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Amp History Search

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by GutJazz, May 8, 2019.


  1. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy
    Goodmorning everyone
    someone can indicate me a book, an article or a website that tells the history of electrical amplification, with or without particular regard to the double bass, something with temporal indications, or dates of market introduction and data on the evolution and spread of amplifiers, microphones, pick ups, etc?
    My goal is to understand when, how and why amplification has become an integral part, and, apparently, an essential part of musical art (not mine)
    Thanks for the attention
    (Google translated from italian, pardon)
     
  2. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy
    Merci beaucoup, very interesting
    Elderly colleagues musicians told me when they started play jazz in the '50 there where not amplifiers, so I think jazz became amplified in the next decade, when rock music spread and needed volume increased
    Further informations or opinions on this subjet will be welcome
    Thanks
     
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    There doesn't seem to be any definitive source, so here's what I know.
    Ampeg and Fender along with Honer made some of the earliest bass amps in the 1950's.
    There were some early adopters, like Oscar Pettiford and a few others that did use the "Ampeg"
    pickup along with an Ampeg amp somewhere along the way. There are early ads for Ampeg that
    Pettiford is featured in. Unfortunately, a catalog endorsement dosen't necessarily mean that Pettiford
    used the amp and pickup all the time.

    Oscar Pettiford's Ampeg Flyer.png
     
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  4. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Seattle
    Here's a little story about Pettiford and his love for amps:

    The day the BG took over.

    There is some other good info relevant to the history of bass amplification in that thread as well.
     
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  5. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
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  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Ouch, well Oscar was always pushing the boundaries, it took a long time for other players to even accept amplifiers,

    and based on my experience, pickups and amps have only recently gotten good enough to actually gig with. This

    certianly wasn't the case in the 1958. as an aside. I just found this new compliation of air checks featuring the Oscar Pettiford

    Big Band. You can hear him solo on Cello and it could be amplified. There appears to be an Ampeg amp right behind him.

    Oscar Pettiford Big Band, Nonet and Sextet; Live in New York City.jpg
     
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    And if you look inside the book. We can confirm that Oscar did indeed use the amp live.

    Oscar  Pettiford Ampeg.jpg Oscar Pettiford Ampeg & Cello.jpg
     
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  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The first triode tubes were introduced in 1906 but it wasn't until 1912 that it was discovered they could be used for amplification purposes. AM radio broadcasting was the first mainstream application, starting around 1920.

    There were electric guitar amps available as early as the 1930s. By the 1950s electric guitars were very common in jazz and amplifying the bass was starting to happen. Lionel Hampton was the first famous bandleader to use a Precision Bass in his band, but the Ampeg pickup (introduced in 1946) was available as well.

    It wasn't rock that led to double bass amplification, it was simply getting the bass loud enough to compete with loud drummers and brass sections.
     
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  9. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy
    Thanx for reply, Brian
    I would humbly point out that in the thirties and forties there were big bands with four trumpets, four trombones and five saxophones, piano, guitar and drums, and the double bass was not amplified. I've been playing for years, and I still play sometimes, rock music with electric bass, and I have nothing against rock, indeed!
     
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Nothing to point out. Try playing DB in a big band with and without an amp and see what you think ;) People simply didn't play as loud back then, especially drummers. Whether you could hear the bass had a lot to do with the acoustics and where the bass was placed. You can find lots of photos like this that have the bass up on a riser so the players in front weren't blocking it. He's even behind the drummer!

    [​IMG]

    Here's Jimmy Blanton with Duke, taking a solo...he gets right up front just like a horn player.

    [​IMG]

    In a recording session, instruments could be placed for a better balance than might be possible on a gig. So what you hear on old records may not be that close to the way a band sounded live. Here's Duke yet again, notice where the bass player is located.

    [​IMG]

    Getting OT, my apologies.
     
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  11. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy
    I'm back :)
    we weren't there to know how loud they sounded, but I know the Savoy Ballroom contained hundreds of dancers ... I played a lot without amp with horns, drums and pianos and amplified guitars and I enjoyed a lot. I'm the man without an amplifier, with gut strings and very high action. I can perceive the acoustics of a room just by entering it, and I think that amplification, which is required today and that I am sometimes forced to use, is not necessary or rather excessive. today we must amplify everything, always, even in small rooms or theaters where the acoustics are excellent. the sound technicians should see these photos
    with due respect
     
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  12. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy


    Here's me with the big band. Even there the trumpet player asked me to amplify the bass...
     
  13. GutJazz

    GutJazz

    Mar 5, 2019
    Roma - Italy
    I just want to be sure that the music I play (jazz pre-WWII) wasn't amplified, apart from the voice and maybe the guitar.
    Thanks for the patience
     
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Apparently, from what I've heard Duke liked to place Jimmy Blanton right up on the single mic that was used for soloists.
    Jimmy Blanton mic.jpg
     
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  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, in terms of having an amplifier/pickup then no, it would not have been. But there are a bunch of pictures in John Goldsby's opus, "The Jazz Bass Book" that show a number of different players standing right in front of a microphone. So, at least for me, bassists were always trying to get more sound when playing in a big band. I got to see Basie and Elllington band's live in 1968 and 69, they both placed a decicated microphone with the bassists, in Emens Auditorium. The only band I can remember that didn't was Stan Kenton's band, but they were in a Gynmasium that probly didn't have an adequate sound system. My take is that live sound for a Double Bass has used P.A. systems for quite some time. Playing acoustically, is something that you encounter in chamber orchestras. Many of our sonic impressions of Double Basses, in big bands, come from movies shot in the 1930's and 1940's, where they didn't have to worry about hearing
    the bass, because they were recording the sound separately. Just my opinion, of course.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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