Tube preamp into Musicman HD 130
Hey there old school tone pros, I have a musicman 130HD head that I like. Thinking about a tube preamp effect for more tones. I love the tube power warmth and don't want to lose that, just would like to add tube tones at times without high volumes. Since these are a reverse hybrid, solid state preamp - tube power, I am thinking that a tube preamp would provide a driven tube sound at lower volume and tube amp simulation for more variety of sounds. If you have any experience with this amp or any recommendations for preamps, steer me in the right direction.
Thanks all TBers
I used to own the 65-watt version of that head, it was nice. The thing is with your request, it really is no different than any tube pre/pedal into any solid state amp, i.e. the majority of amps in use today.
So what would help us to help you is if you looked through the dozens... no, hundreds... thousands??? of previous threads about tube preamps and tube pedals, and narrowed the search down a bit first. Rule out anything over your budget, or in a physical format that doesn't suit you, or that gets bad reviews.
It won't take you long to notice a few rack and pedal devices that are mentioned positively over and over... so check those out, and see if any of them fit your needs. If you find two or three viable options, then we can certainly help you choose between them.
I am looking at the VT Bass DI because of the Ampeg simulation, direct out, which my amp does not have, compact size and $200.00 +/- new price, hoping to find used if possible. I play a passive pup Fender Jazz into the HD 130 with a single 15 speaker. Can I get an ampeg B15 or SVT tone from my setup?
B15's and SVT's can do a wide variety of flavors, your MM head can as well. Pretty much, you need to decide what that tone is and then knob twiddle to find it. Who knows, you might find something even better...
I have an Rd100 and HD150.
I am not sure that they used the old RCA/Fender tone stack but it seems close. Treble, Middle, Bass at 2, 10 and 2 respectively for approximate flat. I am just getting to know the Hd150. It seems that those settings plus the deep switch, raising the gain a little, lowering the mid can get a rather Ampeg like vibe.
I ran a Bass Driver through the power amp in on my Rd100 and that was very Ampeg'y. I got pretty close with the knob twiddling though. No need for an extra box.
Do remember that the Ampeg cab has as much to so with the sound as the amp. I keep thinking about a sealed 6x10 for the Hd150 ... Bet that would be more awesome than the 2x15 I use now.
Also thinking about one of the 50 or 65 watt 1 x12 combos to join my Vox in my guitar rig.
I think the limiting factor (other than distortion) on MM heads is the tone stack and I agree that it is very Fendery. Very limited to what is available these days although I do like the sound of these heads; just a limited tonality without pedals or outboard gear.
Agree with Bongomania regarding distortion.
Thanks all for the input, Have been researching TB threads and experiences of others. There is both those that like the VT bass DI and those that don't like, seems most that don't like fault the distortion tone. I also don't care for, in most cases strong distortion, but do like the ability to add a small amount of tone color to the signal, call it distortion, drive or what ever. I just don't have the experience to accurately describe the sounds I like. Having read about how others like the mild use of this pedal to add a small amount on top of their clean sound seems to be the better application of this pedal. I would like the ability to have a DI and have a tube-like distortion at times and the ability to replicate ampeg amps, especially the B15. This is the appeal to me in the VT bass DI. That said, I also have interest in the EBS Valve Drive DI, which was just introduced at NAMM this year. Since the version incorporates a DI, this looks like another possibility. The use of a real tube in the preamp section and the idea of a more tube sounding distortion has my interest.
For those old Ampeg B15 tones in a pedal a Catlinbread SFT is really hard to beat. and with my low impedance basses I like an old Agular 924 thru just about anything. >> MusicMan HD130 >> 2 MusicMan RH 15" cabs w JBLs. That MM amp is pretty good by itself, but for me using pedal with the amp dialed in pretty close is just much more convenient.
Thanks for the tip, I'll checkout the SFT.
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