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buying a tube head vs. tube poweramp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Scott Lynch, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    I've (still) been doing some searching around for tube electronics to integrate w/my GT-6b.

    I feel that a tube poweramp is more versatile since it can be used with different pres with or without the GT-6b.

    However (comma) I assume that the preamp and poweramp in an all tube head are designed to work optimally with each other, and therefore might work better with a multi-effect unit.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Experience? Help.

    It's either this or I sell all of my gear and go analog effects with a tube head.
  2. tube power amps are few and far between, and are pretty expensive

    Probably be best getting a tube amp Ampeg SVT-II for instance :p , and using that, if you dont like it or want to use something else while bypassing the preamp, just go into the power amp in, altho personally i always run everything through the preamp on mine
  3. Most "bass oriented" tube power amps have a higher sensitivity on their input and tend to work better with a wider variety of preamps than a generic tube power amps. You'll really have to try it out with your FX unit since tube input stages can show you LOTS of stuff in your signal (noise, hum, etc) that would get "loaded out" by your typical s/s input stage.
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if your wallet and lower back can afford it, go for the tube power amp.

    NO, solidstate power amp will give you that tubilicious fatness that an all tube power section can give you.
  5. That should be used in marketing :smug:
  6. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    oooooh trust me, i know. The few chances i've had to play through an all tube head i wanted to run out of the store with it.

    I like the models on the gt-6b but am not sure how they will sound with an SS front end on the tube poweramp. I suppose figuring out how to clip the tubes with a strong-but-reasonably-clean preamp signal might be the trick.

    Keeping my "preamps" and effects all in one unit sounds so appetizing it's just impossible for not to experiment with it indefinitely. I don't want my clean tones any different than they are; they sound great to me. It's all about nailing the different OD tones I want for my band. Being the only electric instrument is a tough job sometimes, lemme tell ya. :(

    Awww, who am I kidding? I love it. :p
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    There are great tube heads and there are great tube power amps (plus wonderous preamp combinations to be had with them). You can find great success with either route, IME, but keep in mind that not all tube heads/amps sound alike, so if you find that you don't like a particular head/amp, don't write off tube amplification in its entirety.

  8. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I run my GT-6B into a Mesa 400+ and get great results. Tube power amps are expensive and hard to find. If you come upon one used, pick it up, but other than that its a lot easier to find a tube head. Plus the preamp section of the 400+ really helps fatten the tone and give me a easy EQ to work with. I used to run it straight into the FX in, but the preamp makes it sound way better.
  9. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    Are you able to get the gt-6b to get some authentic, useable OD sounds with the mesa, or is there still some element of the use of a digital effects processor in the signal?
  10. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I find that whatever signal you may be getting out of the -6B is enriched with the tube amp. Some of the distortions and such on the unit are a bit sterile, but when paired with the 400+ they are incredibly rich. The Mesa does put a bit of the famous tube OD on everything, as long as the signal is powerful enough (you can get good cleantone with reverb and such by turning the master volume on the FX unit down some for that preset). With the bypass on, the tone is the same as I would get by just plugging straight in. I don't really notice the digitalness of the unit and the 400+ through a good cab, but you do get an element of it through the 400+ DI.
  11. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Hire a set of roadies and you can really enjoy the amp!! :D

    Tube power amps are very different as are the tube amps themselves. I love my 728 but it definitely sounds diffferent than the demeter tube power amp.

    Find the sound you are looking for and go from there. I'm looking at picking up a 70s SVT. Defintely different than the aggies. good luck!!
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Personally I'd lose the multi-effector. I suspect that you'll find that it sucks your tone down before the signal makes it to your pre. I would try straight in, and then through the GT6.

    WIll the GT sound better through a tube amp or an SS amp - depends on your taste and the input of the amps in question. Will a tube amp sound better with or without the GT ? Better without, has been my experience with effects in general, multi-effector's in particular.

    In fairness I haven't tried the GT 6B, I swore off of all in one boxes and haven't looked back. It may be a miracle machine that doesn't suck tone. I would be amazed if that were the case however.

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