Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

200 Tube Watts enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ralphdaddy, Aug 1, 2004.


  1. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm interested in the Traynor YBA200 but i'm not sure if 200 tube watts is enough power. I've never owned a tube amp and have only had limited time with a 400+, about 15 minutes and no chance to fiddle with it and see what it could do, and a few random hours with an SVT-CL as well as one hour with this Traynor. I guess I'm wondering if those of you who use tube amps can attest to whether this thing will be loud enough to play with drums, keys and vox in a rock band. The band isn't particularly loud, and I believe I'll have PA support wherever we play even if we buy our own but will it be enough is my question. My gut tells me yes but I don't want to trust 1,000 to my gut. Or would I be better off buying a new 410 like a GK410RBH or an SWR Goliath III to pair with my GK 700RB-II? Thanks guys.
     
  2. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I would assume, according to your band description, that the the yba200 will be enough - especially with good PA support. However, I have no hands on experience with this amp - I've just rtead the threads on talkbass. I am also interested in purchasing one.

    One thing you might consider is - will it be enough down the road?? Do you foresee any desire to play louder music, something with a different style, or without PA support.... If so, perhaps something like a SVT CL is what you should consider.

    But if this band style is what your main requirement is, the Traynor "should" be more than enough to satisfy you.

    My gut tells me the Traynor will be loud enuff. YMMV, of course.
     
  3. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Yeah I wanted to buy an SVT-Cl but I need a cabinet more than a head, my GK is a good stuff but the Traynor with its matching cab is a good deal so I was like why not? I just can't afford the 1300 or so it'll cost me to buy an SVT new or used as well as a new or used cabinet to match it. Besides, I really disliked the Ampeg SVT410HLF I played through the other day but some jackass had stolen the knobs off the SVT so I couldn't really tell the settings so maybe it was that. I don't know, I want more than 200 watts, but right now 200 seems like a good compromise money and sound-wise until I have enough for a 400+. At the same time a voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that thr Traynor didn't make my Warwick growl the way my GK/Avatar rig does. Tradeoffs, power vs. tone vs. growl vs. who knows what.
     
  4. Our band plays LOUD and my amp keeps up easily.


    Pround own of the Traynor YBA200.
     
  5. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    joshsmog, do you use the YBX1510 cabinet as well or do you have your own cabinet you use with it? Also, do you use a PA? I really liked the sound of it, the B string wasn't fantastic but honestly nothing I've ever played through mae my B sound amazing, certainly not a cabinet which sells for 389. Could you tell me a little more about how you use it, EQ it anything you think could be useful would be very greatly appreciated by more people than just myself. Thanks a lot, have a good one.
     
  6. I'll second that. I have a YBA-200, and a VERY loud band. I watched drinks rattle off tables last night at our show, and I only have the thing at 1 o'clock gain/11 o'clock master. Plenty of power. Remember, the actual wattage is deceptive. Getting twice as loud as 200w requires not 400w but 2000w. The number and type of speakers/cabs makes the most difference. I don't have the matching Traynor cab, instead using a pair of EA CxL-112's, so I can't comment on that, but I can tell you that Jeff Long of Long and McQuade (the owners of Yorkville Sound) tells me that I should wait for the 8x8 cab they have coming out in the next little while. When paired with the YBA-200, it supposedly really nails that classic SVT vibe but in a tighter and more modern way. I recall A/Bing the YBA-200 and the 2x10/1x15 cab against a new SVT Classic with the full 8x10 cab and I found that I actually preferred the Traynor rig. Just bought the head as I already had the EA's, though I seriously considered the cab as well until being told of the 8x8. Anyway, the 200w ought to be just fine, and it is certainly a great deal price and pretty much any other-wise as well. Best amp I've ever had; I traded an SWR 350x for it and could not be happier. Also, since it's tubes, you have a nice squishy ceiling when you overdrive the amp rather than the much harder one in solid state designs, where you will generally get hard clipping instead of a nice rounded overdrive. This friendly behavior at high levels is one of the things that leads to nonsense about "tube watts" being louder than solid state ones. In practice, you will find that this amp can definitely be driven a lot harder than a 200w solid state design, and thus end up with a far louder signal despite having the same power rating. While the tube amp is going into a throaty roar, the transistor design will start to clip in a very ugly and unhealthy way. Newer solid state and hybrid designs behave more like tubes, but it is simply not the same. When I got the Traynor I suddenly had a touch sensitivity available that I'd never gotten from anything that wasn't an all tube design. Truly wonderful. The only thing I recall being better was a vintage SVT that had just been serviced. This is lighter, cheaper, more reliable and has a distinct voice of its own, although it does a pretty good SVT as well. I love it, and if you like the sound and feel of tubes then I recommend replacing your GK as soon as you can. You should find yourself with more power than you need, all at your fingertips.
     
  7. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Awesome, thanks a lot Burgess, I appreciate it brother. I was just looking at the specs online again and it says the YBA can pull a minimum impedance of 2 ohms but is switchable between 4 and 8. Does that mean I can plug a pair of 4 ohm cabs into and be ok? Or is that just random BS info? I think I'll pull the trigger on this one this weekend, thanks guys. Oh yeah, I'm actually keeping my GK I love that amplifier it's just not the sound I need right now and I can't imagine letting it go if I don't absolutely have to. Did they say by any chance when the 8x8 was to be available? Cuz I'm selling my only cabinet on Sunday so I have no choice but to buy the YBX1510 which I actually really liked. Well, I could get something else but for under 400 bucks there's not much... at least new, I'm not a big used fan, too many shady people!
     
  8. Great for you man, this is the amp I'm getting in October (my b-day). Post a review when you get it!
     
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep, I'd say 200 honest tube watts would be adequate for all but the loudest drummers. I have a Marshall Major that I've used for classic rock gigs, and that's rated at 200 watts, and it's plenty loud. I would recommend a nice efficient set of speakers, if you have that it should work fine. My guess is, that 200 honest tube watts will be "just slightly louder" than 700 clean solid state watts. (I say that based on listening to my WW Ultra, which at 1200 clean solid state watts is "just about as loud" as an Ampeg SVT). However, your sound will tend to get crunchy as you crank up the tube amp, so that's something to keep in mind. When you crank the tube amp, and you're putting out close to full power, you'll get the crunchier JPJ-type sounds, or an early Entwhistle (like on My G-G-Generation), or an early Grand Funk, something like that. Don't expect to get clean slap sounds from the tube amp at 200 watts. It'll be a gnarly and distorted sounding slap. If you don't mind that, you're good to go. :)
     
  10. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Oh sweet, thanks for the info nonsqtr! I didn't even think about distorted slapping, that should be kind of cool! I actually was using the gain to get some distortion from it the other day in a store and it was so much more pleasant than the screeching ear-piercing distortion of my stompboxes. Not as distorted, but it was more beautiful and musical if that makes sense. I really think I'm gonna dig tube amps, they just produce such great sounds. And I'll be sure to post a review of it when I pick it up and fool with it some more in my basement. Gigging is a month or so off at least but the basement test I can perform anytime.
     
  11. I find that the two overdrive boxes I use tend to work best with this amp when set with the Drive knobs low or even rolled right off. This way they work like a "clean boost" pushing the front end of the amp and letting the amp take care of the distortion, effectively acting as an extra gain stage or two in the preamp. This is pretty much how guitar players use overdrives, at least when they know what they are doing, have a nice tube amp, and aren't looking for total death metal distortion. In case you are wondering I use an EBS Multidrive (set at 10 o'clock Drive and 12 o'clock Volume) and a Fulltone Bassdrive (set at 10 o'clock Volume, 1 o'clock Presence, both Overdrive and Boost at the minimum and Compression Cut on). The EBS is on all the time as sounds basically the same as the amp but beefed up and the Fulltone provides two levels of further beef, again pretty much like the amp but more so. Extremely smooth overdrive overall. I imagine any good overdrive would do it, but these ones are designed for bass and the voicing works better than guitar pedals. The EBS even has a sub-250hz low pass that allows the fundamental and 1st harmonic through so that the bass part to speak clearly while the upper partials provide the distortion. The Fulltone just works smoothly over the whole range, although in "comp-cut" really is much like a clean boost (ie no distortion) in the basic "Overdrive" mode, only going into distortion in the Boost mode. This behavior is enhanced by the use of an 18v adapter, which you can use with this pedal for extra headroom. Although this is minimised when used in the way that I use them, both pedals do have distinct voices, which only become more apparant as the drive knobs are turned up. Either one would be great on its own, but they really work well together. They are so clean that I can and do cascade the EBS into the Fulltone and the sound only improves rather than muddies. I used to really need these with the SWR, but with the Traynor they are optional. Nice option though, especially if you play harder or more vintage rock styles. Oh yeah, I don't really like the distorted slap sound, though I have not played around getting it to work. Finally, the manual says that you can set the impedance selector wherever it sounds best, so either 4 or 8 ohms is OK with either load. Don't know about an extended run at 2 ohms though.
     
  12. atoni

    atoni

    Jan 23, 2004
    Helsinki, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: Salo Guitars
    A tube amp should be able to keep up with a solid state amp twice (or maybe even more) it's wattage.
     
  13. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Wow Burgess, you're a wealth of good information man! That's interesting that I should set my gains and distortion low on the pedals and let the amp handle it... I wouldn't have thought of that immediately. I figured 200 should do it as I know guys using 100 and that works for them so I should be all good. And now the bidding war begins between stores :bassist:
     
  14. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Just in case anyone is interested I found a Traynor YBA200 and the matching YBX1510 brand new for $1000.00 bucks at two stores around Chicago, Modern Music in Lisle, IL where I'm gonna get mine, maybe as early as tomorrow!!!! And the second store was Guitar Works in Evanston, basically same price at both, maybe 5-10 bucks difference, I went with Modern cuz they have it in stock, but won't after tomorrow haha. I'll post a review after I screw around with it a bit at home and see what it can do.
     
  15. Happy to be of help. I should note that using the pedals in the way I do works for *me* and is certainly not the only way to use them, or the amp for that matter. Also, I control a lot of the overdrive via my fingers. I can dig in quite a bit at times. Just this evening I was musing about how much control I have over the sound with the midrange knob on my Lakland 55-94. It's set at 500hz, and boosting gives the rig more meat to work with, as it were, in effect increasing the amount of distortion. Cutting it cleans up the sound a great deal as well, leaving a more conventional clean bass tone, albeit still "tubey". The amp can be pretty hi-fi sounding too when set up for it, so much so that it sounds almost solid state to some people. Note that if you elect to use distorted tones I think you'll find it sounds better with the tweeters turned off. In any event, I think that a midrange control (or any eq) is a really important part of distortion tone. In the guitar world, an optimal distortion setup is: guitar-eq-overdrive-eq-tube amp. Bracketing the distortion box with eq's is the most powerful way to control distortion, as both shape the sound in totally different ways. Now, eq in this sense means any tone controls, including those on the guitar and amp. It's where they occur in the signal path that is important here. That being said, putting eq pedals both before and after a distortion unit will provide a world of new and wonderful tone that you never thought the pedal had in it. Enjoy the new amp.
     
  16. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    How do tube amps respond to wahs, autowahs and compression? Can I basically expect the same type of operation or should I do things a bit differently with it? I know it'll all depend on my ears but I can save a lot of time screwing around with all the information you all have been feeding me, thanks again for all your help. I dig in very hard too so that's part of how I control my sound with my GK, it's fairly responsive to very heavy attacks making the tone much dirtier if you know what you're doing. I anticipate the same effect with the Traynor, only more so. Basically I just think this is going to be great fun, I've always wanted a tube amp but couldn't afford it or didn't know what the heck to do with it or how to use its attributes effectively... I figure what the hell, I need to learn at some point right?
     
  17. Good question. I've never used a wah with a bass, nor an autowah, nor any envelope filter really. Compression works as usual I suppose, though I would suggest that distortion itself can be thought of as an extreme form of compression with a complex envelope and overtone series. Wahs do work well with tube amps and guitars, so would assume the same for bass. Also, check out Bootsy's Bootzilla stuff for examples of distorted tones through envelope filters, most famously the Mu-Tron III. He also uses wahs and just about every effect under the sun, having two pedal boards the size of refrigerator doors the time I saw him in the early 90's. His "amp" however was effectively a PA system with about 6000w a side (or so I seem to recall; it may well be different.) I think the speaker complement was something like 4x18" 8x15" 12x10" and 5x5" tweeters per side, in two stacks about 10 feet high. Lord knows what the power amps were like, and the rack stuff he doubtless had as well. As you can imagine, it was the just about the loudest damned bass I've ever heard, to this day.* I didn't mind a bit.

    * Other candidates for the honour of loudest bass rig are: John Entwistle from 10 feet away in a bar at a solo gig with no obstructions between me and his amps; Lemmy from 40 feet at a Motorhead show, Rob Wright at any No Means No gig, Flea from up front at a 1986 Chili Peppers show, and the guy who probably was the loudest now that I think of it, Dee Dee Ramone at a 1983 Ramones show. It was about 2000 people at the Convention Inn South Ballroom in Edmonton, I was *right* up front, and my head rang for 5 days. Seriously, I could hear a faint lingering ringing 5 days later. Amazing. That was the whole band though, not just Dee Dee. Still, his bass sounded as loud as a bloody jet engine, even if the guitar and drums were louder still. Forgive me, I digress.
     
  18. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    There's no problem with digression when you're talkin about bass brother. Besides, I remember seeing Finger Eleven in Chicago, best show of my life by the way, and my ears rang HARD for three days, I thought I was going to lose permanent hearing. But man was it a great show!
    I know what you mean about all the effects working fine for guitar, I thought the same thing and I assume they'll work for me too, we'll see what happens when the time comes and just hope I guess haha. I actually have tried to buy a Mu-Tron III on several occasions but can never get past paying 300 bucks for a pedal that may or may not work and is over 30 years old. So I bought a Q-Tron+ instead which is what Flea uses, I suppose if it's good enough for Flea it's good enough for me. Thanks again burgess, you're a damn good sounding board for ideas about tubes man.
     
  19. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Something of note about the YBA200 vs. an SVT.... The YBA200 actually measures closer to 225 watts, but in typical Yorkville fashion, is de-rated to 200 watts as they are ultra conservative all the time. Anyone that has ever heard the XM200 will know it's the loudest 200 watts from any solid state amp. On the flip side, the "300 watt" SVT actually measures down around 275 watts, it is inflated as per Ampeg's strategy.
     
  20. Nightbass

    Nightbass

    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Another way to look at it is that if you need more volume, add more cabs.

    My 200W Aguilar DB-359 can be loud with a single 8-ohm cab, but is a lot louder when adding a second 8-ohm cab and switching to the 4-ohm tap. Notice that the amp produces up to 200 watts regardless of the load, so the additional volume comes from adding cabs, adding more cone area.

    My ~300W Mesa Bass 400+ is the same way. With one Mesa 1x15, it's loud. With two Mesa 1x15's, it's deafening.

    So, 200 tube watts can be quite loud if you simply use two efficient cabs instead of one.

    Nightbass