Bass Amps for Jazz

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by PJEBassist, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    Hey there, I've been playing with Jazz Ensemble now for the past 4 months, and I'm finally taking over, but I need an amp :meh: I've been playing Bass for about half a year now, and it is my passion. I play for at least an hour a day. I've had an EB for 4 months now, I'd played guitar for about 4 years. I had been using a little guitar amp I use for my acoustic. But what's a good amp for Jazz Ensemble? it's a 15 piece jazz group, and the most popular in the area. I also play electric bass in a punk band (diverse music tastes :cool: ) and in a church band. I was thinking power, but that can be contained. Maybe 2x12 Cab with Head? Any input would be helpful, thanks!

  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Did you check the Newbie links first?
    There's a lot of info available in the archives...
  3. Ditto....
    I don't wanna be negative,but, in terms of passion for musical instruments in general and the double bass in particular, playing for at least an hour a day is not gonna do a helluva lot of good....well, maybe if you're playing a 3-4 hr. gig at night along with it.......i'd suggest you spend at least three hours a day just to get your chops tough.....hope I didn't burst your bubble, hang in there and give it ALL you got!!!
  4. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    Hate to burst your bubble, Paul. AT LEAST 1 hour a day means there can be more. Im' sorry but when you've just turned 16 and have been holding a job all summer and having Jazz practices, I'm not getting in as much practice time. Going from 4 hours a day to 1 or 2 is killer on your playing.

    I have read those archived posts. I found valuable information on mic/pickups, and I'm still kind of in a descision. But I was asking questions if a head and cabinet would be too powerful for a 15 piece group? I read lots on what speakers give you the best sound, how to get the most out of your preamp, and getting the best tones, as well as amp reviews. But what about me to the balance of the band? Any comment would help or a link to the archived section that I missed would be awesome. Thanks alot!

  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    All well and good. Just thought I'd mention that the person you are addressing was playing with Bill Evans (yes, I mean The Bill Evans) at a time when your parents were little kids. :)

    You'll need some volume for a big band, even if you've got a good acoustic sound. What does your teacher use? I'd start by asking him, since you'll be able to try whatever it is he uses and see if you like it.

    The best combo I've seen out there so far is the EA iamp800 combo, which pairs the iamp 800 head with a CXL112 speaker. If you're ever in Louisville when Java Men are playing, swing by and I'll show you the component version of the same thing...However, it's pretty pricey. Hopefully, some other folks can chime in with some lower cost options. If you want to use whatever you get to double on BG, that narrows the field slightly.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Use what you have...

    I have been fortunate lately to play some very fine instruments in a friends collection and he uses a shadow pickup through an SWR bg amp.

    I think a very fine bass will sound good through most amps.

    On the other hand, I do not have a fine bass. I am now using an AMT mic (thanks SLJ) through a clarus head and into a 2 10 genz benz cabinet.

    It sounds just fine.

    What kind of amp configuration d oyou use for bg ?
  7. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    I didn't mean to be ugly what I said. I did take offense to it, and I'll say what is on my mind. Also my parents are only 10 years younger, so they wouldn't have been kids for long ;)

    Thanks for you help though. I'm going to have pick something out or order it on thursday, have about 4 gigs on back to back weekends :meh: kinda got me buggin, but whatever.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    All I'm saying is that perhaps you might learn to be slower to take offense, especially when the post was trying to be encouraging. No biggie. :)

    That still puts them at 10 or 11. Depends on what you call "kids", I guess. Hell, anymore I call my students at the University "kids" these days...

    If you'd post what your price range is, you'd be a lot more likely to get help that you can actually use. Good luck.
  9. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    around $1100, so I believe price isn't a problem, to a certain extent.... :)

    And you're right. I was just being pissy I believe, I waskind of tense when I responded....didn't have any food and was contemplating what to eat and I had just watched. Sorry to you, Paul. Also you, Chris, you 2 were both only trying to help.

    I'm going to go shopping tomorrow and that should be fun. :D:D:D:D

  10. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Hiya PJE,
    I use an old SWR Electric Blue head and an Avatar CB112 cab. It seems to be a perfect match, other than dragging 2 components around. I find the parametric eq on the head to be amazing-- I can dial in just about any sort of tone I want. What I really like is the ability of hte head to replicate the sound of the bass without coloring it up too much-- it sounds just like my bass, only louder. The cabs, while inexpensive, are certainly not cheaply made. They boast Eminence drivers and can move lots of air. Check them out.
  11. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I was at the San Jose Jazz Festival this past weekend and the house rig on the main stage was an SWR SM-900 powering SWR 4X10 and 1X15 cabs. I didn't really get much of an impression of the stage sound but the front of house sound was good (they were more than likely using the SWR's D.I. because most soundmen seem to think it's acceptable). The acts on the main stage were playing latin jazz and mainstream jazz with small horn sections. I didn't see what they were using on the big band stage.

    I'm using an SWR SM-900 (one of the first generation) through a Bergantion HT112 and EX112 cab. I can't speak highly enough of those cabs, althrough they're rather pricey for 1X12 cabs. For smaller gigs I can just bring the HT112 and for the larger gigs I take both. They are only 35 pounds, so my back is very happy.

  12. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Funny that you posed the original question here as I was just playing a trad jazz festival out in LA and in one big ballroom was one of the new Mesa Walkabout combo amps. I've been looking around for a nice medium sized amp for stuff too loud for the old GK 200Mb. Granted, I was on the stick bass, I set the tones FLAT and got a nice big fat and clear sound. In a huge ballroom getting any kind of acceptable sound is impressive and I was clearly blown away by the big tone of this amp. Did some looking and found some info from the site:

    There's also a BP review somewhere on the site as well. If anyone else has played through these or know their price, I'd like to hear from them.

  13. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    I can not speak for stick basses, but when I plugged my upright into the walkabout it instantly fed back with volume at about .01 of 10. (Yes 1%). On my fretless it sounded ridiculous (good thing) though so I would imagine that it would be awesome for a stick bass.
  14. LarryR

    LarryR Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    jazzbassnerd said:
    I can not speak for stick basses, but when I plugged my upright into the walkabout it instantly fed back with volume at about .01 of 10. (Yes 1%)
    >>>to be fair to Walkabout, or any amp that feeds back, you need to mention what pickup system, room size & acoustics etc.

    I'm now using a magnetic and piezo, so, I won't be worrying about feeding back any longer. Yes, I may sacrifice some natural URB sound, but, I can now stand in front of an SVT and play away.

    To PJEBassist:
    You have alot of options with $ 1100, but, what pickup are you using for your URB? Ok, forget it, I see you're playing EB for jazz and punk. If I were you, I'd get a GK 400RB Head with a 1x15 and 2x10 cabinet. The head should run $ 250 used, the cabs? Well, in LA a guys been trying to sell a Mesa 2x10 for months. It's down to $ 250 now. Solid as a rock with EV's. You could get an Aguilar 1x12 instead of a 15. Aguilar is around $ 300. A used 15 from Eden, Ampeg, SWR etc. shouldn't be more than $ 400.

    This is a versatile rig for all styles and EB or URB.

    My 2 cents.