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Are bass amps obsolete?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sanwin17, Jan 30, 2019.


  1. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    In every situation I have played in the last several years FOH has controlled the bass, volume and tone. My stage amp, when I have occasion to use one, serves as my personal monitor. This is not only on big stages but also in small clubs when band leader provides sound and mix. FOH always wants the stage volume down so they can control the mix. And yet, it seems almost every day, a new bass amp is out.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Having a quality personal monitor helps me give a good performance. I see no contradiction here. :)
     
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Certainly in many cases the amps are not doing the heavy lifting (but not all). But it's nothing new. How many pictures from the 70-80s did you see when there was a wall of cabinets on a big stage, but most were empty?
     
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Bass amps are not simply about convenience and/or practicality (or the lack thereof) for many of us.

    I simply enjoy hearing myself through speakers. When I can, I will bring an amp. If I can get away with it, I'll bring an Ampeg SVT. The sound of that heavy beast makes me smile. :bassist:

    They absolutely will be less common in a decade or so. We'll probably all have wireless basses with transmitters you can't see that send a signal directly to the computer used to run sound (that is the size of a pack of gum). Every audience member will be wearing headphones (tiny earbuds) that allow them to control the volume of their live band. Take out your earbuds and all you will hear are people talking and the sound of sticks hitting electronic drums pads. Your average bar will sound like a library until you put in earbuds. :cool:

    So, not yet... but it's coming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Shpigel, MadCow217, kcolyar and 74 others like this.
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I played a gig like this once, and it was a LOT of fun! I hope you are right and this becomes more common in the future.

    From an audience perspective, it is great, because you control the music as loud or quiet as you like. And you can take the earbuds out if you want to talk to your friend or order a drink. :)
     
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Playing a gig and looking around the room to see much of the audience ignoring the band is a bad feeling.

    Standing on stage thrashing about only.to realize most don't have their earbuds in (thus can't hear you at all) would be more than a little embarrassing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  7. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    As obsolete as rock’n’roll.
     
  8. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    ... and a decade or two later, there won't be any "bars" at all...
     
  9. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    I don't like playing without speakers behind me either but it seems it's going that way more often. Sometimes just earbuds and sometimes bass through the stage monitors. You can't "feel" the bass through earbuds so unless the audience will have BackBeat devices or rumble seats it will be a vibe killer.
     
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    It's nice to have the amp behind you, but between losing that, or dealing with stages that are too loud, I'll deal with it.
     
    skier 913, Ggaa, gln1955 and 4 others like this.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If folks can't control their volume, they will be obsolete for them. This volume thing has gone way out of hand. Amp builders aren't helping either. Who needs 1000w-2000w?! Seriously!! FOH companies are just doing damage control. This is what separates the big boys from the little boys. No reason to be loud just to be loud.
     
    kcolyar, nelldnine, MarkJC8 and 24 others like this.
  12. DeltaDelta

    DeltaDelta

    Feb 17, 2018
    Italy
    ..and many of us will be here on TB reminiscing about the good old days and complimenting each other about the latest piece of vintage technology we just scored for our collection :laugh:
     
  13. Guess you're playing fancier places than me. Many of my gigs these days only have PA support for vocals etc.
     
  14. MCS4

    MCS4

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Not so long as there are bars with poor PA support. The concept of the FOH being willing or able to take care of 100% of the bass-volume needs for both the floor and on-stage/monitoring is not remotely standard in the local rock/metal scene of anywhere I've lived.
     
  15. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    Probably not
     
    TonyP-, Pbassmanca and lermgalieu like this.
  16. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    IMO this only works when you have a sound man that knows what they're doing. For me that has been a rare occasion. Last gig I had like this was so bad I walked out in the middle of the rehearsal and I now refuse any gigs unless I am able to use my own rig.
     
  17. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    many are bad
     
  18. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    Exactly!! May bass amps live forever!
     
  19. gumtown

    gumtown

    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    I know the feeling, experienced that at a recent 21st we played. The kids were interested in the band for 1/2hr then they went inside, put on their pajama's and had a phone/texting/slumber party in bed by 10:00pm.
    Or you get the bar situation when your hired to play the same night the 'big game' is also on TV in the bar, and they want you to turn down.

    By this time in the future earbuds will be history, cerebral implants are the latest craze.
    Also you won't need to setup at a venue, the bar/venue will just switch on the holographic projector while you play live in your home studio (with your real bass amp).
     
    skier 913, baSfo, dcbeeman and 5 others like this.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Obsolete? I don't think so!

    Nancy Me Giant SVT.

    Yes, you can do gigs ampless with a good PA. I just did a string of gigs ampless because that's what the guy I was subbing for did and I wanted to keep the vibe. But I would so much rather have an amp behind me. My amp isn't just a monitor. It's also how everyone else on stage and the first few rows hears me, and it defines what I want in the PA. It's also running to the PA a lot of the time. Do I enjoy loading out more ampless? Yes I do :D But some of my gigs go on for hours, and I'd much rather listen to my bass coming out of something good than earbuds and a Buttkicker, so it's worth it to me.
     

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