While searching for a versatile, gig worthy bass combo I happened upon a store that carried an array of options from Markbass. There is a lot of hype in the bass world about Markbass amps so I was eager to give them a try. Playing a Standard P Bass, I tried out the Alain Caron 1×12 Combo, the Jeff Berlin 1×15 Combo and the CMD 102P 2×10 Combo. Originally I had my sights set on the Jeff Berlin model, but after putting all three combos through their paces I ended up liking the CMD 102P 2×10 the best. All three are great sounding amps, in fact the Jeff Berlin & 102P have he same head, but there was just something about the 2×10 that spoke to me.
Next up in my search for the ultimate bass combo was the Fender Rumble 350. In truth the Rumble 350 was not an amp I had really considered, but the salesman at my local GC was pushing it pretty hard, so I figured I might as well give it a whirl.
The Fender Rumble 350 is a 350 Watt bass combo with 2X10″ Fender® Special Design Speakers. Controls include Volume, Overdrive Gain, Overdrive On/Off, Overdrive Blend, Punch EQ Preset, Scoop EQ Preset, Bass, Semi-Parametric Mid with Level & Frequency controls, and Treble. Also included is a Horn On/Off Switch, XLR Line Out with Ground LIft, Aux in, Headphone Jack, Effects Loop, plus Fender’s Delta Comp Adaptive Compression Circuitry. All of this is housed in a Heavy Duty Ported Cabinet with Black Vinyl Covering, a Rugged Black Metal Grill, Springloaded Side Handles and Removable Casters to aid in portability.
In my search for the perfect gig worthy bass combo one of the amps that I really wanted to try was TC Electronic’s new BG250 1×15 combo. Fortunately my local Guitar Center had one in stock so I sat down and gave it go.
As the name implies, the BG250 pushes 250 watts into a single 15″ Custom TC speaker and TC Tweeter. It features a built in tuner, a “TubeDrive” tube emulation knob, plus TC Electronic’s famous “TonePrint®” technology, which essentially lets you pick and change one specific, on-board effect. Additional features include bass contoured tone controls, a mute button, an axillary input for connecting your ipod, a headphone jack, and a balance output for sending your signal to a PA. An optional footswitch is available which allows you to control the TubeDrive, “TonePrint®”, and tuner.
As I’ve gotten older I have come to realize that I no longer have a need for a large bass rig. For years I’ve relied on my trusted Ampeg SVT-410 HLF cab paired with an Ashdown EVO II 500 head. While I love the tone I get from this setup, the size, volume and weight have become more and more of a downside for me. In fact I haven’t used this setup in a band situation for quite some time.