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Jamerson in a Solid State combo?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by register2, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. register2


    Nov 15, 2003
    Shopping around for an amp to tour with instead of my 50w tube Ampeg head. I want something that is warm and vintage sounding like that, but I just need something square and durable and LOUD that can be thrown in a van and won't take up too much space or break. I've looked at things such as an SWR 2x10c combo, or a Workingman's 4004 head with a 2x10 cab, but have been kind of turned off by their hi-fi sound. Also looked at Ampeg (BA500), but it's expensive. GK stuff seems perfect, but all the reviews say it's unreliable. Any advice or similar threads I can be pointed at? Looking to stay around $600-$700.
  2. Euphonic Audio iAmp 800 at Bass Northwest (I have no affiliation with them at all) used for $849.

    Click on the following link and scroll to the bottom and look at the diagram for getting a tube sound out of it.

    These amps are great!
  3. You could get a clean, used Ampeg B-100R for half what you're looking to spend. I love mine, and it's anything but hi-fi.
  4. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Really, it's going to be an Ampeg that you want..I have the small BA-115 combo. It's not very powerful, and you would need a direct box to the PA to get stage volume because the output is not independent of your amp volume like a normal direct out should be. (meaning, you can hear the sound throught the PA even if the amp is turned all the way down..it won't do that)

    But I have to tell you, for that fat warm tube like old-school sound, nothing is finer. When I play my P-bass with flats through it I get pure Jameson, pure Duck Dunn sound..and I play in a vintage Hawaiian band that demands an almost upright tone.

    But if you are going on tour, and have the money to spend...go Aguilar or Accugroove.

    Having said that, though,I get what you are saying about SWR being too hi-fi...but they are great for the price, especially that workingman 2x10 combo..that thing smokes!
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have no idea why people call GK unreliable. The original 400RB and 800RB heads have been road proven for over 20 years.

    I've often used GKs as part of a provided backline on gigs and they have always pumped out a good tone with zero issues. Rental companies don't stick with gear that requires a lot of maintenance.

    Get a used 400RB (original model if you can find one) and any 1-15" or 2-10" cab that suits your fancy. If the cab has a tweeter, turn it off. You can easily afford such a rig for $700 or less.
  6. Here's what I've been able to find out: For recording with the Funk Machine, James went direct into the board. On live gigs he generally used an Ampeg B-15 combo, sometimes with a second 1X15 extension cab. I've also read that he used a blue Naugahyde Kustom. I'm not sure how he recorded his upright, or if he ever used it much live.

    That said, I think any warm-souding amp can be used to get the Motown sound, as long as you start with a nice, fat, warm-sounding bass. To me, the amp should be fairly transparent and let good tonewoods and heavy-gauge strings do the talking.
  7. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    The Ashdown MAG line or Ampeg B100R.
  8. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    I've been paying attention to opinions on GK amps for the last few months because i was interested in buying one, and about reliability--you'll hear different views from different people. I found a 400RBIII 210 w/ 15" added cab and bought it from a guy who had gigged with it regularly and reliably for years. The only reason he was selling it was he was retiring from gigging! He loved it, and I'm loving it, too. Great tone. I was looking for that elusive mix of clarity and thump, and now I got it.
  9. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
  10. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    If you want something that is loud it isn't the B100R. I had one for a couple of years and it was only good for solo practicing at home. In low volume practice sessions with a guitar and drums it was farting all over the place. That's with all the EQ settings straight up, no low boost and a bass with passive pickups. Go for at least 350 watts unless you are playing with acoustic guitars.
  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I totally agree. I had several 400RB's over the years and they were the most reliable amps I ever owned. No experience with the new ones but the old ones (with the switchcraft, metal jacks) can be picked up cheap, as brianrost points out, and are about as care-free as bass gear is liable to get!
  12. The Ampeg B-100R is a fine amp. If you don't want a transistor amp maybe you should look into the flite sound classic combo. The head is only like 28 lbs and the 115 cab is only 20 lbs.

    It has a balanced DI XLR, which the rocketbass doesn't.

    what sucks is that it used to be $999 but has a high-ball retail price of $1400.

    Other than that, I would suggest the Euphonic Audio Whizzy 112 cab and a small head with awesome tone AND decent warm, controllable distortion/overdrive sounds. I like the eden time traveller. The head weighs 13lbs and the cab is 29lbs. You should be able to pick that rig up under a grand.

    Others like the Mesa Walkabout