Small bass amp for recording.

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Trick Fall
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Small bass amp for recording.

Post by Trick Fall » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:54 am

I've got a basement studio with a couple of rooms at my disposal. I usually track with the drums in a room on their own and small guitar amps to minimize bleed. So far I've been using either a Pod XT or Tech21 bass driver to record bass direct, but I would like to get a small bass amp that wont rattle the walls. Is there anything small and cheap that sounds good? I love my bass players Music Man head so even if there was a good small bass cab that would be good too.

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Sean Sullivan
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Post by Sean Sullivan » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:04 pm

It seems that unless you have a really great bass amp like an Ampeg B-15 you might as well go DI. You can try the Avalon U5. I actually got my B-15 on eBay for $400, it was pick up only but worth the hour and half drive. I need to redo the tolex and retube it, but it sounds great.
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decocco
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Post by decocco » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:12 pm

+1 on the B-15. They are very small and sound amazing!
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rhythm ranch
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Post by rhythm ranch » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:20 pm

If you're not trying to rattle the walls, try one of your small guitar amps on the bass. I've had good results with a Fender Blues Jr. on bass. YMMV.

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Post by kdarr » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:28 pm

I just had my first B-15 studio experience last month... it was fantastic. I was surprised at how much low end we got out of that thing.

We had to keep the amp volume quite low, because I played a 5-string tuned down a whole step (low A - 27.5 fricking Hz fundamental!), the the little 12-inch speaker handled it admirably, and added a really nice, subtle "fur" to the sound, and helped the low end sort of "bloom" on the longer notes.

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:30 pm

guitar amps work great on bass, esp in combination with a DI for the sub low information. The amp give that bark.
I have been using one of those cheepy Epiphone Valve jr heads with an assortment of cabs. Its only 5 watts, but single ended though one EL84 with one 12ax7, no tone controls. It makes some of my basses I never liked sound pretty good.
As far as cabs go I find that 10" and 12" cabs record better than 15" esp at low volumes. You can possibly pick up a 1x12 or 1x10 for cheap. Look for ones that DONT have a tweeter. These not only record better but they are not popular with bassists so they are a lot cheaper! Some old Eden stuff with the rear ports is excellent. Mesa Boogie 2x10" cabs are great, esp the old ones. (pre powerhouse series).
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by protoolsman » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:52 pm

Try SWR's workingmans 12 (older modell is better to my ears) 12 inch speaker. Use it for years already. B15 is also cool. And if you want really small (do it does not really rock) try a Gallien and Kruger.
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roscoenyc
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Post by roscoenyc » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:03 pm

Lot of older Fenders can sound great on bass especially plugged into a 10" or
15".

Using an older non master Fender (the type w 2 inputs on each channel) for bass trick. Even with a Bassman head, plug into the second input. Second input is padded down and you'll have more range of input control.

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Post by Mix413 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:19 pm

Of course the B15 is a great choice but they're not cheap. Sounds like you're looking for something on more of the budget side of things. A Peavey TKO115 would be a good choice. Don't laugh. Nice little amp that is surprisingly loud with a nice full, deep tone. Has a little graphic EQ that pretty handy. Here's one just listed in NJ for $145. http://cnj.craigslist.org/msg/997049117.html
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minorkeylee
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Post by minorkeylee » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:28 pm

Fender Bassman 25 (older one).....at low volume, it sounds quite nice. Cool 'kickback' design. On the cheap.

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ballpein
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Post by ballpein » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:25 pm

John Noll wrote:Of course the B15 is a great choice but they're not cheap. Sounds like you're looking for something on more of the budget side of things. A Peavey TKO115 would be a good choice. Don't laugh. Nice little amp that is surprisingly loud with a nice full, deep tone. Has a little graphic EQ that pretty handy. Here's one just listed in NJ for $145. http://cnj.craigslist.org/msg/997049117.html
I`ve always found Peavey bass amps to have a pretty specific sound... it`s sort of the sound of bar rock. Thumpy and loud but a little bit soulless.

I like my GK head with a 2x10 cab, plus a DI for the sub. throw some fuzz or tube distortion into the chain sometimes. My cab has an attenuator on the tweeter, sometimes a little tweet can really add definition.

I`ve recently heard a couple tiny 1x10 combo practice amps, one from hartke and one from Genz Benz - actually preferred the hartke, very very tight sounding and great projection - I think something like that might record nicely, and probably wouldn`t rattle the walls.

Trick Fall
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Post by Trick Fall » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:32 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. A B 15 would be awesome, but is a little spendy for right now. I wish someone made something like the old Fender Musicmaster amps. I'll also probably continue to record with a direct as well as a mic'd signal. One of the reasons I'm looking to augment the bass with an amp is for monitoring purposes. I'm trying to get rid of the headphones when tracking.

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:21 pm

Old traynor bass mates are nice also. Its a very fenderish circuit in there.
I also dig the "acoustic" combo amps, the old ones with the light blue graphics and white logo. Some of them do get quite loud though!
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Slider
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Post by Slider » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:51 pm

I just recorded a bass player who used a recent looking small solid state Ampeg combo. I think it was called the B115? Anyway, it was cheap and it recorded great. Nice sounding compressor built into it too. I was shocked that it recorded so well.

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kingmetal
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Post by kingmetal » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:31 am

Go to Guitarcenter (try not to vomit) and check one of these out: http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com ... sku=482900.

I've been playing out of Acoustic 150s ever since my dear old dad decided to take up restoring old solid state heads (he's got a thing for Acoustics, but is happily moving to Sunns!). When we heard that Guitarcenter was re-launching the Acoustic brand we went down and checked them all out. These amps are really clean, really decent sounding and insanely cheap. I wasn't a fan of the 12" combo they had, but I thought the 15 sounded damn fine, comparable to my little Acoustic 117 that is my current rig (just need something to practice with in the apartment). As much as I hate Guitarcenter, if there's one near by you can test it out for yourself - and they do have a pretty decent return policy even if you got it through Musiciansfriend and realized that you hated it (which I doubt you will, although it may not be what you're looking for ultimately).

If you can find a 117 they're great as well. Small, nice and loud, and they have a gain-stage so you can push them. Doesn't sound that great on my basses but sounds GREAT on my drum machine!

EDIT:
calaverasgrandes wrote:Old traynor bass mates are nice also. Its a very fenderish circuit in there.
I also dig the "acoustic" combo amps, the old ones with the light blue graphics and white logo. Some of them do get quite loud though!
Totally missed that. Two votes for Acoustics! Yay! My little 117 does get damn loud, but it also can keep things totally respectable. Acoustics are great like that!

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