Help w/ first amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Billdog, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Yo! I have been playing electric bass about a year without an amp! :D I need one! I currently have a flatwound Squier Jazz fretted (do they make them fretless?). I definetily want to go head and cab, or even better, pre-power, etc. I want this system to be able to handle anything where a PA is unavailable (read: lots of power, but enough, not too much, 600+?). Tone idols include Wooten, Jamerson, Manring on stuff like "My Three Moons", not on "Monkey Businessman", and Claypool for a wilder sound. No malice intended, but I don't like Oteil (to much fret clacking), Bailey (on bass extremes he's too electronic, haven't really heard his other stuff. yes, I know claypool is always like that, but he is trying to be weird, at least as far as I know...), and many others, but you get the idea. Of course, I don't claim I sound or play nearly as well as any of these guys...but that's a given. Bassically, ;) I need hi-fi to low-down. I don't like mud, and I sometimes like a thin bass range, like an upright kinda, but I do like how Wooten can hit a low note and have it be powerful but not muddy. So, to wrap it up I need brand-names, power estimates, cab suggestions, etc. Ooh, and for the gearhead in me(I'm an engineering student), can you plug a bass direct to a poweramp, or is there a certain max/min input they can handle in general? Could I just use a DI into a poweramp if the tone was what I wanted? Or is that not compatible? Just thinking of temporarily saving some money. But cost is not an option, I have plenty, I'm just cheap! Thank you for putting up with this huge post and for any replies.
  2. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Please help me out. :bawl:
  3. Hi Billldog,

    Hey - before anyone can help, tell us how much you are willing to spend, are you looking for new or used, and how much stuff are you willing to shlep around?

    Also, if you spend some time in the amps forum, there is a wealth of knowledge already in print.:)
  4. What Bimplizkit said!

    And the signal from your bass and from most DI boxes won't drive the input of most power amps enough to be useful. Power amps have input sensitivities which vary according to manufacturers, but are in the 1-2 volt range into an input impedance of 10 or 20K ohms.

    You should use a suitable preamp for the power amp you choose.

    More info on $?
  5. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Wow! I don't see how you could do that. I don't mind playing without an amp, but not for more than five minutes or so.

    Yeah, I it really is important to say how much you are willing to spend.
  6. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Sorry, I thought I should have added that, but I knew the post length was already outrageous. I have plenty of cash (3000+), but I'm a college kid, and I want to spend as little of that as possible. I guess something close to a grand. Less is better, more is only acceptable if I'm getting some kind of amazing deal. Used is fine with me if it's from a reliable source. As far as portability, I should have said I want my amp to be as powerful as I said, but for now I only want a 1x15,2x10, 1x12 or the like to accompany it. I'm thinking 2x10 so I can add a sub later. But you guys are the experts... You may think this is wild for a first amp, but my kid brother has been playing longer than me, and he has a dinky combo, so if I die or heaven forbid, quit playing:eek:, he can have it, so it's no risk.

    p.s. I have been reading talkbass for a half year, and have read every post on this site in most of the forums more than once. So I've paid my dues. The reason I'm posting is because most newbie amp threads from people my age ask for amps that are good for punk and are under $300:p (no offense if that's your bag, I had a huge punk phase until I really got into playing, and I still like it, I just want more).
  7. 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
    SWR Super Redhead, add an extension cab later. Or Eden Metro.
  8. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    considering that les, vic, and james all play/have played ampeg, maybe you should look into them. you won't really get hi-fi per se, but you'll get a lot of what else you are looking for!

    *waits for munji to slap me upside the head*
  9. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks guys, I went to G**tar Center today, and did play an Ampeg through a 4x10, and liked the sounds it gave me. I assume a 2x10, built by the same company, or in a similar fashion, would sound similar. Am I right in assuming that? Thanks again.
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Don't know that Vic uses the preamp in his Ampeg amps...

    A 2x10 version of a fine sounding 4x10 will have less low end punch because you have fewer speakers. Stick with the 4x10.

    I understand that Edens have a wide range EQ and could probably give you anything that you'd hope for.

    If you go the preamp/poweramp/cabinet route, choose a top quality modern power amp (I use a QSC PLX2402) it will have all the power you'll ever need. Then, choose a neutral sounding cabinet and make your tone changes with preamp selection. Heck, if you owned more than one preamp you could slap a mixing board in between them and your power amp and have lots of choices.
  11. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    a better bass may help you tone-wise as well... maybe a fender? unless you are dead-set on the squier that is ;)
  12. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Of course I'll be getting a new bass you silly goose! (I've always wanted to say that. Actually, I'm thinking about building a fretless this summer.) But first I think I need an amp. I've been playing without one long enough. That pre-power, neutral cab is a good idea, but what cabs would most people consider neutral? I know it's a personal thing, but a general idea would help alot. I would think neutral would mean flattest frequency response, but I could be wrong. Thank you everyone for posting, all of us beginners appreciate it.
  13. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    cabs I would consider neutral would be Genz Benz, Accugroove, and Acme. The Eden D410XST is toted as neutral by its manufacturer, but when compared to other hi-fi sounding cabs it supposedly sounds "wooly" EA is supposed to be very HI-fi as well, but I've never had the opportunity to even see one in person.

    I play through a Genz Benz 610 that Im always raving about. there is a review of it in the amp sforum if you want to search it out. Theyre stuff is relatively affordable, and very well built IMO.

    Accugroove is toted as being very hi-fi, extremely high quality and very efficient. Never played one though. Expensive, but everyone who plays through one claims its worth its weight in gold.

    Acme is known by their studio flat frequency response within the 4 string bass range, though they are very inefficient, so they take a lot of power to get very loud. Love it or Hate it, better try it first.

    as for power amps, affordable and durable is always what I would be looking for. Personally I would be torn between a Carvin DCM series, or a QSC RMX. Theyre heavy, but affordable and durable.

    As for preamps, you might want to look at what your tone-idols use I dont personally have a pre+power setup, so I cant say much here. I run a Carvin R600 head.

    best of luck to ye! and as stated before the search function helps a ton, you might want to start searching some of the specefic brands mentioned here and get a good idea of what youre looking for.

    EDIT: im an engineering student/gear whore as well:D
  14. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks! That was way helpful! I think I'll check into my idol's pre-amps. And thank you to everyone who has responded. You're all wonderful.