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Guitarist seeking wisdom from bassists

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BmoreTele, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. BmoreTele


    Aug 11, 2007
    I am entering the bass world and need info. I'm used to the "tube amps next to Godliness" view of the guitar world.

    I am also playing bass through an old Yamaha 115B SS amp and it sounds pretty good to me. At least for practice.

    What's a good place to start with a decent bass amp?

  2. What's your budget? And what are your restrictions as far as size/weight (for portability sake)?
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    We'll need more info. What's your budget? Are you looking for something just for at-home noodling, or gigging? What styles or genres do you play? Are there any famous bassists or recordings you want to sound like? Does it matter how portable it is?
  4. timmbass


    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    What style of music do you play? How much power do you need? Do you need to play in a rock band with two guitar players with Marshall stacks and a hard hitting drummer?
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    stick with what you know! Tubes sound killer with bass as well. 200 watts and up for band stuff... Hiwatt, Orange, Traynor, Peavey, Matamp, Reeves, all the names are the same on this side as guitar. Granted a lot of the boutique guitar stuff is low watt and not suited for bass.

    Budget wise Traynor and Peavey have a ~200 watter on the market.

    I had a 70s Yamaha 1x15 SS combo... it was without hesitation the worst sounding amp I've owned. If you are getting some good tones from one, your battle is half over.... most everything should be an improvement ;)

    But like the others have asked, we need more to go on to recommend stuff that might suit you best.
  6. BmoreTele


    Aug 11, 2007
    Portable is good - I'm getting older.

    Inexpensive is good - I'm not getting richer.

    But in all serioustude - at this point it's going to be for pacticing, recording, jamming. Under $500 would be good. Big style range - from Celtic to Blues to Indie Rock to Ambient. No Marshall stacks to compete with. Possible gigging in small venues. Ability to send a line out to the PA while using the amp as a monitor would make sense.

    I have become a pedal geek with guitar, leaning to modulation and delay with a mostly clean tone. For guitar, I'm looking at the new Peavey Windsor 15 watt 1x12 with a power soak. My George Dennis 30 watt 4xEL84 head into an old Fender Bandmaster 2x12 is louder than I need.

    But I do likes me my headroom.


  7. Keskin


    Feb 20, 2006
    Since you play mostly rock stuff, "Mesa Boogie" would be worth a try but there are also other options for a tubey sound -> Hybrids.
    Check out "Basstasters.com"

    As a guitarist you should know what all tube gear costs and for bass youll need 3-4 times the power so these things are huge, heavy and expensive which means you really have to like em.
  8. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    200-300 watts of just about anything will do for now. Mesa is out of the question for your budget. I was in a shop trying out an Ampeg 15" cube amp the last time I was there and the sound blew me away. Don't know hoe much it costs though.
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    cool stuff!

    Get yourself a Bassman or Showman for that 2x12"

  10. BmoreTele


    Aug 11, 2007
    I also have a modded Bassman 50 head - single input with a tone stack, prescence, AND a long spring Accutronics reverb. BIG SOUND!!

    Doh! I never think of my Bassman as a bass amp. I've got an old Gibson 2x12 that used to be a G50 SS amp. Now I just use it as a cab. Hmmmm, looks like I might already have a bass rig after all.
  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    :D perfect!

    get yourself a good mic and or a DI (mic would be my choice) for bigger rooms
  12. BmoreTele


    Aug 11, 2007
    So let's see - inexpensive? YES! I actually got the Bassman as a gift from my the guitarist in my son's band when he was relocating to Japan. I had helped video tape the band's shows and turned him on to a pedal that he has now made part of his "signature sound." The Gibson amp was also a bargain. I got it in a package deal from a local psychiatric hospital that was phasing out its music therapy program. Maybe $50.

    Portable? Not very. ;) The Accutronics pan makes the Bassman lopsided AND heavy. The Gibson cab is solid wood with them damn old heavy magnet Ultrasonic speakers.

    Headroom? Probably a ton.

    Now that I have you here, can you explain about the bass and the proper size for speakers? I see bass amps with 2x10, 2x12, 1X15, little tweeters, drivers, etc. I want clear warm sound. I want it to get nuances and harmonics and I want it to make the floor shake.

  13. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    For an inexpensive rig I'd recommend a GK400RB and a Bag End S15D. The GK you can get used for $ 200 or less. Bag End around $ 250.00. This combo to me, is classic bass sound, yet the GK can also get modern if need be. Cool thing is you $ 50 left for strings!
  14. nastyn8c


    Feb 7, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    It sounds that you already have more knowledge than 99% of the people who register to ask a question. Good luck playing bass! :bassist:
  15. sjb64


    Aug 2, 2007
    Used SWR Workingmans 12 (an older pre-Fender one for about $350) all the way.
  16. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    If you find a solution to your problem then please let me know!! :smug:

    in all seriousness, it's a bit difficult getting a clear sound, a warm sound, a sound that'll bring you harmonics, and a sound that'll shake the floor.

    Generally the larger the driver, the more warm/bassy/groundshaking your sound is, although you lose some clarity. having a smaller driver means you might have a sound which will sound all your harmonics very clearly, and make your basslines sound exactly as you want them to, with every note being easy to pick out - but this will hardly shake the floor.

    of course there are comprimises between the two, and it depends on the size/shape of your cabinet, ported/not etc etc etc.
  17. BmoreTele


    Aug 11, 2007
    So, is this where bi-amping comes in?
  18. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    well yeah, that's one way of dealing with it :)

    you could get a 15" driver with a horn in it, although you still wouldn't get as much punch as you'd probably want. if you don't mind lugging around the cabs, you could get a 1x15" cab and a 2x10" cab, although it's a lot to carry around with you if you don't need the volume.

    if you're using more than one cab, be sure that you get the right impedance for the amp - 2 8 ohm cabinets, if linked together, will provide a 4 ohm load on the amp, for example.
  19. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yep, takes different eq'ing and even if you could get both one tends to take away from the other in a mix so you end up with sort of neither.

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