NEED HELP w/ a bass amp

For some reason, I figured this might be a good place to ask... :lol:

Hey y'all

So my brother (who plays bass in our band) is looking to upgrade his bass amp. Currently has a Fender Rumbler (I think) which is a piece of shyt, and he's looking to get a head w/ a cab or 2.

So we went down to Guitar Center, talked w/ that guy I know down there, and got him a Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II 700/50W Biamp Bass Head w/ a Peavy 15" speaker cab to start, with the thought of adding another cab w/ two 10" later on.

Here's the thing: I'm not so sure I like it. We giged w/ it the other night and have had 2 practices w/ it so far, and I'm not sold on the sound. I also wonder if it's because he's missing the other cab (w/ the 10's), but I don't think it's just that. I don't know much about the Gallien-Krueger, but I don't think I like the Peavy cab at all.

So what do you guys think? Opinons on this gear?

I know there's a lot of you on here who've been playing bass for a long time, so I'm hoping you guys can direct us in the right direction.

Our band is a mix of jamband, classic rock, etc. music, with his influences being Phil Lesh, Roger Waters, Mike Gordon (Phish), John Paul get the idea: the greats. So that's the kind of sound he's going for, but if I were to narrow it down, I'd have to say Roger Waters or Phil Lesh is the *ideal* tone he wants, and then he'll manipulate it from there.

Any suggestions???

Hoping for help soon, because the 30 day money back guarantee runs out in about 2 weeks.....


PS - still waiting on my guitar...... :)

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Shake, I've used my mental calculator and bringing back the GK and Peavey to swap for an SVT 3Pro with the 410HLF will leave your brother a few hundred out of pocket. That said, I think you have a rig that any player would be proud of. I hear only great things about the HLF but I haven't got an op on the SVT vs the B (but, if IIRC, there's not a big difference in price between the cabs). Some money can be saved by opting for the 450H but, from what I've heard on the 'vine, the B2RE may be struggling at gig volumes.

Onto the bass, I haven't played that Peavey. Looking purely at the specs, it looks to be decent kit and the +ve reviews on the site come from players who should know. I have a Jim Reed BE5, and the 4-string ( is of a similar design to the Peavey. I would say that, in common with many twin-soaps, there isn't a lot of difference to be had from switching pups. The Jim Reed uses fairly cheap Kramer pups and I was tempted to ditch them quickly.

However, as I've got more used to the bass, I've got more out of its stock setup. Make sure that your bro isn't just whacking the plec in between the pups all the time. Try finger or thumb pad close to the neck joint and the sound alters remarkably (a lot cheaper than replacing pups). If you're still not satisfied, an active preamp with treble and bass boost/cut may be worth a go, especially if you know a solder monkey. I found EMG's BTC easy and cheap to buy in the US, or you could look at the BTS seeing as you have enough potholes. Only then would I go for a pupgrade - perhaps a "Jazz" soap near the bridge to give a different tone.

Dudeman 1b you are of much help and your opinion is held in high court in my home, MUCH THANKS.

He ended up getting frustrated and just returning the cab today, but says he's returning the head on Monday. My gut feeling is the guy I know over at GC tried to talk him into keeping it and just getting a new cab, but with GC's 30-day return policy, he can't afford NOT to try out all he can to ensure his satisfaction.

One good thing about this guy at GC is since I've bought other gear off him, he gives us pretty good deals ($200 off this last bass purchase alone), so being that they have the SVT 3Pro with the 410HLF listed at $1500 online, I would think I could get it for around $1300, which as you stated, is still more than he was looking to spend, but again as you stated, I think it might be a more permanant purchase, if that makes sense. I guess that was a little redundant....sorry. :oops:

Anyways, I'll keep you posted.

I did call around and found no real luck on Ashdown stuff; the only store I found is about an hour away and they've stopped carrying Ashdown, though he's gota brand new 4x10 cab he really wants to get rid of. I was able to convince him to make some calls to see if he could get that head that you mentioned in his store, but he said he wanted a deposit for it and they only have an *exchange* policy, so I don't think that's gonna work, but we'll see.

Actually have more to write, but the Red Sox are on and we're up 6-5 but the Indians have 2 on w/ 0 men out, so I think I'm causing some bad ju-ju by not faithfully watching. I'll be back!

I don't watch much baseball (too late over here - I've even given up on watching much NFL) but I have the opposite effect on "soccer". Every time England shine, it's because I've missed the match.

Back to bass stuff, a "desperate" Ashdown 410 cab seller was briefly intriguing, but you're best off sorting things through GC by the sounds of it. The 410HLF has the power handling to cope with the 3Pro and also has a 4ohm impedance so you'll get the max out of the power amp. You may never feel the need to add a 1x15" (and the wardrobe-sized 8x10" has never appealed to my back). If you can get a good price deal, I think it'll work out nicely.

I'll talk more about improving the Peavey bass another day. Keep the messages coming.

So he ended up going w/ the SVT3Pro and the 410HLF cab. Very nice, he is giddy about it. Has the head in hand, the cab comes tomorrow. $1400 in and out, brand new. Not bad, $100 off plus saved the shipping. I'll let you know how it sounds/works once it's in. Was going to go w/ the floor model for the SVT3Pro, at $550 wasn't a bad price, but something just irked the both of us about taking on a GC floor model head, 5-year warranty or not. What do you guys think?

So I sit here today, and then I got to wondering.....

Does my brother really NEED a $1400 bass rig? Shyt. It's a lot of money for him to spending, money he really doesn't have, but says he can pay it off and what not ($770 is on a 12 month interest free GC cc, the rest is on my GC cc, which he says he'll pay me back as soon as his is paid off. at a minimum of $100/month, shouldn't be too long) - ok, that's not really the point, sorry for rambling. But I worry that it may wear him down financially, and ask myself again "does he really need it? did I steer him in the right direction?" I ask this because he was basically taking my advice, and my advice alone (thanks to you guys here!), so there's a little bit weighing on my conscience, you know?

The problem is that he had his sights set on a head w/ a cab , for no other reason than because "he wanted one". He couldn't tell you the first thing about them, nor the difference between them and a combo. He just wanted one. One thing he DID want was a tube amp (which I agree on), and obviously you see where I'm going when he got the GK. Doesn't make a whole lotta sense, I know, but stay with me here.

I'm thinking he could've (and still could) be set with a nice $700-$900 amp, but being I'm an idiot about bass stuff, I'd have no argument to make when approaching him. I'm just there a rig out there that will suffice by NOT spending $1400? I'm sure there is, but I don't know what it is....yet.

Ok, after writing this, I did some work myself:

I searched around on musiciansfriend, GC, etc. and couldn't really find a whole lot that fits that criteria, so maybe this is the best route. I just hope it doesn't swallow him whole. But hey, you gotta lay in the bed you made, so....

Anyways, I'm excited to hear the new rig and I guess one way to look at it is that he won't have to spend more money down the line to upgrade his equiptment later; I'm guessing this new rig will last him a looooooong time, so it's a good investment in the long run for him, which is good. Spend more now, spend less later, be psyched out of his shoes now with a sweet a$$ rig. :D

Thanks much for reading, replying, and helping! It is much obliged!

Hi Shake,

That IS a great rig that you've gone for and, yes, it IS a heckuva outlay. If your brother goes gigging then he'll want for nothing else but, if he loses interest quickly then he's going to take a hit. I'll say one thing; an SVT3 with 410HLF can be sold five years down the line and still attract good offers (cf a Fender Strat, LP or a Marshall stack) whereas I suspect the Peavey cab and even the GK head would depreciate like a stone and struggle to make the remaining payments after a short while.

Would I take a store-demo SVT3 at $575 vs $750 for the NIB? Yes, I would - for the same reason I would with a dealer-demo car sitting in the showroom with 1,000 miles. Let GC take the initial depreciation. As soon as the head is taken out of the box and used for a coupla rehearsals, you've lost money anyway.

If you really want to cut back on costs, have a valve (that actually does something - many amps have them almost for show), keep separate head and cab and don't mind playing the 2nd hand market, Marshall's Dynamic Bass System (the DBS 7400) springs to mind. Excellent - tried one out in the '90s - but I don't know how available they are your side of the pond.

1bassleft wrote:

Would I take a store-demo SVT3 at $575 vs $750 for the NIB? Yes, I would - for the same reason I would with a dealer-demo car sitting in the showroom with 1,000 miles. Let GC take the initial depreciation. As soon as the head is taken out of the box and used for a coupla rehearsals, you've lost money anyway.

Definitely second that I never buy new when it comes to musical equipment. People are desperate for, and gigging, early SVTs...a few months of 'Smoke on the Water' with the volume on 1 really shouldn't really have done much to a new one.

HS all T, getting that rig NIB for $1400 from the local GC (not internet + s+h deal) shows excellent negotiating skill. You certainly got your bro top kit at a good price.

Thanks guys, and thanks 1b for the vote of confidence and the compliment. I think the cab got delayed & will be in tomorrow, so Tuesdays practice should be fun! I'll keep you posted. I'll tell you though.....he looks like a kid on Christmas day with just the head sitting there!

:) , must be murder looking at the head but waiting for the cab to arrive. There are enough knobs there to keep even Paris Hilton occupied for a week.

Before I forget/die, I must mention one thing. Your bro has spent enough in more ways than one. The cab you bought has enough power handling to max the SVT3 output and, importantly, has an overall impedance of 4ohms. Check carefully before being tempted to plug in an additional 15" cab. Yes, I know it looks cool all stacked up on stage like that, but there is something important about impedance.

The SVT 15" has an impedance of 8ohms. Plugging this in with the 4x10" (in parallel is how it'll happen) will present your amp with an overall impedance of (if my maths is right) 2.67ohm. Using another make's 4ohm, 15" cab will result in an overall impedance of 2ohm. Either will be so low that the head shuts down immediately. Worse still, it might not - and burn out. The amp is only designed to operate down to 4ohm. There is a way of series-linking cabs but this will raise the overall impedance and reduce the watts your head is putting out - defeating the object.

Before you worry too much, my personal op is that modern 10" drivers capable of going down to 30Hz (and that cab has them) make the best speakers out there. I know others will disagree and swear by the air-shifting properties of big drivers, but I wouldn't swap my 10" drivers for anything else at a gig. Make sure your bro twiddles fully with that SS/valve preamp sweep. Love that feature. Next thing you know, I'll be recommending better 12AX7s than the Groove Tubes fitted as standard. By then, you'll be bored of me and avoiding my posts :lol:

LOL...too funny. And I agree - I think the 10's will be fine, esp. for his sound. Trust me, he's not buying anything for a while (though I AM trying to find him a Lovetone Meatball wouldn't happen to know where I can get one, would you? :) )

But I really appreciate all the help you and everyone else has been through this process. Buying such gear can be a daunting and overwhelming task, esp. when you don't know much about it in the first place, and with this site's help we navigated that pretty well, I think.

So thanks! From both my brother Jeremiah and I.

And still no cab was supposed to be in yesterday, hopefully today it will come. Will keep you posted.

So about these tube upgrades......tell me more?

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