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Ampeg Baby Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, Jan 19, 2003.


  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Tonight I played an old Ampeg Baby Bass (about 40 years old, we think.) I'm not too familiar with these guys. What's the market like for them? Are there Baby Bass fans out there?

    This one has been modified -- the original aluminum bridge has been swapped out for a cello bridge fitted with an Underwood pickup. I should have checked out the original "amplified peg" sound, but wound up hearing only the Underwood. Anyone know what that old setup might have sounded like?

    I thought it was a pretty cool old piece of foam-filled plastic. Played OK and sounded not bad. Thin on the D and G strings though.
     
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Around my neck of the woods all the Latin players dig em'. They are certainly in demand, I've seen good ones get up to 22 or 23 bucks[plumber talk-my guy comes, works for an hour and a half and sez that'll be a buck eighty]
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Originally posted by Damon Rondeau
    Tonight I played an old Ampeg Baby Bass (about 40 years old, we think.) I'm not too familiar with these guys. What's the market like for them? Are there Baby Bass fans out there?

    I had one several years ago.
    These instruments are still very popular for cuban/salsa music.

    This one has been modified -- the original aluminum bridge has been swapped out for a cello bridge fitted with an Underwood pickup. I should have checked out the original "amplified peg" sound, but wound up hearing only the Underwood. Anyone know what that old setup might have sounded like?

    The original sound of the magnetic bridge pickup system is very thud-like. That's what makes it popular for the cuban and salsa styles.
    I modified mine too. I had a special maple bridge built for me and used an Underwood pickup. It sounded more modern.

    I thought it was a pretty cool old piece of foam-filled plastic. Played OK and sounded not bad. Thin on the D and G strings though.

    The plastic's name is Uvex.
    It was sensitive to heat though, so leaving a Baby Bass in a car under the sun was a very bad idea...
    Nowadays, Steve Azola in California, and Ray Ramirez in Puerto Rico, make good Baby Bass copies, out of real wood.