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Good amp for a pure sound, but powerful eq.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Faded, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Faded


    Dec 26, 2004
    Santa Barbara
    I'm upgrading my amp. I'm willing to shell out about 2000 for a new head (though I'd like to pay less) if I have to, and I am not really a fan of tube amp coloration. I like a nice, pure sound, but I want that powerful eq for I can play reggae and dub music as well as rock, jazz, and blues.

    Brands I'm considering at the moment:
    Mesa Boogie (perhaps, even though it's tube)

    I'm very open to suggestions, but please don't tell me to just do a search, because I have, and haven't found all the information I need.
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    ea iamp-800... no doubt, cub scout.

    but another killer super clean amp is Epifani's 502 head. like an Avalon U5 w/ an EQ.


    and seriously, you do need to do a search. :smug:
  3. Faded


    Dec 26, 2004
    Santa Barbara
    I did do a search, bro. However, I'm a little worried that if I get a hi-fi amp I might get a sound similar to those active EMG pickups. You know, that "sterile" sound.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  5. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Just wondering... What cab(s) are you going to be using?
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Go with a preamp/power amp rack. With $2000, you can get a good QSC, Crown, or Stuart power amp with a Bmax preamp, or possibly a Phill Jones preamp (while its on my mind from an earlier post :D ). The Bmaz is my favorite SS preamp from experience, but those pictures of the PJ pre earlier looked mighty yummy.
    Edit: Get an EQ in the rack, seprate from the pre and power amps.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    just curious,

    what amps have you used? and what basses are you using now? and yea, like it was asked what cabs?

    again, one's "sterile" sound is another's "hifi" sound. :smug: but if you're talking about dynamic tones that feel great underneath the fingertips, i'm sure any of the amps mentioned do that in spades. no 2D harsh tones here.

    and given the high quality of these "tubeless" amps, i'm pretty sure we discussed their equally "sterileless" and high quality sounds. ;)
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, you are pushing the price range for a Walter Woods Ultra, and that'd be my top choice, if money is not an issue. If money is an issue (and maybe even if it is not), then I would go for the iAMP 800. With some of my cabs, the iAMP sounds better, with others it's the Woods. Both are very powerful, and both have a great, natural sounding "flat" sound that really lets the character of the instruments/cabs shine through, but both offer powerful EQ as well. On the whole, I give the nod to the WWU as perhaps the "top dawg", but it's only by a nose. Given that the iAMP 800 cost about half as much, it certainly says a lot for the iAMP, in my book.

    I like the Thunderfunk head a lot, too, but I find that it is not an uncolored sounding as the other two (meaning, that there is something the TF signal path does to the tone that is present to a certain degree with various instruments/cabs). The slight amount of coloration (perhaps from the Timbre circuit, which doesn't seem to be 100% bypassable) is not a bad thing, but it is there if you listen for it. Still, it's a tonally very versatile head, and set "flat" it sounds pretty darn good. It just isn't quite as powerful as the WWU or iAMP 800.

    As for Mesa Boogie, my primary experience is with the Walkabout, and while I would most definitely not call it uncolored, to my ears, it is well suited for rock, blues, reggae and dub. Jazz might be the only genre where I'd worry at all, but the EQ is fairly powerful.

    The suggestion for a rack rig, though is not a bad one, either. For $2000, you could have the preamp of your choice, paired up with a Crest CA9 (if weight is not an issue) or a Stewart World 2.1 (if weight is an issue), and this would be a most excellent setup.

  9. Faded


    Dec 26, 2004
    Santa Barbara
    How loud are the Walter Woods and i800? I know they are high powered, but that doesn't always mean that they are super loud. I don't need a massive amount of power, but I'd like enough headroom to play loud. Can somebody provide a link to those Walter Woods?

    By they way, I'm using a Ampeg B2-R and a Ampeg 4x10 cab. It isn't a very good rig.

    What cab I use with the new head sorta depends on the price of the head.
  10. Faded


    Dec 26, 2004
    Santa Barbara
    I want an amp with a lot of definition. When I play 'Donna Lee' or other fast songs on my Ampeg, I can't find a setting that I can clearly hear what I'm playing. I have good technique too, so it's not that.
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Stupid loud! No one believes that my 7 lb. WWU puts out 1,200 watts until I plug it in! It is just crazy loud. And the iAMP 800 is very close. You can move a lot of air with the iAMP 800. I have hooked up four large 8 ohm cabs (2 ohm load total), and it pushes them with ease. Lots of headroom with both, which I agree is very important.

    Nope. He's not a web guy. I do have his phone number, though, which I will not post publicly (at Walter's request), but which I will PM you, if you are interested.
  12. Ashdown MK500. 500W, all analog, no tubes, no digital. Your 'Donna Lee' will definitely stand out.

  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'm currently using a Mesa 400+ in a reggae band, matched with a 4x10 and a SB112. It's great..

    The stereotype for reggae is fat, washy vintage tube...but that's really only true if you're playing 70's style roots and dub. If you're planning on playing any reggae that's post 1980, you'll probably want more than fat lows. If you look at Roots Radics, Sly & Robbie (Taxi Gang) or any of the modern reggae styles from singjay to dancehall or soca, you'll want some tight/punchy fast response too. 70bpm roots is a thing of the past...the Jamaican equivalent of oldies.
  14. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    what didnt you like about that rig? i actually think its not too shabby.

    and while the WW has GOBS of power under its hood, i've heard a few gents comment how the EQ isnt really tailored to electric bass use.
  15. GBE 1200.
  16. i would have thought someone would mention yorkville
  17. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    Joker, I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with the EQ on the WWU, but I'd probably have to admit I use it pretty flat. When playing the Glaub, I sometimes bump up the bass a little to emphasize the traditional tone, but other than try to notch out bad frequencies in a certain venue, I don't do too much. Of course, I adjust the Magic Knob to taste!
  18. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I read your post and kept thinking EBS. I used to own a Fafner and have yet to encounter a more powerful eq. Furthermore, it's also a very clean sounding amp, and is in your price range. :cool:
  19. Faded


    Dec 26, 2004
    Santa Barbara
    Thanks. You guys have been tons of help. I guess I'm going to have to make the 45 minute drive down to ventura to check out EBS, Thunderfunk, and Euphonic.
  20. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Tom - What other amps does WW make other than the Ultra? I get all the gain I need from a Clarus SL, so I was wondering if he makes something smaller that's as good in tone (or maybe even better than the Ultra?) at lower volumes. Also, any links you have to a photo of a WW that you or anyone may have posted here?