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Coming from a guitar player: What's the Deluxe Reverb of Bass Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by davis3, May 23, 2011.

  1. davis3


    May 23, 2011
    I want the Deluxe Reverb of bass amps. I play guitar and I am starting to play some more bass... I just want a decent bass amp that sounds classic you know? BUT I dont need to blow walls down. I just want something for some basic stuff.
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The deluxe reverb of bass amps in terms of tone would likely be the Ampeg SVT but if you don't want to blow walls down, you don't need one.

    That's why you get the B-15 fliptop. The quintessential bass tone but at studio volume.
  3. Bass amps have progressed in time, unlike guitar amps. I would get a Genz Benz Shuttle amp with either their 1x12 shuttle cab or for a bit more presence and volume, their 2x12 Uber Bass cabinet.

    Or you could go the classic Ampeg route as noted by will33
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    In a classic sense, it would be the Ampeg B15, from the '60s, primarily. But as mentioned above, unlike guitar amps (for a good reason :cool:) bass amps have gotten much better in terms of what bassists need these days.
  5. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Fender Bassman
  6. That is an excellent question (although technically not posed as a ?). ;)

    As you can see, there will be many different interpretations of this description. To me, it means something that's relatively compact, mid priced, but can handle a wide frequency range as well as adequate volume. I'd probably say one of the newer G-K combos, but there are so many options available.
  7. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    I beg to differ. Guitar amps come in all shapes and sizes and many have lots of cool features that bass amps don't, but could (should?) have. I.e., Digital preamps with effects couple to tube power amps. Just visit any large online music store and look at the guitar amps section. 315 heads and 547 combo amps at MF alone.
  8. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    A real DR is inspiring when you play through it, they're simply wonderful amps, I've got a '76 (last of the non masters).
    I'd go with the Ampeg B15N as the bass amp equivalent. I'd put a Bassman head in 2nd place. Since you appreciate the DR, I think you'd like both the B15N and Bassman heads. You could plug a Bassman head into a wide variety of good quality cabinets and get great tone.
    Since you're a 'Fender guy', try a 50w Blackface Bassman head, and maybe a good 1x12 cabinet? You could get twice the use out of the Bassman since they sound great for guitar too.
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Not sure if it's the answer to your question, but I am confident it'll do what you want: Mesa Walkabout combo.
  10. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Here is the list, not in any specific order =

    Sunn 2000S
    Sunn Model T 1st generation
    Sunn Coliseum
    Acoustic 370
    Fender Bassman 100
    Fender Bassman 135
    Ampeg SVT
    Ampeg V4B
  11. pgk


    Aug 19, 2007
    blackfacce dual showman
  12. I have to agree with you, both instruments are different and players of these instruments have different requirements - guitarists generally play with high-gain tube overdrive and use lots of effects, so a tube amp with built-in effects is useful to them. This way they don't have to buy extra pedals, and they still get that awesome tube crunch.

    A bassist however usually plays clean, without very many if any effects, and a tube bass amp will weigh significantly more (to my experience) than an all-tube guitar amp of a similar volume - so a bassist would be more pleased if he/she found an amp that can produce a wide range of tones in a relatively lightweight package that doesn't cost too much. Enter the class D power amp, the refinement of solid-state electronics, neodymium drivers, etc... Of course, I know that many bassists still prefer the sound of a tube amp.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Nowdays there's all kinds of gear in all different sizes that sounds good, doesn't have to old, heavy or even have tube power. Before ampeg, sunn, acoustic etc. started making big rigs that guitars maybe didn't sound too good through there really wasn't much out there for the bass player. The original fender bassman and marshall stacks were intended to be bass rigs but guitarists got ahold of them and well, you know the rest of the story. It's taken speaker technology quite a while to catch up too but bassists now have more good sounding choices than ever.
  14. lowend1


    Feb 15, 2005
    If you're talking small amps with classic tone, then it's the B15N (or for less money, the B100R). If you're including large amps as well, then add the SVT rig. In my mind these are the only two bass amps that defined a bass amp sound (like Marshall or Vox did for guitar).
  15. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    big +1.

    The WA isn't cheap by any means, but the OP definitely owes himself a test drive with this little tube monster.
  16. bassplayerken


    Jul 18, 2010
    Jessup, MD
    I would definately go against a digital preamp into a tube power amp. If you do, you will get all the negative benefits of both tube and solid state. You aren't getting the tubey preamp sound that you want, yet will still have to replace tubes every 6 months. It is much cheaper to do the exact opposite, or just stick with a solid state amp.
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Wow, all over the map here boys.
    IMO - black face Deluxe is the one to have if you only get one amp.
    Super reliable, not stupid loud but able to play small clubs with ease.
    Very nice touch sensitivity and a very musical tone, although not super adjustable.
    Changing to a Celestion does make the amp more Marshall like; adding a 4x12 cabinet makes it much louder.
    Very appealing to a wide group of players over many genres.

    Based on the above, my first inclination is B-15 although not enough power with out PA support to compete with a Deluxe. WA is my choice although there are a pile of combos that could fit the bill. If you want to play both guitar and bass through one amp, the 100 watt tube Bassman could be just right.

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