The gear gods have smiled, and now I must shop!

I have this friend who is in my 8 ball tournament league who I have known for 10 years or so. I know he is a part time sound guy and runs the board occasionally for a couple local bands and 2 of his sons bands. So I was telling him about my new bass adventure not thinking much of it just chatting. Then I told him my brother-in-law is a drummer (which I just learned myself) and now he wants to jam with me :smiley: but my Fender Rumble 25LT, as much as I love it for practice and all the presets, is going to have a hard time cutting through to jam with him I think.

He comes back with… well… I’ve got a pretty good 4x10 bass cab I will GIVE you that I don’t need anymore. All you need to buy is a amp head to plug into it. He wasn’t even sure what it was, but he will have it for me in 2 weeks to pick up.

So off to review and YouTube land I go to shop… I’d like to keep the cost of this UNDER $500 just to keep the peace with my wife :roll_eyes: Plus I don’t even know what the cab is, what it’s rated for, rated for, or if it has any issues (doubtful) but I’m just looking for ideas too.

I’d like it to have some features too, more than just a simple EQ, maybe some compression and/or some other cool tone features. Seeing that I don’t actually OWN any of the pedals built into my Fender amp (yet :money_mouth_face:)

I’m liking the features (and cost) of the new Peavey MiniMax 600 watt. But I’m hard pressed to find many reviews or videos of this new version of the MiniMax in action.

But based off the feature set the reviews of the Peavey MiniMega 1000 Watt I’m hopeful. I think the Mega may be over kill though.

The other one that has my attention and has LOTS of reviews is the Hartke-tx600. Plus Victor Wooten’s endorsement it doesn’t hurt it’s score, although I’m pretty sure is is a paid spokesman for HartKe too.

So what else should I add to my short list? I do plan on making the journey to try out a few once I have the cab in hand (two hands, and maybe on a hand truck). But right now I’m doing research.

The low to high price list…

Any input is appreciated!



That’s great @Chris… I’m looking forward to hearing the responses from @howard and @terb and @eric.kiser and other gear gurus.


Awesome news indeed!

So I’ll answer this as if I were the one looking for an amp :slight_smile:

If you could go to $600, or buy used to get under $500, I would suggest looking at the Darkglass Microtubes 500. It’s a 500 watt class D amp with a preamp with overdrive selectable between the one in the Microtubes B3K and the one in the Vintage Microtubes. It’s also got a lot of tone controls appropriate for an amp, like a 4 band EQ with the low and hi mids being somewhat parametric.

I am generally not a fan of effects on amps (I like them to be independent) but those are all very appropriate features for an amp head.

Darkglass has pretty distinctive overdrive sounds, I happen to love it a lot. YMMV.

I’ve never played though one of these and I would still buy one based on my experience with their pedals.

Not cheap, but probably about my dream amp.

For reference as well: both the Vintage Microtubes and Microtubes B3K pedals run around $200 new, each. And this has a simplified version of both in its preamp. I had to reeeaaaally think hard about the cash before I bought my Microtubes X, and this thing has two :slight_smile:


What about this from TC, can download effects and I think compressors;jsessionid=6C847CFB8C680A263773390A0E8A0987?modelCode=P0CIN

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I’m with @howard… I’m no expert on amps or amp heads etc, but I would definitely not want one with a bunch of effects on it. I prefer pedals for that.

That Darkglass one definitely looks interesting.


I very briefly owned a BH250. Cute little head, but it arrived defective and I RMA’d it. Between sending it back and getting my refund I decided to just go ampless anyway.


If you like your Rumble I just looked on Reverb and there are 2 Fender Rumble 800W amp heads on there for around $470. There are also a couple of 200W ones for under $400.


It’s super interesting to me. It would be a good choice if you like the sound of Darkglass overdrives. If you don’t, it would be a very bad choice :slight_smile:


I love my Rumble 100. When the day comes for me to make the switch to a head/cab setup, I will definitely be looking at Rumble heads.


Me too. That’s why they’re on my watch list on Reverb.


@joeike have you thought about which cab you would get to go with it?


@PamPurrs not yet. I’m thinking it would have to be at least a 4x10 because of my 5 string. I haven’t researched cabs yet though, so I’m not sure which one. A lot would depend on what I was going to be doing.


At the risk of sounding ignorant, what does the 5 string have to do with the speakers in the cabinet?


I have read that larger speakers like 10" or 12" are better for lower frequencies. So when you’re dropping down to those low D’s, C’s, & B’s they will sound better. I expect some of our more knowledgeable members could tell us where our not this is truly the case.


In a decent 4 x whatever type cabinet, 10" is the smallest you can get. I’ve never seen a 4x8, although they seem to exist…

The idea is:

  1. the smaller the speaker, the ‘punchier’ it sounds – a speaker conus that has less mass starts and stops moving more acutely. However, to move the same amount of air, you will need more speakers to get a greater surface areas.
  2. the larger the speaker, the lower the frequencies it can reproduce.

There’s more to it, but these are the general rules that would apply if all other variables are identical. But that’s where the plot thickens: they usually aren’t, so trying it with your bass and your head is the best thing you can do.


Here is a good comparison of various bass speaker sizes


Thanx @howard the Darkglass is a very interesting option! Some very cool sounds in there for sure, I think it just made the short list too! Not so sure about the overdrive so much, I find I tend to enjoy playing on the cleaner side leaning more the bluesy flavor of things. It’s not so much about it having pedal like effects built into the amp as much as some of the tone options some of the features provide. (But they are fun to play with) Which is why I was looking at the new MiniMax, which there are no reviews about really. But it seems like it should do a lot of what the MiniMega can do, with less of the stuff I don’t care about, and cheaper too :slight_smile:

The TC Electronics is another good suggestion, thanx @Mark_UK !!! I’ve over looked the TC electronics so far in my search. I’m an I.T. guy by trade so I don’t mind tinkering a little, and having the options to download different options and upload them into an amp is right down my alley too. On the list it goes!!!

I kind of agree on the pedal front @PamPurrs The LT25 is a great little amp that exposed me very quickly to TONS of options I never knew existed. I have a lots of fun with it and don’t see myself selling it anytime soon. I’ve learned the pedals I could see myself buying, and ones I would probably avoid too. I was already casually shopping for a 2x10 cab and amp head when the 4x10 dropped in my lap. So I was already planning on going the effects on the floor route for the next evolution of this excellent adventure. The only thing that could sway me is maybe the Fender 800 Stage. It kinda appeals to the geek in me!



Building on what Howard said …

I have one and I like it a lot. If you like/want either the vintage micro tubes or the B3K overdrive sounds and subtract that pedal cost out of the price of the amp, it’s very price competitive.

In addition to the Low and High tone controls, It has two mid band EQ controls and each band has a push switch to pick between two different center frequencies. It’s nice for precise noodling, which I like. It’s not nice if you just want a knob to turn for mid scoop or boost. Plus it has the “vintage/modern” low pass filter frequency knob.

It also has:
DI out.
Headphone out.
Effects loop send/return to put other effects downstream of the built in overdrive.

Everything else I looked at was missing The DI or missing the headphone and I’d end up adding the price of another little thingy and cable for everything I wanted to use it for.

It doesn’t have an aux in for music playback. You’d have to put something in the FX loop with an input to add that feature.

I figure I got a bargain amp for buying a spendy integrated pedal.


That one checks all my boxes. It has even more mid EQ control than the Darkglass plus headphone, DI and even aux in. Pretty impressive. Almost every amp manufacturer uses a Bang+Olufsen Ice Module for the power stage, but I’m not certain if Peavey rolls their own power stage or not. If I were shopping today I’d consider it.


Looks like a nice amp head, but 1000 amps!!! Yikes!