Small tube bass amp for recording?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
AmateurComputerologist
audio school graduate
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:59 am

Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by AmateurComputerologist » Fri Jan 21, 2005 6:57 am

Does anyone have any suggestions for a small tube bass amp for recording? I'm going to be recording live off the floor in a open space without much isolation, so I want something that I'll be able to drive without being stupidly loud.

I was looking at the Mesa walkabout, but it has a fan in it. Has anyone recorded one? Is the fan a huge problem?

http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/ ... kScout.htm

Anyone have any other small bass tube combo suggestions?

User avatar
Scodiddly
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3500
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Mundelein, IL, USA
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:03 am

How about a small tube guitar amp? It's in the studio, so it's not like you're looking for volume.

AmateurComputerologist
audio school graduate
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:59 am

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by AmateurComputerologist » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:21 am

Okay, what's the official word on running a bass through a guitar amp. I've done it before but people keep slapping my wrists and tell me to never do it again. Half the people I talk to say that it'll blow my speaker, especially with an open back amp (and even at low volumes). The other half say it's fine.

I need some closure on this.

llmonty
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 659
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:17 am
Location: richmond, va

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by llmonty » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:28 am

well the answer is...it depends.

How loud you have it, what the speaker/cab config is mostly. i have used a bassman head through a closed back marshall 2x12 very loud for a gig recently and it was fine. though i would think that long term exposure at those volume/bass levels would damage the speakers. also, at those volumes, the guitar speakers didn't have as much punch or definition as a proper bass cab would.
richmond is a really cool town - supafuzz

joel hamilton
zen recordist
Posts: 8876
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 12:10 pm
Location: NYC/Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by joel hamilton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:55 am

I have gotten really good results from a 25 watt heathkit mono amplifier with Daystrom tubes into a single EV 15" cabinet (custom made for my partner).

Try out a couple crazy old tube amps like that. I couldnt believe how much tone we were getting from that little thing. My fiancee's grandpa made it in the 60's.

My Partner at the studio has been playing bass for quite some time, and he has been really digging this thing. I love recording it.

comfortstarr
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 4:25 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by comfortstarr » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:55 am

I tried a Walkabout at a Guitar Center a while ago. It was the combo and it had a ton of buzz, but I think that was a problem in the cabinet (typical guitar center situation). I then plugged the head into another cab. It's a nice head but it did have a definate whir to it.

I wound up getting an iAMP350 which records great for the tones I like.

You should call your local GC and see if they have a walkabout to try. The other thing about them is that I believe the tube is only for the pre-amp, not the power part. It might not get what you're looking for tone-wise.

User avatar
Scodiddly
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3500
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Mundelein, IL, USA
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:49 am

AmateurComputerologist wrote:Okay, what's the official word on running a bass through a guitar amp. I've done it before but people keep slapping my wrists and tell me to never do it again. Half the people I talk to say that it'll blow my speaker, especially with an open back amp (and even at low volumes). The other half say it's fine.

I need some closure on this.
I don't see a problem with it. As long as you're not trying to crank it up beyond 11 because it was all you had for a live gig...

I usually just go direct when I play bass for a recording, but sometimes I like to use my old Princeton Reverb.

Oh, and I'm a repair guy, so I do know something about what guitar amps can and can't handle. :twisted:

User avatar
mjau
genitals didn't survive the freeze
Posts: 3938
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 7:33 pm
Location: F'n Florida
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by mjau » Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:55 am

At low volumes, I've never had any trouble playing bass through guitar amps. At home sometimes I run my bass through an old Laney AOR tube amp with a Celestion g12h in it, if I want an Entwhistle thing going on.

But anyway, on ebay you can occasionally find a good deal on a Fender Musicmaster amp. The stock speakers are truly awful for bass - the smallest magnet you'll ever see on a speaker. But, for 15 watts of tube going through a different speaker, they are brilliant.

I used to have a beat up Vox Kensington (not tube, though), which was cool for a thumpy, way mid-range-y sound.

AGCurry
steve albini likes it
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 12:05 pm
Location: Kansas City area
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by AGCurry » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:00 am

There is a picture on Carol Kaye's web site of her in the studio. She's playing her Fender Jazz through what looks to be a Fender Super Reverb. Look, if you're close-miking, it doesn't matter whether it's a guitar amp or bass amp, because your volume isn't high enough to stress the speaker, and the open back of the guitar amp isn't gonna be a factor. You could easily get by with a tube guitar amp with 1 10 or 1 12.

If you want a small tube amp specifically designed for bass, the Ampeg SB12 fliptop is great. Another good option is to get a small head and match it to a 1-10" enclosure.

I don't really understand why you want a tube amp for recording. James Jamerson went direct in to the board...

KennyLusk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:22 am
Location: Ramah, New Mexico

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by KennyLusk » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:09 am

You're already getting great advice from everyone but I just want to add that if you're overdriving the speaker of a guitar cabinet with a bass signal you'll hear it begin to break up, no problem. Then just back off the volume a bit. I use my guitar 2 X 10 combo all the time for bass and it's great.

I also agree firmly with Joel's suggestion of an old tube amp like a Heathkit, feeding a 1 X 10 or bigger. But that's just taste. I love the sound of old consumer type tube electronics.

Ideas like that are in the true spirit of tapeop.

But everyone here has a valid point and valid advice. Bass is funny that way. There are so many ways you can get a great signal into your board when it comes to bass; but which signal has the right coloration and tone for that particular tune? That's the key. What works for you at that time?

standup
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 7:04 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by standup » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:40 am

AmateurComputerologist wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for a small tube bass amp for recording?
Ampeg B12. I've got an SB12, the smallest of the series, and it sounds great. The somewhat larger B12 is ideal, and probably less than a new Mesa if the cosmetics are not 9 out of 10 or whatever.

The B15 is a fantastic amp, but they're not so small.

kayagum
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3486
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 11:11 pm
Location: Saint Paul, MN

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by kayagum » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:07 am

I've taken my Pro Jr, and speaker out to my Bassman 2x12 closed-back.

Knights Who Say Neve
buyin' a studio
Posts: 985
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: The Mome Raths Outgrabe

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:13 pm

kayagum wrote:I've taken my Pro Jr, and speaker out to my Bassman 2x12 closed-back.
I do almost the same thing, Fender Pro Jr. into a closed-back 4x12 cab.
I don't play bass often enough to justify a bass rig, and it works pretty well.
"What you're saying is, unlike all the other writers, if it was really new, you'd know it was new when you heard it, and you'd love it. <b>That's a hell of an assumption</b>". -B. Marsalis

User avatar
tonewoods
buyin' a studio
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:48 pm
Location: Orcas Island, WA
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by tonewoods » Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:15 pm

Go find an Ampeg B-15...

You will never look back....
"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude--not truth, but the appearance of truth."
Jerry Wexler

User avatar
Uncle Dub
ass engineer
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: Springfield
Contact:

Re: Small tube bass amp for recording?

Post by Uncle Dub » Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:17 pm

Just a thought, but if this is purely for recording, you could always get a tube DI like the Avalon U5. I haven't auditioned one myself, though I know other people around here have.

That means you don't need to muck about with mics, or worry about bleed, or any of that, and it's a useful thing to have around for other things too.

Just a thought.

I wish to god when I emigrated I'd taken my old Selmer with me, I picked that thing up for 30 quid when I was still in highschool as a small step up from my solid state 15W guitar combo, man that thing was nice, and basic, volume and tone, and a nice 12" Fane speaker. I believe it ended up in the dumpster :cry:

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests