The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, even I realize what a silly sounding question this is, but I've never actually heard a bass player use a piggyback style Bassman before. I know they're great for guitar but do they even sound good with a bass?

Are these amps loud enough for playing live?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
I guess that would depend on what your needs are. What type of music do you play? I've seen a couple of bass players over the years using a bassman.
If you are getting mic'd it should work fine for whatever. Most of the bass players I've seen use them, have been in small jazz combos or folk type bands. Hopefully some of the bass players here will be more helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
no. fendar bassmans are crap. especially for bass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
The bassman amp is anything but crap. It may not be the bass players choice, but thousands of guitar players can't be wrong. Some of the sweetest sounding amps I've heard over the years have been bassmans. Blackface, silverface, tweed, they are all great amps with the right tubes and a little tweaking. Jim Marshall started his amp line by coping the bassman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Ripper said:
The bassman amp is anything but crap. It may not be the bass players choice, but thousands of guitar players can't be wrong. Some of the sweetest sounding amps I've heard over the years have been bassmans. Blackface, silverface, tweed, they are all great amps with the right tubes and a little tweaking. Jim Marshall started his amp line by coping the bassman.
ok...but the bassman is crap for bass...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Bassmans are definitely not crap for guitar, but after some more research it looks like they're not really up to providing the volume needed for modern bands. Bummer.

I was really hoping that they'd be okay for bass because then I could have my cake and eat it too- an amp that's great for both bass and guitar. Guess I'll just have to do what everyone else does and get a two billion watt bass amp. :tongue:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,865 Posts
The bass player I play with uses a bassman thru a ported cabinet with a JBL 130F an old 15" from a twin reverb custom 15 and it kicks, he gets a great sound, the bassman is a 1970 silver issue. It's good for small clubs, larger venues he mics it. I love his sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!"

Asking if a Bassman is loud enough without talking about the speaker cab is like describing the length of the fish you caught by holding up only one arm!

Frankly, any of the modern bass cabs suck as far as efficiency goes! They've traded size away for something smaller, lighter and easy to carry. You can't do that without losing tons of efficiency. It's just Mother Nature's physics and you can't argue with physics.

That's why your new Ampeg solid state SVT has to put out 400 watts. The 4-10 cab you bought with it needs all that power to compensate.

Back before the last Ice Age in the early 70's transistor power amps had scarcely been invented and were quite expensive. We had only 200 watts to power our PA and we literally could blow the walls out anytime we needed to do it. How? It was our speaker cabs. We used copies of Altec Lansing Voice of the Theater "A7" bins.

If you don't know about these you should google up some info. If you stacked two of them they were as big as the typical home refrigerator. They each held a 12" driver and we put a wide-angle horn on top. A pair on each side of the stage with a horn on each top and we were deafening!

Two of those cabs would be used to fill a large movie theater. Each speaker was rated at only 75 watts yet that was more than enough.

A bin like that would have an efficiency rating of maybe 33 %. This means that for every 100 watts of power from the amp you'd get 33 acoustic watts of moving air out of the cabinet.

Now think about those bookshelf speakers you run with your home stereo. Wanna guess at the efficiency? It's less than 2%. 100 watts will move only 2 watts of air!

Nowadays manufacturers assume you'll cheerfully pay for a more powerful amp if it means you can run a smaller cab and save yourself a hernia.

You also pay a penalty in tone by using an undersized cab. They can do tricks with the speakers to try to compensate but such tricks can never recover all of what you lost.

If you watch film footage and video of the bands in the late 60's and 70's you'll see that the bass player is using BIG cabinets compared to today's offerings. The old Traynor twin 15" and especially the twin 18" bins actually had wheels along a bottom edge and handles at the top so you could "dolly" it around.

A bassman through a vintage sized cab would be more than loud enough but if you are using one of those modern "girly man" sized cabs you need several hundred watts in even a small club.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,865 Posts
I tend to agree with Bill, our bass player is using an older traynor cabinet designed for a 15 and also ported out the bottom. Another friend of mine uses an Ampeg B2 with two cabs. The bassman has no problem keeping up with the B2 in any of the rooms that we have played and in my opinion sounds better. They are both P bass players. Might also be the speaker it is a JBL 130F and was buit in the mid 60's a nice find.
 

·
Registered
Peavey Wolfgang EVH Wolfgang Charvel Style 2
Joined
·
1,487 Posts
Wild Bill is onto it... could not have said it better myself... a Fender Bassman is plenty loud on it's own for small/medium gigs. The PA can do the rest.

Consider this... a 12.5 watt amp is 1/2 as loud as a 100 watt amp. A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Hey bill, I know what you mean. I've got a pair of cerwin vega 12" speakers from the 70s with a 10 watt amp on them and they're much louder than my dads newer 12" technics with a 100 watt amp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
I still remember the old 8x10 ampeg cab our bass player used when I was 18. He had an old garnet bass head (60 watts) and it was loud and she moved air and sounded great! Bill is exactly right on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, I suppose I should've made it clear that I'm looking at buying a proper (60's) piggyback combo with an original cab.

I understand about speakers and efficiency and stuff, but ultimately that's all irrelevant, which is why I was asking for a subjective opinions on whether it was loud enough based on real-world experiences.

Maybe I'll go try one out and hear for myself. I guess I'll just have to imagine how loud it would be to add drums, two guitars, keyboards and a singer.

Thanks for the help, fellas. :food-smiley-004:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ripper said:
I still remember the old 8x10 ampeg cab our bass player used when I was 18. He had an old garnet bass head (60 watts) and it was loud and she moved air and sounded great! Bill is exactly right on this.
Those 8x10 cabinets are amazing. One of the best cabinets I've ever played through, that's for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
"You can't fool Mother Nature..."

nine said:
Sorry, I suppose I should've made it clear that I'm looking at buying a proper (60's) piggyback combo with an original cab.

I understand about speakers and efficiency and stuff, but ultimately that's all irrelevant, which is why I was asking for a subjective opinions on whether it was loud enough based on real-world experiences.

Maybe I'll go try one out and hear for myself. I guess I'll just have to imagine how loud it would be to add drums, two guitars, keyboards and a singer.

Thanks for the help, fellas. :food-smiley-004:
Well, of course your ear is the final judge but in this case Mother Nature's laws of physics pretty well let you exclude smaller cabs from being as loud as you imply you'll need.

I helped my nephew sell an original Fender 4-10 cab. It had a quad of original Oxford speakers in it, which was the kind that Fender was using in those days. It had a marvelous bluesy tone and a local bluesman snapped it up but my 2-12 Celestion cab seemed to have over twice the loudness.

This was because Celestions (and modern Eminence!) speakers are far more efficient that those from the Golden Years.

So you are talking about two problems. You want the small vintage "lockdown" cab and likely vintage less efficient speakers. There's no way you'll be happy.

If it were a lead guitar setup you could replace the speakers with some Eminence 10"s and that would be loud as hell but I'm not aware of any bass speakers that would do the same, especially when lower bass frequencies demand a larger cab for any efficiency, as I've stated before.

It's worth noting that when the Bassman setup first came out bass players found the stock 4-10 setup not to be loud enough. Regular guitarists loved the rig but bass players never really went for it, for the above reasons.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top