all tube heads, what causes the distortion?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ErikKrueger, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. yeah, im using an old traynor yb-1 (i think) all tube bass head and i love the distortion i get from it. but sadly, it is a temporary amp i am borrowing, and like i said, i love always having that distortion. i am wondering, so i can replicate the distortion in my rack set up, is it the tube preamp or tube poweramp that causes the distortion when driven too hard? or, if i can't do that to my liking, couldnt i just use the traynor head as a preamp? thanks a lot

  2. Both, and then some. Not only do you get distortion from the tubes, but the output transformer gets "saturated"....For really old guitar amps with a tube rectifier, the power supply will also sag (drop in voltage), giving even more distortion. But your Traynor has a solid-state rectifier I think.
  3. I heard the Sansamp can work miracles with these kinds of things. My own effects processor (Boss VF-1) has amp models in it, one of them is SVT-like. Sounds impressive, although I have no use for that type of sound. I have developed a dislike for any kind of distortion over the years.

    You might want to search the Effects forum for devices with tube-like sound, like the Sansamp.
  4. Basically, if you're running the input gain high enough to clip on your Traynor then you are experiencing preamp distortion, and if you're running the it too loud in the poweramp section you'll get poweramp distortion. Most amps have a clip indicator for both, but I'm willing to bed the Traynor doesn't.

    What are you planning on putting in your rack? I see no reason why you couldn't get a tube preamp for some nice warm overdrive if that's what you're looking for... otherwise a rack system may not be what you're after.
  5. fclefgeoff


    Jan 3, 2002
    I use a solid state amp with a Fulltone Bass Drive pedal on the front end and am able to replicate the distortion/od of a tube amp pretty well. If you haven't tried one of these pedals, check them out. You might be very surprised. One caveat, they are kind of expensive...
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