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Help with Amp buying advice


smackr01

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Hey everyone I am looking into getting a new bass and amp. I have the bass picked out now I am down to my final decision on which amp to go with. I have it narrowed down to a behringer bx1800 which is a 15in speaker and an Orange cr50bxt which is a 12in speaker. The behringer amp can be purchased from many reputable online dealers whereas the Orange amp can only be purchased from websites I have not heard of or used before. I don't have anyway to physically test these amps out so I am hoping for any advice possible. Also the amp will only be used for practice but I still want the best amp possible in my $250.00 price range. Please feel free to recommend other brands/models as well. Help me out everyone it is greatly appreciated.
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Notice what's not on the list- Behringer or Orange.

 

I can't speak for Orange, but I have a Behringer BX1200A. It's a 12 inch aluminum cone, supposed to be 120W.

 

As far as function, it works ok but the tone isn't that great. And they are overly optimistic about 120W. The only thing it's suited ok for is a monitor. Point being, don't be seduced by Behringer's impressive looking 'watts to price' ratio. I used mine as a floor wedge (tilt back cab) in church and it was ok, but with a full band it doesn't come close to keeping up.

 

... I don't have anyway to physically test these amps out ...

 

Go to your local GC and find something close to what you have for a bass and check out a few of those models. It's not quite the same as your own, but you can still get a decent a-b comparison on overall sound, weight, noise, etc.

 

... Also the amp will only be used for practice but I still want the best amp possible in my $250.00 price range. ...

 

I heard a piece of advice once- 'buy your third amp first'. Meaning, right now you say it's for practice, but as 'practice' moves from the bedroom to the garage with your buddies, be aware that the lower grade/ lower power you have now, the sooner you will need to trade up- maybe a couple times. That's ok, but that's where the value of what you have comes in. If you get a smaller combo that retains some value (used is good too- most of the depreciation is taken up) when you need to trade up, you have something with some value to trade in towards a new half stack or big combo, or buy one outright and be able to flip your old one without taking a huge loss- which is another down side to Behringer stuff. You usually don't get squat for it.

 

... the best amp possible in my $250.00 price range...

 

Check out Craigslist, your local pawn shops, music stores, etc. for used gear. A couple of the amps Jeremy sugested are used. $250 should get you something decent. Pay attention to sales too. I was in GC this weekend and they had a pretty good sale going on. A little digging and a little patience and you can find a good starter rig.

 

Good luck, and welcome to the forum :)

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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I've never played anything made by Behringer that I wanted to own.

 

I'm not a bass player, I have a studio. The best sounding bass rigs for reasonable money come frokm companies already mentioned her eby bass players: Ampeg, G&K, etc.

 

Don't be seduced by BOOM. Listen for tightness and tone. Quality bass amps can be costly, but a reasonable bass amp won't break the bank and lets face it, if you sound like crap, nobody is going to want to play with you. Does that make it worth it to save the money?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Didn't know Orange made inexpensive gear and honestly never expected to see Orange and Behringer in the same sentence.

 

http://www.orangeamps.com/uplimages/cr50bx%20top%20%28575%29.jpg

 

Icons AND words. Seriously? They used a bass cleff for low and a treble clef for high, why not use use a tenor clef for mid?

 

On to the advice: See what you can find used in your price range that is capable of gigging. 200 watts plus a line out will give you something that can serve as a stage monitor and feed a soundboard at the same time. Eden/Nemesis is worth a look, too.

- Matt W.
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Ok Orange and Behringer are definitely out lol. Thank you all for the advice on those brands. I also looked into a GK and Acoustic. The GK was a 15in for $300 the only thing that turned me off about the Acoustic is that there is no input for headphones and I def want that option. Second question now is it worth it to go for the bigger 15in speaker or can I get by with the 12in.
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Welcome to the forum smackr01. As Mike and Bill both stated, it's better to think to the future when purchasing an amp. A good amp will make a starter bass sound better, but a crappy amp won't sound good even with an expensive bass.

You'd be better off waiting and spending a bit more than buying a cheaper amp now. You won't make your money back out of it. Check out Jeremy's suggestions - he knows gear.

Take your time, look at a lot of amps and let your ears decide. Or take along a friend who would know how to help you.

It is required here at the LDLD that after you buy gear you must also post pics, or the said piece does not exist. :grin:

BTW, you never told us what bass you decided on.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've have a GK combo amp for over 20 years, it's survived a trip to Iraq where power surges and dust storms are wreak havoc on electronics, and it still plays like a champ. My amp is a 200 MB Combo, but this amp is similar.

GK BackLine 150

For the price, this is not bac at all, and should you have the opportunity to use a PA, the amp has an XLR jack as well.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, what styles are you playing, and how long have you played for?

 

A great beginner amp is the Polytone. Popular with jazz players. I started on one, but it's really specific in its sound so most players who aren't exclusively doing jazz or folk or just acoustic basses (dreadnoght, upright, or semi-chambered), will outgrow it.

 

A little-known brand that got me by for many years is A.M.P. Very well constructed, dependable, transportable, and reasonably versatile and even in tone. But I got laughed at when people asked what sort of amp I used and I said "an A.M.P." (as a word, not spelled out letter-by-letter). ;-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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This "buy your third amp first" -thing was so fun! The first amp you buy, is the thing you think you want. Probably the third will be close to one that you really need.

 

There was also something funny in the question of 12" vs. 15" speaker. The size matters somewhat if you need and have lots of power. Two smaller speakers can actually move more air than single one that is only somewhat bigger.

 

Usually the most common speaker sizes for bass are 10" and 15" but 8", 12", and 18" are also used. Basic box designs are closed box and bass reflex (vented) box. Horns tend to be very big and they are used in big P.A. systems. So the average choice will probably be ported or closed box with 10" or 15" speaker(s).

 

There is no one design or certain speaker size that is superior to others but there are some differencies in sound. Try to find the set that pleases your ear. Remember that the sound of the system is different when soloing or playing with the band.

 

When you go to a store, do some comparison. Try two different speakers at the same volume. This is important, because louder seems to be better, no matter what the sound quality is. Believe your ears, not the numbers that you do not completely understand (like what is efficiency, impedance and other numbers).

 

My personal choice is a combo (Glockenklang Soul) that has 2 x 10" and a tweeter. One of my favorites has been 4 x 12" but it is also big. 15" and 18" speakers are not as responsive to my taste as are smaller cones.

 

If there is a possibility to go to a P.A. then my all time favorite is a GK 200MB (now named as MB150). An excellent sounding unit in a super compact size (and weight!) and a reliable workhorse.

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Usually the most common speaker sizes for bass are 10" and 15" but 8", 12", and 18" are also used. Basic box designs are closed box and bass reflex (vented) box. Horns tend to be very big and they are used in big P.A. systems. So the average choice will probably be ported or closed box with 10" or 15" speaker(s).

Common and average are not always the best choice.

 

There is no one design or certain speaker size that is superior to others but there are some differencies in sound.

Compare your Glock combo with the POS Crate combo I've had for 12 years. Some designs are superior in every way. :)

 

Believe your ears, not the numbers that you do not completely understand (like what is efficiency, impedance and other numbers).

Some of these numbers are very important...like impedance! If you don't pay attention to that you can very easily blow your amp.

 

15" and 18" speakers are not as responsive to my taste as are smaller cones.

These are sweeping generalities.

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This "buy your third amp first" -thing was so fun! The first amp you buy, is the thing you think you want. Probably the third will be close to one that you really need.

 

So true. First rig was a Traynor YBA-3 head and two Fender bottoms, one 2x15 and one 4x12. Sounded GREAT but I got tired of lugging it around. Went to an SVT 8x10 bottom with the same complaint. Finally got a Carvin Pro Bass 150 combo and an 18" sub. Carvin combo is LOUD and very portable. Only break out the sub when needed. Since then I've moved up to an Eden Nemesis RS-410 combo. (Freakin' loud a$$ guitar players!)It's a bit heavier than the Carvin but I don't need the sub as often. That original "WALL OF BASS" (the Fender cabs) sounded and looked phenomenal on stage though...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/tkcoon/Fuze/biguglymanfro.jpg

"There's not enough bass in the mix unless the first three rows are having involuntary bowel movements."

http://www.myspace.com/biguglyman_bass

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Common and average are not always the best choice.

 

Some of these numbers are very important...like impedance! If you don't pay attention to that you can very easily blow your amp.

Did I say that common and average are the best choices?

 

Impedance, yes, this is one of those issues that raise questions and opinions. OK, not an easy one, what is the impedance of your speaker and at which frequency? This example below shows that it is not constant. Something to read: http://www.claudionegro.com/swimpedance/speaker/speaker.html

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/72/Speaker_impedance.svg/800px-Speaker_impedance.svg.png

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Seems I struck a nerve. Seems to be getting easier and easier to do that lately, unfortunately.

 

Did I say that common and average are the best choices?

Nope. But he's asking for advice and you were just pointing out the most common and average options (your own words)...which I think we both agree aren't always the best bet.

 

Impedance, yes, this is one of those issues that raise questions and opinions. OK, not an easy one, what is the impedance of your speaker and at which frequency? This example below shows that it is not constant. Something to read: http://www.claudionegro.com/swimpedance/speaker/speaker.html

When dealing with commercially available bass cabs, one usually needn't worry about impedance curves but rather nominal impedance (that's what I was talking about). If your amp can only handle a 4 Ohm nominal load you need to know not to pair two 4 Ohm cabs together.

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