Author Topic: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar  (Read 7560 times)

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Offline mratcliffe

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sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« on: March 06, 2007, 11:16:36 am »
Hi,
I was wondering how the early SUNN Tube amps work with a Bass Guitar. Like the Solarus, 100s, Spectrum etc. Does the reverb and tremolo interfere anyway? Are they pretty much the same circuits or are the Bass amps really that different and better to stay with?

Examples?

Thanks


Offline pickinatit

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 01:57:56 pm »
I can't speak to the technical issues of ciruitry etc.and i will, in fact, be just as curious to hear what those more in the know have to say regarding the technical advisability as you are.   I have played bass thru my Solarus Head (using other cabs with bass speakers) and I can tell you that the range of tone is just as terrific as you would expect, from deep booming bass to twanggy treble.  Pretty loud for 40 watts too although I pretty much took it very easy especially since I was just noodling in my living room.

Offline JoeArthur

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 08:32:53 pm »
Hi,
I was wondering how the early SUNN Tube amps work with a Bass Guitar. Like the Solarus, 100s, Spectrum etc. Does the reverb and tremolo interfere anyway? Are they pretty much the same circuits or are the Bass amps really that different and better to stay with?

Examples?

Thanks



The "heads" of the models you mentioned will work pretty much the same with guitar as bass.

But since the model of the head matched a particular configuration of speaker cab - if you are using the cab also, it may not work out too well.

E.g. A 100s - head and speaker cab combination, probably wouldn't work too well as a bass only rig.

Offline Isaac

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 11:09:28 pm »
I frequently use a Sentura II for bass. It sounds great. Different from the 200S, but I wouldn't call either one better or worse.
Isaac

Offline Spectrum II

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 01:30:13 am »
I love the sound of my Spectrum II head for bass guitar. It's run through an Ampeg SVT 410hlf classic series cab. If you want, you can check out the sound I get out of it studio-wise (and this is not a shameless plug for my band, but one for my amplifier) at:

http://www.myspace.com/thenarrator

Four knobs, pretty much one sound.

Offline feel the sunn

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 08:40:06 am »
Ok, but what about us transistor amp users?
Every once in a while i'll plug a bass in a beta lead, but i'm afraid to go past much more than talking level.  I know that there isn't much difference between the lead and bass except the tone controls are shifted an octave, but can the lead handle the low frequencies?  Are there resistors, transistors, etc. that will screw up due to extreme low frequencies? 

I know Entwistle used a coliseum lead for his highs, but I figured he used a crossover and didn't hit em with 35-40 hz.

Offline Isaac

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 09:04:37 am »
No, there is nothing in the head that will be harmed by processing low frequencies. Guitar speakers are a different matter, of course, but don't be afraid to crank the head as long as it's running into speakers that can handle it.
Isaac

Offline JoeArthur

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 09:37:09 am »
Are there resistors, transistors, etc. that will screw up due to extreme low frequencies? 

Nope, nothing will be harmed in the amp - speakers are a different matter, but not the components in the head.

Think of it this way - most of those components are working perfectly fine with a much higher DC voltage. A DC voltage can be considered a frequency of zero Hz. That is much lower than any note a bass can generate.

Offline rick.heil

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 11:26:37 pm »
I use my Beta Lead with 2 keyboards, one of which I sometimes play in bass territory for sure.  It handles things quite well.

Offline milnersXcoupe

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2007, 09:31:52 am »


Back in '/71 ?  I had purchased from Manny's Music in NYC, a SUNN Coliseum Bass
Rig with 2 118MH folded horn speaker cabinets. 

Played Joe Pop's Shore Bar that summer,
Bass behind the Original Shirelles'   - The Coasters - & opposite Chubby Checker &
the 5 Satins > very cool Summer !

I'd blown the Head up earlier that year - had to travel to NYC to a huge warehouse complex of old tall bldgs. - 'Twilight Zone' - material.  6th Floor was SUNN 's  area - weird........

on the Phone I was told they'd been 'bought out' by another company - was pretty frazzled with that info. - BUT was reassured: "no........ we're still SUNN!!.......".... Ok........ where are you ?

I got off the Freight elevator into a hallway that was PADDED with 2" thick foam rubber under the carpeting!!   An assistant met me in the hall - I was dragging my dead 'Collie'... - we turned right - went to the end of the hall to the door on the left - :  a 'padded' rehearsal room fully equipped with  drum kit & smaller amps - THIS floor had like 5 inches of foam rubber under the carpeting - like MOON walking....... !

The assistant disappeared - & a tall friendly 'Business Type' came in - shook hands & asked what I needed - what gear I had - style of playing - was I gigging....... good guy~!

Told him I'm accused regularly of playing 'Lead Bass' - ,  my '62 Burns London Jazz Bass was refitted with three 1960 Telecaster Bass Pick ups that the owner of Manny's - Henry Goldsmith had found for me in his stores Basement [!].... yes... $15.00 ea. ;)

Business guy told me to stand by......... came back telling me he had a SUNN Coliseum 880 Lead Head that had been reworked for a 'Bass Player Client' who was out of the country - asked if I would be interested in a straight up trade ?  I took a look at this 'Thing' - with 'BOOST' circuitry
and stomp switches & twice the knobs as the Bass Collie.....:  "SURE!"..[GRIN]........

He gave me some paperwork - the Amp & stomp pedal & some speaker cables - shook my hand & wished me the best of Luck !

This AMP ROARED!!  Everything in that Shore Bar SHOOK!  BRUTAL!

Stomp had 'DISTORT' & 'BOOST' & crazy tones..  was the main reason I left that band, a 'working SHOW band' - at a time that rock gigs were closing down due to canned music & the beginnings of 'Disco'...... to form some of the heaviest early 'METAL'  I've ever blown.....

I booked into Squire Lounge in New York -  as I had to take leave to have my TONSILS out.... like I'm 23 then>?   totally wiped me out.........  got a call after I got home from the Hospital... "you better get over here...... the Club had a FIRE last night......"

I had a '66 GTO convertible I'd rescued out of a salvage yard - 400cu.in. top down I rolled into the parking lot.

The ceiling was on the floor - still had two inches of water above the carpeting - the stage area was drenched!

I stuck my head into the top folded 18" cabinet > it was filled with water.......must have poured 4 gallons of H2O out of it.   Club owner claimed he had no insurance coverage for us..... and he shortly thereafter opened a NEW club - where he didn't have to pay RENT!


I let the cabinets dry out for a few weeks - didn't touch the 880 Brain....... plugged in & was good to GO!

In 1974 I sold the rig to the bassist who'd sat in for me at Squires - Joe Springer - who played NYC clubs a few years longer after that.  He did well Regionally, saw his group advertised in 'The Village Voice' & a few trade rags too..

He's in Palisades N.J. fronting a family these days......

He said he'd sold the rig - not much else....... so ........ perhaps somewhere on the East Coast
in NY or NJ is my double stack folded horn 18s with that 880 monster on top .....GOD only knows and GOD ain't sayin' - only that it is in a 'collection'....... so much for full disclosures from GOD!

I was told by my Tech back then, as my first bass amp was a double cabinet SUNN 200S - that you couldn't play Bass thru Lead amps but you could play Lead thru Bass amps...... Tube amps.

As for Solid State ?    Go for it!.......... has some 'tonal' differences due to 'spectrum' and all -
but won't hurt anything.

As a side note:

HENDRIX used BASS SPEAKER CABINETS - always.

First they were SUNN - but SUNN wouldn't cut him a 'deal' -
and while he was in England he heard some MARSHALL equipment -
went to Jim Marshall & paid CASH - which enamored Jim to Jimi as Jim
was 'a little short' in those early days.

All the MARSHALL cabinets Jimi used were BASS cabinets - as they
'fattened' the sound due to the speaker qualities.  Crazy hUH ?


These days, I'm old........ so I'm designing myself a 5 string semi fretless Bass
guitar > body of a Rickenbacker 'C' Miami style - using a Warmoth neck.

Going to have LED fret markers on the sides - and fretwire laid for the high 5th
string - might double or triple that top course making this a 6 or 7 string - dunno yet.

AMPs ?   nothing Bass specific - have a Sound City 120 SMF - last year made with Black Face with 4 x 10 cab,
a 1977 Orange Reverb Twin named 'Elvis', a '54 DeLuxe, '60 Tweed Champ, & a 50 Watt MarshallCombo 2 x 12 which I'm going to lose the 12s' for three 10s' eventually - AND -
Ace Frehley's [ KISS ? YEAh, he lives across the Hudson River from me ;) ]   8 x 10 Marshall Lead Cabinet he'd cut the grille cloth out of & blew out one speaker on...... going to get the speaker fixed out in Calif. @ Orange & reGrille with that 'Marshall Biscuit Cane' - 'Brown Sound' hemp like woven stuff: 

http://tinyurl.com/2l5wj9


COOL site that www.tubeampparts.com ! :mrgreen:

SUNN ???.......... if I EVER find the early folded horn 18s' - I'll buy them
and another 880 Brain - > set it up in my bedroom.....just to remember all those women !
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 09:42:46 am by milnersXcoupe »

Offline mratcliffe

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 05:07:38 am »
Thanks everybody for the feedback. I lost the bid..

However I did pick up a very nice Sonaro. I was looking for a combo but found the head only.... then I found it's mate (Sonoaro 1X15) cabinet. I have done a few searches about Sonaro vs Sorado vs 200s. Lot's of good information. I did a lot of cutting and pasting for my own reference. You guys are good!

My first Sunn was a Solos II solid state with one JBL 15" I bought in 73. Great amp. My next one was a Sorado I bought from Bill Mathews ( it's the one in the Sunn museum) and it's his pictures I used. I kick myself every day for letting that one slip away. Now I have the Sonaro Head and Matching cabinet. I won't let this one get away.

Offline SUNNmodelA

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 07:06:21 pm »
i have a  icon series HOfner B-Bass and i use a MOdel A212 and it works great

Offline Isaac

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2007, 10:28:12 pm »
I'm surprised at that. The A212 is an open back cabinet, isn't it?
Isaac

Offline JoeArthur

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Re: sunn guitar amps for Bass Guitar
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 04:13:00 pm »
I'm surprised at that. The A212 is an open back cabinet, isn't it?

Psst... Isaac...

The tweed Fender Bassman amps were also open back combo amps.

Hey, I didn't say they were the best amps for bass!!  :-D