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Bass Player needs Guitar Amp advice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hollow Dog, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. I have a few questions that I think this community can help me with. I am a recent member to this site and have only posted a few times, but I read threads everyday and this is my new favorite site.

    One of the guitar players in my band wants a new guitar amp, but doesn't know what to get. Being the resident gearhead in the band, he asked me for advice, but I haven't played electric guitar in about 20 years, so I know nothing about guitar amps.

    I have tried to find a decent guitar forum to ask for advice, but have not yet located anything where the comments are as articulate and well thought out as the posts on talkbass.

    Can anyone suggest a decent guitar forum where I might ask questions?

    Allow me to give quick rundown of what we have in mind, because surely many of you have experience with different guitar amps.

    The band consists of 2 guitars, keyboards, harmonica, a drummer and bass (me). We are 'experienced' (which is code for old guys that love to play music) and are tired of carrying around heavy equipment. We play mostly original music which is rock, blues, reggae, funk, motown, Dead and latin influenced. We all have day jobs and are strictly weekend warriors.

    The guitar player in question plays mostly rhythm parts, but he is very tasty, ala Bob Weir. He is currently playing through a 60 watt Fender Deville 4 x 10. That amp is too loud to turn up enough to get a good tube crunch, and the tone is sterile, both live and recorded.

    We are looking for a tube amp, something like a single 12" in the 20-40 watt range, that has enough low end to compensate for the fact that he plays a Tele. We are fairly loud because of all the instruments, and the drummer bangs hard.

    His price range is negotiable (one of the benefits of being older is also being able to afford better hobby gear), but he won't buy an expensive boutique amp. Used or new is no object, ebay and craigslist are viable sources, as well as mail order retail and the local shops.

    Any ideas?
  2. o.rion.5


    Oct 17, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    You could direct him to a Carvin V3. They make a 212 combo and a head. 3 channels, boost, 2 effect loops, all tube, 50/100 watt switch, master volume control.


  3. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Fender Deluxe Reverb.
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Any of the modern Fender tube combos. Unless you're in a really loud band, the best sounding and all around best of them IMO is the "Blues Junior". 15 tube Watts is easily enough for clubs and parties for guitar, and it allows you to get some grunge from the main power tubes instead of just from the preamp tubes - the latter sounds distinctly better IMO.

    Best amp I've ever heard for guitar. My '67 blackface Bassman sounds better but only sounds good at ear splitting unusuable volumes.

    My brother Peter used to gig with my band GUM with a Blues Junior, we were a medium volume band (distinctly not quiet) and the Blues Junior never had any trouble keeping up.
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I've always liked the Vox AC30.

    (In fact, the AC30 emulation is pretty much all I use on my guitar POD.)
  7. I own this one - Gibson GA15RV 1x12 celestion vintage 30, reverb, class A, switchable from pentode to triode mode with a toggle switch, - This amp sounds so good it brought tears to my eyes. Make sure you get one with the better tube sockets.


    Another possibility would be if you can find a good used boogie studio .22 (when they are good they are great, when they are bad they stink and the bad ones tend to be thin and harsh) or better yet for the low end - a boogie .50 caliber

  8. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    One of the Vox Valvetronix or a Marshall DSL/TSL, and if money is no problem a Bad Cat Hot Cat R!!

    The Vox is quite affordable and has usable multi effects built in. All three of these amps are a piece of cake to use and most importantly, sound fantastic with a wide range of organic tones.
  9. Perhaps a Carvin Vintage 33 (no longer made) or a Nomad.

    Some people like the Peavey Classic 30.

    An amp that recently impressed me more than I expected it to was the Crate (yes, Crate) Palomino V32 (and its sibling the V16). I believe Musician's Fiend (and therefore by extension Guitar center) has these. Never been a big Crate fan, but these were fun.

    If you can find a deal on a used Dr. Z or Marchless (dunno how likely that is), that could be a great choice.

    If you come across a used Reverend Kingsnake or Hellhound (these are also no longer made), I've heard great things about those.

    Ain't nothing wrong with a good Fender Deluxe either, especially with a good speaker.

    Whatever you get, be sure to give it good tubes (not necessarily NOS unless you want to spend the bucks--well-chosen current production tubes can often improve over the stock items the manufacturer supplies). Also, I've found that good speakers can noticeably improve the sound of an amp if you pick the right one. This doesn't always happen, but sometimes swapping speakers can turn a good amp into a real gem, or a merely OK amp into a quite decent one. www.webervst.com is a good source for speaker-related stuff.
  10. Thanks for all these suggestions. I was a little worried that I would get flamed for asking about guitar amps on a bass site.

    I will pass these suggestions on at practice tonight and we can start shopping around.
  11. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Looking through some of the suggestions I just thought I'd mention that one of my favorite choices is very expensive, but that in itself doesn't sell me and I've found several boutique amps with great reputations that I didn't like other than for one specific type of sound and many are very much a pain in the *** to get accustomed to.
    Make sure your guitarist checks the amp out himself and never let someone else choose your girlfriend or your amp!:ninja:
  12. Although I personally don't like them, a lot of people really dig the modelling amps. Stuff like the Vox Valvetronix and the Fender "Cyber" series amps. Since my back gave out around 10 years ago, I've wanted to cut down on the weight of gear, but nothing sounds like a 4x12.
  13. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I never liked the idea of them but have tried many over the years and never liked one until I tried out the Vox Valvetronix amps.

    The only other two amps that I really could imagine using professionaly are the all tube Marshalls, my favorite being the DSL 401, and the Bad Cat Hot Cat R.

    The Hot Cat R has an incredibly huge tone, even from the 112 and any serious guitarist needs to at least check these amps out.

    Now back to the 4x12 issue, yeah definitely!! :bassist:

    But Hot Cat R (I don't know what they did but the original Hot Cat doesn't have the same huge sound) is as close as I've ever heard a combo come to being capable of replacing a stack.
  14. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Ever try a Peavey Classic 30? Probably my small amp of choice in the power range, can get bluesy, blues-rocky, etc. Don't let the Peavey logo fool you, it's a very nice amp.
  15. How would the Fender Blues Jr. compare to the Peavey Classic 30? I'm also looking at a similar amp for home practice... I want some tubey goodness but I'm by no means a real guitarist.
  16. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Tell him to get a Rivera Thirty-Twelve.

    It's perfect for what you are describing.

    Anything else you find wont get any better, only different. Or louder.

    IME, IMHO, etc., etc.

    (Yes, in fact, I DO own one!)


  17. Peavey Classic 30.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is a 112 with 40 watts. Bitchen. My brother plays one in our band.

    Now, I have the Blues Junior Tweed Limited Edition (limited to those who want to pay the extra coin). I love it. At 15 watts with the Jensen 12" speaker, it's still plenty loud for me, plus you can drive it hard and still have eardrums left at the end of the day.
  19. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Just to add to the confusion, the Traynor Custom Valve series of amps should not be overlooked. I've tried and really liked these amps. They're kind of Fendery clean, and Marshally dirty. :)
  20. Thanks for more tips. My guitar player brought an old Carvin 15 watt amp with a 12" to practice the past few times. It is plenty loud enough as a stage monitor. He is seriously contemplating getting a newer carvin, or a Fender Blues Junior.

    Now if we can just get the keyboard player to leave the Hammond at home.

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