth for a while.
#8
One thing to keep in mind about Ampeg is that their little practice amps like the BA series don't sound anything like what people generally refer to when they're raving about Ampegs. That's the SVT sound, which the VT bass should approximate pretty well through a decent amp.

I would really encourage you to see what kind of used gear is available near you. With that budget you might be able to find a Hartke head, an Eden WT300, or potentially a smaller Markbass or GK MB head and still have enough left over for a used cab. That however will depend completely on where you live and what the used market looks like.

If you go new, I'd suggest taking a look at the following:
- Acoustic BN3115
- Ampeg PF-350
- GK MB200
- Markbass Little Mark 250
- TC Electronic BH250

The Acoustic is the only combo among those, so in the case of the others, I'd suggest looking at a Carvin cabinets (BR series) or Avatar (which would be a tad more expensive). The combination of one of those heads and cabs might stretch you towards the upper end of your budget, but having 200w+ and a 1x15 or 2x10 would likely serve you much better than smaller 1x10 or 1x12 combo if you're planning on playing with a band in small venues.

And lastly a huge +1 to everyone who said try out as much as you can before you buy. In the end your firsthand experience and impressions are more important than whatever we might recommend over the internet. Take a day and demo some amps at your local store if you can.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#9
+1 To all suggestions for Acoustic. Great tone for the price range and IMO great for someone who's still a little in the dark about what kind of bass tone they like. Also keep in mind that if you're gigging with this thing you'll want more wattage than you can normally get away with on a guitar amp. A line out is a good thing to have as well. Used Ashdown, Carvin, and Hartke amps are worth checking out.

As far as bass guitars go, get something that feels good. Anything, really. I've personally never played a bass that was in good repair that I couldn't coax a usable tone out of by changing either my technique or EQ.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
Ibanez SRX2EX1
Gallien Krueger 1001rbii
Gallien Krueger Neo 410
#10
Agreed on Cody's bass assessment. It must feel right and inspire.

On amps...well I am not in agreement with anyone.

You can find a Genz Benz NeoX400 112t for about 400 every once and a while and last saw one in Arlington TX.

In relationship to that I got a hold of a Genz Benz GBE 600 for about 400 and sent it to an old boss, Andy Fuchs, to remove the Preamp and put it into another chassis so I can use it with GBE1200 power sections.

His friends told him, "why do that? tell him to go get a Tech 21" Having just now finishing the project he checked out the Pre and decided that he now knows why I sought for this to be done, and said it does more than a Tech 21 and is different as well.

The second choice for the Pre is a Yamaha PB-1 which can be found for as little as $75.

A Pre and MultiEffect I use with the GenzBenz Pre is the Digitech BP-8. A 3rd one was just acquired for under $80, and I got one for a friend who is doing writing and recording and cannot seem to stop playing around with it. I thought he would dismiss it as a novelty.

A GBE600 with a NeoX112 or 212 is quite nice, gives you two Preamp capability and the Signal Shaping Circuit is over the top. Add the Digitech and there is little that you cannot do.
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