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Guitar amps for bass.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ericmonster_tm, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Yes. i realize people used Marshall's in the past (Entwistle, Lemmy).

    However, with the advent of drop tunings sand lower tunings for guitar (C is standard tuning in the metal world nowdays), and technological advancements to be able to re-produce and hear lower frequencies in music...

    Orange now has the Thunderverb. They state that it can be used for guitar or bass. They seem to be pushing it towards metal players.

    There are also manufactures like Hughes and Kettner making amps to satisfy Baritone type guitars and specificlly for lower tunings.

    So is it possible that guitar amps like the 5150/6505 from peavey, The Krankenstien from Krank or any other amp in this range of amps would be suitable for bass?

    Im trying to go for a Lemmy-ish/Geezer Butler-ish tone.

    Seems that these guitar amps would be more suited towards it and more economical.

  2. Elionjamz

    Elionjamz Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Get a hartke 4/10 and a GK head! If you blew up a guitar amp at a gig, that would be a real bummer. Most guitar amps max at 100-150 watts, whereas bass rigs can go p to 2000 watts or more even... Even huge marshal stacks with 8 12s only are pushing 100 watts. You need that wattage for bass.
  3. I'm not a fan of hartke or GK. Trying to stay away from Solid State all together.

    Looking into a Sunn 200s, a Mesa 400+, Matamp/Electric Amp or a Hiwatt of some sort.

    Trying to push for a mid-rangey distorted tone.

    Like Black Sabbath's N.I.B. or Hole in the Sky. Or maybe something along the lines of High On Fire's 10,000 years.

    The cabinet I have been looking into is an ampeg svt412HE or the peavey 412TVX (or whatever their 412 was).

    I was going to throw a 4120 marshall 1960A/B or 1936 on top for added midrangey tone. Maybe a Laney or Orange 4x12 cab.

    I need that tube distortion.

    Id also like to add that I would like to make everyone deaf and kill of any small rodents within a 1000 foot radius. haha

    Looking into a bassballs and a bluebeard fuzz to add to my wall of sound that I will own.
  4. Elionjamz

    Elionjamz Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    The 400+ is an AWSOME head.... The SVT classic is also a great all-tube top.
  5. if you blow up a matamp/electric amp/hiwatt im gonna have to hunt you down

    anyway im gonna throw in another vote for the 400+, its a very good amp and gets that sound your lookin for
  6. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    Ampeg V4B (or V4)
  7. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Spoken like someone who's never actually plugged a bass into a 100 watt Super Lead into a first generation Ampeg 8 X 10. You won't get clean, and you won' t get much low end, but you can easily drown out the rest of the band in rippin' English tube distorted bass.

    If you are looking specifically for distortion, this is a better bet than the 400+, which tends to stay clean. A lower wattage head, turned up as far as possible, is your best bet for manageable tube distortion sound. Sure, a vintage SVT would be great, if you could actually turn it all the way up.

    Personally I'm not a big fan of modern high gain guitar amps used for bass. Those amps are designed to produce that boomy, buzzy sound that the Nu-metal kids loved so much. It sounds terrible on bass. Personally I think a "clean" amp turned up all the way gives a better sound for bass distortion, like Geezer, Lemmy, Entwistle, and all those guys used back in the day.

    Be very careful about playing bass through guitar cabs, even with a guitar head. It can make the speakers go kablooey if you aren't careful with the bass frequencies. Some folks biamp, sending only the highs to the guitar amp and the lows to a bass amp. Also, if you will be playing downtuned bass, or a 5 string, it's a lot harder to get good sounding distortion that works with a band and doesn't blow up guitar cabs.
  8. I just got a smokin' deal on a 1969 Marshall Major, 200 watts & all tube. Needs some work but for another 2-350 bucks labor it's gonna be a cool amp to have. I play in 2 bands and one is in the Motorhead/ACDC/Hellacopters vein and I've been really wanting a more distorted bass sound. My other band is more Garage/Punk Rock and my SVT works great for it.

    I was going to buy an old Peavey VTM 120 from a friend before I got the Marshall. He was using it with a Bergantino 610 and said it did the Lemmy sound really well. For 2-250 bucks you can get a 120 all tube watt amp that is built like a tank (weighs as much too). You may have to swap the 6L6's out for 6550's but you can't beat the price.
  9. I play through a 73 Sound City L200+ guitar head. It's 200Watt all tube and sounds sooooo sweet...man it's like nothing else I have ever played through. So, it can be done, and is being done by a few of us out here.
  10. +1 to the biamped idea....I'd use combos and a stereo foot pedal as a splitter. Here's what I'd use for that setup given tone/cash/speaker setup considerations:

    For the bass half you want clarity and low end with minimal distortion of your fundamental note. I'd go for solid state/hybrid here, since you tend to keep that clear fundamental even at small rodent killing volumes....so I'd look at an Ashdown ABM C115-500 EVO II (575 loud SS watts). It would still be very warm for SS and thus blend well with tube tones (selectable tube/SS pre is great on the ABM series).

    For the treble half, I'd go for the speaker config you prefer for your punch. I like 10's so I'd shoot for a 2x10 or 4x10 guitar combo. In either case, I'd go with an overdriven tube amp pushed, which would end up being a midrange bass distortion. For the 4x10 you really can't beat a Fender Bassman or Blues DeVille Reissue amp...they're the circuit/tone that Marshall copied to start their company. Of course its tweed....so the other metal heads might laugh at you. If you'd prefer black you can't beat the extra versatility that the newer Super sonic head has...its a vibrolux and a bassman and a metalhead amp all in one...though I'd use the head and put a cab with it. All of these are 50-60 watt guitar amps, but that's pretty loud for a biamped setup with a 575watt SS paired to it. You could go louder, but if you're not playing large clubs or small arenas, there's not much point as you're probably going DI into the PA at most small-med clubs these days anyway. Sorry for the super long post, but I figured my weird idea was a bit off the standard response you'd probably get and might be something you'd not considered.

    (edit) plus I'd love to see the face on the Guitar Center's employee when you say..."Ok, this 600 watt 1x15 solves the bass half...now bring me a guitar combo for my D and G strings, I need to test something"
  11. Splitting the signal between a bass amp and guitar amp is a very cool thing. I saw Nebula a while ago and the bassplayer was using an SVT/810 cab and an old Marshall head with a 4x12 cab for distortion and an A/B box and when he kicked in the Marshall it sounded awesome. I'd do the same thing I just don't want to move extra gear anymore.

    A buddy of mine uses a 100 watt Marshall Super Bass with a Marshall 4x15, he's pretty damn loud!!
  12. Now were talkin' fellas.

    Rockit...you have exquisite taste in music.

    Caught Nebula on Tour with Hellacopters last March. Our band lies somewhere inbetween The Saviours/The Sword/High on Fire blended with say somethign off the first two maiden or metallica records. A bit of Motorhead and hellacopters sprinkled on for good measure. ;)

    To everyone else.

    The bi-amp idea was going to be my next and probable option. No lows on the guitar cab.

    I thought about dual Traynor bassmasters or yba-200 or some mix and match.

    Ill check out that Peavey VTm 120 for sure. The Marhsall too.
  13. In the UK back in 73 most amps manufactured were used as dual purpose, a few examples being Marshall, Hiwatt, Sound City, Orange and Carlsbro; the only difference was if you intended to use it for Bass you used a Bass cab.
  14. Thank you kindly!!! I like to think I've got good taste in music. I saw Nebula with The Bell Rays opening and their bass player was awesome too. Picture a young, pissed off Tina Turner fronting the MC5 and you get The Bell Rays

    I've been hearing really great things about the YBA200. 650 bucks for a 200 watt all tube head that overdrives nicely from what I've heard and the cool thing I've heard about them is that they're auto-biasing as well so you can throw a quad of tubes in them and it self biases. I see one in my future. A friend of mine owns a music store, is a bass player and has a real nice collection of bass gear like a vintage 72' SVT and a matching 8x10 cab raves about the new Traynors. 200 tube watts should be plenty loud, the friend that owned the VTM120 said that was plenty loud too.
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH


    I used to have a Major for the low side - like the SVT better.
  16. Very nice indeed!
  17. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I have a weakness for good ol tube "amps." Not the most flexible tonally since as you get loud enough for rock bass you totally lose any chance at a clean tone, but I love that distortion. I modded a 2X15 to use with my ~200 watt all purpose amps (Mesa D180, Sound City X188) to be an all purpose cab; EVM15L on the bottom and an Eminence Big Ben 15" guitar speaker on the top. The EV is full range, the Eminence has a high pass filter before it.
  18. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Amy in Clatter gets amazing sound(s) using three amps...the 3rd being affected. For what you want, her 2 amps(SWR & Mesa) would be killer...I've heard her setup at close and long range....it ROCKS! Her setup is shown on the page link below:

    If Mesa's are too $$$, a close approx. can be had with the Line 6 Spider series. My son has the Line 6 Spider 2x12 combo and a clean ACME stack next to the Line 6 Mesa patched onto bass sounds HUGE.

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