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are there any bedroom-volume/studio "all-tube" amps in production?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by renejaime, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. renejaime


    May 25, 2005
    I know there are several companies that make 5w - 15w all tube guitar amps for studio use/bedroom practice/coffee house.

    Are there any low volume all tube amps for bass? I'm talking 65w or lower...

    I know ampeg has the B-15 reissue but is there anything smaller and what type of cabinet should be used for this. Basically, I want what a badass small all-tube amp and/or combo. There has to be somebody out there that does this.

    Is there not a market for low wattage bass amps?
  2. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Ampeg no longer has the B-15R. Besides, it was 100w. Not bedroom level exactly.

    Anyway, there are a ton of bass amps out there like you're talking about. The only problem with them is I consider the tone of them very weak because they put small speakers on them, whereas I'd play through a 5-15w guitar amp any day of the week.
  3. DumDrummer


    Mar 14, 2007
    South OC, CA
    I WANT ONE TOO! I haven't been able to find a low wattage amp with nice tube tone. Not that emulated crap, I want at least a tube front end.
  4. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Didn't see the "all tube" thing in the header the first time...there really aren't any tube amps being made that could be considered "bedroom." Best you can do is get a used B-15.
  5. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    There aren't many out there. Most of the low-wattage tube amps are all built with guitar in mind. One of the things you'll find with very low-wattage tube amps is that they tend to break up very easily. I think it would be hard to get much clean volume out of anything below 30 or 40 watts. I know you won't need much volume but you'd be surprised how easily a 25 watt tube amp breaks up with all the low energy that's generated by a bass. If that's your thing then by all means!

    I have a Fender Blues, Jr. and I suppose that it, among other affordable tube guitar combos, would be one of the cheaper ways to get into a moderate-wattage tube amp. Sometimes I like using the guitar speaker when I'm recording something high up on the bass or when using it as an effect. I can also use a bass cabinet with it by using a 1/4" female-to-female jack. The EQ's designed for guitar but I just flatten it and use the EQ on my bass and it works great. Sounds even better if I run my Demeter tube pre in front of it!

    It seems to me that most of the bass-specific low-wattage tube amps being made today are boutique designs such as Allessandro. Old Fender tube heads can do the trick too. But it seems that the new market for them is quite limited.

    One of the first things I thought about when I first read the thread was Z.Vex pedals' comical Nano Head.

    It boasts .5W dirty and .1W clean and the internal speaker is rated at .4W! It only has one 12AX7 so proooooobably won't suit your needs but they say it sounds unreal through a 412! :D
  6. IMO u R better off getting a low wattage guitar amp-just the head if poss- I think Epi make a 15 w just amp head- & getting a cab like a single 10" or similar to suit. I don't know of ANY low powered bass heads or combos that are all tube- or even hybrid-tho thats not really the point is it? I'd get a Epiphone 10-15W valve amp head & a custom/homemade 10" cab-sealed!!! or if I had Lotsa $$$ maybe a different make amp & a li'l 1x10" Mark Bass/ Schroder/etc...cab!
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I recently picked up an Epiphone Valve Jr. head, and it sounds pretty nice, really. Throw that on top of, say an EA Wizzy 10, and you have one heck of a nice little tube 'combo.' :cool:

    If you have more cash burning a hole in your pocket, the Allessandro Basset Hound looks pretty spectacular.

  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I agree, the Epiphone Valve Jr. is great.
  9. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    The ZVex is KILLER in the studio. Never tried putting a bass into it, though.
    I'll second (or would it be third now) the Epi Valve Jr. They can be had for little more than a song, and are supposed to be great platforms for modding.
  10. renejaime


    May 25, 2005
    awesome, thank you for the replies, great starting point for me to check out some paths to take
  11. Not unlike the Valve Junior in that it is actually a low power guitar head that sounds cool on bass is the Orange Tiny Terror. Cool amp, I want to say it's switchable from 7 to 15 watts. Not cheap. Cool head though.
  12. I remember seeing a Matchless 50w tube bass combo years ago (12?) at a shop when I was in college.


    Doesn't look like they have anything bass specific right now, but I'm sure they'd work with you... for the right $$$$$$, of course!

    EDIT: Found a review on Harmony Central as Matchless Thunderman (45W).

    EDIT EDIT: Pics! http://www.elderly.com/items/130U-4870.htm
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Good call. I've been eying one of those for a while, too, but man, for the price, that Valve Jr. is hard to beat.
  14. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    Hear hear. This has got me GAS'n for one now. It's cheap! I'd be curious to see how its 5W would do with bass.


    BTW, what's up with musiciansfriend's and music123's websites? Down for the moment?
    Keep getting a "cannot find server" error.
  15. I fooled around with one through a Marshall 4x12 for a while and it was surprisingly loud, if you want crazy tube overdrive. Clean it was not very loud at all. It's a wonderful lesson in how good stuff can sound if you just get all the crap out of the way. They have spawned a fairly active community of people that mod the things as well, it's a great, dead-simple design to start with if you want to get in to that kind of stuff.
  16. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    I've been thinking about this lately, too. Seems like something with a pair of EL34's or 6550's and a real simple EQ could get down to the size of the Tiny Terror.

    It would be awesome to have something that small in a tweed box, with a matching DB285JC :D
  17. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    My guitar player owns one of those Epi Valve Jr heads and I've been meaning to borrow it and try it out. I've read that they work well when played thru a bass cab, although, as mentioned, at only 5 watts you won't get much volume and very little clean.

    A more powerful option would be the Peavey Classic 30 head at 30 watts. The Peavey Classic series are very nice sounding amps with guitars and I assume bass would sound good, too.

    I've got an old 20 watt Crate Vintage Club that I plug into a Peavey 210 cab and it sounds awesome. Crates generally get bashed but the VC series were nice amps. I'd like to find a small, light 112 cab to use for portability.
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Old Fender Musicmaster Bass amp was all-tube, 12 W.

    It was my first amp.

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