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tube head help

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by chrispunx, Dec 18, 2012.


  1. chrispunx

    chrispunx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    i'll be in the market for a new/used head in the next few months and i would like a tube head. i would ultimately like a marshall vba, but am open to other suggestions. obviously i'm aware of the ampeg heads, but what models for some other companies should i look at? new, used, old...i'm just not aware of that many tube heads for amp companies. any suggestions? i use a fender aerodyne jazz bass and want to make an ungodly amount us noise thru means of heavy distortion/fuzz all the time.
     
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton OH
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: J Worrell Bass
    Off the top of my head:

    Fender Super Bassman 300, Bassman 300 Pro, Studio Bass
    Ampeg SVT CL, VR, II, II Pro among others
    Mesa Boogie D-180, Buster Bass, 400, 400+
    Peavey Classic 400, VB-2, and VB-3
    Traynor YBA200, YBA-300

    There are plenty more to be mentioned. Aguilar's mostly discontinued offerings, Ashdown Drophead and 427, Sunn amps, Trace V8 and others...
     
  3. chrispunx

    chrispunx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    i've always been intrigued by sunn amps...again, i just don't know what models to check out. noone ever mentions the model the use, just that that use sunn...
     
  4. christw

    christw Get low!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton OH
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    Endorsing: J Worrell Bass
    I'd get the 300T but I'm biased. I'm fairly sure its essentially the same amp as the Fender Bassman 300 Pro which I have and love. It's clean, it has a tremendous amount of power, and has the gnarliest overdrive channel. Compressor, graphic EQ by octave, there's nothing quite like it besides the SS 1200 Pro and Sunn equivalent.
     
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I can appreciate your wanting to be ungodly loud. But bear in mind people have different definitions of it. For example, when I was younger, I used to use a 100w V4B through an 810 and was told many times to turn down and was threatened with getting canned more than once, and this was with a clean sound! Make no mistake, a 100w tube amp cranked hard through a big cab can qualify for "ungodly" status in many people's eyes. A 300w or more amp can go way over ungodly. And even a little amp like the B-15 through a big enough cab can raise a pretty good ruckus.

    A high wattage tube amp like an SVT does sound great cranked hard, but unless you play only venues with a very high tolerance for SPL's, you may want to consider having a fuzz pedal as a backup plan.

    Oh, and the fuzziest old Sunn amps are the 200s and 2000s.
     
  7. chrispunx

    chrispunx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    thanks for the advice
     
  8. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    If you want loud with a lot of tube breakup get a Fender Bassman 100T
    Kick on the OD channel set the gain at 8, blend at 6-8 volume at 9 and dime the master.
    Run it through a 810 or some strong 15's and you'll have all the great heavy distortion/fuzz you want with out melting everyone's face off for 100 feet.
     
  9. vgbob

    vgbob

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    If you're looking at a VBA, sounds like you are interested in the big dogs. Hiwatt makes 200 and 400 watt amps. The controls on the VBA look very similar to the SVT-CL, which is never a bad choice.
     
  10. thedudebrah

    thedudebrah Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Location:
    Philly suburbs
    A few years back I ran a classic SVT through an 8x10 competing with two Marshall full stacks in a punk band that had a reputation for being loud. I rarely got past 12:00 on the gain and master.

    I'm now using an SVT VR through the same 8x10 in a slightly more subdued punkish band with only one Mesa triple rec to compete with and I find my volume knobs around 10:00 and it's PLENTY loud.
     
  11. vgbob

    vgbob

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Oh yeah, check out Reeves too. 400 watts.
     
  12. edbass

    edbass

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Only if they are "dimed" or broken. ;) The circuits for those two amps are about as clean and hi-fi as any MI amp available, cleaner than the majority of them.

    Those vintage Mountain recordings are a good example of Sundholm era Sunns "wound up"; Pappalardi played those old Sunns on "12".
    In this clip it appears he's using 60 watt 200Ss, and I'm sure they are wide open and healthy;



    Still holding together pretty good considering...
    They take pedals well and you need to put something in front of them to get ultra nasty.
     
  13. chrispunx

    chrispunx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    again, its one of the few that i'm aware of.
     
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    the tube heads i have really loved are the d180 and sunn 2000s, never had an ampeg believe it or not
     
  15. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    Felix's Humbucker in that Gibson EB-1 and or EBO was a huge contributor to that explosion tone! :) I stood right next to him live at American U. and George Washington. I'd go to Chucks and a kid would get a new EBO plug it into a new 200s crank it and get that Grand Funk Railroad distortion.

    Conversely except for the Rotosound grind Noel Redding would get a clearer presentation from his Jazz. Head back to Jack Casady with the Guild Humbucking and you get drive in between.
     
  16. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    You might like to look into a small guitar combo "biamp" rig to get the fuzz without collapsing lungs. Not easy to mic up though.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's a good point.
     
  18. edbass

    edbass

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Absolutely. What I was referring to as "holding together" was the output stage. Even though Felix was freekin' pounding the front end with that mudbucker, combining the natural "hair" of the 'bucker with overdriving V1, the amp itself stayed together, some power tube saturation for sure but not "wild and wooly".

    Reasonable plate current, ultralinear circuit, and huge output iron; "hi-fi".

    Not to say that an old Sunn won't saturate and come unglued, but it pretty much takes diming everything and driving it with hot pickups wide open.
     
  19. Tim1

    Tim1

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    If you like the Marshall VBA the SVT is possibly not for you. I have owned a few SVTs and played the VBA and while they are both great amps I found them quite different in tone. The SVT has its famous midrange (but is considerably more versatile than many give credit), while the Marshall's natural tone seemed to me to be warmer and lower. I was demoing the Marshall in a shop through its matching VBC 810 cab, but you still get some sense of an amp's character. Both have tons of grunt.
     

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