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What is the "Neve" of Bass Guitar Combo Amps?
Old 7th September 2011
  #31
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I don't know about the boutique bass amps, but Eden, Ashdown, G&K, SWR.. there are others. Fender has never made a really great bass amp that I know of, though the preamp circuit of early "Bassman" amps sounds nice. Really under-powered.

This all assumes that you want a fairly modern bass sound, clear, punchy, etc. The cabinets will have as much to do with the sound as the amp... my G&K combo sounded lame until I coupled it with a small single 15 enclosure, which brought it to life. The SWR dual ten cabinet sounds nice and is appropriate for a small studio, too.

If you are looking for a more vintage vibe, the tube Ampeg fliptops are usually first out of the gate. In my studio I had the Ampeg fliptop, a couple of Silvertone/Danelectros, and a Vox bass amp for that vintage vibe.

A real P bass is a great choice in instrument, if you have the cash. But it is worth considering the Heartfield (by Fender). I have one, and it covers a lot of ground.
Old 7th September 2011
  #32
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lordward's Avatar
After buying my last VST in 92 I always have a good chuckle when trying out new amps. If you are doing rock it's simply got the most nuts. But I wouldn't use it in a jazz ensamble.

DW
Old 7th September 2011
  #33
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Radkins, about Walter Woods info, a google search turns up plenty on his various models including this site with pics/history : HUBERT'S TUBE AMPS - WALTER WOODS additionally this talkbass thread about his amps has Walter's phone number in it however your best bet to grab one may be through ebay or local sale: Walter Woods Amps History and Development - Page 3 - TalkBass Forums Basically big bucks for a handmade 10lb class D solid state amp that distorts in a nicer way than tubes (and I prefer tubes LOL) with the right EQ curves for bass. I've never had to even replace a fuse in the 30+ years I've had mine.
Old 7th September 2011
  #34
Gear Head
 
wreckordist's Avatar
 

An Alembic tube preamplifier is a great place to start for a bass tone. They're hard to find now, though. My DI setup has changed over the years but an Ampeg SVT bass DI (the DI box Ampeg made for a short time) into a Neve or an Aurora gets me there pretty quick. The other thing that is really important is use a P bass or a jazz. And passive basses sit in a track better.
Old 7th September 2011
  #35
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James Wilsey's Avatar
Just because it hasn't been mentioned: Versatone Pan-O-Flex bass amps. Vintage and hard to find, best suited for recording. Heard on countless hit songs.

Versatone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Old 7th September 2011
  #36
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral View Post
Hi all,

I'm toying with the idea of learning to play bass.
I have my eye on a Pre-CBS Fender P-Bass, that part I know will be fine


I know this is the high end, but $15k for a bass to toy around with? That's awesome. I hope you stick with it.

As for amps, a nice old b15, svt, or bassman should do the trick. Hell why not get all three?
Old 7th September 2011
  #37
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stev0 View Post


I know this is the high end, but $15k for a bass to toy around with? That's awesome. I hope you stick with it.

As for amps, a nice old b15, svt, or bassman should do the trick. Hell why not get all three?
A pre-CBS P-Bass goes for around $5K. I have friends that spend more than that on mountain bikes or golf clubs.
Old 7th September 2011
  #38
Gear Head
 

All good and interesting advice here. I’m chiming in. Been a bass player and a studio one also for my whole life. I agree with all suggestions mentioned here. I would not really reccommend the Ashdown for the studio. I play them live...great amps just not quite what I like in the studio. AC 30 has gotten me some of my all time fave bass tones as has a Hiwatt. But I own a B 15 and a Reddi and they both see regular use. The problem with these sort of suggestions is for every song and every record there is yet another perfect bass tone and it’s often not the one you loved just last week. Keep an open mind every time you plug in and experiment.
Old 8th September 2011
  #39
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral View Post
Hi all,

I'm toying with the idea of learning to play bass.
I have my eye on a Pre-CBS Fender P-Bass, that part I know will be fine

I know nothing about the world of bass amps,
From what I've researched, read and personally experienced,
The "holy grail" is the huge Ampeg SVT stack.

I really don't need something like that,
I'm thinking a combo amp.

As far as the kind of sound I want,
Adam Clayton of U2 is what I'm looking for,
But in a combo amp.

So what is the "Neve 1073" or "Vox AC30" (aka the Holy Grail) of combo bass amps?
COmbo? dunno. But one of Fender Bassman or MArk bass or Ampeg into a Bergantino or Matamp 4x12 speaker gives it large for me and just about covers everything! Got other amps and speakers too, but those few essentials cover most things.
Old 8th September 2011
  #40
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wilsey View Post
Just because it hasn't been mentioned: Versatone Pan-O-Flex bass amps. Vintage and hard to find, best suited for recording. Heard on countless hit songs.

Versatone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
great great amps. Wish I could find one to own.
Old 8th September 2011
  #41
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Fender has never made a really great bass amp that I know of,
They made a great all tube mutha a few years ago that Sharin Foo used when I played with her back in '04. Awesome amp!!
Old 8th September 2011
  #42
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral View Post
A pre-CBS P-Bass goes for around $5K. I have friends that spend more than that on mountain bikes or golf clubs.
That's a pretty sweet deal. I guess jazz basses go for significantly more than that. I have no idea why though cause I always thought p basses sounded so much better. Good luck!
Old 8th September 2011
  #43
Gear Addict
 

Mesa makes a really nice, compact bass amp called a Walkabout. Also, Mark bass has a small 2x10, the CMD 102, that I thought sounded great when I heard it. I'm NOT a bass player really and would love to hear what bass players would say about those two amps.
Old 8th September 2011
  #44
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

For recording, you really do not need a live performance bass rig,
unless you are recording a full live band at band volumes.

When running a DI and a companion live track, most of the bass
signal will still be from the DI with your mic'd up bass rig only
adding a bit of life with the room, finger noise etc.

With a good signal chain, you won't need much volume for the intended
purpose.

So for recording, you can use almost any higher headroom clean amp
through a good 15" speaker cab, 4X10, even a 2X12 at reasonable
volumes.

The reason I mentioned the Reeves 225 is that you are buying a fine vintage bass and the Reeves will not take away from the natural voice of
your instrument.

The Reeves also gives you the flexibility of 2 channels that can be jumpered
to blend the two tone stacks together.

As a studio investment, this amp will come in quite handy for bass, guitar
or keyboards and should last for decades.
Old 8th September 2011
  #45
I've never heard anything best a flip-top Ampeg B15 as many others have said.
Old 8th September 2011
  #46
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Sands View Post
Mesa makes a really nice, compact bass amp called a Walkabout. Also, Mark bass has a small 2x10, the CMD 102, that I thought sounded great when I heard it. I'm NOT a bass player really and would love to hear what bass players would say about those two amps.
the Mark bass combos sound too "session" for my tastes. Their amps are great but I like to use them with a variety of speakers. Bass amp makers, bizarrely, often make poor speakers. They think all a bass player wants is "deep forever"!!
Old 8th September 2011
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Fender has never made a really great bass amp that I know of, though the preamp circuit of early "Bassman" amps sounds nice. Really under-powered.
They are indeed underpowered for live bass duties, so I suppose one could refuse them "really great" status for that reason, but in the studio where that isn't an issue I'd certainly say they qualify.

And hey, if it's good enough for Paul McCartney (studio), James Jamerson (live), and Brian Wilson (live)...
Old 8th September 2011
  #48
Gear Head
 

For sounds that are entirely old school:

Ampeg B-15 for R&B and old rock.

A Fender Bassman 10 has a respectable tube amp sound, although it's no "holy grail," it's a little more flexible than a B-15.

An SVT has way too much power for most studio use. I'd say a 70s Ampeg V-4 if you're recording rock and want the SVT sound.

The joy and misery of bass amps is that anything will work but nothing is ever quite right.
Old 8th September 2011
  #49
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

A Hiwatt DR-103 also makes for an exceptional amp for recording bass tracks,
but it's best to run it through something like an EV 15" or Fane 15"

Back in the day, we hauled my '73 SVT into the studio and it ended up being
more trouble than it was worth after set-up and trying to get good recordable
tones on the clock.

We ended up having to run the Head from the control room, because at
low volume, the mic's were picking up the SVT's cooling fan.

The DI was patched through an original hand built API console which turned
out more than fine.
Old 8th September 2011
  #50
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fimone's Avatar
 

Another Ampeg b15 fan here !!


www.telecinesound.com
Old 9th September 2011
  #51
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toneguru's Avatar
Captain Redundant reporting to duty...

Old Ampeg amps.
Old 9th September 2011
  #52
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
I've played bass since 1967 and tried just about every noteworthy bass
rig out there.

In today's market, the Reeves Custom 225 is not only the best built
with all hand wired, mil spec, old school Hiwatt DR-201 circuitry, but
also the richest sounding, most versatile bass and guitar amp out there.

Think of your favorite British bass players and you're there,
but it doesn't stop there because this amp is also amazing as
a guitar amp.

For weight management, the Amp Head and a separate 4X10 or 1X15 cab
is the way to go.

Quite expensive for a beginner, but you asked for the best.
Reeves amps are amazing all around.

TH
Old 9th September 2011
  #53
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjboogie View Post
Only problem with the ampeg combos is they end up in the shop way too often!
Seems like every time I drag a piece of gear to the repair shop there's an Ampeg unit on or near the workbench. Last time it was my Ampeg on the bench.

Great stuff though. I'd definitely recommend an Ampeg of some sort for this task.
Old 9th September 2011
  #54
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Deckdaddy's Avatar
Everybody seems to love the B15. I simply can't afford one, or justify buying one as an amateur. I did however buy an Ampeg B100R when they got discontinued - a solid state 15" combo made to resemble the vintage tones of the old king - and I love the tone I get with my P-bass with La Bella Deep Talkin' Bass flatwounds trough it. I love the fact that there is no fan in it either. It's great at practicing volumes and louder, and my '75 Rhodes sounds great through it too. No tubes tho'.

You could try to hunt down an Oliver Powerflex too, Jess Oliver (R.I.P.) who designed the B15 at Ampeg, left and started his own company and released amps that were sort of an evolution of, and very similar to the B15. The head are elevated up and down into the body with a switch and a very noisy motor (sorry for the large pic.)
Old 9th September 2011
  #55
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Player1's Avatar
 

Player1

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
the Mark bass combos sound too "session" for my tastes. Their amps are great but I like to use them with a variety of speakers. Bass amp makers, bizarrely, often make poor speakers. They think all a bass player wants is "deep forever"!!
Accugroove cabs are some of the best bass cabs around!
Old 9th September 2011
  #56
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

Very few amp manufacturers out there are going to pre install upgrade
speakers costing $200.00-$350.00 each as OEM in their cabs.

However for studio use, upgrading to EV's Fanes, JBLs
can be night and day for tone quality.

If you just want an amp to learn on and do some experimental tracking,
buy a used Blues Deluxe and mount a 12" bass driver in it.

The BD is essentially a Bassman Circuit when you turn off presence
and reverb.

It's loud enough to hear yourself for rehearsal, though you're
not going to get a lot of bottom in an open back cab.
Old 21st February 2013
  #57
Old 21st February 2013
  #58
Here for the gear
 

Versatone Pan-O-Flex is the Bigfoot of bass amps. Every once in awhile, I read something about how amazing they are supposed to be, but I've never met anybody who has actually seen one in person.

Wjen I bought my B15, I picked up an Ampeg SB12 from 1969 as an afterthought. I think I payed $325 for it . I was suprised to discover that I prefer the SB12 for recording. Maybe not the greatest bass amp ever, but an amazing value. You couldn't use it live - I think it has all of 2/ watts - but it is a grwat recording amp.
Old 21st February 2013
  #59
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I have a 1965 B-15 fliptop for sale right now if anyone's interested. PM me.
Old 21st February 2013
  #60
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I don't know about the boutique bass amps, but Eden, Ashdown, G&K, SWR.. there are others. Fender has never made a really great bass amp that I know of, though the preamp circuit of early "Bassman" amps sounds nice. Really under-powered.
sorry that's wrong, ever heard of the legendary Fender 400 PS ? one of the most powerful (and sophisticated) tube amps ever built, makes an SVT stack sound timid ...
http://timeelect.com/400-histy.htm
Time Electronics - The Fender 400-PS Ed Jahns Experience (Part-1) "How It All Started" - YouTube
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