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flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 79
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 6:43 pm:   Edit Post

I'm looking for a small amp that will compliment my Alembic Basses. I'm not in my 20's anymore so lugging around equipment is just not my thing anymore. I'm not doing any large venues mostly playing at my Church. The one thing I've been seeing is that small combo amps are being made that sound really Great!! With surprisingly good low end. I'm leaning towards the Walkabout but the its not cheap and price fixed with almost no deals new or used. So is it worth it? Or are there any comparable options?

Thanks For any input
dlbydgtl
Intermediate Member
Username: dlbydgtl

Post Number: 132
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 8:04 pm:   Edit Post

Carvin has the best low end combo for the buck, Sounds great with my Alembics, plenty of low end with the 15 inch combo. I bought the new Orange combo hasn't performed as I thought it might. Have a Trace Elliot1215 that I love but, use it for practice because it's heavy. But,my wife did get me a hand Cart not too long ago.
tncaveman
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 112
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 9:10 pm:   Edit Post

I have the GK Microbass amp (MB150) and speaker. It's no longer available as a separate head though. I found mine used and bought the extension speaker. I use it at church, and it sounds great, especially for the size. Plus the direct out is nice. This is a very quiet amp. I just played in our family life center and used it and a 4x10 GK cab and it sounded awesome.

I just looked at the GK site, and it's looking like they aren't making this combo anymore.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/gallien-krueger-mb150s-112iii-150w-microbass-combo-amp?src=3WWRWXGP

The new ones are around $700 or so (+/-) Mine has the stereo chorus built in and a few other features that the combo doesn't have.

Stephen
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2576
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 9:26 pm:   Edit Post

I have the GK MB150 as well . It is truly an amazing unit . I recently replaced the speaker in it with a correct replacement from GK. The original one needed the surround replaced which I also did and kept it as a spare.
flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 80
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 4:54 am:   Edit Post

Wow,GK MB150 is 1/2 the price and almost 1/2 the weight compared to the Walkabout 12. I never had a tube amp before the Mesa has a tube Pre amp the GK is all solid state. I have tried the Mesa and it's a worthy amp. I will be trying out the GK for its glowing reports here. I would like to make this my last small combo small gig/practice amp. Any comments on tube/tubeless? Or have designs pretty much overcome most of the issues?

Again Thank You for all your input,
Pete
briant
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 621
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 9:33 am:   Edit Post

I have a Walkabout 12. It's my home practice amp and it occasionally gets used on small gigs. It's a fabulous amp. I really can't say enough good things about it. It is simply the best small combo amp I've ever played through; and I've tried a vast quantity of them.

I've also used the head portion to drive my Mesa Boogie Diesel 2x15's at a few gigs. It had no problem driving those cabs all night at fairly absurd volumes.
briant
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 622
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 9:37 am:   Edit Post

Oh. Nearly forgot. If you fancy some overdriven preamp tube growl (to full on distortion) the Walkabout will not disappoint.
jcdlc72
Intermediate Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 178
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 2:18 pm:   Edit Post

Vouching here for the GK small combos. I own an older MB200 which I absolutely love. Those are not in production any longer, but I guess you can find a used one for cheap. Mine performs absolutely great with both my traditional style basses AND my Alembic and other active basses (just adjust the input gain properly), has a compressor, 4 band eq and stereo chorus and a nice patching section on the back to connect it to/with anything you can think ok! (SFX Loop, 1/4" a Mono XLR DI out, a ST/Mono switch for both the 1/4" like out AND a couple more XLR DI out for going stereo)... a real beauty!
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 993
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 2:23 pm:   Edit Post

I use a Walkabout 12 combo, which I love. Great for small, even medium venues. And you can't beat the power in such a small package - 200 watts at 4 ohms. Anyone considering one should keep that in mind - if you want more than just the combo, and want an extension cab, get the 8 ohm version in both the combo and cab so you can run at 4 ohms and get the most out of it.

I've also used a GK combo in Korea, which was good until somebody at the club we played blew it up. Really, you can't go wrong with either amp.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2578
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post

I also have the GK MB200 as well as the newer model MB 150. A major difference from a service prospective is access for speaker removal /repair. The MB 150 is MUCH more easy because of the simple front mount access to the speaker, In the MB200 it is required to disassemble the metal enclosure . Reassembly requires it's design to be quite air tight and rattle free. I vote for the MB150 although both units are great. The MB150 is easier to service .(I have serviced both my self)
flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 81
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 7:16 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys, it looks like the contenders are the GK MB150 vs. the Walkabout with John suggesting to look at Carvin. I have tried the Mesa and it is an outstanding Amp. However the ringing endorsement of the GK with its price to weight ratio is hard to ignore. I'll be planning a trip to the local Guitar Center to give it a whirl. I truly value the opinions of you all.

Pete
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 853
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post

I have the Carvin MB15 and find it has plenty of power for smaller gigs, and weighs about the same as my bass in its case. Amp in left hand, bass in right and I am balanced!

Prior to buying the Carvin I looked at alot of different small combos. Really close to getting the Spellbinder - prior to purchasing anything I called and e-mailed all of the company's - Carvin gave me a warm fuzzy feeling with their response/ customer service and they are made in the USA.

GK's were a close second choice for me. My 'arena rig' includes an 800RB which is bullet proof.
jcdlc72
Intermediate Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 179
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 7:14 pm:   Edit Post

Well, there is also the "ultra small head with a small cab" option, if you like it. SWR has something called the "MicroHead" or something like that, and TC Electronics has also a very small, high-powered little head that seems to go pretty well along with their own cabs (they have several options here as well). I only tried SWR's once in a store with a Hartke 2x12 cab, and I must say I liked the sound, but it is not the same as having one on stage and giving it a proper test drive.
lmiwa
Advanced Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 329
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post

Check out the Phil Jones combo amps as well. Not cheap, but huge sound for their size.

http://www.philjonespuresound.com/products/?c=9
lmiwa
Advanced Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 330
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post

duplicate post - sorry

(Message edited by LMiwa on July 30, 2012)
xlrogue6
Advanced Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 224
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

Love love love my Walkabout 12--its my primary gigging amp these days, and on the rare occasions I take out my bigger rig I usually realize the Walkabout would have done just fine. BTW, it's 300 watts into 4 ohms. I initially got mine with a 8 ohm speaker to allow use with an extension cab, but after a couple of years realized that I didn't need /couldn't be bothered to carry one, so I switched the driver out for a 4 ohm and it's perfect. GKs are not bad, but I highly recommend a direct A/B comparison--I'll bet the Mesa wins hands down, especially if you've got a low B string. I also find that an Auralex Gramma is a good accessory in many venues with the Walkabout.
tubeperson
Advanced Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 337
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post

Mesa makes great products, as does Phil Jones, for which I have several. The key is to invest the time to play your instruments through the different models and "carry" as many as you can to see what fits your tone and physical needs. Good luck!
flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 83
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

The only amp thus far I was able to check out has been the Mesa and it set the bar pretty high. In N.E. Florida where I live we don't have the verity of amps that are being suggested, so the A/B comparisons are difficult at best or at all. Working on it at the local Guitar Center. Man I miss 48th St. in Manhattan about now.

I can't Thank You all enough for your input. Without it I would not have even known all the quality choices out there.
Pete
tncaveman
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 113
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 7:05 pm:   Edit Post

I hope the Mesa wins - 2x price, weight, and power. For church work, my GK has been a perfect size. Actually has surprised me. I have the entry level GK 4x10 cab ($250 at GC at their Thanksgiving sale) and used it in a gym. I had more power than the church's PA. The 4x10 sounds better w/ the single 12" BTW.

Stephen
lbbc
Junior
Username: lbbc

Post Number: 21
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 6:57 am:   Edit Post

I have a Carvin BX500 w/2-10 4ohm cab...not heavy and great sound. I'm also using a GenzBenz 12T combo...31 lbs and sounds great for sm to med gigs

Of course, I have a larger Carvin Rig for outdoor gigs...and all sound great with my Alembic Persuader!
yogalembic
Intermediate Member
Username: yogalembic

Post Number: 130
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Saturday, August 04, 2012 - 7:45 pm:   Edit Post

What I've seen that really impresses the crap out of me are the Carvin Microbass Combos. Small, light, decent power rating, (more with one of the extension cabs of course). I've not actually heard them, but they sure spec out nicely.

If I ever get back to gigging, I'm headed there.

I had a friend who was looking for a combo and I suggested he order two different models of the Carvins, chose one and return the other.

He went with a GK combo (2X10 neo). Personally, I'm all about smaller rigs with multiple cab options.
dfung60
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 560
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 05, 2012 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post

This thread has been going on for a while, so maybe I'm too late to chime in.

A couple of folks have suggested one of the lightweight Class D digital amp heads and a small cabinet as an alternative to the Boogie combo. I'd really encourage you to give it a try.

A lightweight combo is going to be slightly harder to move, but will more than make up for it in flexibility. I don't go out much anymore, but my main rig is usually a Boogie Bass 400+ with an ancient Guild/Hartke 4x10 cabinet. Heavy, but great sound. I still have my 1970's blackline SVT head too, which sounds the best, but doesn't get to go in the truck unless it loads itself.

Along the way, I bought the original SWR Redhead when it first came out (must have been around 1989), as a more compact alternative. This was something like 270 watts with 2x10" speakers and an annoying horn. I regretted it from the first time I used it in a rehearsal - it was heavier and bulkier than my Hartke cab (even though the original Guild/Hartke is quite a bit lighter than the Samson/Hartkes that most of you are familiar with), it had no bottom end and was not loud. Too many compromises to make a combo, especially if you play in a loud band. I got a decent sound out of it when I plugged the Redhead amp section into the Hartke (with or without the SWR speakers), but it was vastly inferior to the Hartke and SVT in all measures.

This is the problem of the combo - to keep it a transportable size, there's compromises in the sound that you may regret later on. And, if this is the case, you basically will have to flush the entire amp and start over again.

The combo can work in certain environments - I think if you play in a quiet jazz band that might work. But even if you like the sound and it's not loud enough, it's not going to work in the long term. I actually have a 70's Ampeg B-15 that I love the tone of (it's not like an SVT at all), but it's also got about 40 watts, so only useful in a very quiet setting.

After a lot of unsatisfying experiences with solid state amps, I started liking a few of the new superlight amps. The ones that you really should try are the Genz-Benz ones (the little 600 and 900 family models are very popular). I wasn't that crazy about the EQ, although I think they GBs are very loud for the bucks. I liked the TC electronic 450 (which is notorious because it really has about 200 watts) - it's got a very different tone than the GB which I prefer. Ultimately, I got a EBS Reidmar, which is very similar to the TC with less flexible EQ and a better compressor. It sucks compared to my Boogie or SVT, but at 5 lbs, weighs less than a set of replacement tubes.

It's still not portable with my Hartke. I was never crazy about most of the 2x10 cabinets out there, which were a good size, but gutless and heavy. I happened to try out a midline Eden E-series 2x10 Neo cab which is quite a bit less gutless and shockingly weighs less than 30 lbs. It too sucks relative to my main rig, but with the entire amp under 40 lbs, it's pretty workable, and the Neo cab is amazingly loud.

I think the cab is discontinued due to increases in the price of neodymium, but I got my cab for less than $300 from The Bass Place in Arizona (they had a moving sale a few months ago, so might be a little higher now). If you can get the cab for cheap, the entire rig will be well under $1000, definitely worth it.

David Fung
byoung
Senior Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 1386
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2012 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post

fEarful + Shuttle 9 will cover a gigantic range of gigs easily.

The 12" is 40-ish pounds, and with 500 watts will hit 120dB. The 15" is 3dB louder, watt for watt, and handles about 60% more power.

http://greenboy.us/fEARful/
flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 91
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 4:56 am:   Edit Post

Wow!, All this valuable experience to look into and digest. Every time I look at a Combo now it seems that the Walkabout is the standard that has to be lived up to. It even brings new life into my P-Bass. The price tag of the Mesa could wind up being a blessing of sorts because itís forcing me to look around at the other options. Of course, there is always a chance at getting a good deal on one. I keep thinking patience grasshopper patience, isn't 2 Alembics in less than a year good enough? ;)

Thank You all,
Pete
5sicks
Junior
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 36
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2012 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post

Little Markbass 112 combo I used at a blues fest blew me away. Tube preamp and sensitive EQ and gain. Nice bottom for the B and more juice than was required for 220 waterbags outside. 7 bands used it without lining into the FOH SOS system, all with drummers, and as I wandered around the venue during the various sets I never lost a bit of the bass. I'm thinkin of gettin one....@$700 and 30 lbs.
flpete1uw
Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 94
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - 6:18 pm:   Edit Post

Well I probably knew the outcome when I first posted this. I went with the Mesa!!! She was the first amp I tried and became the standard to which I compared all the rest. All though there are a lot of fine amps out there some of which were recommended here on this post. I felt it was similar to choosing a Bass; there are a lot of fine instruments but there not an Alembic. This combination just feels right.
I would like to Thank everyone for all your input, it made the decision an adventure!!
Pete

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