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 Post subject: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Providence, RI, USA
So both my bassist and I are for various reasons at a situation in our lives when we need to get amps that are way lighter and more portable.

We figured the thing to try and do was find the rack-mount (and so I guess solid state) amp that could offer us the largest pair of balls within the category. Anything come to mind? Any suggestions?

If we were swimming in money, it looks like the Ampeg SVT-8PRO would be the winner. However, I can't imagine either of us being able to put much more than 500 bucks into this right now. SVT-7PRO seems to bring the price down to $800, which makes me think a $500 deal is not unheard of.

But if we're trying to get affordable, Ampeg is probably not the smartest place to look.

What do you guys think?

(I play guitar, but often through a bass amp too)

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:17 pm
Posts: 60
I'm not a fan of Ampeg's newer offerings, especially the solid state ones. Markbass amps, while absolutely hideous cosmetically, sound very nice, and are extremely light and portable. My personal favorite micro head, however, is the Genz Benz Shuttle. I have a 9.0, and it covers all my needs. It's light, powerful, and has a very flexible EQ with an excellent parametric mid control. I've used it for everything from blues to funk to doom metal, and it sounds great through every cab I drive with it. Genz stuff is not cheap, but I would definitely say it's a better value than Ampeg.

You might also look into Gallien-Krueger. The old 800RB is a classic, and while it doesn't have the power to match modern solid state heads, it has a particular "grind" that's very musical and useful in a mix, and it can easily drive a fridge or other large cab. I don't think G-K's newer models sound as nice, but they have plenty of power, and can be found pretty cheap on the used market. I used a 1001RB-II for several years until I got my Genz, and sold it for $400 on craigslist. G-K makes some very small, lightweight heads as well, if you're interested in going the super-compact route.

What are you currently using? It might be easier to narrow it down if we know how much weight you're schlepping around right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:57 pm
Posts: 867
Location: Portland, OR (USA)
Sunn Beta amps come out of their standard housing and rackmount nicely. Loud as fuck, mean as fuck.

Also, not sure which models but I have seen a couple bass players with Acoustic rigs that sounded amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
A friend of mine played live with is '73 Ampeg SVT, but grew tired of the weight of it (and it's attitude towards working or not).

...so he bought a class "D" Ampeg SVT-7PRO.
It sounded great at first. A few gigs later it was fryied and didnt made sound.

I must point out my friend likes it LOUD, so my opinion is: class D works fine for computers but not for bass amps.

Here's that amp (SVT-7PRO) used live, before it morphed into an industrial paperweight:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0AiJ2kUGNc[/youtube]

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The Ashdown stuff is pretty cool and if you get lucky you might be able to get a good deal on one of the ones with the tube preamps for a little OD. Or just get the cheaper one and use a pedal. The Eden Traveler stuff is great and super powerful, but you'd have to look pretty hard to find one used for under $500. Possible though.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:17 pm
Posts: 60
Frater Pietro wrote:

I must point out my friend likes it LOUD, so my opinion is: class D works fine for computers but not for bass amps.


The problem is the SVT7's unreliability, not some inherent issue with class D power.

Class D amps are fine for bass. My Shuttle 9.0 is the loudest, best sounding amp I've ever tried.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 7
Sunn 1200S/Fender Bassman 1200 Pro
You could probably fit an Orange Terror Bass into a 4U rack.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
cusar5 wrote:
Frater Pietro wrote:

I must point out my friend likes it LOUD, so my opinion is: class D works fine for computers but not for bass amps.


The problem is the SVT7's unreliability, not some inherent issue with class D power.

Class D amps are fine for bass. My Shuttle 9.0 is the loudest, best sounding amp I've ever tried.


I have heard some comments about their (SVT7's) unreliability. Most Ampeg users claimed they werent as strong as vintage ones. That's market trends and their "use and dispose" philosophy in action.


Now, I think class D is used in the OUTPUT STAGE (that's why they are lightweight), so there IS a possible issue: rise and fall levels on IGBT/MOSFET devices cause overheat (moreso at high frecuency/voltage), and it's duty cycle depends on the frecuency being amplified, that is: your bass sound and playing style.

So, in simple words: your sound *can* cause a class-D amp to burn (in the worst sense of the word, hehe).

Havent heard a Shuttle 9.0 but I will look into them, thanks for the heads up.

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:40 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
I just picked up a Stewart World 1.6 for $275 shipped off Ebay. You can get them used through GC for $300 plus shipping.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Us ... 2217122.gc

World 1.6 Power Specifications:
550W x 2 @ 4 Ohms
300W x 2 @ 8 Ohms
1600W x 1 @ 4 Ohms bridged
1150W x 1 @ 8 Ohms bridged

Honestly, I'm going to have trouble finding a cabinet that can handle it. My 610 is rate at 600watts 4ohms, and it's a little too close for comfort on the old girl. And I doubt I'll run it bridged in a live setting due to the fact that when you do the math, it'd draw close to 12 amps of current, which would trip breakers at most of the venues who have patchwork power accommodations.

I just bought it and expect in in the mail today actually, so I haven't played it, but they're very well respected amps. They're older examples were stable down to 1/2ohm, though they've stopped advertising that spec. I plan on modifying a Harmony H303a 5 watt tube amp ($50 yard sale score) to use as a pre-amp signal for the tube tone, then using this for the raw amplification. If I do it right, it will absolutely slay.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
Arrived and looks good.

Can't wait to try this out.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
The "tube preamp + class H power stage" sounds interesting.

Review it at some time, please.

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:27 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
Frater Pietro wrote:
The "tube preamp + class H power stage" sounds interesting.

Review it at some time, please.



Hooked it up to a different amp last night.

I still got some testing to do to figure out if I'm bleeding enough current out of the signal.
Image

Image

Image

The ceramic brick, the jack, and the potentiometer leg are what I added to it.

The brick needs to be a lower value I think to take more current than it does now. Sounds good so far, I just need to make a speaker cable with loose ends to try out the Stewart.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:51 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
This is basically what I did.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
Pissy wrote:
This is basically what I did.

Image


So you added a passive "pre out"?

The image below shows a speaker, as if the mod was made to the power stage in the load circuit. A powerbrake or choke that is, i think.

But that potentiometer doesnt look able to withstand high current, so I bet it's a pasive pre out, or else you could burn your speakers!

Beer is mandatory now.

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:34 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
Frater Pietro wrote:
Pissy wrote:
This is basically what I did.

Image


So you added a passive "pre out"?

The image below shows a speaker, as if the mod was made to the power stage in the load circuit. A powerbrake or choke that is, i think.

But that potentiometer doesnt look able to withstand high current, so I bet it's a pasive pre out, or else you could burn your speakers!

Beer is mandatory now.


Low wattage amp, so the current is about .6amps, the majority of which goes through that 6ohm power resistor. From there the voltage drops through the passive network in parallel with the 6 ohm. The load on the amp is equivalent to a speaker (though constant) so the amp is good with that, and yes it's like a power brake in that regard. Input sensitivity on the Stewart is 1V, so that's what I'm aiming for when I put it on the O-scope.


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
Nice.
I´m yet to play levels with a very small wattage amp. Matching ist krieg.

Do you plan to post a sample? I would like to hear that.

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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:43 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:41 pm
Posts: 33
Frater Pietro wrote:
Nice.
I´m yet to play levels with a very small wattage amp. Matching ist krieg.

Do you plan to post a sample? I would like to hear that.


I'll see what I can do. I ended up breaking a tube while it was on the bench, so now I'm waiting for one to arrive. I also need a new SPDT switch I had intended to use to bypass the mod and make it a 5 watt amp again at the flick of a switch. It seems mine was faulty. Probably run and get one at lunch today.

I seems to sound a bit muddy right now. There isn't any eq'ing at all, aside from the guitar controls. I followed a Garnet Herzog as the original model for this and he had a bright switch in there I chose to leave out. Perhaps that's the right way to go.

Schematic here:

http://www.webphix.com/schematic%20heav ... _h-zog.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 7
I had a Ampeg Classic I bought used like around 7 years ago and it finally went kaput. My newest Bass Head is the Orange terror bass head. Works like a charm. I'm in the market for another head for my other band in Boston so I was thinking of picking up an Ampeg 4. Anyone here ever use one?


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 Post subject: Re: Loudest, meanest.... light rack-mount bass amps
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:14 pm
Posts: 5
So far - my two favorites are the MarkBass Little Tube 800 and the Mesa Carbine 6 - The Mesa sounds amazing.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M6CarbRHD

http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=101


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