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Looking for the classic funk sound... live.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vin*tone, May 17, 2011.

  1. I'm about to do a bit of a rig shake-up so would love to grab suggestions on pulling a classic (Late 60's early 70's) funk tone live.

    This is an example of the kind of sound I'm after:

    There's something really fat and punchy but still melodic... and I just can't nail it live. I think these guys generally used 810's or 2x15's but I'm hoping that in this day and age we can get away with less than that. :smug:

    My current rig (Mesa W.A + 2 x Aguilar db112s) sounds great but I need to do some pretty extreme EQing to get me in the zone. The bass is pretty massive and it's hard to dial in those sweet sounding mids without getting honky.

    I'm limiting my stage rig to 1 cab. Either a single 410, 212 or 1x15. 2 x 112's is good too if it can give me the tone I'm after.

    I'm thinking Ampeg 410HE but the 8Ω rating I'm guessing I'll need a bit of grunt - SVT 7 Pro or RH750. I'd use an RH450 if I could get away with it.

    Anyway.... what kind of rig would you put together to get that tone live?
    Cheers. Vin
  2. I just realised this a 'best amp for metal' thread.... but for funk.
  3. Options I would consider:

    V4B through a 2x15...
    70s SVT through a flatback 8x10
    B15 only if you can mic it.

    I'm rather fond of the V4B myself.
  4. svenbass


    Dec 12, 2002
    passive bass + flats + tube amp + cab w/o tweeter (or tweeter turned off)

    Basically a LO-FI approach ... of course, back in the day, this was state of the art.
  5. +1 to that

    Hey Vin, what's cookin'?

    I've gone for an Ampeg 6x10HLF. Overkill, yes....but HEADROOM and more than enough grunt to be heard over Josh Murphy :bassist:

    ....not to mention all those punchy mids my Markbass 410 doesn't have.


    PS heard your "Bro' Popcorn" demos....that some badass s**t right there :D
  6. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    A nice vintage Acoustic head. The first song you posted sounds like a 360 to me. Those are pricey and way larger than you're looking for, though. I'd keep an eye out for a deal on a 320 or 370.

    Great songs, by the way. Thanks for posting.

    Found this. One of my favorites:
    YouTube - MrHotpantsImComin's Channel
  7. You've gone Ampeg????? The sky is falling!
  8. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    don't know the reference here, but it reminds me of the Aerosmith "live bootleg" LP I have with ST doing "Mother Popcorn"
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    P-Bass>Single (or dual) 15 (no tweeter).
  10. :D My band is Brother Popcorn brotherpopcorn.com ... son of Mother Popcorn - which is actually a James Brown tune. It's a killer...

    YouTube - James Brown Mother Popcorn
  11. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    thanks...it's 9:12 am here and I'm rockin' to James and the Flames
  12. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I think you nailed it in mentioning the RH450/750 as an option. The RH750 would definitely give you a bit more power, and with that Tweetertone knob you could get the amount of high end right where you want it, very bright or very dark. The RH heads have that vintage, Ampeg-like tone baked right in. You can also adjust the frequency point of the shelving bass knob so that when you turn it up you're actually boosting lows and low mids so that it's fat and punchy. Then use the two semi-parametric mid controls to get the presence you want. Adding just a touch of the spectracomp and tubetone makes the tone warm and fat with a very natural sounding compression like a tube head. The power management on the RH heads also let you push them as hard as you want and they don't clip, also like a tube head. They're killer heads for vintage or modern-vintage tones.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Geez! what ever happened to an amp with just Bass, Mid and Treble! God bless all these new age amps but there's just way too much 'knob twiddlin' for me! :meh:
  14. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I hear you, but those amps weren't very versatile either. If you want that, the Classic450 has 4 EQ knobs, with no controllable frequency. IMHO, the RH450 is just as easy to use because the frequency points are accessed via a shift button. That means you don't have extra knobs, do you never have to use those features if you don't want. The default frequencies that come from the factory are perfect for dialing in vintage goodness. Bass, low-mid, hi-mid, treble. Pretty easy I think.
  15. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    There are varying amounts of distortion and compression on the different clips you linked, but the common thing to all of them is the sound of traditional thumpy flats.

    I would recommend a VT pedal before a clean SS amp or the TC RH450, if you don't want to go the all tube route.

    But flats are an absolute must if you want that fat greasy punchy funk tone, when funk was FUNKAY...
  16. Tommy Nat

    Tommy Nat

    Feb 16, 2008
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I've tried to get that tone for a long time. I think its possible to get close to it, but not what you hear on the old records. That "vinyl bass" tone is pure analog recorded warmth that will never get reproduced live IMO.

    Based on the recordings on your website, I'd be willing to bet you're already as close to it as possible, I'm digging your tone and groove. I think it all comes down to passive electronics, playing style and eq as already stated. And I think you're on the right track with the ampeg svt and cabs for the vintage tones. Pull the trigger and keep the funk alive!
  17. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I've been wondering the same. My theory is fender bassman (or tube combo) w/ bass at 80% volume, overall volume is low. Have you noticed in Motown or Beatles--volume seems reasonable,not gargantuan. Ive also noticed i like hte way my stuff sounds at living room volume opposed to rehearsal at deafening vol i lose clarity & it's a mad dash to the EQ. I have a feeling subtlety is the secret. See: Bill Withers performing "Use Me" on YouTube.
  18. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Hey do you guys know who this artist is ? Thanks !

  19. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Fat Albert?
  20. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Quite so - Which suggests that these funksters would have been THRILLED to get their hands on a nice modern rig like we have now, don't you think?

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