Who gigs with a combo amp?

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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (DriftSpace) » Mon May 14, 2018 6:42 pm

I personally have used a MarkBass CMD 102P live, and I have absolutely no complaints.
If you have PA support: it makes a nice monitor for yourself with the ability to tilt; if not: 500W gets the point across, and provides lots of head-room. It's also really light-weight at under 30lbs.

I understand your concerns about the cats using it as a scratching post, but you could just get a cover for it. I have the official cordura cover for mine, but getting a vinyl cover (about which the cats definitely won't care) is also a possibility. My cat has never gone after the amp with its cover on, for what it's worth, but has absolutely murdered my basement couch ... which is adjacent to the amp.

A guy with whom I used to play employed a TC Electronics combo, which was an RS210C with an RH450, and it also sounded great. (That particular cabinet has a hard plastic exterior, so no worries about cats there.) He liked that the head could be separated from the cabinet and tossed into a small bag, and the cabinet was light enough that he could make the whole trip from his car in one go: bass over his shoulder, combo and pedals (if applicable) in his hands. There were even a couple of shows where -- since he knew the sound system was good -- he just brought the head, which his girlfriend could carry in her purse.

School of Rock had some Fender Rumble amps, and we used those at rehearsals and shows; I never had any problems with those, but the MarkBass is lighter and more powerful.
(I guess that reminds me of one feature I wish the MarkBass had, since the Rumble 200 has it: the 102P does not have a switch for the horn, but it's honestly never been a real issue.)

Finally, I played through a TC Electronics BG250-210 at a show which was back-lined, and I considered buying one of those before I bought the MarkBass. For a sub $400 combo: it sounded pretty good. However, the band with which I was playing was not a super high-volume group, so that would probably be a consideration for you, and it was one of the reasons I went with the MarkBass combo.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (teeder) » Tue May 15, 2018 11:15 am

The solution for cats is to either give them a proper scratching post,

IMG_20180213_165413172.jpg


or keep them confined.

IMG_20170524_172926108.jpg
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (jdogric12) » Tue May 15, 2018 2:00 pm

Ha!

Yes, cats need a proper scratching post they like and use. They can be trained to use one. The trick is to know that cats only learn and change behavior based on positive reinforcement, never negative. So yelling, swatting, squirting water, are all terrible things to do. They don't teach the cat that what they were doing was wrong, it just makes them like you less! If they scratch a couch, amp, etc, just calmly, slowly, and quietly pick them up and put them at the proper scratching post and pet them and tell them they are a good kitty. It takes time... invest a few months in this... and it will pay off. They'll learn.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (clementc3) » Wed May 16, 2018 11:30 am

jdogric12 wrote:Ha!

Yes, cats need a proper scratching post they like and use. They can be trained to use one. The trick is to know that cats only learn and change behavior based on positive reinforcement, never negative. So yelling, swatting, squirting water, are all terrible things to do. They don't teach the cat that what they were doing was wrong, it just makes them like you less! If they scratch a couch, amp, etc, just calmly, slowly, and quietly pick them up and put them at the proper scratching post and pet them and tell them they are a good kitty. It takes time... invest a few months in this... and it will pay off. They'll learn.


Wow, I never fail to be impressed by the things I learn here!

(I'm a dog person so I have never tried to train a cat; I had thought it was impossible!)
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (cassius987) » Wed May 16, 2018 10:24 pm

jdogric12 wrote:Ha!

Yes, cats need a proper scratching post they like and use. They can be trained to use one. The trick is to know that cats only learn and change behavior based on positive reinforcement, never negative. So yelling, swatting, squirting water, are all terrible things to do. They don't teach the cat that what they were doing was wrong, it just makes them like you less! If they scratch a couch, amp, etc, just calmly, slowly, and quietly pick them up and put them at the proper scratching post and pet them and tell them they are a good kitty. It takes time... invest a few months in this... and it will pay off. They'll learn.


Don't worry, no cats were harmed in the household of this bassist.

It's actually amazing how many people don't understand cats because they never get to know them well enough. Once they trust someone there's a lot more than what most people ever see. The "aloof cat" thing is quite a misconception.

Besides, if I ever hurt or yelled at the cats, I'd be in the doghouse for sure.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (cassius987) » Mon May 28, 2018 11:35 pm

I'm about to complete Week 1 of a 30-day trial period with a Roland Cube 120-XL. I really wanted to try a Fender Rumble 200 first, but learning that the master volume controls the DI signal on those amps killed my desire for one. No, I don't change my levels much, but that seemed like a bizarre "feature". (I'm also a fan of Markbass tonally, but cats aside, the upholstery just bugs me.)

Anyway, I've been A-Bing the Cube and my Aguilar TH 500/Barefaced Big Baby 2 (David vs. Goliath?). The Cube sounds REALLY good, and is punching way above its weight. (Not to mention all the onboard amp modeling and effects -- I strongly recommend this combo from that.) In fact, it's almost as loud as the Aggie (testing both in the 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. range and no further, to spare the neighbors), which is not what I expected at all. The main difference seems, to me, to be coming from the speaker cabinets. The Cube has a lot of lows but is clearly midrange-focused. The Big Baby is "wide open", with lots of depth to the sound but the whole frequency spectrum seems to shimmer with life. And this is regardless of how I set the crossover point, though that clearly influences the character of the highs.

There's also a strange quirk with the Cube -- in a way, all low notes have a very, very subtle sound of a poly-octave. I don't know if the coaxial speaker is the reason, or what... And I could be having an auditory hallucination but I just keep hearing this. There's certainly no lack of lows from it.

Any insight about what's going on between the two setups would be greatly appreciated, but I also just wanted to follow up in case folks were curious about my gear quest.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (cassius987) » Thu May 31, 2018 6:16 pm

I demoed an Orange Crush 100 and an Ampeg BA-115v2 today so I'll add my experience with those...

The Orange sounds nice no matter how you set it in terms of EQ, fuzz (it has a built-in gain), and the overall volume range. The clean tone is just that -- quite clean, and for a 15'' speaker, a bit "focused" like how I think of 10'' speakers sounding (but not all the way there). The fuzz is great for an onboard effect. That being said, its dynamic range is pretty wimpy, and unlike lots of low wattage combos I think this really is one of those that may not work well as a stage monitor. I believe this has something to do with the fact that there is only a volume control, and no way to adjust the input gain (besides a pad switch). Compared to the Cube, this had more bass in the sound but less dynamic range.

The Ampeg... I have been "over" Ampeg for a while. However, this was a pleasant surprise in a few ways. One, it's extremely versatile -- you can definitely get the Ampeg Sound that I'm familiar with (clean tone, I'm not really concerned with the Scrambler's SVT emulation). What's really cool, though, is you can easily kill the tweeter from the front end, and after messing with this cab for a while I found myself really digging it with or without the tweeter engaged. It's able to get incredibly loud, so I'm not worried about it as a stage monitor one bit. It can really focus a low bass note into a believable sound (whereas some cabinets turn these noises into a puff of smoke). I didn't hear any of the weird noises some have reported when engaging various switches like "ultra hi". To my surprise, this may be what I end up getting, but time will tell. I did not have a chance to try positioning it as a floor monitor, but the concept is nice.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:29 pm

You’re really hitting them all. The Orange are nice, and I don’t know the new ones but the old Roland Cube 60s were solid performers. How have all of these stacked up to your too cool rig?
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (cassius987) » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:55 pm

Kiddwad57 wrote:You’re really hitting them all. The Orange are nice, and I don’t know the new ones but the old Roland Cube 60s were solid performers. How have all of these stacked up to your too cool rig?


Good question...

Cube 120XL -- Almost as loud (to my surprise), but tonally too focused in the midrange without accompanying "boom"/"thud". Everything upwards of 150 Hz sounds fantastic, though I always heard too much of the high mids no matter how I set it. Oddly, it's said to be a very neutral cab, so maybe my ears are just tuned to need more lows. I kept deciding it sounded good enough, then switching back to the Barefaced with the same riff and realizing it was missing something.

Orange Crush -- Similar tonally to the Barefaced (honey-sweet with lots of thump), but with a tendency to be warmer and somewhat less resonant. Like when the Barefaced crossover is set to have the horn totally off. (Come to think of it, I don't know if the Orange has a tweeter.) Its output is much less, though, and the output range is small. I think this would be fun in a studio but not on stage.

Ampeg BA-115v2 -- Probably just as loud as the current rig or nearly so. I think it is capable of making similar sounds, but the base voicing is clearly rooted in Ampeg's history, with that ever-present "snarl". It seems like the tone is always contoured to have a little more bass and sheen. Really, really great but not exactly what I'm wanting to do most of the time, so I'm worried I'd be fighting it in a way (even though I like its default tone). I think it's probably or nearly able to keep up with the Big Baby in terms of deep bass, which is nice.

Next up on the docket, the GK MB115v2 and possibly the Fender Rumble 200v3. Of the first three tested, the Ampeg has the clear lead.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:20 pm

So are you still on the hunt for a combo amp?
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (squirebass) » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:48 pm

cassius987 wrote:
jdogric12 wrote:Ha!

Yes, cats need a proper scratching post they like and use. They can be trained to use one. The trick is to know that cats only learn and change behavior based on positive reinforcement, never negative. So yelling, swatting, squirting water, are all terrible things to do. They don't teach the cat that what they were doing was wrong, it just makes them like you less! If they scratch a couch, amp, etc, just calmly, slowly, and quietly pick them up and put them at the proper scratching post and pet them and tell them they are a good kitty. It takes time... invest a few months in this... and it will pay off. They'll learn.


Don't worry, no cats were harmed in the household of this bassist.

It's actually amazing how many people don't understand cats because they never get to know them well enough. Once they trust someone there's a lot more than what most people ever see. The "aloof cat" thing is quite a misconception.

Besides, if I ever hurt or yelled at the cats, I'd be in the doghouse for sure.


I've shared a domicile with at least one cat for the majority of my life, probably about 38 years. I'd say that jdogrick12 and cassius really do know cats!
But they show little interest in my basses, and I have never allowed them to gig with them, as Kevin Teed has apparently done...
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (jps) » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:17 pm

squirebass wrote:...the majority of my life, probably about 38 years...

You're not quite sure how old you are? :mrgreen:
(Insert famous quote here)
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (squirebass) » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:07 am

jps wrote:
squirebass wrote:...the majority of my life, probably about 38 years...

You're not quite sure how old you are? :mrgreen:


Oh, I'm SURE I know how old I am, just not sure when I got my first experience with Cat ownership! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (woodyng) » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:22 pm

I’m late to this party,and have noted your dislike of the Markbass’ fur coat, :)
But since you asked,i’ve been using the cmd121p 1-12 combo and a 1-12 Traveller cab as my rig for the last 6-7 years.
At one point i bought a used markbass 800 watt/tube preamp head and swapped it into the combo. Every once in a blue moon i will use both heads/cab and run effx seperately,most times the combo alone is more than enough for the clubs and outdoor gigs i play.(with PA reinforcement,natch). I do use a tech 21 vt pedal to preamp for more of a tube edge sound with the otherwise clean sounding markbass amps. I really haven’t seen much anything else that intrigued me in terms of a small combo,although i WOULD be interested in a Bergantino 1-12,which i’m sure is bound to be invented at some point.
Also the markbass Alain Caron Lite combo looks really nice.
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Re: Who gigs with a combo amp?

Postby (cassius987) » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:20 pm

Kiddwad57 wrote:So are you still on the hunt for a combo amp?


Maybe not anymore. I finally got an MB112-II and I adore it. After playing through this, I wonder why any cab has a tweeter (even slap bass sizzles fine through the MB112-II)...? Gets super loud, and the voicing is generally flat to my ears, with maybe a touch of low mid "bump" if you don't engage the Contour. If you want it to thump like a bigger cab, it can certainly do that. I don't miss the "sizzle" at all. I'll probably be selling my BB2 soon, although I will know for sure after a band rehearsal with the MB112-II.
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