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Anyone else like to use low watt tube heads?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by BassGreaser, Apr 29, 2010.


  1. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've been using my Ampeg 55watt B25b tube head for all my upright needs and love the tone I get. I plus my underwood pickup striaght into the thing and it sounds great. I have found that an all tube head makes the peizo pickup sound alot less peizo...
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I used to use a late 60's B15N and it sounded just great. 100lbs is too much to lug around to small gigs though. Eventually laziness won out ;)
     
  3. I just finished my build on an 8417 tube PA amp. I am going to install a Fender tone stack here real soon.

    Small amps + acoustic instruments= bliss!
     
  4. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    nice! I bridge both channels on my head together and use one for my highs and the other for the lows... It sounds so good through the EBS classic series 4x10 I had. Can't wait till my LDS 1x15 is done:D
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 on both counts. The B-15 sounds great and it weighs 85+ lbs. Not a easy schlep anymore. when you can buy an amplifier that weighs 3.5 lbs and cabinets that weigh 18 lbs or combos that weigh just a little more. That puts the grand total just over 20 pounds that makes it what four times lighter than the B-15. IMHO the older GK 200MB's had a nice warm sound that's somewhat reminiscent of the B-15 and you can carry it around in a shoulder bag. The MBS comes to mind as a nice alternative as well. Not as warm as the 200MB though. I'm also not convinced that putting a single tube in the pre amp makes all that much difference. Others may disagree. So if you're going with tubes IMHO it's all or nothing at all.
     
  6. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I filly agree to get that ful warm tube sound you have to have tubes in both the pre/power sections. I'm playing in a lounge/rock band so having a small amp isnt going to cut it, but if I was playing alot more of my jazz gigs then I'd be rocking an EA setup
     
  7. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I would agree with that. I am not sure how much a single tube(12AX7 or similar) driver will add to a solid state amp. You can get warm sounding SS amps that will cop that tone pretty well(Markbass for instance). All of this said, I still wish I had the B15, its just not that practical.
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Probably the best iteration of mixing preamp tubes and solid state output sections that I have heard is the GK Fusion. Now, Bob used three 12AX7's, and took advantage of all six valve stages, so that is a far cry from just one tube (and often just one valve stage) running at low plate voltage (GK runs their tubes at full plate voltage). The MB Fusion has yet to make it to market, but it does seem like we may see it fairly soon. If you like the harmonic richness of tubes, but want it in a compact, lightweight package, I strongly suggest that you check out the MB Fusion when it becomes available.

    Tom.
     
  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Yeah, I'm wondering about this as well since this is a different approach than most tube/ hybrid amps. My personal experience was
    with the original SWR Baby Blue and since I didn't care for the voicing of that pre amp it may have skewed my judgement. Regardless, I do know that my Walter Woods MI-400-8 has many of the same qualities that I liked in the B-15.

    Ric
     
  10. I'm glad to see this thread. I'm new to UB and I only own tube amps (well, one is a hybrid, but it's voiced exactly like an all-tube amp). I have no plans of replacing any of this stuff with non-tube gear, but have yet to play my first UB gig.
     
  11. Tom, the Ampeg B200R is an extremely convincing hybrid too, don't you think? It's a one trick pony, but it does that one trick really well, imo. I haven't used it with UB though.
     
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I had no idea that the B200 had a tube in the pre amp stage. Looks like this amp is no longer in production. Was the cabinet a portaflex like the B-15's? That would have been interesting. I'm still not all that convinced that a single tube in the pre amp stage of an amp makes all that much difference. But I'm open to the concept. Personally, I think that the actual voicing of the pre amp has more to do with the warmth of a particular amplifier.

    Ric
     
  13. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    The Mesa Walkabout Scout 12 combo works really well with URB (and EB). It's very warm sounding.
     
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience with the B200R. I recall playing one a couple of times in a store or at a show, but it didn't make the same impression on me that the Fusion did. It could be that I need to give it more time, though.
     
  15. Ric, I agree completely that one tube does not necessarily make a difference. I'm a bit of an Ampeg addict, so I can attest to the fact that the B200r does a very good job of faking the sound of an old B15, but it's much louder. This amp happens to have one tube in the preamp, but I think it's the architecture of the whole amp that gives it a classic Ampeg sound. I'm very happy with this amp, and they can be found quite cheaply on the used market. I know of someone who uses two of them as his only amp and he sounds great.

    Ampeg discontinued this amp recently. Not sure why. It's not a flip-top style of amp, but it is ported. They built a B100 and a B50 as well. Neither of those had a tube in them, but they also sounded very much like a tube amp. The B200r does it better. Neither the B100 or the B50 impressed me as much as the B200R. They were fine amps as well, but they weren't loud enough for my applications. I think Ampeg really nailed it with the B200r, but apparently not enough other people felt the same way, given the fact that they've discontinued this amp.

    I've hijacked this thread with a discussion of this hybrid combo, but I'll get back on topic by saying that I have an old Ampeg combo that predates the B15 portaflex. I got it from a guy who used it as his amp for electric and upright since 1959. I'm hoping to continue doing the same when my pickup arrives from Gollihur.
     
  16. Rvl

    Rvl

    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    I would buy a compact light all tube head
    But unfortunately there are no makers

    My dream head would be something like a SE 6550
    I think it would put out 8watts and into my EA Wizzy should be enough power for small shows

    Thanks

    Robert VanLane
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The Epiphone Valve, Jr. comes very close to meeting your goals, here. It's just 3 watts shy. :cool:

    IMG_6735.
     
  18. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    you know whats funny.. is I used to use a bassman 135 into two EA CXL112 and I had the best tone!
     
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I used to use a Sunn 2000S into an Ampeg B-15. Portable it was not!!
     
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    When I got my first Walter Woods MI-100-8 ( 100 watts) I had a lot of trouble finding a cabinet that I liked with the head. I finally settled on a pair of B-15 cabinets with Altec and Gauss speakers. Since that particular cabinet is fairly efficient, I got a very nice sound out of that rig.It wasn't all that loud but it had such a pleasant tone quality that it didn't need to be.


    Ric

    P.S. I've often wondered why someone hasn't experimented with downsizing the Ampeg Portaflex to say, a 10" wizzy driver, build it out of
    lightweight poplar and see what it sounds like. It could possible be a nice DB cabinet. Of course, it could also be a total mismatch.

    Ric
     

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