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Bass Amp suggestions

Tootler 13 Feb 13 - 12:26 PM
Tootler 13 Feb 13 - 12:29 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Feb 13 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,oggie 13 Feb 13 - 05:04 PM
Boston Bass 14 Feb 13 - 04:06 AM
Tootler 14 Feb 13 - 04:43 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Feb 13 - 05:23 AM
Roger the Skiffler 14 Feb 13 - 08:24 AM
Boston Bass 14 Feb 13 - 03:45 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Feb 13 - 06:04 PM
GutBucketeer 14 Feb 13 - 07:06 PM
Tootler 19 Feb 13 - 02:50 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Feb 13 - 04:57 AM
Tootler 20 Feb 13 - 09:08 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Feb 13 - 02:08 PM
Tootler 21 Feb 13 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 22 Feb 13 - 10:21 AM
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Subject: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:26 PM

I have just bought myself a Kala U-Bass. It is a bass ukulele based on a Baritone uke body but modified to take special strings so it plays at the same pitch as an upright bass or bass guitar.

More Information here

Mine is a solid mahogany body but with a passive piezo pickup rather than the active pickup shown in the link. It is OK but quiet played acoustically but really needs an amp to bring out the best.

I am looking for suggestions for a small bass amp - preferably battery operated - about 15 - 20W output and physically small as I don't have a lot of room to store it. I tried it through a 15W amp in the shop and there was adequate volume and it sounded really good.

I will mainly be using it as a bass in an otherwise acoustic band, so definitely don't need a large amp.

Suggestions please.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:29 PM

If you want to hear what they sound like, just put "kala u bass" into the You Tube search box. It will bring up plenty of relevant links.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 01:16 PM

If you can live with mains only I like all the little Hartkes, and since with bass more power is always good I'd suggest the A70.

If battery is a must a Pignose Hog30 would probably be adequate.

The Phil Jones bass Briefcase is apparently the mutt's nuts but it is over £500 so it bloody well should be! I think its big brother the Suitcase does not have the battery option.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 05:04 PM

Small Line6 cube, Roland Bass Cube, Roland Street Cube (battery powered), Ashdown EVO II, depends how big you want to go and how much you want to spend.

I've used all of these with various basses, I currently use an Ashdown but for a U-Bass (horrible things, shudder :)) I'd go with a Line6.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Boston Bass
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 04:06 AM

Definitely take a look at the Roland Micro Cube Bass RX. Remarkably good bass response and long battery life, but there is also a mains adapter included.. I don't like the rather silly built in "Rhythm Guide", but that's just my opinion. I often use this amp for boosting up an acoustic bass or when playing electric with acoustic instruments.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 04:43 AM

U-Bass (horrible things, shudder :))

Seems a somewhat extreme reaction! The majority of reviews I have read have been positive and clips I have listened to suggest a good sound. I certainly felt that when I tried it out.

What don't you like about them? Have you tried one?

Back to the topic of the thread.

I had wondered about the Roland Micro Cube bass. I shall take a look at that and also the Line6 and Pignose.

At the moment I plug it into my Marshall MS4 micro amp. Obviously it doesn't give the full bass response but it was better than I expected and it just gives enough boost for practising at home.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 05:23 AM

5 watts from the micro cube bass? You cannot be serious! At £200 that's £40 per watt.

The Briefcase will give you 100 watts for about £550 - a far better watt/£ ratio.

The Line 6 is not a bass amp and also very underpowered. Its strength is teh huge range of FX - mostly not needed for bass.

Cube Street also not a bass amp. Cube 60 comes in a bass variant, but no battery option.

Ashdowns lovely and I particularly like the blend that lets you add a tone an octave down from each played note. To get the full benefit of that you'd need teh 15 inch version - but not battery powered (well, 300 watts would flatten a battery PDQ).   I still think I prefer the Hartkes though (but also not battery).

If you can get a second hand crate Taxi TX 30 or TX50 in the UK (imports from the USA are likely to be prohibitive) it might be worth a go. A burglar alarm will provide a backup battery but the parts off the PCB are VERY hard to get - I spent 6 months chivvying the makers for a gain pot, which is after all a wear part.

Most pignose stuff is good. But for bass you need a big one.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 08:24 AM

It always amuses me that bass guitarists in a trio need an amp the size of a wardrobe while string bass players in a 7 piece jazz band manage with one the size of a carry on bag. Perhaps if lead guitarists turned their amps down, the bass player wouldn't feel the need to rattle the audience's fillings.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Boston Bass
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 03:45 PM

I love tiny bass amps, ad always use the smallest possible for a gig....and you should really try the Roland before dismissing it. Watts do not equal volume. High wattage can be useful to move enough air for a mighty bass sound, but Roland seem to have got round that problem, using 4 very efficient 4 inch speakers in a cabinet about a foot square.
No, I don't work for Roland.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 06:04 PM

If it's too loud you're too old.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 07:06 PM

Once you reach a certain age, If it's too loud your too young.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Feb 13 - 02:50 PM

I seem to have been victim of a "disappearing reply" bug. I had replied to Richard's post of 14 Feb along the lines of "I don't need huge wattage output" and agreeing with Roger the Skiffler and Boston Bass, but it didn't take.

Anyway, I have ordered a Vox Pathfinder 10 Bass Amp (here). I seriously considered the Roland Microcube Bass Rx but it costs more than I wanted to pay at this stage. The Vox is not expensive so I'll see how it goes and I can reconsider if it proves unsuitable for my purposes as it will still be useful for practice. Mains only, but I can live with that.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 04:57 AM

I have a Vox DA20 (no use for bass guitar) and it is absolutely awesome. Even on batteries (when it is limited to 1.5 watts - it does 20 on mains) it is quite loud and the range of tones really impressive. The only thing I wish it had (but it doesn't) is a footpedal to switch FX on or off or better still to switch between them.

I doubt whether the Pathfinder will give you the "rumble up the legs" effect that even the 70 watt Hartkes do, but it is likely to sound OK-ish: reviews on the internet are lukewarm but I suspect that they are being written in an electric context. If you keep the volume RIGHT down the Vox will probably be audible alongside an unplugged acoustic guitar and unmic'd singer, while remaining undistorted. Just.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for the info, Richard. I had a look at reviews on the web and they seemed more positive than you suggested and on the basis of those, the Vox Pathfinder Bass 10 sounds about right for what I want.

I belong to an acoustic band which comprises fiddle, melodeon, concertina, harp, whistles, guitar/ukulele. We do have a percussionist; she mostly plays bodhran but has recently acquired a small djembe. I play mostly tenor and bass recorder, wooden flute and harmonica.

I have used my contrabass recorder to provide bass in the past but I feel the U-Bass will do the job better. Also it's smaller and lighter - essentially a modified baritone ukulele.

The amp is not intended to cut through other amplified instruments but to bring the volume up to that of, say, an upright bass. Many of the reviews say the U-Bass sounds more like an upright bass than a bass guitar though in fact, it has its own character.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 02:08 PM

To get over a squeezebox I think you will need to go bigger, but the Vox is so cheap (and pretty) it's worth a go.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 07:07 PM

It's surprising how bass can carry. I've played my contrabass recorder in sessions quite a few times and have been told that it can be heard through the sound of many fiddles and boxes and the contrabass recorder is not a loud instrument by any stretch of the imagination.

The amp arrived today and first impressions are very positive. Very good tone and certainly adequate volume.


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Subject: RE: Bass Amp suggestions
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 10:21 AM

If you have no constraints on funds, you should look at the Genz Benz.

John McIntosh in Peeping Tom got one a year or so back. (Probably an oxymoron, but he's a bass player with loads of money!! Ha Ha) It's brilliant. He always used to play far too loud on stage - with this thing he can hear himself perfectly at a reasonable volume. And the signal out of the xlr on the back is the cleanest most accurate I've ever heard out of any amp. Most of the bass is now coming out of the PA instead of off the stage. Much more controllable and far more pleasant.
Now Pete Smale, their guitarist, also has one and it works equally well with all his guitar pedals etc.

Big PS though. I think they cost over 1000 quid. Ouch.


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