Need to equip a dream studio with bass gear!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Swiss Frank, May 11, 2019.

  1. Swiss Frank

    Swiss Frank

    Dec 29, 2016
    So I've got a high-end project studio in the works and need to equip it with bass amps and cabs. If costs is kind of no object, what's 1-3 bass rigs I should consider? They need to cover pretty loud jamming in an extremely large and absorptive room, taken out for very small gigs at the lakeside, and record well. Need to cover genres from reggae to rap to mowtown to funk and punk.

    Is there some top vintagey Acoustic that's going to do good enough for everything? Ampeg? I love Mesa on the guitar side but are they a great general purpose studio amp for bass? Are these close enough in sound I don't need all three? I assume these should all be tubes but is there a non-tube head people are switching from tubes to? Is there among 2x12 cab with a class-D amp any clear top of the line? I'm hoping to have at least 1 15" or even 18" cab for reggae nights.

    Just as an example on the guitar amp side, I've a Mesa Road King, a 1959 Marshal stack, a vintage Fender Twin and AC30. I need one smaller fender to break up like Stevie Ray Vaughn but then Ill be set. Whatever someone is doing, Ill have a good amp. I need to get that for the bass amps too.
    zon6c-f and Turbo Sparky like this.
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist


    Theres a couple each; Ampeg, GK, Aguilar, Fender and Mesa
    Aqualung60, ELG60, Reedt2000 and 2 others like this.
  3. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    Get a Reddi too
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  4. CTBassGuy

    CTBassGuy Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    Don’t leave out the Ampeg B15N
  5. Word on the street is that I.E.M.'s are all that is ever needed for anything anymore....

  6. bassfootballguy

    bassfootballguy Spectacularly Average Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    A small, small town
    Ampeg B-15
    70s SVT and cab
    SWR Studio 220 and cab
    Eden VT-.40 and cab
    Aguilar DB359 and cab
    Mesa D800
    Fender Bassman 120

    A great tube DI.

    Swiss Frank likes this.
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Get a top DI, compressor and a great sounding P bass and forget the amp and cab idea.
    kdogg, Swiss Frank and garp like this.
  8. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    As recommended above, I'd be spending most of the budget on top-notch DI gear. For the most part, all of the classic bass heads and cabs can now be simulated through modeling technology.
    kdogg and Swiss Frank like this.
  9. Monique. Phat, articulate, musical DI. Bold imprint on “tape.” Power tube like girth from those 6sl7s. Completely quiet.
    Swiss Frank likes this.
  10. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    GK 1001RBii/2001 RBii, Mesa D800+/Strategy 888, SVT, and if you want totally ultra clean with volume the Aguilar DB751.
    GK 412 (or 2 212s), Barefaced 610/Big Twin II/SuperTwin, and an 810 fridge.

    DBX 160a rack compressor, yes rack mounted, absolutely best stupid easy true by-pass $500 (USD) out there IMO for studio.
    I play punk/HC/Post-HC and dabble in funk and Ska/Reggae. For the most part in "my" circuit, it's either GK or SVT, combinations of 10's and 12's with slight compression via pedals. You may also want to consider an envelope filter for the dubby/womp womp of some of the reggae styles.
    Bag of ear plugs, use it or lose it.
    Good luck.
    mikewalker and Swiss Frank like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    It depends... are the dreams good or bad? :woot:
  12. Swiss Frank

    Swiss Frank

    Dec 29, 2016
    It's not just for recording, otherwise I'd consider that!

    I have a vintage '76 P looks 2/10 playability 9/10 sound 9/10, as well as: 16836430_10212026923209912_2312646723740886909_o.jpg
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  13. Swiss Frank

    Swiss Frank

    Dec 29, 2016
    Thanks Basscooker. Quite a list though. I'm trying to narrow it down to 1 or 2 complementary rigs.

    It's probably clear I have little experience with bass amps. I play enough bass to record demos but record them DI. Instead these amps are for studio users though of course I'll goof around with them. (The basses themselves I think I have covered, along with guitars+amps, keys+amps, and drums and some basic horns.).

    But to put it in bass terms, if you were stocking just one bass in a studio space, you'd probably make it a P or a Jazz, either of which can just about do all styles even if not ideal (P not great for funk, J not great for reggae). If you were getting two, you'd probably make it a P and either a J or a Stringray, right? You'd have the dark and bright ends covered.

    Likewise in guitar amps, if you had two you'd have to have a Marshall 1959 for dirty, and a Fender Twin Reverb for clean (or another blackface Fender for clean and blues-dirty). If just one you might have to go to a Mesa model that can do clean and dirty.

    So of the dozen amps you mention (including submodels of SVT etc.) can you recommend one that simply has you covered from funk to reggae and vintage to modern? Even if it's high-buck, that's fine. Or maybe two complimentary ones, perhaps one better for modern or funk and one better for dark or vintage? I'm happy to get an 8x10 coffin, but also 4x10 and 1x15 for reggae, and use the same head, if the same head works. Also happy to use the head with a 2x12 for outside parties but maybe a a good class-D would be worth considering.

    Also: ignoring cost and portability, would you say all the top amps are tube, as they are in the guitar world, or are there some solid state amps a guy with a tube rig might actually move over for sound purposes?
  14. Father Gino

    Father Gino Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2018
    Farthard, Connecticut
    But then you see these documentaries about older studios with analog mixers and great room acoustics that provide the magic mojo that leads to the holy grail great recording session. Even if it’s a placebo effect, maybe it’s worth it. Buy some amps and let the bass players be happy.

    BTW, can I be in your band where money is no object?
  15. Keger Jupit

    Keger Jupit Inactive

    May 10, 2018
    The Great PNW!!
    When you do use a DI, I humbly suggest this one!

    My gear I wish Neve RNDI.jpg

    Neve needs no introduction, of course, but his RNDI might be unfamiliar to some. It's active, & requires phantom power, but it is absolutely the best DI I've EVER used. (Check out the specs...)

    Mesa Walkabout Scout (tone machine)
    The often overlooked big brother of the Scout, the 2x12 Mesa Venture (it can cover all of your requirements)
    SWR Redhead (figure it out, & it really delivers)
    Oliver B15 (sounds better than the Ampeg to my ears)
    Anything else I would mention has already been covered. Have fun with your studio!
    Swiss Frank and nbsipics like this.
  16. landrybass

    landrybass Guest

    Oct 23, 2011
    The best recording bass tone I can get comes from multiple sources. (Running 2 cabs/amps) A 410 Aguilar SL cab with an Epifani class AB head, and a Mesa Subway D800 head with a Subway 15 cab. I get the sound equal output and put a mic in the middle of both. I’ll use a DI from either head to the console. I’ll have a fretboard mic right next to around the 12th fret. Lastly one ambient room mic away and Kinda near the ceiling. I don’t think it really matters what brands you’re using but definitely some sort of 10” speaker and a 15” speaker.
    Swiss Frank and lowplaces like this.
  17. CryingBass

    CryingBass Sowing the Seeds of Uncertainty Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Pictures or it didn't happen :) I love the challenge of a good studio build...
    Swiss Frank likes this.
  18. DrThumpenstein

    DrThumpenstein Living for the groove Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    St Louis, MO
    Fam might not agree :D

    But to your original question, Mesa WD-800 would be worth a hard look. Does great tubey warmth and sparkly clean over a wide range of volumes and has a studio-quality DI. Also, lightweight and great for portability.
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  19. Modern: the Mesa
    Vintagey: Fender Bassman 100T

    Simple, versatile and unfussy. Buy em outright new. No scrounging around in second hand shops or online for overpriced old amps of dubious quality. Vary the voicings with cabinet choice and anything else do with emulation or a preamp pedal.
    Swiss Frank likes this.
  20. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    Amps: Blue Line SVT
    MESA WD800 or D800+

    Cabs: Barefaced Big Twin II
    Barefaced Eight 10

    Basses: Fender Jazz
    Fender Precision

    Edit: the DB750 or 751 is a very powerful choice but the Mesa's are a lot more mobile.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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