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All-Tube Amps capable of low B and low F# ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Silverstar, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Hi !

    I really love the warm, natural sound of all-tube amps and I also love my low B and my low F# strings. I got an offer for a near-mint Mesa-Boogie Bass 400+, so my question is, if all-tube power amps are able to reproduce frequencies that low.
  2. Stingray4Christ


    Jan 28, 2003
    well i have no doubt that the head can carry the signal but i dont think the EQ will be able to boost those ultra low frequencies (i.e. 15-25Hz) i could be wrong
  3. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I just got my first five and I dont know if its active electronics or the low B but my new bass doesnt sound nearly as good through my aguilar and B15 as the walter woods/bergantino set up but my old passive jazz Killed through these amps. The speed of the solid state really helps that B for me.

  4. Output transformers do horrible things to fundamental frequencies. I would be surprised if an all-tube amp could reproduce anything but a fart noise from an F#.
  5. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My all tube Trace produces my low B on my FBB prefectly! I don't know about the F#, that is damn low anyway:eek:
  6. That's a pretty sweeping generalization. I do agree that some output transformers are pretty bad down low, but I know of several that are rated flat to 10Hz. The Aguilar stuff can certainly reproduce a strong low B fundamental and the 400+ can too. My SVT doesn't do a great job of reproducing the fundamental of my SR5's B string but it produces a nice tight, growly tone so I don't care. There's way more energy in the 2nd harmonic of a note on a bass guitar than at the fundamental anyway.

    Actually, cabinets are way more of a limiting factor in the fundamentals of really low notes. There truly are not very many cabinets of any kind that can actually produce a strong 30Hz or below. I can only think about half a dozen and most of them are high end PA subwoofers.
  7. I suppose so. And now that I think about it, my statement really applies to the SVT more than any more modern tube-power design. I've never thought of the SVT as sounding particularly "tight," but to each his own.
  8. Low frequencies are EASY for output trannies. If a cheap tranny had little iron in its core, its lack of inductance would limit the current at low frequencies and create a mechanical low frequency rolloff filter, but that's mainly only on cheap modern tube guitar amps. An SVT, a Mesa Bass 400+, or pretty much any other bass amp won't have any problem with B or F#. Even old Fender Bassmans have NO trouble with low freqs, contrary to popular misinformation. I play my five string through my SVT all the time and it does great.
  9. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    It's interesting that Peter thinks that about tube amp output transformer mesisng with fundamental tones. Since switching to an all tube head recently, the one thing that has really I'm pressed me is how strong the fundamental tone is. It's like I can actually hear my notes for the first time in 15 years. It's a world of difference and I feel like my solid state years were all a big tone compromise. I'm pretty sure real tightness comes from one's playing and possibly the response of one's speakers. I just know that I have a lot more solid fundamental tone coming through my speakers since bringing back the tubes.
  10. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    so....what sould the best conditions be for playing a low F#? a 118 sub and a solid state amp? like what might be necessary for handling all that lowness?
  11. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Yes and maybe. Yes, you'll need a quality subwoofer, not nesassarly an 18" there are 1-10"s, 2-10"s, 1 and 2-12"s, 15"s, and the nice folks in San Jose are woopin' out a 21".

    Any amp can actualy get volts to a sub, how well it controlls the drivers motor is the deal. I have a Bag End 1-18" and have had many amps drive it, from exotics from VTL, Krell, Ayre to Mesa, Mackie, QSC and ampeg (sorry, I only capitalize vintage SVT) and the Carver Pro ZR1600 by far produces the clearest and most defined low End.

    Since your using the B word my choice (and we've got roadies right?) would be the ZR driving anything from Servo-Drive. Second...the powered 2-18" from Meyer Sound.
  12. i'd like to recommend the Mesa Bass 400+, Sunn 300T(now known as Fender Bassman 300), and Ampeg SVT-CL
  13. terraplane


    Oct 14, 2002
    Italy, Palermo
    I play with a svt2-pro ampeg, and sometime I've used 100W all tube v4-bh. I use a 4 string bass, but all my 5 strings friend that use my amplifier, are impressed by the low tube sound. It's right, sometime the extremely low frequencyes can give a little distort sonud (if you play harder tha nhard!), but it's cool a little tube overdrive IMO. But, Is important you use a 15" cabinet I think. A superbass head cannot give deep warm sound throug little speaker, and not only big speaker, but big cabinet can provide more deep sound.