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a brief history of bass amplification

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adi77, Jul 10, 2014.


  1. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    My brief history of bass amplification......


    First there was the Bassman...it got commandeered by guitar players.

    Then there was Marshall, with more power and more speakers....it got commandeered by guitar players too and has since defined what guitar tone is for generations.


    Then came the SVT with huge power and even more speakers. Even it got commandeered by guitar players (namely Keith Richards).

    Then we started using things like transistors, folded horns, crossovers, bi-amping, tri-amping, even quad-amping, and 2-way and 3-way passively crossed over, more "PA-like" speaker systems and have thus far managed to keep them out of the hands of guitarists, though with todays digital modeling technology and its need for more clean, accurate sound reproduction systems, we might well lose that to the guitarists as well.


    Up next, big, low frequency electrostats that also serve as banners or video projection backdrops for your band.


    We have always been pushing technology, always living at the bleeding edge, but for some reason, us bass players still seem to have the market cornered when it comes to owning a PA system and/or a van....
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not a horrible article, but he immediately starts out with an error when he said the earliest bass amp was the Ampeg Super 800. Nope, the earliest bass amp was the Michaels-Hull Bassamp in 1948:

    ampegpickup2.

    That partnership broke up soon after these were made, and then Everett Hull started Ampeg.
     
    maestrovert, tbz and adi77 like this.
  3. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    ...and understanding how to sit in a mix, play for the group, use the recording gear, book the gigs.....
     
  4. adi77

    adi77 Banned

    Mar 15, 2007
    bombay
    ...follow up on payments
     
    tbz likes this.
  5. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    Fix the broken wires, patch things together to make the gig happen, work the eq, drink and play without (too noticably) screwing up, catch the barmaid that will make a good wife, not just a good lay, help set up the drumkit, dial in the guitarists half-million tone pedals, kill the feedback, and fix the van. :)
     
    Stealth Fighter likes this.
  6. tedious1

    tedious1

    Feb 14, 2014
    And don't forget, being the band bank, because we're the only ones with jobs, and credit from somewhere other than a music store...

    In my case, I'm also the one who ends up packing everything into the van, I've drawn templates, one even had little pictures of what was what so the guys didn't have to read words either. But if I'm not loading, it doesn't get done right, and stuff either doesn't fit, or is in imminent danger of being broken...

    And don't forget how exhausting and draining it is for us, spending all this time on the cross;)
     
    Bugeyed Earl likes this.
  7. adi77

    adi77 Banned

    Mar 15, 2007
    bombay
    reading these posts i realise i've been spoilt rotten.. cheap labour is one of the advantages of having a ginormous population
     
  8. RickEbassviol.

    1936 Rickenbacker EUB & AMP, the first, a prototype.
     
    seansv, nashvillebill and adi77 like this.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    First I ever saw that Ric amp. Is it an amp designed specifically for bass or is it a guitar amp? Was it ever produced past the prototype stage? If not, then you'd still have to consider the Michaels-Hull Bass Amp as the first ;) A lot of folks consider the Tutmarc the first electric bass guitar, but since they only made a couple, I'd dispute that claim based on the idea that nobody could buy them.
     
  10. Interesting, Thank you !

    Here's an Electric Bass from Gibson, ca 1938....one wonders what amp it was paired with ? :

    http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/PluckedStrings/Guitars/Gibson/10474/GibsonUprightBass.html
     
  11. HAH! I knew you'd split hairs the signal. :spit: Sorry I trolled you JimmyM, but it was fun. :woot:
    Doesn't matter whether it was produced or not, the Ricky was first. :smug:
    Possibly the Vega was first, which came out about the same time as the Ricky, but is less well known. Very hard to find good info on these two early EUBs and I've been researching them since about 2007.
    I'd concede that the Michaels-Hull Bass Amp might be the first commercial production amplifier, but certainly it was not The First.

    Howard Rumsey was gigging the Ricky setup back in the day, so it's still first whether you care to admit it or not. ;)

    PS: Well aware of the Tutmarc arguement, as well.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    :p
     
  13. With all due respect, of course!
    :)
     

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