My Search for a Gig Worthy Bass Combo

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.

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and sell off this rig, instead finding a lightweight, gig worthy combo that will better suit my needs.  At this point I would prefer a combo over a head/cab setup for ease of transport and setup.  I’m kind of at a less is more point in my life.  Downsizing will make things easier.  I do have a few requirements, however; I want something that I can use for band band practice in a small space, yet something loud enough to be used at small to medium sized gigs.  It should be light, high powered and have an external speaker option in case I ever need more.  Of course tone is of the utmost importance, but at the same time I don’t want to break the bank buying this thing.  Lastly I don’t want to buy it online.  I need to be able play through the actual amp I settle on, putting it through it’s paces and listening to it’s tone.  It’s not like I am gigging regularly right now, but when I do I want to be prepared. 

I am currently using a GK MB200 head with 1×15 MBE Cab at band practice and am fairly happy with this setup.  It is light and expandable, but only 200 watts.  While this is enough for band practice, I fear that it may not cut it in a live situation.  As such I hope to check out the GK MB210, assuming I can find one locally.  This is of course the key, I know I will be somewhat limited on my options by what is available locally, but am fairly confident that I will find enough options to get a good feel for what is out there.  If not, I guess I’ll just continue my search until I find what I am looking for.

I can honestly say that this is not a decision I have taken lightly.  In fact I talked about this very same scenario two years ago in my post The Downsize Dilemma.  The thing is, since I wrote that post two years ago, I have not used my full rig once.  This is why I feel that the time is right.  In fact I have already sold off my full rig.  So at this point I’m pretty much committed.  I’m either going to stick with my MB200/115 setup or get a new combo, either way my days of stadium worthy rigs are over.  As always, I’ll keep you posted on my journey.



Review: Gallien Krueger 115MBE 1×15 Cabinet

Well I guess I must have the Gallien Krueger bug.  Ever since I bought my MB200 head I have been looking at all the new offerings that GK has been churning out.  While ogling all the new gear online I came across the Gallien-Krueger 1x15MBE Bass Cabinet and thought that it might pair nicely with my MB200.

The 115MBE is light weight (33lbs), 200 watt, 4 ohm cab with both Speakon & 1/4 inch inputs and has a horn that can be turned off.  To be honest the cabinet is not as fat sounding as I was hoping, but for the price I can’t complain.  The sound is clear and crisp, as you would expect from GK, with a bit of an airy sound to it.  The horn has a hiss to it when on, which is more noticeable with active basses, but if it really bothers you, just turn it off.   I was able to quickly dial in a decent slap tone with my Jazz Bass and an awesome mwah tone with my Carvin Fretless.  At 33lbs this cab is seriously light!  It is easily lifted with one hand.  Definitely a plus for us older players who are tired of lugging heavy gear around.  Construction seems somewhat rugged, I doubt it would survive a full on tour but it should hold up well for the occasional club gig.  Paired with my GK MB200 this might well be the ultimate bass combo I have been searching for.  On a random note, when I took the cabinet out of the box it was shipped to me in  I thought I heard something rattling around inside the cabinet so I shook it a bit more and sure enough something was in there.  Noticing that the lower left corner of the cabinet is ported I held it at an angle then tipped it forward to see if anything would fall out.  Well something fell out alright, a small, dead, dried out, lizard!! Now is that weird or what!?