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a few questions about tube bass amps.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by XeNoChRiSt, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. XeNoChRiSt


    Apr 5, 2016
    Hey all! I'm a bassist in a thrash/groove band I've recently landed a job which has very good pay and can now afford a nice high end tube amp. I've always owned solid state and hybrid amps I like the clean sound of solid states but I play metal so I like an aggressive sound so I've always used overdrive pedals to add snarl. But I've heard that tube amps don't have a great slap tone, that concerns me a bit because I do a good amount of slap bass licks in my band. In your guy's opinion do tube amps handle slap sounds pretty well? and live im rarely ever mic'd, up 95% of the time I'm di does the natural overdrive from the tube amp go through the pa speakers?
  2. DI only captures overdrive going into said DI. There are speaker level DI such as Countryman 85. That goes between amp and cab.

    You could insert a regular DI in your FX loop and capture preamp overdrive.

    Otherwise no.

    If you think a tube amp can't do slap you have been listening to internet bollox.
  3. XeNoChRiSt


    Apr 5, 2016
    Gotcha, thanks for the response! I've never actually gotten to play a full tube amp, pretty unfortunate.
  4. I use these
    Fender Super Bassman
    Ampeg V4B
    And they reproduce whatever sound you put into em WITH the full all tube delish!!!
    I like em for all sorts of tones. ..clean, dirty, slap, whatever. .. the Super Bassman is very hard to beat.
    Moosehead1966 and Sartori like this.
  5. XeNoChRiSt


    Apr 5, 2016
    Very beautiful rigs! I'm looking at the mesa bass 400+ or maybe an older ampeg svt.
    rodl2005 likes this.
  6. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    Imho, I recommend tube preamp & class D power amp. Class d typically has a greater frequency range than do tube amps. To get frequency and wattage, the ot just gets bigger and heavier. I
    am But before you bite the bullet, test some different amps. Who knows, you might like a 5f6a clone or a marshall amp.
    For testing stick to single pair power tubes. Wattage during your test phase is tertiary. Find the sound you want.
    I also recommend doing some research on tone stacks. If you don't know what FMV tone stack is, then you won't know that Ampeg tone stack is different. . You can spend a ton of money getting a high watttage bassamp, and then find that a single pair powered tube amp, Mic'ed gives you the sound you want at lower operating costs.
    Do you want a piggyback (head) and cabinets, or do want a combo [supersized with chile]
    I would consider following @racehorse or @Passinwind for awhile. Remember these guys are commercial members, and of course would like you buy their equipment. From what I can tell both of them are straight shooters.

    Good luck
  7. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Did you mean @agedhorse ?

    @XeNoChRiSt , any place near by to try a tube amp?
  8. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    yes auto correct bites again. Sorry
    mrb327 likes this.
  9. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Yeah, not always my favorite technology
  10. If your band is loud and you want lots of good clean aggressive volume I'd go with 300 watt tubes amps, either an SVT or a Super Bassman as has been mentioned. I've never played a Super Bassman but have used SVT's for years and highly recommend them. They're very reliable and have a lot of punch, in fact they are pretty much what everyone else gets compared to and have been around since 1969 and there is a reason for that. Well gotta put it in again I guess:laugh:

    double SVT.
    Moosehead1966, rodl2005 and REMBO like this.
  11. flam


    Sep 20, 2010
    Tempe, Arizona
    I really liked my 400+. Always plenty loud, but it would have to be uncomfortably so to really get any overdrive out of it. The eq is pretty flexible, and it will definitely do a typical slap tone along with many other sounds. Definitely worth checking out as a SVT alternative if you can.
    svlilioukalani likes this.
  12. REMBO

    REMBO Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  13. BigBobbyBass


    Jan 23, 2015
    Mesa Boogie Strategy 8:88 will do super loud and clean. 465 watts of tube glory.
    Caca de Kick and nbsipics like this.
  14. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    And you can kick in less if you like to keep the cops at bay ( love mine )
    BigBobbyBass likes this.
  15. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    I gather neither cares about an individual sale. Both would rather you buy what you want, need and will be happy with rather than make a sale.
  16. I would recommend a used Mesa 400+ for your first tube amp. It does slap well. It does everything well. The are half the weight of a Ampeg SVT, so they are manageable to move. You can always sell it off for what you pay for it, if it's not your thing. But the tone is amazing and they get loud. A true rock amp.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    A couple of things:

    1. Do not try using speaker level DIs with Class D amps however. Don’t put the amp’s speaker output through them. Otherwise you risk damaging the amp. It’s not a problem with other amps such as ABs. It’s purely an issue with Class D amp design.

    2. A tube preamp and a solid-state power stage will not sound just like an all tube amp. Most of that sonic quality and response people associate with the tube vibe comes from the tube power stage and not the 12AX7 or similar in the preamp.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  18. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Someone lied to you about tube amps, they sound great slapped.
    Just like anything else tube amps do have different voices among the brands, so go out and try as many as you can find. I happen to prefer Mesa, much grittier tone.

    As someone mentioned, the onboard DI of a head will be from the preamp. *But* if you want the output stage to be provided in a DI format, then the Countryman DI box can go in your speaker cable. Just be cautious that no one ever unplugs the speaker cables/DI box if you go this direction from your amp when it's running.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  19. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    As stated I would consider following @agedhorse, and @Passinwind, (straight shooters), They have well above average knowledge of amplifier design and applications.
    For @racehorse, My money is on #3 in the fifth.
    Small 40w bass amp, w/ bass cabinet, mic'ed, having to avoid paying for a set of matched power tubes, will pay for that mic and cable, and back brace.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  20. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    In my opinion, tube power amps are overrated for bass. A good tube preamp and a Crown or QSC power amp will get you a great tone without tube power hassles. As you turn up the volume on tube amps, the tone will vary, while solid state amps stay consistent regardless of volume.

    I have used tube preamps with solid state power for years and I've never been left wanting as far as tonal variety and quality. I am running a Demeter tube preamp and a Crown Xti for power and I can get pretty damn close to an SVT tone, but I've also got a ton of versatility that SVTs just don't have.
    bassbooty likes this.

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