Hey guys, lest you think the only things I ever write about regarding music are negative, I submit to you my new article for reverb.com, 6 classic amps every bassist should know.
Regarding the Acoustic 360/361, made popular by Jaco Pastorius and John Paul Jones, I offer the following:
The volume of guitar amplifiers was on a hyperbolic curve throughout the entire decade that gave us The Boomers. If you start with the guitar volume of the Everly Brothers in 1960 and end with Jimi Hendrix in 1969, the volume differential is similar to the one between a sewing machine and a Saturn V rocket. The Ampeg B-15 was simply not designed to win a head-to-head collision with a Marshall stack set to “kill.” Something had to be done on behalf of bass players everywhere.
In 1967, enter the Acoustic 360, a 200-watt, solid state head designed to drive the 361 cabinet, a rear-firing 18” speaker enclosure modeled, I believe, after the Panzer tank. The 360/361 absolutely towered over the B-15, physically and sonically, and got the bass world ready for the Woodstocks, Altamonts and giant festival concerts to come.
In December of 1967, the Acoustic 360 actually helped The Doors get arrested for noise violations and put them – and the amp – on the cover of Life magazine. This notoriety had a very predictable response, which is that it made the amp a must-have for serious rockers who would love to be arrested by The Man for bass notes alone.
Hey, it’s summer – not everything can be serious.