[Harp-L] Interesting experience playing through an acoustic bass amp

A couple of weeks ago i sat in with a jazz trio (guitar, bass,drums) and played through the house PA. They were using a string bass player I hadn't met before. He was a really nice guy and apparently liked my playing since he invited me to sit in with an electric jazz group he was playing bass guitar with at the same club that weekend. So, when i show up on Saturday, there's no PA. The absence of a PA at a jazz gig is not unusual. But over the years I had played with all kinds of bands at this particular venue and there had always been a house PA before, and since I prefer to go into the board anyway I didn't bother to bring an amp. What to do....???

The guitar player had only one input on his amp. But the bass player had 2 inputs on his. He was playing a fret-less electric solid body bass guitar into an SWR acoustic bass amp (two 8" speakers and one 5" tweeter--sort of like an acoustic guitar amp for acoustic bass). So i put my pigtail transformer on the end of my XLR cord and plugged my EV re15 into the bass amp, not having any idea what it would sound like. It sounded GREAT. Nicely thick and warm, responsive to mic cupping techniques, and very decent tone, (I'm not into the so-called "Chicago" distorted sound, even for blues.) The band must have like it , too, because they asked me to come back and sit in at their next gig, and when i did, I just plugged into the SWR again since it sounded so good the first time. My prior experience with 8*' speakers is that they overdrive and distort easily (a la Fender Champ) which is not the sound I'm after. But the speakers in the SWR sure didn't sound like that. I've always speculated that harp would sound good through a modern bass rig, but never had the opportunity to play through one before. Interesting experience.


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