Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Why do most new amps suck? or...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gamera, Oct 28, 2004.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Why did the early 70's just plain rule for bass amps?

    The other day I was in Somerville at the best fricking place in the world to get used bass gear, and I plugged into three absolutely awesome and yet distinct amps.

    The three amps were a Kustom 250, an Acoustic 270 and an Ampeg SVT from 71. All three of the amps just flat out blow away 99% of most new stuff.

    First place: The Acoustic 270. This amp has the power amp section in the bottom of the cabinet and a reverse facing 15" in the bottom. This thing is genius. I couldn't get myself not to sound like John Entwhistle. The tone out of this thing was so beautiful and colored, you couldn't get the amp to sound bad.

    Second Place: The Kustom 250. This may have been the most versatile, yet most rocking amp ever. Who knew? I think it had a 4x12 cabinet, I can't remember. This amp can do everything, from subtle flatwound thump, to slightly scooped funk see Bootsy Collins, to full blown rock grind. There are hardly any amps made today, that do the latter. This is my issue with modern amps.

    Third place: 71 SVT. If you don't know what they sound like by now get out and find one.

    I put the blame for new amps mostly sucking square on the shoulders of smooth jazz people that were always pushing for more clean headroom and no midrange to speak of. You people ruined the bass world for those of us that want to rock. Even Ampeg doesn't make an amp that sounds as cool as any of these. I love solid state power sections and how wonderfully light they can be, but there isn't a modern amp out there that can hold a candle to any of these things. Someday the bass community will wake up and demand more.
     
  2. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    Maybe the problem isn't the new amps. ;)
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Every man their own! Yeah, you like old gear. I personally love new gear, especially the Marshall VBA400, and Mesa Boogie 400+ (I guess you could argue that those are based on old technologies, but they're still new amps).
    Just because you don't like the new gear that's out, doesn't mean that you should come on here and say something that everyone may love "sucks". As you said about jazz players, it's what they love, so they could as easily say that your gear sucks cos it has no headroom and to much mid range, or whatever.
    I used to love my Acoustic B320, but now it's for sale. It's a piece of junk compared to most modern bass equipment. It's heavy. It doesn't sound all THAT great, it's low powered, and just not good all around. So, I'm opting now to sell it and get "sucky" modern gear - 8x10, 2x15, Marshall VBA400.
    Get used to the fact that you're going to get a lot of people on here who have different tastes, as everyone has a differnt taste somewhere. And lastly, don't bash any brand of equipment either, as it just shows ignorance really.

    Ray
     
  4. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    +1
     
  5. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    To bass art and bad habit. I'm willing to bet my band is better than yours. More than willing.

    Nice posts though, say something you don't know anything about to discredit what I am saying instead of looking at it logically and offering evidence to the contrary.
     
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    You would be amazed by the terrifying thick fat grind that comes out of my SWR/QSC/Acme rig when I stomp on my Fulltone Bassdrive. And then switch it off and endless clean headroom returns. Ah, versatility...

    Alex
     
  7. It's because the 70's were GROOVE-ier, and it's all about the groove, my Man. :bag:
     
  8. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    BTW, what I was saying is that the market has been dominated and frankly IMO ruined for people that play rock by a segment of the bass playing population.

    Good for them... They got what they wanted. If there is anyone out there in bass land that still wants to rock then they should go out and hear these amps because in my opinion there isn't anything like them anymore.

    I am frankly glad jazz players and stick players and six string players have the amps they desire. I am glad for them. The problem is that most of those amps that work for them, suck for rock.

    You oughta know Bad Habit, you have a Marshall, probably one ofo the few new amps that will do rock well without adding something to the effects chain.
     
  9. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    This is exactly what I am saying though. Those amps were versatile and yet you didn't need a Fulltone to grind or boost the sorely lacking mids in amps today.


     
  10. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003

    Evidence that there are dozens of manufacturers out there making high quality, hard wearing, long lasting amps and cabs that virtually everyone has no problem getting whatever kind of sound they want out of?

    You mean that evidence?
     
  11. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    And this is exactly the point where people stop considering your posts worthwhile.

    Everyone is different, therefore likes different things. Cope with it, move on.
     
  12. groovit

    groovit

    Oct 12, 2004
    New Hampsha
    At that same (I think) store in Somerville, I was playing through a Mark bass head into two Bergantino 1x12s. I also played the Acoustic 270. I was impressed by the Acoustic's sound, I'd never heard one before, and by it's sheer volume. It really pushed a lot of air. For tone quality though, the Mark bass, eq'd flat, into the Bergies was just amazing. The cabs sounded jsut stunning, and if I'd had 400 to spare, I'd have bought one of them, cause I was just blown away.
     
  13. farboozle

    farboozle

    Apr 18, 2000
    Fairfax VA
    This just isn't true. If virtually everyone was getting whatever kind of sound out of amps, nobody would be looking at new amps for sound, just weight and space. Look at the number of posts about sound from amps, and how this amp sounds warm, this one too sterile.

    You started a thread with an interesting but probably unpopular idea, that the demands of jazz players dominate new amp design. Better to defend it than to insult other players.
     
  14. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    You say I have no expirence, but hey, look at that, I used an Acoustic head and cab for over 4 years. I used a Traynor YBA-2 for about a year and a half with the Acoustic cab. I used an old Peavey head for awhile as well. Don't tell me I don't have expirence with that equipment. I have used MANY new modern bass amps as well (Ashdown being the current), and I must say, they kick the shi*t out of the old ones. You think that 270 you played through moved air? To bad pretty much any modern day 1/2 will blow it out of the water. I've A/Bed enough to know these things. And yes, I did look at your post, got a good laugh, then made my reply based entirely on expirence. I suggest you go out and try EVERY modern amp setup you can, and if you still come back with that attitude, THEN maybe make a topic such as this. You're the one here who cannot look at this with a fair shot to both sides.

    And to say that your band is "better" than mine is pure, PURE ignorance. You have never heard my band, and I have never heard yours, but needless to say, if everyone in your band shares the same personal characteristics that you do, I don't want to hear you either.

    You may like old amps, good for you, buy my Acoustic, it's for sale, it doesn't compare to modern day amplification. I also suggest you don't post here on TB bashing prolly the most of the population, as that's a quick way to get banned. (something I actually hope happens now...)

    I'm done with this thread, if you want to "bash" anymore, PM me, I wont do anymore in public, as it's against rules and regs here, AND a waste of space.


    Ray
     
  15. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    That just shows us your level of maturity and one can only liken that to your knowlege on the subject.

    Yes, old tube amps get some great sounds. I love my D-180s and I also really love the old Traynors (though they are low wattage). The problem is, I can get so many more sounds out of my Basis 2000 than I ever could with one single vintage amp. I have 5 footswitchable sounds from tube grind to FET dub, all in one small package that weighs under 40 lbs. It's quality too. I find your claim to be a bit off-base.
     
  16. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Wow. You're an idiot. Congrats! :hyper:
    I mean, hey--if you're more than willing to bet, it simply must be true.

    And, we all know the "my band is better than your band" argument makes perfect sense here. :eyebrow:
     
  17. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Who is bashing who here?

    The first two comments were that I didn't know how to play bass.


    I probably shouldn't have taken it personally. My original post was not a slag at all or anyone.

    Bad Habit and Bass Art I am sorry if I offended you. I simply wanted to spark debate about the fact that most amps out today seem to not have the same beautiful character that amps had in the 70's. I truly think this is because the average bass player thinks that Rock is a four letter word and the manufacturers have followed suit.
     
  18. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Lets see, the two guys that have been around say I can't play bass, and I defend myself, and I'm the bad guy.

    Right, whatever, put yourself in my shoes for a second. Maybe I shouldn't have jumped in with the comment, but who here wouldn't be a little miffed. Its not like they make the amps I am complaining about.
     
  19. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    Put together 12 amp rigs of appropriate wattage from say the top 12 manufactures and get 12 competent working bassists and I will bet that all of them can get whatever sound they need from all 12 rigs.

    I think the operative part of my point is "competent working bassists."

    This is not to say that there will not be personal preferences.
    That's why there are a lot of GOOD brands out there.
    My point was not that "one" brand out there will make everyone happy.

    Given the resources, I'll take the current amps over what was available in the 70's any day. I think most players around who were actually active in the 70's will feel the same way.
    But hey, that's just my opinion.

    IMHO if you get on stage with a modern "pro caliber" bass rig of appropriate power, in working condition, I say it's the players problem, not the amp, if he/she can't get a great sound with maybe the twist of a knob or two.
     
  20. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    No they weren't. There is no way I could get the tight clean tones I sometimes want out of an old Acoustic, Ampeg, Sunn or Kustom. Or the huge deep thick yet clear dub/reggae tones I also want. Or the fast, bright yet bassy slap tones. Or the funk in yo' face fuzz with top end sizzle to match the massive lows. Or the clarity to layer synths, harmonised and modulated sounds on top of each other and have music rather than mud come out. Etc.

    Most old amps are one trick ponies. A good trick but still only one. Ok, so it's a trick that suits you but you can still get that from a modern amp, with or without extra effects depending on the amp. At least you can still get that dirty vintage sound - if you wanted fat, clean, clear transparent tone in the 60s or 70s there was nothing to provide it.

    Alex

    P.S. And we have even touched upon portability or price!
     



Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.