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The best sounding bass amplifier you ever owned or played?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Martizmo, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Strictly based on sound alone, that pivotal moment when you plugged in and the bass gods spoke to you. Start first by listing the amp and just as important, the cabinet and bass guitar; as all the variables play into the sound delivered to your ears.
    1. Amp
    2. cabinet
    3. Bass guitar
    4. Your story
    ahbradot likes this.
  2. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Aguilar DB751 with Aguilar 4x10".... 4500€ rig, yeah it must sound good and it did.
    Most ballsy yet clear tight rig i stumble upon.

    Mesa Diesel 4x10" bass cab heavy as a lead singer ego but worth the load.
    Martizmo, Joebone, Means2nEnd and 4 others like this.
  3. Ashdown ABM EVOII with Ashdown ABM 4x10. Full and rich. I played with a Fender Jazz Bass and an Epiphone Jack Casady. And a light compressor.

    So far, best rig I ever played. I sold everything but I want to buy it again.
    4stringfarley likes this.
  4. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    A 50 TOP valve amp made by Carlsbro. Unfortunately, 50 watts wasn't enough, a 100 TOP would have been brilliant but the shop never got one in. As this was in the early 70s trying to source one was next to impossible. Bass was a 1972 P bass lefthanded, the worst P bass ever built and the cab would have been a 4 x 12, sorry can't remember the make.
    Martizmo likes this.
  5. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Many years ago we were at a music industry show (when we actually had those in Sydney).

    I played a Mesa 400+ head into a 6x10” cab using an Alembic Essence four. The sound floored me, it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard/felt.

    At the time I couldn’t afford the price of any of those bits of gear but the memory stayed with me. I bought a GK 400RB and EV 2x10” and 1x15” cabs and over the years kept upgrading.

    Now I have a Bassman 100 head, two 1x12” GK Neo boxes, GK 1001RB and Eden 550 head and several preamps including my favourite Alembic F-1X preamp, lots of high end basses. I would like a powered cab like a Bag End but they are too pricey for me. I usually play preamp into FOH and IEM but the glorious sound of the Mesa 400+ is still ringing in my head.
    BoogieZK, osv and jaysbass2002 like this.
  6. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    This with a Fender Precision bass
  7. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    When I lived in Sydney, Barry Farrell's music (Main shop in Brookvale) held a music day in Parramatta but that was the only one I ever heard of there and that was the 70's.

    My best memory for quality sound which include "tone" was my '68 EB3 into a 50 watt Fender Bassman into a Fender box with 2 JBL's. Beautiful clarity bit not enough volume to be useful in a 70's band.

    Today, it is definitely the "SVT Eater", a Marshall VBA into a Marshall VBC 4x12 cab. Thick, articulate bass notes, tone and punch, beyond the wording capability within a review. An old Marshall JCM 800 into the same box is an equal delight.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
    shadven likes this.
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Reiner Amplification Saturn V into any of my favorite cabs. That head was just unbelievably good.
    Fuzzbass, Bent77, JGR and 3 others like this.
  9. jaysbass2002

    jaysbass2002 Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Northern New York
    I once sat in with a local band. I knew the bass player well. Mesa 400+ 6x10, and played his MM Bongo. I had the same reaction OMG HUGE!! His rig was huge as well, but wow what a sound!!
    Samatza likes this.
  10. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    Vintage V4-B.
    Dp1363, shadven, Methaneman and 5 others like this.
  11. Rockinscott69

    Rockinscott69 Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    East Texas
    I’m an old school rocker been playing bass since 1975, so a ‘78 SVT and fridge with either my Ric, or Precision. Despite not being able to deal with moving that beast any more, it’s still the best rock bass sound I’ve ever had.
  12. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Here’s the 3 that stand out:
    1) Reiner Saturn V (try to pry it from my cold dead paws)
    2) Bergantino Forte HP
    3) Fender Super Bassman 300 (too heavy, sold it)

    Cabinets: Bergantino CN and HDN
    Bass: Nordstrand DL5, Payson Supercharger
    JGR likes this.
  13. REV


    Jun 18, 2006
    This will sound strange but once at a recording session the producer had a certain bass sound in mind and he wasn't getting it through my amp and he wasn't happy with the direct sound. As an experiment he put me through a tweed Fender Deluxe and put the mic at the back of the cabinet. The recorded sound was glorious. I wish I still had a copy of that recording. I've never had a chance to play through a tweed Deluxe again but I have tried the same thing with a blackface Deluxe and the results were nothing like with the tweed. BTW I was using a 70's P bass.
    mattwear likes this.
  14. Mesa 400 into a Diesel 1X15 and 2X10 - 2X10 is only added for bigger rooms. Heavy now, so EA iAMp into a Whizzy 1X10 and 1X12 always sounds good but the Mesa setup was something else. This is also the 6550 equipped Mesa but the 400+ is as big (definitely louder) but you need the bump the lowend with the GEQ a tad.
    BoogieZK likes this.
  15. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
  16. My Sandberg California TM5 through my Aguilar TH500 and 2x12 cab. Old school wooly goodness...
    Speakz likes this.
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sitting in the control room of a recording studio, DIed through a 1950's Altec mike preamp into the mixing board and out through whatever monster monitors they had hanging from the ceiling. :thumbsup:
  18. The best sounding amp + bass combo I have is a 1970s Ampeg B-15N and a 1967 Fender Precision Bass. I bought the amp from a friend after his father passed away; his father ran several bands and collected gear, and had four port-a-flexes; I bought the one B-15 and a 1966 Ampeg B-18N. To my ears to B-15 sounds better. I found the bass on Craigslist in Richmond, Virginia.

    I like the sound because its got the warm, full sound of the all-tube amp, enhanced by the pixie dust they sprinkled in the cabinets before leaving factory; the classic tone of the Precision Bass, and the warm yet clear sound of the Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats that are on the bass.

    I have a post about buying the bass back in 2017: NBD 1967 Fender Precision Bass.

    Not long after getting the bass, I used it and the B-15N on a television show here in Richmond to promote an upcoming performance of our jazz band at a local art museum; a link to the two songs we played is below. As we were setting up I nearly had a heart attack because instead of setting up a microphone in front of the amp, the station's sound technician plugged in a 1/4 cable into the amp's back panel without asking my permission; the amp immediately made a loud POP and I was waiting for it to die, but it was fine. The bass was recorded with a Shure 57 in front of the speaker. I have the amp's original dolly but removed it for the performance.

    Fishheadjoe, lomo, texasgreg and 17 others like this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    My Ampeg B-15N. Hands down.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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