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Ampeg PF-500 with Summit Audio TD-100

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jens1, Oct 6, 2013.


  1. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    Hi all,

    I really like the sound of PF-500. If someone is deciding to buy one, go for it! True ampeg tone!

    Well I like tube tone also and my budget is tight, so I'm thinking to buy preamp, that would give some tube sound with my PF500 sound. I'm looking Summit Audio TD-100

    My question is can I run signal from Summit DI to PF and then from PF to mix? Would that signal have tube tone + ampeg sound?

    Are there any other sugestions? I know that REDDI is the best but any ways...

    Thanks for your replys.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The only thing I can tell you is I've tried that with the REDDI into my PF350, and while it makes the sound a bit more tubey, it's not like you're going to think, "Whoa...tube amp!"
     
  3. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    Thank you for reply! So it's best to buy tube amp. There is no way around...?
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You know, stuff like the Summit and the REDDI are really nice to have and I think even Ampeg would tell you that the Summit is a better preamp than what's in their $400 amps ;) So it's not entirely without reason that you might want one as your pre instead of the PF500's pre. But you still are running it through a SS power amp, and a major part of the charm of tube amps is the power amp and output transformer. Us tube snobs accept it in PA's because there's no practical way around it, and there are a few devices out there that really sound truly tubey without being a full tube amp. But for me, that tube power section is so amazing that I find it extremely difficult to let it go. YMMV, though.
     
  5. I run my bass into an electro-harmonix black finger and then into my pf-500. Gives a tubey character to that ampeggy sound. It has two 12ax7s, one as a gain stage and one for the compression. So it gives a bit of tubey break-up and tubey compression that goes well with the character of the pf-500.
     
  6. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    Thanks bunkmunk! Could you (or anybody else) by any chance poste some tone samples with this or any other tube DI? Just to see the character. Life would be easier if i could try things but since local dealers don't have everything...:)

    Thanks and have a nice day!
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    An important factor is that everyone has a different idea of what sounds "tubey". For example the Summit is very nice, but it is not meant to have any dirt or drive to it. You can find many audio samples here: http://www.basstasters.com/preamps/
     
  8. I agree with Bongomania that different people have different ideas about what sounds tubey or what they like about tube amps. What are you looking for? Some people like the warmth of a tube amp at a low gain setting, some like the way they break up when you push them.

    The tech 21 vtbass pedal is designed to emulate both those aspects but doesn't actually have any tubes in it. So maybe a pedal will work for you depending on what you're looking for.

    I agree with Jimmy that at the end of the day, you're running through a solid state power amp and that character will still be prominent. But I definitely don't consider that a bad thing since the pf-500 is a nice sounding amp.
     
  9. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    Yeah...you guys are right. I search (or would be please to have) both - the warmth and the grind, depends on a song on gig.
    I'm still calculating few options:
    a) buy a decent preamp to go with PF500 and get close to tuby sound - with warmth and the grind
    b) buy a tube DI - maybe REDDI since it is very close to SVT
    c) buy Traynor YBA200 since it's affordable
    or
    d) wait I don't know how long and buy Ampeg V4B. Another problem for me with V4B is that I will not be able to use it on all gigs, because nearly half of them are in small clubs.

    What are your point of view? Which option would you choose?

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You haven't actually paid attention to what we said.

    You will not get "grind" from the reddi or most other tube DI's, and it can't be assumed that you will get grind from a tube preamp.

    Listen to the samples on basstasters, or ask about specific preamps, rather than hanging your hopes on "a tube".
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, Bongo's totally right. I love the REDDI as well as all my tube amps, but the REDDI is clean only and I run the tube amps all clean and use pedals for grind. Now some do have grind available to them, but it's usually very unwieldy and inaccurate to switch settings in the middle of a set, so I'll use a pedal or two when I need distortion. BTW, the PF500 has a pretty decent amount of grind available to it by turning up the gain, but again, you run into that unwieldy thing when trying to switch between the clean and dirty sounds out of it.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well see, here's the one niggle about tube amps...

    To get that really good power tube distortion, you have to crank the amp really super hard. Now if you have a 100w or less tube amp going into a small cab that can take a lot of power, you might be able to do that on a gig, depending on the gig. I've done it on a gig with a B-15 into a 115 before, but a B-15 is only 25 or 30w so it's not crazy loud. Do it with an SVT and 810 and you can cause people's spleens to explode and get your band fired unless you're playing arenas. And you still have the issue of not being able to switch easily between clean and dirty.

    And again, it's why I use pedals on gigs for dirt. I get the idea of going for purity of tone with the tube amps because it really does sound better than pedals to crank them to where it overloads the power tubes, but the only practical way to switch between clean and dirty with tube amps is to have a clean tube rig and a dirty tube rig with an ABY switch.
     
  13. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    @bongomania: you're right. I didn't understand exactly what you meant (I'm not native english speaker). The problem for me was I spent a lot of my time on basstasters but there is one setting for groove, slap and chords and I thougt if setting level on let's say reddi high you can get a little bit of dirt, so this would be something from both worlds.

    But Jimmy explained it very clearly. Best thing would be to use pedals for simulating tube distortion.

    So it seem that Summit TD100 + some pedal (Sansamp or something) for dist. would be solution for me...
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Or, instead of the PF500, you could get a micro head that already has a tube preamp in it, like the GK MB Fusion or Genz Shuttle.

    Mixing the Summit and the PF500 is do-able but it's not the best solution, for two reasons:
    1) The Summit's output is line level, so if you connect it to the main input of the amp head you will have to turn down the input gain on the head very far to keep from clipping "too much" (distortion in amounts that may not sound good).
    2) The Summit is designed for high fidelity studio applications, while the PF500 is designed for "rock and roll amp" sound on a budget. It's like putting handmade Italian 700c racing wheels on a cheap Chinese mountain bike.

    The Summit is $450 USD and the PF500 is $400 USD. I would bet there is a more ideal amp for you that costs about the same as those two together; and maybe less.

    Also, since you are considering the Sansamp pedal line anyway, try one of those (the BDDI and the VT specifically) and see if they get you the sound you want on their own, the clean tube sound as well as the driven sound. That could save you the cost of the Summit. For example the VT Deluxe can be set up with one channel of clean tone and another of dirty tone.
     
  15. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I suggest you forget about the tube pre. I see Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe pedals for sale here in the $150.00 to $180.00 range, and that might be a better way to get what you are looking for.
     
  16. Jens1

    Jens1

    Sep 6, 2013
    Hmm...so that's the story with summit and other ladies. They can't be married with my guy :)

    So for now some pedal with PF500 and later tube Ampeg.

    Thanks guys!
     

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