Solid State bass head

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Brett Siler
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Solid State bass head

Post by Brett Siler » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:20 pm

My good friend is selling the Ampeg SVT and is gonna go solid state. Mostly due to economic reasons. He generally goes for darker smoother tones. He doesn't like bright sound or slaping and popping, just smooth finger style playing. He sometimes uses a big muff for noisey things too. Does anyone have any suggestions for anything that sounds good and is loud enough to gig with?

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Post by eh91311 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:55 am

I like my 90's G-K 800RB with the horizontal power switch. 300w full range (I don't use the 100W for biamp hi). Lots of power, thick, punchy, with character. Not "clean" and lifeless. I believe the newer G-K bass amps are good but not the same kind of sound as the older 800's.

Anything new with lots of power will cost a lot.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:40 am

Ashly BP-41 Preamp -> Hafler -> Cab(s)

Gives you lots of configuration options. And upgrade options down the road.

Is he into DIY at all? There's great cab designs free from Electrovoice/Telex. Didn't take me much time or money to whip up some shitty looking but awesome sounding cabs.

edit: http://cgi.ebay.com/ASHLY-BP41-BASS-PRE ... 35b0415361
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Post by fuzz » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:16 am

Walter Woods. Amazing amps. Mine works great on my 56' ES175. As a guitarists I got it because Adam Rodgers told me he was using one, but they really are bass amps. Walter still services his amps too.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:31 am

My old bass player dumped his SVT head and I got him a used Sunn Colosium head used for $125. That thing pumps and has way better low end than the 90 hz band limited SVT.
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Post by comfortstarr » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:41 am

eh91311 wrote:I like my 90's G-K 800RB with the horizontal power switch. 300w full range (I don't use the 100W for biamp hi). Lots of power, thick, punchy, with character. Not "clean" and lifeless. I believe the newer G-K bass amps are good but not the same kind of sound as the older 800's.

Anything new with lots of power will cost a lot.
Those are great amps, the 400RB is good too (and I'd argue loud enough to gig with). I toured with the 400 for a long time. Dropped from the top of drum hardware case (standing vertically) to cement below... didn't break.

I now have an EA iAMP 350. I think it's bloody amazing. Has too much EQ for me to wrap my feeble brain around, but sounds great. I like clean amps for bass. I like them paired with non-clean speakers and crunchy basses and the occasional fun effect.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:47 am

The GK amps are good and reliable, but they suffer from a thin low end. That can easily be changed. They use 1 uf electrolytic coupling caps, replace those with 10 or even 47 uf and it will pump deep bass.
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Post by farview » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:29 pm

If he likes the Ampeg sound, they make plenty of solid state amps that have that 'ampeg thing' going for them.

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Post by lionaudio » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:22 pm

I use the svt4 pro. I, for some reason, do not like tube amps for my bass. I would have him check out the 2 or 3, only because i don't think he would need to be crushingly loud. I also like the GK stuff. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Williams about the low end being thin. The low end of GK amps are the only thing that I am envious of in Ampeg land. The lows are more round with GK than Ampeg, to me anyway.

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Post by Brett Siler » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:57 am

thanks for all the suggestions guys. The Sunn Coliseum sounds interesting.
Are the GK amps pretty bright? The first person I can think of the uses GK is Flea, which is kinda the opposite of what he's going for.
While his SVT has been in the shop we've been using a ss Ampeg b2 which sounds ok but way thinner that the SVT. After plenty of EQ it sounded closer to the SVT.
farview wrote:If he likes the Ampeg sound, they make plenty of solid state amps that have that 'ampeg thing' going for them.
Like what? He does like that sound but it doesnt have to emmulate that sound, just have character and be on the darker side tone wise (or can be made with eq).

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Post by Nate Dort » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:52 am

Get an old Acoustic 370 head. Low-end for days.

Alternatively, there's this:

http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/amps/bass/vt1969.html

Which is supposed to nail the SVT sound. If it's anything like the "VT Bass" pedal they make, then I'm sure it does.

Alternatively, pick up a cheap mono power amp, like a Crown or something, and run a VT Bass pedal (or any bass preamp) into it.

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Post by farview » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:17 am

Brett Siler wrote:
farview wrote:If he likes the Ampeg sound, they make plenty of solid state amps that have that 'ampeg thing' going for them.
Like what? He does like that sound but it doesnt have to emmulate that sound, just have character and be on the darker side tone wise (or can be made with eq).
All of these have preamp tubes and solid state power sections http://www.ampeg.com/products/pro/index.html

This is the big solid state head http://www.ampeg.com/products/b/b2re/index.html

If he is looking to go smaller, most of these are solid state http://www.ampeg.com/products/bassamp/index.html


I'm not sure what you mean that he is going solid state for 'economic reasons'. If it is about the cost of replacing tubes, the pro series heads only have a couple 12a*7's in them. Those will need to be replaced every couple years and cost less than $15 each. That's generally cheap enough, even for a bass player.

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Post by Jim Williams » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:59 am

lionaudio wrote:I use the svt4 pro. I, for some reason, do not like tube amps for my bass. I would have him check out the 2 or 3, only because i don't think he would need to be crushingly loud. I also like the GK stuff. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Williams about the low end being thin. The low end of GK amps are the only thing that I am envious of in Ampeg land. The lows are more round with GK than Ampeg, to me anyway.
This is true, but it's still thin. The SVT tube preamp rolls off at 90 hz, not too good. If you patch an external preamp into the SVT power amp, it's got great low end, but that preamp rolls it out. You can get 50 hz out of a GK, but not a low B 27 hz. If you change those caps you will hear a completely diffent low end. Then you will need speakers that can reproduce it.

Most commercial bass amps do roll off that low end. It's done for a purpose.
A bass amp requires enormous energy to amplify those low string fundementals. Commercial bass amps will filter that out to achieve a louder volume for a given amount of watts. Set the low end to 20 hz or below and those watts are eaten up very quickly limiting maximum volume before clipping.

A 300 watt amp rolling off at 50 hz will seem louder but it's only because of low band filtering. For full bandwidth amplification of electric bass, I find about 700~1000 watts to be needed for maximum punch and headroom.

One rig I like is an Alembic F2-B preamp into a Crown Macrotech power amp.
That will loosen your fillings fast especially if the .1 uf coupling caps are enlarged to .47 uf.
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Post by Jim Williams » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:00 am

lionaudio wrote:I use the svt4 pro. I, for some reason, do not like tube amps for my bass. I would have him check out the 2 or 3, only because i don't think he would need to be crushingly loud. I also like the GK stuff. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Williams about the low end being thin. The low end of GK amps are the only thing that I am envious of in Ampeg land. The lows are more round with GK than Ampeg, to me anyway.
This is true, but it's still thin. The SVT tube preamp rolls off at 90 hz, not too good. If you patch an external preamp into the SVT power amp, it's got great low end, but that preamp rolls it out. You can get 50 hz out of a GK, but not a low B 27 hz. If you change those caps you will hear a completely diffent low end. Then you will need speakers that can reproduce it.

Most commercial bass amps do roll off that low end. It's done for a purpose.
A bass amp requires enormous energy to amplify those low string fundementals. Commercial bass amps will filter that out to achieve a louder volume for a given amount of watts. Set the low end to 20 hz or below and those watts are eaten up very quickly limiting maximum volume before clipping.

A 300 watt amp rolling off at 50 hz will seem louder but it's only because of low band filtering. For full bandwidth amplification of electric bass, I find about 700~1000 watts to be needed for maximum punch and headroom.

One rig I like is an Alembic F2-B preamp into a Crown Macrotech power amp.
That will loosen your fillings fast especially if the .1 uf coupling caps are enlarged to .47 uf.
Jim Williams
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Post by nobody, really » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:48 am

the cheapest, most versatile bass amp imo is the gk 400rb. especially paired with a 2x15 cab, and run wide open. i've had mine for about a million years. they're actually not that bright. anyways that's what the "high" knob is for. you turn it down, or use 15" speakers. that eq is real nice, simple and very effective for changing the tone. apparently they were designed to be run with the power amp stage at max, to get that "gk growl" or whatever. i dunno, i've used mine in every kinda situation, loud, quiet, bright, dark, distorted, clean, even recording. though the 1/4" DI out i suppose isn't very good. i guess you could mod it with a transformer and xlr out. i should do that.

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