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Small Amp or Emulation to get great sound??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kirkdickinson, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I am working on my skills with the Baritone guitar, I have one tuned to "A". I have never liked the single coil strat pickups, but have only played the Baritone through my Hartke Kickback amp. I carried it into a music store and asked the guy about amp/pickups, etc.. what would make it sound good?

    He took me over to a Bugera BVV 3000 Infinium that was hooked up with a Marshall MBC410... Holy crap!! It sounded awesome. It reproduced all the tone that I expected to hear and wasn't hearing from my Kickback, or running straight into a pa. Amazing. I had a big stupid grin on my face.

    He told me that it was a bass rig, but that some guitarist might use it. I can see that for sure. I didn't have either of my basses with me, but I grabbed a Washburn 6 similar to a 5 that I used to have and plugged it in. Wow, I never liked the tone on that Washburn, that is why it is at a new home. That 6 was from the same series as my 5 and it sounded amazing.

    I didn't buy the rig but thought about it. The problem is... I play 3 different places regularly, one is a room for 20 people, one is a coffee shop gig, and the other is at church where there are NO amps allowed on stage. They run all in ear monitors and a quiet stage.

    Soo... I have no place to use that fantastic rig.

    How can I get awesome tone using a small amp for the two places where I can, or a combination of emulation and pa?


  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  3. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    b-15?? Several companies make a bass amp with that designation.

    You are probably referring to the Ampeg B-15. That would cost me more than the first option I mentioned and I would still have a really cool amp that I have no place to use. Kinda defeats the purpose.
  4. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
  5. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    It sounds to me like you have to deal with the worst possible scenario first: church with no amps allowed.
    If this is literal, you are going some sort of "emulation" like a Sansamp.
    I'd try that first as that can be added to your existing amp. They can be found here used starting at around $100 for a VT bass.
    If you like that, explore your coffee shop alternatives and replace your kickback with something that truly makes you happy. Seems like that might take a tube amp.
  6. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Wow, that little Amp 3 is a pricy fellow. Sounds like a nice amp. :)

    I have a Aguilar Tone Hammer that I really like it. I never seem to have a good chance at soundcheck to tailor my sound to be what I want. Especially in the Church Sanctuary situation. I usually get called at the last minute to fill in and am pretty much at the mercy of the sound guy at the back. What comes back to me through the Avioms is only good enough to make sure I am in time and in tune, but not much more.

    Someone recommended a Zoom B3 and use the amp modeling to get more of a tube sound. I remember from years ago in LA, a friend of mine had a Demeter Tube preamp, looked at those and they are quite pricey and I don't even know if that would help. But would require a rack to carry it around.

    Wonder if there are any decent sounding, but not necessarily loud amps available for bass in the cheaper price range.

    Thanks for the advice..
  7. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    The Ampeg ba108 gets allot of love.
  8. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    One of the problems with in-ear feeds in a lot of churches, is that you don't usually have the ability to tailor your feed to sound good in your ear buds.

    If you do a bunch of manipulation on your send to the board to make it sound good in your ears, you'll probably mess things up for FOH purposes.

    Meanwhile, any EQ on the send to your ears tends to be global to the Aux channel feeds your IEM's, so if they juice up the bass to make your instrument sound good, the drums, keys, etc., will also start sounding really tubby.

    Unless there's something wrong with your tone at FOH, I wouldn't sweat it overmuch. The cool thing about a relatively un-equalized tone in your IEM's, is that you can hear every clank and finger squeak. I find it helps me to keep my technique nice and clean...
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    iPod (last years refurbished is fine), irig, or irig hd, and Amplitube or equivalent
    Plug into a powered PA cabinet and you're set.
  10. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I just picked up an irig to play with. Haven't been all that impressed with it yet. Is the irig had much better?
  11. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    The problem is, I haven't a clue if I sound good or not in the FOH. I know when I run my Lightwave bass through the Tonehammer, I send so much gain to the board that the sound guy has me turn way down. Last time I was at 30% on
    the bass, on the tonehammer I was 20% on gain and 40% on output and the sound guy still had me padded down 10 db.
  12. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    Ampeg BA series get a lot of love here, surely for good reason. Getting close to the sound of that Bugera/Marshall 410 rig will not be easy to find in a combo, especially reasonably priced. Still some money, but less expensive than the Amp 3 would be an Acme Low B-110 ($450) with a micro (around 300w) of your choice (Ampeg PF-350, Aguilar TH-350, etc.). If you are up for some DIY, you could get a precut cab kit and drivers/crossover for a Fearful 12/6 for around $500. Compact and excellent performance.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The irig uses the ipod internal A/D converter.

    The HD has it's own A/D.

    There's also Line6, Peavey, ... interfaces. Many tend to use external A/D.
  14. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    Well, duh. The iRig uses the input intended for the headset mic, so the first thing your signal hits is a 100Hz HPF. Goodbye, bottom string...

    Also, the iRig and other clones all suffer from crosstalk problems, because the low-level instrument signal and high-level headphone output have to pass each other on the way in and out, all within the cramped confines of an 1/8" TRS connector.

    Even for bedroom practice, you're far better off with an interface that uses the 30-pin or Lightning connector. The leading competitors support 48KHz 24-bit sampling, so the sound quality is MUCH better.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Before IOS 6, iPhones had a HPF for the phone mic in. Since IOS 6 this isn't a problem.

    i.e. see

    iRig has a little pre-amp to match guitar/bass levels to the input of the ipod/ipad/iphone. It's not a bad interface. Just give it enough signal so it jut kisses the red.

    No problems there. iRig has a pre-amp. cable has shielding.

    16 bit, 41.5khz
    24 bit, 48khz (i.e. "iRig HD")
    Can of worms.

    But I'd say the newer lighting interface is a pretty good feature. Fast and compatible with Macs, and now some PCs. You can use the interfaces on IOS, or Macs, and some PCs.

    And the newer IOS CPU's on can do more crunching on the audio signal before hitting a wall.
  16. Well, you're not - or at least not for dirt cheap.
  17. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    Useful information about the HPF being eliminated.

    That said, otherwise you're pretty far off base. The iRig is passive, no preamp. Perhaps you're thinking of the Peavey Ampkit?

    Regardless, if you go to the IOS threads, you'll find ample information about the practical shortcomings of the original iRig in actual use, regardless of which version of IOS you run it under. Even stalwarts who initially loved their iRigs were blown away once they switched.

    Particularly for people who run high-gain models in Amplitube, JamUp, etc. the problems with feedback, tone suck and weird level problems in mixdown are NOT solved by "just kissing the red".

    No-one is claiming that a $100 interface little bigger than a thumb drive is going to challenge real studio gear. But the simple fact is that even the lowest-spec digital interfaces for IOS (some are only 16/44.1) sound drastically better than the iRig, not because of any digital voodoo, but because they're not crap.

    BTW, shop carefully, as not all of the popular digital interfaces work outside of IOS. To list just a few, Alesis iO Dock and iO Mix, Apogee Jam/One/Quartet, iRig HD, Line 6 Mobile In and Sonic Port, and Sonoma GuitarJack are all incompatible with PC's. Some are incompatible with Mac, as well.
  18. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Is the Phil Jones stuff as good as everybody keeps saying? I have read a lot of reviews and not a single bad one. I realize that the little amps won't compete with a Marshall stack, but that is not my need.

    Our small band (3 vocalists, guitar, bass) now has a PA that consists of Mackie DL1608/iPad board, 2 QSC K-12 Mains, 2 QSC K-10 Monitors, 2 QSC K-Subs Subs.

    I plan to run my bass through the PA. I only need the amp to hear my bass up close. We do not run a loud stage volume.