Old tube guitar amp for bass practice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jammadave, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Last night my best friend gave me a very cool christmas present - It's a VERY old Gretsch tube amp for guitar - by the serial number I've found it was made between 1940 and 1942! Lots of tubes, a single 8" speaker (recently updated with a heavy duty Pyle), three inputs and a tone knob - voila!

    I told him I didn't know if I could use it for bass, but I tried it tonight and I didn't seem to hurt anything - very nice breakup as I went up on the volume dial, actually, but I backed it off because it was plenty loud for my practice room.

    The tone isn't suited for anything ultra-modern but hell- I enjoyed it, the only thing missing was some kind of EQ for mids =0) Major mojo though! I liked it better for jamming than my Genz combo!

    Would this be ok for doing more vintage-tone stuff, especially if I'm playing fretless or at least flatwound against acoustic guitars? I'd only use it at home and maybe at very tiny party or coffeehouse type gigs.

    Also, anybody who could give me more info on this amp, drop me a line and I'll share any details I can.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I used an amp like that (it was a Silvertone) for practice for a number of years. Just be careful about cranking it and don't expect a lot of bottom end. If you push the speaker too hard you could blow it so be careful especially if you have a bass with active EQ.

    I wouldn't use it for bass for ANY kind of playing besides solo practice, at some point you'll run it up too loud and blow the speaker.
  3. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    that's cool, maybe i'll get a PJB briefcase for tiny gigs then =0)
  4. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I use a Behringer Vintager 110 guitar combo sometimes for bass. Along with a small 115 I have it has plenty of bottom end. I plug my Sansamp BDDI into the effects return most of the time, but I can get an awesome fuzz bass tone by going BDDI into the input of the amp. Congrats on the Gretsch, I love old vintage pieces like that.

  5. duncbass


    Dec 28, 2003
    I'm without a bass rig but practicing with a Peavey Vindage 212. Sounds nice and warm but has to stay at low volumes. Years ago I used it with a 215, (I can unplug the 2 12's), and for a 100watt app, this thing has b@11s!. It's ultra heavey so I cant' consider carrying it around. Whatever works for practice is great.