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What amps did bassists use in the 70s?

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When I was getting interested in musical equipment in the mid 70s my local music shop stocked Traynor, Acoustic and HH. I think they directly imported the Traynor and Acoustic stuff because IIRC it was no more out of my price range than the HH amps were.

My first bass rig bought in the early 80s was some horrible 100W transistor head - I can't remember the make but it had dark orange and black graphics on a plain metal front panel. It was cheap which is why I could afford it.

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1331320409' post='1571477']
Someone was using this in the 70s:

[/quote]

No else thought this?.......*Oooh a Stak Stack*!!!!!!

No? just me then :blink:

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[quote name='crez5150' timestamp='1331377750' post='1572033']
Indeed.... there were some ropey products apparently. BassBaby I think could be a winner..... have to make it a lot lighter though....
[/quote]

Something I remember H||H making was a really neat alternative to the WEM Copycat that used tape cartridges instead of the exposed loop.
They had some pretty smart ideas knocking about before they got swallowed up by Laney.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1331313035' post='1571301']
This 70s bassist used a 120W Orange valve amp and a WEM Starfinder cab, later replaced by an H|H 4X12 cab.
I'm still kicking myself even today for selling that Orange amp.


[color=#FFFFFF].[/color]
[color=#FFFFFF][/color]
[/quote]

Me too.I even had the Orange 4 x 10 matching cab. I stupidly swapped it for a H&H combo because a valve had gone and it sounded gash. At the time I didn't know what the problem was. The H&H eventually blew up and I was left with nothing!!!

I also had a WEM cabinet with a 15" speaker. It had the potential for 2 x 10 as well but I never bothered to fit any and eventually cut it down and recoverd it.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1331378337' post='1572054']
Did they..??

Doubt they were a player in the Industry until late 70's though
[/quote]

The IC100 was around in 72/73, Although they were a guitar amp they had a great bass sound and quite a few people were using them. Never liked their Bass amps much myself.

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[quote name='crez5150' timestamp='1331377020' post='1572017']
This is from the 80's era...... We may look at these units again if there is interest
[/quote]
As I've mentioned, I still have my old Bass Machine which is still going strong after 30 odd years. I've hung onto it because it's a great sounding amp.

If there is a decision to reissue these HH might want to revise the frequencies of the graphic EQ though. The review in International Musician mentioned the frequencies were chosen as something of a compromise as the amps were intended for use by guitarists as well.

Edit: Very strange. Just looking on Youtube at Stereolab playing French Disko on the Word and the bass player is using a Bass Machine. Synchronicity!

[quote name='crez5150' timestamp='1331377750' post='1572033']
Indeed.... there were some ropey products apparently. BassBaby I think could be a winner..... have to make it a lot lighter though....
[/quote]
Is this the Studio 60 you're talking about, or the 150w version. The Studio 60 was a really nice sounding amp, if only really suitable for practice or very quiet gigs.

I used to play in a three bass player band, so when we booked into a studio and I was assured they had enough bass amps, I groaned when I got lumped with the Studio 60. Plugged in, sounded really good without having to touch the EQ. I went right out and bought one.

Edited by Musky

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Anyone remember Custom Sound/Trucker amps? Late 70's into early 80's and truly horrible. I also remember a lot of Fender valve amps being around, and some Ampeg and Acoustic stuff at the higher end of the local pub circuit. It seemed like the American stuff was way ahead until Trace Elliot gear was introduced and we all went green and slappy.

One set up I saw mentioned in interviews was an Alembic F2B into a PA power amp (Carver, Crown etc). Don't imagine many of those came across the pond, but I think Martin Turner used it and Sting also used a similar set up pretty early on (Martin Turner's brother was their tech etc).

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I had a Custom Sound combo, it got cut in half to be a seperate cab & head and used for foldback, it's still going today, being used for dance classes. It did not sound too bad at low volumes, better that the Laney POS combo I had too.

Edited by Tankdave

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I started with a Selmer and progressed to a Marshall 100w superlead through a Wem 2x12, the cab then got replaced by a 4x12. A mates brother played a Precision through an Acoustic 126 bass combo and it was brilliant, so I saved for months and in 1980 I bought an Acoustic 220 head and a 404 (1x15) cab. It cost me £440, which to an apprentice electrician, which is what I was at the time, was over 3 months wages!

I still have the head and cab, they are still in almost new condition, have never gone wrong and they still sound brilliant!

I sometimes wish I had kept the Marshall though, it was one of the early ones and would probably sell for a fortune now!

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[quote name='Tankdave' timestamp='1331401544' post='1572473']
I had a Custom Sound combo, it got cut in half to be a seperate cab & head and used for foldback, it's still going today, being used for dance classes. It did not sound too bad at low volumes, better that the Laney POS combo I had too.
[/quote]

Dya mean the padded cab ones as endorsed The Osmonds ? Kustom Sound are still going I think.

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Me; 1979, with - apart from dubious dress sense; a Gibson EB3, (curly lead!!!!) a Marshall Super PA 100w & a TVM 1 x 18" 150w cab. :lol:

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Me, being aged, I used in order Vox AC50, Marshall 100w supalead (jmp100? bulgins, ptp etc), Hiwatt 100, Hiwatt 200 and somewhere in this HH IC 100s. Valve amps were cheap, I struggled to get rid of Hiwatt 200 (it was heavy and Orange tolex... v desirable now lol) edit... forgot Bassman 100 in this somewhere.... great amp but noisy, hindsight great thing. Best setup was Hiwatt 100 with acoustic 370 cab... immense in all senses of word, loud and heavy and big.

Edited by 3below

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1331316682' post='1571372']
Do you mean the 301? The 360 was a preamp and went with a powered W horn cab, think was 3 or 400w in the bottom of it. Acoustic were serious expensive toys in the UK then.

Definitely more the cabs that weren't up to it than the amps, I'm rocking 70s amps now and they can do it with modern cabs.
[/quote]

Yes I meant one of [url="http://acoustic.homeunix.net/twiki/bin/view/Acoustic/BassPreamp360"]these[/url], with one of [url="http://acoustic.homeunix.net/twiki/bin/view/Acoustic/BassPoweredCabinet361"]these[/url], (the [url="http://acoustic.homeunix.net/twiki/bin/view/Acoustic/BassAmpCombination361"]whole thing[/url])
and you're right it was probably the Cab that wasn't up to it.

I used a 301 for a little while (borrowed) which I used a Trace Elliot head for. It was equally unwieldy - awesome sound for the dub/reggae I was doing at the time, just not much power to weight ratio.

I also had one of [url="http://acoustic.homeunix.net/twiki/bin/view/Acoustic/BassCombo126"]these[/url] which I left in a flat in Salford some time in the early 90s. I can't believe I let all that stuff go but it was so impractical!

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1331408636' post='1572606']
Some good onfo at [url="http://acoustic.homeunix.net/"]http://acoustic.homeunix.net/[/url]
[/quote]
Excellent site! like stepping back in time :)

(and helped me explain myself to Mr. Foxen too!)

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looks like everything's been mentioned. OHM anybody?
On a slight tangent, I would say that when jamming in the studio /playing live the amps always delivered IMHO .
However , I think that the bass is much more defined now , over the last say 25 years on cd/ record etc.
Having said that, I remember as a kid , loads of singles being played on an old dansett e and the bass was meaty and most dominant. (valves ?)

Also some band members can't get their head around a tele bass. "too. wooly" etc. it is bass after all,,,

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[quote name='RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE' timestamp='1331461527' post='1572992']
looks like everything's been mentioned. OHM anybody?
[/quote]

I was wondering about OHM but I couldn't be certain that they were they were about in the 70's.
Quite dinky little boxes with a textured grey paint and 'OHM' carved into the foam speaker baffle?

They seem to have diversified away instrument amplification these days, if it's the same company I've been looking at.

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[quote name='icastle' timestamp='1331318132' post='1571408']
If you cheat a little bit and bring the date range up to 1979 then you can also add Peavey,
[/quote]

I was thinking Peavey too. I had a Peavey head (can't remember which one) and a 18" bass cab around 1978-9, and I definitely bought it second-hand.

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A lad in a school band around 1978 had a new (or old mint) Simms-Watts half stack for his Vox bass.
I thought SW had one of the ugliest logos I ever saw.

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[quote name='icastle' timestamp='1331464532' post='1573052']
I was wondering about OHM but I couldn't be certain that they were they were about in the 70's.
Quite dinky little boxes with a textured grey paint and 'OHM' carved into the foam speaker baffle?

They seem to have diversified away instrument amplification these days, if it's the same company I've been looking at.
[/quote]

[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]I seem to remember OHM amps looking quite good, definitely around in the late 70's. [/font]

[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]Slightly off topic, my mate used a FAL 50w 4channel PA head through a homemade 18" cab for guitar! I can only wonder how bad that must have sounded![/font]

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[quote name='3below' timestamp='1331411579' post='1572648']
Best setup was Hiwatt 100 with acoustic 370 cab... immense in all senses of word, loud and heavy and big.
[/quote]

That is very close to the rig I posted earlier.

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I had a Selmer 60, then an HH and lastly an Orange 150w (I think) with a homemade cab with two 18 inchers in it. We were a covers band playing clubs up to 500 capacity and the backline went straight out. We had 100 watt Carlsboro mixer/amp for vocals and one drum channel but everything was backline online. We still got asked to turn it down!

Last week a band turned up at the pub (250 capacity) next door with 4k of PA, you could hear them play (badly) half a mile away!

Steve

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I have to be honest.. the best bass rig I ever used was the Hiwatt Custom 100 watt with a Fender 4x12 Reflex Bass cab it was awsome and have never come close since.. used the Sound City & the Marshall at the time, but hey we're all different..currently use Genz Benz STM9.5 with EBS Neo 212. Whatever floats your boat I am still looking for the perfect ??? Matbe I need a Barefaced Cab!

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[quote name='4-string-thing' timestamp='1331501774' post='1573920']
[font=lucida sans unicode, lucida grande, sans-serif]I seem to remember OHM amps looking quite good, definitely around in the late 70's. [/font]

[font=lucida sans unicode, lucida grande, sans-serif]Slightly off topic, my mate used a FAL 50w 4channel PA head through a homemade 18" cab for guitar! I can only wonder how bad that must have sounded![/font]
[/quote]

The OHM stuff was pretty pokey for it's size and sat between Laney and Peavey pricewise.
I can remember using one for a pub gig one night just to try it out and it was pretty reasonable, just not as good as the Peavey stuff.

I'd forgotten all about FAL, not sure if that's old age creeping up or whether it was just a brand that really needed forgetting... :lol:
That's a 'long gone' British company that's probably best glossed over.
They were an extremely odd company, PA speakers, guitar amps and disco decks all featured in their product lineup - they just never really decided where to aim.

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[quote name='icastle' timestamp='1331513949' post='1574129']
The OHM stuff was pretty pokey for it's size and sat between Laney and Peavey pricewise.
I can remember using one for a pub gig one night just to try it out and it was pretty reasonable, just not as good as the Peavey stuff.

I'd forgotten all about FAL, not sure if that's old age creeping up or whether[b][i] it was just a brand that really needed forgetting...[/i][/b] :lol:
That's a 'long gone' British company that's probably best glossed over.
They were an extremely odd company, PA speakers, guitar amps and disco decks all featured in their product lineup - they just never really decided where to aim.
[/quote]

Yep.Although it did get a lot of people going who would never have afforded a good amp at the time.So as entry level kit I spose it served a purpose. I can remember seein a band at Barbarellas who had about 2 kW of Fal amps and speakers for a PA, sounded awful.

Edited by BRANCINI

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