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its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:49 pm
by goldbrick
I've been drafted into playing some Bass every now and then for some small cafe , bar gigs Not because I play bass but because I have one )

I don't have a bass amp and cant afford the ones i like.

I do have an Epi valve Jr 1/2 stack and the bass actually sounds better and louder with it than some middling amps I played.. can compete with drums at a reasonable level. Think that 12 inch rice grinder speaker will will hold up ? Or should I look for a bass speaker cab and just use the head?

Also why are there so few tube bass amps out there weight, transformer size ?

Re: its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:12 am
by texas blues
As long as you're not at rip roaring godzilla volumes, a 12 inch will do fine. Keep in mind the original Bassman had 4 10's. Nowadays the main difference in speakers is the voicing. More specifically, cone construction and magnet size depending on the frequency. I have a little Fender Rumble, a cheap amp made for bass. It has a 10" speaker and with regular guitars sounds thin and stale. With a bass it sounds okay. Once again, voicing.

Re: its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:45 am
by zhyla
goldbrick wrote:Think that 12 inch rice grinder speaker will will hold up ? Or should I look for a bass speaker cab and just use the head?


I don't think you'll be able to push enough volume on stage out of a 12" guitar speaker without breaking it eventually. There's a reason Fender moved from a single speaker to multiple speakers early in the Bassman's development. You just need to move a lot of air. Though keep in mind vintage Bassman's are loved by guitarists, not so much bassists.

I'd get a bass cab. I think you'll find better bass sound comes out of a bass amp than your VJ but heck if you like the sound go for it.

goldbrick wrote:Also why are there so few tube bass amps out there weight, transformer size ?


You need a LOT more power to get the same volume at bass frequencies than you do guitar frequencies. It's not uncommon to see 500W bass amps. It takes a lot of tubes, big transformers, tons of heatetc. I'm no bass expert but it seems that solid state amps satisfy the ears of bass players well enough.

Re: its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:56 pm
by Alton
My bass player uses a Fender Rumble: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i- ... 0-010-LIST
It's a lightweight combo, gets plenty loud and the low end sounds pretty decent. It's also inexpensive as bass amps go. The place in the link will let you buy one for 3 Easy Payments!

As far as availability of bass tube amps, bass DEMANDS lots of power for the low end. Not so much for the mid to high end. Bass also needs speakers that can effectively reproduce that low end and those speakers need very well designed cabinets. This is why subwoofers are huge 18" speakers that need LOTS of power and well designed/built cabinets to sound good. A poorly designed cabinet will make the best speaker sound like a farting whale. Yeah, the little 5 watt Epi VJ can power a couple of 8" - 12" speakers and sound halfway decent but in the end it won't be enough for what you're doing, even if you do add a 15" speaker.

Solid state amps provide the necessary power without costing an arm and a leg (see: Ampeg). This is part of the reason for the success of Hartke, GK and Eden. They may offer tube models now (? not sure) but they started out with solid state amps. Personally I dig the sound of a bass through an old Ampeg tube head but I see the cost of the current models and I have to bring to heel my wallet because it turns and runs every time! Of course, if you want that sound then you will find some way to buy an Ampeg.

Part of the appeal of the tube amps for bass is the natural compression afforded by tubes. This is a light, natural compression that smooths out the peaks normally heard in solid state amps. This can be dealt with a little by the players technique but it takes a steady and delicate hand which is very difficult to achieve if you like your dynamics.. DOD and others make a compression pedal for bass that might be worth checking out.

Anyway, good luck finding something you like and let us know what you finally decide to do.

Re: its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:42 pm
by mike932
After reading reading your post I went into my studio and played my Jazz Bass through my Son's Epi Jr (same amp as yours). It sounded like a guitar player playing on the bass strings, in other words not very "Bass Like". I am afraid that your set up in a gig would leave too many holes in a song by not providing the deep bass sound needed to fill the voids . The kick drum will drowned out your lows and your highs will will sound like a bad guitar line.
There are a lot of good low priced solid state bass amps on the market. I used to use two Ampeg 2X10 combos for medium rooms and one for small rooms. I hate to state the obvious (but I do it so well) check the pawn shops and craigslist . I prefer the sound of a bass tube amp over solid state, but they are really heavy, very very expensive, delicate, and did I mention expensive? I have a vintage Fender Bassman 10 (4X10 tube combo) that I use for recording, it sounds great, but it never leaves the house.

Re: its a guitar amp- no its a bass amp

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:38 am
by 601blues
A bass player that I use at times, Has a Behringer Ultra Bass 300 watts ,He said he payed less than 3 bills for it, and it does the job very nicely