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If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:04 am

...what would you choose.

Money is not a real problem, but it does not need to be built out of platinum.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby zenguitar » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 am

Just one?

That's SO cruel... does that cover gigging, recording, both?

The best I can manage is a choice of two, and can I have both in return for being so honest?

A Phil Jones suitcase with the matching 4B cab, and an Ampeg Portaflex B15 flip top.

Between the both they would cover every option as long as larger gigs could be mic'd or DI'd too.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:02 am

It is a gig related question matey.

I did a live dep Friday night playing "both kinds of music".

<shudder>



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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby SecretSam » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:47 am

I bought an SWR Studio 220 secondhand in 1993. A new valve and a couple of new pots later, it is still the weapon of choice.

I find the best allround cab with it is the Goliath Junior 2x10 (with tweeter): a good balance between size and weight on the one hand, and big sound on the other. It 'focuses' at close distance as well, so on a small stage you still hear what the audience hears.

Lots of i/o, including very good DI facilities. Great built-in limiter. Plenty of power for gigging, but electrically quiet, so works well for practice too. Lots of tone control. Add more cabs for extra volume if you must.

Their Bass 350 head would be a decent substitute.

If I was feeling flush, I would add a Hartke 4x10 with aluminium drivers, but not this year.
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:41 am

Vintage portaflex
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby ProToolsJules » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:51 am

I think I already did.

The TC Electronic Combo 450. I've been so happy with this amp. Small, powerful, all the power I'll ever need, excellent tuner built in, preset patch memories, really powerful multiband compressor, flexible and satisfying tube tone saturation distortion which doesn't just sound stuck on top of the sound like so many saturation plugins do, good clean DI built in, but best of all it has detachable trolley style wheels and extendable handle so with a gig bag on your back you can load in all of your gear in one journey with one hand free if you need to lift the amp. I know lots of amps are small these days but my TC does the lot.

I bought it after picking up my 1x15 cab and head the day after a gig, unable to park near the venue and with a bit of a hangover. While huffing and puffing down the road It occurred to me that there had to be an easier way.
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby BigRedX » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:49 pm

I already own mine.

Tech Soundsystems Black Cat - Valve/digital hybrid - into two EBS 4x10 cabs. All the tone and volume you could ever want.
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby Ramirez » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:53 pm

Zoom B3 and a PA cab

Or an Ampeg Fliptop
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:56 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Vintage portaflex

Hey Jack

What do we think of the modern ones? I am not a huge fan of continuing maintenance. Even when I bought and sold gear, constantly fixing stuff used to drive me up the wall.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:19 pm

Well...I haven't used the handmade reissue one. But modern Ampeg stuff is generally horrible eg the 'pro' range, and a big part of the sound of the old ones is the speaker, which is obviously an expensive thing (if even possible to find) to swap into a reissue. It really depends what you want it for. The thing about those amps is that they have a good sound at a reasonable sort of level. There are some incredible bass amps out there but not that many incredible SMALL bass amps. Not that a BN15 is tiny, it's not. But the SB12 is. Depends what you want I'm afraid. If you even need to borrow a bass amp I have an old SVT2 head which is amazing. But I got rid of the cab I had. I might get Steve Audiokitchen to make me a 1 or 2 x10 for studio use. His Bass Chopper is fantastic btw...not sure how loud it likes to be though.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:42 pm

What about the Phil Jone stuff Zen is bigging up in the other thred. Looks the business?

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby zenguitar » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:36 pm

I mentioned it above too, as well as the Ampeg Portaflex (and the one Jack linked to above looks very clean and nicely priced).

If your travels bring you down to this part of the world again, I am sure I can arrange for you to try out my brother's Phil Jones rig.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby BigRedX » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:18 pm

I've played through several Phil Jones rigs. The small ones are very nice sounding but IMO don't really develop enough volume for anything other than home practice and very quiet bands without any drums. I have also used the "Dalek" (8T 16B) rig which was impressive but no more so then any other high-end rig of the same price and considerably larger and heavier than some that sounded equally good (if not better IMO).

I also don't get what all the fuss is about Ampeg. Maybe back in the 60s and 70s when specialist bass amplification was in its infancy there was a point, but technology has moved on a long way since then. My band gigs reasonably often with another whose bassist has an Ampeg endorsement and sports an all-valve head and 8x10 cab. For me it's all a bit underwhelming and if it wasn't for space issues on most of the stages we play. I'd prefer to use my rig instead.
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:45 pm

I've never used the Phil Jones stuff, Reg.

Re the Ampeg... I do understand why you say that... The new stuff is very average. But if you record a good vintage SVT, bn15 or sb12 there are amazing results to be had. Not saying that no other amps are good.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:45 am

I found a Phil Jones Bass suitcase on eBay for under £500. I am a little concerned that it will be a bit quiet at 200W but it will go to 300W with an extenison cab and I am not eactly playing thrash metal these days.

I have to say it sounds fantastic! The tone is warm and full. It really compliments my Fender Jazz Deluxe.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:06 am

For me it would be the Eden Metro.
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby zenguitar » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:00 pm

I thought you would like the Phil Jones

And as you have discovered, there are bargains to be had. I spotted my brother's 1st Briefcase 2nd hand in a local shop and it looked as though it had just been unboxed to put on display, and it was a lot cheaper than it should have been.

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:55 pm

The old fridge sized Ampeq's but I have to request them with a roadie chained to them
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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby RegressiveRock » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:59 am

4TrackMadman wrote:The old fridge sized Ampeq's but I have to request them with a roadie chained to them

A perfectly reasonable request!

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby zenguitar » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:21 pm

...

Or, preferably, a groupie or two...

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Re: If you could only buy one bass amp for the rest of your life...

Postby thefruitfarmer » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:06 am

One Bass Amp Eh?

Needs to be loud enough and reliable, able to kick out a rich bottom end for years and years.

I recently got a Peavey 700 Watt Tour Head, which drives a 500 watt 1x15 Trace Elliot Cab. It is loud enough and deep sounding enough to do the job, and I will keep it until it fails.

Fantasy Amp?

Barefaced cab, they have a 2x15 that weighs under 30kg, 1000 Watts and costs about £1k. Maybe a Purple Chilli Cab. It is a trade off between price, weight, size and sound quality. I understand that below a certain size it becomes more difficult for the speaker and cab to agitate enough air to produce the low notes...

Amp Head, for me a tranny amp is fine, all I really want is lots of clean bottom end. The main problem I have found over the years has been underestimating the amount of watts needed to actually give authority to the sound of the bottom E string. I would go for a safe bet, something that is a tried and tested design. Bass amp with EQ is handy for room problems but for any distortions, chorus, additional compression I use pedals anyway. Most of the sound of the bass is in the fingers. Sure, some amps sound better than others but I can get a decent sound out of anything powerful enough to produce the low notes.......some amps have a bigger sweet spot of tonal variation than others as well...I would look at Trace Elliot, Peavey, Hartke, etc, just a workhorse without too much features to go wrong.
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