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Clean All Tube amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Son of Bovril, Jul 11, 2005.


  1. Is it possible to get a solid state (say swr,eden or EBS) clean Hi-fi type tone froma Sunn 300T/Fender 300 Pro?

    Or does Tube tone only good for Phat & Overdriven tones?
     
  2. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    My Trace does clean tone very well. It's very versatile. I mean, you wouldn't be able to get a sterile like hi-fi sound, but it does alright. There is always a warmth to it.

    Theres a difference between clean and hi-fi thugh, if you want SWR or EBS like tone, go SWR or EBS.
     
  3. Yeah, I understand what you are saying that there is always gonna be that tube warmth to it... I'm not so concerned about getting an exact SWR/EBS tone, as long as I can get a decent similar clean tone...
     
  4. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Maybe look for a Trace Hexavalve or some sort? I hear they're more 'hi-fi' than the V-Types..

    May I just ask, what do you want a tube amp for?
     
  5. Ok, well living in South Africa kinda puts a limit on the availability of gear... I'm looking to buy a good head to go with my EDEN 210xst cabs.

    The choices have come down to:

    Ampeg SVT4-PRO
    Fender 300 PRO
    EBS TD650

    I play heavy rock type music, but want the versatility to play jazz too...

    The Fender is the only all tube head in the lineup, so I wanna know how it compares to the others?

    My band: 16Stitch
     
  6. The point is, I have tried out the ampeg and the ebs - I prefered the ebs - and I have to wait like a month before they will get the Fender in for me to try out... so is it worth waiting for just to compare it to the ebs?
     
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've only played through the Fender 300 briefly in a store, but based upon my brief experience and upon the comments I have read from others who have used the Fender/Sunn, I am going to have to believe that it won't be quite as tonally flexible as you are hoping. Of course, I did not spend much time twiddling knobs, so maybe there's more in there than I might have realized. And swapping tubes can help to an extent, but that's more fine-tuning.

    Of the tube heads that I have tried which do seen to be really flexible, tone-wise, I think popinfresh hit the nail on the head with the Trace Elliot V-series and Valve-series. My V8 leans more to the "full clean" to "full on overdrive" side. My Twin Valve Combo does more of a "clean hi-fi" to "slightly warm, full tube" sound. I have a Quatra Valve on the way that I hope will be similarly versatile. :D

    The Aguilar DB 359 is a very full, yet very clear and precise sounding head. It is a tone machine, though to be honest, it doesn't seem that loud - even for a 200 watt tube amp. My Eden VT-300A is not as refined sounding as the 359, but it covers a very broad range of tones, including some fairly extreme overdriven tones. It has probably the widest range of tones of the tube heads I own (though my Mesa Boogie Bass 400 comes in today!).

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  8. Damn tombowlus, thats quite a collection of tube heads you are collecting there!

    I guess I should just wait and try the fender for myself and make a comparison from there... I get the impression that tubes are something you either love or don't really care about...

    The fender does have a much wider scope for adjustment (more EQ chouce) as well as more gizmos to play with (footswitchable compression and channels), but if it doesn't have the tone up front then that really all comes to nothing really!

    I wish the EBS had a footswitchable drive section and EQ - I would be sold in an instant!
     
  9. hey, has anybody put an ebs preamp through an all tube power amp? wonder what it sounds like (ss preamp and tube power section...)?
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Since my last post, I have had an opportunity to play the Sadowsky SA200. I hope to conduct a more thorough all-tube head shootout fairly soon, but let me just say that I am extremely impressed.

    Here is my initial thread on the SA200.

    Tom.
     
  11. Has anyone got a link to that old thread in which someone (Jokerjkny or IvanMike I think?) compared a whole bunch of top of the line tube heads against one another?
     
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Here is a link to a mergred thread that might be what you are looking for.
     
  13. I don't think it is in there, it was kind of a shootout between 6 or so amps... the V6 was the winner if I remember... other amps I remember included the 300T, the Ampeg CL and SVT2 pro
     
  14. AGCurry

    AGCurry

    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    An amplifier that doesn't give you a good clean sound (meaning free from distortion) is not a good amp, be it tube-based or solid state.

    There is no reason why a tube amp should should have any more or less distortion than solid state. The distortion of an amp should only be a factor when it is driven past its design limits.
     
  15. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I get a very nice clean sound from my Mesa 400+ after setting it the way I like it. Sizzling amp.
     
  16. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
  17. its not distortion I am talking about, maybe I phrased it wrong...

    What I am refering to is the clean tone... Tube amps never seem to be as clean as SS amps, something to do with the nature of the tubes and the added harmonics. Some amps have a better clean tone than others, and some are more transparent/hifi than others... what I'm asking, is what the Fender's clean tone is like?
     
  18. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    If you want clean tone snag an old Sunn amp like a 2000S. They are designed to keep clean until you have it on like 9.

    I heard that 300T amps aren't very clean, but that was probably with the dog trash tubes it comes with
     
  19. AGCurry

    AGCurry

    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Again: If an amp is "adding harmonics" it is either a) operating outside its design or b) not very good. A GOOD tube amp is just as capable of cleanliness as a good solid-state amp.

    The best tube amp for bass I ever owned was an Ampeg V4B, back in 1973. Why? Because it could achieve the greatest volume without distortion. It had a relatively clean tone, compared to the Fenders and Sunns I had played before.

    I have played through the Sunn head which became the Fender 300T. To my ears, it had a great clean tone...
     
  20. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The best clean tone that I have heard from tube amps (and these amps have very good/tight clean tone) would be (in no particular order):

    Trace Elliot Valve series
    Trace Elliot V-type series
    Trace Elliot VR/VA series
    Aguilar DB 359
    Eden VT-300A
    Mesa Boogie Bass 400
    Sadowsky SA200