Looking for Bass Amp - Twin Reverb?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by guitar_player, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. guitar_player


    Jul 16, 2008
    I'm looking for a cheap way into getting a nice tube amp bass sound. Bass players I listen to a lot and like their sounds (varies a lot and I know a lot is technique), James Jamerson, John Paul Jones, Robert DeLeo.

    Anyway I'm kinda looking to do things on the cheap. I have a 74 silverface twin reverb that I could buy a head cabinet for about $200. I have a bandmaster cabinet that has two 12inch celestion G12-80 Classic Lead but their 16 ohms and wired in parallel I only get 8ohms not the required 4. Since I don't have a 4 ohm cab I can't tell how bad this is cutting the power so not sure if it would be a good investment to spend the money on new speakers or just buy a new cab. Plus I almost have the feeling that I would be into a single 15 anyway.

    So for the head cab and new speakers it would be about $400-500.

    Head cab and a 15 inch cab a little more than that.

    I'm playing in a loud rock band and also looking to do some side blues gigs / cover gigs. Also a little worried about the 100 watts. Will this be loud enough? I know a lot of people are using Ampeg V4's but not sure if they are using them in a loud rock situation.

    I know this is a lot to ask but maybe it would just be better to buy a combo around that price range? I've hear a lot of people on this forum say they like the Ampeg B200R and that would be around the same price point. I also recently saw a reissue b15 on craigslist for around $800, but also not sure if that 100 watts is loud enough (and I've also hear that they sound nothing like the original but more like a V4)...

    I guess my questions boil down to:

    1 - Is a 100 watt tube head loud enough for a rock band ? (Not looking for an overdriven sound)

    2 - If so an you think the Twin would fit the sound I'm looking for, would you spend the money on new speakers if it wasn't loud enough or just buy a cab rated at 4 ohms and maybe with a 15 inch speaker?

    3- And if you think I'm wasting my time and money and should just buy some other amp that combined isn't more than $800 let me know (I'm trying to do it as cheap as possible so at the cheapest the head cab with no other change would only be $200, but if that doesn't work I'd rather have the money to spend on an amp that would).

    So, thanks in advance for any advice, I'm a guitar player as the name suggests so I'm kinda new to the whole loudness of a bass amp, and sounds of different amps. I've already learned a ton by reading your posts...
  2. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Buy a bass amp. The Twin is the wrong tool for the job.
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The Twin is the same or similar chassis as most of the four 6L6 tube Fender amps, including the Dual Showman and various Bassman incarnations. It will work OK for bass with a very efficient speaker setup, two 4x10s are probably the best bet. 1x15 won't make the grade.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    1 - Probably not. In an interior space if the other guys aren't too loud, my experience is that 100W is enough, but if you ever play outdoors or in really large spaces, you'll probably be short on power.

    2 - I'm not familiar with the Twin Reverb but it's not a bass amp, and even if it will serve (which it may) as a head, the speakers in that combo aren't designed for bass and you'll tear them up playing bass through them. AFAIK it's not a good match for your need.

    3 - I suggest you consider good used gear with an amp in the 300w range (give or take) and a 2x10, 2x12 or 4x10 cabinet. You should be able to find decent equipment for your budget if you shop carefully. I personally like separate heads and cabs, as sooner or later you'll probably want to change one of the other.
  5. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
  6. You won't lose power with an 8 ohm load. As a matter of fact, you will gain power, but it will be at the expense of stability of your amp and will probably damage it severely. A Twin makes a GREAT bass amp, provided that you have efficient (loud) cabs. A single 15 won't cut it and the Bandmaster cab is all but useless for bass in a loud rock band, so new speakers in it would be a waste of money.

    Why not hold off on the head mod and just get a good bass cab? You can get a used 2x15 or 8x10 for what you're looking to spend, and powering it off of a guitar combo would make for a nice novelty for the short term.

    You're better off with what you have right now.

    If you have efficient cabs yes, but generally, no.

    The Twin will most definitely have the tone. The question is volume.
  7. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    I use a blackface twin reverb in a head box as a bass amp, I also use an V-4B. Both of them get paired with an efficient 1x15" with a 6" midrange driver. The Ampeg works exceptionally well at slightly overdriven levels with a rock band. The twin barely cuts it in most cases and sometimes comes up short. If you follow the good advice above and pair the twin with a quality large bass cabinet or two, you should have a great amp.
  8. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I would spend $400-$500 on a new bass rig. Get something used, it's your best bet.

    That Super Reverb is going to suck royally for bass.
  9. guitar_player


    Jul 16, 2008
    Wow, quite a lot of mixed opinions :) So I think I'm leaning towards giving it a shot. Like the one post said I could just buy the bass cab first and deal with the head later (would probably just take the speakers out of the combo to make it lighter).

    And the more I think about it, I'm currently using a setup that stays at practice space (GK 700RB with SWR 4X10) which works good enough just not thrilled w the sound. At gigs I have always been miked and the sound engineer would probably be thrilled with less stage volume anyway...

    So... Anyone know what a could cab would be to pair up with this setup? I noticed the 8x10 and 2X15 recommendations but a little lighter would make it easier for the random blues/cover gigs...

    Also, is the 15 inch the sound I'm looking for. Seems like it might be from reviews I've read. I'm thinking that has a little to with why I'm not in love with the 4x10 setup I'm using...

    Any good recommendations for a good 1X15? Ampeg SVT-15E, Mesa Boogie Walkabout? Light would be nice if it sounds good...

    Thanks again for all of your responses, VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!
  10. Is the Twin in pretty good shape? Leave it in the combo, make sure everything works the way it should and sell what you have to a guitar player. Then use that money to buy a good condition used GK head and Avatar cab. When you are older and have more money, then buy a good tube head that was made for bass. You will be much happier in the long run.
    Good Luck
  11. I've used a Twin Reverb into an 8x10 as a bass rig, sounded fantastic. Not a huge amount of headroom, but still fairly loud and a really smooth tone with rich lows.

    If you want to go really loud and really clean, it would be the wrong amp. If you are loud (but not stupid loud), and like a bit of compression and grit, you will love it.
  12. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.

    I think you should take your Twin (bass and a speaker cable) to some music stores and try out all the bass cabs you can before spending any money. (I think you'll be disappointed with its volume level as a bass amp)

    I've got a 135 watt twin reverb and a 100 watt Ampeg V4. I've used both these amps for bass with serveral diferent sizes and types of bass cabs.

    My Twin is ridiculously loud/clean with guitars, but to my surprise had very little usable headroom as a bass amp.

    My V4 had way more headroom and volume as a bass amp, but is still sometimes lacking enough volume for my loud-ish rock bands.
  13. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    100 watts is fine for guitar but not great for bass. Those low frequencies eat up amp power much more the the high frequencies. I hope you can find a nice bass amp or combo.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Some of the best recorded bass tone I've ever had was through a Fender Showman and 2 12's. Absolutely beautiful. HTe youngster's dissing that Twin know zilch about it ... Now the 80 or so watts that thing puts out are going to need tsome help. Maybe a pair of Bag End S15'd's - those are really efficient. My YBA 200 - admittedly more power but not the cleanest tool in the shed get's plenty loud with them. The audible difference between a solid 80 to 100 and 200 isn't all that much ...
  15. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    We always come back to the ? how loud is loud?
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