Buying a New Bass Rig

Panter and Staple
Oh dear… Not having played bass at a gig with a band for decades, I haven’t got a bass rig. But this has to change rapidly as the reggae band I’ve been rehearsing with Cabstars, has a gig in two weeks. We also have a festival gig in June…

I’d been banking on using my Axe FX (and one of its bass amp emulations), through one of my 1000 watt PA power amps and some full range speakers I built a few years ago. Rehearsal studios come with bass rigs, so I hadn’t had to take this seriously.

But with our first gig coming up on 2nd April, this had to change.

So yesterday morning I rigged up all the possible system options, and paid back the students next door for all their late night irritations. But sadly, although a solution could be made to work, it would involve lots of wires, adjustment and pre-gig grief that these days I don’t need.

Bass guitar amps and speakers are hybrids required to deliver very high spl’s and attack without clipping or the slightest vibration or distortion – unlike guitar amps which are all about distortion! PA speakers deliver much smaller amounts of bass, so trying to pump huge amounts requires proportionally larger PA speakers which are heavier….

So… after not having owned a bass rig for a very long time, I had to do the research and splash the cash. As ever I opted for the industry standard, which these days seems to be Ampeg. Take a look at any big stage and there they are. Plus Horace Panter has always used Ampeg.

So this week, the nice delivery man is bringing me an Ampeg SVT-7PRO head and 115PN HLF cabinet: 1000 watts RMS into 4R and a 1×15 cab. I’ll probably have to splash on a 4×10 cab as well to get the 4R output (the SVT is 600 watts RMS when into 8R).

This is the latest gear; a class D power amp so only 7kg, but with a valve preamp to warm it all up, and ultra light-weight neodymium speakers to save my back. Plus a rack case and my usual Roqsolid padded speaker cover for car transportation.

So I’m definitely now available for well-pad dep gigs to pay for all this!!