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Dumble equivalent in the Bass amplification world ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pfschim, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    This is just idle curiosity mostly.

    I was talking with my guitar player this weekend. He works in the music trade press and is a pretty well informed, and sane kind of guy. For no reason in particular we ended up talking about Dumble guitar amps. I was astounded to hear that some of these amps go for $40-50k (!#@^!). I asked him what could possibly justify such outlandish prices and while he focused in on the unique tone qualities, unique circuitry, limited numbers and the fact they are totally hand built amps, plus some sort of mysterious Dumble "mojo", but I still could not get my head around the price.

    So, in any event, this made me wonder if there was any equivalent in the Bass amplification universe. I know of the SA200 and Koch amps, and I have heard of a few other boutique hand built bass amps out there, but heck, you can buy an SA200 for $3k or less (there are 2 in the classifieds right now).

    Anyone have any views on this ?
  2. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Boutique builders earn their rep through word of mouth, high profile users, and to some extent, luck.

    There are number of high end tube amps that have been discussed at length on TB...the boutique guys tend to make that type of amp. Look at Divided by 13, Reeves, Meat Smoke, etc.

    I'm stoked because a very high-end builder friend of mine is making me a one-off 130W tube amp (4 KT77s) with, oddly enough, a Dumble transformer. He's been working on it on & off for years but my recent conversations with him lead me to believe he's in the home stretch. :hyper:
  3. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I understand all you said, but none of these makers are charging $30-50k for their amps. Hopefully, that's not what you are expecting to pay for your hand built high-end amp :cool:

    I can see $3-5k for an exceptionally well spec'd, hand built, point-to-point hand wired amp with unique aesthetics, but I can't understand $40k.
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You could if that was only one night's pay. :eek:
    As for the Dumble equivalent for bass, it's a Dumble.
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If he was going to sell this amp, he'd probably charge 3 or 4K for it. He makes high end audiophole stuff and people pay a small fortune for that.

    He knows I'm broke, so I don't think it will cost me at all. :cool: He's a friend.

    He's also interested in developing a tube combo amp, so if that should come to pass I'll be back here with the details. ;)

    I think the most expensive bass amp is the Phil Jones thing for 10K.
  6. cripula


    Dec 20, 2006
    Can you still get a new Dumble?

    A guitar player friend of mine had one, he never really grokked with it, and sold it back around '92 or so. IIRC he got 4 or 5 grand for it...

    ... yes, he still kicks himself.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Is his last name Serio, by chance? :D
  8. koobie


    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    I think that bass players are less likely to ascribe nearly magical qualities to their rigs compared to some guitar players. I've seen original Dumble price lists from the eighties and his amps were in the $2k to $4k range, pretty expensive for the day, but nothing like the prices asked for them today. Current Dumble amp prices are dictated by rarity/collectibility. There are other guitar amp makers such as Two Rock, Caroll Ann and Bludo that design & build amps with similar voicings that are available new for $3k to $5k.
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Yes, though you could get a new Dr. Bass cab in a tenth the time. ;)
    Dumble doesn't make more than one amp a month, and it helps to have a Grammy to get on the waiting list.
  10. richnota


    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    Ultra high end for bass?

    The lovely Sadowsky SA200 was built to be one (originally intended for Japanese enthusiast market). The insane Jonas Hellborg audiophile gear for Warwick? A full-up Demeter rig with Demeter cabinets? Bergie self-powered gear with a flawless tube preamp?

    Thank heaven they're still a fraction of the cost of handbuilt guitar amps.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'll suffer along with my 73 super reverb. and my 62 airline 15watter ;)
  12. No amp is worth 50 grand, especially not one built by this yahoo:

  13. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    Apparently you can buy some killer drugs with fifty large.
    aborgman likes this.
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    over the years, i've played thru five different dumble amps and didn't care for any of them, so i'm glad that there aren't any Dumble bass amps (although i'd have to think that he maybe made one or two). to me, they fall into the 'prima-donna with a big ego' amp builder's category, and are/were WAY overpriced, since there is no 'magic fairy dust' to be found in any of them. but hey, if he felt that his time to build an amp that cost 5X as much as anyone else's, and could convince people that had money to burn to pay him for it, more power to him. it didn't matter how much they cost to me, i just disliked the amp's tone, whether it was inexpensive or pricey.
    Iristone and Fab Superlative like this.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    you think dumble's on drugs? check out him jamming with henry kaiser:

  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I watched that earlier...Really embarrassing, given that he's not playing poorly, but man that other dude...
  17. If you think Dumbles are expensive, ask your friend about Trainwrecks!
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ken fischer of trainwreck used to work at ampeg, so he was allowed to charge outrageous coin ;)
    Marial likes this.
  19. The thing is, neither Dumbles nor Trainwrecks were anywhere near that expensive originally. (OK, Dumbles were pretty pricey once he figured out that a lot of Doctors and Lawyers wanted his amps... but they didn't start out that way...) What you have in both cases is a perfect storm of a product that was made in low volume by a craftsman with "golden ears" who made something quite a bit different than what everyone else was making. These makers got a reputation for making something special and bingo, the market made them worth what they're worth.
  20. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    thanks for all the replies. I suppose I get the concept of millionaire rock stars and "right place, right time". Still, stupidly large $$ for any amplifier.

    so, BFM, does Dumble make a bass amp ? I looked at the web site and did not see any such animal, but maybe I missed something.

    As I said at the top of the post, just curiosity.
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