1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

70s style distortion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by unatratnag, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. I know I read about the grit of SVT etc etc all the time, but didn't see a thread dedicated to 70s style distortion *shrug*

    As much as I love my clean sound, I've been listening to Truth and Janey and Poobah again and really dig the distorted sound bass players used to get back in the day before high tech bass gear. Perhaps it just reminds me of the sound my old peavey 30w would get when pushed into distortion when I was first learning to play and couldn't afford nice equipment. Hearing that sound again makes me want to go back and grab a peavey cab for fun. Reminds me of the interview I once read with billy gould and how he was talking about loving the sound of his peavey speakers that break up at loud volumes.

    Anyways, anyone else have a recommendation for making a rig to replicate that 70s style distortion?

    As a disclaimer, I guess it's a free world and you can always post a distortion/overdrive pedal you love for this application, but I've tried many and never really found one I loved.
  2. lowmid


    Feb 2, 2005
    ampeg V4B and try to push it to eleven with a 100 watts custom made 412 bass speaker?? or a bergie 215
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    IMHO the newer Peavey speakers with Kevlar-impregnated cones do NOT sound good when pushed into distortion. But if you want a cool overdriven sound, look into getting a relatively low wattage tube amp.
  4. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    This is correct. Try and find a Traynor Bassmate. 18 or 20 watts or so, either EL84 or 6V6 output tubes, either a short head or a 1x15 combo. A used music store has one of each in right now. I'm considering picking one of them up (probably the head) for use in a studio (guitar, but not for me).
  5. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    I've found that although on the "cheesy" side for today's standards, the Zoom 506II does a good 70's distorted tone.

    Maybe the cheese is some of the magic for that type of thing?
  6. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Janey and Poobah ?

  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    There is something to be said for tube preamp, tube power amp, and sealed cab(s) when going for this sound. The all-tube head of your choice with a Bergantino NV-series cab (while they're still around) would be a decent option.

    But, if you want to try a fairly simple (though admittedly not ideal) route, I have been really happy with the sounds that I am getting from my Chandler Tube Driver (rackmount) as an overdrive effect. The rackmount Tube Works Tube Driver is also good. If you just want somewhat vintage warmth/grit, but with good articulation, the Tube Works Blue Tube II (again, rack version) makes for a great preamp.


  8. Now you got me drooling!!!

    ja ja ja..
  9. jvb


    Jul 11, 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    Marshall 100w head and stack with Celestions. Crank it, and stand back.

    As an example, listen to Noel Redding on the 'Jimi plays Berkley' vid during one of the slower tunes. Endless sustain.
  10. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    That's more like 60's style distortion. In the 70s, things got a bit more refined (for better or for worse).
  11. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    The tone that comes to mind for 70's distortion is that of Geezer Butler and John Wetton. Both of them, I think, were 100 watt heads plus 4x12 (or more likely 8x12).
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Those who don't want to deal with the logistics of an all-tube head should check out the SWR Interstellar Overdrive preamp. It can be run clean, outrageously fuzzy, or any point in between. :bassist: