1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is still pending approval by Apple. If you haven't yet, try using your mobile browser - TalkBass is responsive to any screen size.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Most neutral (least coloration or sonic signature) Bass amp out there?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by larryelwood, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All,

    Wondered if anyone out there could comment on this? I'm looking for opinions on the most neutral sounding (when set flat) bass amp available.

    Thanks!
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Really too many variables for me (at least) to be able to answer this. Are we talking about tube vs. solid state? Tube amps, in general, have their own character, depending on the tubes (power or preamp).

    There are some reputed transparent preamps out there that you could couple with a power amp and perhaps get the best results.

    It really is largely subjective (in my subjective opinion). I mean, I consider my G-K stuff to be pretty transparent, but it still has its own "character". I'd offer up my Eden WT-800, but it has a preamp tube.

    For me, it's probably easier to think of brands which are the *least* transparent, such as SWR and Trace Elliot.

    JMO, which is most likely wrong. ;)
  3. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes thanks for helping narrow this down a little. So restated, Any opinions on or preferences on Bass amps with the least amount of coloration or Signature in a solid state head, and least amount of coloration or signature in a tube head.

    Thanks for your help!
  4. Daniel Piper

    Daniel Piper

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Carvin bx500, bx1200

    Markbass LM series or f series

    Tecamp puma
  5. R Baer

    R Baer Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Likes Received:
    1
    Disclosures:
    President, Baer Amplification
    All depends on your idea of "flat". If you are talking about "knobs at noon" flat, then you need to look at amps that don't engineer a preset EQ into the preamp, of which there aren't many. The other option is to not worry about your knobs and instead look for an amp that will let you achieve an optimally flat response by dialing out the built in EQ. Always difficult IMO, due to the fact that the controls on the front panel are usually not designed with the exact same frequency centers and bandwidths used to create the built in EQ in the first place. My preference is to use a flat preamp with a flexible EQ section. Bass Gear Magazine is a great resource, as they are the only magazine I know that even bothers to take a few measurements and show you what the preamp looks like with everything set at noon.
  6. jibreel

    jibreel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Acoustic image hands down. However, as others say, no necessarily a good thing.
  7. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Likes Received:
    7
    +1.

    And definitely the Glockenklang Heart Rock.
  8. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    22
    If you dont mind the Pre/Power rig a channel strip can be very uncolored.
  9. Sixgunn

    Sixgunn

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1 on the BX1200!!
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Likes Received:
    4
    another +1`
  11. will33

    will33

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Likes Received:
    6
    Disclosures:
    Use of this field for any other purpose is prohibited
    Carvin amps.

    Loads of eq control but really no baked in signature sound of their own. Some would consider that sterile or lifeless. Others see it as a blank canvas on which to paint.
  12. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Likes Received:
    1
    The BX500 is the most truly flat amp I've playing in 20+ years. If you turn the contour knob to the flat setting, it's pretty much flat. I dig mine.
  13. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    22
    +1

    I really love how neutral my B1500 is, but I also really like how warm it feels/sounds when I start pushing the drive way up there.
  14. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1
    6 mo. old thread. OP, did you find what you were looking for?

    Not to derail (although probably inevitable) what is your tonal goal, or reasoning behind seeking a "neutral sounding" amp? Are you trying to get the sound of your bass as if it was plugged directly into a FOH system that has been analyzed to its room, or just into something that sounds like you are direct into a power amp? Just curious as to how you define 'neutral' and why.

    Raz
  15. Virgil

    Virgil She's My Inspiration Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    TecAmp Black Jag 900.
  16. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your bass in the case, latches latched, gets you the most pristine sound. :)
  17. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Likes Received:
    16
    Disclosures:
    Records of Existence/PyrE owner
    my JGR pre, thru the Pre-EQ out, is about as close to the naked sound of any bass Ive ever had, and I can get real real close with the EQ engaged.
  18. reddavid

    reddavid Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Euphonic Audio iAmp is very clean.
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    7
    Do you mean neutral as far as frequency response, signal to noise, dynamic response, distortion rating, or...? Those aspects are typically not all achievable at the same time, and the frequency response is highly affected by the room too.

    Just for the heck of it I went out of my way to build a tube preamp with the flattest response possible, and it had no tone controls at all. Here is an actual measurement of frequency response:

    [​IMG]

    Frankly, it didn't sound completely neutral to me, even with that curve. My old Carvin BX-500's curve, measured at the EFX send with all EQ at noon and contour all the way down, is below. Definitely didn't sound completely neutral to me either, nor did my old EA or AI amps. That's not to say any of them sounded highly colored or bad in any way either though. ;)

    [​IMG]
  20. lo-freq

    lo-freq

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Likes Received:
    0
    Millennia TD-1 Preamp/DI into any good quality power amp.

    Pristine & transparent would be the adjectives I'd use for their sound (just ask tombowlus).

Share This Page