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Bass Amps with Character?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by naufal6161, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. There's so many bass amps in market nowaday
    but what I'm looking for is the one which have the "character"

    what I mean with "character" is, you could recognise what amp is it without see the amp
    maybe we can say it's have dominant coloring of your bass sound

    and, it's not a "transparent" amp which just make the bass sound louder

    I've tried Marshall DBS 7400, Ampegs, SWRs, GKs, Orange AD200B
    and impressed with Marshall, Ampegs, SWRs

    any idea?
  2. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I think the ultimate "character" bass amp has to be the original (ACC) Acoustic 360.
  3. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Per the OP's definition the 360 wasn't it. Could you tell Larry Graham was using one or John Paul Jones? I don't think so. & neither of them sounded like Jaco.:)

    He's looking for available amps.
    I'd counsel him to get his own sound together then find the amp that makes the amplification of this sound easy.
  4. thanks for your opinion :D
    oh, you may mention discontinued amps here, I'm not looking for a brand new ;)
  5. lowend1


    Feb 15, 2005
    Tough call - bass amps are not as identifiable by their mere tone in the same way guitar amps are. There really is no bass equivalent of a '59 Bassman, a JTM45 / Bluesbreaker, a Plexi, a Tweed Deluxe, an AC30 or a Hiwatt DR103. If pressed, and at the risk of sounding biased, I would have to say both the SVT and the B15N. Both really established their own signature tone, but as we all know, most bass is recorded direct - so it seems like more of a live reference.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Easy, look for the amps and cabs that are modeled the most.
    Some of the amp makers, Orange, Ampeg, Fender, GK have "Certified" some of the models, but there are many models that aren't officially certified, and thus different names, but certainly accurate models.

    i.e. Peavey Revalver has "Basic 100" that is a clone of the "Bassman 100"
  7. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    The ones I find easiest to recognise are;
    Trace Elliot Tone (solid state amps)
    SVT tone
    Alembic F1x(Fender showman)
  8. Bassmann1968


    Feb 17, 2009
    Eden WT400
    made every bass sound so nice.
  9. eban3

    eban3 Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    Palm Bay FL
    "character " comes from the player ,maybee a little from the instrument but the amp??? i dont see it , a good amp reproduces what the player lays down on the instrument and many amps do that ...........
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I like Ampegs ;) but I do agree that character comes from you. Having said that, having an amp that makes it really easy to express your character is the bomb!
  11. bassthumpersf


    May 30, 2010
    GK 800RB. Is a great chameleon.
  12. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better.

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Well...there are LOTS of amps with character, the question is:
    "WHICH character appeals to you?"

    lowend1 talked about guitar amps, and that's a good way to make an analogy...

    ...Imagine if Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eddie Van Halen swapped amps? Both of their amps have plenty of character (especially Eddie's original Super Lead) and they both sound TOTALLY different.

    From how you hit the strings to what speakers the sound actually comes out of, the whole system creates that composite sound, and you have to view it in totality to understand what the end result might be.

    My main bass is a 5-string Dingwall. I choose amps and cabs based on the presumption that they're going to be used with THAT bass.
    So, when I plug my old P-Bass into my amp/cab, it isn't always a great fit.

    Seems like manufacturers today are trying to provide amps that can sound like ANYTHING and the technology is such that it's somewhat possible.
    Plus, market conditions make it scary for an amp designer to draw a line in the sand and say "My amp sounds like THIS, love it or hate it"...the marketing team will always push them into a "1 size fits all" design.

    And there goes your "character"...
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Eddie Van Halen let Ted Nugent put on his guitar and try out his rig once...Ted said it sounded just like Ted. So did Eddie. At the time, Ted was using Gibson Byrdlands into Fender Twins, and Eddie was using his original Strat POS into Marshalls and a Variac.
  14. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

    Aug 27, 2012
    Sorry, but today's Modern Amp model is an attempt at a) a "british eq" tonestack w/a 12ax7/ss option, or b) a rehash of a relic. Of course there are modern exceptions, but not so much of a market share...

    Amps do add tone. Let's not confuse a player's recorded tone, with a live tone. The difference between Larry graham, John Paul Jones, and Jaco was their engineer and their recording console.

    An acoustic 360 has one hell of a character. It's a 100hz whoopy cushion in the wrong hands. An Ampeg V4, is not an SVT missing some tubes...sure, you can dial them into similar tones, or we can cut bait.

    I think there was a reason why the Line 6 bass pod had AMP models, if not to add different tonal character, then at least to insult our intelligence...

    How about a Marshall major, and all of its british pretenders (soundcity, hiwatt)...or even lemmy and his super bass...I don't think mark bass or hartke can pull that one off..
    Or even the roland cube. I bet if I took an axe to one of those, there's just one big compressor in there. it has such a bright, but dead character to it.

    The sunn coliseums-the 70s, not the 80s "300" model, with their active crossover/EQ.
    The poopiebox Peavey 400s and Mark iii series...probably the original scoop mids amp..."the mid was at unity when it was dialed all the way"...

    I hear these new cats digging up some of those relics, playing the same GC basses as the kids from the poppunk/emo bands...and their tones are night and day.
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    If I'm understanding the OP correctly, I'd say that Ampeg, Mesa, G-K, Eden, SWR, and Trace Elliot all have a "character" to their sound that's fairly recognizable... The first 4 I mostly like, the last 2 are not my cup of tea...

    - georgestrings
  16. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Do you realize that nearly all of your posts here are shilling for Eden??? Do you work for them, or something???

    - georgestrings
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Yeah, well Ted says alot of things - and Eddie was probably drunk, high, or both - I'm just sayin... To an extent, I agree with the "tone is in the fingers" thing - BUT, there's a huge difference in the above described gear...

    - georgestrings
  18. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

    Aug 27, 2012
    Maybe it's like "first car" syndrome. Some people just get hooked on a brand...like Adidas, or Trader Joe's, or crack...same thing.
    Either that, or corporate shill.
  19. You'll always sound like you, no matter what amp you play through, but different amps might change the way you sound slightly, but then any eq, bass, cab etc would do that

    Larry graham on Jaco's rig would sound like Larry graham on jaco's rig, not like jaco...
  20. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

    Aug 27, 2012
    that's still only half of the equation...

    What if...Larry graham, instead of playing on that acoustic 360, was caught playing on a Gallien Krueger 400rb? Would his tone magickally sound just like it did on that 360?
    If someone went back to Madison Square Garden, during the filming of the Song Remains The Same, and deftly unplugged JPJ from his particular 360, and plugged him into a Hartke 2500...would we not rip the very fabric of time & space to punch that criminal, for changing JPJ's tone?
    Or are you somehow claiming that, no matter what...his tone would remain the very same.

    Am I missing something here?
    I am all about the player makes the tone. We try out an amp, with a subconscious context of "what sounds good", looking for 'our tone'. I get that. But certain amps have their own character, otherwise we would all play THE Amp*

    *not to be taken as an endorsement of AMP, a fine brand, indeed, but one I am personally loathe to own.

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