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How come there are infinitely more nice guitar amps than bass amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by modulusbassist, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. I read Harmony Central very often and I browsed the Guitar amps section and I am jealous with guitar players!

    The reason? If you browse through the amps user database and the amp manufacturers database, look at those beautiful tweed, tolex, exotic wood cabinets, NOS Tubes, Vintage Speakers, Beautiful Cabinet with cane grills(Unlike black carpet or smooth black Bass cabs), chicken head knobs, it makes me almost wanting to pick up a guitar and play one of those amps!!!!!!!

    Then, compare them to the handful of bass amp manufacturers or bass cabinet manufacturers, compared to the guitar amps, it's pretty sad. I know some bass amps are nice like Eden, glockenklang, Ampeg All Tube(still black cabinets, aaargghh!), Labsystems, but the saddest pa the bass cabinet, 99% of them are black! why can't they make it like the tweed, tolex or wood cabinets like the guitars?

    Here are some awesome looking amps and cabs

    this one is my fav: http://www.vintone.com/








  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well I think that all goes in the "being a bassist" category-ya just ogtta accept it and live with it. The guitarist is almsot always the guy the average person looks and thinks is more important. The guitarist usually gets a lot more visual focus than the bassist, if you've been playin for a little while I think you realize this ;). At any rate, if there were more fancy amps available, we'd be paying more for nearly pointless flashiness, which woudl be wasted for teh most part to no one payign attention to us. I personally woudl ratehr ahve a boring looking amp that sounded good than a fancy lookin amp the sounded mediocre. The sound is the only real important factor as far as performance goes when it comes to amp IMO. If Its really a big deal, decorate your Cab with red shag or somethin :D
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    here's why:

    if an onlooker got close enough to tell the difference between cheap vinyl and hand woven alpaca fur on your bass cab, they wouldn't be able to focus on it due to the 1000+ watts of 32Hz coming from it shaking their skull.

    whereas with a guitaramp, the high pitched noise is like a buzzing mosquito - you keep trying to find where it's coming from so you can kill it.
  4. hahaha, it's true, nobody looks at us, but if you happened to have Accugroove El Whapp/Whappo Subs, they'll notice all right!
  5. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    These are excellent (and funny:D) answers.

    I'd like to add two points:
    I guess most bassists have learned (or try to learn) to concentrate on the basics: a steady groove and a solid sound.
    If we care about the looks of our amps at all, we want to underline our attitude by using no-nonsense design.

    And also a sturdy black box better corresponds to the raw power of those low notes it puts out...

    OTOH a little bit more color in our live wouldn't be too bad either. I sometimes dream of an Orange or Matamp stack... (Orange , Matamp)

  6. Matthias

    That's what I'm talking about, a little more color. Why can't those high end bass cabinet makers build their amps with tolex or tweeds or nice walnut or mahogany? I don't see why they can't make bass tube amps like the ones that I posted as links to those sites.

    Or maybe the cost of cosmetics goes into making the speakers? Like Epifani, Euphonic or Accugroove?

    I don't know, maybe I dig those groovy looking vintage gears and I get a serious case of GAS when I look at those guitar amps.

    Hey, Vienna is pretty cool, I visited Vienna in 1993, stayed at the Bristol Hotel and they've got the best schnitzel! oh yeah, Budvar is the only genuine Bud!(ahem, the other is a rip off) but I prefer Gold Fassl!!! Drank tons of them when I was in Vienna, oh yeah, you forgot the strudels!!!!!!
  7. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Bass amps are heavy. Guitar amps are (generally) much lighter so they get treated better. It's easier to be careful with a little combo that weighs 40lbs. Ugly carpet and stacking corners is much tougher than tolex and general vintage prettiness.

    But I think the overwhelming reason is that guitar players are obsessed with vintage looking gear because vintage guitars and amps sound the best to many guitarists. However bass amps just keep getting better (to the ears of many of us) and so the gear looks high tech because it is.

  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think it's the complete opposite - I hate the look of most guitar amps - they just looks cheap and tacky to me. Whereas there are loads of bass amps that look restrained, high quality, solid and professional!!

    But anyway - who cares how they look - it is all about how they sound!!

    So - guitar amps sound like crap!! So often I try to play a CD or MD to other people so they can hear how a song sounds - so if I plug my CD player or MD into my bass stuff it sounds great - like a really good club PA. :) But plug into a guitar amp and it sounds horrible - boxy, distorted, no bass etc etc.

    Give me an Eden, Euphonic Audio, EBS, Glockenlang, Ampeg, Aguilar, Mesa, Walter Woods, Ashdown etc etc Bass amp any day over those cheap 'n nasty guitar amps!!
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Bruce, that'll be because they're designed for guitars, won't it?

    FWIW, I find my digital piano sounds better through my guitar amp than through my bass amp.
  10. I'm totally with Bruce on this one, bass amps look killer compared to most guitar amps. Bass amps look intimidating and mean, just like many of us bassists.

    Wasn't there a thread on this not to long ago?
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Actually Bruce said who cares what they look like.
  12. SnaveDogg


    Mar 21, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    How come there are infinitely more nice women's clothes than men's?
  13. There are only like 4 major designs the guitar amp manufacturers use so they have to differentiate themselves somehow, cuz most tones are so similar. :D

    Seriously, its the because of the size and shape and bulk of a bass amp that necessitates the tough outer covering. That and the bass amp manufacturers are too cheap to try and market something that isnt carpet and corners.
  14. Here is the absolute truth...NOONE CARES ABOUT US BASSITS! As harsh as it sounds noone cares about us. Well other bassists do but noone else does. It's true. But keep on rockin'!!!:bassist:
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think that's probably telling you, you need a better bass amp!!

    (Marshalls are not that good for bass in my experience)
  16. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    This Ashdown rig is quite nice. I they they offer custommade cabs made with different colored tolex and fronts.
  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Heh - you're probably right there. I've had that Marshall for quite a while, and at any rate, now that I'm gonna be gigging, I'm gonna need something a little more powerful.

    On the issue of guitar amps vs bass amps though, guitar amps, I think, colour the sound more than bass amps. With guitars, the amp is perhaps more integral to the sound than a bass amp is to a bass?

    Generally, basses are very often recorded direct inject - whereas guitars are generally put through an amp and miced up. What does that indicate?
  18. I really don't care what an amp looks like as long as it sounds good. In fact, I would shy away from anything glitzy looking because I would assume that the maker spent too much time on looks and not enough time on sound. This would, of course, be prejudice but nobody's perfect.
  19. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Mesa/Boogie offers different colour vinyls, leathers, suedes, and hardwoods for thier amps and cabs. I'm about to score a purpleheart chassis for my Boogie Buster head. Guitarist everywhere will be jealous.
  20. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    and there goes my pepsi...

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