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Really easy and fun questions.

Jonny Hotnuts

Member
Messages
2,010
I just picked up my first bass (5 string) its really for my wife as she wants to learn how to play.

First question:

-Do they make string sets designed for E-C tuning for 5 strings or are they all B-G?

Second question:

I live in a world of guitar, and know very little about 'the dark side' of bass in comparison. I could list a TON of high end boutique amps for guitar without batting an eye. After doing a basic search of combo amps for bass, I must confess myself disappointed in what seems to be available when comparing the nutty amount of choices in high end guitar amps. Most of what I could find, even high end amps, looked....well...very utilitarian.

-I am looking for suggestions of low watt combos (dont need volume, especially with the wife just learning LOL) that are focused on SQ. I would also like an amp that looks classy without the 'industrial' look. I dont mind paying decent money (not Dumble amp money). My current main guitar amp is an awesome 65 Amps Tupelo; it sounds wonderful and is a nice looking amp. <is there anything in the bass world that is a comparison?


Thanks for any suggestions....

~JH
 

Doom Man

Member
Messages
580
Kalium Strings make pretty much any set of bass strings you could think and more. Many other manufacturers/brands of strings and also stores offer the option of putting together custom sets too.
Bear in mind you might need a new nut for the E-C tuning if you plan to go down that path, as the smaller strings will likely be sitting too low in the nut slots, as well as the nut slots being a little bit too wide.

As for your second question, well, you being so picky on the way they look makes that one not so fun and not so easy :D Seriously though, give some of those amps more a chance before dismiss them as 'utilitarian' looking.
 

LanEvo

Member
Messages
697
-Do they make string sets designed for E-C tuning for 5 strings or are they all B-G?
Pretty much ever manufacturer offers E-C sets. Check out BassStringsOnline for the best selection.

-I am looking for suggestions of low watt combos (dont need volume, especially with the wife just learning LOL) that are focused on SQ. I would also like an amp that looks classy without the 'industrial' look. I dont mind paying decent money (not Dumble amp money). My current main guitar amp is an awesome 65 Amps Tupelo; it sounds wonderful and is a nice looking amp. <is there anything in the bass world that is a comparison?
There is indeed: http://philjonesbass.com/store/combos/briefcase-signature-new/

[/QUOTE]
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,477
Probably easiest to buy a 4 string set and add a replacement C string.

I have had a Phil Jones Super Flightcase for many years. Great little amp. My Rob Allen basses sounded a little weak through other small bass amps that were available at the time. Markbass wasn't available in my area at the time.
 

guitargod0dmw

Member
Messages
445
Second question:

I live in a world of guitar, and know very little about 'the dark side' of bass in comparison. I could list a TON of high end boutique amps for guitar without batting an eye. After doing a basic search of combo amps for bass, I must confess myself disappointed in what seems to be available when comparing the nutty amount of choices in high end guitar amps. Most of what I could find, even high end amps, looked....well...very utilitarian.

-I am looking for suggestions of low watt combos (dont need volume, especially with the wife just learning LOL) that are focused on SQ. I would also like an amp that looks classy without the 'industrial' look. I dont mind paying decent money (not Dumble amp money). My current main guitar amp is an awesome 65 Amps Tupelo; it sounds wonderful and is a nice looking amp. <is there anything in the bass world that is a comparison?
There are quite a few out there but not nearly as many as the guitar amp world. Most are going to be utilitarian with an emphasis on specific EQ points, a high quality DI, and the possibility of tubes. There are a lot more preamps and cabs rather than full amps. Heads + cabs reign supreme over combos in the bass world. The sound that lots of bassists hear in their head is an Ampeg SVT into an 810 or a B15 so you'll see lots of comparisons to those.

-Classy, smallish, low watt combo, w/ excellent sound quality has Ampeg B15 written all over it
-The Jule Monique shown above is an awesome preamp (it's my main pre) but you'll need a power amp and a cab with it, unless you buy the powered version
-Reiner Amplification makes some built to order pres and he's done a few amps too
-If you want great tube tone akin to an SVT in a lower wattage package, the Ampeg V4B RI is excellent. Add an Ampeg 210AV or 112AV for a small package
-Boutique cabs? Bergantino, Baer, AudioKinesis, Greenboy (Fearful and Fearless)

There are a ton of great sounding high quality bass amps for much less money too so don't let the price fool you. Gallien Krueger, Ampeg, Genz Benz, Mesa, etc. all make a nice amp.
 
Last edited:

devnulljp

Member
Messages
1,580
Aguilar TH350 (or a TH500) and an SL112 cab would be a great small bass rig to start with that you won't have to replace down the line (just add another cab). Small, sounds great, not expensive.

 

BlueTalon

Member
Messages
351
My opinion = Phil Jones makes the best bass amplification gear available anywhere. I have a briefcase amp like the one pictured above (only in black) and I love it. For your purposes, I think it is ideal.
 

GSHARP

Member
Messages
1,658
Aguilar TH350 (or a TH500) and an SL112 cab would be a great small bass rig to start with that you won't have to replace down the line (just add another cab). Small, sounds great, not expensive.

I think you got your answer, OP. This little rig will sound massive.

I don't live in a "high end" or "boutique" world, my bass rig is considered pretty much cheap but it thumps enough to make money with it: Yorkville 400w head, Fender Rumble 4x10 cab. When I plug in my Fender P bass, it sings good enough and sits well in a mix.
 

BlueTalon

Member
Messages
351
For what the OP's needs are, I'd still recommend the Phil Jones Briefcase. Those speakers provide an astonishing low end for something that small, and nothing articulates better than Phil Jones cabinets. Nothing.

Note, that can have a negative effect, because you hear absolutely everything you play, including fret buzz, finger squeaks, missed notes, etc. It's a little annoying at first, but it's like looking in the mirror and seeing just how messed up your hair is -- it makes no sense to get annoyed at the mirror, it's just annoying to find out you look worse than you thought. Same thing with the Phil Jones gear, it forces you to confront your mistakes and sloppy playing, and in the end you are a better player. That's how it worked for me.

Plus, the Briefcase takes up very little room, you can put it in places where no other bass amp will fit. And it's a combo, so moving it means grabbing one thing, not two. You can even use the amp to power a larger speaker cabinet if you feel so inclined.
 

Jonny Hotnuts

Member
Messages
2,010
OK, dont laugh but.....

While I really like the whole idea/concept of the PJB amps I must admit the idea of tiny drivers and 'optional battery operation' seems very a la Pignose!
Its funny because after my first few searches, the PJB amps were the first that really seemed to have the thing I am looking for. I am just glad to see that people are saying they get the job done. I think the suitcase is going to be the amp...while I come from the school of bigger is better in regards to air movement I think that little thing is going to be a nice piece.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Oh....


And I decided to just go with the B as apposed to dealing with a nut....and it is a bass after all.

(the bass in question)




Its funny how years of playing finger style guitar has made learning a few RHCP tunes very manageable!

~JH
 

BlueTalon

Member
Messages
351
while I come from the school of bigger is better in regards to air movement I think that little thing is going to be a nice piece.
I used to live in that world. All I ever played through when I was younger was 15's. I got a practice amp in the 80's that a 12 in it, but I never thought it would be useful for gigging. When 10's came out, it took a while to get used to, but I understood the utility of a 410 cab. It pushes a lot of air.

That paradigm got shattered for me at a TalkBass get-together about 6 years ago. It was a show-&-tell for bass players, and everybody brought something interesting. Someone had brought a Phil Jones Briefcase amp. Besides being tiny, it's claim to fame was that it could be battery powered. It looked like the build quality was good, and lifting it an inch off the ground told me it was a solid build, so it was apparent someone had put some thought into this.

Curious, I grabbed a bass and plugged it in -- without paying much attention to the bass I grabbed, other than it was unique looking. It turned out to be a Knuckle Quake, a bass with a meter-long scale tuned an octave low. It felt funny and sounded funny, and I didn't quite put it together until Skip Fantry, the maker of Knuckle basses, told me what I'd done. At first, I was in awe of the instrument, but I immediately realized that just as impressive was the fact that the amp didn't puke when I played through it. I was stunned. I got a different bass, a normal one this time, and plugged it in -- and my world was forever changed. I now own five Phil Jones products, with more on the wish list.


By the way, very nice bass!
 

Jonny Hotnuts

Member
Messages
2,010
Well its official!!!

I have a PJB Briefcase on the way!! If anyone ever wondered if a person that asked a question really took the advice given on a forum! <seems so many ask questions they already have made up their minds on....

~JH
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,562
And I decided to just go with the B as apposed to dealing with a nut....and it is a bass after all.

(the bass in question)

there's no reason you couldn't string this E to C without messing with the nut; the angled headstock means you'd have no rattling issues.

still, it is a bass; to my ears the high C sounds twangy and annoying, especially through bass rigs with tweeters.
 

BlueTalon

Member
Messages
351
Well its official!!!

I have a PJB Briefcase on the way!! If anyone ever wondered if a person that asked a question really took the advice given on a forum! <seems so many ask questions they already have made up their minds on....

~JH
Congrats! Please be sure to update this thread. I'm particularly interested in your immediate first impressions, and in your opinion of it after having it a couple weeks.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,052
Nice bass...not the MIM we were expecting to see. My only recommendation was to go with Class D or H solid state...the Ashdowns have a nice look to them, but you're good for now.
 

Jonny Hotnuts

Member
Messages
2,010



I bunch of peep would be cranky if they knew what I paid for this! It is used but absolutely dead mint.

When I first plugged it in I was saying "oh Sh--, something is really wrong with this". The amp sounded like it had a bad driver....it wasnt until I discovered that it was a bad jack on a new Fender POS China made bass that was this issue. I grabbed a 1400$ J bass and it immediately cured the broken driver! LOL


I couldnt be more happy with this amp. It doesnt put out earth shattering volume but does fill a bedroom well beyond the point of annoying neighbors. It handles low b but will admit it slopes off on the very low at volume. <I really feel this amp is better suited to an E low bass. This also may be a result of needing to tweak the EQ or compressor settings; I have only played with the amp for about 30 minutes at this time and am running it pretty flat.

With this being said this PJB briefcase does something I have not seen in other bass amps; it is very musical. Chords sound very defined, legato runs are extremely articulate. Many bass rigs I have heard become flubby, sounding really good on the lows but become less precise with the higher notes. This amp really sparkles and seems quick.....its the only way I can describe it.


This IMO may be the ultimate bedroom practice bass amp....especially for the $.


~JH
 

BlueTalon

Member
Messages
351
With this being said this PJB briefcase does something I have not seen in other bass amps; it is very musical. Chords sound very defined, legato runs are extremely articulate. Many bass rigs I have heard become flubby, sounding really good on the lows but become less precise with the higher notes. This amp really sparkles and seems quick.....its the only way I can describe it.

This IMO may be the ultimate bedroom practice bass amp....especially for the $.
Another convert!

Quite the paradigm shift, eh? It is mind-blowing how well those 5" drivers deliver bass tone. The PJB Briefcase amp might be a little weak at projecting a low B, but when you have a cab or combo with 4 or more of the 5" drivers, the weakness goes away.
 

PawleeP

Member
Messages
77
Probably easiest to buy a 4 string set and add a replacement C string.

I have had a Phil Jones Super Flightcase for many years. Great little amp. My Rob Allen basses sounded a little weak through other small bass amps that were available at the time. Markbass wasn't available in my area at the time.
i ram a set of heavy (105-50 i think) 4 string bass strings (in case i want to drop d or c and used a guitar e string (forget the gauge but will check) for the high string, it was barely long enough, weather or not this will work depends on you bass and the brand of guitar string... p
 




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