Sunday, September 4, 2016

All About That ... Well, You Know

I finally bought a piece of musical equipment that I have never had.  A combo bass amp.  But before I get into that, let me catch you up.  You see, I bought a Dean Razorback for a great price.   Here's a picture of it.

However, I didn't really have a use for such a metal guitar.  I don't really play metal much anymore.  And even if I do, I still have a few other guitars that I would use to play that style of music.

So I decided that I really needed a Fender Blues Jr., Mark 3 combo amp.  It would be perfect for carrying and playing coffee shops.  So I traded the Dean Razorback for the Fender Blues Jr. 

I didn't really care for the sound of the EL-84 tubes, but then I read on the internet about a "mod" kit to make it better.  So I did that.  I also added $80 worth of expensive tubes.  Not only that, but I added a pretty good speaker to it.

Guess what?  I still didn't like the sound.

Here's the link to everything I did with that amp:

So I sold it off.  Now I have money burning in my pocket.  What to do?  Should I hold on for a rainy day?  Should I buy another guitar amp?  Maybe this time a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with the 6L6 tubes? 

But I thought about it, and realized I already had amps that were better than that.  What I didn't have was a bass amp.  I had two basses, but no bass amp.  I had been using an old SUNN Alpha 212R combo amp for a bass amp.  It came from the 70's when both the guitar and bass players plugged into the same amp.

A bass amp is what I needed, but what kind?  The immediate answer that most players would say is, "Buy an Ampeg and be done with it."  But there's kind of a problem.  St. Louis Music which used to own Ampeg sold it off.  The new ones are made overseas, and they have had nothing but problems.  My former bass player had one of the new ones, and it was in the shop something like over 15 times.

I thought about Kustom amps, both the old and new models.  However, they don't really have a gain setting on them.  They are some of the best looking amps, but looks don't make the sound. 

So they were off the list.  So I went into Guitar Center, and tried out a few amps.  I also made the smart move of taking one of my own basses.  The bass amps that really impressed me the most were the Acoustic Amp series of amps.  (Acoustic is the brand name.  It is not an acoustic guitar amp.)  They were big in the 70's, and had recently come back from the dead (business wise.) 

I really liked the B100 model.  It was a 100 watt amp with a single 15 inch speaker.  It also had a simple four band EQ, and a gain setting.  Frankly, it was everything that I needed and nothing more. 

It's perfect for small gigs and coffee houses.  Honestly, I'll probably use it more for recording than anything.  It's not too big, and it's not too small.  Although, I'm sure I will be told that I'm, "too loud" while playing in the house. 

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