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#2909851 - 02/15/18 09:20 AM So... I'm shopping for an amp.
butcherNburn Offline
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Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 3380
Loc: Onions Peppers Garlic
There's little enough activity here that I feel posting this is not a waste of people's time, and "use the search feature" is somewhat irrelevant.

I'm looking for a combo, most likely, that has either 2 10's or one 12" speaker, and 200+ watts, under $500. I prefer simple controls if possible, I'd rather be playing during the precious moments I have and not tweaking knobs. I have a Sansamp for some more tonal flexibility if needed and will play with a bit of dirt sometimes. This will not be for gigs but may be brought to a friends place to jam with 2 guitarists and a drummer on rare occasion. I'm not looking for high end stuff but don't want a piece of junk either as I'd like to keep this for 10+ years. Also, I prefer "new" (dent & scratch or open box with warranty is OK), and readily available in the US online retailer. Going to a store and trying stuff out is very frustrating for me.

Why? I don't care for my SWR Workingman's 10, which I've had for more than 10 years, including my long hiatus from playing.
It was OK but I never really got the sound I wanted.
I also have a very old Ampeg B-25 head, which although awesome at what it does, will never leave the house, though it can fill in for heat if my boiler dies. I also have an old 10" Carvin cab which is the remanent from a combo whose head died long ago.

Months ago, I was considering a Carvin 250 watt, 2x10", and should have pulled the trigger when they were on steep discount ($274), but didn't. They've since closed many areas of their business and jacked up the price, before offering a discount on remaining stock but with no warranty. Something about that turns me off. I always loved my stuff from Carvin but this worries me.

I see a ton of MarkBass stuff out there but it seems pretty pricey for what you are getting.
What's left:
Peavy, who seems to offer different flavors of the same configs, with little explanation of what is different.
Carvin, who is still a contender but worries me.
Ampeg
GK, whose amps I've loved but speakers I didn't.
Acoustic, whose old stuff I've played and didn't care for.
Fender, who has gotten good reviews as of late.
What else?

Some may say, I'm asking for too much power in what is essentially a home amp, but to them I say "shut up, I want what I want". I totally understand that a small head and cab may be the answer, but that will most likely put me over my price point and if going that route, the "might as well" factor ( a few more watts, a neo cab....) would really put me over.

So, any suggestions?
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#2909888 - 02/15/18 12:01 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: butcherNburn]
Danzilla Offline
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Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5516
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Fender Rumbles have gotten decent reviews, though I haven't played any to give you personal experience. The 200 watt 1x15 combo is $449 at MF. I know you want 2x10 or 1x12. But for just a little bit more cash, you get a jump in power & the speakers you want. The 500 watt 2x10 combo is $599.

Have you considered Ashdown? I like most of what I've played of their stuff. They have a 300 watt 2x10 EVO combo for $449; a 22o watt 1x12 Rootmaster for $499, and 420 watt 1x15 Rootmaster for $519.

Just about anything else under your price cap will be a sacrifice of watts and or speaker choice (i.e., some nice Eden and Warwick combos that are under 200 watts and/or have 15" speakers).

Of course, we all know the used market would give you more value/watts for your price-point, but I understand wanting something new for warranty purposes.

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#2909905 - 02/15/18 01:21 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: Danzilla]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8944
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
There's a lot of new stuff these past few months. I'm not in the market so didn't pay much attention, but some of the brands with new combos include Ashdown and Trace, and maybe Hartke. Also one I listed here recently from Blackstar.

Eden's are pretty good value; I had one for a while as a backup amp.

You might look at NAMM news from that UK guitar magazine (I forget its name) as they did a thorough showing of new bass combos. The newer designs probably better match your needs.
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#2909959 - 02/15/18 06:55 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: Mark Schmieder]
butcherNburn Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 3380
Loc: Onions Peppers Garlic
Thanks Dan, those were pretty much what I was looking at but I have to admit, I didn't give Ashdown a fair shot. There was also an Ampeg 450w 2x10 I was looking into. I had a few days off this week and looked through a ton of President's Day specials w/ free shipping etc.

Too many choices is not always a good thing. I almost wish it was "I'd like to buy a bass amp please." "Sure, we have a red one and a black one." "I'll take the black one, it's louder."

Thanks to you also Mark. I cam across some things from NAMM but some of that stuff isn't shipping yet and if new, probably won't be on special any time soon. I looked at some of the lower end Eden stuff but the "might as well" factor may push me into more costly Edens.

Is it just me or do other people not care for the controls being at the back of the top of many amps? I understand what a space saver it is cabinet wise, and how it can be convenient for some but to me it's a hassle. It really stinks when the put the power switch or the headphone out on the back. None of this would totally turn me off to a combo, I just find it irritating.
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#2910728 - 02/19/18 01:38 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: butcherNburn]
jcadmus Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 4972
Loc: Connecticut
My two cents:
-- I played a Markbass 110 combo awhile back and was stunned at how good and how big it sounded. Look for used if they're too pricey for you.
-- The only Peavey combo I ever played that I liked was my 300-watt Combo 115. But it weighed in at close to 100 pounds, so hit the gym first.
-- Carvin is now out of the amp business, but you might be able to pick up a remnant for a good price. Personally, I wouldn't touch anything Carvin with a 10-foot pole -- had a bad experience with them years ago.
-- My local shop has an Eden 210 combo I've played through a few times that I like. But I'm an Eden guy.
-- I got nothing on the Ampeg, GK, Acoustic and Fender stuff -- haven't played any of it, so not gonna lie.
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#2910795 - 02/19/18 06:34 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: jcadmus]
Paul K Offline
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Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 3650
Loc: Ithaca, NY
Whoa Nellie! I didn't know Carvin was going tits-up!
I was ignoring those e-mail 'sale' spams because I kinda don't need anything. But whoa! That's big. Not just Gibson, eh?

Me? I'd take a chance on the warranty thing and buy the powered 15" PA speaker and use your sansamp. Or buy two just in case. That's what I'd do. Bass amps ain't magic.
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#2911032 - 02/20/18 05:35 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: Paul K]
butcherNburn Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 3380
Loc: Onions Peppers Garlic
On Saturday I made my decision and put in the order.
TC Electronic BG250-210 250W 2x10 Bass Combo

Expecting it Thursday night, probably won't get to play it until Saturday. It will sit there mocking me as I only may have had a chance to make sure it powers up. The Tone Print thing looks cools but I'll probably mess around with it, find 2 options I like and not touch it very often.

This wasn't even in the running when I posted this topic.
I wanted to update my original post to acknowledge that many of my bias's about some brands are old, and I don't give them a bunch of weight.

Anyway, this thing seems cool. I started looking around at used weighed my options some more, and added this to the cart.
We'll see how it goes. I already owe you folks some pictures of other stuff bought in the past 3 years, so maybe I'll finally upload these somewhere, under a nefarious name, and share.


Edited by butcherNburn (02/20/18 05:36 PM)
Edit Reason: eyes up there buddy
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#2911768 - 02/25/18 03:09 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: butcherNburn]
picker Offline
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Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13522
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Have you looked into Quilter amps?
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#2911867 - 02/26/18 11:26 AM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: picker]
lug Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 2294
Loc: League City,TX,UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: picker
Have you looked into Quilter amps?


I don't think Quilter is in his price range.
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#2911878 - 02/26/18 12:59 PM Re: So... I'm shopping for an amp. [Re: lug]
butcherNburn Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 3380
Loc: Onions Peppers Garlic
OK, now that I have about 3 hours real use of the thing, a few comments.

I'll start with what is not totally great.
- There's no effects loop, which doesn't matter much for me.
- I don't care for the onboard tuner but I'm happy it's there. Perhaps it's more sensitive than I'm used to.
- The "Rehearsal" input for plugging in another audio source, MP3 player etc. This really should have it's own volume control.
- I wish it had a switch to defeat the tweeter
- It's not as loud as I would have thought. To be honest, I need to play it in a bigger room to really judge. When it is loud, it does seem to have "authority" and headroom to do the job.
- The TonePrint feature. I only tried a few but haven't found anything I really like so far. I really didn't want to devote a load of time with this yet as I had limited availability to play and preferred to not play around too much.
- If this was a gigging amp, I may worry about how much abuse the cabinet itself could take.
- Power switch is on the back. I understand why, as it is obviously right next to the power supply, I just don't care for it.

What is great
- Bang for the buck, considering what I actually paid.
- I was able to get a nice sound very quickly and it sounds good.
Those two outweigh any other slight complaints.

Was this a negative review? Absolutely not.
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If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!

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