Skip to main content

How the “biggest bass amp in the world” found its way onto the Godzilla vs. Kong soundtrack

As far as Hollywood blockbusters go, they don't come more visually spectacular than Godzilla vs. Kong. The film depicts the ultimate sparring match between two of the largest monsters ever conceived, but there's an equally gargantuan beast lurking within its soundtrack.

We're talking, of course, about the 13-feet tall Ampeg bass amp – purported to be the largest bass amp in the world – sampled and used by in-demand Dutch composer Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL.

In the video above, Holkenborg explains how he came across the monumental stack.

“I was at NAMM... walking through the lobby in one of the convention centers, and I looked up and said, ‘My god, what is that?’“ he recalls.

“It was the biggest bass amplifier in the world – built by Ampeg. Literally, that thing is 12 or 13 feet high – it's insane.

“I talked to the guy at Ampeg and I said, ‘Where does this thing come from?’ He said, ‘This was built a really long time ago and there are only two left in the world – and one of them is with us in Calabasas.’“

It wasn’t long before Holkenborg and his trusty Fender Jazz Bass made the trip to sample the amp for use in his forthcoming blockbuster score work.

“I took my favorite bass and pedals, we hooked it up and, boy, the low end coming from that amp was absolutely ridiculous,“ Holkenborg continues. “We recorded it with a bunch of different microphones – I played every note on the bass [with] various articulations.

“I built a bass guitar from it that I have been using as my go-to bass for various different film scores. I recently used it on Godzilla vs. Kong, and it also found its way into Justice League. It's a very powerful bass guitar sound, so I'm really happy that we found this.”

To be fair, we'd wager neither Godzilla's Atomic Breath or Kong's brute force are a match for the low-end rumble generated by this monstrosity.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong is showing in theaters now.

I'm a Staff Writer at Guitar World. I've played guitar for 15+ years and have a degree in Music Technology (Mixing & Mastering). I suppose that makes me qualified to talk to you about this stuff? I'm into all genres of music, but first and foremost I love all things rock and metal.