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Advice on which amp to get.


Slaerty

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Hi there. I am about to spend a lot of money on a new amp. My problem is that I am not able to test these amps before buying. I am a long way from the nearest music store. I will be using it for a variety of reasons: at school where i teach, at church and practice and gigs for a pub band. These are the brands that i hear good things about (mostly from ppl trying to sell them), and which im considering - SWR Workingman 4004 or 2004 series, Gallien Krueger 400RB and Messa/ Boogie Walkabout. Can anyone shed any light on these amps or suggest other amps?
Providence over serendipity any day.
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I don't mean to be pinchin' folks from this forum, so by all means don't evacuate, but surf on over to Harmony Central Bass Forum and check in with the Aussies there, we have several usually. Since they know what's available in-country and all the import costs I think your countrymen there can help you out.

 

fremenblue

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I'll be buying the cabs from that brand name so if i go SWR illl get their Workingman 1X15, Gallien Kreuger 1x15, Boogie 1X15. I also have a 400w 1x15 made in aust cab to combine it with on bigger gigs.

Judging from posts in other forums ppl arnt very fond of the SWR, that was my first choice. Does anybody play Gallien Kreuger?

Providence over serendipity any day.
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Well, since you already have a 1x15, you may want to get a 2x10 or a 4x10 cab. Sure, the 15's can produce some good low end, the transients aren't nearly as fast as 10's and you would be actually hurting your sound. Besides, with 2 10's vs. 1 15, you'll be moving more air which yields more sound.

I have the SWR Super Redheadand have heard good things about the Workingman's series. I would go that way, although the GK stuff is really good. However, I wouldn't buy it unless I could try it out or return it if I don't like it.

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I've never liked Galien Krugers, myself. Very falsely bright, and just kinda, I don't know, transistor-y. They're just not warm at all.

 

I've played through a Mesa Boogie D-180 for 12 years, now, and it's been an absolute workhorse. It's been in the shop twice, (once died, and once for elective maintenence) and had literally travelled a million miles when I bought it used. I just can't kill it. The only thing I don't like is the position of the mid-boost/cut knob in the spectrum. The newer models are probably different, though, and Mesa has been putting 10 band graphics on their bass amps for years, now.

 

The Aguilars look really, really nice too, and just ghot a really nice write-up in Bass Player. I'm saving up for one of those, I think.

 

Chris

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OK Thanks for the advice. I've narrowed it down to the

Messa Walkabout (with a Powerhouse 2x 10)or a

 

Gallien Kreuger 400RB 2 x 10 combo.

 

The Messa option is about $1500. more expensive (see how expensive american stuff is here)and i have a week to decide, any help is appreciated.

Providence over serendipity any day.
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Mesa has a higher resale value, so that might come into consideration. I've had 3 Mesa's over the years and didn't like any of them. Power for days, but the tone left a lot to be desired. I figured, so many people love them, I just got the bad apple. Well, I got 3 bad apples if they're so great. Of course, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to tone and I don't like processors. My favorite amp ever was a Trace Elliot BLX-80. It was a little underpowered but had a massive tone. It sounded great no matter what setting I used. Also check into Peavey. Good stuff at a good price.
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Originally posted by Slaerty:

OK Thanks for the advice. I've narrowed it down to the

Messa Walkabout (with a Powerhouse 2x 10)or a

 

Gallien Kreuger 400RB 2 x 10 combo.

 

The Messa option is about $1500. more expensive (see how expensive american stuff is here)and i have a week to decide, any help is appreciated.

Whoa - these are very different-sounding rigs. For starters, the GK is a solid state amp and the Mesa has a tube pre and FET gain.

 

So ... what kind of sound are you after?

 

Also - any reason you want to go brand-loyal with your rig? Lots of folks mix and match (i.e. most?) to great effect. Not a knock on you - it's just that good cab makers are not always good amp makers and vice versa ...

 

Finally, I for one am not someone that hates SWR amps - right now I'd pee myself happy if I pulled my rack cover off and found an SM-900 in place of my GK800. The SWR combo amps I played (Redhead and Silverado) were a bit too transparent for my taste ... but I've played an SM-500 and had a HUGE sound going through a 410+115 in a mid-sized club here. Point is, without knowing your sound, I'd say you shouldn't write off all SWR amps merely on the basis of what dudes on other boards are saying ...

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i would have to agree with whoever said to stay away from the GK. i never liked 'em. they always sounded decent, but that's about it. kinda bland, kinda blah. they gave me a decent tone, but always just decent enough to make me wish i could just squeeze that little bit more out of 'em. if i was stuck with one i'm sure that would be maddeningly frustrating over time.

 

the same goes for hartke amps, even though you didn't discuss them.

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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I played that GK combo about 2 hours ago at my local music store... I was not impressed AT ALL. Very thin sounding, and yes, VERY transistor-y.

 

I played a Fender Bassman 200 (1x15 w/ horn), Workingmans 15 (same), SWR Super Redhead, and the GK, which was the only one that I didn't like.

Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end.

--King Crimson

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Thanks for the advise,

Ive decided to get in my car, drive for three hours thru that concrete jungle of cement and hate we laughingly refer to as Sydney, and check out how they sound. I'll be checking out Gallien Kreuger, Hartke and Ashdown. Wish me luck.

Providence over serendipity any day.
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Ashdown is supposed to make some really good things in their shop. I tried a GK earlier. Didn't like it either. I guess they're loud, but that's it. Bland was a good word to describe it.

 

I don't really remember where I heard it (maybe the Carvin forum), but the Mesa Walkabout got really bad reviews. They totally didn't like it, I'll post later on why.

 

If you can't try it, maybe you should look into Carvin bass amps too.

 

Oh yeah, I just bought a fairly new SWR Workingman's 15 combo! Might buy a 2x10T to go along with it. I'll tell you guys how a feel about it in a while. :D

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

Bring your bass !!!

YES.

 

Also, to test how any amp really sounds, set all the eq and fancy stuff to zero and play it. If it sounds good as "stock" as it gets, it's probably a winner. That's why I'm going for the SWR 350x head, that thing sounds better with everything zeroed out than other amps with all the bells and whistles at 11. :D

Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end.

--King Crimson

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Yeah - when I went to buy my cab, I took my bass and (junk) head to test it properly. I don't want to buy something and be surprised later.

 

A friend has a Laney guitar combo, and it seems strong, full of features, and he's happy with it. I don't know anything about their bass gear...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I'll chime in in favor of SWR stuff. I like my SM-500 head. Works great. The Workingman's series seems to be a pretty good value from what I've heard.

 

Never much cared for GK stuff, but I have friends who get pretty sweet sounds out of them.

 

Mesa makes great gear, but it's expensive, and I've heard some horror stories about the bass heads having problems.

 

Ampeg is a good bet, but also expensive.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Yorkville are (IIRC) Canadian and are closely connected with Traynor (who made valve amps - I had one, it sounded like a B15 but wasn't loud enough for gigging). Based on both my own experience with the Traynor (though that sounded great at low volumes) and other people's comments on Yorkville it would appear that they're very much like Peavey (used to be?); mediocre tone in general but very very reliable and unbreakable. However with a bit of coaxing you can get decent sounds out of them. Bass player reviewed their 15" combo a while back and it rated fairly well, workable and loud but not particularly beautiful sounding.

 

Alex

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I have a GK 1001RB (540 watt head) that I use with my SWR WM4x10T cab for my LOUD gigs. I highly recommend this combination. I also have an Eden WT300 and an Eden D210T that I use for studio and moderately loud gigs, when the ultimate quest is amazing tone.

 

But for loud gigs, I really like the super clean, endless headroom sound of the GK/SWR combination.

 

Oh and one other thing...

 

If you do buy an SWR Workingman's set up, get the 4x10 cab, instead of the 1x15. The 4x10 sounds better in every way! It's louder, punchier, and has a lot more low end. Seriously!

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Thanks for the help. I took a quick trip to a local store today and tried these two bass heads.

Ampeg B2R - Which I thought sounded quite good.

 

Ashdown Mag 400 (not to be confused with ashton) which also sounded quite good.

 

I have read good things about ampeg but know nothing about ashdown. Can anyone comment on these two.

By the by I also tried Peavey Nitrobass and Ampeg SVT 350 AV - and didn't like them - and the sales person wouldn't even let me try the Hartke - seems like noone likes em. :D

Will check out more shops in Sydney on Monday.

Providence over serendipity any day.
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Ashdown is well made and seems to last (from what I hear - no scientific proof). I think you'd do well with either.

 

Have fun shopping!!!

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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OK I went to Sydney and checked out all the amps avaliable. What I liked was the Ampeg B2R. The only thing that sounded better was the Gallien Kreuger 700RB which was also cheaper.

 

So im waiting on the best cash price for both of these, Im also checking out the price on the GK 1001 RB, just to see but it will probly be too much. Ill be getting ausie made cabs cos they are half the price of american and european ones.

 

Im also checking into the laney B1 (1500 watts

RMS???? )- does anyone own one of these or have u played one?

 

My little list of amps which sound like crap - at the top goes the fender bassman 200 and 400 watt combos. Very dissapointing... they maybe useful for playing country music through.

 

Thankyou everybody for your advice ill post again in a few days to let you know what the decision was.

Providence over serendipity any day.
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I have a Crate... it sits in my garage right next to my decrepid Danelectro Twin Fifteen, holding up a shelf of computer parts.

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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