Drone/Doom/Stoner Rig Set-up

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by MudraMan, Dec 17, 2012.


  1. MudraMan

    MudraMan

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Hey everyone!

    So I'm trying to put together a drone/doom/stoner sort of rig. Here's my rig so far:
    Bass
    Tuner
    BBE Opto Stomp
    Way Huge Swollen Pickle MKII
    Tech 21 VT Bass
    Eden WTDI
    Acoustic b200

    I have Devi Ever's Vintage Fuzz Master coming in the mail now, so I'm sure that will help my situation. Am I missing any effects anyone could mention for me? Does compression help or make drones harder? I know you don't get the dynamic range, but I've heard it helps with sustain? Thoughts?

    Anyway the main issue is I'm looking to get rid of my piece of crap Acoustic amp (sorry to hate if there are fans, but this thing is sub par at best). The two amps I'm seriously considering after months of research is the Peavey VB2 and the TC Electronic BH500. I'm thinking Peavey is the way to go here, I'm sure the tubes are ideal, but are they vital? Is it possible to pull off a drone/doom/stoner rig with solid state? Would the VT be able to compensate for my lack of tubes? I ask mainly because of price (I'm a poor college student). For amps I'm looking at something I could get used under 1k and preferably over 200w, 500w being ideal.

    Lastly I know speaker cabs are a big deal. I just have no clue what sort of cabs to get. I've heard a lot of people say get an 8x10 and I know there are some Kustom 8x10s selling super cheap. Is this a good deal? Others say to go with 15s or even 18s. What are your thoughts on cabs?

    Thanks a lot for your consideration! I can't wait to get feedback.
  2. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    What is your total budget for amp and cab? It sounds like you will be getting most of your distortion and eq from pedals. I would look into a Peavey IPR 1600. I bought one for $250. 1600 watts in a 7 pound package.

    As far as a cab goes, If your budget is tight, look for a used ampeg, peavey, gk, or mesa 215, 610, 412, 810. If going with a cheaper power amp gives you a bit more to spend on a cab, look for a 15/6. I prefer a fEARful personally, but I have seen used ones of other makes go for ~$550-700 and they will easily outperform commercial cabs in sound/pound.

    This is the cab I use in a similar style of music: fEARful 1515/66.
    [​IMG]

    This is the "Big cab" of the line (still weighs less than my old 410), and will most likely be out of your price point, but the "Little brother's" are still extremely potent. I used to hit my old 15/6 with a 1kW power amp and it was glorious what kind of sound and volume I got out of a very light cab.
  3. chillerthanmost

    chillerthanmost

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    I enjoy vented/ported cabs as well as sealed cabs. I think both have their pros and cons for that style. To make it easier on me, I just decided to play out of two amps and two cabs. I play lower watt tube amps (140w Univox and 60w Sunn), so I could use the power and volume of two rigs competing with our guitarists loud rig. Of course, it's also part of just having a massively loud sound as well.

    The way I feel about 8x10's is, say there's ever a time you can't use your own cab for whatever reason, 8 out of 10 times there's most likely an Ampeg 8x10 you'll be able to use/borrow. Sure they're not the best cabs out there but they sound fine with a little EQ work. Specially if you're using a lot of pedals. Because of this, I always recommend an Ampeg 8x10 if you're not sure what cab you want. It'll work fine for what you're doing and it's the industry standard if you ever can't use your own cab(s). Only downside, in my opinion, is that the low end isn't as loud nor travels as well as a vented or ported cab like a 2x15. Which, for drone and doom, definitely has an advantage. I had an old Acoustic 408 4x15 cab for a while and it was the loudest, most thunderous cab I've ever played. The only thing I didn't care for too much was when playing anything other than slow ass drone and sludge stuff. It didn't have the punch and clarity when picking up to faster riffs. That's where a sealed cab (in my opinion) excels over the others.

    All this is just form my experience. Like I mentioned, I only play out of old tube amps so it could be a much different experience than someone else's or yours. Good luck. The best tone I've been getting lately is a P-bass into my old Univox UX1501 through a flatback Ampeg 8x10 with a DOD 250 (mixed with a clean blend from a Boss LS-2) for dirt and a Wren and Cuff TFR for more dirt and slow heavy riffs.
  4. de place

    de place

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    EBS Fafner amp .
    Build in comp and drive .
    Lots of muscle.

    Ampeg 8x10 is a classic . Sounds thin
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  6. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    You already have a preamp or two, so a power amp for PA is the way to go. Can even get valve ones for OK money.

    Compression helps drones sustain, but removes the dynamics, so you get a noise, but less scope to be musical. so depends if you are using drone for the sake of noise, or to be expressive and musical. Also poor dispersion characteristics can be beneficial if you use your position to control your drone dynamics, I use my 2x15s on their sides for this reason, the good dispersion of the multi driver cabs don't allow this sort of workaround.
  7. MudraMan

    MudraMan

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Thanks so much everyone for the feedback! My total budget I can reasonably give myself by this coming summer is $1000. Plus by that time I won't have so many neighbors to worry about for noise.

    I guess I'll just have to choose between the Peavey IPR1600 and the EBS Fafner. These amps are awesome! I didn't know about the Peavey at all, this thing is so cheap for the power! Not to mention the DSP models would be quite helpful if I ever got to the point I had multiple cabs. I guess I just need to decide to go with tubes or solid state. I'm still a little confused honestly about the key differences as I've only ever played solid states and never had a chance to play a tube. I know tubes naturally distort when you push the tubes, I'm just not sure how that would interact with the pedals I already have for distortion.

    On cabs I'll have to keep looking around for used cabs. Is there anything to be said about "signature sounds" of different makes of cabs? A lot of people give Ampeg cabs praise, even those that don't like their power amps, but I've also heard Aguilar is industry standard if you want a distorted bass tone. Any thoughts on that?

    And thank you Mr. Foxen for the explanation on compression in drones, it was very helpful. I suppose to fit my needs I'll need to try and find ways to build my sustain without resorting to compression. Are there any helpful techniques for doing this? I know its an age old question that a lot of the experts are still trying to figure out for themselves, but I am still a relative sound noob.

    Lastly, does anyone know where I can find decent reviews for EBS equipment? YouTube isn't helpful for most brands out of the US (except TC Electronic cause they make their own videos). Thanks again everyone I really appreciate the help!
  8. mc_muench

    mc_muench

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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
  9. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Disclosures:
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    Distortion pedals into valve amps tends toward only sounding better that into ss stuff. The additional harmonics and the musical bandwidth limiting all help make for a thicker tone. I've used the Aguilar GS412, and found it not bright enough alone, big bassy tone, but a hole from the upper mids to the tweeter (and the tweeter is horrible with distortion), OK if you sit under the guitars, but too limited to play as a solo instrument. Needed a guitar rig in addition. I don't rate Ampeg anything, too much money in the badge. Controlling your sustain is all about knowing your instrument, set it up to sustain first, heavy strings, everything solid, and get to know it by playing. The more stuff between you and the sound coming from your speakers, the harder it is going to be to know what is coming from your instrument, and thus what you can control by moving it and manipulating it, just being against your body will dampen the resonance of the wood that is responsible for feedback.
  10. mc_muench

    mc_muench

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    You dont NEED tubes for DOOM/Drone, but its certainly popular. I use solid state, I'm even planning on buying on of those Peavey IPR1600 mentioned earlier.

    For $1000 you can piece together are really nice used Doom rig, so check your local craigslist/classifieds.

    Cheap 8x10's work just fine, so do old 2x15's, and 18's, just have a lot of speakers. Dont worry about phasing when mixing speakers, it doesnt really matter to most people.

    Here are some brands to look for.
    Old Peavey, especially the 215D cabs, which are deeper than normal. Amps like the Mark series are cheap and bulletproof and can run down to 2 ohms which is important when wanting lots of cabs. The Peavey VB-2, you mentioned is also a great amp.

    Old Acoustic amps and cabs are nice stuff, like the 370 amp and 301 folded 18 cab. Anything in the past 20 years, like youre B200, not so much.

    Anything from Sunn, solid state or tube, is popular, and cheap deals can be had if patient, because they can be overprice because of said popularity.
  11. mc_muench

    mc_muench

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    These old solid state Sunn and Acoustic amps when cranked, which you'll probably do, break up almost like a tube amp as well, except more of a grind, than smooth break up. Pair one with your Swollen Pickle and VT and you probably find some good results.


    IMHO, I dont find a compressor or your Eden WTDI of much use if you got an amp I suggested before, if you need the DI or you went with a power amp (another good route), I could see you using the Eden. But using the compression for more sustain is pointless because it takes away your dynamics, and you have fuzz and OD pedals for that. If I was you, I'd sell the two so you have more money for an amp and more cabs, and fuzz/dist/OD.




    Seriously come over to the Stoner/DOOM thread, you'll fit right in.
  12. DethByDoom

    DethByDoom Supporting Member

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    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    Houston,Tx
    +5

    I have a vb2. Love it. Got used off Craigslist for 400.
  13. MudraMan

    MudraMan

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Just subscribed to the forum! Already know I'm going to love it.

    Just one last quick question. Would I be able to take advantage of the tube sound if I just went with the Peavey IPR1600 and got a tube rack mounted preamp? Or is the tube power section really vital to a tube sound? I've heard a lot of good stuff about tubes working well with fuzz boxes (LOVE fuzz boxes), could I take advantage of that sound with just a tube preamp?

    Thanks again for the help guys! See you on the thread!
  14. MudraMan

    MudraMan

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    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    To be specific I'm looking at the BBE Bmax-T
  15. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    There is something to be gained with a tube pre, but really the "tube" sound is from an all tube amp. Depending on how you run your distortion, you may see little gain to running an all tube amp opposed to a SS power section.

    Also if you are looking at a tube pre, the ART Pro Channel II is the real deal. I highly recommend it over any other pre less than $1000.
  16. mc_muench

    mc_muench

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I dont know anything about that pre, but post in the stoner/doom thread, you may get an answer there, its the only place you need on TB besides the classifieds.
  17. Sartori

    Sartori

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    There aren't really rules for stoner/doom rigs. As long as it gets you loud.

    I prefer not to mix speaker sizes off the same amp, myself, but mc muench and many others don't really care.

    Find some cheap, old 2x15 cabs or 8x10 cabs, or 4x15, 2x18 cabs, or combinations of these if you like. You'll want your speakers to handle more than your amp is rated, because chances are in this genre you'll be turning that amp up into overdrive territory (meaning it will be putting out more power than it's actually rated), and you don't want to have to replace speakers.
  18. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Important part of the tube sound (the bit hard to do with pedals) is the power section. The BBE Bmax T is a good pre for the purpose otherwise. I'd use one if I ha one about, but I moved on my pre/power rigs for multiple whole amps.

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