Wednesday, 19 September 2007
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OK everybody, I saw a posting for the best amps for the ABI, but I have yet to see one for the ABII. Considering my own personal experience over the 2+ years with my ABII I would really appreciate any input that any of you have regarding any success (and horror as well) stories in finding an amp/cab setup that really does the overwhelming tone of the ABII (in active mode) justice. Anyway, after having it for 2 years, and having a bit of an amp stock pile I have tried a bunch of different configurations, with mixed success...here are the rigs that i have tried and their (mixed) results: Rig #1: SWR Basic 350 (red face, pre fender)-->Ashdown 1X12 (150W 8ohm) and an Ashdown 2X10 (200W 8Ohm) Result: Well, on the good side upgrading from my korean spector 5 string with the ABII made that rig sound better than ever. Too bad I fried the head and the cabs at the end of my first gig with my ABII (3 sets, early august heat, ABII on series with the bass turned all the way up, whoops) Rig #2: Ampeg SVT4 (With an alembic SF2, BBE Sonic Maximizer, and DBX 166 Compressor in the FX loop)-->Ampeg PR410HLF (600W 4ohms) and Genz Benz Neo 2X12 (500W 4OHM) Experience: OK first off i have several issues with this amp. I have to plug into the passive input to hear myself in practice, and the DI on it SUCKS because it IS NOT GROUNDED. Aside from that it can be lot of fun, but with some other issues. The SVT4 is voiced with a big bump in the low end that is magnified by the 4X10 cab voicing. No matter how much I cut on the amp (i have both the bass knob at 10 clock and the the bottom graphic eq at minus 8 DB) that and the 4X10 are still super bottom heavy. Even with the ABII bass knob rolled off to the middle. It sounds good mostly, but for the intricate floating thumb slap style (which I do a bit here and there) it kind of gets buried by the guitar low mids. The Flea type slap doesn't do much better, but it does cut just a bit more. Finger style, NO PROBLEM. Great for fingerstyle rock, funk and reggae. With my rig, it is alledgedly kicking out about a 1000 watts at 4 ohms, but it doesn't really sound all that loud compared to other amps. In a 3 piece with no vocals, no pa, and guitarist playing through a triple rectifier and a drummer that isn't a hard hitter, i have trouble hearing myself in practice a good deal of the time that i am not playing finger style. Result: I would not get this again for an ABII. Rig #3: REPAIRED SWR 350 Basic (see above) -->Genz Benz Neo 2X12. This amp has never sounded so good, but it still sounds like a SWR. Not perfect, but this gets the job done. I have been using this rig in a 4 piece with sax, drums and a keyboardist and am frequently invited to turn down by the sax player. Great finger tone, slap tone is bit brittle but usable. Rig #4: Old Carvin 1500 B into some prototype ampeg 6X10. This is not my rig and I have not gigged through it but my friend at my practice spot let me play with it for a night. Result: OMFG!!! So freaking loud. Everything sounds better loud. I had the amp eq pretty much flat and I was shaking paint off the walls. I am seriously considering aquiring it to replace my SVT4. I have yet to read a negative review of this particular amp. Rig #5: Mark Bass Mark II --> a new Peavey 4X12. Result: Now I know what all the mark bass hype is about. This little 6 pound 500 watt head put the SVT4 to shame in both volume and tone. My ABII never sounded so good. Finger style was nice and boomy (like i like) with a little snap on it. Both slap styles were cutting through like a hot knife through butter. I had the bass knob on my ABII zeroed out, my volume at 50%, the gain and volume on the head at 3 and 5 oclock, and still had to turn it down because the neighbor was complaining. And even then i was still keeping with the rest of that 4 piece with no volume issues. Anyway, that has been my experience so far. How about you? What has worked for you? Or more importantly, what didn't? I am going to replace my ampeg amp and cab...i am strongly leaning towards either the Carvin or Mark Bass for an amp, and Avatars for cabs...has anybody had any issues with these in general, or in regards to the ABII? your informed input would be most appreciated. Thanks!!!
14 years ago
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#7220
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+1 on the B1500.
14 years ago
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#7221
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I'm using an Eden rig, [url=http://www.eden-electronics.com/products/amps/indiv/wt550.asp:1i9dwx27]wt550[/url:1i9dwx27] head and a single [url=http://www.eden-electronics.com/products/cabs/indiv/d210xst.asp:1i9dwx27]d210xst[/url:1i9dwx27] cab (30hz on the low end). It carries the low B (and lower with the hipshot detuner) so clearly. The wt550 can run in 2, 4 , or 8 ohms at 750w, 500w, and 300w respectively. My d210xst cab is rated for 500w and is a 4 ohm model so it matches the wt550 head very well. I've never had a volume problem with this setup for playing in church (300 person room). In fact, the master volume never makes it past 11 o'clock (just under 1/2 total volume). I normally run it at 9 or 10 o'clock. Also the DI on the Eden heads are excellent. I run the head totally flat and boost / cut bass / treble per taste or per song as needed. On the AB-II, I have found parallel mode to be the most tame, with series being very hot and with much "presence". I'd recommend this rig setup to anyone with an AB-II. Good tone (warm yet hi-fi), lightweight, and modular (you can add more cabs if needed).
14 years ago
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#7227
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I appreciate this thread. I am currently running my ABII through an SVT-4pro and an ACME B4 and am reasonably happy, but I do not have the bucks or time to try other combo's. I am open to the AMPEG being a big dissapointment and may step up on amps when the bucks are available. So I will be watching and reading this thread very closely. :)
14 years ago
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#7228
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I wanted to add that I was a long-time Ampeg user before I tried Eden. I didn't know what I was missing. I ran an SVT3-pro for 10 years into a SVT-410Pro cab. The sound was always boomy with lots of clackity-clack no matter what bass I used (Fender Jazz, Musicman Stingray, Gibson Les Paul bass, etc.) or how many different ways I tried to EQ and boost mids. I also have heard that Ampeg over estimates the wattage ratings on their amps...my point is that Eden rocks. I've never had the chance to try Mark Bass or Epifani or any other high-end brands, but Eden does it for me and is "the tone" I've been searching for so I don't see myself switching unless something blows it totally out of the water. I like what Marcus Miller said about finding your gear and then concentrating on your playing - I wish I would have found Eden a while back because I'd be a much better player by now! Hehe.
14 years ago
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#7229
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[quote="Brim":1efiqhve] I ran an SVT3-pro for 10 years into a SVT-410Pro cab. The sound was always boomy with lots of clackity-clack no matter what bass I used (Fender Jazz, Musicman Stingray, Gibson Les Paul bass, etc.) or how many different ways I tried to EQ and boost mids. I also have heard that Ampeg over estimates the wattage ratings on their amps...[/quote:1efiqhve] They have SVT-3Pros with 8x10 Ampeg cabs at the studio we rehearse at. That head is just horrible and not nearly enough to drive the 1200W cabs, which is overkill for the small rooms. I really have a hard time getting any good sound out of it.
14 years ago
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#7230
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yes, i don't mean to bash gear, but i too had an svtIII and a pb250. i couldn't coax a good sound out of them. the only ampegs i've ever played out of that i could live with is the v4b, and the svt. even their cabs, other than their 810 and 210svt, were lacking... but then that's just my humble opinion...
14 years ago
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#7231
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I'm very happy with my Eden WT400 and either the D410 XLT (4 ohm) or D210 XLT (8 ohm). I also have a Bergantino IP112, which I haven't played too many gigs with, yet. Actually, the IP112 and the D210 XLT sound incredibly good together, too. I think I'm set for awhile. I guess it's time to focus on my playing. :D
14 years ago
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#7387
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My suggestion is still Thunderfunk with your cabinet of choice. This was my contribution to the thread re: AB-1. There may be a few more on the used market soon because Dave is soon to introduce an upgraded model which will have a little more power and usable with 2 ohm loads. I bought my 420 and 550 new and neither have ever let me down. They make me sound better than I have a right to... :roll: Ken
14 years ago
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#7391
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I am most happy with my iAmp 800!!!
14 years ago
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#7398
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I honestly like something very transparent. My SWR does that for me. I love hearing the details of my wonderful bass.
14 years ago
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#7512
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I will contribute on the amplifier side of this because of my penchant for building my own speakers - it precludes me from having a real opinion on retail speakers. FYI, if you know anything about woodworking you can build quality speakers that simply blow away retail bass speakers. My favorite source is [url:1nfumr18]http://www.billfitzmaurice.com[/url:1nfumr18], the guy is a genius. His horn-based speaker designs shame anything short of $5000 pro-audio gear, although the build effort is not trivial. That said, I have tried bunches of amps in the past including GK, SWR, Ampeg, Mesa, Peavey, and have only been totally satisfied with rack mount preamp/amplifier seperates. My current rig is an Aguilar 680 preamp into a Crown MacroTech 1200, which is truly amazing. The tone shaping on the Aguilar is fabulous, and the sound is like a diamond. In the past I have been equally satisfied with a Crest CA-9 amp instead of the Crown, and nearly as satisfied with an Alembic F-1X preamp. It wasn't until I upgraded to this level of equipment that: 1) The noise level became almost inaudible 2) Transparency of the tone became glasslike 3) Lows would stay punchy no matter how hard I drove the amp. Integrated bass amps always seemed to sag in punch when they either got hot, were driven with fast unrelenting notes, or when driving 4-ohm cabs. A good rackmount amps' performance is like the difference between a V8 and a 6 when climbing hills in a car. Hey - if you spent upwards of $2K on a bass, don't expect to hears all its subtleties without similar quality gear - it's part of your instrument !
14 years ago
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#7513
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[quote="jlaplante":1esseyu7]Hey - if you spent upwards of $2K on a bass, don't expect to hears all its subtleties without similar quality gear - it's part of your instrument ![/quote:1esseyu7] I agree. I wish I had the opportunity to try out many of the pre amp/amp combinations that several have suggested. I'm not sure how best to do that w/o buying a bunch of gear just to experiment with and/or w/o spending lots of time tracking the stuff down for demo -- especially if handmade speaker cabs are in the mix. Damn, wish I could do bass stuff full time.
14 years ago
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#7514
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On topic, if I didn't have a Glock, I would be very tempted by the new Thunderfunk TFB-750 which will be out soon...
14 years ago
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#7519
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[quote="John H":28pw64d1]I agree. I wish I had the opportunity to try out many of the pre amp/amp combinations that several have suggested. I'm not sure how best to do that w/o buying a bunch of gear just to experiment with ...[/quote:28pw64d1] Hey, that's what I did, and I'm not made of money. This has taken years. Every amp I mentioned was purchased off of eBay or TalkBass.com, so it hasn't really been that bad. I have had real good experience with all this equipment, and it has been quite affordable. For instance, the biggest chunk was $900 for the Aguilar. I paid $400 for the Alembic and around $550 each for the Crest and Crown. Admittedly, these are older technology units, but this is 1/2 or even less than street prices, and since the units are high end, generally 1) people take care of them, and 2) they're built to last. It's almost become a hobby. Nowadays, if I want to try something, I'll scrape up the money and buy it used. If it pans out, something else goes back on eBay, for nearly what I paid for it.
14 years ago
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#7539
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Looks like jlaplante and I have similar tastes. Of the different rigs that I use (yeah, I have several), the one that I like the best is an Aguilar DB-680 preamp driving an Aguilar DB-728 tube poweramp. If it didn't weigh so much (about 120 lbs in an 8U Calzone case with a Furman glorified power strip), I might use it all the time. Very nice sounding rig IMO, and you can crank the preamp gain to get some nice sounding crunch. My main gigging rig is an Alembic F1-X preamp, Alembic SF-2 superfilter, and Crest CA-9 poweramp. Doesn't really get a gritty sound, but the clean sound is very pleasant to my ears. I usually drive a pair of Eden 210-XLT speakers. Sometimes I use one or two Schroeder cabs (a 410, a 21012, or both). The Schroeders have a deeper bottom end; the Edens have glassier highs.
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14 years ago
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#7546
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You should check out Eden's d210xst cab...paired up with a d210xlt, you get a huge bottom end. Also you can turn down the tweeters in the Edens to reduce the highs (not all the way off though, I set mine to 12 o'clock). I hear great things about Schroeder cabs, but I think I've found my sound with Eden. :D
14 years ago
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#7553
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Yeah I set the control about half-way on the Edens as well. The tweeters on my Schroeders, on the other hand, are still a bit anemic even when dimed. However, I have the old style tweeters. Jorg Schroeder is now using different tweeters, which I have heard are quite nice. If I were a slapper it would be a big deal, but that's not my style. Occasionally I'll pop an octave, which is where I will notice the difference.
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