Can I use a tube amp head without a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GuzBaas, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. GuzBaas


    Oct 10, 2008
    I want to record in my computer using the line out... it is possible to use the head direct to record without the cab?
  2. iplaybasstexas


    Apr 5, 2008
    NO! you must have a load connected!
  3. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    I'm fairly certain that you can buy "dummy loads" online, don't know how much they cost.
  4. salparadise


    Oct 11, 2006
    miami, fl
    would the same rule apply to a head with a tube preamp, but s.s. power amp?
  5. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    tube power sections need a speaker connected or they will fry. i don't know if i would trust a dummy load. tube preamps no problem.
  6. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    In short hooking up tube amps without a circuit is a no no. However there are exceptions such as the Mesa 400+.

    An easy way to accomplish what you're doing is to use the fx line out on your head if it has it.

    A hybrid head does fulfill your requirements.

    FYI I hope you're not hooking your amp to your soundcard without a buffer.
  7. GuzBaas


    Oct 10, 2008
    My head is a MB R500... I think that is a tube preamp..

    What is a buffer? :rolleyes:

    Thanks for all your replys!!
  8. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    If it has an output transformer, it must have a load. Period.
    Generally, if it has tubes in the POWER section, it has an output trans. I don't think output transformerless amps made it to instrument amps.

    If it has tubes just in the pre-amp, then you can have zero load on it without a problem. This is your case.

    You can build, or buy a dummy load. If you buy one, you're looking at between $30 and $60, depending on the requirements.
  9. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    unfortunatly you NEED a load tube amps tend to fry when there not connected its a pain in the ass if you want to quietly record in your bedroom i know but on the plus side its a good excuse to crank the volume up...... er for recording purposes of course :bag:
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    You can do this.

    It would require a dummy load.
  11. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    But it's a SS power section? Am I missing something about MarkBass amps? :confused:
  12. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Dude, wait until tomorrow, and then call MarkBass's customer service. Or email them. They'll tell you exactly what you need to know.
  13. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Its clear that a load or dummy is needed, but what is a buffer?
  14. GuzBaas


    Oct 10, 2008

    Yeah, that's what I'll do...

    Thanks to everyone!
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    OK, here's the way it works...

    If your tube amp has a tube power amp, you need a dummy load to record direct into a computer without a speaker.

    If your tube amp has a solid state power amp and only one or two 12AX7's, you can plug it into the computer minus the speaker and be fine. But you should call it a hybrid in order to keep the confusion down.

    The R500 is a hybrid, not a tube amp. It has a single tube in the preamp. You can run it for 20 years without a speaker hooked up and it will be fine. You can call Markbass if you want, but you'll be wasting your time when you could be writing a good song.
  16. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.

    The term usually used for your amps type is a hybird. (tube pre with S/S power)

    Using the term "Tube amp" implied that it was Tube powered and serveral people gave you good advice about those.

    Most all Solid State powered amps (like yours) can indeed be safely ran without any cab load at all, and lots of guys here do that to record.
  17. Das ßoot

    Das ßoot

    Dec 28, 2008
    would an SVT-CL out of the question?
  18. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    Yes, some of the Mesa heads have an interesting feature which lets you run the amp without a speaker load such as the Mesa Buster 200 or the Bass 400.
  19. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    No my bad I missed that. No need for a load on any SS power section I've ever run across.
  20. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    You will destroy your output transformer without a load attached.

    The Peavey VB-2 allows the tube DI to be used while the amp is in standby - i.e. now signal being sent to the output section

    I think this is an awesome feature - especially since I do not have a cabinet for it yet.

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