Battle of the 250-500 dollar combo bass amps

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Itsdylaniii, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Itsdylaniii

    Itsdylaniii TDPRI Member

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    I'd like to know anyone's opinion on the following amps, or suggestions on any others that I should be looking at. I'm looking for a really versitile amp that can play anything from metal to experimental jazz, and everything in between.
    I most likely won't be gigging, and weight or volume isn't a huge concern. I'm thinking about using it to practice alone, with other musicians, and recording. tone is the number one concern, and I'm also unsure if it is worth it to be looking into used tube amps for what I want.

    Roland cube 120xl bass
    Ampeg 210v2
    SWR redhead
    Fender rumble 200
     
  2. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Rumble 200 is what I'd go with out of those. 5 year warranty is icing on the cake.

    I went with the 500 head and two 112 Rumble cabs.

    Fender really upped their game with the V3 Rumbles. Huge following and lots of love over on TalkBass forum.
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd agree that Fender has upped their game considerably with their Rumbles. I wouldn't have touched them years ago.

    Most anything Ampeg has to offer will be a solid bass rig as well albeit not usually inexpensive and not often light in weight but that won't be an issue for you if you aren't transporting it much or at all.

    I play a tc electronic BG250 that I like a lot however my decision was based on weight as well as tonality. It's about the closest I could come to an Ampeg type tonality in a lightweight combo.
     
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  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Just bought a Markbass CMD JB Players School. Their inexpensive "student" model.

    I compared it to the Rumble 200, a GK 200, and the new Ampeg BA 115. They were all great amps, and I think you'd be happy with any of them.

    Size/weight/power ratio was extremely important to me. I was looking for an ultralight touring rig. The Markbass was heavier than the Fender, seemed about the same as the GK, and much lighter than the Ampeg.

    The build quality seemed better than any of them. It just feels sturdy. The pots feel fantastic, features are great. It's 150 watts with just the internal 8 ohm speaker, boosts to 250 with an extension cab. The combo is fine by itself in my outfit. Bass, drums, guitarist with a drip edge bassman head mounted in a 1x12 combo box. We're not crazy loud, but we're sure not a lounge band.

    Tone is great. Very useable eq, but not much at all is needed. I have it flat except for a very small cut in the low mid, and a very small boost on the highs. Just the two filter knobs give you pretty much everything a bassist could ever want.

    Down sides are no aux in or headphone out. But I didn't buy it to use as a practice amp.

    Extra up sides (for me) include a compact cubey shape, totally recessed control panel, and a heavy duty steel speaker grill. It'll be hard to damage in transit.

    The direct out has a level control, pre/post eq selector, and a ground lift. It sounds absolutely fantastic going out to the PA.

    It's currently on sale for $100 off through GC. Which puts it right at your high end of $500. But I feel it's well worth it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
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  5. Jim W

    Jim W Friend of Leo's

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    I have Rumble 200 great amp for the money. Plus it is light weight.
     
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  6. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

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    I own the Rumble 200 as my only gigging amp. Lots of power and XLR out if needed to the PA.
     
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  7. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yep, the BG250 is nice. Been gigging regularly with mine for a few years now. Lightweight, loud enough, and cheap enough to just leave in the trunk of my car.

    I bought a Mesa Walkabout Scout which sounds phenomenal, but I spilled beer on it and it's been in the shop, so went back to the BG250 in the meantime, and I am really appreciating how easy that thing is to schlep around (the Mesa is heavy).
     
  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I was playing as often as I was 10-15 years ago I would own Mesa Walkabout Scout. Terrific bass amps and right at the 50lb weight limit my back insists on these day. ;)

    But for the money and it's weight vs big sound I really do like my BG250 and it's features. If TCE was better know in general for their bass gear I think these amps would be pricier than they are.
     
  9. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Well my Mesa is the 1x15 combo, not the 1x12, so it is heavier and more awkward to schlep around.

    In fact, it doesn't fit in the trunk of my car due to its cube-like shape.

    BG-250 fits easily. With the BG250 amp I like to use a VT Bass pedal or other type "Ampeg tube amp simulator" to warm it up. Really great like that.
     
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  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Same here only with a Zoom B3 running various amp and cab sims. Mostly the B15 and SVT with my PBass and the SVT, an Eden WT, or an Aguilar TH with the JBass. There's a Tech 21 Sansamp sim too but I have the BG250 v1.0 so I do have the Tube Drive built into the amp itself and then a Spectra-Comp in the Tone Print slot.

    Between the two there's far more versatility there than I will ever use and for a 250w amp the volume is significantly more than I expected. I don't do pants cuff ruffling stage volume any longer so whatever venues it won't handle the FOH will and it becomes more of a personal monitor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
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  11. KCKC

    KCKC Tele-Afflicted

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    Rumble 200 too!

    Light, Loud when needed and great tone!

    KC
     
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  12. Cadfael

    Cadfael Tele-Meister

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    I have the Roland CUBE 100 BASS and it is excellent!
    I only use 3 or 4 modelings. If I want a different sound, I don't have to turn all knobs but simply choose another modeling.

    I have a Roland E-Drum and also used my CUBE 100 BASS to amplify the E-Drum in a rehersal room! The Hi-Hat wasn't that "crispy", but good enough ...

    The CUBE has a very good compressior on board! Simple, but effective.
    The 120XL also has a tuner on board, chorus, delay, reverb ...
    And there is a (fixed) noise gate inside! To me it's excellent too ...

    The 12" has an excellent sound and the 100 (0r 120) "Roland Watts" are surely as loud as other 200-300 watts combos. Why? At a certain level, the basses are not louder anymore - only the low mids (punch). This saves a lot of amplifier power. You can not hear the difference (missing bass increase) ...

    If you have the chance to test the Roland, do so!!!
    My alternative would only be the Ibanez Promethean 300 110 combo (tried the 500 watts 110 combo once).

    DON'T make the mistake to "get lost" in the Roland CUBE BASS!
    Only use what you need and stress the practical but experimental way ...
     
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  13. Billy1959

    Billy1959 Tele-Meister

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    Ampeg BA115v2 should be right up your alley.
     
  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Roland amps do punch above their weight in almost all cases, guitar amps and bass amps alike, and given the compact size of any of the Cubes they do make great grab and go amps. They're light, loud, and sound great.

    One of the more unique features on the TCE BG250 combos is a power management system which does much the same a far as power conservation. It's another amp that hits above it's weight in volume.

    I can't help but thinking others may be doing the same in order to get more practicality out of 200-300w lightweight combos.
     
  15. jcerio2

    jcerio2 TDPRI Member

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    I would take a look at the Hartke Kickback KB15. Probably meets all of your needs with power to spare.
     
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  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got a Rumble 40 and it is an awesome little amp. Just loud enough for playing with a drummer. I keep thinking I'd like a bigger version, so my vote is for the Rumble 200 also.
     
  17. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Anyone have experience with the Fender Bronco 40 modeling bass amp? I'm just looking for something that is good at practice volumes, I have no real intentions to ever gig on the bass. The Rumble 100 would also be a contender for me.
     
  18. Cadfael

    Cadfael Tele-Meister

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    Had a Bronco 40 amp by a member I have been knowing for a long time (hope I took the right time - complicated for Germans).

    He liked the Bronco very much! The Bronco is a real alternaive to the Roland practise amps or to the great EBS Session 30 amp. To my mind better than the Rumble 100 for practise issues (and acoustic sessions with other musicians).
     
  19. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks! That is helpful.
     
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