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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So a while back I bought a bass.

I was planning on getting the Tech 21 Sansamp so that I could plug the bass into my Scarlet 2i4 and then into a DAW probably Reaper.

This is probably the cheapest solution. I notice there are a lot of choices when I google bass pre amp di. IF I go that route what do I need to amplify it if I want to play without a computer?

But are there other pre amps to consider?

Or are there heads that allow you to output to a computer? I have a cabclone but it seems most bass amps have more power than the 100W max of the cab clone.

The reason I am asking about heads is that it might be nice to have the flexibility to plug into a cab for just messing around with friends.

So I guess what I am really asking is.....

a) if I go pre amp di plus power amp what are affordable options?

b) if I go head with di capabilities what are my affordable options?

By affordable I don't mean cheap. Let's use the 5150 amp mantra that we have around here. It is a solid sounding, easy to find, reasonably price amp.
 

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MG.ORG Irregular
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One of my friends used to plug his bass straight into the mic jack on his sound card :lol: doesn't get much cheaper than that.
 

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The Scarlett > Reaper > TSE B.O.D.

That, or if you want something for live applications, it's hard to beat the BDDI, or the VT Bass with DI.

And if you want an amp, I heard tons of praise for the Fender Rumble V3 series. That, or a Hartke or Gallien Krueger head. Probably the best amps you can find for cheap that'll sound nice and loud for live gigs, and will have DI outs for recording.
 

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One of my friends used to plug his bass straight into the mic jack on his sound card :lol: doesn't get much cheaper than that.
Yeah, that works if you want it to sound like utter shit :lol:

a) if I go pre amp di plus power amp what are affordable options?

b) if I go head with di capabilities what are my affordable options?
A) If you have an active bass with a preamp that's decent you can just get a passive DI and call it a day. Radial's JDIs are good, but you could probably skimp a bit if you really wanted to. But a Sansamp isnt that much more expensive and gives you a ton more options, plus an overdrive that sounds fairly awesome. SansAmps are pretty standard equipment.

B) Even a lot of the really cheap practice amps come with DI outs. If you're not planning on playing out at places without PAs, you can get something like a GK MB200 for around 225$ used, which has a really nice sounding DI Out and a nice, modern, and punchy tone. Also, Ampeg's PF350 if you're looking for a more classic tone. But even the cheapest Hartke practice amps that sound decent are going to have DI outs. I can't speak for their quality though :lol:
 

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I got a super cheap PA on craigslist. I got a Peavey MP4 head, with some no name speakers for $40. Added a DI and I had a bass rig. And honestly, it doesn't sound horrible. And it was CHEAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the input.

1) So does the Sansamp work well with a bass with passive pickups?

2) I think I am leaning towards some sort of small head. The reason being that you don't have to spend much more above the cost of a sansamp and you are now a cab away from playing in garages.

3) If I go the head with DI route what companies should I consider? Peavey, Markbass, GK, Aguilar, Eden others? I just happened to list companies that I know local stores carry off the top of my head there's probably more. Unfortunately, unlike guitar amps where I have some sort of handle on them...... for bass amp heads I am clueless.
 

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I Am The Tweaker
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I have the Sansamp VT Bass DI and it sounds pretty damn good if I do say so. By going "direct", it does have both 1/4" and XLR outputs but no USB capability if that's what you mean.
 

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Thanks for all of the input.

1) So does the Sansamp work well with a bass with passive pickups?

2) I think I am leaning towards some sort of small head. The reason being that you don't have to spend much more above the cost of a sansamp and you are now a cab away from playing in garages.

3) If I go the head with DI route what companies should I consider? Peavey, Markbass, GK, Aguilar, Eden others? I just happened to list companies that I know local stores carry off the top of my head there's probably more. Unfortunately, unlike guitar amps where I have some sort of handle on them...... for bass amp heads I am clueless.
1) Yep.

2) Look into these:

Gallien Krueger MB200 Bass Amplifier Mint 836989002090 | eBay
TC Electronic BH250 Bass Amplifier Head 250 Watts BH 250 Amp PROAUDIOSTAR | eBay
Ampeg PF 350 350W RMS Solid State Preamp D Class Power Amp Portaflex B Stock 663961030419 | eBay
Acoustic B200H Bass Amp Amplifier 200 Watts | eBay

Despite it being the the highest wattage rating the Ampeg will be the quietest of the 3.

3) Start with the SansAmp but as far as regular DI boxess, the leader is pretty much Radial. You can run them over and they still work, and their transformers are really good. They also hold their value. If you can find a used one for cheap, you can probably make a profit on it if you want to sell it :lol: I had a JDI that I bought used from GC for about 80$ and was able to sell it for over a hundred on ebay. I just realized they have one that's cheaper than the JDI called the Pro DI, its literally half the cost. The LiveWire brand is also highly rated, but I can't attest to it myself.
 

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I think I've head problems with the TC's being not-so-good for live uses, due to TC overblowing the rated wattage.

I've heard good things about the Hartke LH series. Heavy as fuck, but a nice, transparent tone you can use alongside a Sansamp or a VT Bass. Both the LH500 and LH1000 go for super cheap.
 

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I think I've head problems with the TC's being not-so-good for live uses, due to TC overblowing the rated wattage.

I've heard good things about the Hartke LH series. Heavy as fuck, but a nice, transparent tone you can use alongside a Sansamp or a VT Bass. Both the LH500 and LH1000 go for super cheap.
That was the RH450, not the BH250.

That said, the RH450 was LOUD and I never turned mine past 3 and I could crush all takers with it :lol: Anyone who says otherwise hasn't tried one in a live setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
1) Yep.

2) Look into these:

Gallien Krueger MB200 Bass Amplifier Mint 836989002090 | eBay
TC Electronic BH250 Bass Amplifier Head 250 Watts BH 250 Amp PROAUDIOSTAR | eBay
Ampeg PF 350 350W RMS Solid State Preamp D Class Power Amp Portaflex B Stock 663961030419 | eBay
Acoustic B200H Bass Amp Amplifier 200 Watts | eBay

Despite it being the the highest wattage rating the Ampeg will be the quietest of the 3.

3) Start with the SansAmp but as far as regular DI boxess, the leader is pretty much Radial. You can run them over and they still work, and their transformers are really good. They also hold their value. If you can find a used one for cheap, you can probably make a profit on it if you want to sell it :lol: I had a JDI that I bought used from GC for about 80$ and was able to sell it for over a hundred on ebay. I just realized they have one that's cheaper than the JDI called the Pro DI, its literally half the cost. The LiveWire brand is also highly rated, but I can't attest to it myself.
What is considered classic vs modern tone. Watching videos what I've come to realize is that bass often sits at the back of the mix and to hear the bass on it's own is actually weird. For example Dave Ellefson playing on his own sounds odd and while I recognize the tone it doesn't jump out at me like say a well known guitarist does.

My goal would likely be versatile unless I find I am so in love with classic or modern.

Sounds like some good choices to keep an eye out for.

What do you guys think of.... keep in mind decrease by 20% to convert to us dollars

I would say $500 Canadian is my upper limit but I am not in a rush to buy..... as my wife probably thinks I have enough gear. Just trying to get the lay of the land for the used market around here.

USA David Eden WT 550 The Traveler Bass Head

USA David Eden WT 550 The Traveler Bass Head | amps, pedals | Oakville / Halton Region | Kijiji

Markbass LMK 2 Channel Bass Amp With Bag - Mark Bass

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/ki...ss/1060933142?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

SWR baby blue

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/oa...ii/1058968647?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

SWR red head

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/ma...ade/577477408?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

GK MB 500

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/ma...ad/1053614286?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

TC electronics bh250 combo not crazy about a cat sitting on it

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/os...12/1052083905?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

This hartke looks like a fun way to pulverize your kidney stones

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/sa...ab/1062425354?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

The LH 1000 says it has front panel balanced direct output..... does that mean it can plug into a DI box for the PC? Probably more power than I will ever need.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/st...le/1035920153?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
 

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What is considered classic vs modern tone. Watching videos what I've come to realize is that bass often sits at the back of the mix and to hear the bass on it's own is actually weird. For example Dave Ellefson playing on his own sounds odd and while I recognize the tone it doesn't jump out at me like say a well known guitarist does.

My goal would likely be versatile unless I find I am so in love with classic or modern.
Classic tones are generally more low mid/low heavy with not a lot of top end.

This is a fairly iconic classic tone:


This is about as modern as you can get:


Sounds like some good choices to keep an eye out for.

What do you guys think of.... keep in mind decrease by 20% to convert to us dollars

I would say $500 Canadian is my upper limit but I am not in a rush to buy..... as my wife probably thinks I have enough gear. Just trying to get the lay of the land for the used market around here.

USA David Eden WT 550 The Traveler Bass Head

USA David Eden WT 550 The Traveler Bass Head | amps, pedals | Oakville / Halton Region | Kijiji

Markbass LMK 2 Channel Bass Amp With Bag - Mark Bass

Markbass LMK 2 Channel Bass Amp With Bag - Mark Bass | amps, pedals | Kitchener / Waterloo | Kijiji

SWR baby blue

SWR Baby Blue II | amps, pedals | Oakville / Halton Region | Kijiji

SWR red head

Bass guitar amp SWR red head US made | amps, pedals | Markham / York Region | Kijiji

GK MB 500

Gallien Krueger MB500 Bass Head | amps, pedals | Markham / York Region | Kijiji

TC electronics bh250 combo not crazy about a cat sitting on it

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/os...12/1052083905?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

This hartke looks like a fun way to pulverize your kidney stones

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/sa...ab/1062425354?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

The LH 1000 says it has front panel balanced direct output..... does that mean it can plug into a DI box for the PC? Probably more power than I will ever need.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-amp-pedal/st...le/1035920153?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
Out of those, I'd go with the MB500 (Its my main rig, I'm biased. I run it through a Markbass 4x10 and a EBMM 2x10 live and it dominates). It's a more modern sounding amp but if you turn off the contour knob, it can get really middy. Not quite as versatile as the MarkBass stuff but great tone, great power, super small. The Markbass stuff is really versatile, but more expensive. It's great cause if you turn up the LPF and VPF filter knobs, you get a super classic sounding tone and if you kill them both, it gets fairly modern.

I'm not too familiar with the SWR stuff so no comment on that. If you're looking to spend up to 500$, pass on the BH250 and get a RH450. Tons of features, has a tremendous DI out, super loud. Has Digital out (not USB!), a tube tone function that actually works right, etc.,etc., etc.

The Hartke (and all these other amps, btw) the DI out is balanced and you wont need a box, you can just plug it right into the XLR on your interface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Classic tones are generally more low mid/low heavy with not a lot of top end.

This is a fairly iconic classic tone:


This is about as modern as you can get:


Out of those, I'd go with the MB500 (Its my main rig, I'm biased. I run it through a Markbass 4x10 and a EBMM 2x10 live and it dominates). It's a more modern sounding amp but if you turn off the contour knob, it can get really middy. Not quite as versatile as the MarkBass stuff but great tone, great power, super small. The Markbass stuff is really versatile, but more expensive. It's great cause if you turn up the LPF and VPF filter knobs, you get a super classic sounding tone and if you kill them both, it gets fairly modern.

I'm not too familiar with the SWR stuff so no comment on that. If you're looking to spend up to 500$, pass on the BH250 and get a RH450. Tons of features, has a tremendous DI out, super loud. Has Digital out (not USB!), a tube tone function that actually works right, etc.,etc., etc.

The Hartke (and all these other amps, btw) the DI out is balanced and you wont need a box, you can just plug it right into the XLR on your interface.
Thanks! That gives me a better idea pf modern vs classic. I think i like modern better which seems to have More treble.

I wonder why amp heads for bass seem to be built with the ability to plug into say a computer morr easily than guitars. It seems with guitars you typically need a loadbox.

Can't say which i will buy just yet as i am notquite ready to pull the trigger financially but now i have a better idea of what is out there.
 

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Thanks! That gives me a better idea pf modern vs classic. I think i like modern better which seems to have More treble.

I wonder why amp heads for bass seem to be built with the ability to plug into say a computer morr easily than guitars. It seems with guitars you typically need a loadbox.

Can't say which i will buy just yet as i am notquite ready to pull the trigger financially but now i have a better idea of what is out there.
Because most bass tracks you hear these days are direct into the desk anyway. It was started by acts like The Beatles who wanted more bass frequencies in their mix and plugged up Paul's bass direct into the console.

Bass tends to rely less on the amplification and more on the bass itself for tone. Hence many amps have as clean as possible a power section with a coloring preamp.

Guitar is more about the signal as a whole package; guitar, pickups, tubes, gain stages, power stages, speakers and mics. Capturing all that is much harder than just capturing the instrument itself.
 

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My vouch would go to either trace elliot or gallien krueger amp wise. VT sansamp is a great pedal to add some dirt and for DI purposes at home aswell.

I think i bought my GK head rather cheap especially since it's 700W. I think i payed 400$ for it second hand.

I definatly love using trace elliot bass amps a lot more i got to say. The pre shape eq curve on them just sits right and you don't really need to fidget a lot with the graphic eq.
I utterly despise active basses and with my cort A6 i always have it in passive mode. Investing in quality pickups (nordstrand makes great stuff) is definatly a plus.
Markbass is pretty cool to use aswell. especially that 1 12" CMD combo. Very small but it's loud as hell with some amazing sound.

The bass itself is the most important part in the sound though. If it already doesn't sound good unplugged then it ain't worth plugging it in imo.
 

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I Am The Tweaker
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The rig I have is a MarkBass LMII into a Peavey TVX410 with a Tech21 VT Bass & Fulltone GT-500 (for some extra grit) in front. The thing sounds like a BEAST. Mind you I prefer a grittier tone like Rob Wright from Nomeansno or John Campbell from Lamb Of God.

The LMII does have a DI out on it but no level control for it. The LMIII is exactly the same but with a volume control for the DI out. You won't be disappointed though, I tried half a dozen amps before I bought that one and aside from a Mesa Carbine, it had the best low end out of all of them (including a GK 700RBII, Ampeg SVT3-Pro, SWR WorkingPro 400 and a few others).
 

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Lord Super Awesome
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If you have the Sansamp, you're halfway there!

I got sick of carrying my Ampeg SVT4-Pro & 6x10 cab, so for about 5 years now, I've been using a Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe (SVT tone in a box) > Gallien Krueger MB200 (I owned the MB500 before that & had no issues running the Ampeg 6x10) > Ampeg 2x12 cab. The whole rig is lightweight & sounds massive. Tech 21 is phenomenal for basses & I basically use the GK as a poweramp. I dialed in my tone from the VT Bass (I have 3 saved presets) with the GK tone controls set at noon so when I get to a gig, I can use the GK to season the overall tone to the room with small boosts or cuts. Having a preamp pedal is easy to use for direct recordings & by adding a small amp & cab, you've got a reliable gig rig. Win win.

Good luck.
 
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