Don't hate but I just don't get the tube amp love!

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by sandwich5027, Mar 27, 2014.


  1. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Don't get me wrong as I own a new ampeg VR but man my solid state amps sound damn close and just way more efficient. I just don't hear the tubey goodness compared to SS....No really, I don't. After using both I now conclude tube amps are not so great! Sorry JimmyM, as you did help me with lots of tube info......Anyone agree?
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    Really? Because there are some real trademark differences in how they sound/feel in action. I can even tell the difference between different designs of tube amp, etc.
  3. BioWeapon

    BioWeapon

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    What amps are you comparing? Just like basses each amp produces different tones, a SS amp could easily have a tube-like sound, and tube amps don't all sound super warm, although none of them really sound like SS amps.
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Southern MN
    Very many of us DO hear the tubey goodness. You don't. That will save you lots of money!
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  6. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'm very much mixed on the tube thing... but I think it really comes down to how much you care about the sound of your bass NOT in the mix vs. IN the mix. I've found that what sounds good sitting alone often does not translate well to the stage, and vice versa.

    At this point, I see zero reason to care about a tube power stage, but I like the organic compression that a tube preamp offers. So I too get to save $$$ as well as back pain!
  7. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    My solid state is GK 1001 RB

    Maybe I'm just deaf, but I don't go wow, that's night and day difference.
  8. Jefff

    Jefff Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    I hear the difference and I love the sound of a tube amp. I love the way the notes feel coming through a tube amp.

    I no longer love carrying a tube amp.
  9. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The difference is clear when you start to crank the two amps. The Gk 1001 is a classic sounding head though, one of the best SS heads out there. I find tube amps and SS amps at low volume are pretty much 1:1. But once you start to get the natural harmonics attributed to cranking a tube amp the differences are a little clearer.

    When I got my first tube head, I was like "wow, whats all the big fuss about?" Then I started experimenting at higher volumes, and was completely blown away.

    Just my humble opinion.
  10. Bulldawg82

    Bulldawg82 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis area
    I hear the difference and it is quite noticeable to me. However, I refuse to lug around that weight. I am tempted to, but they are also higher maintenance and need a good combination of light weight and low maintenance vs sound/tone.
  11. davidgoldman

    davidgoldman

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    North West Indiana
    I too use a GK1001 RB however, I have played though tube amps many times and I have to say that I like the sound of the tube amps better then the GK however, I don't think the price difference and the up keep of a tub amp make it worth paying the difference. When it is all said and done, about the only people who would care are the two or three other bass players in the audience. I have a tube amp for practice at home so I please myself but I take the GK and my NEO cab to gigs.
  12. DerTeufel

    DerTeufel

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    I've used both..all tube and all SS. That being said, I own a hybrid amp.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    I found that I really liked what I could do if I combined a high voltage tube preamp stage (aka, what you'd get in a real tube amp, not what you get in a standard 'token tube' hybrid), and use it with a high powered SS power amp. The harmonic richness and the compression/tube 'envelope' but without a whole lot of power stage color.
  14. PENLIYL

    PENLIYL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    +1 on hybirds. I own an Orange TB1k and love it.
  15. NecroticImbecil

    NecroticImbecil

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Location:
    under your bed
    Don't get me wrong as I own a new box of Leggo's but man pancakes taste damn close and just way more spongey. I just don't taste the waffley goodness compared to flapjacks....No really, I don't. After eating both I now conclude waffles are not so great! Sorry JimmyWaffles, as you did help me with lots of waffle mix info......Anyone agree?


    What is to be gained by this? I could fill the forum with threads dedicated to things I don't like.
  16. DerTeufel

    DerTeufel

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    I'm using a GK MB Fusion 500..three 12ax7 in the pre-amp definitely gives what you describe.
  17. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I find that SS amps do what I need them to do. I will admit, though, that I do like to have a tube in the signal chain.

    If you too prefer SS that's fine. Those who prefer Tube good for them too. It's a personal preference like so many things in life. :)
  18. Geri O

    Geri O

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    Florence, MS
    Ya know, pick out the amp you like and play it. When I first heard EBS amps like the EBS Fafner I own now, I didn't ask whether it had tubes or not. It sounded awesome, unlike anything else I had ever heard. As it turns out, it does have a preamp tube.

    I love SVTs. Full o' tubes. I also have a Peavey ProBass amp head in my back line rental stock that is solid-state and it sounds amazingly good. That one was a surprise.

    Different strokes, ya know? If you want to start a real s*h*i*tstorm, ask why people (including me) like an old throwback of a bass like the Fender Precision...:bag:
  19. inri222

    inri222

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Samsamp BDDI to a micro or SS.

    May not be the same, but close enough for me (plus easier on my back & wallet).
  20. headband

    headband Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    I own and use and Epifani UL902C and a Reeves Custom 225. I like good gear and think that both of these are arguably some of the best of their type. I can make either work for me, and when I was on the road with my last band the nod went to the Epifani - compact, road case, light and a great DI. Now that I am playing a bit less and closer to home, I prefer the Reeves - just a little warmer, and the natural compression is nice. But I won't hesitate to use the Epifani when it is the better rig for the show.
  21. Itzayana

    Itzayana

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Oakland Ca
    Well, I will say that I agree.
    My last amp was a Mesa M6. My current amp is a GK800MB.
    Although I can definitely hear the difference when making a comparison in the studio.
    On stage with the full band not so much and my guess is that no one in the band or audience can really hear a difference either.
    PS; I also use a Sans Amp BDDI.

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