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What do you think is the most transparent amp/cab combination?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Captain_joe6, Oct 21, 2005.


  1. What do you guys think is the most absolutely transparent amp/cab setup? I'm looking for an amp that has the most clear, crisply defined sound throughout the range of my bass (warmoth padouk-body fretless J with duncan antiquity 2's, passively run)? Not so much in terms of bite or growl, but moreso being able to produce smooth notes across the spectrum, like its singing, but very very cleanly. My only requirement is 500 watts min. at 4ohms

    One thing that got me thinking about this was reading Phil Lesh's book (it was teriffic) and hearing about the McIntosh MC3200's and other (now) vintage audiophile gear they were running their sound through.
     
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    IMO, Eden/Accugroove make a very transparent combo.
     
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I know I'm a bit off subject but still, it's hard to beat a DI straight into the PA at this kind of game.
     
  4. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Yeah, if you have a great pa. If there aren't any mid range drivers, forget it. I hate the sound of my bass running through a pile of horns, 15" and 18" speakers. Yuck.
     
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Agreed. Unfortunately, regardless of your amp, that's what the audience will hear, unless you play a bar/small club.
     
  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Millennia TD-1 and a Meyer powered cab like the Meyer CQ-1.

    For more modest means, Thunderfunk TFB-550 and an Accugroove cab like the Whappo Jr.
     
  7. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    Any combination of Euphonic Audio amps (Iamp500 or 800) and their line of cabs are in most folks' opinion (not speaking for everyone now) one of the industry standards for clarity and transparency. That is EA's whole design philosophy.
    With that said...that is not always what everyone is looking for. A very neutral system is what some characterize as "sterile" or "lifeless". You really have to consider not just what type of tone you're after but what musical context you'll be playing in. That's an issue that I'm now facing.
    I will say this in summary: EA offers lots of power, plenty of versitility and whatever you put in or EQ in is exactly what comes out, only way LOUDER!
    Good luck chosing!
     
  8. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Millenia or Iamp and an AG or EA.
     
  9. I do like the look and sound of the EA amps. Their preamp seems more to bend the sound rather than add or subtract to it, and I like that. Just out of curiosity, does anyone have any experience with their Whizzer cabs? It seems to me that they'd be really muddy.
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    There are numerous takes on what makes a "transparent" amp/cab combination. One very good combination I have tried is a nice, simple preamp (I have a line driver made by Jim Bergantino that is as flat as I can find for a preamp - literally adds gain and that's it - into a Crest CA9, into multiple EA VL-208's. Of course, there are various other amp/cab combinations, and each has there own take on what is "flat" or "transparent." In general, I find that EA, Bergantino, Acme, Hevos and Accugroove cabs are more "flat" or "transparent" than most of the remainder of the field. With amps, I think that a big SS "lead sled" like the CA9 is the way to go. For preamps, look to one with an EQ bypass, or as short of a path as possible. Some preamps that I think either are, or at least can be, relatively "flat" or "transparent" include the Read Purity, Jim's line driver, Brian Barrett's True Voice, Aguilar DB 680, Eden Navigator (with just a touch of Enhance), Hughes & Kettner Fotress, and a few others I am forgetting. The upcoming Skjold Pro Sound tube preamp sounds promising, too.

    But, with that said, I have recently had the chance to play with a rig that is truly as flat as I can imagine in a simple package designed for a gigging bassist. More to come on that later! :D

    Tom.
     
  11. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Maybe a little now? :D
     
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    How about this? If you like the idea of an extremely "flat", "accurate", "balanced" and all around highly competent rig, and you are looking to pick up the same, then if you can wait until about the first of the year or so, you're going to have some very intriguing options! ;)

    Tom.
     
  13. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    The most transparent amp/cab combination I have played is a Walter Woods (Ultra, I believe) through an Epifani T-112. I imagine the same WW head combined with an Accugroove cab would be quite transparent, too.
     
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    You and Joker are such teases! ;)
     
  15. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    you can search for this and find 100 threads on it. but a couple of things.

    first, phil's gear was never entirely transparent, and he used a lot of different stuff over the years. it certainly wasn't transparent during the wall of sound era, but that's not a bad thing.

    second, i'd ditch the idea of polling others for the most transparent amp and go play as much gear as possible to find something that you like. You may be surprised at what you actually like the best. it may be super transparent, but then again, it may not be.
     
  16. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    If you have the bread Glockenklang is as transparent as it gets.

    az
     
  17. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Hey Tom,

    any predictions/estimations on the price of these tantalizingly vague pieces of gear?

    :D

    Joe.
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Not really, but I am hopeful that it will be reasonable.

    Tom.
     
  19. +1. Extremely sterile, very flat. Lifeless.

    - Andrew
     
  20. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Really?

    Cool.

    That would be good news indeed.

    :D

    Joe.