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Popular big amps in the '80s and '90s?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BillyB_from_LZ, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I started playing bass in 1974 but put it aside from about '81 to '99.

    As a teen I dreamed of owning an SVT, Acoustic 371, Sunn Colliseum or a Marshall Major (with two 4x15 cabinets). When I started playing again, Ampeg was still here (or in reality had returned) but there were all these "new-fangled" companies like SWR, Eden, etc. that I had never heard of.

    What were the big amps of choice through the '80s and '90s?
  2. when i first became a player (meaning when i really got into it, all aspects), it was the early 90's and bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and Primus were the big "musicians" bands. So the popular gear reflected that.

    In my neck of the woods it was either SWR if you had a lot of cash or Hartke if you were a bit more budget conscious (Hartke was hardly cheap back then!:)). Marshall solid states were cheap on the used market, as well as crate and Peavey. Eden had no presence in Dallas then, that I was aware of. Believe it or not, Ampegs were non-existant in my world then.

    Strange how things have changed so much and yet remained the same, right?
  3. I guess the 80's saw the birth of Trace Elliot, whihc became fairly big during that decade. They managed to see themselves into the 90's too I guess - up until last year, when the Gibson corporate monster gave the brand an uncertain future!

    I still love my Trace rig!
  4. GFOS


    Dec 27, 2002
    Athens, Alabama
    If I could have come up with a GK 800RB and Hartke cabinets in 1988 I would have ruled the world. Unfortunatly, all I could do was a big ass Marshall 400 watt SS head with 1X18 and 2X15 cabs. Looked cool, sounded bad. Oh the wonderfully crappy and cheesy 80's. Needless to say, I am still working on that ruling the world thing.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Some others in the 80's;

    - Road and Randall showed up a lot
    - Carvin was holding it's own as it has for decades
    - Crate was rearing it's ugly head with those uncovered "loading pallet" cabs

    Some others in the early 90's;

    - EBS was making itself known in the US
    - ADA and Bag End were getting rave reviews
    - G-K became ubiquitous
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I used a lot of the common brands back then.

    Heads: starting in the mid-80's I switched from Ampeg SVT to a rack head. Gallien Krueger heads were very popular back then... I owned one briefly, also that AMP 400 watt jobber (much much better than the GK).

    Cabinets: I went from a pair of SVT 8x10 to a pair of EV 2x15 to a pair of Marshall 4x12 to Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 2x10 over 1x18. In those years I also used SWR and Hartke 4x10's, also an EV B-410.
  7. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Remember when a GK amp with Hartke 4x10 cab was THE rig to have?

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