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Help me stop the tube snobbery in my band.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by creis2, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    So I have a few heads: Vintage Ampeg SVT, Ashdown ABM X2, and A Genz Streamliner.

    The Genz seems to be my go to amp, it's size, weight and sound are a perfect compromise. With my VT pedal, I can get it to sound pretty darn close to my SVT.

    I don't like to bring the SVT out for several reasons:
    • It's rare, and very expensive.
    • It's too damn heavy.
    • It does the SVT tone very well, but it's kind of a one trick pony. I like to play and experiment with different tones, I feel the Genz does this best.
    • I feel the SVT shines when turned up, way louder than I need it to. At lower volumes, it's no different than my other heads with the VT bass pedal IMO.

    My bandmates, who are tube snobs, simply don't get how the bass industry is. With guitars, tubes kind of rule the industry. With basses, there's a variety.

    My guitarist every so often tells me to bring my Ampeg, and when I try to explain to him my reasons, he starts soloing at staring into into space.

    I know we all have opinions of what amp type is superior, and I just explained mine. How can I explain this to an airhead in a quick, convincing and polite argument.
  2. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    You can't.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time, and annoys the pig.
  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Double blind listening tests - tube vs. SS in an ensemble setting?
  5. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I purchased my GK head without warning the band, brought it to practice before they got there and played an entire set without them noticing. They'd been used to hearing my SVT-II.

    When I pointed it out they didn't have too much to say. If they can't tell the difference or they'd rather listen with their eyes instead of their ears, feel free to offer them the opportunity to roadie your gear for you.;)
  6. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm trying my best to be nice to the guy. I have a tendency to get mouthy with people and it has gotten me in trouble in the past. I can easily tell him to take a tube and shove it where the sun don't shine, but it's taking every bit of energy not to do that.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the band I'm in and the band members. The dude is a super nice guy, but kind of stubborn.

    He's very naggy about it, and that is a pet-peeve of mine.
  7. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Says more about your band mates than it does about you, or your gear; disengage: it's not worth discussing with them.
  8. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm thinking about a simple "I have an SVT, I prefer the amp I'm using at the moment, please either drop it, or ask me to leave the band".
  9. Why should you have to ? It's your equipment and your sound so use what you want to use. That should not be up to them to decide.
  10. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    WI, USA
    Holy hell, why do guitarists think that they have the right to tell bass players what gear to use? Unbelievable ...
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Never complain, never explain. If somebody is trolling you, and you try to argue, you will seem argumentative. If you defend, then it makes you seem defensive.

    Let them know that most guitarists actually sound better through solid state gear, because the ability to play at a sensible volume makes up for any shortcoming in tone.
  12. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Make him carry it but get him to agree ahead of time that if he drops it, he pays for it.
  13. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    WI, USA
    Bingo. When they tell you to bring gear you don't want to bring, just say no. Don't explain or justify it - just say no. If they start arguing, just say "Excuse me, there must be some confusion; I'm not asking for your approval or permission, I'm just informing you." If they keep bugging you, just start soloing and staring off into space ...
  14. kai_ski


    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Bring both, throw the svt up top but use the Genz. Let the compliments rain down. Tell the truth after rehearsal.
  15. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    Or invite him to an old-fashioned gentleman's brawl.

  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    A vintage tube amp has a certain "cache" and is way cooler than a common model anybody can buy anywhere. I would just do the right thing and bring the Ampeg. Make sure it's powered-up and has a cord plugged into it, but leave it on "standby". Stash the GB down on the ground behind the cab so the band can't see it and go ahead and use it. You only have to pull this off once......after the gig show him what's really going on and tell him you've been duping him this way for the last month.

    If you can't pull this off you may have to come to terms with the possibility that the old tube amp sounds better and you've spoiled your band and can never go back without some whining on their part.
  17. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    There is a concept in politics that applies here; don't let the camel's nose into your tent.

    Your tone and how you get it on stage is your business until someone else is paying. With two really big exceptions; you're working for a true bandleader or the band is working under the direction of a producer. If those are not the cases, you are the independent contractor of bass.

    Otherwise, the converse needs to be in place. You get to stick your nose in his tent. A gentle reminder that you don't say boo about how he gets where he gets usually is all it takes.

    Personally, I work with a true bandleader. All equipment and staging goes through him. It works great - he's both sensitive to what I say and always has the best interests of the band in mind.

    It all comes down to who is in control.
  18. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I once worked in a band that had a true bandleader. I got to play through some nice stuff although it wasn't what I would've picked myself. Even as strict as that job was, I still watched the guitar player explode in rage when he wasn't allowed to use his own amp that was in the trailer. It can be annoying.

    But in a band where everyone is on their own there is no way I'd be sticking around if anyone disapproved of my equipment. Simple as that.
  19. I like this reply the most...

    Haven't played any of the Genz amps but from what I've heard they do a great job..

    What amp is your guitarist running? Maybe you could carry his 40LB amp into practice and he could schlep your 90LB SVT, then maybe he'll change his mind.

    I only own a lightweight rack to cop the SVT tone, but even if I owned the real deal I'd probably only bring it out on stage due to the weight of the thing.
  20. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    He has ears, and I’m sure he hears how good the GB sounds, it could be the looks and/or image of the tiny head that looks to him like a toy on stage.

    That said, I like the advice about just not discussing it with him at all.