#1
Ok everyone, here's the deal. I have no experience whatsoever, with amp HEADS and cabinets...I've been playing with combo amps all of my life...
So first off, is it anything I can't figure out on my own?
Also, Has anyone found problems with portability with a cabinet AND a head?

And finally, I'm assuming of course, that if you get into GOOD amps, you'll eventually have to get a head and cabinet...

So, that being said...

I'm going to be playing bass for the rest of my life, I need an AWESOME amp. I need an amp that can play ANYTHING and can be played ANYWHERE (in my bedroom, and on-stage).

So, please answer the above questions, and suggest/help me find a bass amp that is right for me.

Right now, I have a Behringer BXL1800 and it is NOT cutting it.

Thanks in advance everyone.
#2
Price range? Style?

And obviously if you have an all tube SVT and an 8x10 its going to be a bitch to move around. Seeing that you've provided no price range, I'm going to suggest the Warwick Jonas Hellborg amp system. But it'll set you back about 20k USD.
#3
I would say about 2k price range. That would count out the Hellborg system haha. I want something for the home, and the stage. I don't know how heads and cabinets work really, I was hoping someone could explain it. I see, lets say a 350 watt head, and a 600 watt cabinet. I don't really know what compatibility issues there are. And also, I'm under the assumption that for 2k I can get a very good amp system can I not? I've had some people tell me even 1k.
#4
Quote by IndianRockStar
Price range? Style?

And obviously if you have an all tube SVT and an 8x10 its going to be a bitch to move around. Seeing that you've provided no price range, I'm going to suggest the Warwick Jonas Hellborg amp system. But it'll set you back about 20k USD.


I really want to give that Hellborg system a try. Sadly, nowhere seems to stock it.

But I would suggest going to a fairly big shop and trying a load out, them coming here to ask for opinions on the ones you liked most. There is no way to define a good tone. Even with genres, some people think completely outside the box and get good results (e.g. Steve Harris using flatwounds in metal).
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+1
#5
For the most bang for your buck, I'd look into a high-powered carvin head with two avatar speakers. For a little over $1,000 USD you can have a 1250 watt full stack. It's all really high quality stuff, too. I'd try a whole lot of brands out though, but that's something to look into. I'm sort of partial to tube ampegs, but they seem to be slightly out of your price range.
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#6
Quote by Your41Plague12
For the most bang for your buck, I'd look into a high-powered carvin head with two avatar speakers. For a little over $1,000 USD you can have a 1250 watt full stack. It's all really high quality stuff, too. I'd try a whole lot of brands out though, but that's something to look into. I'm sort of partial to tube ampegs, but they seem to be slightly out of your price range.


Thanks, I'll look into that.
Can someone explain how heads and cabinets work for me? Or maybe that's a stickied thread, I dont know. I just don't get the concept. If the cabinet is 600 watts, doesn't that mean the head can't exceed that? I really have no clue.

Thanks.
#7
Quote by hellraiser1133
Thanks, I'll look into that.
Can someone explain how heads and cabinets work for me? Or maybe that's a stickied thread, I dont know. I just don't get the concept. If the cabinet is 600 watts, doesn't that mean the head can't exceed that? I really have no clue.

Thanks.

Read through the monstrous FAQ at the top of the forum. It gives a brief explanation, nothing too special. It all depends on the resistance, really. If you do end up going with avatar cabs, I'd order one 4x10 and one 2x12 and get them each in 8 ohms. Also look into the carvin bx1500.
Quote by PatMcRotch
The term grammer nazi is from the camps in the lolocaust made by Adrofl Hitlol...


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Be sure to rape the blue note (augmented 4th). Rape it hard and exploit it like the skank it is.


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#8
another question, the it sounds like what you're talking about is quite large...can it be transported in a standard 4-door sedan? I need something that I can move around quite a bit, but still have plenty of power...size-wise, maybe, no more than 4 or 5 feet high.
#9
Quote by hellraiser1133
another question, the it sounds like what you're talking about is quite large...can it be transported in a standard 4-door sedan? I need something that I can move around quite a bit, but still have plenty of power...size-wise, maybe, no more than 4 or 5 feet high.


That rules out an 8x10. lol

If your guitarist has a 4x12, see if that fits in your car. If it does, you should be fine. Reading the FAQ should clear up some of your problems. If you have a 5 string a 15 or 18" subwoofer might be nice. Carvin has both, and they go for under 300. They're about 60-70 lbs though. There are also these things called neodymium cabs, which have a lighter, more powerful magnet in them. Avatar cabinets use these speakers. A subwoofer combined with a 2x12 or a 4x10 would do nice. Which ones you choose is personal preference.
#10
Quote by IndianRockStar
That rules out an 8x10. lol

If your guitarist has a 4x12, see if that fits in your car. If it does, you should be fine. Reading the FAQ should clear up some of your problems. If you have a 5 string a 15 or 18" subwoofer might be nice. Carvin has both, and they go for under 300. They're about 60-70 lbs though. There are also these things called neodymium cabs, which have a lighter, more powerful magnet in them. Avatar cabinets use these speakers. A subwoofer combined with a 2x12 or a 4x10 would do nice. Which ones you choose is personal preference.


Yes, a 4x10 is what I've been looking at, but I don't know what I'm really looking at haha. I don't know how to combine the head. When I'm playing a 4x10 with a head, I don't know what I'm hearing, the head or the cab. What do you mean by a subwoofer and a 4x10? Do you have a link of a picture or something?
#11
A subwoofer is a cab specifically designed to handle lower frequencies. The most combination is a 4x10 and a 1x15 or 1x18. The single, massive speaker handles the lows and low mids nicely while the 10's add highs and higher mids. The head is what literally amplifies your sound, and the cab is just what the sound is being exported through. Certain speakers handle certain frequency ranges better, and it's all very well-explained in the FAQ. It's a great read
Quote by PatMcRotch
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#12
Also, like I said up top, I have a Behringer, and I'm not all that impressed with it anymore. I've heard the company isn't exactly Gallien-Krueger or Fender, but I don't know how true that is. I go to guitar center's website, and the highest rated bass amp is a Behringer 2x10, and its CHEAP. If it's as good as that one of the reviewers said, I might want that, it will easily fit in my car, but I dont know the size of the venue. Behringer also has a 4x10 thats very highly rated, and cheap again. However, I'm hesitant to buy Behringer again, because I can't get a great sound out of mine now, and I want an amp that I can use for, 5-10 years.
#14
I think it's a big mistake thinking head and cab is essentially a better setup, but it does have the advantage that you can pair any head with any cab whereas with a combo you're basically stuck with what you've got.

If your budget is $2k then I don't know why you're looking at Behringer. Their stuff is not high end at all.

My perspective on amps is that they basically fall into two general groups - amps where the amp affects your tone more than the instrument plugged in to it, or more transparent amps which take the sound of your bass and just make it loud. The first group aren't very versatile - for example an Ampeg B2 has a fantastic tone but it doesn't matter what bass you're using because it'll always sound like a bass played through a B2. The second group are much more versatile - we're talking modern solid-state heads that usually don't have a MOSFET type amplifying stage...brands in this camp are Carvin, GK and others.
#15
OK. I'll take a swing at this. If you will be playing at variable-sized venues and at home, having two speaker cabinets would seem to be the way to go. I actually play out of an Ashdown 2x10 combo that includes a tweeter (200 watts) while at home. If I need more punch then I can add a separate 1x15 cab to it for total of 300 watts, okay for small to medium indoor venues. The amp has two output jacks like a separate head would. One for the built-in speakers and one to output to a separate cab. The combination gives me a very portable system with full tonal range but will be too small for bigger venues and/or loud drummers unless I also mic through the PA (a whole other issue). So..... a versatile system for you would include the head that will have two outs that power two different speaker cabinets. You can just play through a 4x10 cabinet at first (and when at home) then get an additional cabinet with 15" speaker(s) when you have the funds and a bigger vehicle or other option. You should be able to get a good head, 4x10 cab, and a 1x15 cab for 2k. Guitar center has an ampeg equipment as above that would total about $1900. Hope this helps.
#16
Quote by rogue6
OK. I'll take a swing at this. If you will be playing at variable-sized venues and at home, having two speaker cabinets would seem to be the way to go. I actually play out of an Ashdown 2x10 combo that includes a tweeter (200 watts) while at home. If I need more punch then I can add a separate 1x15 cab to it for total of 300 watts, okay for small to medium indoor venues. The amp has two output jacks like a separate head would. One for the built-in speakers and one to output to a separate cab. The combination gives me a very portable system with full tonal range but will be too small for bigger venues and/or loud drummers unless I also mic through the PA (a whole other issue). So..... a versatile system for you would include the head that will have two outs that power two different speaker cabinets. You can just play through a 4x10 cabinet at first (and when at home) then get an additional cabinet with 15" speaker(s) when you have the funds and a bigger vehicle or other option. You should be able to get a good head, 4x10 cab, and a 1x15 cab for 2k. Guitar center has an ampeg equipment as above that would total about $1900. Hope this helps.


Thanks, that does help a lot. What you have seems to be what I want. I like the 4x10 idea, but I would like a 1x15 too...so, I might go with a 2x10, and a 1x15...
So my question is...
is a 2x10 and a 1x15 good for transportation, versatility, in the home and on stage, and tone versatility? If so, I think that's what I'm going to do.
#17
Quote by hellraiser1133
Thanks, that does help a lot. What you have seems to be what I want. I like the 4x10 idea, but I would like a 1x15 too...so, I might go with a 2x10, and a 1x15...
So my question is...
is a 2x10 and a 1x15 good for transportation, versatility, in the home and on stage, and tone versatility? If so, I think that's what I'm going to do.


My only concern for you would be that this rig may be too underpowered for you if you are playing a lot of medium to larger venues with a large/loud band. You may need the 4x10 and the 1x15. I would go measure my car's space and then get the dimensions of the equipment. Even with the 4x10 instead of the 2x10, you would have great portability and all around versatility adding the 1x15.
Austin, Texas ya'll

Fender Jazz 60's Classic
Ashdown Amp gear

Assorted other Martin/Fender/Taylor/blah blah blah
#18
As of now, my band-mates have 300watt guitar amps. They seem to get the job done, but they will also be upgrading in time. What would you consider a large venue? I would like something that covers up to medium venues.
Last edited by hellraiser1133 at Mar 2, 2008,
#19
Quote by hellraiser1133
As of now, my band-mates have 300watt guitar amps. They seem to get the job done, but they will also be upgrading in time. What would you consider a large venue? I would like something that covers up to medium venues.


Large venue= large bars, outdoor concerts but then you could mic one of the cabs through the PA which you would have to have anyway to play a venue like that.

Your bandmates are playing through 300watt speakers maybe but the amp wattage is a lot lower i bet. I am guessing somewhere between 40 to 100 watts???? A $3500 Marshall Full Stack has 300W speakers but a 100W head (amp). When I am playing in small spaces, I can get over the drums and keep up with my guitarist playing a (loud) Fender Blues Deluxe 40W amp with only the 300W 2x10. Ask your guitarists about their amps and tell me what they have. Are you guys mainly playing in a garage, in small bars, high school gyms? Where?
Austin, Texas ya'll

Fender Jazz 60's Classic
Ashdown Amp gear

Assorted other Martin/Fender/Taylor/blah blah blah
#20
they both have fender 100 watt amps...212R is on the front I THINK, if that helps...

We're playing all sorts of places...Backyards, restaurants, school auditorium....the one thing I'm worried about, is, we will be playing at a concert venue that I've never been to before. The place has had horrible small town bands, as well as bands like Live and Breaking Benjamin. I don't know what to expect in size, I know its not very big, but I guess its not small either. Maybe enough to hold 2,000 people. Let's say a crowd of 2,000 is the max, is that medium or large? and could a 2x10 and a 1x15 carry that size? if not, is it possible that the place has their own amps/PA system that would cover it? (I know, I have to find out haha, just asking)
#21
Yep, Fender Frontman 212R is a 100 watter. Given that and the large size of some of those venues, the 2x10 is not for you... too small. Hmmmm..... Given venue size, car size, power/volume needs... I think you are back to a head plus two cabs. I am an Ashdown guy which may run a bit over $2K for the head and cabs but not much more. You may want to call Bass Emporium (closed Sunday and Monday) in Austin (bassemporium.com) to get a price. All they have on their website are list prices. They can get way under that. Ashdown Engineering may have a dealer listed on their website in your area. You could defintiely get an Ampeg head, 4x10, and 1x15 for 2K. The good thing about having a good head is you can expand to bigger cabs when you want, sell the smaller ones if you want. Lots of good stuff out there for $2K. If you can get to a Guitar Center or the like and try some out with your bass that would be best although they won't have the Ashdown gear.

I feel certain some of these places you listed have an in-house PA.
Austin, Texas ya'll

Fender Jazz 60's Classic
Ashdown Amp gear

Assorted other Martin/Fender/Taylor/blah blah blah