1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Cool ampeg bass, can't say I have ever seen this style before..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Arnie, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Don't see those everyday. I have no knowledge about them. Only seen a few pictures over the years.
  2. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    '60's Ampeg ASB-1 "Devil Bass" - super bad!
  3. I saw it's cousin, the AEB-1, in person about 20 years ago in Oklahoma. There was a gentleman at work that was retiring, and he told me he had a couple of old bass rigs he was going to get rid of. So I dropped by his house...picked up a Sunn Concert Bass with the 2x15 cab, and a Kustom K250 with the 2x15 cab (in black) but I digress.

    Anyhow, he told me he had a few old basses too. He wasn't going to sell them unfortunately. One was an old Jazz, maybe a '60 or '62. Then he pulls out this funky Ampeg. Alas, he knew what it was worth and wouldn't sell it.
  4. arjune


    Oct 8, 2006
    SF, CA
    The black portion of it seems a little too... phallic.
  5. penguineman


    Feb 11, 2012
    wow that'd be a nice piece to have.
  6. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
  7. I've only seen pics of this particular design, but check out the other Ampeg 'scroll' basses from around that period....they look pretty fine as well. Though someone brought one to a (blues) jam the other week and I was unimpressed with the sound. Looked great though!
  8. Templar

    Templar SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    I think you might be disappointed in how those devil basses actually sound. The "mystery" transducer makes it a total "thud" machine. There's a reason very few were made.

    Looks like the one in that auction has had the body refinned.

    There's a whole thread on them. Search "scroll basses".
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Here's about everything you'd ever want to know about the Ampeg Devil Basses:


    And Part 2 is just getting going:


    And the page from my own web site:


    At the moment, I have five of them here in my shop. Two of them I have in my own personal collection, and three are customers' instruments here for restoration. I was working on one of them this afternoon, scraping the paint off the neck and preparing it for structural repairs.

    Yes, they are strange old basses with a lot of problems in the design and construction. The "mystery" pickup is a mechanical-percussive diaphragm pickup. The bridge is mounted on a drum-like steel diaphragm, and a magnetic coil detects the movement of the diaphragm, not the strings. It creates a unique sound with a heavy pulse on the attack curve. It'll never sound like a normal modern bass. You may love it or hate it.