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Upright player looking to expand BG rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dkziemann, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. dkziemann

    dkziemann Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm primarily a jazz upright bass player, although I've played bass guitar for a few years now. I primarily play musicals and rock music on BG (when the opportunity arises). I've had the extreme fortune to work a lot of extra gigs lately, and have some extra income to spend on bass related things.

    Currently, I'm running my upright and my bass guitar (Fender US Precision) into an Acoustic Image Series III Contra, but I'm looking to sell that (and have some interested in buying). Once I sell that, I'll have close to $2000 to spend.

    Here's my plan-- I'm looking to buy a B15, and have seen them for around 800 dollars. I would primarily use that for upright. My bass teacher at Eastman has a few and they sound amazing for jazz. In a good case scenario, that would leave me with around 1000 bucks to spend on a bass guitar rig. I searched through the forums, but there was so much overwhelming information that I thought I'd ask fresh.

    What kind of amps do you guys recommend for rock/musical gigs? I'm talking about bass head and cab. I've heard David Eden heads recommended (and there's a music store around here that has the WT550 used for around $575). I'm also familiar with GK. Cab wise, I've heard the name Epifani and Aguilar tossed around, along with Bag End.

    Sorry to ask such a vague question. If someone asked me what the best upright pickup/amp/mic/whatever was, there could be a possibility of a hundred different answers.

    One last point-- I'm not looking for a 4*10 cabinet. 2 10/12 inch speakers or 1 15 inch speaker would do just fine. I'm not looking to blow the walls down :bag:

    Thanks for all your help!

  2. touji


    Feb 12, 2009
    Williamsburg, VA
    Just to put it out there,

    I haven't actually tried a DB (never played one, but I've touched one!!) through them, but I know some guys who really like playing their DB through their Genz Benz Shuttle amps. With its DI as good as it is, it would probably be a really flexible amp to take care of most of your needs :D
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    That B15 will work pretty well for BG too. Loud is subjective and for some it's loud enough and for others it won't be. Look at the new Fender TV series combos (either the 15 or 2x10) should work. Here's a link to Ed Friedland playing the 15 and single 10.

    What are your tone goals with the BG?
  4. Why not just use the B15 for upright and electric?
  5. aqsw


    May 28, 2006
    AIs are so nice for DB. Why don't you sell the Contra and buy an AI Clarus III. AIs aren't very forgiving if your a lousy player(which I'm sure your not by your bio)as they are very neutral amps. Still leaves you about $800.00 for the cab of your choice 2x12 neo would be good for DB and EB.

    My daughter went a different route and kept the Contra, and bought a Mesa 210 for an extension cab.

    She then went and got a 115 Mesa and a Carbine for when she plays country or rock. She stacks the two cabs when she needs loud. She also just takes the Contra when she DBs when she jazzes in a lounge.
  6. I like what was done here as the sound was very good ( ELO was VERY good! ) and Jeff Lynn would have no inferior instruments or gear anywhere on his recordings or live performances:::


    Do you recognize those amps?

    I wonder what happened to Richard Tandy??


    I understand Jeff was a real micro-manager and if you goofed in a performance, you got a fine. Anyone know about that?
  7. Those are Acoustic Control amps out of L.A. back there, no?
  8. dkziemann

    dkziemann Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    I can't quote everyone's question, so I'll do my best to answer them in order!

    I've thought about keeping only the B15 when I buy it, but I think I'd like a little more tonal variety. It's not that the amp is bad or lacks that, but I'm at a point in my life now where I have extra income and no major financial decisions to make soon. I'll probably never get a chance to buy gear like this again for a while (or ever) so I thought I'd jump on the chance.

    With that said, I like the AI, but not for bass guitar. It's a good DB bass amp, and the portability is a plus. However, I feel like it's a bit too neutral for bass guitar, and it doesn't really push enough sound. If I was to sell my combo to finance another amp, I don't think I'd buy another AI amp. I've already done that and would like to try something else for now.

    I wish I could explain the type of bass sound I'm going for. If it was DB, it would be easy-- I could say Ray Brown "growl," Eddie Gomez over amped sound :) etc. I like a really meaty sound, I guess "raw" comes to mind. I primarily play a lot of rock music, but not screamo or anything. I played a David Eden head through an Aguilar cab recently, and it sounded pretty dang good. It pushed a lot of sound, but it was really focused and brought a lot of attention to the actual sound of the bass. Lots of clarity at all volumes, especially in the mid range.

    Does that help at all? I don't want to say words like aggressive, but I'm definitely not thinking along the lines of James Jamerson either.
  9. dkziemann

    dkziemann Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Thanks for all the help so far!
  10. What type of venues are you considering for your electric bass playing?

    At 300+ Watts: I do a lot of jazz and the cheese-wine tasting yuppie/DINK crowds and use the new Guitar Center versions of Acoustic gear for that. I don't think I'd go on the road with it as it is kinda light and obviously not something you can toss in the back of the trailer and throw it out onto the stage.
    (That's just speculation on my part as I've not hopped onto any bandwagon and won't do so in the near future.)​
    Of course, I cannot use the whole 300 Watts, but that's what the VOL knob is for. You DO need the head-room (Wattage-capacity) though, to get a clean sound from a unit without pushing it over 75% all the time.

    At 600+ Watts: I also play a lot of 40-acre pastures and backyard BBQs and can fill the place with a lot of volume from my 600 Watts and a bunch of 10-incher drivers.

    There's not a whole lot of love for these units here yet - but the amp heads are really something with a lot of details and great (so far) quality and besides they have a great guarantee at GC or MF.

    The sound from the Acoustic amps lean toward old school, but can bite and cut with a lot of other bigger dollar units too - with emphasis on BIGGER DOLLAR, which you won't have to spend.

    There's a lot of respect from me for the 'big name' stuff like SWR, GK and AMPEG and such, but it's not what I need right now nor in the foreseeable future.

    Keep the money in your pockets and try a few amps and cabs at your local instrument emporium and see what YOU like.

    There is a great debate about mixing 15 inch verses multiple 10 inch drivers, and I am as guilty as anyone else in using some 15s and other cabs with 10s in them to a good advantage, but be prepared for heavy rolls about that combination if you go that way.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    these days you really can't go wrong with bass gear. so much of it is so good and so inexpensive that it's not a matter of what's good and what's bad but what has the sound that makes it easiest to get the sound you want. the only thing i'd tell you is get a good cab, and get one that can move some air if you want to play rock. you can skimp on the head but not on the cab.
  12. Grab that Eden WT550 head then get a Orange OBC115. Can't go wrong with that IMO, but it all depends on the tone you want.
  13. dkziemann

    dkziemann Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Thanks! I guess the tone is just a raw, compressed, with lots of string tone. Just looking for a cabinet that packs a tight punch, no loose flabby low end, and pushes a lot of air.
  14. Then be sure to get a horn in the cab too.

    With either a VOL control on it or some way to turn it ON/OFF for those times you don't want all that glassy-ness.

    Personally I try for NO string noise, but lots of thump and low-tones ala: Motown. .
  15. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Check out the Markbass Jeff Berlin combo and the CMD102 (2x10) combo.
  16. dkziemann

    dkziemann Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsed by D'Addario
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

    Does anyone have anything specific to say about the well known brands? David Eden Heads, and Epifani/Aguilar/Bag End? Those are the names I know of, but know nothing about it. Anyone care to share the gist of some of the tonal characteristics?
  17. Reliability-wise, I think the Peaveys leave something to be desired. I've seen more than one return dead to my favorite retailer.

    Mark Bass seem to be too harsh to me - may be from the drivers (speakers) but they are really tonally brilliant and I swear you can hear your heartbeat.

    Eden, when I actually get to test one seems nice enough but lacks some luster in being able to hold multiple fundamental tones at the same time. It sounds to me that you only get one note at a time and unless you are octaving, you miss some of the color of harmonious notes struck at the same time. Could be just my ears though - I'd test that well for my self if I were you.

    The Epiphanys and Bags have escaped my hearing them at this point, so I cannot say anything bad/good about them.

    One amp/head/combo I DON'T like is the ORANGE line - since I feel it sounds somewhat like the old VOX amps and they always left a lot to be desired according to me. My ears aren't your ears though and of course: insert all the usual caveats here that any good attorney would advise me to say.

    Remember to temper MY thoughts to the fact that I am old school and love a more analog, somewhat deeper (or muddier) sound.
  18. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I double with a Mesa Walkabout, and it excels at both.
    No need for two rigs.
  19. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    meaty, raw, P-bass ...
    he's thinking of the classic AMPEG sound ...

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