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Amp for vintage sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mldavis, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Hi guys

    What amps should I be looking at to get a nice warm vintage sound? I don't fancy anything too complicated.. I've been looking at the orange bass terror 500, but am yet to try one, but are there any others out there I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance

  2. Ampeg B-15
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    It depends on how big an amp you need, and also what your budget is.

    As bigbottomend posted, the Ampeg B-15 is pretty choice for vintage sounding.
  4. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yeah, the Ampeg B-15 sorta defines vintage bass sound. But unless you spring for a newer and often pricy reissue, buying a forty- something year old tube amp could be "complicated" so to speak. :)

    Less expensive and less complicated alternatives would be a used Ampeg B100R or B50R combo.

    I'm also very partial to the current Ampeg BA112 combo as well, plenty of vintage grind and vibe in that combo. I do consider the BA112 to be one of Ampegs better sounding combos and very competitive to the Rocket series, plus unlike the Rocket series Ampeg still makes them and they can still be bought new. All IMO of course.

    If a 50 watt or 100 watt combo isn't enough, you can always check out the current portaflex series, or if you are looking for tube then there's the Ampeg V4B tube head over a single or dual 15" cab.
  5. Mrzonehead


    Jan 3, 2013
    Aguilar TH500 w/DB112's and you'll be stoked!
  6. husky123

    husky123 Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Leesburg, VA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Yeah I was going to suggest Aguilar also (TH 350/500 DB750/751). I'd call them a modern take on the Ampeg tone.
  7. Mrzonehead


    Jan 3, 2013
    Yeah the TH500 has such an interactive EQ and gain structure that you can get what would be considered as a great warm old school tone while maintaining modern things like consistency, reliability and build quality that is what a gigging musician needs. Never fails and never disappoints.
  8. RC52


    Apr 10, 2010
    Laurens, SC
    I have a Pignose B100VH 100w all tube head ( hard to find), into either 1-15" or 2 -12" cab, with a '68 P bass with LaBella flats . Total vintage sound !
  9. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    The Orange Terror Bass can make a very vintage sound. Roll off the highs and mids--vintage whoomp.
  10. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I keep seeing this reference to "vintage sound".

    Even back in the old days (and yes, I'm old enough to remember) there were bassists who went for a pretty bright sound, but the consensus seems be to "no compression driver highs".

    Potentially, any amp can deliver a "vintage sound" if you can roll off the horn or tweeter in the box or combo...or take a pair wire cutters...:D
  11. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    Get a vintage all tube head. It's a buyer's market for cool old gear these days. Especially in the UK .... go get yourself an old HiWatt, Sound City, Simms-Watts, Carlsbro, Selmer, WEM, or Marshall head. Seriously.
  12. 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
    Having started bass in 1963 during the "vintage tone" era, all I can say is most bass amps of the day, the various Fender Showman/Bassman, Ampeg Bs, Epiphone Contellations, Voxes, were woefully inadequate in an ordinary LIVE rock band. Just not enough available volume to hang without farting with two guitars, keys, (30-80 watts each) drums, and a typical old-school PA with 50-100 watts and a couple of 3x12 or 4x12 columns for 2 or 3 vocal mics—one would even have seen megaphone-style "public address" horns on poles.

    Since live "Vintage tone," in the early and mid '60s was mostly farty, what you probably want is the tone heard on recordings of the era, not the live tone, right? A nice clean tube pre/DI like a Reddi, a Demeter, A R T tube channel, etc. into any clean loud amp with a good P bass or Jazz strung with broken-in flats is all you need. A little compression might help, too.
  13. GaryLC

    GaryLC Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2006
    Scotia, NY
  14. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    #Ampeg B15 (there's a newer Heritage series which is also good if not better than the original IMHO),
    #Acoustic 360 (I wonder if there's still one to buy tho..),
    #Ampeg SVT (IMHO this arguably still can be categorized as "nice warm vintage sound" somehow :) )
    #Fender Bassman (Yes it's more popular as Guitar amp despite it's name, but I had good result -nice warm vintage sound - with this as bass amp in the past).
  15. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Thanks for saying that...I'm on a hunt for a new amp. Maybe the amp doesn't play as large a roll as I initially thought. You've helped remove some pressure of choosing "just the right amp". I have some old tape wounds on a 2002 MIM Jazz bass with a foam mute. I can get a great tone out of it through a couple different set-ups.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    While I firmly believe you should be able to get a good sound out of any working amp for any style and if you can't I don't blame the amp ;) my amp is what makes me feel inspired to do my best, even if I don't bloody feel like it because someone's always trying to neg me out and turn playing music into a job.

    But I digress...anyway, that's why I don't like to show up with just any old amp. Or any old bass, DI or pedals for that matter. Might show up sometimes with cheap stuff, but it's cheap stuff that reflects my tastes and doesn't fight me.
  17. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Thanks all for your replies.

    I quite like the Porta Flex range, but really like the look and sound of the orange tiny terror amp.

    I'm going to be using it for small/medium size gigs - would this be capable for thee type of gigs with the SP 212 cab do you think?

    Thanks in advance.
  18. V-4 or B-100r.
  19. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    If you really want to be covered buy a VT Bass and/or Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal, either of which can get you where you want to be tonally with any decent amp, IMO. You can even go directly into them as tone-shaping preamps and insert directly into the effects return.
  20. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Yeah, usually I associate "vintage" with a very mid-heavy sound, actually.

    I don't know where this idea that bassists back in the day only had lows going on got started, but it's pretty inaccurate.

    Sure, like you mention, there weren't really any tweeters in bass rigs at the time, but that doesn't mean there weren't any mids and highs at all.