Is it just me or are newer lighter rigs just lacking 'balls'?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kcducttaper, Mar 18, 2023 at 2:25 PM.

  1. kcducttaper


    Jul 1, 2019
    So, I've had my spread of older class A/B amps and super heavy cabs as well as lighter class D heads and light neo cabs and I'm just always disappointed with the newer lighter stuff for some reason. They sound much more 'clinical' and 'lifeless' where the older heavier gear had balls, sparkle, and punch.

    Here is some of the 'old-n-hefty' gear I've owned that really sounded awesome:
    - Eden Nemesis NA-320 (sold)
    - Eden Nemesis RS-400 (Favorite amp to date, but has a fried diode. I still keep it in hopes I can resurrect it some day.)
    - Eden WT550 (sold)
    - Peavey TKO 115s (sold)
    - Ampeg SVT 410 HLF (sold)

    Here is some of the 'new-n-light' gear I've owned. I can honestly say, I really don't care for even a single one of these items over the corresponding 'old-n-hefty' counterpart simply because these all sound super 'clinical' to my ears. The Markbass gear does get fairly close, but I will say, they just don't have the thunder of the Ampeg or the 'warm sparkle' of the Edens.
    - Markbass F1 (sold)
    - Markbass Tube 800 (sold)
    - Markbass Vintage D2 (currently own)
    - Mesa WD-800 (currently own)
    - Markbass 151HR (currently own)
    - Markbass 102HF (currently own)

    As little as I move my rigs anymore, I'm half tempted to switch back to some of the 'old-n-hefty' gear. Just me?
  2. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    It's just you.
    WG Plum, cemunk, PB2578 and 140 others like this.
  3. Wild_Bill_57

    Wild_Bill_57 Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2017
    Cincinnati, OH
    Maybe it’s just the newer gear is cleaner and more articulate.
  4. Bertr


    May 6, 2013
    Careful, the 'a' may be a mistype in 'lacking'.
  5. Jigmay


    Mar 24, 2004
    Maybe try the Quilter line, his bass amps have a lot ‘push’ to my ears.
  6. Stylee Mousse

    Stylee Mousse

    Jan 12, 2023
    Kcd likes what he likes. No reason not to have gear you like the sound of.


    kcd, you need to like lightweight new amps because we do. Stop liking what we don’t like.
    Christiaan, CTW68, D.A.R.K. and 20 others like this.
  7. evs


    Apr 14, 2020
    I’d be interested in your thoughts on the WD800 vs Vintage D2.
    Which is your preference?
    SJan3 and DJ Bebop like this.
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    OP's list of "newer and lighter" amps is all (except 1) from Markbass. Not much of a statistically broad sample to make such a sweeping statement of having "no balls." You need to try more gear from more than one manufacturer before jumping to that conclusion!
  9. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    You are not the 1st to pose this question. I can only compare my Eden WTX260 and WT550. The 550 some seem to have more heft/power to it, but is that due to the type of amp design or the difference in available wattage? I cant say for sure but am pretty sure that the power/wattage thing plays into. Id love to try a taking the 260 pre out into a class D 1000 watt power amp to compare
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. IPA

    IPA Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    Define "balls" more clearly perhaps

    I have never thought that "balls" sounded "sparkly" and certainly don't want "balls" and "punch" in the same sentence.
    BEADist, WG Plum, Adagietto and 50 others like this.
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    It's just you, and that's perfectly fine. We all like what we like. Happy thumpin'.
    WG Plum, shoot-r, FRoss6788 and 23 others like this.
  12. naetog

    naetog Supporting Member

    May 26, 2006
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Are you using their EQ at all, or just plugging in with it all flat?
    What basses are you using?

    Might be worth spending time tweaking and adjusting gains and eq levels and all that. An old 15" cab will certainly sound different than your current lineup, so use the EQ to your advantage.

    All your amps should have plenty of thump through those cabs.
  13. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    Maybe it's Mark Bass

    Edit. @Ukiah Bass beat me to it.
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  14. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    It's weird to me how neodymium speaker cabs are viewed by some as being more wimpy. Poking around with a neodymium magnet all by itself, they seem super potent and crazy strong for their size.
    And yet, I get it. My current neo 2x10 does not have nearly the "oomph" of other 2x10s I've had.
    It is a pleasure to schlep, though. I'll always remember the first time I picked it up in the showroom and almost threw it through the ceiling by accident.
  15. lordradish

    lordradish Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Yeah, it's just you. I love my MarkBass Ninja 500. Plenty of balls and hifi, too.
  16. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I don’t think any rig, new or old, incorporate testicles in any way.
    lordradish, Trabeen, WG Plum and 43 others like this.
  17. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Just u
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nope. It's just you.
  19. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO, Jule Monique 700 seems to produce plenty of slam and heft.
    msb, naetog, BassNugget and 4 others like this.
  20. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    To some folks, physical attributes ("larger", "bulkier", "massive", etc) plays into their hearing perception. I know a (former bandmate) guitarist who feels that way about PA systems from the 80s.
    Kawai2g4b, JRA, mikewalker and 14 others like this.