Posted by: Jon | December 12, 2006

My Bass Rig

-Jon Chema

Finding gear that suits your personal playing preference can be a long, daunting task. After all, there are many brands out there, and choosing the right one can be a challenge. Many factors must be considered, such as: what tone will I get? How much will it cost me? Does the company have a good reputation? How loud do I want to be? I started playing bass about 3 1/2 years ago, and have just now found the perfect bass rig. I am still, like many other musicians, continuously upgrading many aspects of my rig. Below, I will share with you my experience with gear, and what I am currently playing through…

The Beginning….

When I started playing bass, I didnt have a clue about amps. Therefore, as my 13th birthday was rapidly approaching I asked my parents to buy me a Red, Squier bass, and a Behringer GUITAR amp! Why you may ask? Partially because I was gear illiterate, and partially because I had a limited budget. After playing with my friends in a “basement punk band” I finally began to realize the importance of a good amp, and a good bass guitar. It was around that time that I met a great blues player and avid guitar/amp enthusiast, that has helped me on my musical endeavors ever since. It was Dave that made me realize that I needed a new BASS amp, and therefore I upgraded to a Behringer Ultrabass 60. At the time, I didnt know any better, and loved the thing. But gradually, I began to realize that I needed something new.

The “Upgrade”

Soon after playing in my “basement band” we decided that it wasn’t working out. Therefore, I decided to start a new band with some buddies from school. Around that time, I began scrutinizing the bass amps that pro artists were using. I came to the conclusion that the majority used Ampeg, and it was then that I set a goal. I worked all summer, and winter and finally came up with the neccesary $600 to buy an Ampeg B210 combo amp. The differnce in the tone was INCREDIBLE. I had never heard such a drastic change in my life. I was actaully able to make my bass guitar sound like a BASS, and could finally be heard over the rest of the band. I also, at the time replaced the squier pickups, and was even further amazed. Unfortunatly, at a gig that summer, the amp must have suffered from a power surge, as it was suddenly distorted and had minimal volume. I immediatly contacted guitar center, as the amp was only 3 months old and they were good about offering to replace it. I however, wanted to upgrade even further and this time chose to upgrade to an Ampeg SVT410 cab with a B2re head. The thing sounded even better than before, and I am still happy with its sound today.

My Current Setup…

So where am I at today? you may ask. Well currently, I am still playing through a Classic Series SVT410 cab, with a B2Re 450 watt head. I mounted the head into a 2u space Roadready rackmount case for protection. As for the guitar, I currently own a Red Fender P-bass with Bassline QP pickups, and a Fender Natural Finish Jazz bass with Custom Shop pickups. I play live thru a Shure Wireless system, and my signal path runs as follows. I included a picture of my EQ settings as well.

Bass Guitar> Shure Wireless System > Dunlop Bass Wah > Boss TU-2 Stomp Tuner > Amp

** Note: I normally run the wireless unit directly into the amp input, and the effects thru the built in effects loop.



  1. man…do NOT take these things for granted. We here in the college world (I’m assuming if my math is right you’re getting there soon) don’t have much to work with, being the poor people we are. You don’t know how much I want some good tube sound out of my bass…but one of these days, one of these days. Good luck in your worship leading!

  2. Yes, I am extremly fortunate to be blessed with good gear. I know how it is too play through crummy stuff, and I am VERY fortunate. However, I also worked very hard over the summer to save for the rig. Unfortunatly, college is very expensive, and I am hoping that I can keep the ampeg.

  3. I have been wondering about tube sound. I’m considering an SWR pre for my WorkingPro 400. Do you have any experience with SWR preamps? Will the pre boost my output?

    Also, nice axe! I also play a custom jazz (with SCN’s).

    We should swap links/feeds–we have overlapping topics.

  4. Hey Largemouth…Unfortunatly I do not have experience with SWR. I do know, however, that a tube pre would diffently be a good investment. I would highly recommend the unit that Ampeg, Ashdown, or Fender make. The ampeg will probally be the most expensive, but the best. Ampeg pioneered the bass amp, and has been improving on it ever since. If anyone knows about tubes applied to bass, its most certainly AMPEG. As far as your ouput will go, it depends on what preamp you purchase, and how “hot” of pickups you have in your bass.

    Hope this helps!


  5. I am about to buy a P and J type bass as my entry bass. What can I expect from this configuratrion?

  6. cool set up…I have a similar one….an ampeg b5r <avatar 4×10

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