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Fender studio bass combo.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by penllyn, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    Hello all.
    First posting, hope I don't do anything inappropriate.
    I am hoping for some advice.
    I have been playing bass professionally and more recently semi pro for about 45 years (can't really believe it myself). I have for most of this time used the same bass as I use now, a '74 fender jazz.
    Over the years I have used a fair few different amplifiers, small combos to big rigs and everything in between.
    For the last few years I have settled on an amplifier which I won't be changing, a 70's fender studio bass combo. You could google it, it is basically a 180/200w all valve(tube to my American friends)
    with some fairly versatile eq. It came with a factory fitted electro voice EVM15B.
    I love the sound etc., one huge drawback, HEAVY, one handle on top, what were they thinking?.
    Anyway, given my imminent 60th birthday I thought it was about time I did my back a favour and split it into a separate head and cab.
    I have fairly good woodworking skills (I used to work with my late uncle who was a boatbuilder) so construction is not an issue.
    The obvious choice would be a TL606 cab, I just wondered if anyone might know of something better.
    Thank you in advance for any thoughts.
    ELG60 likes this.
  2. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Rhode Island
    No picture of '74 fender jazz or 70's fender studio bass combo? Highly inappropriate!

    Welcome! Pictures are popular, but just joking.
  3. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    Hello RyanOh,
    Sorry it's a bit late here in sunny Wales (u.k.) just past midnight. I will try to take some photos tomorrow, I might even be able to figure out how to upload them, thanks for replying.
    RyanOh likes this.
  4. Hello!
    I use a SB head conversion into either one or two EV TL606 bins with original EVM 15L & B drivers. Personally, best sounding bass rig I’ve ever heard. Everyone I work with is knocked out by its tone.
    Check out this thread. Lots of good info.
    Fender Studio Bass Club!
    rodl2005 and penllyn like this.
  5. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    Hi Chickenwheels,
    Thanks for the link, I will check it out when I am a bit more awake (it's now way past my bedtime).
    As I said, 45 years of playing , most types of amp you could name, this one is really special, later.
    Chickenwheels likes this.
  6. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    You could test the studio bass into a few stand alone cabinets to see what works best for you then proceed with the cab and head build as needed.
    Chickenwheels and penllyn like this.
  7. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    Hello jbrew73,
    Good idea but I really want to use the original driver to keep the sound as close to how it is now. Where I live it is a good 150 mile trek to a decent gear shop . What I am interested in is if there is an improved cabinet design to the TL606 for an EVM 15B, the cab and head construction is not an issue, I do not want to buy a new cab, thanks for your reply, now I really must go to bed.
  8. (Read this in the morning...)
    Build a TL606, they’re designed for EVM 15 speakers, but use 1/2ply and internal bracing so it’s not so heavy. Also, an expert woodworker could improve on the original plans as far as construction goes.
    Search TB for EV TL15, TL606 threads. Heaps and heaps of good info. Helped me a lot.
    penllyn likes this.
  9. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Could you just put some casters and handles on it?
    penllyn and Joedog like this.
  10. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    does not make it any lighter
    cchorney and bassfran like this.
  11. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    Here is a link to John K's web site detailing his conversion.

    Fender Studio Bass
  12. Yes. John K did a beautiful conversion. He used a vintage JBL in his cab. These are very different to EVM 15 speakers.
    John K is an awesome source of valuable information, a lot of it is in the Studio Bass Club thread.
    penllyn and jnewmark like this.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I've had a Studio Bass "head" for several years. I have it's original speaker and a second one just like the original in two separate TL606 cabs. I also have an old Peavey 215 cabinet that is heavily modified, with an Eminance 1508b in the bottom section and a cheap Sisemic Audio coaxial 15 with a horn in the top section. It sounds fantastic. The two TL606 cabs also sound pretty good, but not as good as the 215 cab. My Studio Bass head has been played into a 4 ohm load for most of its life with no apparent harm that I can tell.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    penllyn and Chickenwheels like this.
  14. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    welcome fellow Studio Bass user. There are several of us here on TB.

    I have one myself, which had been converted to a just a head, before I bought it, using a Mojotone headcase. perfect fit.
    I mostly use mine with an 2x15 LDS cab (2 Faital 15PR400 drivers in a multiport tunable box) that Don built for me specifically for the Studio Bass. These drivers are very paper cone JBL D140-ish with better power handling characteristics.
    I have also been known to run the Studio Bass with a Bergantino NV610 .. which is a thunderous combination.

    Here's mine (with a 1984 MIJ '51 P reissue)
    51 P 2.

    One thing about the combo is that its a quite top heavy design, prone to tipping over. Many of the heads I have seen over the years (including mine) pretty clearly suffered face plant type tip-over falls that knocked the front switches around quite a bit. So, what ever way you go with the separate cab approach, make sure the cab dimensions are wide/deep enough to address this issue with the original combo.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    MVE, mikewalker, penllyn and 2 others like this.
  15. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Why would you not simply replicate the current cab design if you are happy with it? Pick out lighter weight ply and improve bracing by all means, but same volume and porting.
    Haroldo and Chickenwheels like this.
  16. Yes, having never heard the original combo I’ve wondered about this. I’d have thought a TL606 would be an improvement, but who knows?
    Incidentally, the newest bassman bins are all a perfect width to go under a SB. I’ve heard they sound amazing and are lightweight. A good option.
    Haroldo likes this.
  17. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I won't speak for the OP on this topic, but just for reference, I had used a Studio Bass combo before I found the modded head only amp version that I own now, so I knew I liked the amp section very much.

    So, IMO/IME, the EV 15 in the original combo sounds pretty good .. full but also tight bass, but perhaps a little high-mid forward, which is a known characteristic of the original EV 15's that were used by Fender in the combo.

    The Studio Bass amp itself has a lot of tonal options and to be able to use it with a variety of cabs makes for a more flexible amp than the combo. Also, you can get more usable volume out of the amp if you can use it with a multi-driver cab (like the NV610) vs just the 1x15 from the original.

    There is also the fairly heavy and kind of awkward/unbalanced/top-heavy format of the original Studio Bass combo. Perfectly ok if it just sits in one place (like a studio), but poses some challenges if you want to move it around an gig it very much. Another amp that had similar problems (again, just IMO/IME) is the Mesa Buster 1x15 combo which is pretty similar to the Studio Bass in several ways (both good and bad).
    mikewalker likes this.
  18. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Latvia, Riga
    Not a very popular amp, you use. I have never tried one, though you have found a something special in it and feel pleased - that is absolutely good. Good luck in future.
  19. I'm 65 and had the same problem. My rig for 35 years was 2 TL606s and a TL505(18), all original EV loaded. I powered them with Peavey Bass 400 heads, Gen 1, Mark III, Mark IV. Not tube (valve) but still heavy. Best sounding rig I ever played.
    You are not not going to gain enough by spitting your rig to make it worth the work. TL cabs, EVMs, and tubes are all heavy no matter how you split them up.
    10 years ago I decided if I wanted to continue to play I would have to radically change my rig to be much lighter. I went to a class D head with a power section driver tube, and Neodymium speakers. It doesn't sound "the same" but it sounds great and I couldn't be happier.
    Everybody has an opinion about sound and I speak from many years of personal experience. You have to make a decision on how important your back is in your old age. The light stuff sounds great and if you don't sit down and A-B one against the other and get sentimental about it, I'm sure you'll be able to find a rig that will make you and your back happy.
    mikewalker and jnewmark like this.
  20. penllyn


    Jan 10, 2019
    I used a peavey Mark 111 for years, would still be using it now had it not gone on fire (long story)

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