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trends in bass amplification

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tightbidness, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Currently Aguilar, Epifani, EA, etc. are among the hot new(ish) trends in bass amplification. We see those brands discussed regular on TB, and they are played and endorsed by many professional bassists. A few years back I saw a lot of pros with Eden and SWR rigs.

    What were the hot new rigs of yesteryear? What were the Aguilar, Epifani, Thunderfunk, EA of a decade ago? How about in the 1980s, 1970s, 1960s?
  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Other than the all tube SVT, which is hard to improve upon for what it does, amps have just simply been getting better and better and better. SWR used to be the best you could buy. Now its about a B or B+ since the bar has been raised.
  3. Better is a subjective term. Is there a better recording amp than an Ampeg B-15?

    I'm looking for a historical perspective on the development of bass amplification. It's my understanding that back in the day, the Fender Bassman was one of the only options for electric bass players. At some point the SVT came along. Maybe the Acoustic 360?
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    There are a few "perfect" amps for what they do. SVT and B-15 both make the list. Other than that the average guy's amp has been getting better and better for any different sound you can dream up, especially for a clean, deep, loud, clear studio tone ... which they've been putting on records for years but only relatively recently have we begun to hear that kind of sound live.
  5. no. :) . now if it were only 300 watts instead of 30 maybe i wouldnt have to sell mine :bawl:
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I seem to recall Trace Elliot was quite *the thing* for a while in the 90's, before Eden became *the thing*.
  7. Tightbidness-Great Avatar!!!! I love the Kids in the Hall!!!! As far as the "new school of rigs" is concerned, it seems like smaller and more powerful is the trend, IMO. Speakers that can really handle the bass' lows without breaking up, or without sounding like they are at their limit. Time flies, SWR, Eden, and Trace Elliot were THE big names, now they're being overshadowed by the Aguilar, Epifani, etc...I don't mind, I like how the new gear is evolving, although, you can't get the tone of a B-15 from anything other than a B-15, and they sound so good for recording.
  8. Thanks, caesarbass. Brucio is one of my favorites.

    I used to fancy myself a jazz guitarist, and during those years gear trends came and went. When I got my start a lot of guitarists were playing through the Roland Jazz Chorus. The trend toward lighter weight, more headroom, and greater clarity (much like in the bass world) led to some players using Acoustic Image and Raezer's Edge gear. My teacher swears by the same Fender Twin he's been using for decades. That's kind of what got me started thinking about all of this.
  9. IMO, high powered 2x10 combos seem to be taking over the stack or fridge setup (or in geddys case the washing machine setup)......

    i still think theres nothing better than the 4x10 and 1x15 setup...

    from what ive seen/read/heard, 2x15's and 8x10's were the 70's, 4x10's and 8x10's were the 80's, 4x10+1x15, 8" rigs and 8x10s were the 90's, 2x10 combos and fridges seem to be the way of the 2000's....

    but i dunno....i still like my 15"s, id have one if they were more portable.....i've got the whole head and 15" cab goin at the moment, slowly moving into a pre/power rack unit into a 4x10 though
  10. I can remember in the mid 80s when Hartke alluminum drivers were the latest "space age" thing. Those rigs really did seem ahead of their time when they came out.
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Don't forget the 12s & 18s of the late 60s & 70s!

    And DEFINATELY don't forget Sunn!!! :spit:
  12. ive never really known anyone to use 12"s...i know i dont like em...

    i wasnt around in the 60's and 70's...geez...i only just turned 19 today :smug:

    i still want my teachers big rig, 70's ampeg svt 810 and svt-2...mmmmmmmmmmm
  13. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD

    Jack Bruce
    John Entwistle
    Geezer Butler
    Several of Jethro Tull's bassists
    Bassist for the Faces
    Noel Redding (when he was using Marshall)
    Billy Cox
  14. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    Those were about the choices we had when I was growing up as a player (70's). There were Sunns like JE had, but most used Fenders, Ampegs and the like. Separate preamps? Nope, just heads and cabinets for the most part as I recall. The Acoustic 360 was a biggie, as was the SVT. I had Fenders for years, with Fender cabinets. I've also owned Peaveys ... all good stuff for the most part.

    Players today have a vastly wider range of choices than ever before. You can mix and match cabinets, heads, preamps, power amps, etc., with lots of tonal variations possible. We didn't have any of that when I was younger, and I wish we had had it.

    Funny, one of the nicest sounding rigs I ever had was a Crate amp (complete in a wooden crate-looking cabinet) with 1 15 and and extension cab (Peavey 2X12). It was light and loud. Wish I still had it in some ways today.

    Then, of course there was my Fender Rig ... Fender Bassman 135 driving a 4X12 Fender cab, and a Bassman 70 driving a 2X15. Doesn't sound like much, but I ran my Rick 4001 stereo through it. It was awesome.
  15. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Don't forget about the mighty Gibson Thor, or the Kalamazoo 30 and 50.
    Or Univox.....Plush. And I think I had one of the first Gallien-Krueger's 400B back in 1979.
  16. bigcatJC


    Jul 9, 2004
    I don't remember the exact year, maybe 87 or 88, but it was the year Trace Elliot arrived in my corner of America. I had seen ads and reviews in Guitar Player magazine (remember the dark days before we had our own mags?), but I hadn't played one yet. Then I found a music store carrying their line and was stunned. This store had set up the flagship Trace rig of the day. I think it was a 500 watt head (Series 5 or Mk V or whatever they called it back then), and it was connected to two 4*10 and two 1*15 cabs. Four huge cabs, all that volume, and the cool ultra-violet light on the head...WOW!

    The sheer visual appeal was overwhelming for me, just a kid in high school at the time. But the sound...I can't describe it to this day. You must understand my "rig" in 87 or 88 was a Fender 30 watt combo! I have never been so blown away by any piece of bass equipment since.

    I've been in love with Trace ever since, although I settled for a slightly smaller version, a 2*10 combo. And yes, I'm eagerly waiting to hear the new Trace stuff.
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    ...of course, back then they were "Guild/Hartke"... :eyebrow:

    Geez...I'm too old! :rollno:
  18. A few pics of the Gibson Thor and Super Thor:

    SuperThor1204b. [​IMG]

    A local shop has a Guild Thunderbass bass amp, which was probably less of a trend and more of an anomaly. It looks incredible, though, like a 1960s vision of the future.
  19. i didnt say no-one used them, but ive seen very limited footage of them, so..... :spit:

    :D :bag:
  20. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    and for those of you old enough to remember

    Don't forget Standel

    or Magnavox

    Even Danelectro had a bass combo where the head stored in the back of the cabinet.

    But the only serious bass equipment of the early 60's was Fender Bassman and Ampeg B-15. Maybe you'd see a B-18.
    I think the first amps that shook the bass world were Sunn and Kustom. Then Acoustic.

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