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A guitar amp that sounded really great for bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by JAS, Jun 7, 2005.


  1. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    I posted this on the Bass Guitar side, but there are a lot of doublers, like myself who mainly come to the DB side of the forum, so I am posting it here too.

    Very recently I played my Fender Jazz bass through a guitar amp. It was a Fender Pro 185 (185W Combo Amp (2 x 12"))

    It was the nicest sound I have ever gotten besides an old Acoustic amp that I have. It didn't make much extra noise at all and it was very warm, but had more punch than any bass amp I have ever used. It was way more than loud enough for a loud power trio I used it for.

    I have always felt that most bass amps, especially newer ones have a very artifically enhanced sounding low end. This had none of that.

    Whats up with this? Most bass amps have much more than 185 watts, yet this was still a much nicer, cleaner, warmer, and punchier sound at volumes ranging from soft to very loud.

    Does any one have any ideas? I am trying to find a used one of these to buy now. Its like that was the sound I have always wanted from a bass amp and never could totally find.
     
  2. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    A couple things, probably. One, I agree with you that a lot of bass amps sound kind of "hyped:" they produce a lot of low end, usually to beef up the low B string or to sound "warm" or to give the "smiley eq" cut midrange slap curve. Pushing the reall low frequencies takes a tone of power. The fender guitar amp was voiced to produce a lot of what on bass counts as midrange and low midrange--say, the 100-600 hz range. IMHO, that's where bass lives--not in the ACTUAL frequencies ( a low E is 41 hz) but in the next order of harmonics an octave higher--that's what people hear as "bass". The lower frequencies are crucial--they add fullness and depth. But if you boost the lows too much you get indistinct and loose punch. I would often end up cutting treble and bass and leaving the mids. So my guess is in effect the amp was giving you a bass cut, and a low mid emphasis.

    On the other hand, an amp is an amp. Fender's first bass amp, the bassman, is beloved by guitarists. Lots of bass preamps are based on the fender dual showman, a guitar amp. I use the same rig for bass and guitar--for upright bass, an avalon U5, a power amp, and an aguilar 1x12 cab. The same rig works GREAT for jazz guitar--smooth highs, deep solid lows, lots of mid punch. I usually put a verb pedal in front of it. The same rig works great for electric bass--lots of clean power, a high quality preamp

    I would think the problem you're going to run into is blowing speakers. bass frequencies push the speaker farther--more "excursion" and I bet if you keep using that amp for bass you;l blow the speakers. But maybe not

    If it sounds good, it IS good.
     
  3. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    I definately don't want to blow the speakers. Is there any alternative to getting this sound. On bass amps, even when using a preamp- for upright or electric, I usually end up cutting the lows and highs way out, but it is not as good of a tone as I got with the fender guitar amp.

    The amp was also way louder and cleaner than I can get with any bass amp I've used. If this amp is giving me the ability to be clear and present at louder volumes than a bass amp, I should be able to maintain regular volumes without blowing the speakers right?
     
  4. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    As long as you're not at really high volumes, you should be fine