Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

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misterfolkertsma
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Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by misterfolkertsma » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:39 am

So here's the scenario. In my band, I bi-amp through my R30c and a [long-term] borrowed Peavey TNT130. I know: the TNT130 isn't a great amp perse, but it works and its all I really have until I get myself a permanent replacement. So naturally, ever since I've recieved it (for almost a year now already... trust me, the other player doesn't mind) I've kept an eye on a bass-amp for myself, checking out online listings and prices every now and then.

Fast-forward to previous wednesday, had a cool gig with a handful of other bands using the same backline. Ofcourse there was some Marshall stack I thought was okay-ish, but the gear-treat of the evening was that I got to play it bi-amped with a massive 8x10 Ampeg tube-amp (whatever it was called, I think it's 'SVT'?). Man did that thing put a smile on my face! I instantly felt like I had found my mighty replacement... until I saw how mighty those prices were.

Being a student, it's simply unaffordable to me. For now, I'll keep it in mind as a future-dream-come-true.

So I would love to hear advice/tips and further discuss on what you guys think would be a good bass-amp for me? To recap: I play bi-amped with a R30c, play alternative rock and I play dirty. I also like to use pedals in my bass-signal: EHX Bassbooster, Micro-Amp and a Malekko Omicron Fuzz... which all sounded awesome through the SVT btw.

I also started looking into the whole discussion of full-tube vs tube-pre-amp. I loved how the SVT sounded, but being full-tube definitely seems to add to the pricetag. And all the cheaper one's I've seen up until now 'only' are ±30W heads... which I can imagine is ballparks away from what I experienced with that 300W SVT. I've also read some forum-comments about how the difference between tube and partially-tube isn't really substantial?

I must say I have also been interested in the Terror 500, Teddy made a pretty cool video on that amp. Him being a multi-amp hero I'd love to hear his general opinion. Recently my interest for that amp was freshly renewed when I saw the Hot Snakes (reunion!) play in Paris, and spotted that deceivingly adorable lunchbox sitting atop what looked like an 8x10 basscab! From what I could hear during soundcheck and from photographing closely around and on the stage, it sounds quite powerful! And if the Hot Snakes use it live and loud, it probably IS powerful enough!

Not my photos, but here you can see the Terror Bass although I'm not sure whether it's the 500W or 1000W version?

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philhed
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by philhed » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:42 pm

the best bass sound i ever heard was also an ampeg head through an 8x10. but the head was solid state.

i wouldn´t care too much about tubes in a bass amp.

our bassist has the terror 500, and while it sounds pretty good and can be loud as hell, it seems to be not that easy to be fitted in the mix sometimes, and the D.I.-out is completely rubbish!

the D.I. out is really starting to annoy me, i think it isn´t something you really need, but if you have one it should be one that works fine, but this one doesn´t.

it´s clipping and just sounds stupid!

on almost every gig it´s like that:

the soundguy asks if the bass amp has a d.i. out
we say yes but it´s sh*tty
he doesn´t believe us and wants to use it
after noodling around with it for 10 minutes the soundguy admits that it sounds bad and uses a mic.

sorry for the rant, but i would have ecpected more from a brand like orange

it´s still a good sounding amp though

OrangePaul
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by OrangePaul » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Back when I was playing bass one of the best sounds I ever got was when the Engineer DI'd my Bass Guitar before going into the front of my amp. It was a tip notch in-house PA though.

The extra watts of the STV is likely what you were hearing giving you more low end frequency definition and grip to the sound.
Paul.

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fiaj
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by fiaj » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:54 pm

Whoever said that there isn't a substantial difference between pure valve and valve pre must wear ear muffs, or be even deafer than me! I've played through a load of solid state and hybrids and none at all sound totally alive the way pure valves do. Having valves in the pre-amp definately livens it up, but it's still not the same. I haven't actually played or heard the bass Terrors in the flesh but i bet they're the best you can get for that money, and from clips they sound like one of the nicest hybrids i ever heard. But maybe just look for something second hand if you want valves and power. 500w solid state is definately enough for anybody.
The 300w SVTs were always my dream amp, but then i fell in love with the AD200B, even if it does have its flaws.
The Terror would probably be a great choice if you like solid state.

misterfolkertsma
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by misterfolkertsma » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:31 pm

Hmm. I think something in the genre of that Terror Bass could be good for me, from what I've read in the other thread it seems I can get around the D.I. problem. I only have a little experience with bass-amplification, I'm just a guitarist that by coincidence also plays through a bass-amp!

All that really matters to me is whether or not my future bass-amp can deliver some DEEP bass from my D-standard tuned 6-string, like that Ampeg managed to do. And it needs to accept pedals good too.

I really like the idea of a portable amp btw, couple it with a 4x10 bass-cab on which I can put the R30 combo.

baytamusic
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by baytamusic » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:43 am

Here's some ideas that cost less than an SVT:

Ampeg V4 - 1/2 powered SVT (get a little dirty but sound amazing for bass):

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These old hybrid SVT III heads sound great too:

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A silverface Bassman 135 would probably work well:

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Musicman HD150 (if the chick comes with the amp this would be my choice):

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Fender Studio Bass (or get a Super Twin):

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a.hun
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by a.hun » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:03 pm

misterfolkertsma wrote:Hmm. I think something in the genre of that Terror Bass could be good for me...

I really like the idea of a portable amp btw, couple it with a 4x10 bass-cab on which I can put the R30 combo.
Highly recommended, and well portable... :wink:
http://genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid=2663&sid=675&cid=95" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Need a really good cab for it though or you'd be wasting your time.


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

misterfolkertsma
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by misterfolkertsma » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:00 am

Thanks for the tips! I will have to do some researching on all of them, I hope they all fall in the €500-600 category though. And the nice lady included. :mrgreen:

I just found a surprising video... Now, I know most of you don't really enjoy Chappers' work (I don't like shredding either). BUT... I really appreciate how he does videos with the Andertons: they're well informative, surprising and enjoyable. So I found this particular video in which they compare the whole range of Terror heads on guitar... including the Terror Bass on sixstring! Which is perfect for me, since they get quite close to demo'ing how I would use a bass-amp in my situation. The only difference being that I'm looking for a 4x10 bass-cab to connect it to since I really want to get the most low-end I can get out of my guitar.

Here the link to the video: http://youtu.be/4wNOK-JoXHc

---

Another thing, since I'm a bit of a bass-amp newby I don't really know a lot about bass-cabs and what sets them apart from eachother. Like most of us, I like to browser around big webstores to just see what's out there and how the prices stack up. Below, I've posted a quick grab of 3 bass-cabs of different prices classes and I'll also add the basic-specs to them. Would anyone be so kind to explain how these really differ from one another, what makes the Ampeg a better cab to have compared to cheaper ones?

Price is quite important to me, since I am a student and the only gigs I'll be playing in the near future are smaller gigs (bars, small venues). So if a €300 bass-cab will be plenty for me, I'd rather take that instead! I'm not looking for the END-ALL tone, just the best I can get to get good beefy low-end to compliment the R30 all the while staying on a budget.

Ampeg SVT 4x10 HE, 500W, 8Ohms, 122dB SPL, 60Hz-18kHz.
http://www.thomann.de/nl/ampeg_svt410_he.htm

Ashdown ABM 4x10 H, 600W, 8Ohms, 103dB SPL, 70Hz-20kHz.
http://www.thomann.de/nl/ashdown_abm_410h.htm

Fender Rumble 4x10, 500W, 4Ohms.
http://www.thomann.de/nl/fender_rumble_410.htm

baytamusic
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by baytamusic » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:07 pm

If on a budget I would get an Ampeg V4 or V4B head and a used Ampeg 410HE (the HLF is better but costs more) or an older Fender 2x15. I can guarantee you it will sound good. You will get some breakup at band volumes though, but I'm guessing you may want that?

If I wasn't on a budget I'd still get a V4B but I'd get a 2x15 with some highly efficiency speakers like old JBLs, but then again I dig the sort of dirty vintage Ampeg bass sound.

GK makes/made some good cheap solid state bass heads. May want to look into those.

If you buy used and are resourceful you can pull a fully pro tube bass rig for around $700-800.

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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by bassdrop » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:31 pm

I will also agree that used V4's and V4B's are often absolute tone monsters and great values. Closer to an AD200 than an SVT in tone, IMO.
mmmmmm drop

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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by OrangePaul » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:32 am

misterfolkertsma wrote:Thanks for the tips! I will have to do some researching on all of them, I hope they all fall in the €500-600 category though. And the nice lady included. :mrgreen:

I just found a surprising video... Now, I know most of you don't really enjoy Chappers' work (I don't like shredding either). BUT... I really appreciate how he does videos with the Andertons: they're well informative, surprising and enjoyable. So I found this particular video in which they compare the whole range of Terror heads on guitar... including the Terror Bass on sixstring! Which is perfect for me, since they get quite close to demo'ing how I would use a bass-amp in my situation. The only difference being that I'm looking for a 4x10 bass-cab to connect it to since I really want to get the most low-end I can get out of my guitar.

Here the link to the video: http://youtu.be/4wNOK-JoXHc
WOW! that Terror Bass sounds AWESOME on guitar :D
on my laptop at least anyhow...
Paul.

Image

misterfolkertsma
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by misterfolkertsma » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:46 am

OrangePaul wrote:WOW! that Terror Bass sounds AWESOME on guitar :D
on my laptop at least anyhow...
It does! I'm really leaning towards the Terror Bass now as far as 'new' options go, it seems to have plenty of power. The demo's are pretty good; not too expensive; I liked how it sounded live with one of my favorite bands; it's portable... except for the DI which seems to need -DB corrections it doesn't look like I could go wrong with one of these!

That Genz Benz is very portable, seems like a great clean amp from what I could hear. Not sure if it has the right vibe for me though, and a bit expensive too at around €800.

As far as the used options go, I REALLY like the look and sound of that V4B. I don't mind the dirty sound at all, that's how I sound in my band anyway. But it's a shame that it's almost impossible to find one here... I did find a listing for a Ampeg V4, 8x10 for €1800 with flightcases, which was waaaay over my budget.

Couldn't find any listings for the rest of the amps up there :-(

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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by baytamusic » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:18 am

I didn't think about the fact you aren't in the US. The Ampeg and Fender stuff is a lot cheaper here. V4s are easy to get for like $500 or less here as apposed to $1500 for the old SVTs. I'd just try out whatever you can get a chance to play.

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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by a.hun » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:57 am

misterfolkertsma wrote:I'm just a guitarist that by coincidence also plays through a bass-amp!
Ah sugar! Missed that bit somehow. :oops:
Was thinking bass bass for some reason. Probably because I like using my R.30 for lower volume bass practice myself, especially since it sounds very like my OR120 for bass.

I'd scratch the Genz Benz suggestion then. It is a seriously powerful pro level bass head and would do what you want. (Never tried it for guitar myself.) But that much power (even the smaller 600W version) is just going to make for more problems than solutions - meaning finding cabs which will be reasonably safe with them. Even according to long time Ampeg users these new GB amps can substantially outshout their old full valve SVT heads. Even for rock guitar there is such a thing as overkill, and that would be it! :wink: :lol:

Okay, now that I'm hopefully a bit closer to your wavelength...

Bass cabs for guitar use?

First thing is to avoid any with a horn tweeter. These sound terrible for guitar, especially with any distortion.

Second thing is to avoid reading too much into the makers specs. Most makers just try to make them look good by using unrealistically loose specs. It is often hard to tell much from them at all. Ampeg and only a relatively few other makers give reasonably meaningful specs and actually say exactly what they mean. (For example what do the frequency response limits of a cab mean? Very little unless you also specify how many dB down they are at those limits!) That 122dB is the maximum SPL for the Ampeg at full power, not the sensitivity for 1W input which is probably much lower than the 103dB quoted for the Ashdown. If the 103dB for the Ashdown is true than at full power it would be putting out nearer 130dB SPL at full power.

I'd say for your needs you don't actually need (or want!) a big multi-driver bass cab like a 4x10 at all. (Most 4x10s have horn tweeters anyway!) You'd be far better (IMO anyway) finding a really good quality compact 1x12 or 1x15 bass cab like the Barefaced 'Midget' or 'Compact' models.
(See http://www.barefacedbass.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
These have single long throw drivers (by Eminence) which - given enough power input = will pump out a lot more bass SPL than you have any right to expect. The amount of bass SPL a speaker can put out isn't just about the size of the driver, but also about the speakers 'throw' or maximum in and out cone excursion. That is just as vital to how much air a speaker can 'move'. Those Eminence drivers have much higher Xmax and Xlim cone excursion limits than anything else out there meaning they can put out much more real bass than anything else of the same size or thermal power rating. They also both go up to about 4kHz before dropping off - not too dissimilar from most guitar drivers...

You are really going to need to watch amp power though. While both those Barefaced cabs are rated 'for amps up to 600W' for bass, that is for bass. For distorted guitar sounds the thermal power handling (and not speaker throw at low frequencies) is likely to be the limiting factor. The drivers themselves are rated at 400 / 450W respectively. They are both efficient drivers though so you'd not need anything like that much power to make one heck of a loud racket for guitar. Even with just those single driver cabs I'd be looking for no more than perhaps a 250 - 300W maximum (into 8 ohms!) solid state bass amp, or 100 - 150W valve amp - nothing more powerful. And remember that solid state amps run into power section distortion can blow speakers of up to twice their rated power output. Forget the speakers though, your own and other peoples ears would be at serious risk at anything like those power levels. I mean be totally honest, how near to cranked do you ever get that Peavey amp you have been using???

This is truly scary stuff! I hope Teddy (Le 'Black Cat' :wink:) comes along as he gigs bass amps regularly for guitar. Me, I usually get by fine with less than 150W live for bass... :shock:


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

misterfolkertsma
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Re: Spoiled! Would like some bass-amp advice (+T.Bass content)

Post by misterfolkertsma » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:26 am

a.hun wrote:
misterfolkertsma wrote:I'm just a guitarist that by coincidence also plays through a bass-amp!
Ah sugar! Missed that bit somehow. :oops:
Was thinking bass bass for some reason. Probably because I like using my R.30 for lower volume bass practice myself, especially since it sounds very like my OR120 for bass.
Oooh haha now that I read back my original post, I can understand the confusion!

So just to be clear, this is a recent photo of my current setup:
Image

The guitar in the back is a Matsumoku 6-string, but I play it with 4 baritone strings. I know, I'm a bit strange but it works!
First thing is to avoid any with a horn tweeter. These sound terrible for guitar, especially with any distortion.
Define, 'terrible' :)
Like, harsh?

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