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Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:34 am
by Brent Cain
Hi Team,

I am yet another older but still gigging musician who wants a portable, quality combo for the ever increasing
amount of smaller gigs that do not justify the time or effort in breaking out the full band PA. My main band is a
classic rock three piece where we have a mini big rig & d.i. the bass & guitar, but that is not practical for the
little venues. I have my heart set on a combo ( although I know a head & speaker arrangement opens up more
flexibility). So far I have tried the Peavey Max 112, the Ibanez Promethean & the Ashdown 120 with the 15 inch
plus the Ashdown 300 with the two tens. The Ashdown's are the best I have tried so far & there was little to
choose( for me ! ) between the two Ashdowns apart from the speaker configuration & the $200 price difference !
I know that I can shop cheaper online but l will need to pay something off as my budget cannot take a big cash
or credit hit right now.

So fellow bass people now the questions. Opinions good or bad on the Ashdowns & which speaker set up do
you think would be best ? I really like a 15 inch speaker but wonder if the extra wattage in the combo with
the two tens might swing it ? In saying that the last couple of times I have played more laid back gigs
I have used a borrowed old 100 watt Roland Bass Cube & it has been more than adequate. So maybe the 120
at $599 retail may just do it. I would love to hear what the rest of you have to say. Many Thanks !!

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:04 am
by Mr Bass Man
I had an Ashdown ABM EVO 900 head and ran that with a Warwick 4 x 10, but like you I'm in the 40+ age bracket and found lugging a 38kg 4x10 around every weekend wasn't doing my back any favours.....

So just to throw another one into the mix - I bought a fender rumble v3 500 combo and I love it
it's such a loud and versatile amp for a small 2x10 combo and only weighs 17kg - plus I don't have to rearrange the car and put the back seats down every time I go to a gig.
Plus it has a jack for an extension speaker, so if I did want extra head room I could add an extra speaker cab to get the amp to the full 500w - but the band I play in have a full PA and we mic up the drums / guitar and DI the bass so I only need it as an on stage monitor and only have it on volume 2-3 most gigs

I did like the Ashdown head and think their gear is pretty good - but at the moment I'm loving my Rumble 500. I think music works / planet music have them new for $1099?

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:50 pm
by Brent Cain
Hey Mr Bass Man. Appreciate the feedback & the "heads up" on the Fender. They were on my radar along with that ultra light weight 200 watt GK ex The Rock Shop. After weighing it all up I think that the Ashdown 300 with the two tens probably wins the day. It has all the elements that I
require in a very compact yet portable & powerful package. For playing the small venues ( which many in Christchurch are now ) it will be perfect.
At $799 it is more than I want to pay but probably worth it for the future proofing. Big ups to the guys at Music Planet as well. It was the only shop where I felt really welcome & nothing was a problem. Thanks Guys.

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:48 am
by Mr Bass Man
no worries... I think I got my fender rumble off Trade me 2 years ago for $600?
but if you like the Ashdown then go for it - it should have a DI out on the amp in case you play a larger venue and need to run the amp through the FOH

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:55 am
by Brent Cain
Hey Mr Bass Man. I just wanted to let you ( & any other interested readers ) know how this played out for me. I looked at so many options that my head was spinning & I had to break it down to the absolute basics which were cost, portability & suitability. I moved away from the micro combos
early on because even in some of those smaller, acoustic style gigs there is sometimes a drummer & then need to move a little more air. Given all those factors & that the old Roland 100 Cube I used a couple of times did a pretty fine job it became a straight contest between an Ashdown I saw on line on the Music Planet website & a Peavey Max 115 I saw on Trade Me. Although the Ashdown stated it was 220 watts it wasn't, so the Peavey won out.

Have had the Peavey at home for a couple of days & have just started sorting it out. As my friendly Monday night jam drummer said a while back
" those Peaveys are too bloody middley ( not sure if that is a word !!! ) ". He is right, it is , but for what I require it is perfect. As soon as all the Grand Kids leave I will get it out for another lash & hopefully make some more progress. At $479 with free shipping & brand new it was a pretty good deal. The follow up from Kosmic Sound was great as well. Onwards & upwards. Rock & Roll.

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:09 am
by makatak
I`m currently running a lightweight D-Class head with either one 2x10 8 ohm cabinet for smaller gigs, for larger I`ve got a second 8 ohm 2x10 cab so when running both for a larger gig it`s 4 ohms total to move the extra air, quite modular too so you can have different setup configurations. With the one cab, the amp fits in a shoulderbag so with the bass and cab it`s ONE load in :) I don't know what your budget is but you can get something like an Ibanez promethean head for 399 ( fantastic wee amp, plenty of features and good tone/power ) , or move up to something like a Markbass currently around 1200 I think. The Peavey Minimax for 449 has an outrageously loud fan so no good for bedroom practice but a fully featured amp, I think the Megamax for 799 is a good buy. For Cabs you could try something like a lightweight neo 4 ohm 212 which would allow your amp to breathe and you've got the one cab to cover everything. I found the Ashdown heads too "wooly" and the Ampeg PF`s again have a loud fan. The Mesa D800 is a good amp too for a few more Goats. A good tip is get an amp with an 3.5mm aux input and a headphone jack so you can jam along to whatever your media source is ( Markbass don't do this though ) some built in headphone amps are better than others, again I found the Ibanez to be beautifully clean, try them in store first to see if they aren`t hissing like a snake. Have you tried any cabs with a tweeter/HF horn ? that feature was life changing tone wise for me about 20 years ago after slugging it out of 15' muddy cabs for years, you don`t have to have the attenuator all the way up, just a bit to give your tone a bit of sparkle. Good luck mate.

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:28 pm
by Brent Cain
Hey Makatak. Thanks heaps for the input.It was a mind bending experience being back in music shops after so many years running with the same
gear.So much has changed except the people in them. The Peavey I bought is great for portability, power etc but probably a little lacking in tone if I was to be honest. I am thinking that one of your MXR M81 may just be the answer.In saying that I use an old Hohner bass but for many years now have run it without using the active feature because I get a great sound through our PA with just the DI. The active switch has become my on/off switch in effect.When I put a 9 volt back in the guitar & plugged it into the Peavey the sound was incredible. I am thinking however that a mains powered preamp may, in the long run, be a whole lot cheaper than endless 9 volt batteries. More to think about. Can my brain take it ? Cheers

Re: Downsizing & bewildered by choice

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:30 am
by Mr Bass Man
I'm glad you found an amp you're happy with... brand is not important to me really
From memory I saw the Fender amp on Trade me then went online to read user reviews of the amp
then I just had to convince the Mrs that I HAD to have the amp!

I was worried that the combo wouldn't put out enough power and I'd need an extension cab (which the amp is capable of running)
but took it to the next gig and only needed the volume on 2.5, so didn't need to get another cab

happy jamming!