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Difference between an amp and a 'pro' amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ggaa, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Ggaa


    Nov 26, 2018
    What are characteristics of a pro bass amp? Is it features/power/marketing/reliability/quality of build/that guy has one? My Rumble has some good features and works great but is definitely mass produced.
    If the thread already exists, sorry, I'm still pre coffee.
    BOOG and EatS1stBassist like this.
  2. I don’t think there’s a difference. With that being said, most “pro” bands use high watt heads (500 or more), and some really really big bands use vintage tube amps, but I’ve seen plenty of bands use common amps that lots of people own. GK RB series, ampeg SVT, orange Terror, all Mesa amps are just a few that come to mind.
  3. If you’re performing, getting paid, working with a contract then your amp is a pro amp.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it almost always has to do with the cat standing in front of it.

    the player is the determining factor --- if she/he is a pro: the amp she/he chooses is a professional's choice.

    could be any amp/combo. "mass production" has nothing to do with it. some pros 'hot dog' their own rig. some pros play 'as is'. same as everyone else! ;)
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    IMHO nothing is more "pro" than using the provided backline and/or IEM's. It shows respect to the sound guy and the audience in my opinion. A true pro shows up with their bass, plugs into whatever, and gets a great tone.

    Showing up with a big amp stack is kind of "un-pro" these days, is my observation.

    (I would make an exception for rock genres where big amps are part of the showmanship.)
    droo46, wizard65, Ed Byrnes and 19 others like this.
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    A tech can usually do things to make an amp more road worthy. This starts with a road case and a transport truck with a suspension suitable for the job. The amp itself can be road hardened with the proper application of goop. Maintenance on the road is important. Basic diagnostic tools, a tool kit, and someone qualified to use it on the equipment helps.
    Roger W, BOOG, Ggaa and 2 others like this.
  7. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    We're all different . I've seen some great players somehow sound all right with crappy amps , but I was wishing they paid more attention to their sound .
    And some guys get a little nutty searching for that elusive tone .
    I use modern gear and am still looking for an old school thump . I get it . But some might think I'm not getting the most from what I have . I can live with that .
    Ggaa likes this.
  8. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
  9. ClusterFlux

    ClusterFlux Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    It's a "pro amp" when you hire a roadie to transport it, and a tech to set it up for you. :D

    Pro musicians use pretty much the same amps as amateurs. Or, these days, a lot of people are going ampless.
    Ed Byrnes, westrock, Basslice and 2 others like this.
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    To me, "Pro Amp" means the amp head and cabinets are 100% functioning and don't let you down at shows. Also, something that does hum incessantly, crackle, or sound like garbage every time you plug in.
    dougjwray, DirtDog, Milo's and 9 others like this.
  11. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I’ve been a “pro” (meaning I get paid to play) for over 50 years. One of my favorite answers when asked what amp I like to use is “the one that’s already there”. The skill is being able to get what you want to hear out of “what’s there”, which of course can range widely. In my mind, any gear that’s making you money is “pro gear”.
    dougjwray, FLAT EARTH, Ellery and 8 others like this.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    bass amp


    Pro amp

    rholler, Pdaddy1978 and Ggaa like this.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Pro amps are just normal amps that sit inside flight cases.
    droo46, rholler, kjp360 and 6 others like this.
  14. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I think reliability is more important than tone. Even if you could say Brand X is more reliable than a Rumble, carrying a backup amp makes you look more professional than switching to another brand.

    A detail about the Rumble: the line out is post-master. So just knowing that, and carrying a DI box just in case your sound person wants that, makes you look more professional.
  15. Bonafide

    Bonafide 'RG' Rodney Gene Junior Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist: Band In A Box, Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone, Carr Amps
    There certainly is a difference. Professional environments (Stage or studio) require a basic fundamental or ability to produce/reproduce specific frequencies cleanly and or accurately. Often with enough headroom to manage the room size or recording format. 'Professional' is not referring to dollars required, but it does have a standard of performance that must be met for the situation. Just because a players ability is 'professional' does not make the gear professional by default. The 'range, choices and applications' of said gear are extensive today.
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Pro amps get kept a lot longer, because their owners typically have less money, but they bought stuff that doesn't break or go out of style. Often, when I see gear on stage, you can guess when the owner started gigging, from how old their gear is.
  17. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    I worked at a music store for seven years, and I noticed how the manufacturers market different lines to different users. We sold Peavey power amps to DJs, churches, and bands, and, when I went to the Peavey factory in Meridian, they showed us their line of "pro" power amps that were for touring and commercial installation.

    Some product lines are designed and priced for beginner, basement, or weekend warrior players. Some are marketed and priced for pros.

    Depending on the market and area where a music store resides, the number of pro-level players who walk through the doors will vary, and thus the types and amounts of product will usually match the clientele. So ask yourself: do I live in an area where there is an unusual amount of pros? I am thinking maybe places like Nashville, NYC, LA, Chicago perhaps.

    So while cheaper and more mass marketed items don't always mean the amp isn't a pro amp, you are probably less likely to see it used by pros who can afford to spend more on their tools. It is kind of like Harbor Freight: it is a great place to buy tools for someone who doesn't making a living at using tools.

    The Rumble seems to be the kind of amp that music stores stock a lot of which means that they are probably meant for non-pro level players. I frequent a music store where a pro shops. He buys lots of nice amps, uses them for six to nine months, and then sells them to the store. Then I buy them for half the price gently used. Sometimes I have seen him using the amps I currently own on TV performances.
    Jazzdogg, mexicant, Erik Asma and 3 others like this.
  18. In a way I think it is a marketing gimmick. There were plenty of powerful 300 watt all tubes heads made by Ampeg and Sunn (now Fender) long before those 2 companies started using the PRO moniker. Cheers.
    Ggaa likes this.
  19. I don't think there's any such thing. There's good gear and there's crummy gear and there's gear everywhere in-between, and somewhere in the mix is marketing hype.

    What you choose if you're a pro has to do with what you want to sound like and what you can afford. I've seen all sorts of stuff on stages. It mostly comes down to budget and the personal taste of the player, or whatever the sound company has, depending on the situation.
    JRA, QweziRider, mikewalker and 2 others like this.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I always thought Greg Dulli is Pro Amp and Amy Ray maybe a little anti amp.
    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQhAN3j0oOlAzA1O2MWFhKA8ArIpzzatS47nw&usqp=CAU.jpg images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcS9NI8w2MWig8hLa-wXg1ySY53zgNmqiEtpTA&usqp=CAU.jpg
    mikewalker and Ggaa like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 3, 2020

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