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old and new ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lexington125, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    Is anyone pairing up one of the modern cabinet designs (fearful / fearless, barefaced, bfm ,etc.) with an old, mid power tube amp? I’m ready to pull the trigger on a new rig purchase, but I haven’t heard of anyone using this kind of combination. And these cabs aren’t for sale at Bass-R-Us, so I can’t test drive this setup. I’m considering old heads that range from 40 to 50 watts on the low end to a bit over 100 watts on the high end. [Ampeg B25 or V4b, Fender Showman or any of the many variations of Bassman heads]

    An honest appraisal of how much playing I have time for these days helped me decide against purchasing a brand new amp, even though the MB Prodigy, Ampeg V4b and Fender Bassman 100 all seem like good modern versions of the mid power ‘classic’ tube amp (although the Prodigy was bumped up into the high power category several months before it went on sale)

    The plan is to purchase the head and either a 1-12” or 1-15” cab, live with that setup for a few months, and if I like it, purchase a second cab. The best part is that these modern cabs are both very efficient and capable of handling a lot of power. So I can play small gigs now with this set up and get a nice boost in coverage and volume when I add a second cab. But the high power handling would also allow me to switch to a high powered head at some point in the future.

    This all sounds good to me (on paper), but I haven’t heard of anyone that is doing anything like this. Can anyone comment on the compatibility of one of these cabs (fearless Bassic 15, Barefaced Compact, etc.) and one of the four amps listed above? And if that seems like a good idea, then two of these cabs and that head would be even better, right?
  2. My recommendation is that you look at the greenboy Bassic15 loaded with the Faital Pro 15PR400. Very sensitive driver will make good use of your amp's power.
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    All I can offer is that those mid-power tube heads are typically applied to cabinets with the a large low-mid bump. You might be in for a surprise with a fEARful. You will need a significant amount of EQ to get "back" to that tone. :cool:
  4. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics

    with no ability to try one at my corner store, I really would like to hear from someone who has paired one of the modern cab designs with one of these older tube amps. is there really no one on the forum who has this kind of rig?

    If not, what is the recommendation for someone who is very interested but wary of purchasing something that i've never heard (and that no one can comment on as far as my intended use....)
  5. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    A few weeks ago I had the delightful experience of rocking out with a Matamp 200W all-valve head into our pre-production Big Twin 2, Big Baby 2 and both at once. It was abso******lutely awesome! :D
  6. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Well I paired a 12/6 cube fEARful with a Traynor YBA300. Not an old tube amp, but a 300Watt full tube amp. I EQed the heck out of it but it sounded aweful. Thought I had assembled my cabinet in a wrong way, but after using 1000W clean SS power into the cab I was 100% sure it was the tube amp.
    There's a tube version of the 15/6 so I guess there was some intention to pair those two. I might just had bad luck with mine
  7. I have paired my tube amp, a 50 watt amp, and a 30 watt amp with my cabs.

    IMHO if you want the most useable volume/tone out of a modern cab, a 115 loaded with the 15PR400 is the way to go.
  8. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    The 15/6 tube is strictly a cosmetic change to make the cab wider. There should be no audible difference.

    OP: The reason you won't get alot of responses is just that the kinds of people that go for these new cabs also go for new amps. Typically traditionalists are tied to particular amp + cabinet combination that have a history, like the SVT+ sealed 810.
    Personally I've played my 12/6/1 with a low (~10) watt tube amp and it did sound amazing, however quiet. I'm sure 100w vs 10w would make a difference as would a 15/6 vs 12/6. Just be aware the fearful design doesn't have a low mid bump like conventional cabs. You'll want some low-mid eq to compensate.
  9. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    Still trying to research the idea of an old mid-power tube amp (Fender Bassman or Showman heads, Ampeg B25b or V4b, or maybe even the Mesa Boogie Buster) with the most simple of the modern, engineered cabinet designs (Bassic, Compact, a couple of the BFM designs, etc.)

    I’m trying to keep the budget for the amp head down to $1k or less. (just for discussion purposes, $500 to purchase an old head, and $500 to restore/modify into ‘better than new’ condition)

    But in reading through the Amp forum archives I came across a few threads mentioning “Old School Amps” and the two bass amps they offer - 20 watts and 75 watts, all tube, based on the same preamp and both hand built in the Pacific Northwest . I’ve already got the best 20 watt bass amp I could hope for – a ’65 ampeg SB-12. But the 75 watt model, though a couple hundred $ more than I wanted to spend, looks like it comes very closer to my original requested feature set. And sounds like it would work well for the small blues gigs that the new rig is intended for.

    The controls / features are extremely basic; and the build quality appears to rate up there with any amp currently available. Most of the threads I found concerning Old School Amps were from a few years ago; does anyone have any more recent info? The website seems current (updated this summer), but there is not a lot of detail
    For anyone who purchased one of these amps back in 2010 (or whenever…..) are you still happy after the newness has worn off? Does the amp still impress after a few years of use?
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A good amp + a good cab always sounds good, or at least as good as your playing ;) But I sure would like to see an end to this "old school/new school" stuff. I see plenty of modern bands using "old school" stuff and sounding quite up to date, and this "new school" gear for bass has been around since the 70's.
  11. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    well..... I don't see him changing the name of his company any time soon, so we're stuck with this terminology as far as his amps are concerned. Personally, I don't feel old, but most of the schools I attended were torn down decades ago.....

  12. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    My current rig is a newly-built, old-school amp and a cabinet utilizing bleeding-edge technology:


    I have never sounded better. :cool:
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  13. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    I've run a few, Peavey Classic 50/50 stereo tube power amp, 50wpc, or 100 combined. Peavey Classic 120/120 stereo tube power amp, 120wpc or 240 combined. And a Mesa Coliseum 300 stereo power amp 200 wpc or 400 combined.

    Here's what I have found with my fEARful 15/6. Tube amps have lower damping factors by design, and the power amps I tried struggled to keep that big 3015LF from flopping around too much. I plugged one port, that helped a bit. Perhaps a true tube "head" may respond differently.

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