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dave_bass5

Carlsbro. A blast from the past.

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I had this amp when I was about 18 

😪

I could only dream of owning a Trace Elliot 

 

Carlsbro-Cobra-90-Bass-amp-good-condition-fully.jpg

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Well I would happily have swapped my Sound City 50B for a Cobra 90 🙂

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I had the mid 80s dream team of a Cobra 90 combo and Westone Thunder 1a. The Cobra was sold many years ago, still have the Westone. Yes, the green Carlsbro logo was a bit TE, I wonder if they sold a few on that basis alone.

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Posted (edited)

I had a Carlsbro Viper in the mid 90s and it was absolutely pants... underpowered, weak and weedy. It’s only redeeming feature was that it was 100 times better than the HH bass baby which proceeded it... dark times 😐

Edited by CamdenRob

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Posted (edited)

The Cobra 90 was my first amp, when I was 17.

It was too underpowered to play with a drummer, so I saved my pennies and bought a Carlsbro Stingray 150 combo, with a 15 inch speaker.

I thought it was the beez kneez, until I plugged my bass into it. Put any actually bass through it and it would fart like a hippo.

So I had to play with a crappy twangy sound, that I hated.

I once played a 5 string through it and it almost exploded.

Sh*te!!!

 

Edited by gjones

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On 23/03/2009 at 18:18, spongebob said:

The place we've been using recently for practice has got an old Carlsbro combo.

It has to be, the worst thing I've ever plugged into!

TBH, it makes my Rickenbacker sound like a buzzing fly! Terrible!!

hat is the Ricky pick-ups (runs for cover)

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You're absolutely right, their amps were not exceptional; and, like you said, neither is the power amp you built. But that's kinda my point. Our gear doesn't have to be exceptional to attain excellent performances. It has to be fit for purpose, but the prime factor in producing best in class performances is you, me or whoever is doing the playing. Unfortunately, it seems to me that we are losing sight of the things that matter. Equipment is being prioritized over human factors, which, IMHO, is not good.

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33 minutes ago, RJI777 said:

You're absolutely right, their amps were not exceptional; and, like you said, neither is the power amp you built. But that's kinda my point. Our gear doesn't have to be exceptional to attain excellent performances. It has to be fit for purpose, but the prime factor in producing best in class performances is you, me or whoever is doing the playing. Unfortunately, it seems to me that we are losing sight of the things that matter. Equipment is being prioritized over human factors, which, IMHO, is not good.

I've always been someone who prioritises getting the best out of what they have got, and I agree the limiting factor, especially with playing a musical instrument, is personal skill. Unlike many areas, you can't buy success at playing an instrument*.

But part of this is, after time pushing the boundaries of what you have,  better understanding what can help you take the next step. As an example, I bought a huge TE combo because that guaranteed a sound I have always wanted - bonus is that it was silly cheap.

That doesn't mean you might not get something just because its fun to use or nice to have.

 

*Many years ago the partner of a sister in law had a Trace rig and Jaydee custom bass, I never heard him play it once although he did once let me have a go.

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OMG, had a Hornet 45 in the late 80s and a Cobra 90 combo in the early 90s - you kids don't know how lucky you are!!

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On 06/01/2020 at 13:10, RJI777 said:

You're absolutely right, their amps were not exceptional; and, like you said, neither is the power amp you built. But that's kinda my point. Our gear doesn't have to be exceptional to attain excellent performances. It has to be fit for purpose, but the prime factor in producing best in class performances is you, me or whoever is doing the playing. Unfortunately, it seems to me that we are losing sight of the things that matter. Equipment is being prioritized over human factors, which, IMHO, is not good.

'It's all in the fingers'

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On 05/01/2020 at 18:53, Stub Mandrel said:

Well I would happily have swapped my Sound City 50B for a Cobra 90 🙂

I did - moved up from a Sound City 50Plus, to a Carlsbro Cobra 90 head and cab.  Still slightly surprised I didn’t kill myself with the SC, knew nothing of lethal capacitors etc, so it was probably a good thing.  
 

I liked the Sound City..and would happily gig with one these days. But the Cobra was a marvel..with virtually no components inside the case,  just a few bits stuck to the front and back of the very empty box 😳.  That’s probably why the power light used to dim when I played a bottom E with anything like enthusiasm. 

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1 hour ago, BassBod said:

I did - moved up from a Sound City 50Plus, to a Carlsbro Cobra 90 head and cab.  Still slightly surprised I didn’t kill myself with the SC, knew nothing of lethal capacitors etc, so it was probably a good thing.  
 

I liked the Sound City..and would happily gig with one these days. But the Cobra was a marvel..with virtually no components inside the case,  just a few bits stuck to the front and back of the very empty box 😳.  That’s probably why the power light used to dim when I played a bottom E with anything like enthusiasm. 

I suspect the 50Plus was proper amp, I recall the Cobra 90 as being much better than the 50B.

sound-city-sc-50-amp-amplifier_360_a4f8d

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Yes, the SC 50Plus was a decent small valve head, two big power valves and heavy transformers.   Smelled like good amps should...

The Cobra was good, but very cheap build - plastic end plates and thin wooden top.  The handle pulled out of. the chipboard cab quite a few times..

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I had a Cobra 45w 12" combo as my second ever amp - a step up from whatever I had before I recall - never gigged it but it got me going and served it's purpose well.

I replaced it with an Ampeg 410 combo, which I'm keeping to save the kids the expense of a coffin.

  • Haha 1

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used a Carlsbro Bass Beasty for a few years, till the preamp blew up, no complaints

 

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On 20/08/2007 at 16:05, dave_bass5 said:

Had a gig recently where i couldnt take my cab. The band said they would supply an amp.
Glad i took my LMII to use as a pre amp. Not seen one of these for years.
he band said it sounded much better with the LMII than it usually did when one of their other bass players uses it.

185863718-M.jpg&key=8da26d856212f2c8aca8e6632cfb3b2a9dee80c8093f150e683d600db68d18c2

I had that amp many moons ago when I was 16.made me happy then, big push buttons on top

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This is like a trip down lots of people's memory lane.  This was my first bass amp, and it didn't last long before I upgraded (to another sh....e amp made by OHM).  Attempted to played my 77 precision through this haha.  I had to dream for another 10 years before i could afford a Trace Elliott.  Funnily enough I remember borrowing my Bass Teacher's Ampeg V4 and thinking that wasn't much good either.  How I carried it back from the lesson I cannot remember!

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My first "decent" amp was a Cobra .. 60W I think.  

Compared to the other affordable amps available back in 1983, such as the Laney ones (awful), and Roland Cubes, the Cobra was clear and punchy and still just about portable.  I was mighty pleased with it at the time.

The EQ push buttons were vicious though and sitting near it whilst trying to learn slap bass lines off level 42 tape cassettes is probably the major cause of my hearing loss!

In a few years time everyone will be slagging off MarkBass ;¬)

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On 05/01/2020 at 22:26, grumpyguts said:

I had the mid 80s dream team of a Cobra 90 combo and Westone Thunder 1a.

Rig of Champions, Sir.

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Owned the Stingray back in the 80's, could be seen jumping on buses with it as I traveled about Edinburgh. 

First amp was through a tape recorder mic,then it was a wee Badger. A Kay 50 watt briefly appeared too. Needed a bigger amp and could afford the Carlsbro 🙂
Marked improvement over the previous efforts. Don't recall anybody saying it sounded crap,folks just played what they had,latter half of the 80's before I even saw TE gear in the flesh.

 

Sold the first 30 year back,then bought another maybe 2 house moves ago.

 

Couple of year back a local rehearsal space owner bent my arm to buy it 😎

35199_carlsbro_stingray_150_rick_feliret-_szam_010.jpg

Amps (3).jpg

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I had a Carlsbro Stingray back in the day; sounds came out of it, but otherwise it had no redeeming features.

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On 22/01/2020 at 01:50, kodiakblair said:

Owned the Stingray back in the 80's, could be seen jumping on buses with it as I traveled about Edinburgh. 

First amp was through a tape recorder mic,then it was a wee Badger. A Kay 50 watt briefly appeared too. Needed a bigger amp and could afford the Carlsbro 🙂
Marked improvement over the previous efforts. Don't recall anybody saying it sounded crap,folks just played what they had,latter half of the 80's before I even saw TE gear in the flesh.

 

Sold the first 30 year back,then bought another maybe 2 house moves ago.

 

Couple of year back a local rehearsal space owner bent my arm to buy it 😎

35199_carlsbro_stingray_150_rick_feliret-_szam_010.jpg

Amps (3).jpg

Ahhh amazing - That brings back memories. My first bass amp. My big bro got it for me out of the local adverts in the paper. I remember it being huge, extremely ugly and sounding awful. Probably around 98/99. Would love to try one again!

 

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Elfrasho said:

and sounding awful.

What was your point of reference ? 98/98 was still quite early days so it won't have been A/B'd against YT videos.

Genuinely curious here. Was it live albums or DVDs ?

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13 hours ago, kodiakblair said:

What was your point of reference ? 98/98 was still quite early days so it won't have been A/B'd against YT videos.

Genuinely curious here. Was it live albums or DVDs ?

As I recall we used to judge the 'Carlsbro  sound' by comparing them with other amps 🙂

(Sorry, still smarting from 98 being referred to as 'early days...)

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