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Which Simple Bass rig to go with Thunderbird Rock Style

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by twilightcall, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    I thought I would get some advice before I purchased a rig. I play a Gibson Thunderbird and mainly play modern rock/alternative. What is a great sounding rig that would work great with this bass and style?(pick mostly) I want it to be fairly simple without a lot of bells and whistles but sound great. (can't get a bad sound out of it) I am open to heads or power amp/pre amp racks. I have been looking at Demeter preamps. I need something that I can play live with and use for many years and still sound nice. Don't worry about the $$ factor just please tell me your honest opinion that you have experience with. Thanks.
  2. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    Gibson Thunderbird ? I HAVE to say...the classic Ampeg SVT with 8x10 cab. What else? :D
  3. Ampeg SVT CL + Ampeg 810E

    Maybe a Trace or Ashdown setup?
  4. either a gk 1001rb-II with an sbx 8x10 cabinet
    or the same gk head with a sbx 4x10, with the matching 1x15 underneith
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I am a dedicated Thunderbird player, and I have found a number of amp/cab combinations that work well. It is my bass of choice, and gets the majority of my playing time (unless I need 5-string). With regard to the amp side of things, I'd say that you are on the right track with Demeter. I really like their tone, and their preamps are very straightforward. I nearly bought a Demeter pre, but ultimately went with an Eden Navigator - which I really love, but which may be more complex than what you are looking for. Still, the majority of the time, I don't touch the EQ controls on my Navigator (other than a little Enhance), so you don't have to use all the bells and whistles... But again, the Demeter is probably a great bet. As for power amps, I have had good results with both my QSC PLX 3002 and with my Crest CA9. These are two fairly different amps, but both have worked great for me.

    As for heads, I own an iAMP 800, Walkabout, and Walter Woods Ultra, and with the right cab, they all shine on my Thunderbird. I have also used a Thunderfunk head with great results. Of these heads, the Walkabout is the most streamlined, and it is hard to get a bad tone out of it. But, it's only 300w into 4 ohm, so it has its limitations. The WWU is also pretty straightforward, and I have yet to dial in a bad tone. It's 1,200 watts into 4 ohm, but doesn't like a 2 ohm load, and is somewhat pricey (though you get what you pay for, IMHO). Both the iAMP 800 and Thunderfunk heads are very versatile, but may have more bells & whistles than you are looking for. Still, the iAMP 800 is very powerful, and is 2 ohm stable (1,000 watts), and the Thunderfunk is a very stout 400w at 4 ohm, and sounds excellent set "flat", so I wouldn't discount either one.

    So, on to cabs. I have been able to try a lot of different cabs with my T-bird, and have found several standouts. EA, Accugroove, Bergantino, Epifani, and Hevos have probably been the cabs that work best with my T-Bird. I also have a Raezer's Edge Bass 10 that sounds great with the WWU, but not nearly as good with my other amps, for some reason. The EA cabs, in general, are the most clear, precise and articulate. Accugroove cabs are well balanced and thick/full sounding all across the fingerboard. Epi's are slightly mid-scooped, but with great low end booty and beautiful high end. My Bergies are somewhat similar to Epifani, but with more midrange, less low end (tighter lows, too), equally good highs, and a different overall "vibe." The only Hevos cab I own is the Midget 1x10, but it is just stunningly good with the Thunderbird and WWU, and the amount of volume, clarity and depth coming from such a little cab is frightening!

    Some particular combinations that I like are as follows:

    For high volume, indoor gigs, two EA VL-210's powered by as much juice as you can throw at them are incredible. The VL-210 is the only cab I know that sounds better and better the harder you push it. Even with a 3,000w rack rig, I have not been able to get these cabs to even think about balking.

    For high volume outdoor gigs, I prefer my Accugroove Whappo, Jr. and Tri 210L. Being inherently more full sounding, they seem to fare better outdoors, while the EA's fare better indoors (at least in rooms that can tend to be boomy). But, both EA and Accugroove cabs respond well to EQ, so either will work well in a wide variety of settings. I have also had great luck at an outdoor gig using two Epifani T-112's and two Epifani T-110UL's.

    For low to moderate settings, VL-208's (and to a slightly lesser extent, VL-110's) are the most balanced, articulate, smooth, full, and overall beautiful sounding cabs I have used. With the VL-208's, I found that adding a third cab really gave a lot more impact to the low end, as just two VL-208's can be slightly less dominant in the lows than what some players may prefer. A VL-208/VL-110 combo has a tad more low end, and is a compact, mighty rig. Two Wizzy 1x12's also make for a well balanced, super lightweight rig.

    There really is something magic about the Bergie HT112/EX112 powered by the Walter Woods Ultra. The two Bergies are impressive enough with any amp, but through Walter's 7 lb minor miracle on top, and you have one of the best sounding rigs - regardless of size - that I have heard. And the fact that it is so tiny, is just gravy! Of course, two 1x12's can only move so much air, so there are limits to this rig, though you'd really have to be asking for a lot of volume before you'd need more cab.

    I'd have a hard time picking just one rig to use with my T-Bird, and I generally bring whatever I think will work best in the given venue. But, with nearly any of the setups listed above, I do feel confident that I could just tweak a little bit to cover almost any need.

    I hope this helps, and I'd be happy to provide more specific answers, if you'd like.

  6. OiBass


    Apr 9, 2003
    although I prefer vintage SVT's to Classics-
    Buy a '69 to '73 , throw away all your pedals,
    plug in yer 'Bird, you got R-O-C-K tone for life!