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ART Tube PAC question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Wayne8, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. I'm considering getting one of these:

    Mainly for my bass, into my amp, either an Acoustic B200 or a Behringer BX3000t/1X15 rig. I've never played a tube bass amp before and am intrigued by the claims of 'warming up' my tone with the tube. I have played guitar tube amps (I have two) and I also have one SS guitar amp (Fender) and I can honestly say the SS amp sounds as good to me as the two tube amps. I will say that I have played SS guitar amps that didn't sound as good as tube amps. I also like that this one has a built in compressor. I know, it's not the best compressor but money is tight and it may be enough. I've had a few compressors and got rid of them and have been playing without one.

    Okay, if I do this, would I be better off running bass/ART/amp's main input or should I run it in the effects loop?
    Okay, another thing I want to try is using it for the mics on our PA. If I do that, could I get away with running it in the board's effects loop? This is for practice/jamming only and right now we're only running vocals through the board. As I said before, money's an issue so if that will work, I can cover the two mics with one unit instead of having to buy one for each mic and then one for my bass.

    My thoughts are to try it on my bass, through my amp first, and, if I like it, decide whether I need the compressor it offers. If I don't need the compressor, I'll get one of the $29 ones for my bass and use this one for the PA/vocals. If I like the compressor on my bass, I'll get another of these.

    And I'm NOT looking to get over-driven sounds, just find out what this 'warm, tube sound' is.

    What do y'all think?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    What it is, is "overstated" by people reviewing it IMO. Yes, it's different from the most sterile of stereotypical solid state preamps, and it can be described as "warm", but it's not that big (audible) of a deal IMO.

    Also note that every device marketed to musicians that has a tube in it will crow about the "fat, warm tube tone", but 99% of those advertising claims are lying. I'm not saying ART is lying, in fact they're generally a good brand IMO, but just saying when you read things about that "warm tube sound" a huge percentage of the time it's just some words thrown around by the marketing department.

    Also, to be clear, I am not saying TB'ers who describe it as "warm" are liars, I'm just saying there's a pretty broad grey scale of perception and description to take into account.
  3. Oh yeah, I hear ya. Like the SS Fender guitar amp I spoke about sounds every bit as good as the two tube guitar amps I have. I wondered about that. I'm actually happy with the sound of both of my bass amps, just thought I was missing out on something with all the talk of tubes amps (which I'll never be able to afford) and that 'warm tube' sound.

    Thanks, Bongo!
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh, another point of clarification may be needed-- I was only talking about devices that have a single 12AX7 or 12AU7, and specifically the ART that you mentioned, not "tube amps" in general and not other tube devices that may be more advanced in design. An all-tube amp is another beast entirely than a single-tube preamp stage, and there are other tube preamp devices which really do deliver a lot of coloration.
  5. I understand. I can't even begin to think about a tube amp or even the majority of tube preamps because of the cost. Ran across this one and thought it'd be a cheap way of getting a better sound, that 'tube warmth'. I once bought a $200 tube overdrive (with one tube in it) for guitar and sent it right back because I couldn't tell any difference between it and the SS pedals I already had.
  6. Thanks, Bongo. You just saved me some money.
  7. I have an ART TubePAC, and I like it a lot. I'm currently running my my Tech21 BassVT pedal into the TubePAC, and then the TubePAC into the effects return on my amp. It sounds really, really good. Replacing the preamp of my amp and all of its EQ function with the TubePAC gives me a much more natural, fatter tone.

    I will say that I don't think that the compressor is all that great. It's not bad, but it's not adjustable enough for my tastes.

    I got my TubePAC for $40 here on TB, and I replaced the tubes with JJ Teslas for another $20. For $60, I couldn't be happier.
  8. I have the Tube MP and i like it. It's last in line before the rack eq + power amp setup. Good tone from it, even better with the JJ 12ax7 (which i highly recommend for any tubes in your bass signal chain) so i suggest you pick one up if you get this thing.

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