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Best Amp Head for Mowtown?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Basstreble, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Basstreble


    Dec 28, 2012
    I'm really trying to get that Jamerson/ Babbitt tone on my bass. I'm using a Fender 62' P bass just like theirs (kind of.) I'm also running whatever head into an old GENZ BENZ enclosure 500W cab. So what amp head do you recommend getting for under $2,000. Thankyou.
  2. short answer: Ampeg.
  3. Waynebass


    Nov 21, 2011
    Aguilar db751 cant go wrong
  4. Basstreble


    Dec 28, 2012
    Any specific Ampeg you have in mind?
  5. depends on the size of the gig you're playing. For $2K you can get pretty much what you want out of their wares.

    For all tubes you can't beat the classic SVT. Hybrids you have a lot to choose from like the PF series. Also the Ampeg Pro7 gets a lot of raves. I happen to like the 100 watts (all tube) V4B myself. If you're recording then I'd be looking at a vintage B-12/B-15.

    Edit: keep in mind both Babbitt and Jamerson went pretty much directly into the board when recording. And also the vast majority of their sound is talent, touch, and taste :cool:
  6. Precision Bass, '69-'71 blueline SVT /w 6146B's, Ampeg 8x10 /w 30W CTS Alnicos.

    ...and watch your band go nuts. :D
  7. Ampeg B15. It's what Jamerson used 99% of the time.
  8. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I would go with an ampeg pf500 or svt 7 pro. I can get great motown sounds from my pro 7. If you can handle the weight and dont mind spending $1500 to $2000 on a head i would get an all tube svt classic or vr.
  9. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Or an old Kustom "Tuck 'n' Roll" amp- that's what Jamerson used for big live shows. The only Ampeg he had were B-15s. BTW, the Kustom was all solid state too.

    It's really about the player, the EQ settings you choose, and having a simple old-style cabinet. I assume of course you've got the P with flats already too.

  10. Tuned


    Dec 6, 2007
    Gotta have at least the preamp of an SVT, like my SVP-CL. The rest is a matter of how much weight you can tolerate, I settled on medium weight and good power with an IPR 1600 and SWR GIII 4x10. For $2k you could get an SVT head, but then you have to carry it around. You could also get a V4B that needs work cheap, and upgrade it to 130W with 6550's. It'll sound very much like an SVT but you can work it harder for better tone and never blow your cab, probably wind up being half the cost of an SVT too.
  11. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Toro. Or maybe Briggs and Stratton.

    Oh, Motown. I thought we were talking gardening...never mind
  12. M. Owen Santy

    M. Owen Santy Banned

    Aug 10, 2011
    Springfield, MA
    Michael Tobias Designs Kingston Series & Traynor Amps Artist

    Ashdown ABM series is a good bet also.
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Mowers ahead? In Texas, for Mowtown it's John Deere. :D :D :D
  14. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Put some sponge or foam under the strings at the bridge, then use whatever amp you want. Ampeg is always good, Genz Benz Streamliner does a good tube impersonation, and so does the Mesa M-Pulse series heads (600, 360, Walkabout). Just specify the wattage you need, and you'll find an amp that'll make you happy.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Jamerson once said that people ask him what he used and he told them, but they were missing the point. I'll let you all figure out what the point is on your own...

  16. Blue


    Jun 19, 2004
    Central NC
    ... never change your strings.
  17. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Is it that, it doesn't matter the equipment you use? It matters what comes out of your fingers, heart and mind?

    Like it doesn't matter you use Ampeg, Jimmy? :bag:
  18. His hands? :)
  19. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Honestly, all of the old Motown stuff was recorded to tape via a custom tube DI system, some kind of Fairchild limiter, and a custom mixing console. So nothing on the market today can claim to be "authentic" in yielding those recorded sounds. Everything that claims to is just subjective opinion.

    In my (admittedly limited) experience, I think you can make just about any amp with a "tubey" preamp and a nice EQ sound darn close to the Motown recordings. Especially if you feed it a Pbass with flats.

    For example, I can get a great old-school thump with my budget Carvin BX500 and a single GK 115 cab if I dial it in. I didn't buy that rig to get that sound, but it's in there.

    Also, I found that little technique details are also crucial to keep the sound you're after. For instance, I clip my RH fingernails extra close to avoid any hard finger-style attack, especially if I'm going to be playing any old-school R&B or walking jazz style stuff. (And if I have to switch genres in the same performance, then I'll resort to popping and plucking for attack...)
  20. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters

    Ampeg B15 NOT used 99% of the time.

    It was THIS.