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bring me into the world of tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shaolinwhat, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    so i was recently blown away by a hiwatt as some of you know, and am for the first time questioning my GK+sansampRBI setup that i have loved for years. but the price tag on those hiwatts really is too much for me right now. are there powerful tube amps that sound as fantastic (or close to) as a hiwatt for less money? btw i have played the svt-cl and was not in the least impressed...
  2. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    It's unfortunately likely that nothing else will sound quite like a Hiwatt. Never played one myself, but I have used a Sun City, and many other tube heads. If it's anything like the Sun City, it sounds nice at low volumes and then quite rude when it's cranked, very good sounding, slightly distorted, but not the sort of distortion one gets with an Ampeg. If that's the case, you might want to check out a Sunn. They can be had pretty cheap and there are plenty of them around. Just make sure you get one of the more powerful ones, 60 watts probably won't be enough.
  3. I have never played a Hiwatt but if you want tube tone I would suggest trying a Mesa Boogie 400+. They can be picked up on the used market. I have played through an original SVT head and would take the Mesa Boogie any day of the week over an SVT. Nothing wrong with the SVT's they are just two different animals.

    I have a 400+ and then I used a GK 800RB for quite a few years and then went back to the tube tone with an Alembic F-1X, and a Stewart World 2.1 All I can say is Butta, You can't beat the tube tone if you're looking for butter.

    Are you looking for an all tube amp or maybe a hybrid. If you really like the fast attack of a GK you might consider checking out something in a hybrid. Solid state power section with a tube pre section. Some give you the option of mixing a tube and solid state pre section.

    Mesa Boogie makes the Walkabout which I have heard a lot of great things about.

    Unfortunately, high powered tube tone does not come cheap though. What model Hiwatt were you looking at. Price range?
  4. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    well i mostly use the GK because its super loud and reliable, and use the sansamp to get the nice tube tone. so anything that sounds like a GK by itself, im not interested in.

    the hiwatt was a custom 50.

    im interested in trying out a sunn, not really sure how easy it would be to try one though. i guess my price range is under a grand.
  5. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Mesa Boogie 400+ is a great tube amp with big fat tone. They can be had new for about $1400, and on ebay used frequently for under $800.
    The Aguilar DB750, while not all tube, is another great choice for that flavor. Fairly pricey, but I've seen some great deals both here and on ebay lately.
  7. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    If you want something similar to the Hiwatt new, I'd check out the Fender Bassman Pro 300 (300 all tube watts) or even an Orange. They aren't the same, but those are going to be the ones which are most similar to the Hiwatt and they cost a lot less (even though the Orange is still a bit pricy).
  8. nysurf2772


    Jun 20, 2005
    I'm a GK w/sansamp guy as well...

    I'm thinking of getting the YBA200 soon! pretty light and some good modern features
  9. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    A Fender Bassman 300 Pro would be a great choice as well for a huge toob bass amp.
  10. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Cmon man, 60 watts IS enough if you don't want a boring clean tone, but a monstrous overdriven sound.
  11. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    I played through an ampeg classic svt and an ampeg 810 today with a warwick passive corevette.

    Although the tone was big and tubey, it didn't appeal to me.

    I actually thought I would like that sort of tone, but I then plugged into a gk 2001rb and a gk 410 and 115 and was in heaven.

    But if you are interested in big bottom end with alot of warmness to it, I would suggest an ampeg svt and ampeg 810.

  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    That's not how all tube amps are, though. Most aren't that muddy sounding. My Sunn is very clear sounding, and gritty when pushed.
  13. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    im looking for big overdriven growly sounds, but also be able to back off on it and play my jazz fingerstyle when needed. the hiwatt did both amazingly.
  14. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ox how would you compare the Bassman 135 to your Sunn you have now tone wise?
  15. Ya gotta love that 'Bay seller... quote: " I do not play out, and am unworthy to own an amp this great.

    Guess that says it all!
  16. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Hmmm, my Bassman I think had a few "issues" before Ben took it off my hands, and fixed it up... but I must admit both were fairly clear sounding amps. The bassman was capable of getting a good overdriven tone at lower volumes (thanks to the Master Volume). Both were loud though, I prefer the Sunn a bit more. The Bassman had a better clean, however. It wasn't as woofy as the Sunn. I honestly still wish I had it, and had gotten it fixed up to get rid of the annoying hum. The 'man was a tube eater though; it fried the Groove Tubes I had in it in under a year, and it wasn't because of no freakin' bias issue. That amp ran it's tubes HOT. That said, I also liked it better than the Music Man HD130, but the MM was only good clean, and turned to ass once distorted. Huge low end it had, though. Someday i'll get another bassman. I'm hoping though that the Sunn 200s will be cleaner than all of them, and still sound good overdriven.
  17. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I've heard your clips. Sounds like pure overdrive/distortion with no clarity or bottom at all. I'll take the Ampeg sound over it anyday. I just don't hear the "mud" you claim is present.
  18. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Part of why there's no bottom in my clips is because I was using a cheap computer mic to record it. There's plenty of bottom, and plenty of clarity as well. A jazz or stingray through my amp would sound completely different than the same through an SVT-CL & modern 8x10. They would all sound very similar through the SLM Ampeg rig.
  19. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    You can also check out the Orange AD200b. Pricey but way cheaper than the hiwatt stuff.
  20. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    yeah i am dying to try one of those