Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

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Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby apell » 01 Apr 2010, 14:57

I am looking for advice in choosing a small portable combo bass amp for jazz/funk gigs. I am planning to budget about $1000-$1500 and am considering either a single 12 or a 2x10 combo.

Currently I am palying these gigs with a small (and cheap!) Ashdown Perfect 10 combo which is only 30 watts and I usually have it set on 8. While the sound is OK the tone settings are very sensistive and a minor tweak of a knob can easily change the sound from good to bad. Its a much better amp than a Beringher 12" combo for a similar price but I would like to upgrade to something slightly more powerful and with a better tone.

I have played through the Mark Bass CMD102P and really like the tone but it is a bit out of the budget and I am thinking that I could possilby get away with a 12 as the band isn't very loud and currently the 30 watt amp can handle the volume OK.

The bass I use is a passive fretless warmoth jazz bass which has a bassy tone due the thick neck and heavy body. I am also considering getting a double bass in the future so an amp that would work well for this instrument too would be good.

I've done some online research and have seen the following advertised at http://www.basscentre.com.au and would like to know peoples opinions on these or any other recommendations they may have.

GK 150 MBE - $1450
Mark Bass Mini CMD121P - $1675
Nemesis RC210 combo - $1599
SWR Working Pro 12" combo - $1049

I also don't mind going 2nd hand if any knows of any bargains out there ;-)

Thanks.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby maxgroover » 01 Apr 2010, 15:16

Aussie Mark was after something similar recently. Check out this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2227

What he ended up getting may be a bit more than you need!! 8| But there are probably some good recommendations in there.

Out of the list you've seen advertised at Bass Centre, I've seen a lot of upright bass players using a GK 150 MBE with great success, but never seen anyone using one with electric bass. I've played through an SWR Working Pro amp with an electric bass and it gets a really good clean sound. Don't know what it's like with upright bass though.

Another option which isn't a combo but something worth considering is an EA iAmp Doubler head ($950 new) and a Bergantino AE 112 cabinet ($875 new) from Bass Gear Direct. A wee bit above your stated budget but would be a sweet option if you end up playing both electric bass and upright bass. I have an iAmp 800 and two Bergantino 12" cabs and this rig sounds great with both upright and electric bass.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby Aussie Mark » 01 Apr 2010, 15:39

Here's a Nemesis 210 on ebay for $850. Says local pickup only, but if you arrange the courier (eg. smartsend.com.au) he might be interested in an interstate buyer. Courier would probably only be $50-$70.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Eden-Nemesis-RS2 ... 1e5b38c1cc

Bass People are selling a new Demeter 310 cab for $1290 (maybe they can do a special OzBass price, they usually can). Add a second hand head (plenty of those for sale on the forum here), and you're set .... http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Demeter-BSC-310- ... 588664c63f

They also have an Aguilar 112 for $990 .... http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Aguilar-GS112-Ba ... 5886643e10

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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby Soong » 01 Apr 2010, 15:43

Im a cheaparse, so i use a Hartke 2x10 combo. Picked it up for $850 new a while back..the new Hartke Hydrives might be worth looking at too.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby Eberbachl » 01 Apr 2010, 17:30

If you're currently (just) getting away with an Ashdown Perfect ten combo, you could well check out the Warwick Blue Cab 60.1 (not the first generation Blue Cab 60).

It's way under your budget and is one hell of an amp. Nice tone, highly portable, single 12" driver and loud well beyond what you'd expect from 60watts. I use mine for all of our rehearsals and smaller gigs with a drummer and two guitarists. It never goes beyond 12 o'clock.

The Nemesis NC210 combos are very nice too - I've had three of them, although I don't have any experience with the newer RS210. I expect they'd be similarly good, and the MarkBass combos seem awesome.

It all depends on how much volume and versatility you really need I guess.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby Rhystard » 01 Apr 2010, 19:49

I'd get one of these http://basspeople.cart.net.au/details/2789190.html

Well in your budget, and easily upgradable from 350w to 500w with an extension cab
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby apell » 03 Apr 2010, 17:55

Thanks for the ideas. My next move is to spend some time trying out the amps in store to see what works for me.

The Gallien Kreuger MB210 Combo & the Demeter 310 cab are probably too large as I do want the amp to be portable as I already have a 4X10 cab and head for my rock gigs. The head is an old Acoustic 320 and isn't really light or small so it rules out the option of just getting a 12 or 2x20 cab.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby jezzamac » 05 Apr 2010, 12:17

I have a Markbass CMD121P and I am very happy with it. If you can get it for the price you want to pay you will be very happy too. When i want a bigger sound I use a 4x10 nd it gets a monster sound. I haven't tried one but the Ibanez Prometheus could be a good option for the price too.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby rodl2005 » 06 Apr 2010, 10:24

I was gonna suggest the Eden Nemesis 2x10 combo's - great sound, not that light tho. If I was gonna buy a NEW small-ish combo w/ LOTSA versatilty, I'd have a SERIOUS look at the LINE 6 LOWDOWN combo's -lotsa tones on offer. I heard a band using one a few months back & it sounded darn good.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby apell » 21 Apr 2010, 14:17

I ended up getting the Mark Bass Mini CMD121P as it had the most power and best (warmest) tone in a very small cabinet. It’s actually slightly smaller and about 5kg lighter than the Ashdown Perfect 10 I was using plus it sounds much better with tons of extra power I’ll probably never need.

Here’s a mini review of the other amps I tried out while shopping around over the weekend.

GK 150 MBE - $1450 at BC. There were none in stock so I didn’t get to try it out.
Nemesis RC210 combo - $1599 at BC. There were none in stock so I didn’t get to try it out.
GK MB2/500 with GK 112NEO cab - $1450 at BC. I was interesting in trying this out but there were none in stock until late May so I didn’t get to try it out. I gave up on waiting that long...

GK Backline 112 – about $700-800? at BC. Out of everything I tried this sounded the worst. With every note I played you could hear an annoying percussive tap from my fingers as I plucked the strings. Adjusting the EQ on the amp didn’t really get rid of it.
SWR Working Pro 12" combo - $1049 at BC. After playing through the Mark Bass this amp sounded awful in comparison. All waffly & airy as opposed to tight & punchy and not as deep in bass tone plus it was a much bigger cabinet to lug around.
Roland Cube 100 - $899 at Mannys. Had an OK sound but again not a warm as the Mark Bass. The bonus feature of this were the built effects including chorus, flagger, delay etc. The guitarist in my jazz band uses the guitar version of this amp and while it sounds good clean for jazz with his George Benson Ibanez guitar the boss distortion pedal he uses through it sounds horrible and thin.
Hartke Bass Combo A100 - $999 at Mannys. Also an OK sound but again not a warm as the Mark Bass and this was a much bigger cabinet.
Genz Benz Shuttle 110 Bass Combo – $1399 at Billy Hydes. The next best thing to the Mark Bass but a bit too “digital” sounding and not as powerful as the Mark Bass. Amazing sound for such a small amp/speaker though.

Hope this gives you guys some ideas for any future small combo amp shopping.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby dazzalenko » 06 Sep 2010, 13:30

Hey,

I am looking at getting myself a good combo that is ok for practice & small gigs. I'd also prefer it to be expandable.

So far on the list to try are:

1. Markbass CMD 121P
2. Eden Nemesis NC210

Any other suggestions from you guys apart from what is already in this thread?

Also, has anyone on here owned either or both of these? I'm interested to know your thoughts but more so of any issues/limitations encountered.

(Note that the Nemesis is available at $1099(new) and I can get the CMD for $1520.)

thanks
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby PilbaraBass » 06 Sep 2010, 13:44

if 30W can "almost" get you there...I'd suggest that you go with a minimum of 100W up to 150W.

Get down to the basscentre and try out their combos http://www.basscentre.com.au/combo-amplifiers

out of these, I like the SWR WorkingPros 12 or 15. They appear to be different beasts, so whichever is best for the gig.


Another valid option is the Ibanez Promethean 1x10
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby Anthony_ » 06 Sep 2010, 20:31

I was in the same situation as you about a month or so ago. I decided on the MBE but later changed my order to the GK MB212. It's better quality, more power and less expensive ($1099)...The MB212 has neo speakers (MBE only has 1x12 ceramic), 500watts (MBE only has 150) and has a Piezo Tweeter. In my opinion your paying more for the MBE all because it has a demountable head and parametric eq. I don't know about anyone else but id rather have 2 Neo speakers a Piezo and an extra 350watts of power that’s only 16kgs and save $300... I would seriously consider the MB212 to your other options also..
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby jezzamac » 06 Sep 2010, 23:42

I have a CMD 121P: see my comments above (ignore the typos). I'm still very happy with it after 2 and a bit years.
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Re: Small Combo Bass Amp Recommendations

Postby dazzalenko » 07 Sep 2010, 20:33

Thanks for that.

I'd better start saving my pennies, and stop looking through ebay and the classifieds on here, too much stuff that's so tempting when you have a credit card sitting there begging to be used...
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