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Official Lab Series (Gibson / Norlin) Amp Club

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Drifter_Bass, Aug 1, 2018.


Is a Lab Series Amp Club a good idea?

Poll closed Aug 4, 2018.
  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    Is there any interest out there for a Lab Series amp club to exist? Are there enough of us for such a club to even matter? I would love to be able to call myself a member but I am not sure how these types of groups are created. Do I create it? Does someone else? Is this all a waste of my and everyone else's time? I think it would be neat to see pictures of all the other Lab amps that are floating around the TalkBass universe (rare models, modded versions, re-tolexed chassis, etc) - I suspect there are more than a few. Thoughts?

    I love my Lab amps so so much and I assume most others out there feel the same. I often hear them referred to as "one of the greatest-sounding solid state amps ever built" and I tend to agree with that, with some exceptions of course. Nice, loud cleans perfect for bass or guitar (although amp model is a factor as well - i.e. L2 is more bass amp, L5 is more guitar). The breakup on these things can be from warm tube-like all the way to borderline high-gain.

    So what say yee, the TB masses?

    Edit: I am declaring this the official Lab Series club and I'll go ahead and hand out numbers for anyone who wants one. Post your amps, pictures, stories, information, rarities, etc. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  2. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    I voted yes to have a club the only bummer for me is the first amp I ever bought was a Lab Series L2 100 watt head and the 115 cabinet that came with it, I wished I still had that set-up, I was 18 years old when I bought that amp, I ended up selling to get something bigger which was a EV B-215M cabinets and actually for a brief time I used the Lab Series L2 head to drive the EV cabinet but had to install a fan to keep the amp cool.
     
    Reclaimer and Drifter_Bass like this.
  3. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    I have the fan in my L11 disconnected because it sounds like a hurricane, but that also means it runs QUITE hot. My L2 also gets pretty hot after running for a few hours.

    I am so jealous you had the matching L2 cabinet! I want one very much but I've only ever seen one for sale. Seems like super solid setup. Any bass will sound real pretty.
     
  4. Basshappi

    Basshappi

    Feb 12, 2007
    Tucson,AZ
    I played through the Lab Series a few times back in the day but never owned one.
    My guitarist at the time owned an L5 which I still feel was one of the best sounding solid state guitar amps ever made.
     
    TimB 619 and Drifter_Bass like this.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Aion electronics sells an L5 pre-amp printed circuit board. This is a pretty cool pedal to have. I have the PCB but haven’t had the time to get to it yet. There’s an interesting writeup talking about the story behind the amp.


    Lab Series L5 Preamp - DIY PCB Project - Aion Electronics
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  6. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    AH! This has been on my bucket list for so long, now! I would ADORE having an L2 preamp pedal on my board. No worrying about having to bring the actual amp to gigs anymore, just the pedal and a power amp. What do you plan on doing with your PCB?
     
  7. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    My babes: L2 and L11. Worry not: The sticker has since been removed from the L2.

    upload_2018-8-1_17-54-54.
     
  8. No experience with Lab bass amps but I’ve worked with one guitarist who used a Lab ; always sounded great

    Saw a friend ( Major metal player from Cinci .. “Leviathan”). Had Marshall guitar stacks empty for looks on stage and down by his side was a Lab 2-12
    Imagine their bass amps must be good as well
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Hope to get to it this winter. I expect that it will sound pretty good, it offers a lot of tonal options. Hoping that it'll work well for recording.

    It have seen some built units on reverb.com in the past.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  10. Bim1959

    Bim1959

    Apr 15, 2009
    Naples Florida
    Sales and electronic tech/piano tech: England Music Center - Clinton IA - now closed
    I'll take a number.
    I currently have an L5 (yes I know its a guitar amp) and at one time I had an L11 head and a different L5 that I sold to pay bills. Id love to have a Lab Series L4 head some day.

    I also have one of the Aion Electronics L5 preamp that Im in the process of assembling.
    There's just something in the sound of the Lab Series amps that's hard to beat.
     
    Drifter_Bass and basscapes like this.
  11. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    I would LOVE an L4. Only one I ever saw for sale locally got snatched up real quick. Cool that you have the preamp board as well! Share your final pictures, for sure. I am curious to hear about the tonal differences between that and an actual L2 (if there's any).
     
  12. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    Bim1959 likes this.
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I used to have a Lab Series 1-15 cabinet a few decades ago.
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  14. Try the L-5 as a "top end" amplifier for bass; sounds pretty good!

    Been there (borrowed, and no $$$ at the time to buy it!), and actually wish to visit there again!
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Go for it.
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  16. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    I use my L11 as the "treble amp" when I am running my Rickenbacker in stereo; it's wonderful. The Lab Series overdrive flavor is magnificent for bass.
     
    basscapes likes this.
  17. Yes!!!

    The only OTHER overdrive/distortion that even remotely sounds similar is a Yamaha Guitar Preamp (DG-1000) that my lead player had back some years ago. He ran that into a 50 Watt Crate tube guitar amp (through the effects return) and through a number of different cabs (mostly 4x12s). I tried it for the top end on my (then) stereo Yamaha bass, and was amazed at how close to a Pinnick "grind" it could do! It felt like Ty and dUg were living in my bass!!! LOL
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  18. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    Wanted to post a picture of the original Prototype Lab Series Amplifier, built in the barn behind Bob Moog's house. Interesting to see that it didn't have the Multifilter or Compressor, yet. I personally love that it has the MOOG logo on the front grill.

    moog_lab_series-number_one.
     
    10cc, Axstar and Jeff Scott like this.
  19. Bim1959

    Bim1959

    Apr 15, 2009
    Naples Florida
    Sales and electronic tech/piano tech: England Music Center - Clinton IA - now closed
    Question for everyone here since this is the Lab Series group.

    Does anyone have the schematic for the preamp of the L4? I do but its hidden away deep in storage and it would take me awhile to find it.

    What I want to do is see what the differences are between the L4 and the L5 and if possible turn my Aion L5 preamp into an L4 but leave the gain circuit the same so I can get a grindy sound if I want to. The channels are laid out the same. I just want to change the voicing so its a bass preamp instead of a guitar preamp.

    Is this possible or am I just dreaming?
     
    Drifter_Bass likes this.
  20. Drifter_Bass

    Drifter_Bass

    Apr 5, 2017
    MPLS, MN
    Doing some searching, here is the best I've been able to find so far (file attached). It appears to be an incomplete page, but a good chunk of the preamp seems to be there.
     

    Attached Files:


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