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1-5W guitar tube amp for Bass - experiences?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el murdoque, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    at the moment i'm using a Hughes&Kettner Tubemeister 18 head for playing at home.
    In the clean channel, that works great, the other channels are not really my cup of tee.
    Now i was wandering if i could downsize a bit and get one of those 5W one channel amps that are out there. I'll be playing through a barefaced one10 and don't need much volume, The Tubemeister is set on 1W or 5W, i never use the 18W.

    My concern is that as i understand, they claim in the brochure to use XXL Transformers - will these be responsible for a cleaner headroom and because of this, the bass is working so well with it, down to the low B ?

    Do any of you have a tip what little tube amp works well for five strings?
  2. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I tried a Zvex Nano, 1w. It wasn't enough. I tried an Ashdown Little Bastard, 30w?, and it was plenty.
    basscooker likes this.
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I fear it has to do with the architecture of the amp.
    When the capacitors are built for 18W yet used for 1W, i guess there is more wiggle room than in an amp that was meant to work at 1W all the time.
    Sartori likes this.
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The voltage rating on the capacitors is not your issue.
  5. disssa


    May 6, 2009
  6. I'm wondering if el murdogue is more concerned about the capacitance rating than he is the voltage rating of the
    caps in the power supply?
  7. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    @dissa: Thanks for that. I did not know there were so many low wattage tube amps for bass around. I totally dig the Reu├čenzehn, but that is a bit over the top in terms of money.

    I'm sorry - English is not my native language, and when it comes to specific technical terms, that might show.

    My line of thought was as follows:
    If my H&K 18W guitar amp that is by some means regulated down to 5W is enough for me, could i not downsize that amp to a regular 5W amp - or will a regular 5W amp struggle with the bass, which the 18W does not, because its components are a) built for guitar, therefore, for want of a better word, weaker
    and b) built to be used for 18W and therefore stronger
    where a) and b) more or less cancel each other out and i'm fine.

    It also might be that the Tubemeister 18 is for some unknown reason really good for bass and all the other low wattage guitar amps suck.
  8. Sorry el mur. My reply was more for ddnidd1, more so than you. I simply included your post as a reference to what he said.
    He was talking about the voltage ratings of the capacitors and I did not see where he got that from what you said.
    Then I guessed, wrongly it seems, that you were concerned about the capacitance rating of the capacitors rather than their voltage rating. More capacitance in a power supply can help the supply keep it's voltage from sagging under heavy loads. The voltage rating of the caps doesn't really affect that.
    And that's probably more than you really wanted to know.

    So to your comment about parts of a guitar amp being weaker than in a bass amp.
    Not really, not because bass is bass and guitar is guitar.
    A bass amp and a guitar amp running the same amount of power will have similar basic components. The bass amp won't necessarily have more rugged parts in the electronics because of lower frequencies. You can use a bass amp for guitar and a guitar amp for bass and not really tell any difference due to the components in the amp. The main thing that differentiates a bass amplifier system from that of a guitar is the type of speakers used. Speakers made for bass will hold up to guitar playing, but play a bass through guitar speakers and they can struggle to keep up.
    I hope that helps.
  9. iagtrplyr


    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    I have a two-watt Fender Gretta amp in which I run out to whatever can I have at the time, and for bedroom noodling it's great. Currently it's plugged into one of the new Acoustic 1-12 8 ohm cabs and cranked up gives what I think is a decent natural grind. They're a thing of the past, but I'm sure quite alive in the used market.
  10. wayshot


    Sep 25, 2006
    Skage, Norway
    I recently bought a used Epiphone Valve Jr head as a modding/learning project. It didn't sound too good on bass until I replaced the output transformer with a Hammond 125DSE. Instantly more bottom, somewhat more output and more defined sound. The change wasn't too dramatic on guitar, just more volume before breakup.
    Haven't tested it through big cabs yet.
    b-b-b-bass likes this.
  11. MrBEAR

    MrBEAR In Memoriam

    Audio Kitchen " The Big Trees".
    Ltd. run with a handful left for acquisition at the time I purchased mine last summer.

  12. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    I'm interested in the LB; do you know if the CTM 30 is the same amp in new clothes? Or if there are more differences between them?
  13. disssa


    May 6, 2009
    No, the CTM30 is the same amp, only with a new outfit.
    RedVee likes this.
  14. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Voicing can be different. How much power the caps and transformers hold and pass can make a great bass amp. For home practice this is moot.

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