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Any recommendations on amps that sound good on both Upright and Electric at loud volumes?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Vonnegut, Jul 9, 2014.


  1. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut

    Jun 10, 2014
    Was thinking of getting a GK MB150, but I don't think it is good for my eletric needs, and would be too quiet for upright.

    I'm playing an ampeg BA-115 right now, but I want something a bit louder that will also sound good for upright.
     
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    First off for a doubling rig I'd be looking at the greater versatility of a head/cab rather than a combo. Once you've found a head you like (for me an Aguilar TH350) finding a cab you like may be more work than just settling for a convenient combo but it really allows you find the head/cab partnership that works for you. It also allows you to use provided cabs at rehearsal studios and gigs which is something I like to do a lot.

    If you dig the way Ampeg and GKs sound the Ampeg PF350, PF500 and the GK MB200 and MB500 heads are definitely in your ballpark. The Aguilar TH 350, TH 500 and Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 and 6.0 or 6.2 heads are my personal favs. The Traynor Dynabass 350, TC Electronics BH250 and RH450 and Fender Rumble 200 and 500 might be worth a listen too.

    From there it's just a matter of auditioning cabs. This isn't the only route and have a listen to any combos you can get your hands on too but trying to make an amp work for both double bass and electric bass the head/cab(s) premise makes the most sense to me. For a lot of people finding an amp becomes a grail quest that lasts years and it's really easy to spend a ton of money. Buy used and you take a much lower hit when you sell and gives you more financial leeway to try different stuff.
     
  3. pdbass

    pdbass

    Jan 2, 2007
    Pittsburgh
    IME, it's difficult to find an amp that's great for both. There are boxes that tend to sound a little better one way or the other. I use a GK MB150, but pretty much exclusively for the double bass. It just doesn't cut it for a full-range, LOUD, electric bass sound, IMHO. That being said, probably the best little doubling combo I've used is the Markbass CMD 121P. It sounds like an electric bass amp (i.e. loud, full range, deep) and is highly usable for double bass. Like jeffbonny said, combo+cab is a great way to go. Right now, I'm using an Aguilar TH 500 along with a Markbass Traveler 102P when I need to play both instruments. The electric bass sound is very good, and the double bass is almost there. It works. Good luck.
     
    conte2music likes this.
  4. gr8bassplayer

    gr8bassplayer

    Feb 12, 2013
    Nebraska
    I use a GK MB212, and it sounds great with both my electric and upright basses. It is very light and pushes plenty of sound. It also has a chain out if you want to add a 15 to it.
     
  5. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    Maine
    I have an Ibanez Promethean 5110. I have played plenty of rock gigs (Ric 4003) and jazz gigs (Palatino with a K&K Double big twin) and it is AWESOME for both. It has 250w by itself, and 500 through 4 ohms (adding an external 8 ohm cab). It is great for any size bar/lounge and small auditoriums. I played it on a full-size quarter-mile outdoor track one time with a GK 210 as an extension cab, and people were asking me to turn it down. At 25 lbs. and $500-600, it's an incredible deal, especially considering that I've put it through 4 years of heavy abuse and it's still going strong.
     
  6. I LOVE the sound and versatility of the TH500, I don't think I'd consider the 350 if loud is your goal, especially with upright. I've said before here that I wish they made a TH1000! Right now I'm using an Acoustic Image Focus 1 Siii head, which puts out 800W at 4Ω. I picked up the Tone Hammer preamp pedal for playing slab through it and I'm loving it. I have started using the TH for upright, too. I think the added gain fills out the sound and makes things punchier, and the EQ circuitry is aces. I use an fdeck 3 with upright.

    At present I'm putting all that through an MAS46 or MAS26, and am very happy with those for both upright and slab, too. I haven't tried them together yet (I just got the 25), but the AI is supposed to be stable at 2Ω, so I'm looking forward that gig! One thing I've noticed with these cabs (aside from how great they sound once things are dialed in on the amp side) is that they will amplify any little quirks, which might make you suspect the cab until you hunt down the problem. A couple times I've had a rattle somewhere on my bass or a buzz in the signal chain that made me think a driver was buzzing, until I eliminated things in the chain and fixed the real problem. These cabs amplify whatever you send to them pretty darn faithfully.
     
  7. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I have heard guys make GK sound great with both, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

    Genz Benz was good to me for a while. I would call it great for BG, and good with UB.

    This stuff is so dependent on all the variables that come into play with UB though. If you have a good pickup and preamp, then you'll be able to make a lot of combos work for you. It might never be exactly what you want though if it's splitting duties.

    Try a bunch of stuff out first.
     
  8. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    +1 on the aguilar tone hammer amps
     
  9. kdrabbit

    kdrabbit

    Mar 18, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I get really like the sound from my TC BG250-112 in a doubling situation in small venues. The contour/tone shaping approach to the bass/middle/treble controls actually works quite well and the added benefit of the TonePrint function is a plus (though I notice a lot of reviewers say they don't have a use for it, I actually quite like the compressor/tube toneprints that TC has on their website). That said, I tend to agree that the best all-around solution is a head/cabinet situation then you're getting to components that are designed specifically for their purpose - the head providing optimized amplification/tone/volume control and the cabinet providing optimized sound projection. To get the volume you need you really need the wattage and it seems that 300 watts is the minimum, 500 watts and up being best/better. For the sound production it seems that the 2-10, 1- or 2-12 setup seems the best. I've found that 15's just seem too boomy even when coupled with a well designed cabinet/horn/tweeter configuration. Just my humble opinion, mind you.
     
  10. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Lots of variables. One very important variable is the pickup system you use. If the amplifier's input impedance isn't high enough (1MOhm min), lots of pickups will sound bad. That might make you dismiss an amp even though the problem would be solved with a simple and cheap preamp.

    I've recently had an experience with that and an amp I had played years ago as part of a venue's house backline. Sounded horrible with my pickup (at that time, it was a b-band, i believe). No useable sound possible.

    Last week, I tried that amp again with my Ehrlund and the Ehrlund preamp. It sounded REALLY great. It was a (drumroll) Eden WT400, with an Ampeg 4x10. Not your typical db. rig, but man I loved it!
    So much that I am really considering the amp as my new MAS26s companion.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I find that to be true as well. Provided the Ehrlund Pickup and Pre Amp are compatible with your instrument, then there is a wide range
    of amplifiers that you can use.

    Ric
     
  12. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Hi Ric,

    I think it's more about the preamp than the pickup. Realist, fullcircle and the like into fdeck into whatever amp that's not voiced too weirdly (the Eden most notably comes with a highfreq roll-off already at around 10kHz, IIRC, but not with some sort of midscoop) should work as well.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  13. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    At the cab end of the chain, you might take a look at what Mike Arnopol is doing. I have some familiarity with a few of his cabs and they combine excellent clarity and punch and a very natural "feel". And some of his high-output cabs are very much at home with either electric bass or upright bass.
     
  14. What he said!!!!!!! I've taken my MAS26 out for a few gigs on upright an I'm really impressed with the punch and volume, not to mention the clarity. The MAS46 has been great for both louder upright and electric gigs, and I'm, looking forward to using them stacked!
     
  15. I have an AER Amp Three. It kicks serious butt for the size. I use it all the time for electric, and I've loaned it to an upright player as well. Sounded fantastic to me. Not cheap, but it's a one hander to load in. I've used it in a classic rock band setting and had easily enough volume to cut the gig.
     
  16. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I think it is very easy to find a rig that sounds good for both, trying to find one that sounds great with both is next to impossible.

    What works for me is the EA doubler head and a VL208 cab for DB or NL210 cab for electric, I love these combos. In an extreme case I'll bring both cabs and unplug the NL210 for the upright work. While I don't love the VL208 with my electric it does sound really good when paired with a Iamp350, I recently bought another one as I sold the Iamp a number of years ago and may experiment using two heads and one cab. Still doing a cable swap but it's easier to carry two heads rather then two cabs.

    There was one combo that killed with either and that was a Glockenklang Heartrock and Bergantino HS410 (Sadowsky SA410), it was a beast and got old quick but it did enforce that there is a single rig that can do both in a great way. I just had wished it wasn't so big and expensive.

    Over time I've stressed about this only to find I settled into a gig being either DB or BG so while I have to own two sets of gear I rarely have to haul both around.

    I've pretty much stopped experiemnting as I am now the weak link in the chain, guys still on the hunt seem to love the Arnpool stuff.
     
  17. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I used to think the same thing.
     
    tyb507 likes this.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hi Sidecar,
    That's certainly true for for the Ehrlund EAP and Ehrlund Preamp. I'm not sure that a buffer pre is as important with amps from Acoustic image, Euphonic Audio, Walter Woods, Tecamp and the like. I'll now contradict myself by saying that most any pickup sounds significantly better run through the Ehrlund Pre Amp.;<)>

    Ric
     
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hi Sidecar,
    That's certainly true for for the Ehrlund EAP and Ehrlund Preamp. I'm not sure that a buffer pre is as important with amps from Acoustic image, Euphonic Audio, Walter Woods, Tecamp and the like. I'll now contradict myself by saying that most any pickup sounds significantly better run through the Ehrlund Pre Amp.;<)>

    Ric
     
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hi Sidecar,
    That's certainly true for for the Ehrlund EAP and Ehrlund Preamp. I'm not sure that a buffer pre is as important with amps from Acoustic image, Euphonic Audio, Walter Woods, Tecamp and the like. I'll now contradict myself by saying that most any pickup sounds significantly better run through the Ehrlund Pre Amp.;<)>

    Ric
     

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