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Prog Rock Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Maleikbassist, Mar 9, 2013.


  1. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    I've been listening to prog now for a couple of years, most notably ELP, Pink Floyd(although I'd agree that they aren't 100% prog), Genesis, as well as a few others that have that prog feel to it. I really dig the types of tones and sounds that they go for such as the high trebles, high gain, aggressive picking. I've had some luck recreating some of my favorite tones with my rig, but not completely satisfied. Did some research, found that the Hiwatt's were what a few of them used, as well as some go sounds from the classic Bassman heads. While I'd have no problem getting a vintage head, I'd think I'd like to find a cheaper route. Was considering trying to find a Bassman 50-100 watt on ebay. Also was wondering if anyone knew of a good modern made amp that could make those classic Hiwatt/Bassman Prog Rock bass tones. Any help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated! :smug:
     
  2. Tony Levin used Trace Elliot forever. A lot of them used Sunn Colliseum and 300t. The Ampeg SVT is a staple in any music from the 70's and 80's, with prog being no exception.

    As for modern alternatives the Gallien Krueger fusion stuff might work, Aguilar Th500, Ampeg, Fender remakes. Or you could try some pedals like the way huge swollen pickle, Wooley Mammoth, B3K or B7K.
     
  3. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Go to Guitar Center (or your nearest musical instrument store) and try a bunch of amps. Pick whichever amp sounds the best to you. If the amp doesn't overdrive the way you like, there are a million pedals out there that will satisfy your every need. My personal suggestion is a Darkglass B3K or a Tronographic Rusty Box. The Tech 21 VT Bass (or Bass Driver, either one) does some sweet drive tones too.
     
  4. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    Do you know what kind of rig Mike Rutherford used from Nursery Cryme to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway era? And as far as it goes, I like the Ampeg 810 sound, just not a huge fan of their amp heads. I'm kinda more leaning towards tube amps too, just for that really grainy but clean tone they can pull. I'm way old fashioned with music stuff, I'd rather have something that has been proven and used over many years as opposed to something newer and not as highly praised.
     
  5. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    The limitation that any particular amp is better for any particular genre exists only in your mind.

    Such limitations are not prog.
     
  6. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    I'd like to kinda deviate from relying on pedals for my sound. With my current rig, my prog sound mostly comes from a digitech modeling processor, which is great and all since it has dual outputs, built-in effects, expression pedal, etc. But I'd like to be able to simply pick up my bass and just plug it in to the amp and have my requested sound as opposed to needing to program it in or always have the pedals with me.
     
  7. Uh oh, I smell a "What's the best amp for prog?" TalkBass joke in the making!

    Good luck with your search... and do yourself a favor and listen to some more prog. I'd personally recommend UK's album 'UK' and Steve Hillage's album 'Green' if you've never heard 'em before...
     
  8. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    Nev375 I'd agree, and I hate to be a tone chaser, but I when I played on a buddy of mines bass/amp(Stuart Maxfield from a band called "Fictionist." Good band for newer prog/floyd kind of sound) I just fell in love with that good loud and punchy bassman vibe, plus anytime I listen to Greg Lakes ELP work I am just amazed at the sound of those Hiwatts
     
  9. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    Hehe, I'd hate to be made the laughing stock on TalkBass on the first day of "school," but such is life. And thanks for artist suggestions! I'll take some time and look them up when I'm not about to fall out of my chair from lack of sleep :)
     
  10. I forgot to mention Mesa Boogie. A 400+, Walkabout, or a Carbine. Also, the Genz-Benz Streamliners give that old bassman vibe pretty well. As for Mike Rutherford, all I could find was a picture of him with some sort of PA setup in the 70's. For the money you couldnt beat a Sunn 300t. Great features with a built in compressor and graphic eq, a higher gain channel you can blend with the clean, and 300 all tube watts. It can do a more modern sound, the dark old tube sound, the high gain monster, or any combination you want.
     
  11. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    Yeah, I remember reading about him essentially using a PA rig somewhere, but I wanted look around more though, I guess not though. As for that Sunn you speak of, what are the specs in terms of weight/size. And are they currently in production or are they something I'd have to try and score off of ebay?
     
  12. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    The Sunn is discontinued (absorbed by Fender). You may still find one, the more recent models are called Fender Bassman 300t. I think those are recently discontinued as well.
     
  13. Fender was remaking the 300t under their own brand. I think it was the fender pro 300 or something. Its pricey though. You can find the original Sunn 300t used for $600-800. They are the classic tube size, like an SVT. They are heavy. Around 80lbs, but all the all tube heads are. It takes a lot of iron to power those tubes.
     
  14. thefruitfarmer

    thefruitfarmer

    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    I do not like prog (personal thing)....

    Part of the sound I do not like is the way they use chorus effects on the bass. I like chorus on the bass (use a boss CE-5, which is very popular) but not going in to the "prog zone"...

    That might be something worth looking in to...?
     
  15. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    I found a bunch of Guitar Player mags in my basement- if I get a chance, I'll look in the article of the one where he's on the cover.
     
  16. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    What kind of bass are you using? I know that Rutherford used Shergold and Rickenbacker basses (as well as a double neck), along with some others in the '70s. The double neck instruments were made so he could have bass and either 6 or 12 string by separating the two halves and bolting the other one back on. He also had a white Shergold short-scale bass that he didn't use as much. I know they used SWR bass amps on at least one tour in the '80s, so I don't think the brand was as important to him as it is to us gear hounds.
     
  17. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Most of the classic 70s British prog bands were using Hiwatt. I love Tony Levin, but he was playing with Paul Simon when most of the classic prog material was recorded, so Trace Elliot is very far from the tone you are looking for. John Wetton, Greg Lake, Mike Rutherford- Hiwatt, Chris Squire- Marshall Super Bass.
     
  18. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    I have a '95 MIM Fender Jazz Bass. It has a pretty great sound. and I knew of Rutherford's use of the Ric's in the Gabriel/Genesis years. I'd love to get a chance to try out a couple of Ric's because of the sound that people like Squire and Rutherford got out of them.
     
  19. Maleikbassist

    Maleikbassist

    Mar 8, 2013
    I know that The Who wasn't really prog, but didn't Entwistle also use Hiwatts too? I remember reading that somewhere. And if I'm not mistaken Roger Waters also used Hiwatts at some point?
     
  20. jeffgnr90

    jeffgnr90

    Aug 4, 2011
    I'm able to get a pretty nice prog tone by adding a guitar combo to my rig for some grit. Just turn down the bass on the guitar amp, throw some distortion in there and then blend to taste! Doing so in a band setting would also be beneficial.
     

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