Bass Amp Recommendation?


#1

Hey Gang -

My small club gig (100-300 watt / 1x15 to 2x10 speaker sized rig) Bass Amp has become possessed of a demon, and is decidedly done.

Any hot tips for a rig that is vintage-tone-vibe-warm, beefy, can cut it with a drummer, and isn’t going to kill my bank account?


#2

Or a Rumble 500 and 115 cab.


#3

Thanks! I played the 400 on a gig a month ago. Great stuff. I’ll surely check 'em out!


#4

Check out the mythical Craigslist. Might find a sweet deal there.


#5

A Marshall! Lemmy couldn’t do wrong with his, and after catching up with Toast Machine it would seem like a match made in hell…


#6

Ha!! You don’t know how bad I wish I had a vintage Marshall stack to plug into for those gigs. … sigh.
Dreams.


#7

What was the rig? I think I saw some H/H cabs? Couldn’t see what was in the rack above apart from a Peterson tuner? Do tell. I thought it sounded pretty damn good with those drums.


#8

Duuuuude. The rig is a Mesa Boogie M-2000 running into 2 Eden 4X10 XLT cabs. It’s all gained up really high to get a bit of fuzz even in the clean stuff.
The effects unit is a TC Electronics M-1, and the tuner is a Korg rack tuner. The signal is split, with one side going to the bass rig, and the other one going to a guitar amp. Since I don’t have the Lemmy rig of my dreams, I use my old Peavey Bandit 112. It has lots of reverb and guitar-y high end. And THEN… when I want to reallllly destroy the eardrums and melt the faces, I stomp on an Ibanez Tube Screamer, with everything full up.
The bass is a Modulus Sweet Spot 5.
All together, it’s a ton of racket, and barrels of fun.


#9

Thanks! It really is the dogs bollocks…


#10

You don’t throw your car away because it quit working. So find out whats wrong with it & fix it. It may be something as simple as replacing a torn speaker?


#11

Working on it. So far it has been undiagnosable the two times it has visited the pro repair shop. I have an appointment to get a third opinion from another spot, but not until later this month. In the meantime - time to check out new rigs.


#12

I don’t know what your amp is doing but I know from having worked with electronics that a dry solder joint could screw it up and be hard to find. As a last resort you could always gut the amp and rebuild the innards. It would be nice if they were more like computers with plug and play components.


#13

Right - I don’t work on such things, and I know my skill set, and it ain’t in fixing amps. The time/cost/benefit graph for that has shown it to be not worth it. So, as soon as a qualified person can give me the scoop, I’ll know if it’s better to fix it and use it (I hope) or fix it and sell (maybe) or not fix it and sell as is.


#14

Well obviously Dr. Fossgreen senior would be the one to find out if the amp is saveable or not @Gio. :slight_smile:

But gotta put a plug for the TC Electronic rig, I’ve been using the RH450 head with the RS210 cab for 4 years now and it’s been totally bulletproof, lots of EQ options, onboard multiband compression. I think the rig is ~$1000 new, I got it on Craigslist for $700, which was a screaming deal.

My only little complaint is I’m not always sure I’m getting the clarity in the high end that I want, even with the tweeter cranked… Not sure if it’s the amp, the cab, or just that I haven’t found the sweet spot on the 4-band parametric EQ.


#15

My only little complaint is I’m not always sure I’m getting the clarity in the high end that I want, even with the tweeter cranked… Not sure if it’s the amp, the cab, or just that I haven’t found the sweet spot on the 4-band parametric EQ.

Sometimes there are capacitors in the signal path that can impact this… no need to go for boutique ones, usually high quality film (Sprague orange drops etc), or Russian PIO NOS (K40Y, K42Y) can make a dramatic change in that area.

Regarding failing amps, specially old ones, first thing to check: all Electrolityc caps, relays if any, then diodes, and any resistors after any failed electrolityc caps.


#16

@gio what’s the amp problem?

Doesn’t turn on? Howling? hum? motorboat like sound? Dead silent?

Tubes or SS?

I’m with jamesa.watt, most times they’re recoverable. Sometimes the fix is simple (what it isn’t sometimes is finding the fault location).

That’s in fact what I look for when the problem doesn’t make sense, reflowing the solder joints.


#17

It’s an old Eden World Traveler - 300 Watts of SS power, with a single tube in the preamp section.

I have since tried a new repair guy. Got it back a week ago.
The demon scream is gone, but there is a ton of residual noise - hiss, and background crackles.

Never doubting that it’s recoverable - just the cost of resurrection.
Right now it has cost me more than I could sell it for, and it still isn’t sellable… which was not what I was hoping for.


#18

mmm… old amps displaying those symptoms usually need some love on non expensive parts: replacing pots, jacks, old caps and any old noisy carbon resistors… the cost of these is low, but then it depends on labour.

Another easy fix for Eden Travellers: cleaning thoroughly contact points on all the input and effects jacks thoroughly, this is a well known source of hiss and noise in these amps, use De-Oxi or similar product that doesn’t leave dielectric residue. (electronics cleaning). Old toothbrush, dental picks and q-tips come in very handy for this.

Have you ever replaced the tube? Have a picture? Could be that also, a noisy tube… 12AX7? I love TungSols for that…

Right now it has cost me more than I could sell it for, and it still isn’t sellable… which was not what I was hoping for.

It’s an appreciated amp, not uncommon to spot it in studios., give it some loving and if it fixes that… you’ll be rewarded twice, fixed amp, and having been fixed by yourself!


#19

I love all this sage wisdom. Thanks tons.
I had another chat with my repair guy, and between that and this list, there’s plenty of things to try to get it clean and polished.
Thanks!


#20

I have my eye on this little number:

Anyone have any thoughts?