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Marshall Super Bass - Got one?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 6810, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Questions first, explanation last.

    1. Who here on TB has one? How long have you had it?
    2. What kind of sound do you use it for?
    3. In your experience, what size venue is it best suited for - on it's own. Let's say for rock or fairly loud blues or a three piece laking a gui**** obsessed with volume?
    4. What other famous or other well known bass players have used this head (excepting Lemmy)?

    Ok, so I did my home work. Searched around TB, found some great (if not a little short) threads which included a little info on the Marshall Super Bass 100W all tube amp. As I have said in other threads, I will be picking one up soon (mostly to compliment an existing rig, but I wouldn't mind using it on it's own, either).

    The reason for all the questions is more to satiate my curiousity than anything else, but also, just maybe to provide a one stop shop for people wanting to know a few things about this amp.

    Information on it seems pretty thin out there on the net. So I was hoping the TBers could help fill this gap. Any other questions or related stories etc, greatly appreciated.
  2. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Not really into bumping, but nevertheless:

    If anyone could shed some light on what are the difference between 70s models and 80s models?
  3. Sorry I can't answer yr Q's re 70's & 80's ones... I don't even own one.... But I've played thru one a few times & there's one for sale in the local 2nd hand music gear shop!
    IMO?IME pretty similar to Ampeg V4/B/BH in output. Give 'em enough speaker cone area & they get LOUD!!! -actually just read re the "lemmy Sig" model - 100w , 4xEL34's as the one I used... only more expensive ;-) Played thru an 810 or my NV610 & they go plenty loud for most live applications. Plenty punchy & sit well with band. Don't get a very 'modern' sound-well I didn't- , not even as much as the V4BH can, but does the 70's rock bass sound well. I LIKED it a lot! Got GAS for one now, just not $1200!!
    Q2.-Great for rock/blues-especially the English 60's-70's stuff. Led Zep etc..
    Q3. OK for most barring BIG rooms w/ NO PA. Give em lotsa Spkrs & yr good to go..
    Q4.Cant remember right now... Oh ... Geezer in Sabbath used 'em AFAIK
  4. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Thanks for the reply - exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to see/read.

    How about the price range on these puppies?
  5. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Listen to the Relayer album by Yes. Chris Squire used a super bass 100W for the whole album. He also used it on Ritual from Tales From Topographic Oceans and on his solo album Fish Out Of Water. It's all mid-70's prog. I think Relayer is a great example of his Rick/Marshall sound. He had it pretty overdriven and I always thought it was a great snarly tone. He used to play it thru two (rare) Sunn 6x12 (that's right) cabs.

    Another player who got a great tone from his Marshall Super Bass 100 was Trevor Bolder back when he was with Bowie/Spiders. Listen to David Bowie Santa Monica Live '72. Bolder played a long-scale (slotted head) Gibson EB3 thru Marshal Super Bass 100 and Marshall 4x15 (that's right) cabs. His tone is AWESOME on that live recording.

  6. bassvi


    Jul 12, 2005

    Jack Bruce playing through one Superbass, two 4x12 cabs in a 3-piece band.
    The EB3 is part of the sound, but the Marshall sounds great, IMO.
  7. bassvi


    Jul 12, 2005

    Another great example.
  8. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I've got an Ampeg SVT-100, which has a Marshall-style preamp; its essentially a v5 retuned for bass, so in that respect, similar to the SuperBass (A JCM retuned for bass). Mine sounds great, EXTREMELY ballsy and bassy, good slight-overdrive; the bassy-ness might have to do with the 6550s in there, but it still only puts out 100 watts. I'd grab one if I where you. It seems to like 10".
  9. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Unreal, thanks for all the cool replies. I love yes - but only have the Live Songs album (on 12" even!) and I love the bass tone on that.

    I'll be pickin' that superbass up soon...
  10. michel_olivier


    Jul 31, 2007
    I'm the owner of a '73 superbass half-stack, handwired, since 2 years (I'm in France). I have an old SVT too.
    So, I often use the superbass for rock, it's really bassy & punchy. Really good dynamic with this amp. Great for funky style too and old school slapping. Sometimes I use it full overdrived too.
    Excellent with keyboards, organs & guitars too (hammond + superbass :hyper:)
    My preamp tube are not all 12ax7 but 2*12ax7 + 1*12ay7, that's what I love (a little bit less saturated).
    Size venue : it depends of what type of sound you like because a big room need more volume and you'll have a more distorded sound : big club or small/medium outdoor scene is nice with this amp.
  11. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    I sometimes play in a stoner trio, so fully distorted and loud is fine by me!:hyper:
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Sometimes two or three whole stacks.

    The Super Lead 100 actually gave me the best tone with an actual not RI '57 P. The Superbass had this coloration like "make this sound like a bass amp while the Lead was just perfect tone particularly in mids and highs. Used it on Kustom cabs one or two 2x15s and on a slant Marshall 4x12. Got the Superbass 100 put that on a Marshall 4x15 the kind that stands up. Okay:( but cab back would go BRAPPPPP! Not braced a big sound board.
    Later much later used a different Superlead on a Cerwin Vega B36MF that's an 18" in a 1/2 folded horn with a front loaded 12" I replaced with a JBL D120. I would pick up another 100 when the economy says so.:) If you like your stuff clean though it doesn't have the headroom and most guitarists can over power you. YMMV

    Info? Try Plexipalace.
  13. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    FOr most of what I play, clean isn't so necessary. Plus I can always run my GB 6.0 DI through the PA where available or else through another 410.
  14. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Just played one at the store today. Sweet. And loud (and distorted).

    I wonder, is it possible to put some sort of volumet attenuator between the amp and the cab - in order to play with max distortion at quieter volumes?

    Does that make sense? Can it be done?
  15. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    What about the JCM800 series Super Bass? The shop has one of those too. Is there any big difference? I think he might sell me the JCM800 cheaper since it is not as "vintage"...
  16. That one uses KT88's and has sweepable mid control, if it's the one I'm thinking of: totally different animal tonally, much more punch and muscle.
  17. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    Know where I might be able to get some more detailed info on one of those? (JCM800 version that is).

    I can't seem to turn anything up...
  18. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    I've looked around a bit and found stuff on the mid-sweep dial...

    Are there any good books or site for a detailed look into this amp (other than generalised sources)?
  19. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    Just found this thread, and thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. ;)

    I have 2 early 70s Super Bass heads (1973 and 1974) that I play through Marshall JCM800 Bass Series 4x12 on top of Marshall JCM800 Bass Series 2x15 cabs. I've been using this setup for about 10 years now. I play bass in a Speed Metal band named Exciter, where I use a mostly clean sound with a fair amount of grit, I used this rig on our latest CD: Thrash Speed Burn. Before that I was in a Metal band where I actually used a distortion pedal, and had a Lemmy-On-Steroids sound going with full-on over the top distortion :D. I've played through this rig in all sorts of venues from tiny 60 capacity clubs to outdoor festivals, and it's served me very well (the sound guys in the smaller clubs hate me, though, because it's LOUD! ;) )

    The JCM800 version is a completely different animal. The pre-JCM800 Super Bass amps were basically the 67-69 "plexi" circuit minus the bright cap, and stayed relatively unchanged until the JCM800 Series. I have no personal experience with the JCM800 Series version, so I can't comment on it other than to say the circuit was changed a lot from the older ones.

    Here's a pic of the 73 head with the cabs taken in the studio when we were recording the CD last year:


    Here's one of the 74 on top of the cabs before I re-grilled them with the camo cloth (which I am about to switch back to stock). This was taken about 5 or 6 years ago at a club gig.


  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    What does "mostly clean with a fair amount of grit" mean?:):)

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