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Amp for Beatle Bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rickochet, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Rickochet


    Mar 30, 2009
    Hello all, and thanks to the many who responded to my recent request for reviews of the various Beatle bass knockoffs. I was able to play Hofner's "upgraded" Icon model at a local GC the other day, and believe I'll go with that.

    Follow-up question: again, strictly for playing at home with CDs or with other people on guitars, how powerful an amp would I need to get that satisfying, low-end, Beatles-type bass punch? (In other words, no edge even when using the pick). Without that sound, there's no point in my doing this at all. On the other hand, I don't need something huge or uber expensive to knock down walls or "cut through" people. Do I need a strictly bass amp; if so, what wattage; can I get by with a decent-sized combo that I could also use for my other guitar, etc. etc. ?? Again, welcome any and all suggestions!

  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    By "no edge," I assume you mean the bright tone one can get from most any bass guitar. You need to understand how to set the tone controls and pickup controls on your instrument, and how your playing technique, (where on the string you play, how you play, etc.) affects tone.

    While an amp can be used to change your tone, everything starts at the instrument.

    By "no point in my doing this," I assume this is a strong position on tone. Fine. Just be aware that what you think sounds good in your bedroom will NOT sound good on stage or even in the basement with your pals.

    Yes, you need an actual bass amp. Since you want to play with others, you need something more than a basic practice amp.

    I am not sure what you mean by "Cut through people." I don't believe anyone wants to do that. By "Cut though," bassists mean "be heard due to a great mid-rich tone with a certain edge :)p), without using ridiculous amounts of volume."

    IMHO, real amps have at least 200 watts into 8 ohms, and either 1x15, 2x10's or perhaps 1x12 or 2x12 speakers. I recommend getting something other than a Combo amp. Buy a separate head and cab. Way more flexible, more bang for buck, and easier to sell/upgrade.

    Check the Stickies in AMPS. :D
  3. What was upgraded about the Hofner Icon?

    As far as amps I would think a 100 watt combo would be more than enough for your requirements. And using a guitar through a bass amp is not an issue but you would not want to go the other way. I would suggest getting an Ampeg B-100R. Great combo amp that will compliment the Icon well and would be flexible enough to get you through small sized gigs if you decide you need it for that.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A B100R is a great suggestion. I suggest you take your Icon to a guitar shop, and plug it into every bass amp they have. You'll know when you find the right one, I promise.
  5. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    +1 on the ampeg b100r or the b200r if you need some more volume
    both of these have an old school tone, so it will aid in getting a McCartney-esque tone.
  6. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    I play my Waterstone Indra bass and Hofner Icon through an Ampeg B100R and LOVE that amp! INCREDIBLE tone! The B200R is great too, but WAY too much power for what I do, which is 50s and 60s rock in small clubs.

    I also just got a VOX T60 off of ebay that is a killer combo. I love it.

    Make sure you throw some La Bella Beatle flats on that Icon to get the best tone. McCartney uses them!
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Plan on swaping the strings to flat wounds..

    I've found that a ported and enclosed 1-12 works best with mine..

    I'm running at 75 watts with others.
  8. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    I also use a Vox T-60 combo for my Hofner Beatle bass.

    The look of the Vox adds some nice authenticity, and the sound is really great with the "Bassilator" switch engaged. Very authentic McCartney tone.

    Amp is only 60 watts, so it is not for club performance (unless the guitars are going acoustic). But for practice or jamming old Beatle tunes with your guitarist buddies, the T-60 is hard to beat.
  9. Hugh9191


    Feb 20, 2009
    Sounds like you want the old school tone. You might be best looking at 15s rather than 10s but speaker size isn't everything.

    You won't know til' you try it.
  10. For real old school sound you need a 100 watt valve amp + 1 x 18" cab - preferably Vox of course, but they don't appear to make that kind of gear anymore!! - failing that a Selmer T & B 100 with a 4 x 12 and they don't make those anymore either :). Serously, if you're serious (ouch!!), you can't go far wrong with an Ampeg.
  11. wildhorse


    Mar 15, 2009
    The problem I experienced when trying out any small sized (dimensions) amp with my Rogue Beatle Bass copy was that the hollow body caused the smaller amps to distort as if there was no head room. I settled on a Roland Cube 100 which is way overpriced imho. But no distortion, rattles and light enough to move around. Funny thing is I only use both for recording. Used them on a gig until I got my Acoustic B600H. Was ok but no bottom end thump. The cube is good for acoustic guitar type gigs. But surprisingly enough it does a decent job of doubling as a guitar amp. Set it on the bassman setting, turn the gain up, add some delay or reverb and Rock n Roll. Nice for Jazz Guitar too. Haven't tried the keyboard yet but I'll bet it does just fine.
  12. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    This one works pretty good.....

  13. As far as I'm concerned, just about any amp with a 15" speaker will do it for you. Solid state or tube, doesn't matter - you can always put a pedal in front of it.
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I too would suggest the Ampeg B100R, here's mine "in action".
  15. Well... you could use what Paul McCartney uses, which is a Mesa Buster 200 through a pair of old Diesel 1x15s. :D
  16. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    COOL photos!

    Yeah, I just cannot say enough good things about the Ampeg B100R, it just sounds great, is powerful, I LOVE the ultra low, ultra mid and ultra high buttons!

    I may save some $ to get another one, just because!!
  17. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    I suggest a Line 6 Lowdown Studio 110. Great practice amp, 75 watts with four amp modeling presets plus the ability to make your own. It's even powerful enough to allow you to do small gigs and has a line out for DI. On the Hofner, if you use only the front pickup, as Paul often does, you will get great thud and not too much brightness, even with a pick. And, of course, use flatwound strings. I have also used my Icon direct into my PC recording software and it sounds great.
  18. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Ronn -- Love that psychedelic Nehru. Where'd ya get it?
  19. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    A fan made it for me. I've had my wife take it in some as I've lost a lot of weight. Down to 215 lbs.
  20. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Congrats on the weight loss & the jacket! My mom made a duplicate of the Shea jacket for me in 1965 but it's long gone -- and I weigh 40 pounds more than I did then anyway.

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