pros and cons for tube bass amps

A forum devoted to the discussion of playing bass with the blues.

Postby jeffl » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:21 pm

I've been to 4 blues fests this summer, and the one big constant for the blues guys has been Ampeg bass amps with big ported cabinets. I'm sure glad I don't have to haul stuff like that around!
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Re: Ampeg B100R

Postby houndog » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:33 pm

BobHolland wrote:I've had tube bass amps & I too like the Ampeg B100R.
My 200 watt, hand wired bass head sounds good if you don't push it for volume. Then it starts to break up just like you want a guitar amp to do.
4 x 6550 tubes & 12AX7's. Dang those loud drummers. If they got a drum they got to hit it. Most drummers don't even need half of the stuff they set up. Groove ain't about volume anyway. I guess that's why I'm not playing as much anymore. I stay broke, but I'm happy. :D :D :D
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Yip,
the drummist in the 'cats is less than half my age ...and he is good too..thats why I play 300 whats ...whats the boy saying now...eh eh ??.

He uses the ride a lot and thats all I can hear on stage ...but I hang in there and on live recordings I am spookily on the bass drum...arf arf ol mojo every time. :P

But I am looking for a new bass amp in the 300 watt end mebs in 2008 and was after Traynor but the are jinking with EU wiring regs, and there are other tranny amps as per that link I posted.

Anything else ( aside from Ampeg ) that folks are looking at?

adios,
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Tube Amp ???

Postby BobHolland » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:47 pm

Well when I was playing out a lot I used an Alembic Tube Preamp & a QSC 2402 Power Amp & GS410 Speaker Cabinet (4 ohm). That's 900 watts per side at 4 ohms. I only used 1 side & plenty loud. But hard times have hit at my house & had to sell a lot of my equipment to create cash. I guess the Blues are livin' with me now. :( :( :( I stopped the road gig last November. But someday, soon I hope, I'll be back playing again. :) :) :) I've been actively playing for the last 43 years.
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Postby houndog » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:17 am

Nice,
but I get scared of shaking my kidneys loose at that volume... :shock:

Here is another make ma dealah is looking at carrying..

http://www.markbass.it/

adios,
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Postby BobHolland » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:36 am

The volume ain't the reason. I would just point it at the drummer & wait for him to ask me to turn down. :D :wink: Amazing that just because you can be loud, you don't have too. I like clean, tight, warm sounding bass. Just what I like. The rack weight only about 40 lbs. & the speaker cab only about 100 lbs., I'm 58 yrs. young & moving it around wasn't a problem. :D
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The volume ain't the reason.

Postby lpdeluxe » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:19 pm

That's right. As I mentioned, I run a cord from the line out into the mixer so our subs can do the heavy lifting.

BobHolland, you're a bit younger than me. I'm in an active, working band. Bass never gets old.
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Postby BobHolland » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:32 pm

I guess I'm not the only old fart around. Sometimes I think I'm just too stubborn to give up. I keep getting ousted by the younger musicians. I worked for 3 years to help create an R&B group. When they started getting some recognition, get rid of the old guy on bass. This is the 3rd time in the last 10 years this has happened. They seem to want my experience & opinions in the beginning & then they become the experts. Sorry for the rant & off topic. Tube amps? I remember the days when I used 2 - 8 x10 ampeg cabs & a SVT Tube Head. The classic Fender/Ampeg SVT sound. 1971 if I remember. You know how us old guys forget.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:19 pm

BobHolland wrote:Amazing that just because you can be loud, you don't have to.

Isn't that amazing?

I wonder how old/experienced, on average, you have to be to learn that? It doesn't seem to be widely known among electric guitarists online.
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Postby BobHolland » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:46 pm

I've also been told "If it's too loud, you are too old" Also "If you can't play good, play loud" Or how about "The more you drink, the better we sound"
Or "If it's too loud, go home" on & on & on & on.
About tube amps, I like them alot.

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Postby lpdeluxe » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:14 pm

the youngest guy in our band is the drummer. He's only 54 -- just a kid.

We solved the problem of "the bass player's too old" by the simple expedient of starting our own band from a core of the rhythm guitar/singer and then adding a lead player and drummer with the obvious criteria that "they have to be mature" and "we have to get along."

It's nice not dealing with girlfriends/wives [they don't clamor for attention -- they're glad we're occupied in something relatively benign], egos, or idiots. By the time you get to our age, you either pretty much know what you're doing or you've given it up.

Doesn't hurt that we can afford pro gear, either.

Me, I like tubes for g**tar and harp. Otherwise gimme solid state...especially as I know who'll be loading and unloading the damn thing.
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Postby BobHolland » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:39 am

My next bass amp head will probably be solid state. Maybe a GK1001RB (700 watts). The Aguilar GS410 really likes the power. I haven't had to sell my GS410 yet. Just trying to hold on to all I can. Most of the time I just use the Ampeg B100R Rocket amp. It does the job at church & coffee shops just fine. Ususally at jam session an amp is supplied. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby lpdeluxe » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:24 pm

Ah yes: that's a concept some people have a hard time grasping...playing quietly. My B100R has been used in church (not by me -- I was playing Dobro) when we did an Alison Krause song with a vocal trio a couple of weeks ago. Just enough so there was a pulse, and you could hear the chromatic runs.

We play acoustically, with guitars and my Dobro ('30s Regal, actually) and various other folkie instruments. This time the vocals were amplified and the bass (ordinarily we have a standup bass player, but he's a beginner and can't handle the runs) and the B100R sounded fine at a low level.

Come to think of it, in St Louis last week I played a borrowed bass through a Pignose Hog battery-powered bass amp at a deli jam session. Just loud enough so everybody could feel it but not so loud that the mandolin disappeared.
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Postby bosco » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:21 pm

"If it's too loud, you are too old"

That's absolute BULLSH*T and I get so tired of hearing that! I'll be 52 this month and have been to more concerts in my life than the next 5 dolts who recite that cliche' added together. I know volume. And it's fine for a concert in an arena.

A bit off topic, but if your band wants to work, first and foremost you have to keep the club happy...not your fan club.

By that, I mean the bartender needs to hear drink orders and the waitresses need to be able to take orders. And as much as you would like every patron's undivided attention, they still like a little conversation with their alcohol. The minute your volume intrudes on the club's ability to function (and make money) you won't be invited back.

Unfortunate that it takes some idiots 20 years to figure this out...if they ever do!

end of rant.

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Postby BobHolland » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:46 am

If I was a preacher man, I'd say AMEN to that.

I have been to concerts that were so loud the it made your skin hurt.
You leave with your ears ringing.
People wonder why musicians play so loud. I think it's because they have ruined their hearing from playing too loud.
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Postby lpdeluxe » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:13 am

+1.

Even though I assaulted my ears in my youth (I raced motorcycles back before silencers were required) I prefer it quieter. I have been in clubs where you could not carry on a conversation at your table -- and, I have to say, the music that was drowning us out was **not** in any way better than the lost talk.

We crank it up a little -- we're a dance band, basically -- but we don't try to fry the audience.

A lot of musicians confuse noise with...ego, I guess. Just like a lot of guitar players can't just play a **song**, they have to play an unnecessary solo on every number.

So that's why I use a solid state bass amp.
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