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Forgive me if this has been discussed before.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rev J, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Do you prefer an amp to have a transparent sound or a definitive tone?

    For example a lot of modern manufacturers like Aguilar for example Tonal Transparency as a selling point. Others like Ampeg and Alembic essentially use Fender Showman Circuits which are renowned for their midrange response.

    So which do you prefer?

    Rev J
    Munjibunga and TonyP- like this.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Ampeg circuits are nothing at all like any Fender circuits. Not even close. Fender circuits only boost treble and bass and only cut midrange. Ampeg circuits boost and cut all freq ranges.
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Aguilar's most popular current offerings have a very strong voicing that is far from transparent. Very cool products, just not transparent. Few amps actually are for the record.
    pcake, chiplexic, JakeyBran and 5 others like this.
  4. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    I'm like the flavor of my Orange, it's tasty.
  5. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Forgive my ignorance. I just remember reading a few years ago that the initial SVTs were based on the Fender circuit that favored a Bell Shaped frequency response. It also seems like the advertising and player endorsements describe the sound of Aguilar as being "Transparent". I was just using those as examples. Lately I've been more and more lately I've been attracted to what I can only describe as a "Clear" sound like Tony Grey, or Janek Gwizala. With a little bit of vintage effects thrown in.

    Rev J
  6. My first choice is to have an amp that is as versitile as it can be.
    Others may want one that does one thing really well
    and that's OK, too.
    It just seems limiting to me.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I definitely like amps with their own voice. Many modern "transparent" amps sound "sterile" to me.

    My current favorite is the Mesa Walkabout. Warm and round but a very versatile EQ section. It is affected by the tube preamp for sure.
  8. My Carvin is said to be transparent or hifi whatever that all means. What I guess that means with all the controls flat I get no boost and cut anywhere and hear the true tone of my instrument. I guess you could describe it as sterile. I like that. Then I can boost or cut any eq to shape my sound anyway. But I also like the baked in sound of ampegs and fenders and so on. I can find a use for an amp in either direction. I come from a time when I was happy to just be able to afford an amp and bought the loudest, least expensive amp I could get my hands on and made it work. And we liked it!
    smogg, 1954bassman and Rev J like this.
  9. NWF Bassist

    NWF Bassist

    Aug 1, 2004
    What kind of carvin?
  10. Mb15 combo.
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I like a transparent amp with lots of EQ. I can then use the bass and/or the cabs and/or EQ and/or pedals to get my sound.
    1stnamebassist likes this.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I prefer transparent, mainly because I play DB as well as BG and I want the amplified DB sound as close as possible to unamplified...just louder. My experience has been that if an amp sounds good for DB it will sound good for BG as well.

    I don't know if you have ever been in a recording studio, but the first time I was in one I was handed a DI box by the engineer and did not use an amp at all. When I listened to the bass track played back in the control room it sounded better than any amp I have tried before or since. That sound is what I have been chasing after.
    Invictus and PimasterPearson like this.
  13. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    My P> Tone Hammer > B3K > FOH do it for me, I dont know if sounds modern , vintage or something else but people can hear me and feel me, my wife says my bass sounds "full", whatever that means :)
    +6dB Dan and TonyP- like this.
  14. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    Love this thing as well... haven't pulled the trigger on a Subway yet because I see no reason to with the Walkabout.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I prefer transparency with my entire rig, not just my amp.
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I like my amp to be as close to plug and play as possible
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Another vote for Orange my AD200B simply amplifies the sound of my bass without any other additives or fillers.
  18. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Me, too. And that means an amp with a native voice that I enjoy.
    Sartori likes this.
  19. I don't do the cover band / jukebox band thing, so versatility isn't that valuable to me right now. Most of what I play is in church and in an originals band, where I get to occupy a decent amount of sonic space, so I like having a rig with its own "character." I play a passive Fender PJ --> Tone Hammer 500 --> TC Helicon RS210. I'm not good at articulating sounds in words, but to my ears it has a fair amount of tonal control without ever compromising its fundamentally rich sound. It can sound a little boomy up close, but at the audience's distance it's very well defined and sits in the mix well.
    pedroims likes this.
  20. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Most of my playing is direct to board, with the amp only being a personal monitor because I don't care for the way in-ear systems work for bass. So it's really a non-issue for me.

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