Thinking of saving for a tube amp...but which one?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by BassAgent, Jan 27, 2013.


  1. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    I was recording with my band the other day and concluded that I need a good tube amp. I have an Aguilar AG500SC at the moment, which I'm planning to keep next to the tube amp, because it works perfect in cover bands and such ;)

    But with NONA, it's kind of becoming a necessity. Now I don't want an Ampeg. I have never been able to get a sound I like out of an Ampeg, and no, it's not my bass or my fingers ;)

    So what I'm looking for is a fat tube amp that doesn't go into overdrive too quickly, and is a liiiiiittle bit affordable. What to do? Bassman? Ashdown? Traynor? Something else?
  2. iualum

    iualum

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    60453
    Mesa Boogie 400+. A powerful workhorse. Reliable. Versatile. Relatively lightweight. Not outrageously priced. All things considered, among the very best amps of any sort, ever.
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Mesa or Traynor. Vintage obviously.
  4. blindrabbit

    blindrabbit

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I do believe that one of the Aguilar threads the other day had someone making the comparison between the TH heads and the Traynor YBA-300. I really like the tone that comes from the Traynor tube heads, and I love the sounds that come from my TH heads, so maybe there is something to be said for that comparison. Traynor gear is as reliable as you can get, unlike some of the other brands you've mentioned, and its also probably the least expensive of the options due to its underrated nature.

    I personally wouldn't choose Ampeg either.

    Last thought - what about a DB751? Does it have to be all tubes? Also, I believe Aguilar did briefly have an all-tube option, I've seen a few pop up around here. Consider that too.
  5. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Yes, Aguilar had a full-tube head, the DB359. They're quite rare and expensive though ;)

    Yes, it has to be all tubes :) I want to replace the AG500 with the DB751 someday, but I wanna have a dirty tube amp next to that as well... I'll check out Traynor stuff!
  6. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Mesa Bass Buster 200. Clean and tubeylishous.
  7. Nemasis

    Nemasis Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I occasionally use the Peavey VB-3 bass head when I play out. It has 300 watts and weighs about 35 lbs. it works extremely well when going against Marshall stacks. Price may be the only downside.... $1700.
  8. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    I was thinking of the Eden VT300 or Sadowsky SA200, but both of them are quite rare as well ;)
  9. Tractorr

    Tractorr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I would give the Peavey VB2 a try. They can be had very cheap. They are not the dirtiest tube amps out there, but they sound amazing for the money, don't try to emulate Ampeg, and take distortion really well.

    They can be had all day used for 600 or lower, and if you don't like it it probably won't be too hard to get back what you paid.

    Oh also way lighter than most of the really big tube amps (only 57 pounds).
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If not overdriving too easily is the plan, get a well serviced vintage amp, like a Sound City or something, in the day, amps weren't made to get dirty. Tons of others about, being in Europe, there are probably domestic makes, anything imported from the US is going to be way overpriced for its level, but on a fairly US-centric forum, is going to mostly what you get recommended brand wise.
  11. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Hmmm, Sound City, hadn't thought about that one. And what about a Sunn Model T?
  12. guymanndude1

    guymanndude1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    I'm with tractorr, the VB2 isn't a budget breaker, and wonderful sound. Also, one other suggestion, a matching set of Electro-Harmonix 6ac7's. Makes a great sounding amp sound more awesome.
  13. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    About the most massively overpriced amp you can think of. They sound good when they work, big transformers, but huge scene tax from the name badge, and they aren't made to a particularly high standard, kind of a workingman's quality amp at a beyond boutique price. Plus good luck getting one to Europe, a couple of the hire places have bought all of them, leaving you with importing them from the states, and then having to sort the power supply, because US domestic amps tend not to have multi tap power transformers.
  14. mizzou541

    mizzou541 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Location:
    KC, MO
    Eden or Mesa Boogie
  15. Ferdugan

    Ferdugan

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Yeah amazing amp. But good luck finding one. I was shopping for one a month ago with no success. I ended up finding a good deal on a marshall vba 400 though. :)
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    Get a tube preamp like the Meatsmoke this thing is a beast and has a dedicated line out for recording that way you can still save your back.
  17. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    I respect you guys' ears and preferences but, respectfully, it is hard for me to understand a preference for amps "other than Ampeg." I have a Magnavox-era SVT that, to my ear is a tone MONSTER.
  18. bassvi

    bassvi

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Marshall VBA400 is my fav. More than ample power, can get insanely loud clean with the outbut dimed and gain just barely up. Bright switch is nice too when you need a modern, spanky tone. Handles on the sides make it seem easier to carry than my VB2, even though it weighs more.
  19. iualum

    iualum

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    60453
    If the OP wasn't in The Netherlands, I'd suggest he might want to PM me about one. But pretty sure shipping would make it prohibitive. Oh well, happy hunting.
  20. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Ehehehe yep. They're heavy alright.

    Thanks for the tips, guys! Sure helps :)

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