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Which Entry Level Bass Cabinet


Dave da Dude

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So that I don't hijack LVD's thread, I'm starting a new one here.

 

First; a thank you to LVD for not complaining about my buttin' in on his thread; thanks to Sweet Willie, and robb (no, sorry, not interested in your combo. you'll see why) for their opinions. For reality, my request for info from Sweet Willie was for dreamin'. As a matter of fact, I may be just “dreamin'” about getting' into the Bass if all the equipment is THAT expensive. The Wally's Tri-112 and Epifani 1x12 cab at $1,000+!! :eek:

 

As long as this is me "my" thread, I'm going to be very specific. See my "newbie" thread for my musical background and aspirations.

 

My amps are; "86 Roland JC-55W, with EFX Loop, Reverb, Chorus, 2 x 10; and a 1993 Randall 2-channel 50W Tube Pro II, with EFX Loop, Reverb, 1 x 12.

 

As I understand it my current amps will handle a bass as long as I don't crank it, i.e. just at home in my den, but if I want to crank, I'll need at least a Bass Cabinet.

 

To me, it makes the most sense to get a 1 x 12 or 1 x 15 cabinet, but NOT at $1,000.

 

To give you an idea of my current musical instruments budget. In PoliSpeak, I'm Financially Challenged. I just bought a 1983 Phoenix by Electra Strat clone for $100. The ONLY reason I bought it for that much was that my real name is David Phoenix and I bought it at David's Pawn Shop. Get it, David's Phoenix?! I bought an Ibanez BC10 Bass Chorus on ebay for $16.50 including shipping and my budget for a bass is $50 lol, but I MIGHT go $100. BTW, anybody know anything about HONDO brand basses, H-83 specifically?

 

So, finally, Bass Speaker Cabinets.

Is 12 inch speaker “enough”?

Can I build my own? Yes, I know that's dependent on my skills. Assume I have enough skills, I hope, is there anything “tricky” about Bass Cabs? I already know to use Birch Plywood, ¾” thick, etc.

 

I saw a bare 15” brand name 12 or 15” for $70 and a “custom” Fender Cab, w/ EV, a name I can trust, 15” Speaker, currently at < $21; both Bass speakers/Cabinets.

 

So, if it's at least a 12 or 15”, and it's a quality brand, for my first REAL bass cab, does it make much difference which brand? Anything specific I should look for?

 

Oh yeah, kinda BASSic, will my amps have enough power to drive the above speakers enough, given, say a small club or small church?

 

Dave

 

BTW, my philosophy on bass response from speakers has always the bigger the better. For example, if a 12" speaker is good, then a 15" speaker is better and an 18" speaker is better yet. :D Do they make a 22" speaker?! :D

 

Oh yeah, How come the SPL is so high on these bass speakrs (around 100+)? All the good bass response (audio) speakers I've ever seen specs on were around 86-90 SPL.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Save your self the time a frustration and just go buy a crate combo or a hartke 1x10 kickback. hartke makes a papercone series cab now, they're really inexpensive, try the 2x10 or 1x15. workingman series by SWR is cheap on EBAY.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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Well, I did recommend some combos on your other gear thread.

 

A few comments...

 

You have guitar amps rated at about 50 watts. They will drive speaker cabs, even bass speaker cabs. However, (if you'll look in my other post) I would really be hesitant about using them with bass speakers.

 

The heads themselves probably would not give a characteristic sound...bass players like it clean for the most part...and guitar amps like a little sweet distortion. I don't use effects or reverb, on the theory that anything like that weakens the punch.

 

Now, for power. A bass requires tons of it. At 200-300 watts is a typical small performance heat. Sure, I recommended a bass combo (Bassman 25) rated at 25 watts...but it works at it's price. But the rule is basses need lots of power to drive 4" voice coils. The other combo I recommend is a "quiet" 300 watt combo (Eden Nemesis.)

 

As far as speaker dimension goes...

 

Yep...that big woofer moves air, albeit slowly. Requires tons of power...300 watts into a single 18" is not as loud as 300 watts into 2x10. Also, even though that deep growl works fine 3 feet away, it tends to get overly boomy in the room. Another reason why the 4x10 became popular.

 

Now, you could buy a bass cab, like a 2x10 or a 1/12 and drive it with the 50 watt amps. (switch off internal speakers) Seems pretty cumbersome to me.

 

I celebrate myself as the combo king hereabouts...that's ALL I use. Yeah, I have a 300 watt BXR head and 1x15 cab...but frankly, I haven't even seen it in several years...it's stored somewhere at the church where I play.

 

My current combos are the Nemesis 2x10 300 watts, the Acoustic Image 200 watts and the Gallien Krueger 90 watts. I do a lot of gigging with the GK...last night I played an outdoor 4 piece jazz gig on URB with no drums....it had enough balls (of course, it's almost $900.)

 

If you plan on performing small venues, make life simple. The 46 lb. Nemesis is a wailer...there are other combos in the $500 range...Ashdown gets good press, Ampeg is a fav. here, SWR Workingman must be considered.

 

If you want to go head/cabinet, plan on buying a bass amp soon...I don't think you'll be satisfied with the tone of guitar-specific amps. Of course, buy a power amp and bass preamp (BBE is now making one) and you'll really be happy.

 

But in the $500 price range, Name Brand combos give you more for your buck...

 

Of course, I haven't mentioned the 3 feature packed budget systems...Fender, Peavey, Carvin. They are all introducing tons of stuff that's being used out there...I looked into all that stuff and still settled on what I have.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Well, if you are looking for just a CABINET (not a combo amp), check out Avatar Speakers . I do not own one (yet), but I have heard great things about them.

 

If you are set on purchasing a 1X15 cab, you can purchase one w/horn for $311 shipped. They also make a compact 15" cab for $228 shipped and a compact 15" w/horn for $258 shipped.

 

If you are into 2X10's, 4X10's, or 1X12's they are available too.

 

Speakerless cabs are also available.

 

Check out the site.

 

If you want a cheap combo amp, check out Vox, Hartke and Ampeg. Ebay is always a good place to look. But be careful about buying used speaker cabinets before you hear what they sound like!!

 

Good luck!

 

- Tom

Bee, why you sting me? - Jack Kerouac
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Mr. Dude, you are truley amazing and a true cheapskate. No offense intended, you're such a truely amazing cheapskate that it's impressive. :D

 

Your bass budget is $50????? That wouldn't have been much 30 years ago let alone today. My first bass was a Fender Musicmaster that cost me $85 in 1974. You are aware that your typical set of strings will cost $20 or so. You will buy them used I'm sure :rolleyes:

 

You're doing an amazing amount of research for $50. To my way of thinking, if you can find anything for that price with four fat strings on it, you're doing OK. Seriously, for $50 if the thing sorta looks like a bass and kinda sounds like a bass, that's the one you want. Have you thought about a big metal washtub and a broom handle? I've heard guys make that setup sound really good. You could maybe find a nice used washtub for a little less than $50 and have enough money left over for a piece of rope. Anyone out there know a good brand?

 

My first amp was a Sears/Dan Electro guitar amp/case with a 6" spikker and probably 8 watts. It was really crummy but it was slightly better than nothing. My stereo sounded much better until I blew the tweeters up.

 

Bigger speakers are not necessarily better or worse. 15" was the norm for ages. Then 10" took over sorta and now 12" are the rage. None of them are bad or good because of their diameter. You need a speaker that can take a decent amount of power and reproduce down to at least 60 hz or so. You probably need at least a single 12 or 15 or 2 - 10s to play with a stick wielding drummer. A normal bar band setup would be 2 - 15s or 4 - 10s or 1-15 and 2-10s. Mix and match per taste.

 

The amp's got to be at least 100 watts or so RMS. More would be better. Bass amps are not like guitar amps in that they need lots of clean power to reproduce clean low frequencies. Be careful using 2 separate speakers, you've got impedance issues to deal with whcih I won't get into here.

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Lots of good info guys. Thanks! :wave:

 

I kNOW I shouldn't use my guitar amps for the bass, BUT I only intend to for a short time until I'm sure I'm going to stick with the bass.

 

I'm spending a lot of time on research BECAUSE of my low budget (for now). If I see a "steal", I need to latch on to it "right now".

 

BTW, the Phoenix by Electra IS a steal (I think). Unplugged, it sounds great now with all SIX strings on it; and plugged in was "decent" at the store with four stirngs on it. I think it sounds almost as good as the Highway One (Strat) that I've got on layaway, but I lost the Electra to my son. At least it saved me $80, he WAS getting a Squire Strat for his birthday (8/22). So a bargin CAN be had. That cost me MINUS $80.

 

As far as the Wash Drum with a Broomstick is concerned, GREAT idea! I mean, it did work for Willy and the Poor Boys, didn't it. :D A big pickp, some cow gut (cat gut is too small), and away we go! Actually, I was going to mention it in my post, but decided against it. I didn't know everyone well enuogh. But now that you mention it, Wash Drum $10, Broomstick $0 (w/o broom), cow gut ($0, large testicles :rolleyes: ), big pickup sniping on ebay $50; that's $60. It's slightly over budget, but still ....

 

Seriously, thanks for the help guys. :wave:

 

BTW, any info on HONDO Basses? I've found one that looks real good and maybe "gettable" for $50. :cool:

 

Dave

 

BTW, I'm not cheap by nature / choice, only by necessity. But when I know what I want, and I know I will keep it, I pay for the good stuff. In 1972 I bought a new Martin D-18 in NYC. I've still got it. Got an Ovation 12-string in 1986, still got it and a Roland Jazz Chorus amp I got when I didn't even know what I was doing with amps. The Randall amp I got last year for $350. Not a steal, but a whole lot less than a new Marshall JCM800 or something like that. Good amp too.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

But when I know what I want, and I know I will keep it, I pay for the good stuff. [/QB]

Precisely. For right now anything will do. I don't think I've ever seen a bass in one piece that was unusable. There are two ways to buy stuff.

 

1) The cheapest piece of junk that can remotely do the job.

 

2) The best thing there is for the job.

 

The stuff in between is a waste of time. Of course "the best" is rather subjective in this case, but you get the idea. If you can find a Hondo or a Bondo or a Shmondo for $50, shut up and buy it. :)

 

BTW, ther used to be a bar band here around CT that had a washtub bass player. They had in miced (miked? how do you spell that?) up in such a way that you would never have known it wasn't a real instrument unless you saw it. This guy could play that thing great too.

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Hey, Thanks Father Gino! :thu:

 

I didn't know if anyone really understood my rationale. Probably because we're both from Connedticut. BTW, where in Connecticut do you live? I was born in Bridgeport, raised in Stratford and Milford and later lived in Milford, Bethel and Southbury. I worked in Stratford, Bridgeport, Danbury (2x) and Middlebury. Now I live in South Carolina, just south of Charlotte, NC.

 

Yeah, you're right about any piece of junk. I started guitars with $25 "wonders", then moved to a $50 wonder (the bridge ripped out of the top while I was at class). Then I went to another stop-gap cheapo and then the Martin. The Hondo is at something like $20-$30 (he's selling it for the REAL(?) Fender Neck Plate), or I saw an Applause that looks real nice for $50 from a dealer (ebay, Fender P-Bass clone, one pup). BTW, I lilterally STUMBLED across the source of Applause Guitars. They are made by OVATION! :thu: Sounds like a good deal to me! :cool:

 

That brings up another question. IF I bought the Applause Fender P-Bass clone (or any other) and wanted to add a second pick-up, is that feasible? I'm figuring the cavity for all the controls is already routed. I can route the pup hole easily. My brother-in-law has a Machine Tool Repair business with a miller and my father used to have a machine job shop, so I know how to run a miller. Wiring should be no big deal. :cool:

 

Thanks for the help, Dave.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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May I recommend Carvin?

 

Low Priced Combo is Pro Bass 100 ($279 for 1" speaker, $299 for 15")

or a Pro Bass 200 (15" speaker) for $399

 

a LITTLE more expensive would be the RC210 "Red Eye Combo" Its basically an R600 head with a Carvin 2x10/tweeter. I dunno about the speakers, but the Amp is AMAZING!!! Maybe too expensive for you at $799...

 

~phil~

Check the Carvin Website

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Hey phil6006,

 

You're gettin' closer.

 

I've got my eyes on a Peavy Bass Combo 1 x 12, 60W, that's on ebay for $20 with no bids, no reserve. IF it stays there, I'll take if for $21 plus, unfortunately, shipping.

 

When, if, I get serious, you'll catch me looking at high end 300W 1 x 12 combos with a 2 x 15 cabinet! :rolleyes:

 

Right now I'm saving for my Highway One Strat :love: Thanks for all the help guys, Dave.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Now are you looking for a Bass practice amp, or one to play gigs with? Because You arent gonna find a combo for gigs under $300...

 

Practice amps are still $50 (if you find a good deal) to $200...

 

I would recommend Hartke or Ibanez (Soundwave series) for a cheap 25 or 30 watt (or more if you like) practice amp.

 

I have a Hartke B30 practice amp, and it is very good. I paid about $100 for it.

 

My girlfriend got an Ibanez SW25 for about $100 (i think less) and that is pretty good too. (Only thing with Ibanez amps, they tend to pickup a local radio station [102.3FM] and amplifies it using the bass as an antennae. :eek: )

 

yea...

 

~phil~

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Hey phil6006,

 

Funny you should mention the radio pickup. My Randall Tube Pro picked up a statino when I tried a footswitch to change channels.

 

As far as a playing amp, later. Gigs, MUCH later. I'll use my Roland SS amp, maybe with a 1 x 12 later for practice, maybe know using the 1 x 12 on the tube amp. I don't want to risk blowing up any amp, but especially my first tube amp. When/If I get good enough I'll buy a practice / small gig combo, maybe a 2 x 12, 150W, something like that.

 

Then, if I'm gigging, 300+ Watts with 1 x 12 and 2 x 15, SERIOUSLY!

 

Phil, thaks for all the help.

 

Dave

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Hey jeremyc, Thanks for the speaker cab plans! :cool: "I can do that."

 

Sweet Willie, yeah, go Knights! :thu:

I'm in Rock Hill, my parents and brother-in-law live in Fort Mill. Small world, huh?

 

Dave

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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MR. Dude,

 

I was born & raised in Hartford. Presently I reside in Bloomfield.

 

Yes I understand that cheapness can be a logical alternative. My second practice amp was an old Dynaco stereo amp and a 10" speaker pulled out of a 50's TV set. Better than the Dan Electro guitar amp and didn't cost me a dime.

 

Yes you could plop another PU in a P Bass clone. Heck you could put in 5 or 6 if ya want. Whether or not it's worth the trouble and sounds any better is another story. Why are you so hot to stick PUs all over the place before you've even got anything to stick them in? You might be comprimising the "cheapest thing that will do" philosophy here. Assuming your $50 bass like thing sounds remotely bass like, leave it alone. Why put even a dime in the thing. Save yer $$$ for when you want to buy a real bass, should that come to pass. Or are you just a tinkerer and imagine your modified Hondo or whatever is going to rival a mint '62 Jazz bass when you're done?

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Quick observation:

 

It sounds like you have a lot of plans for equipment that you don't currently own. Also, for being so admittedly cheap, you seem like you're a "gear-head."

 

Some advice: focus on buying a bass, and worry about an amp later. If you want something to practice with, and you're alone, an amp without a bass will do you absolutely no good.

 

If you are "jamming" with a band in a rehearsal space, think about getting a direct box and preamp and just plugging into the PA. The same would work for gigs where there is a decent PA.

 

Don't waste your money on garbage amps.

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Yeah guys, you're right, I sholdn't be modifying equipment I don't have yet and I am a gear haed (with no money).

 

The reason I asked about adding a pickup is that I'd like the P / J setup to try all tonal combinations, but they are a little more expensive. If I buy P only and then add the J latter, I spread the expenditure over a longer period of time.

 

As to the amp, WHEN I am convinced I'm staying with Bass I'm thinking of buying something like a used (ebay) SWR Workingman 2004, 120W into 8 ohms and 160W into 4 ohms. Probably no giging at that point. Then IF I start gigging as a bassist, then I'd upgrade and sell the 2004 for hopefully only a small loss of $50-$100. There is a plan to my craziness. "I have a Plan!"

 

Dave

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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When you're ready to buy a "gig" cabinet, I can vouch for the Avatars (someone mentioned above)... great great stuff...

 

For just practicing, you should be able to find a good, small (1x10 or 1x12) combo for $100 for so, from many of the name brands (or no-names)...

"Tea & Cake, or Death!"
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