Cant Find the right bass crunch

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by ellpolo, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. ellpolo

    ellpolo Member

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    Hey, my bassist and I went bass amp shopping today!

    We tried an Acoustic b600
    Ampeg SVT 3, 4pro, b2r, and the classic
    The new mesa m9 carbine.
    Orange Ad200

    We were very disappointed with all of the amps except the orange in terms of gain. The orange can get really crunchy without the help of a bass fuzz pedal (tech21 sansamp DI).

    So bass gearheads, i ask for your help. What amp (pref. tube preamp) can get as dirty as the orange without the help of an OD pedal? We're open to all amps, guitar amps used for bass, or preamp/poweramp combos.

    Remember we want a solid crunch out of the amp going straight in. The ampeg classic is not nearly crunchy enough even when dimed!

    Please HELP!
     
  2. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed Member

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    Most bass amps are not designed to act in this manner, but |Ampeg made some premaps, such as the BSP, that are designed to do as you describe.

    Also, SWR made the Interstellar Overdrive pre amp as well.

    Last, there is the Aguliar Aggro.
     
  3. ellpolo

    ellpolo Member

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    I realize this, but we're trying to get away from the bass fuzz route, its just compresses too much.

    Thanks keep them coming!
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Member

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    Just heard straight from the horses mouth that the bassist for Fu Manchu uses an Acoustic 360 that gives up the dirty goodness for him.

    As far as going the fuzz route - you can always use a blendable fuzz, or a Blender pedal to help keep some of your signal clean so that you don't lose too much of your bottom end when using a fuzz. There are plenty of good bass OD pedals as well for some crunch and dirt.

    Happy Hunting,

    Edward
     
  5. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed Member

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    You have to define what you mean by "basss fuzzes" then as neither the Aggro nor interstellar OD are fuzzes. The BSP can be pushed to that area, but can retain a distortion characteristic as well.

    Here is a good quote from Talkbass that describes the differences, in case you need a reference point:

     
  6. ellpolo

    ellpolo Member

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    Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. Not fuzz, overdrive. Currently he uses a gk rb700 into an aguilar DB410 cab (amazing cab btw) with a tech 21 sansamp driver going into the front end.

    We're not too stoked about this, even when playing with different settings and the blend knob, the gain just sounds to solid state (because it is).

    He checked out the ampeg preamp you suggested and he's looking into it. There are a lot of positive reviews of that PRE on talkbass. We'll have to check out that acoustic as well.

    Are there any guitar amps that bassists use for crunch? marshall superbass?
     
  7. rsm

    rsm Member

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    I used an ADA bass rig for years (purchased new in '93), just sold it earlier this year. See if you can find an ADA MB-1 preamp. I never used it for crunch / OD for bass, but it has it with the tube voicings (12AX7). See ADADepot for more info. http://adadepot.com/adagear/gearpages/preamps/ADA-MB-1.htm

    My Tech 21 Programmable Bass Driver DI can get crunch too, though again not the sound I use.
     
  8. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed Member

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    Yep...Hi-Watts are pretty popular. Lemmy from Motorhead uses Marshall Superbass II as well. I tried the Marshall before, an d thought the tone was craptacular, but one man's crap is another's treasure.

    But be fore warned, this is a pretty expensive route to take.

    I know you said no pedals, but give this a try if you can. It is the SFT by Catalinbread. This is one of very few peals I have found that responds to attack exactly like a tube amp offering crunch. It is very responsive. Others rave for the Bass Huckleberry and the bass voiced Xotics as well, but I have no personal experience with these.
     
  9. dkhp124

    dkhp124 Member

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    Tech21 SansAmp VT Bass. It will give you the overdriven SVT crunch.. Sounds absolutely amazing. You should look into it!
     
  10. Pantherairsoft

    Pantherairsoft Member

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    The ebs Fafner is the way to go. Best drive sound from a head I have ever heard... Beautiful!
     
  11. Rick N Boogie

    Rick N Boogie Member

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    I don't think you're going to be able to avoid using a pedal of some sort. Even the few bass amps that have a little built-in overdrive, like the GK you're using now, will be enough of what you want. I highly recomend looking into the o/d pedals designed specifically for bass, like the Xotic Bass BB, EBS Valve Drive, Trex Bass Juice, or the Sansamp VT.
     
  12. deluxemeat

    deluxemeat Member

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    tom petersson likes to mix guitar amps with bass amps to get the crunch portion of his sound. have you tried that?
    he's used the studio/stage but i think you can get good results w the custom 50.
    sound city amps work well too.
     
  13. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    This.
     
  14. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Yep. The VT Bass is a slightly different animal than the SABDDI, and does a better job replicating the crunchy goodness of an all-tube amp pushed hard.


    Curious...if the Orange gets you what you like, why not get that? If it's a budget issue, then your best result is still going to come from a pedal.

    Something you should also realize about OD/distortion/fuzz - it is, by it's nature, a form of compression.
     
  15. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    Yes.

    But...

    The amount of 'drive' in that overdrive (and the compression that goes along with it) of a 'dynamic' system is relative to how hard you're hitting it. Which is why some people detest using any sort of overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals/device because it introduces that 'static' compression and distortion- it's there and that's how it is. When you're dealing with an amp that's creating drive from the power section it's much more "organic" and "dynamic." The harder you hit it, the harder you push it, the more drive you get.

    I like that "grunt" out of my guitar amps- but I like eliminating it from my bass amps- which is why I'm using SS amps.
     
  16. srmcmur

    srmcmur Member

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    Ive got a SWR Interstellar Overdrive Preamp. I normally set it where it starts to break up only when I'm really digging in- However, you can dial in anything from clean to completely crunched out. the preamp is actually 2 channel 5w tube head with 2 EL84's in a push-pull configuration on the dirty side, and a 12ax7 on the clean. You can dial in your sound, or split the channels and run one clean and use an optional pedal to engage the dirty. wonderful piece of gear worth trying to find- look on ebay. hasn't been made in several years I believe.
     
  17. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    Try a Rat with bass. The John Wetton crunch is there.
     
  18. shojin

    shojin Member

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    I second the recommendations for the SFT and Bass BB preamp.

    I own and use both for different applications... I use the SFT for Ampeg emulation, primarily for B 15 low gain fur through SVT rage. And I use the Bass BB pre for high gain distortion that is transparent in that it retains my amplifier's original tonal characteristics.

    Both retain lows very well.
     
  19. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    To really nail the '73-74 King Crimson crunch, try a Foxx fuzz wah. That's the sound. NOT subtle, but wonderful.

    I've always been curious about the short lived SWR Interstellar Overdrive, a single rack unit. May have what the OP's looking for.
     
  20. Armstrong

    Armstrong Member

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    If you are determined to not use pedals, the Aguilar Aggro is probably the best current amp out there for that if you want to go simple imho.

    I have gone to a 2 preamp setup to solve this dilemma: I run an Aguilar DB680 and a "dirty" preamp into each side of a Stewart W2.1 power amp. The DB680 goes into a Bag End 2x10 cab. Super clean and full, untouched bass tone. I was running an Ampeg SVP for dirt, but recently switched to a Line6 BassPodPro. I wasn't getting enough gain out of the SVP, and it was noisy for me. This goes into channel 2 on the power amp and out to an Aguilar GS212. The L6 gets great SVT and Marshall Superbass tones, plus there are a variety of pedals to run. By using the volume pedal on the L6 controller, I can layer just the right amount of dirt into my sound. By having the huge sounding clean side and the dirty separate, the tone is huge, full and very open. Seems complicated, but it amounts to a lightweight 6 space rack and 2 small cabs. I can load in in one trip and everything is pre-wired and ready to go.
    I highly recommend this approach. Multi amp setups are what most of the great distorted bass players have resorted to in one way or another: Jack Casady, Tom Petersson, Chris Squire, DUg Pinnick, etc... etc...
     

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