Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Another era of amplification...

Well, sort of! I've been through a few amps while I've been playing. Might be good for posterity to record them here (albeit in my rather crappy typing with this bloody cast!), so here's what I remember...

- = = 1st amp! = = -
A 15W guitar practise amp, plus a hifi speaker which I put in the corner of my room, speaker facing into the corner, and believe me that creates a great low-end port. I got a good sound out of that with my first bass, a spangly white hohner arbor bought in Sound Control Dundee. Top shop.

- = = Then... = = -
My first real amp, a carlsbro cobra 90 combo. Not the loudest amp in the world, but I got great mileage out of it. I even made up a parallel speaker cable at one stage when I was with a prog rock act called "Indecision" in St Andrews so I could run two speaker cabs off it and still keep the impedance at 8 ohms. I didn't blow it :) I did put castors on it though, rescued off a sofa :) they did a good job - the thing had a traditional single handle on the top, bloody awkward!

- = = And then... = = -
I bought a 120 watt valve amp (off the back of a magazine article), a "sound city", but couldn't afford cabinets (weeps) - the thing was a monster, I got it down leith walk in Edinburgh. Some good secondhand music gear shops down there then, not sure about now...

- = = And then... = = -
Back to Sound Control Dundee! I traded in the Carlsbro and the Sound City for a Peavey TNT 150 plus a 2x8" 20W powered bright box. The TNT saw me through the rest of my university life and on until I was living in reading! The bright box I still have - it's incredibly useful, and the fretless sounds great through it. At one stage I used it for vocals in a gig in the beer bar in St Andrews with Citrus Waltz!

- = = And then... = = -
I sold the TNT to a contractor at work, and I bought the Warwick CCL I use at the moment. 1x15 and 250 watts solid state. The thing has side handles (finally!) and a built-in trolley (which is bloody useful). I bought an 8 ohm Trace Elliot 2x10 cab from the Bass Centre (when it was still in wapping, and got it back to Ealing Broadway on my own on the tube!), and as a system it sound great. But... I need more power for big gigs. So...

- = = The announcement = = -
I just bought the Bass Centre's LAST special half-price offer Warwick Pro Tube IX 900 watt stereo tube/solid state head. Turns out the line is being discontinued, so BC got a good deal on clearing the stock, and I get the benefits. Sweet! Keep an eye on ebay shops, that's what I say! Next, I'll get the classic arrangement of 1x15 and 4x10 cabs, both warwick, and for the first time in my playing life I'll have that pro looking stack, with the power to match. The head gets great reviews, with versatile routing capabilities. Nice!

Otherwise, it's still rehearsals as usual in Cowley: I've been using a Trace V4 combo, which sounds incredible. Hope the twin pre-and power amp tubes in the IX give that kind of growl!

Life is good. Now if I can just get this damn cast off I can practise properly!

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