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Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

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  • #16
    Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

    I currently use a 2008 Ampeg SVT-VR with an SVT 410 cab exclusively for bass tracks in the studio and I've been completely happy with the results, regardless of what bass I plug into it (Fender Jazz, Rickenbacker 4001, Hofner, etc.). I haven't felt a need to search for another bass amp to get any sound I need. I think there isn't a hot market to buy them new anymore, but that's different from not playing them anymore.

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    • #17
      Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

      Originally posted by beaubrummels View Post
      I think there isn't a hot market to buy them new anymore
      There don't seem to be many around...I have been looking for a small one (1 X12) for ages. Have always loved the sound of them.
      '69 Fender Mustang bass
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      '99 Fretless MIJ Fender Precision/'87 MIJ Fender Squier Jazz hybrid w/SD QP for Jazz
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      • #18
        Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

        Ampeg (as well as GK) has been an amp that when someone mentions it, you have a very specific sound in your head. An Ampeg is going to sound like an Ampeg, regardless of what bass you run through it. For those that want "that" sound, it's ideal. But, for the bassist that in this day and age has a number of amplification options that rely on newer technology, sound better, are lighter, etc.. Ampeg is seen as a dinosaur from a bygone era.

        Nowadays, you can get a fair reproduction of that Ampeg sound from a pedal, running into your amp. Is it exact? Probably not, but it's close enough that the guys going this route really don't care that there's a fridge behind them.
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        • #19
          Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

          I've been under the impression that Ampeg's stuff had been at a low point in terms of quality these last few years, but they'd been bouncing back and making stuff a bit better than they had been. Not really something I can back up with evidence, but it's just an impression.

          As far as nobody using them anymore, I thought it was exactly the opposite. SVT rigs are ubiquitous. The only reason I don't have one is because they're big and cost way too much. But I really really want one.

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          • #20
            Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

            Here's the thing: A very large part of the guitarist market wants "vintage tone", which is why vintage reissues dominate the guitar amp realm. Bassists on the other hand are not obsessed with vintage tone. Generally, bassists want max headroom and clarity to their instrument. As such, bassists are much more ready to embrace the latest tech - especially when it means their gear is smaller, lighter, and gives them lots of volume and headroom. You'll even see this reflected in their choice of instruments. I see WAY more bassists willing to pay thousands of dollars for exotic tone woods and high end active electronics than any guitarists.

            My former bassist used to use a small SS head that was designed to be compact and light yet powerful (I forget the brand). I know another bassist that is all about his SS head and cab loaded with neo magnet speakers. Bass gear is big and heavy and not fun to move. Ever try moving an Ampeg 8x10? There's a reason it's nickname is "the fridge". Same with those SVT heads - they're heavy as hell. Basically Ampeg is great if you want that "vintage" tone, but that's become somewhat of a niche market in the bass world.
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            • #21
              Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

              Assuming this is true (and that is a big assumption here), I highly doubt it's a tone issue or an issue of changing musical styles. Ampeg has produced innumerable models over many decades in business. Their amps are various, and each one is highly versatile. I have never thought of Ampegs as having a "vintage tone" specifically, so that idea strikes me as being off the mark. They have something out there for any bass tone someone might want. All you have to do is set the amp how you want it to sound. It isn't like other brands are leaving them in the dust, tonally speaking. I really think that if anything, it's a quality issue, and/or the fact that they can no longer claim to be "made in the U.S.A."
              Originally posted by LesStrat
              Yogi Berra was correct.
              Originally posted by JOLLY
              I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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              • #22
                Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                Well when I think of Ampeg all I picture is those giant cabs with an SVT parked on top.
                -
                My Rolling Stones tribute band: The Main Street Exiles

                At the battle of the bands, the loser is always the audience. -Demitri Martin

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                • #23
                  Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                  I have an older BA115 that I really like, but needs some work on the effects. Tho Ive never played one, Ive always kinda viewed the SVT as kinda the holy grail of bass amps cuz of the caliber of guys Ive seen use em and the fact they have a boatload of tubes. Maybe im just being a sheep there, but looks impressive!
                  Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

                  Jol Dantzig

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                  • #24
                    Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                    I've owned at least 15 to 20 Ampegs of different types over the years. Over all, they are my favorite amps for both guitar and for bass, and I consider myself a little bit of an Ampeg nerd. But I've never owned an SVT, and don't even really like playing them at rehearsal studios. It's actually one of their least interesting amps to me. Of course they have their place. If I toured in a big band and played nightly to thousands of people, then I might find a use for one. But the point is that the SVT is just a fraction of what Ampeg is/was. And even if it was Ampeg's only amp, it's not as if the SVT's tone is stuck in a narrow "vintage" rut. They have knobs to make them sound a variety of different ways.
                    Last edited by ItsaBass; 09-05-2013, 03:11 PM.
                    Originally posted by LesStrat
                    Yogi Berra was correct.
                    Originally posted by JOLLY
                    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                      Originally posted by post toastie View Post
                      i was talking to a local store dude who told me that when (if) he sold the BA-115 that was in there he wouldn't be ordering any more because no one plays Ampeg anymore. that was two years ago and sure enough that store hasn't had an Ampeg since then. are new players not playing Ampeg ?
                      I am not agreeing with the logic in this OP here...two years ago some guy said something about his store's bottom line so it still must be true for all new players

                      nevertheless for fun I must share that I had an 80 pound ampeg 410 hlf that I see they have now phased out of their current product line. I bought it for $450 new on ebay. it weighed way too much and now I got gallien and their 410 weighs half as much!

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                      • #26
                        Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                        also, if you want american ampeg and will pay the premium price cause you are a rich petroleum engineer or something, they got you covered with american designed and made:

                        http://www.ampeg.com/products/heritage/splash.html
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                        • #27
                          Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                          Maybe modern bass players style wise don't play ampegs but lots of touring bands players still use them especially ones with a more vintage sound for example I just googled both Arctic Monkeys and QOTSA and both bass players Nick Oliveri and Nick O'Malley (interestingly both called Nick) play through Ampeg rigs and heaps of newer bass heads are going for a vintage bass flavour such as the new Orange All-Tube heads and 8x10 cabs not everyone is using Class D clean sounding rigs (nothing wrong with these great if your not a big touring band due to portability). I think Ampegs flagship products are too much maintenance for the average amatuer and semi-pro musician who can't employ roadies to carry and maintain their gear which is fair enough. Also PA systems have gotten to the point that with a decent preamp DI you can get some alright FOH bass sounds (although people that use distortion pedals really need to be using bass amps as with more linear speakers a big muff through a PA sound pretty ****e).
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                          • #28
                            Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                            Originally posted by James Rock View Post
                            Maybe modern bass players style wise don't play ampegs but lots of touring bands players still use them especially ones with a more vintage sound for example I just googled both Arctic Monkeys and QOTSA and both bass players Nick Oliveri and Nick O'Malley (interestingly both called Nick) play through Ampeg rigs and heaps of newer bass heads are going for a vintage bass flavour such as the new Orange All-Tube heads and 8x10 cabs not everyone is using Class D clean sounding rigs (nothing wrong with these great if your not a big touring band due to portability). I think Ampegs flagship products are too much maintenance for the average amatuer and semi-pro musician who can't employ roadies to carry and maintain their gear which is fair enough. Also PA systems have gotten to the point that with a decent preamp DI you can get some alright FOH bass sounds (although people that use distortion pedals really need to be using bass amps as with more linear speakers a big muff through a PA sound pretty ****e).
                            TL;DR -- "Some guys still use them on the road, but they're too heavy and high-maintenance for the average weekend warrior."

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                            • #29
                              Re: Nobody Plays Ampeg Any More ?

                              Dude, take a breath, and use a comma or two!
                              Yeh my grammar is terrible first thing after a night out. I also think most guitar amps are too big the average player.... For example the backline was provided by the headlining band at a gig I did on Thursday. The lead guitarist used a Fender Deville and I was being told to turn down with the volume on 2, big amps are pretty much useless unless playing big venues.
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