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Old 23rd November 2006, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Kofi Annan in: "Surf Bassin'"

A friend of mine is starting a surf band and wants a decent cheap bass head with a good surf sound. Any DIY recommendations?

Here it comes...

Kofi
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Old 23rd November 2006, 09:05 PM   #2
jarthel is offline jarthel  Australia
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Default Re: Kofi Annan in: "Surf Bassin'"

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Originally posted by Kofi Annan
surf sound.


surf sound???
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Old 23rd November 2006, 09:41 PM   #3
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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PPP AB1 UL KT88?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
surf sound???
I was hoping you'd know...

Quote:
PPP AB1 UL KT88?
UCDB? DBIC!

Sorry, but on account of I'm dumb, I need to see a schematic that may work.

Kofi
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Old 23rd November 2006, 10:14 PM   #5
jarthel is offline jarthel  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kofi Annan


I was hoping you'd know...


maybe it's the sound of waves splashing in the background though you do not need an amp for that
=========

Have you actually asked your friend what is "surf sound"?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 10:31 PM   #6
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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Default Re: Re: Kofi Annan in: "Surf Bassin'"

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Originally posted by jarthel



surf sound???

Surf sound, ala 60's Beach Boys. Generally a clean sound from the bass and lead, very little distortion but often incorporating some vibrato or echo.

How about this-

http://members.cox.net/brettturner/sunn/amp.html

Haven't built or even heard it but it doesn't appear too complex, is a "real" bass amp and includes a tone stack. Power output is typical PP KT88. Might be a nice match for a 15" vintage Jensen.

Tubelab is a guitar amp guru and may have better suggestions if he gets a chance to chime in. He's been pretty busy lately.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 11:01 PM   #7
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AFAIK, "surf sound" and what the Beach Boys did first was to have massive amounts of reverb dialed in. They took the Fender outboard reverbs, which were new at the time, and played with them set at max the whole time. It was a unique sound at the time. It's pretty obvious if you listen for it on their tunes. So surf sound = reverb. Your buddy needs a head with lots of reverb built in, or a separate reverb box.
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Old 24th November 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
bembel is offline bembel  Europe
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Sure look at an external tube spring reverb unit, or the king of the surf amps ---> the Fender dual showman reverb.
My personnal experience tells me that Hammond-Gibbs spring reverbs makes the waves even bigger than the standard Fender Accutronics ones.

Congratulations for your nice little mono amp !
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Old 26th November 2006, 02:43 AM   #9
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I just got in from a 4 day road trip and I saw this so I had to answer, since I played in a (lousy) "surf music" band in my teenage years (mid 1960's). I was too uncoordinated to actually surf, but I had several friends who were at the beach daily.

The "surf sound" was popular for several years and continued to evolve during that time. It was a playing style that was also influenced by the available equipment and the local surf culture. Some of my friends who traveled would bring tapes of bands from other locations, and they sounded different from what we played in South Florida. California surf music was different, and then there was Hawaiian surf music, also different. Most of what got nation wide radio play was California style surf music. Popular artists were The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Surfaris, the Ventures, Dick Dale, and the Chantays. I am sure some of this music can be found on the internet. Some of the popular songs were instrumentals (no vocals).

Most surf music (that I heard) was not influenced by the "British Invasion". Therefore most of it was played on Fender or Gibson equipment. As mentioned a lot of reverb was common. Tremolo (amplitude modulation) was used quite often. A good surf guitarist was skilled in the use of the vibrato bar or "whammy bar". This imparts frequency modulation to the guitar sound by varying the string tension.

Most surf guitarists did not use a distorted sound. Neither did the bass players. Some of the twangy sound was provided in the guitar. Guitar modifications were not uncommon. One of the popular mods was to wire the pickups out of phase. This accuentated the mid to high frequencies, and added sustain to the music without heavy distortion. The old Danelectro guitars seem to have been made for the "surf sound." Some of the old Fender amplifiers had good sustain due to power supply sag. The ultimate "surf guitar" setup was a Danelectro guitar plugged into a Fender reverb unit which was plugged into a blackface Fender amp. Usualy a Dual Showman, Twin or Twin reverb. I saw Bandmasters and Fender Stratocasters used back then too.

Most of the bass players that I knew used a Fender Bassman amp. I can not remember the type of bass guitar. Some used reverb units for bass guitar, but a little reverb goes a long way on the bass guitar. Most of the "surf sound" was provided by the lead guitar. A few songs had the "hook" provided by a different musician. The popular song "Wipeout" was all about the drummer. The Beach Boys hit "Good Vibrations" had a sound that was thought to be provided by a Theremin. I have read in a few places that it was a skilled hand on a Hewlett Packard audio oscillator. I can't remember a surf song where tha bass guitar player stood out. 40 years have gone by, so I can't remember everything.

I had a cheap guitar (don't even remember what kind), and a home made tube amp (of course) that started its life as a Magnavox HiFi (mono) in the 1950's. The secret to "my sound" was a reverb unit that I built. I got this vertical reverb spring unit from an old Hammond organ cabinet. It was at least 3 feet tall and was filled with mineral oil. It had 5 or 6 springs. Some were terminated and some were active. It would give sounds that sustained nearly forever. I tweaked on this home made setup forever and eventually got a sound that caught the attention of several local guitar players. This is what started me down the road to building tube (and later solid state) stuff. I built, sold, fixed, and traded guitar (and stereo) amplifiers all through middle school and high school. This led to a job in a stereo shop.

At my father's insistance I got a "real job" at a high tech electronics company and left home at age 20. I still work at that same company. I was living in a small apartment, and didn't have room for all of my "stuff". Most of it was trown out when my brother inherited my bedroom. I had schematics for all of my amps, but they are long gone.

My advice would be to find out what particular type of surf music your friend likes. If he can name some songs that he will play, Google around a bit and find out what equipment that the original artists used. It would be relatively easy to clone any of the Blackface Fender amplifiers. The schematics are all over the web. There are several manufacturers that are making relatively accurate reproductions of the original Fender transformers. Of all of the electrical components, the transformers are the biggest influence in the sound of a guitar (or HiFi) amp.

The speakers will make the biggest difference in the sound of the amp. The speaker choice will be influenced by the playing style and the expected volume level of the guitarist (or bass player). Unfortunately this is very hard to determine in advance. I would have your friend visit (at least one) a large musical equipment store that allows you to try out the equipment, Play everything he can, and try to narrow down the choices a bit. The amplifier design could turn out to be the easy part. Get the speaker choice narrowed down first. Common choices for bass back in the surf days was a single 15 inch speaker, 2 12 inch speakers, or 4 10 inchers. Some used open backed cabinets, and some used sealed boxes. All of these choices were fairly common.
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Old 27th November 2006, 09:57 PM   #10
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Congats!! on the little one.

Here's a surf song:

http://www.mediamax.com/ivegotmono/H...070%27s%5D.mp3

If you saw Kill Bill, those asian chicks playing in the club were playing "surf music" (The 5678s)
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