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solid state player auditioning w/ band's ampeg tube gear

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BtaylorTheRogue, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    So. I have an audition Sunday with a new band. They want me to just bring out my bass, as they have a rig in the practice area. Fine by me. It's (unspecified) Ampeg gear. I have an inkling that it's a 610 or 810.

    Now, I'm generally team solid state. Is it as good as tube gear? That's a different thread. We're not discussing it here. However, it's definitely a different animal. I love it because it's lighter, cheaper, and more durable. But it also probably behaves differently. I've never actually played long enough on a tube rig with a bass to really experience it.

    What are some pratfalls I should be prepared for? Some things that I should be aware of so that I look like the 17 year player I am, and not some scrub?
  2. Worrying about playing through a different rig than you normally do, and allowing that to have a negative impact on your audition will seem to say "scrub" more than anything else.

    That being said, the tube rig needs time to warm up.
    The tube rig might have a standby switch.
    Maybe get there a little early, and ask if you can try out the tube rig ahead of time.
  3. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Concentrate on yer audition, go for your sound with the tube amp, and don’t, errr, fret about it.

    You’ll be fine.
    Mugre, mikewalker, chadds and 4 others like this.
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    The tones you set initially may change a little over time, typically only by a negligible amount of gain or midrange wool.
    The only thing you'll notice right away is the typical "impossible to accurately describe" responsiveness. The little differences that make tube lovers prefer them.
    Much ado about nothing as far as you having anything to worry about.

    Like stated above, just concentrate on the material and nailing the tunes. If you land the gig there's no reason to believe you won't run across backlined gigs anyway, so being freaked out about an unfamiliar rig could work against you. Look at it as a learning experience of finding a good mix tone on the fly with a rig you've never played.

    I welcome playing on different gear...you may develop some GAS, who knows.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Tone set flat is treble mid and bass at noon. Depending on the room adjust plus or minus noon to boost or cut.

    Power up, amp in standby, after 30 seconds turn standby off and stand back and play.

    If you want to prepare, go to the Ampeg: Classic Series web site and download the SVT-CL and SVT-VR manuals. The VR has a single volume control, the CL has a gain and a master volume. There are other tube amps in their lineup but reading those manuals will get you started and allow you to appear to be competent.
    GrantR and bobyoung53 like this.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    It’s an audition. Forget about the amp and learn the tunes to the very best of your ability. That’s how you get the gig. Worry about the amp later on.

    The big Ampeg amps are great. Very easy to quickly dial in a nice tone, especially clean tones. Assuming the amp is healthy and plugged in correctly, you will have no issues.

    The constant bickering about the “Class” of amps on TB can be rather unfortunate. The reality is that the tube bass amp topolologies were worked out a long time ago. They are dependably good for tone. The Class A/B bass amps were a bit behind that curve; but great examples were ultimate produced, which can be found rather routinely. The Class D powered amps are more newly on the scene, arriving in commercial examples in the mid 00’s. The initial examples weren’t really optimized for bass. More recent examples have substantially addressed the deficiencies.

    I only own Class D now, simply because the better examples now meet my sound needs. Having gigged all the topologies at one time or another, I’m pretty comfortable with what sounds good and what doesn’t. Also, there is a major yin yang with the amp and the cab(s); which synergy, or lack thereof, is often left out of the discussion.

    Anyhow, stay focused on your playing. The rest will take care of itself.

    Oh, and last thing; be easy to work with and smile. Goes a long way.
  7. muddycreek


    Feb 26, 2010
    I agree with all the above; if it mattered THAT much to other people, we wouldn't have so many bass players whose bandmates put up with them wandering through absurd gear changes all the time searching for whatever we all search for.

    Let the amp warm up a bit, quickly dial in a good neutral tone you're comfortable with, nail the music, be positive, and pay attention to chemistry; remember you're auditioning them as well. Good luck!
  8. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Don't worry about the amp that's the least of your worries, if you are a proper musician you will have massive angst and self doubt to contend with first.:)X
    pbass2, 4dog, nbsipics and 3 others like this.
  9. It’s an amplifier. You plug in, switch it on and play. Simple as that. A tube amp is not some mythical device brought forth by arcane arts. It’s just technology, and very mature at that, from an earlier age.

    Good luck at the audition and break a string! (That’s kinda like break a leg for dancers) :D
  10. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Plug in your bass, mess with the tone knobs to get your sound, and knock them dead.

    Break a leg.
    Mr.Ace, chadds, kesslari and 2 others like this.
  11. You might be overthinking this. Good luck on the audition!
    +6dB Dan and Wisebass like this.
  12. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    The biggest side effect of spending lots of time with tube amps, tends to strike your wallet....
  13. The biggest thing you will notice will be the huge smile on your face. The second thing you will notice is that it will be hard to get rid of said smile!
  14. EtoBb


    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    You should be fine. If you understand how to EQ, you should be able to get a functional tone out of most rigs.

    Set it at flat and then adjust to room, mix, and taste. Just don't spend too much time fussing, they want to play with you, not watch you tweak!
    Wisebass and beans-on-toast like this.
  15. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    This more than anything else. Show them that you're ready to roll with whatever happens, such as if you were to show up at a gig and unexpectedly learn you would be forced to play through some bizarre backline rig. Plug in, make a few EQ adjustments if needed, and then make the best of the tone that comes out and forget about it.

    However, nothing is to say that you can't have your bass head sitting in your car in the event that things are going well in the audition but you truly believe they'll be knocked out by your tone if they let you swap out during a break if time and interest permits. I would always have a head or full rig available for an audition even if a rig was provided, just in case their rig failed or was severely deficient.
  16. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I'd worry more about the material than the amp. They obviously aren't worried about the gear or else they'd have you bring your own gear.
  17. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    I’m sure the gear is fine and works well. I just haven’t really worked with tubes. Knowing the songs is already well-in-hand.
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Gotta love the non-responses loaded with assumptions and implications that the OP might not be well prepared for the audition, and is simply looking for some advice on what he thinks could be a potential issue.

    It took him a matter of moments to post a quick question. I doubt he's cowering in a shed, all day, wringing his hands over this issue, instead of practicing.
    HolmeBass, Sixgunn and MDBass like this.
  19. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: post of the year!!!!! I came too late!

    It could be worse!!!! :D:laugh::roflmao:

    Just relax,and enjoy!!! Ampeg gear is easy to handle. (my 2 cents)

    good luck with your band

    may the bass be with you

    Mr.Ace likes this.
  20. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    I seriously doubt if any bass position has ever been won or lost by anyone based upon knowledge about. use of, or ownership of a tube amp. Seriously.
    Sixgunn likes this.

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