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Bass rig for 1960's surf sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nuemes, Nov 1, 2017.


  1. nuemes

    nuemes

    Jun 9, 2005
    Seattle
    Surf/garage trio. Passive P-bass. Looking for a bass rig that can cover 1960's surf sound so ideally a tube amp. In order of importance the amp would be able to manage both small clubs (un-mic'd) and studio recording extremely well and ideally be small/lightweight (I know tubes make that one harder).

    So far we've tried a Traynor Bassmaster, Traynor Bassmate, and Dual Showman Reverb. We've been happiest with the Dual Showman Reverb but imagine there may be better options. Thoughts?
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    What's your max budget?
     
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sounds like a job for an Ampeg B15N to me (very likely what was used on the original recordings).
     
    TinyE, ZonieBass, MetsMan75 and 7 others like this.
  4. nuemes

    nuemes

    Jun 9, 2005
    Seattle
    Would like to keep within $1k but open to more if it makes a significant difference.
     
  5. nuemes

    nuemes

    Jun 9, 2005
    Seattle
    Those are great amps for studio but at 25 watts not enough wattage for our live gigs - I know this from a previous band I played in where the bassist used one and was often frustrated by being drowned out by guitar and drums. Excellent tone he had though.
     
    bholder likes this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sure, was thinking that myself, I'm sure someone familiar with more modern options will chime in. Maybe a 100w tube (or at least tube pre) amp would do?
     
  7. I was also going to suggest a white Dual Showman or Bassman, would look very cool, Dick Dale used them as well as the rest of the band (or two or three).


     
    Michael4bass likes this.
  8. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Something modern, robust and efficient simply dressed up in tweed tolex.
     
    TheSeagoats and 10cc like this.
  9. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    If you could find a nice Acoustic amp or an older Peavey.

    1971_Acoustic_360_005.
     
    nbsipics and Michael4bass like this.
  10. 10cc

    10cc

    Oct 28, 2013
    Any one of these. Loud enough and period correct.
    IMG_0235.JPG
     
    Dominic DeCosa, lbbc, bobba66 and 5 others like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Ahh, yeah, love the vinyl tuck & roll. More 70s than 60s, though, no? Still cool though.
     
    EatS1stBassist and lz4005 like this.
  12. 10cc

    10cc

    Oct 28, 2013
    69. Almost too young! Ha!
     
    bholder likes this.
  13. flatwound62p

    flatwound62p

    Apr 24, 2017
    Australia
    If the Dual Showman is a head and it gets you close, I'd be carting that around some shops and trying it with a few different cabs. Fender Neo range for a start.

    Or something older with a JBL K140/D140 etc would likely have the surf sound but definitely not lightweight.
     
    ZonieBass, rodl2005 and 10cc like this.
  14. 10cc

    10cc

    Oct 28, 2013
    I bet a showman with a matching Dually would be great. Or if two 15's are not needed maybe a matching 115 by Barefaced
     
    flatwound62p likes this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The guitarist in the first band I was in had a big Kustom 100w tuck and roll in the sparkle blue. :D
     
    10cc likes this.
  16. pbass2

    pbass2

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Seriously, anything pretty much will do. I've played in very retro authentic 60's style surf bands. I think I used my B100R the most, and it looked good for it too, but whatever I ended up with was fine-- random backline, rehearsal room beaters, etc. But, I always used a P w/flats and both covers on with a foam mute, played with pick or thumb.
     
  17. I had one exactly like this years ago even that same year 67, 85 watts RMS, they're pretty loud especially with two JBL D-130's (even better with D140's) in them which were an upgrade but they are supposed to be stood up with the head connected to those two round knurled knobs on the right side which is really the top of the cab. they also made them in white but they aren't cheap nowadays but this is THE surf amp from the 60's.


    original.

    1967_Fender_Dual_Showman_A11578_001.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
    EatS1stBassist, interp, dbase and 5 others like this.
  18. pbass2

    pbass2

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    One thing about much of the 60's surf stuff--the bass doesn't really jump out. It's just kind of mushed down in the mix on the recordings. As far as live goes, I wasn't around to see it, but I suspect live shows weren't terribly bass-heavy either! In the 60's retro surf bands I played in, we adjusted accordingly to have that sound at our shows--no heavy kick drum or particularly prominent bass at all (which is why my B100r was more than enough amp for that context). We really tried to "sound like the record", and generate that retro vibe.
    On some of the Ventures stuff you can hear the bass pretty clearly, but not so much on many bands of that era.
     
    Anders Barfod and bobyoung53 like this.
  19. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Bingo.
    It's surf music. Built on indistinct, muted bass.
    Literally any amp that will get loud enough and let you roll off highs will sound fine for a gig.
    If it has a tube pre, all the better. For recording, get a B-15 or something else small and all tube.
    If you want a stage prop make something that looks like a Bassman with a 2x15 cab and hide a modern amp inside it.
     
    Charlzm, nbsipics and AztecViking like this.
  20. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    A Dual Showman with a Fender 2x15 would be really great for that sound. It would also be big, heavy and expensive.

    An Aguilar TH500 and a pair of SL112 cabinets would still be expensive, but could get you a similar sound for about 1/3 the size and weight minus the worries and concerns of gigging vintage gear.

    That said, any decent head with a decent 115 cabinet capable of 300W or so could be dialed to give you a sound that will work. It might not be the "baked-in" sound of the rig, but it'll get you there with a bit of tweaking. Surf bass is tyically pretty generic.
     
    rodl2005 likes this.

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