Spoon i found an amp for you

I’ll pass, thanks.

A lotta guys have done what Dumble did, but never set out to be in the amp business. Ultimately, Dumble is just a hobbyist who morphed into a boutique amp builder and gained cachet. When you’re filthy rich, having something like this on stage is in the same category as driving a Lambo to the gig.

Dumble basically took an amp with a fat warm power section, such as the non-tuxedo Bassman, and the pre-amp section from a clean amp like the Pro-Reverb, and used the pre-amp in the Bassman to get some overdrive. In essence, he built a high-gain amp before most others thought of it.

I still have a 1968 Fender shop manual in the basement somewhere that has all the circuit diagrams and variations for every amp they built from 1952-65…the tweeds, the brown Tolexes, the blackfaces.

You could buy 2 “blackface” vintage Fender amps from Reverb and spend $7-8K, build a wiring harness to marry them, and you’d have as much (or more) than Dumble can put in one cabinet. You’d have less than five figures in it.

Or you could be like SRV to name just one, who HAD a Dumble but almost always just took his stock 64 VibroVerb on stage and close miked it into the PA. That old Fender stuff was really good, even if you also liked Marshall or Vox amps.

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I should also mention that altho I’ve worked on lots of electric guitars back in the day, and even cobbled together some cool things (for instance I thought of putting Hagstrom Bi-Sonic pickups on a Jazz Bass about the same time Berry Oakley (of the ABB) did, and I had no idea he had also done it until decades later. His “tractor” bass is in a museum somehwere, but I sold mine to the bass player in Head East the day my first son was born, and got paid in ones and fives from their gig the night before.

On top of that, I don’t actually PLAY electric guitars with any serious intent. I just know how to make them work for people like Billdo.

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Oh, speaking of vintage gear and that provenance thing, this is interesting, don’t know if this amp is as groovy as the eras Fenders or not but…


I guess he is valuing the story around $500.00


With the new amp modeling technology a used $50 piece of digital gear will replace a truckload of these vintage amps and probably sound better than the actual amps themselves.

Just a niche market I stumbled into and have been checking out recently. As an off shoot of my current fetish stalking P Basses online.


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I like Scott, I’ve seen this and a few others of his and others vids

Even some of the signature series vids are kind of interesting too.



Now I’m running into the fender jazz bass guys, it gets so confusing.

I’ll let you in on a secret.

Bass Acquisition Syndrome is just as bad as Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.

I even have a list of the top 3 basses I’d buy if I won the lottery.


Buddy of mine went from GAS to GAS (guitar to gun).

I have some buddies like that, only they run both of them full-time.

I usually have at least one, if I won the lottery fetish going, last year it was Ferry Porsche’s 911’s

So, what’s the deal with Fender and Ampeg both having monster base amps both with 810 in their name and both using 8 10 inch drivers? Seems like there must be a story

My answer will need to be long and complex. BBL, no time now.

The short answer is, the electric bass guitar isn’t the optimum instrument for producing notes below maybe A1 (55 Hz) or maybe C2 (65 Hz) and similarly, the human ear is not the optimum instrument for “hearing” those lower freqs…so amp design has to find ways of “cheating.”

Took a music physics class in College. It was cool. Prof had a early-80s Mac with a music program, set it to pure tones and went down the scale. At some point the sound dropped because the cheap-ass speakers couldn’t hang.

He then set it to clarinet, which has a rich set of harmonics. He went down the scale and we heard every note down to the bottom. He says well you know, the computer speakers can’t generate those frequencies, so why do you think you were able to hear them?

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I was watching one of Scott’s vids (see above vid link) I think he was describing something like that, he was demonstrating how he made a particular “chord” i think, and he talked about his fingers gets in the way so he drops a “phantom note” I think he was saying.

I think were I to pull the trigger on a bass today, I think I might go for one of these,

Because Jaco, although I’m not sure a fretless is the best thing to start on.

And some smaller cheaper amp, like one of the small fender rumble amps or whatever.

Look into Ampeg’s budget line, they’re stupid cheap and they’re a bit more than practice amps. I have one with maybe 25 watts, a single 8" driver, weighs less than 30 pounds, and depending on the venue I’ve actually played out with it in a (smallish) big band context. A hunnert bucks. There’s a stronger one with 40 watts into a 10" for about $170.


Okay, so the original P Bass from Fender, about 1951 had a single coil pickup…the split pickup came in 1957. Fender’s first amp for the P-bass was the original Bassman, 50 watts pushing 4 x 10" drivers in a closed cabinet. It was a considerably different amp from the Concert, a 4 x 10 guitar amp. The pickup did okay with the fundamental but given the circuitry of the guitar it was week on the harmonics. So Leo used 2 x 10 in place of 1 x 15 to help with the harmonics and give the note some bite and definition. My friend CT has an original 1952 P Bass which he loves and it’s cool to play, but he uses a very modern amp setup so he gets a great sound from it. Because the body has a bit more mass, the sustain is better.

When Leo updated the bass in 1957, the split pickup added some sparkle to the tone. The J bass had even more bite thanks to the second pickup. This allowed the Bassman to become a 2 x 15 cabinet without getting too fuzzy and muddy, and that became a normative bass rig during all the sixties…50 watts, 2 x 15s. If you were in a power trio, you probably had a whole wall of Sunn 200S amps which were built arounnd Dynaco amplifiers and preamp circuits so they had a cleaner, flatter sound but even with high-end drivers by JBL, the D140F, there still wasn’t a lot of definition and nobody cared because the fundamental was what you wanted and you wanted enough sound pressure that you could FEEL it as much as hear it.

In 1969 I heard a bi-amped bass for the first time and it was an epiphany for me. The bass was a Gibson EB-3L, two double-coil pickups, running into a Sunn 200S with 2 x 15, 50 watts and also into a Fender Vibrolux 2 x 10, 35 watts, running clean and not being pushed hard. For the first time ever, I could actually hear an electric bass with all the coloration and overtones and detail of a good bass fiddle.

My days of being satisfied with a THUMP THUMP THUMP were over.

During the 70s and 80s bass players started to figure out that the thing that blew up speakers (the drivers) was pushing the amp to the point of distortion, which not only didn’t sound good but also caused over-excursion of the speaker cones and cone separation, mount failure, and voice coil failures. And paradoxically, the way to solve this problem was to use a MORE powerful amp which could be pushed harder without clipping or distorting. Coupled with drivers that were designed to handle more power, this allowed you to move more air more cleanly without blowing up your shit.

The seventies and eighties also saw a move to solid state amps which made it easier to get big clean power. The problem was, the early solid state gear sounded sterile and “plastic-y,” lacking the warmth and sweetness of tube equipment. But OTOH the solid state gear offered better response, faster rise time and less distortion. Eventually the debate came to rest on solid state power section, tube pre-amp section. Today, nearly all bass gear that sounds good will have at least one vacuum tube in the pre-amp section, or else use some kind of digital modeling. And a lot more bass players use compression now as well.

300 watts came to be the practical ceiling for an all-tube amp, whereas the hybrid solid state gear has crept up from 700 to a thousand watts or more.

Altho most equipment is still analog, a digital modeling section is often seen in guitar amps and some bass gear offers it as well.

Drivers have continued to evolve, too. I know some people who prefer Hartke cabinets, where the drivers have aluminum cones. It’s a bit too crisp for me, but I have to admit it sounds damn good.

BUT I’VE SORTA GOTTEN OFF on a tangent and not fully answered your question. Let me come back to this again later.

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