Is there a "best amp" for fretless?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. I know I shouldn't use the word best, but, I think you guys know what I mean.

    My question: Is there a certain combo amp, or head/cabinet that you feel sounds especially good when used with a fretless bass? It doesn't matter if you own this amp or not, I just want to know what everyone thinks.

    The requirements I've set are:

    1) A natural, rather than a colored sound.

    2) A balanced sound, rather than one that emphasizes bass, treble or mids too much. (this would pertain more to the speakers)

    3) $1,000 price limit.

    Volume isn't that important. I'm not in a band now, but, if something did come up I know it would be more of a small club type of thing.

    At present I have an Ampeg B100R, which I love, and am not thinking of getting rid of.

    But, you never know. ;)


  2. wiggleworm


    May 29, 2003
    My Acoustic Image Contra combo sounds amazing with fretless. I usually turn the bass knob down quite a bit, but otherwise it has a very balanced, accurate sound. Costs less than a grand and (the newer models) are easily capable of powering an extension cab for larger gigs.

    I recently got an Avatar B15H, QSC power amp, and Raven Labs preamp for louder gigs, and it sounds great with my 5 string fretless.

    In general, I prefer cabinets with tweeters (horns, high frequency drivers, whatever you want to call them) for fretless, since the highs and high mids are responsible for a lot of the mwah.

    While not a tone factor per se, I find that having enough stage volume is very important for fretless, because if you can't hear yourself clearly, it's very hard to play in tune!

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You might want to check out a 12" combo or cab for those mids...
  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I like the Ampeg tube combos. Especially their retro-styled ones. I played an MB-2 on one a couple years ago. It was an incredible sound.
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    The Peavey BAM210 sounds amazing with a fretless imho.
  6. tripwamsley


    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    I'd go with the Peavey as well. The BAM is an impressive unit.
  7. I struggled with cheap cabs back in the day. I realized that any peaks in freaquecy responce made it harder to play in tune. The notes did not tune well when they were near the peak.I felt as if I was fighting it. Especially folded horns and thin weak boomy cabs. The cabs need to be well designed and built. I ended up builing EV designed cabs. There are lots of good speakers out there make shure to try them out with your bass and trust your ears.
  8. You should seriously consider a nice power/pre-amp set up with an Acme Low B-2 cabinet. For truely uncolored sound, Acme is the only way to go in your price range. I have heard many URB players that really dig it's flat, uncolored response. Check them out-

    I recently purchased a Low B-4 and have never been happier! Making sure you have enough power to feed them (I'm running 1400watts @ 4ohms) is about the only bad thing anybody has to say about these cabs. In any case, that's my $0.02...
  9. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    i think that a 15 sounds nice with a fretless. that's what id go with (and have)

    jaco used an acoustic 360 (had a 1 18), if you like his sound get one of thoes Im sure you could find one in your newspaper or something ;) (i wish)