"Dumble sound is just a bassman with a tubescreamer"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jeff_lebowski, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. jeff_lebowski

    jeff_lebowski Member

    May 4, 2014
    I wouldn't say magical or mythical but it definitely has the juice that a lot amps don't.
  2. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2018
    San Diego
    Quick note about the Britt Fuchs profiles. He includes one based on Robben's personal Dumble settings and one using Larry's. They both have the smooth chewiness, but the tones are quite different. I like them both so much I 'built' a profile that was an average of the two. Ended us tossing it and just using both originals.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  3. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2002
    RDU Area
    I spoke to Redd Volkaert one time. There’s a tune on “No Stranger to a Tele” that sounded very much like a Dumble to me. I asked him what he used, he said “cranked tweed amp”.
  4. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

    Nov 16, 2015
    Goes without saying that no pedal into an amp can really recreate another amp.

    What is possible, just IMHO, from a musician standpoint, is to get the general musical functionality you want, as long as you don't care about imitating anything.

    You can sound good, and be musically appropriate. You can get in the ballpark of tones, musically. You can also have quality gear, and a brilliantly tuned amp.

    That's why I don't care too much that I'll never see a Dumble or hear one in person. There is no one amp I absolutely have to have, certainly not the wonderful one I already chose for myself.

    Personally, I need to access some variety of British edge and aggression to get my anger/crazy out. As much as I love and admire Ford, I would get bored just playing smooth blues jazz fusion, or even Santana/Carlson type stuff, though I would like playing their stuff sometimes. So for me it would make more sense to use a Zendrive on occasion if anything. I do like the Dumble tones I hear online quite a bit, for the right musicians.

    But the whole phenomenon does suggest those old Bassmans are special. You can take those in a lot of different directions, if you are a talented builder.

    I'm not even sure what makes a Dumble, other than a fantastic build, as they all are different from one another. I do so far hear an even tone across the spectrum and great touch dynamics without any frequency heing underrepresented or overbearing. To me that reflects a great ear. But just that is a kind of musical funtionality that probably is achievable in some way.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  5. Drak

    Drak Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    I actually DO that!
    With CTS alnicos and their important midrange focus no less.
    YES! :aok

    NO tubescreamer will come anywhere near that sound.

    And I have a Fuchs ODS...
    But I think I prefer the Zen in front of the Super :eek:.

    I don't even use a real Zen, I use one of these:
    PierreL and jimijimmyjeffy like this.
  6. MichaelDCarter

    MichaelDCarter Member

    Jul 15, 2018
    I've never played through a real Dumble. I have owned a Fuchs ODS which is pretty close, at least as close as I'll get. I've owned a vintage Bassman. I currently own a Kendrick close that sounds and feels the same as the vintage did. I also have dozens of tube screamers and clones. I respectfully disagree that the "Dumble" sound is a bassman with a tube screamer. It's, to my ears, not even in the same sonic zip code. A "Dumble" sound to me was always a richer Fender BF without the spikey treble and with a much fuller midrange. To that end the Fuchs and other clones got that sound. They do so with an intact low end that can without hard attacks on the low E string without "Farting out", which a bassman, or any tweed, can have problems doing. Also, a Bassman has a "woody" tone to my ears that a Dumble or it's clones do not. Your results may vary, but I spent some time chasing what I thought was the best SRV tone, a lot of time poorly spent that I'll never get back, and it was not a tweed sound at all. It was a Dumble tone with some Marshall thrown in, with a combination of different speaker sizes. And most of all some of the best hands and the biggest heart to ever strum 6 strings. Just my opinion.

    jeff_lebowski likes this.
  7. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    North Carolina
    Uninformed anti-Dumble comments are to me in the category of "Ron Jeremy is ugly" comments.
    Although the latter is true.
  8. jeff_lebowski

    jeff_lebowski Member

    May 4, 2014
    The hedgehog is and will always be my guy.....
    Miracle Man and Tom Gross like this.
  9. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    That’s some pretty ignorant statement right there. Whoever came up with it clearly has no ears and was probably just trying to stir the pot.
  10. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Northern California
    Well, if it's Robben Ford's tone you're after he is playing a Two Rock on tour right now. His backup...a Zendrive into a Fender.
    EL84 Abuser likes this.
  11. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Silver Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2012
    Last 4 times I saw him this year it was definitely the Dumble. But that was all local; he lives here now. My guess is that if he's using a 2 Rock other places, it's because he doesn't want to subject an amp he could probably sell for a quarter mil to the hazards of shipping and travel.

    Edit: And the times I've felt like waving my geek flag high enough to go down paruse the pedal board, I didn't see a zen. That doesn't mean he isn't using one when he isn't using the D.
  12. motokev

    motokev Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    The Dumble is about FAT RICH TONES.

    The only fat sounding fender I've played is the VIBRO KING or early 60s concert.
    But, a pedal will not push them into DUMBLE land; how silly.
  13. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Add an EQ pedal to tune it in.
  14. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    that's the internet for you ... :dunno
    the TS808 came out in 1979, so Robben obviously was mighty late to the party ... :D
    tell that to the original Dumble legends like Lindley & George ! :rotflmao

    but people believe anything these days, the web does not lie. :facepalm
    oh well,
    woof* likes this.
  15. slipbeer

    slipbeer Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Center City, MN
    Many years ago in Austin Texas I had a chance to play through a Dumble Steel String Singer. I had no clue what a Dumble was. I was given a Hamer Special to play through it and the tone was amazing. I was really, really, really impressed.

    So I went and bought myself a Hamer Special.

    Great guitar but only after I got it did I figure out the tone I heard in Texas came from the amp.
  16. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    Northern CA
    Did you watch the clip?
  17. jujube

    jujube Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    Then they make the perilous journey through Dumble cloneland and are told that they have the ended up with the wrong clones by the netizens of TGP Nerdville.

    Finally, dejected and depressed by this crushing verdict, they go back to playing Fenders and Marshalls while contemplating how many moons have gone by where they could have been practicing and jamming. LOL.
  18. MuleHead

    MuleHead Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Matthews, NC
    Pretty cool Bruce Egnater story on SRV and Howard - http://www.ampbuildingclass.com/my-srv-story.html
    Copyright © BRUCE EGNATER. All rights reserved.

    My SRV_Story 1986
    Roughly 30 years ago, I received a service call from a local venue in Royal Oak, Michigan for Stevie Ray Vaughan. I had heard his music but knew little about his gear. The tech told me he had a pile of Fender amps and this Dumble amp, called a Steel String Singer in need of repair. I had worked on a few Dumble Overdrive amps but had never seen a SSS amp. I had Mr. Dumble’s phone number so I called him, and he answered. I explained what I was going to repair and who it belonged to. He detailed in “tech” terms what the circuit was so I would know what to bring with me. His explanation clearly described an SVT so I took the parts and gear needed to repair an Ampeg SVT as well as the Fenders. Upon arrival I was greeted by his very friendly tech whose name I cannot recall. He showed me the setup and began to explain what they wanted done to the Fender amps and the SSS. I told him I had just spoken to Howard Dumble on the phone. He stopped me, obviously perplexed, and asked how I spoke to Howard Dumble? I said “I dialed his phone number and he answered”. He ran off ranting that Mr. Dumble would take a call from me (who he didn’t know) but not from Stevie Ray Vaughn! Apparently he owed them a couple of amps and was not delivering or accepting their calls. While he was gone taking care of that, I began work on the SSS which, and I quote, “just doesn’t sound right”. The worst complaint you want to hear when trying to repair gear in the field. As I begin inspecting this beast, it became clear that this was an SVT power amp chassis with the Dumble preamp. Not like an SVT, but an actual SVT chassis from an Ampeg amp. The repair was straight forward with the usual SVT problems. As I completed that repair, the tech returned and was no longer angry. He said “it has been handled”, whatever that meant.

    Now it was onto the rest of the amps. Allow me to explain what I believed was the magic of Stevie Ray Vaughan. In front of me is literally a pile of Fender amps just stacked up in a totally haphazard way. I don’t recall all the different models but they were all Blackface combos. Probably half a dozen random amps. Also, teetering on the end of the pile was a Fender Vibratone Leslie type cabinet and the SSS on the other end. So, here is this wall of amps and hanging in front of them is a little sheet metal box with a bunch of ¼” jacks on it. Each jack is, in turn, plugged into one of the amps using those gray, plastic Radio Shack cords. On the floor is a wah pedal and a Green overdrive pedal. That was the entire setup. No fancy cables, buffers or splitters. Just six or more amps all parallel together through this little jack box. The tech says “let’s start here”. In the random pile is a Fender Vibrosonic. Basically a Super with a 15” speaker. Apparently, they had just purchased it on the road and stuck it into the pile. He goes on to show me what Stevie says is wrong. He plugs in the Strat set to the neck pickup and runs his hand across all the amp’s knobs so everything is now full up, as were all the other amps! His left hand is not on the neck and he strums the open guitar hard. Need I say what that sounded like? He tells me Stevie says it has too much bass and asks what can I do about it. I reach over and turn the bass knob down. He strums the guitar again and proclaims “that’s it!” I think we are done at this point. He then says “that is OK but Stevie wants it to sound like this (bass knob on 3) but wants to see everything full up”. You guessed it, I suggest rotating the knob so it looks full up. That was not acceptable because Stevie would find out and would be pissed. He had me go inside and modify the amp so when the knob was full up, it was really only on 3. The rest of the tasks were routine repair stuff.

    Sadly, this did somewhat burst my SRV bubble. I assumed much of the incredible tone was from some finely tweaked amps but alas, I realized his tone was truly in his hands. Not only did he have an incredible attack and feel but he also knew how to control a pile of amps all on ten, all the time.

    And that’s my SRV story.
    JasonElGato, Mad-kiwi, pats and 11 others like this.
  19. Alan Dunn

    Alan Dunn Member

    Sep 15, 2016
    I've played a Two Rock TS1 into a 4x10 and the headroom was something I'd never experienced before - it felt like there was no limit.

    Not sure if this sort of thing is even possible to obtain through a pedal - and if it were it would probably cost more than most amps anyway.
  20. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    GREAT story, never seen that before - LOVE SRV!
    cber1517 and MuleHead like this.

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