New bass rig, starting from scratch.

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Ladies and gentlemen of this good forum, here's a poser for you.

If you had a decent bass and nothing else, knowing what you already know, what would you buy to build up your pub gig rig?   Maybe a modestly priced multifx/modeller, power amp and cab?  Lots of cute pedals and a combo? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 44228
    A couple of pedals or a simple multi-FX, and a powerful but compact combo or small head and cab... or a massive old bombproof combo or head and 1x15" or 4x10" like an old Peavey if you're on a tight budget and are still young and fit :).

    I currently have both the combo and head versions of the Ibanez Promethean 5110, but I still miss my old Peaveys... I'll probably pick up another one as long as it's not either a Combo 300 or a later TNT or TKO, which are more than I can carry these days.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2616
    Was in that exact position recently and bought a barefaced one10, an ampeg pf350 and a hx stomp

    my needs were loud but not silly loud, flexible and compact/light
    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • 4string4string Frets: 16
    tFB Trader
    Having these thoughts as well at the moment as I play with a loud punk/post punk band. I have a Zoom B3 for all the FX I need (SVT amp modelling and EQ/Limiter). Current amp, TC Electronics BH250 is struggling to keep up with the guitarist Marshall 4 x 12 cab. The average TC cabs don't help.

    Potential solution:
    1. Barefaced 2 x10 or Super Compact (no idea how to make that decision), and if I am still struggling even with a super efficient cab, then
    2. something in the 500w range as a amp - again not sure where to go, though MarkBass come well recommended...

    Will be following this thread with interest.
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11862
    Pair of Barefaced One10 cabs.

    markbass Marcus Limited 800
    Darkglass M900

    Drives, compressor, synth, envelope filter, phaser, wah, tuner.

    Which is exactly what I’ve got.

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • @4string , how are you finding the Zoom B3?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 44228
    4string said:

    Current amp, TC Electronics BH250 is struggling to keep up with the guitarist Marshall 4 x 12 cab. The average TC cabs don't help.
    Even a decent 250W amp will be louder than that, they don’t sound loud for their rated power. I would get rid of it as soon as possible - their reliability is also notoriously poor. I had another dead one in the shop last week with some sort of power amp fault, I told the owner to send it back to TC... I don’t want the risk of guaranteeing a repair.

    The most surprising thing is the difference in real-world volume between these modern high-power Class D amps and old-school Class ABs. I played a gig a couple of weeks ago using the venue’s ancient Peavey TKO65 - that’s 65W, so I was unsure it would be loud enough, but if it anything I had to turn it down a bit. It was at least as loud as my Promethean (which is admittedly only 250W into its internal speaker) - and I loved the sound of it, hence why I’ve been thinking about looking for one.

    The last one I had was a Combo 300, and I’m not going there again! Even after fitting side handles it was an absolute brute to move. I donated it to the practice studio we use...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Rich210Rich210 Frets: 26
    Full range cab 12", crest power amp maybe a 7001, limiter/compressor, preamp pedal. 

    This will give you a very versatile setup and if you need more volume you could add cabs. 




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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3587
    Pair of Barefaced One10 cabs.

    markbass Marcus Limited 800
    Darkglass M900

    Drives, compressor, synth, envelope filter, phaser, wah, tuner.

    Which is exactly what I’ve got.
    Are you running each amp into a One10, ie, two amps simultaneously?
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11862
    JezWynd said:
    Pair of Barefaced One10 cabs.

    markbass Marcus Limited 800
    Darkglass M900

    Drives, compressor, synth, envelope filter, phaser, wah, tuner.

    Which is exactly what I’ve got.
    Are you running each amp into a One10, ie, two amps simultaneously?
    Depends how I feel!


    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • 4string4string Frets: 16
    tFB Trader
    @4string , how are you finding the Zoom B3?
    I like it. I play a Rickenbacker 4003 and I use it mostly as an amp emulator (SVT) to give it a little hair when I dig in. As I basically only play live (punk/post-punk, so I don't need a subtle of sound), it works very well and gives me a tool kit to get the sound I want. The EQ is good and the limiter/compressor evens out the attack if I need it. Not a massive fan of the overdrives, but then I have only experimented for a short while with them. The best aspect is the form factor, as I can pack it into my Gator bass bag and go to gigs on the train. 

    @ICBM the 'going to gigs on the train' aspect is also one of the reasons I still have the BG250 - as long as there is a cab at the venue (most seem to have at least a cab) then I am well set up. From your experience, what is their of a similar form factor that might offer a bit more umph and a decreased chance of breaking? My dream is that a Barefaced cab potentially makes me both fully self contained and still taking the train. :-)
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 44228
    4string said:

    I like it. I play a Rickenbacker 4003 and I use it mostly as an amp emulator (SVT) to give it a little hair when I dig in. As I basically only play live (punk/post-punk, so I don't need a subtle of sound), it works very well and gives me a tool kit to get the sound I want. The EQ is good and the limiter/compressor evens out the attack if I need it. Not a massive fan of the overdrives, but then I have only experimented for a short while with them. The best aspect is the form factor, as I can pack it into my Gator bass bag and go to gigs on the train. 

    @ICBM the 'going to gigs on the train' aspect is also one of the reasons I still have the BG250 - as long as there is a cab at the venue (most seem to have at least a cab) then I am well set up. From your experience, what is their of a similar form factor that might offer a bit more umph and a decreased chance of breaking? My dream is that a Barefaced cab potentially makes me both fully self contained and still taking the train. :-)
    Well, we are very similar! I also use a Rickenbacker - actually an old 4001 fitted with humbucking pickups - play in a garage-punk band, whatever subtlety my playing contains tends to be obliterated by a Behringer Superfuzz pedal which is probably on for about half the set, and I travel wherever possible on public transport with just a gig bag... I used to have a B3 too, but didn't like the switching and I really only use fuzz anyway! Wherever possible I use the house amp - I'm reluctant to take my own amp - even just a head - unless it's really essential. There's a bit of punk reverse-snobbery about it in that I pride myself on being able to get a workable sound with any old piece of crap amp, I do admit :).

    If I do really need to take one I have the Promethean - actually two of them, one is a 1x10" combo with a detachable head section, and the other is the identical head so I have backup. They're 500W into 4 ohms and 250W into 8. Both come in nylon shoulder bags - the combo weighs about 30lbs though, and is an awkward shape so it's still quite heavy on your shoulder for any distance. And unfortunately both are discontinued - the current model is a very inferior 300W combo only... avoid that.

    Others I've been impressed by are the Ampeg PF series, and MarkBass of pretty much any description. Ones I *haven't* been very impressed with are the Trace Elliot Elf (truly tiny, but underpowered), the Gallien Kruger MB200 (marginally better, but not much), and anything by Ashdown (don't have a great reputation for reliability either). I've also briefly tried a couple of higher-end brands - Aguilar, and Euphonic Audio - and found them far too polite-sounding. But bear in mind I love the sound of old Peaveys, so that may not mean I have a very sophisticated ear ;).

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • 4string4string Frets: 16
    tFB Trader
    @ICBM Twins! Apart from the fuzz. On the B3: it sits in the signal chain and I don't switch anything in or out while playing, so I have not spotted the switching issue :-) I agree about the 'getting any old amp to sound as you want' - it seems part of the fun. Finally, having done some research on the Promethean, wow that would be perfect. If you come across one for sale I would appreciate a DM... 
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • Interesting discussion. I went with light and if I was doing it again would go with two cabs instead of one. 

    I used GenzBenz for a bit but for no specific reason changed to Mesa D800. I really like that amp. Both have DI so don’t need a cab if going straight into PA. 

    There are so many decent cab brands going at the moment. I just picked Bergantino AE212 which is very loud. This rig has got me through few hundred gigs with never letting me down. I would like to change it to two 1 12s so you can travel lighter if only one cab is needed. 

    I never use pedals I can always get aggression with my fingers which has never been a problem. Tune at the start and it doesn’t go out of tune so no need for anything in the chain. I play five strings so no need to change anything if there are different tunings. 
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  • Thank you all for your input.  I was interested in this as my bass buddy was in this situation until last week.  After a trip to PMT Oxford where we tried out a Mark Bass Ninja, an Ashdown, an Orange, and a Dark Glass amp he settled on the Mark Bass Ninja.  Coupled with a light Ashdown 1x12 cab it certainly proved to be an awesome little combo.

    TL:DR 

    Mark Bass Ninja amp is stunning, Ashdown 1x12 pretty cool.  Pedal still to be bought.  Happy bass player.

    Thank you all. :)
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 223
    4string said:
    Having these thoughts as well at the moment as I play with a loud punk/post punk band. I have a Zoom B3 for all the FX I need (SVT amp modelling and EQ/Limiter). Current amp, TC Electronics BH250 is struggling to keep up with the guitarist Marshall 4 x 12 cab. The average TC cabs don't help.

    Potential solution:
    1. Barefaced 2 x10 or Super Compact (no idea how to make that decision), and if I am still struggling even with a super efficient cab, then
    2. something in the 500w range as a amp - again not sure where to go, though MarkBass come well recommended...

    Will be following this thread with interest.
    Potential solution would be your guitarist realising he doesn't need a cranked 4x12, no matter how much like a rock star it makes him feel! 
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