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Choosing A New Bass Amp, tube, solid state, or hybrid?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by theitalianrob, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. I'm feeling that it's about time for me to upgrade to a more reliable amp head. (im currently using an old acoustic b320 from the 80s). I need something with good power and a big beefy tone.

    I play in a 3 piece punk/hardcore band so i need something thatis really full on the low end to make up for the lack of a second guitar.

    I've had a few amps in mind . some i have played, others i've read about, and some i cant find anywhere. I was wondering what the major tone/volume differences are between tube, solid state, and hybrid bass amps?

    These are some i've had in my mind:

    Peavey VB-2 (cant find in any store or find any reviews)

    Trace Elliot AH500-7 (a tad on the expensive side)

    Traynor YBA200 (how loud is 200w tube power?)

    Carvin BX600

    Ashdown ABM 500 EVO II

    Markbass TA501 (a tad on the expensive side)

    Ampeg SVT-3PRO (a tad on the expensive side)
  2. jphilauren


    Nov 8, 2007
    Take a look at the Hartke line, discontinued 7000 and 5000 series can be bought at a good price. They have a 12ax7 tube for tube distortion. They are small and not that heavy. I use them for small room gigs or when I don't want to carry a SVT.

    Best bass amp would be a SVT tube. Good luck
  3. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    If you are going to get Ampeg, either get all-tube or some other brand... you could spend your money better else where if it is SS or hybrid you want.
  4. Eden WT-800's are very nice.
    They are hybrid heads. They also have a discontinued WT-600. Very distinct and defined low/midrange sound.
  5. I hear awesome stuff about the Peavey tube heads (and at 300w, it should be PLENTY of tube wattage to get you through). That would be my number one suggestion, my second would be what I own: the Traynor YBA200.

    The Traynor is a GREAT all-tube amp and is the first and only amp that has pushed my 2x10 and 1x15 cabs hard enough to hear myself CLEARLY over my drummer and guitarist. You need to make sure you like tube tone before you get one though, if you like the ampeg sound, then you'll totally get that from the Traynor, you just won't get as much wattage from it. Now, if you're playing small/medium gigs at little clubs or coffee houses for teens then that amp and two cabs (i'd recommend the 2x10 and 1x15 setup if not a larger one) you should be able to hear yourself fine and the Traynor has a Direct-Out so you can plug into the house PA but still play through your cab and hear yourself well. The Traynor is also pretty light, its only like 40 something pounds whereas most tube heads are in the 80 or 90 pound range. I love the tube growl and ballsy tone, and if you play with a pick you will ADORE your tone. Get yourself a nice P-bass (or a Squier VM P-bass like i got lol) and it'll sound freakin awesome.

    But watch some youtube videos, demo videos and other stuff to make sure you like the tube sound. When I do pick, I like Chris Joannou from Silverchair's tone a lot and I TOTALLY get it with my p-bass and that amp, so I couldn't be happier but make sure it's the sound you want. I bought one from a fellow TB'er without even trying one....and I love mine =)
  6. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Traynor, the Ashdown, or the peavy at this point.

    Have they announced a date for the vb-3 yet?
  7. Don't totally neglect Carvin. They're solid amps and a great value for what you get.
  8. the only thing with the carvin is that not many people use them witch leads to a lack of reviews. Plus they dont have a showcase outside of california so i'm kinda weary to buy something before trying it. And plus their return period is only 10 days, not 30 like most places so even if i got it and didnt liek it i might not have time to send it back.
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Carvin BX1200 will give you the most power/tone and versatility/$ IMO/IME.
  10. How about this one? While you're at it, check out that entire thread. The VB-2 may not get much PR here because Peavey doesn't have the legion of shill posters here that other manufacturers seem to employ, but it's a KILLER amp, and I'm VERY picky about that.
  11. the VB-2 is looking better and better, now i just need to get some $, haha.

    Any info on the VB-3?
  12. At this point, the VB-3 is vaporware, and based on what I've heard about it, if it ever comes to be, my preference would be for the VB-2 anyway. Don't let numbers cloud your thinking. The VB-2 is VERY loud.
  13. neuromancer


    Apr 28, 2005
    CT, USA
    I didn't realize the VB-2 was as inexpensive (for a tube amp, at least) as it is: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VB2. I've never heard it myself; wouldn't mind checking that one out.

    While I love my SVT-3Pro, I agree that it's expensive if you pay retail. That said, there is (or was) a boatload of discounted new and barely used 3Pro units out there. I've heard of some people scoring them new for $450.00 - 500.00 USD, which is pretty damn good, imo.

    Another one you may want to consider would be the Yorkville XS-800h. It's discontinued now, although you can probably find some new-old stock out there if you do some digging.
  14. The VB-2 I tried ate my old SVT3Pro in tone and volume.
  15. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I can speak about the VB-3 now that I've inherited the project.

    It's being put in to production now. It will still be a few months before it's in stores.

    It will be around $2,000.00

    These will be built in fairly low quantities.
  16. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.

    What is going to be the difference between the V3 and V2?
  17. im pretty sure at this point that I'm going to go with the VB-2. ANy suggestions for cabs?

    I was thinking of getting an Avatar 4x10 neo cab and a 2x12 neo cab. Would this sound good or should i got with a 1x15 or a 1x18 instead of the 2x12?
  18. Gegatso


    Jan 16, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Tried 3 VB-2's when I was looking and they all had problems. Talked with some people and heard there are some inherent problems with the heads making them prone to a higher componet failure rate. Just what I heard and experienced.
    I went with an SVT 3 Pro btw.
  19. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.

    Could you elaborate on who you talked to and what the inherent problems are?
  20. mi6wik


    Jun 3, 2008
    Modesto, Ca
    Or You could just wait for the most amazing hybrid to come out on the tenth ; the fusion 550 by GK