Time for a change

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tomasz s, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Hi, I rarely post here but do like to keep an eye on things.

    I’ve been arbitrarily ardent on vintage gear for years. It’s something I somewhat loath about myself. It’s been to my detriment and benefit at times.

    My last five years have been spent down a total rabbit hole on vintage gear, particularly amplifiers and cabs.

    Ive always been left wanting more, it’s been super beneficial to be exposed to a wide range of gear but there comes a point when I’ve had to put function above my own romanticism.

    Especially geographically for myself, the acquisition of killer old school valve powered monsters was so attractive but I need a change for the better.

    Ive purchased an unassuming Ampeg class D and I have to say I haven’t been this excited for a piece of gear in a while.

    Have any of you ever been through a real turning point in terms of equipment or am I just being a bit nutty on account of lockdown? I’d live to hear your opinions, Many thanks for reading, apologies for the essay, Tom
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    (backs away nervously) Nah, you're just fine... :D
  3. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    You make me want some of that Brown Ale!!

    As for vintage gear you're welcome to it. I lived through those years of desperately trying to get my bass to sound like a bass and not a low tuned fuzzed out guitar. I still find it bizarre that players today WANT their amps to sound so bad. I remember when I bought my Fender Bassman and twin twelve speaker cabinet. It looked awesome sitting on a stage in Liverpool. I was soooo excited. Then we started playing and it was so bad I was devastated. It went back and though they had sold my trade in I just left it there! :(
  4. New stuff is soo much better.
  5. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Class D aficianado here , I have three of them . For practise the beauty is being able to plug headphones in at home , stick a tablet into the aux in and play along to something . One of mine is 900 watts at 4 ohms , another is 800 watts at 4 ohms . I can be loud , with clean power and still have a ton of headroom . They weigh maybe ten pounds . I like 'em !
    JC Nelson and John B jr like this.
  6. Spupilup


    Jan 11, 2019
    New England
    I just started back playing after over 30 years. While I played through my share of tube gear in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, I typically owned big Acoustic amps or early GK amps. When I thought about a new amp, this time around, I knew nothing of what to expect from a high quality class D amp. So, I planned on getting something like an Ampeg PF50T and having my friend build me an EV Thiele cabinet like I had when I stopped playing in the ‘80’’s. Then, I stumbled upon a Genzler Magellan 800 partnered with its BA12-3 bass array cabinet. I couldn’t believe my ears. I bought that set up and the tonal quality of both never ceases to amaze me.

    Oh, I should also mention the amp weighs 6 pounds and the cabinet is around 30 pounds and I’ll gladly stack my equipment up against anything of comparable value.
    pjbassist, agedhorse and S-Bigbottom like this.
  7. What bugs me about vintage gear isn't the gear it's the itty bitty bit of noise that gives the soundguy the excuse to demand you to DI pre amp instead of mic'ing or speaker DI'ing.
  8. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    (respecting the answer, but presenting my side of that discussion)...

    One should keep insisting that the soundco take that vintage amp’s line out.

    Eventually, the soundco will stop giving a damn and take whatever one points them to.
  9. Digital mixer noise gates ftw.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Generally it's not an itty bitty bit of noise, and the shows I do (did) are generally looking for a (very) low noise floor.

    Yeah, I've certainly been in the position where I wasn't going to care about something more than the act does, so screw it.

    On a loud stage, especially close to another guitar or snare, gates are just another pain in the butt that only work so-so anyway. It's a tool of last resort.
    John B jr, Geri O and Passinwind like this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Hey Tom, I can't say I've been through a turning point over tube amps and nice vintage gear but I definitely appreciate my little Ampeg stuff and looked forward to getting it. And now I look forward to using it sometimes as well. I may be a tube snob, but a little amp that doesn't weigh much or cost much and has a good sound is actually pretty cool :D

    As for the noise floor of vintage amps, all amps have a noise floor, all preamps have a noise floor, all DI's have a noise floor, and some may be more quiet than others, but none have ever been unusable unless I set them to be unusable, the usual ground loop type problems notwithstanding.
    Nashrakh and Redbrangus like this.
  12. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man-

    The new stuff nowadays is lighter and sounds better in my opinion. You can have a high wattage amp and lightweight cabs. But I love the old tube amps... my .02
    dbase likes this.
  13. I agree, and in honesty my current setup is unbelievably quiet. 4 EL 34s , no cooling fan and a massive acoustic folded horn. What it lacks for in idle noise it more than makes up for in weight. I’m already eyeing up lightweight 1x15s to match my new amp too.
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  14. I appreciate your take on things. I’ll always look at space age gear with rose tinted glasses but the practicality of what companies can make now really is unparalleled. I’m excited to finally be a part of it, cheers
  15. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I think so too, and in some cases the "noise floor" actually adds ambiance in my opinion, but YMMV. Especially for ambient or doom-ish settings I like a bit of noise in my recordings. In others not so much.
  16. gelinas666

    gelinas666 Guest

    Sep 8, 2009
    I'll stick with my AllTube Heads and use a Class D as a back up.. :cool::thumbsup:
    Fishheadjoe likes this.
  17. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Ahhhh the old days ;)
  18. 2playbass


    Aug 12, 2013
    My turning point was when I had to have my lower back rebuilt out of plates, rods and screws. Class D heads and lightweight cabs for me. Lightweight basses and PA gear too. My single heaviest piece of gear is my powered sub at 55 lbs. Every other piece is under 30 lbs.
    RumbleBot likes this.
  19. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    I played a 100W valve amp through 2 x 412 cabs for years.
    Next a Trace Elliot 15" combo that weighed 96lbs and got fitted with wheels after one gig.
    I now use a class D amp and a neo 112 cab (and a sack truck), way better sound than anything I had used before.

    At almost 70 y.o. the only way I would (could) go back to heavyweight gear is if someone else schleps it which ain't going to happen so class D and neo it is.
    dbase likes this.
  20. DoctorZee

    DoctorZee Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    New York / New Jersey
    Maybe I just drank too much Fender Kool-Aid, but I think my current rig (Bassman 500 and Rumble cabs) is really the best of both worlds. Vintage looks and (passable) vintage tones, but lightweight, reliable, and affordable.