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Ron Carter "Amps, Amps, Amps" clinic at Gage's

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Alexi David, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Anyone go? Any reports? I wasn't able to make it.
  2. dperrott


    Oct 3, 2005
    I did attend this clinic. Basically he tried out several
    different amps. He played the same etude and walking
    bass line for each. He uses a realist. He used his rig first.
    Its a clarus (dont know what model)with a flite 112 cabinet
    on a stand. It was a little less then eye level, his eye level.
    He says he can get his sound out better that way. He started
    using this setup since the last ISB convention. It sounded
    very nice. I thought the best. He then played a Genz-Benz
    head and cabinet(I cant remember all the models) then a
    Genz-Benz combo.Then the Bose system. That big tower
    thing. Then a clarus that's not on the market yet with a few
    epifani cabinets. The clarus was 900 watt at 2 ohms!

    They all sounded good. All this stuff was high dollar so it
    should. The Bose thing sounded pretty good.The genz-benz
    combo had a tube in so it sounded nice but was very heavy.
    Ron commented that he thought his rig was the only practical
    one for weight and sound.
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Where are these Gage clinics advertised and how far in advance?

    Sounds like something for which I'd make a road trip.
  4. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Usually a month or two in advance. Go to Gage's website and get on his e-mail mailing list.
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    just a note of clarification-

    Ron quoted the weight of our NeoPak bass head at 14 pounds. It is only 8.5 lbs. and has a bag for over the shoulder.

    The Genz cab he played it through is 37 lbs. Interestingly it was Ron that requested the Genz stuff to be there because that's what he's using at a few clubs around NYC.
  6. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    I'm a bit late on this one. RC was pretty diplomatic when it came to summing up his opinion on which of the amps seemed to be best. Having followed him around for a number of years here in NYC, he's really quite accessible. Pretty much, he said bassists need to hunt, search, ferret-out, the best amp/pickup combo for their particular bass. Any amp could be "the one", and you'll never know for sure until you keep searching. He did say that in NYC, portability is important (subways, busses and the like).

    For me, the revelation was his amp on a stick. The speaker pole brought the amp up to face level. For a guy who's about 6'5", that's a long way up for a bass amp. His theory: forget all the opinions about coupling an amp with the floor. Why? Well, it could ruin your tone (too boomy). We all kinda knew that, but then he pointed out that it really is an issue of consistency. Each stage is different; some are made of plywood, some concrete, some are filled with sand and are carpeted, some not. He feels, regardless of what engineers might say, that in almost all cases, the amp should never be on the floor, especially the tiny acoustic-style amps we all tend to use. Bring it up to ear level, EQ it so you get your best sound, work with that sound (tweaking it a bit to match the room acoustics) and leave it.

    I mentioned to him that I use my trusty MB 150S and it doesn't have a socket to fit on a pole and he seriously suggested that I drill a hole in the bottom and put one in! Well, I don't think I'll go THAT far, but I have been looking into getting a small ladder-type stand the will get the amp up to about four feet off the floor. Even if I put in on a bar stool, it projects much better (everyone in the band comments about the improvement).

    RC brought along his own Flite cab with the new AI amp (forgot the model name but it's around 600 watts). Great tone, easily more like the RC that we all recognize when compared to the amps the manufacturers brought along. BTW his cable is custom made out of some kind of magic wire. It better be, because he said he paid several hundred dollars for it!

    Incidentally, RC also played the etude in Dm, (pg. 48 of the Simandl "New Method" book) for each amp test. This is not necessarily a difficult piece, but to hear him play it was unlike anything I've ever heard before. Talk about mind-blowing rhythmic creativity. He was just stunning and it only got better as we all heard the same passage four consecutive times, once for each amp. It's neat when a legend takes a page out of a music book and shows us how it's done.

    Summary: RC is a gearhead, constantly seeking to improve tone, open to any and all ideas, willing to try anything. It's great to see "old school" guys (like me) pushing the envelope. No complacency here!
  7. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
  9. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks, ctxbass and Aaron Saunders.

    I was actually looking for that same yoke for my MB. It seemed GK discontinued manufacturing them since they weren't on the GK web site any longer. I called GK and sure enough, was told that they "don't make 'em anymore."

    Maybe that's ok, since I now understand that the mic stand is designed for a microphone, not a 26 pound amplifier. Lotsa stories of amps toppling over at the worst possible time!Perhaps the threaded end could be modified to accept a speaker stand socket, a far sturdier support.

    I'll keep on experimenting and searching. Thanks again, guys!

    - Nick
  10. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    What do you mean by "the RC that we all recognize. Are you talking about his tone in recent days, or his tone from the 70s. I've been thinking about the Flite cabs, and I'm wondering what tone he was producing from them. Thanks!
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I feel certain this is possible. It's good to read about RC using stand mounted speakers...I came to the same conclusions on my own, and am able to get a much more consistent sound on all of my gigs as a result.
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I've always put my speaker on a chair, stand or milk crate for the same reason. I spent a couple of years (of frustration) trying to put cabinets on the floor and had absolutely no luck at all.