Best value bass head for gigging?

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by mild, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. mild

    mild Member

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    The title says it all! We'll be in the UK from May, we've got a shiteload of gigs booked, and we've just realised we're gonna need an amp for some of them. I don't have a rig to bring.

    My preference is that it can get loud, be a bit dirty, and not be too expensive. I play a Geddy Lee Sig, we play synth/dance rock. I regularly feed a Big Muff and a Crowther Prunes and Custard into the front end of amps, and have knocked a few out that way by getting too exuberent with levels - so any advice will be taken under consideration!

    From a guitarist who's moonlighting as a bassist
    :crazy
     
  2. Scotty_Guitar

    Scotty_Guitar Member

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    Early 70s Traynor YBA1A Bass Master Mk II amps are fab for both guitar and bass, and still fairly undervalued. eBay bargains are still available. They are about 90 watts, and built like tanks. I've had one for 33 years, and won't give it up. You'd probably need a voltage converter of some kind though...
     
  3. musicmancutlas

    musicmancutlas Member

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    Jono,I'm an Ampeg-Eden guy but in a pinch, GK stuff is fairly inexpensive and yet very affective stage gear tonal and volume wise.You can pick up an Early RB series on Ebay fairly cheap.They are compact and powerful amplification with a decent tonal array,Easy to road.Good luck with your search.
     
  4. Alpha Audio Works

    Alpha Audio Works Member

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    The Ashdown MAG series ( 300 / 600 ) have a TON of headroom in the preamp. This way your pedals won't cook the pre. VERY affordable and sound great for the $$$.
     
  5. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Sadowsky SA200 VERY cool! Cathode biased, takes EL34, 6L6, 6550 KT66 or KT88's Built by Koch for Sadowsky.
    Eden VT300B
    Reeves 225 Bass Head 4XKT88 all hand wired old school Hiwatt build quality.

    or rent a few Ampeg SVT VR's and see how they hold up.
     
  6. Thor

    Thor Member

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    I may be mistaken, but you may have misread the initial question the same way I first did "valve" instead of "value"
    You listed some awesome amps, but all very pricy.

    For the OP,
    How big are the venues?
    Do you want a combo or Head/Cab?
    What is your budget?
    How viable is simply using a good DI? Works well for Geddy these days.

    Congrats and Have a great tour,

    Edward
     
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    If they are seriously touring, they must have reliable gear.

    I have never cared for solid state bass amps, so I recommended
    a few good tubers with reservations about build quality on the new
    Asian Ampeg stuff.
     
  8. mild

    mild Member

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    Yeah - value is the key Edward, thanks. Gigs are medium to large pub gigs, and a couple festivals. We've already got a cab sorted, so I'm after a Head. The budget... probably between 300 and 600 pounds.

    A good DI won't cut it, really. I use a Big Muff and a Prunes and Custard into most amps, and unless it pushes air, its not going to sound nice. Also, we like to make a lot of noise - and having quick control of my volume level and EQ on stage is nicer than putting your finger in the air for the soundguy.

    Thanks for all your suggestions so far! The Ashdown looks like a good idea... I particularly like the idea of an amp I can't cook the preamp of.
     
  9. Thor

    Thor Member

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  10. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Best value? WITHOUT A DOUBT, the Behringer BX4500H Ultrabass. 450 watts for $260. I have one it sounds awesome and has given me ZERO problems. They sound REALLY good!
     
  11. b-strung

    b-strung Member

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    A used SVT-III. Plenty of volume and you can dial in some grit if you like. Pretty good tone for the price 450-600 street.
     
  12. Cosmic

    Cosmic Member

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    300-600 British Pounds is roughly $600-1200.

    I vote for the Eden rig as well. You can get a used WT800 for that. Or for a little more a new one.

    Or you can get a brand new Eden WT405 which can put out 620 watts at 2ohms. That should give you a lot of cabinet choices. And they seem to be quite reliable and have no tubes etc to fuss with.

    Otherwise, go the pre-amp/power-amp set up. There are plenty of nice choices out there on pres ranging from Eden, SWR or Alembic. And plenty of cheap, reliable power monsters to be had. You could easily do that with your budget.
     
  13. juh_sepp

    juh_sepp Member

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    I have the BX4500H as backup, was my primary amp for a couple of months. No problems, did not have any worries. I got a Genz Benz basically because of the weight. But don't listen to the Behringer bashers when it comes to this head. The Behringer does sound good, but not as good as the Benz with the tube preamp.

    I don't care for the Behringer cabs though.
     
  14. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    There's an Italian company whose name escapes me who makes great inexpensive heads that are VERY light. Anyone care to chime in? They carry them at GC..
     
  15. rdamato

    rdamato Supporting Member

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    Mark Amps are the company you are referring to. They weigh less than an full size laptop. Pretty cool.
     

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