"Kalamazoo Bass 30" Whaddya Think?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Philonius, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. For those who perhaps can't/won't go to the link:

    "This guy is a workhorse bass/guitar amp. Can do ANYTHING from clean, to vintage tube overdrive. Very similar to an Ampeg XT-type flip top tone, but with a nice chime/grind like Blackface Fenders. (Even has a little "flip out" control panel on back! Quaint, and amusing, but still cool!)

    They're ugly as sin when stock, but this guy has been upgraded both sonically and visually.

    1) Rewired and recapped internally, reducing noise and quieting the signal path (the heater wires run right through the original circuit on these, creating tons of noise.
    2) Original underpowered Jensen C10Q speakers were replaced with Weber higher rated C10Q clones (more efficient, equalling more volume!)
    3) Modded the speaker connection to be a 1/4" jack and speaker cable, so you can both a) use the speakers with other cabs, and b) use the amplifier with other cabs.
    4) the garish black/silver sparkle grille cloth (that clashes with the dark brown amp covering) was replaced with a nice beige and brown basket weave
    5) A custom machined chrome "Kalamazoo" logo has been added to the front grille (VERY cool looking-- not original to any of their amps, this was custom built for this specific amp)
    6) Ugly Silvertone type plastic "bucket" knobs were replaced with cream chicken heads.
    7) Chassis is grounded, the notoriously bad grounding system in these guys was removed and replaced with a standard ground system and 3 wire AC cord.

    Beautiful amp-- that sounds amazing. If it means anything, I'm a studio owner, a bassplayer, and an amp tech... And for my own personal bass tracks, I record with this amp MORE often than our mint '64 Ampeg B15 fliptop. Yes, it's really that nice sounding.

    Regretful sale, so buy her quick before I change my mind or think of the right excuse to keep it! *laugh*

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    He took all the cool stuff and replaced it with lame stuff, with the possible exception of the recapping, the speakers and grounding system. Probably sounds good but I'm having my doubts at that price.
  3. Thanks. I'm already getting over the urge to check it out further. Why in the world would I want an old tube rig anyway? Right?
  4. GlennW

    GlennW Inactive

    Sep 6, 2006
    Nope...maybe ok for guitar, but not at $400.
  5. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Can't hurt to look, if you're OK with the price. It would be a totally vintage sound, but would it be audible enough?
  6. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    I played through one for a bit. Someone was actually going to give it to me and I passed. Sounded like crap then, probably sounds like crap now. In its day it was low budget stuff.
  7. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I think the price reflects the mods done, not it's resale value. If it sucked originally and they decided to mod it, I get it. I did that to an Ampeg B-12XTC myself. That said, this thing could be a cool quirky amp but probably wouldn't suffice for most band situations and I doubt you could get your money back out of it. That's coming from a big fan of low wattage tube amps.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well old tube rigs can be awesome, but at that price I'd like original knobs and grillcloth and no logo.
  9. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    At that price I'd hope the seller had all the original parts to come with the amp as it was.
  10. Should be a decent practice /recording amp, priced reasonably. Guitar might sound even better through it.
  11. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland

    Feb 11, 2003

    A blast from the past.
    My first amp. The amp I learned on, practice only.
    Drove my parents crazy, sitting in my bedroom, cranking this up. With a Gibson EBO.
    Miles_ONeal likes this.
  12. I got 1 for $100 years ago, recapped it, and tried it out. Sounds pretty good, but not loud at all. I sold mine to a guitarist, and he just uses the original Jensen 10s in the cabinet with another head. I'd pass.

  13. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Way back in the day, after I had cajoled my parents into helping me buy my first real amp(a used Sunn Sorado), I came across one of these at a school find raiser rummage sale. Can't remember what I paid for it, but it was a deal. Used it as my first practice/'coffee house' amp(actually did use it in a church youth group coffee house situation). It weighed a ton for it's small size. With two EL84 type tubes into two 10" in a fairly shallow cab, it sounded great in the bedroom, but went into Jack Bruce fart tone pretty quick live. I did an early bi-amp experiment with it, putting it on top of the Sunn cab, and then the Sorado head on it, fit perfectly and looked similar. Bottom line, it does better as a guitar amp. Yes, the original speakers were junk for bass(sounded pretty crunchy with guitar), but with this particular amp, I don't think he upgraded with bass in mind. That, with all the unnecessary cosmetic changes(sure, there's a lot of quirky things about this amp, but that's part of it's goofy charm), I wouldn't pay more than $200. AND it's just going to sit in your den or practice space, unless you do use it as a guitar amp.
  14. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    That's a real neat-looking amp but I'd be wary of earthquake damage, as one was apparently happening while the photos were being taken.