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Amp for Blues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by steve2, May 10, 2002.

  1. steve2


    Sep 23, 2001
    Piney Flats, TN
    I am looking at a few possibilities but what would be the best speaker size. 15 inch or a smaller 10 or 12.

    Here is the amps I am looking at Ampeg B100R, SWR workman 12, and a Fender Bassman 100, also an amp that has got my eye out of the catalog is the 100 watt ampeg that has all the special effects built in.


  2. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Could you describe the kind of blues band?

    These 100 watt amps would probably be underpowered for contemporary blues, but would work for acoustic or quieter old-school stuff. Especially for upright, if that's your plan.

  3. steve2


    Sep 23, 2001
    Piney Flats, TN
    I guess I should have been more clear. I currently done play is a blues band but possibly some day when I have more time. But the blues that I like the best would be anywhere from BB to Stevie Ray.More on the contempory line. Just guessing I would probably need more like 200 plus watts. ANy suggestions. and thaks for asking on the type.

  4. I am an older (53 on May 30) blues guy and over the years, I've played a number of rigs...nothing exotic: Fender Bassman and Showman amps in the old days and Hartke and Ampeg stuff for the last 10+ years. My current rig is an Ampeg B248 combo (200 watts into 4-8" speakers and a tweeter, 350 watts if I add my JBL loaded Sonic compact 1 X 15" extension cabinet). I also used an SVT3-PRO with a SVT410HE and a Carvin 1 X 18" and a Hartke 3500 with a 4 X 10" Transporter cabinet and the Carvin 18" cabinet. For most gigs using either the SVT3-PRO or the 2500, I only used a 4 X 10" cabinet and only brought out the 1 X 18" for festivals or big, big clubs.

    The bands I've been in have pretty much covered the electric blues spectrum from T-Bone Walker to Freddie and B.B. King to Albert King and Albert Collins to Stevie Ray and Johnny Winter. Of all the rigs I've ever played, I like my current rig the best of all. I Play a Reverend Rumblefish XL and a MIJ fretless Jazz Bass and I can get any tone I want and need plus, with 350 watts, I can get plenty loud and the amp has a clean direct out. I need to be able to emulate upright tones with my fretless and I use the Rumblefish for the more modern tones. The B248 is no longer made but they make it in a 1 X 15" and the 4 X 8" (and 1 X 15") combos show up every now and then on e-bay, harmony-central, bassgear.com and in stores...I got mine at a Music-Go-Round. I think high-powered combo amps with an extension cabinet for bigger venues is the way to go. I carried stacks for years but I have never needed more than my current rig could have provided and it is a lot easier to lug around and probably more flexible in the different tones I can get with it.
  5. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    I should add that my own current rig is an Eden WT-300 with a Carvin 210 cab. That covers most of the small clubs I play with my blues band, as well as the medium ones that have bass in the PA. Main bass is an electric upright, sometimes bass guitar, but not much lately.

    Anyhow, that fairly small rig covers most of what I do. For larger stuff or outdoors, I bring out my SWR SM-400S with an added Carvin 15 under the 210. But it's been since last October when I last used that rig.

  6. Well, Ionote. I was 53 on May 31. I play Rhythmn & Blues. The Ampeg B100R sounds good to me. The reissue B15R also sounds good. Depends on how loud the drummer & guitar plays. Been thinking about going smaller maybe a B50R or a Hartke Kickback 12.
  7. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    I have a B50R and it sounds wonderful for "not too loud" jams and practice.

    Just today I got an Eden WT-400 pushing an Aguilar GS112. It sounds unbelievable IMHO. I play blues and go for an old school sound with a modern twist. I want warmth, but punch and sparkle too.

    I can't wait to add another GS112! The 12" is *my* perfect sound want. It's warmer than a 410 and way punchier than a 115 IMHO.
  8. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    to buck the trend i either run a 4x10 or a 2x10 15 swr rig. half of the fun of blues is whatever you have will work. the old cats didnt wax intellectual about their gear. they played with what they had. just so happens i have nice gear from when i was on the road in a pop rock band for a couple of years. blues is a state of mind...... get what works for you and testify brother... the blues world needs as many soldiers as it can get so it gets the respect it deserves. .....as long as it has tubes;)
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I agree. I put my washtub back in operation for a country blues trio.

    You never hear a bluesman singing the blues 'cause his rig sucks, although that's often the case !
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I'm right there with you on the old school sound with a modern twist. I use a stingray5 through a SWR SM400 and a Euphonic Audio vl210. The stingray has flats on it. The tone is seriously deep but still has strong mids that cut through and airy highs. My band does the jump blues and swing thing. If I use the palm mute technique I get a pretty good upright tone too. I use an ampeg b50r for practice and it sounds great, but I doubt it would have enough juice for a gig.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You don't need effects for blues bass, save your money.
  12. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Brian's right.

    Although Roscoe Beck does some way kewl "organ" sounding two hand stuff with a chorus on. (Sometimes reverb added too.)

    But, us mere mortals don't need no stinkin' effects for blues. ;o)
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I would say if you like Ampeg and Fender, also check out some Sunn's. Fender quit making them, (dumb move) but I'm sure there's a few laying around in music stores, and pawn shops.
  14. 44me


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bedford, NH USA
    I've been using a Nemisis NC-210P combo (200W, 2X10) for blues gigs for about 3 years. It's loud enough for most clubs. Occasionally, I use a 15 with it for larger rooms, but usually when I need more volume, I just run the direct out through the PA. I get a surprising number of compliments on my tone although I think it is as much a combination of flat wounds and technique as it is the amp. Just the same, as much as I enjoy the small size and light weight, I’ve been itching to upgrade. I was real close to getting the exact same rig as Rod, but then I got on this tube kick, and talked myself into an Aguilar DB 359.

    So here I am going through TalkBass trying to zero in on the best cabinet to use with it. Steve, for what it’s worth, I’m leaning towards 12’s (Aguilar GS 212) for the same reasons that Rod likes ‘em. I checked out the GS 112, but I realized that I would want a second one almost immediately. The 212 is considerably larger, but is still a manageable cabinet. Also, I’m with Brian and Rod, skip the special effects. If you’re playing blues, you don’t need ‘em.