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Darkglass Microtubes 900 Class D Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Spector2112, Jan 20, 2016.


  1. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I have had zero issues with mine.
     
  2. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Just got mine, used, and I don't use it a ton (hobbyist). No issues yet. Not sure of the warranty policy. Doug really went out of his way to help me with a B7K issue a couple years back. I expect he'd fund a way to work with you, as best he can, if an issue arose. That said, I'm curious about the stated policy.
     
  3. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    Does anyone know if the Microtubes 500 comes with the footswitch also? It looks online like it doesn't, but that kind of doesn't make sense since the 900 does. Very curious as I might have to order a footswitch also if it doesn't come with one, and if that is the case then I might as well order it together. Thanks in advance.
     
  4. Cuzzie

    Cuzzie Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    No footswitch
     
  5. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    :rage: :spit:
    Damn, that is not what I wanted to hear lol. Looks like I have to factor in another $99. Maybe I can get Sweetwater to swing me some kind of Black Friday deal. Thanks.
     
    Cuzzie likes this.
  6. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    Well Sweetwater was able to give me a fantastic deal on both the Microtubes 500 and a footswitch after a little bit of haggling. But Sweetwater is great to work with especially when you have a sales engineer who really does try to work with you. So good news is I will have my amp next week, bad news is the footswitch is out of stock and it could be after the holidays before they have them in. No biggie, I'm not afraid of pushing buttons on the amp for now.

    After I get to know the amp and gig it (which is where the real test lies) I'll post my thoughts on it since there doesn't seem to be too much on it and this thread is actually for the Microtubes 900. Just in case anyone is interested.
     
    bjelkeman and Cuzzie like this.
  7. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    So I finally got the Microtubes 500 this week and since I had no show, I was able to spend a few hours with it tonight. Running it with the Microtubes Engine off, the amp sounded pretty similar to the Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2. I just had to increase the bass and low mids a hair on the 500 and it was in the ballpark, not exactly but pretty similar.

    The size also surprised me. It is tall and bulky looking but not very wide or deep. It is actually a pretty small boxy looking amp. Not TE Elf or GK MB200 small but still on the small and light side. I took a picture of it on top of several other amps pyramid style to give everyone an idea of its dimensions.
    IMAG0288. IMAG0286.
    I played with it for a while and doing an a/b with a couple other amps to see how it sounds without the engine on and it is a pretty nice sounding head. But of course if you are looking at buying this head, it is for the Microtubes Engine and it did not disappoint. I liked how the VMT gives you an overdriven middy sound while the B3K is more scooped and percussive. Although you can still change the nature of each with the EQ.

    Of course the gig is where the real test lies and I'll come back and let all of you know what I think of it after a little more time if anyone is interested. So far I am happy with it although I did expect it to kick more than it does being newer technology. The Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2 and TC RH750 seemed to have more heft and kick to them than this amp did. But the distortion is really good. Maybe after I play with it a little more it will, we'll see.
     
  8. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    I wonder if there would be any difference between m900 by itself and B7KU/VMTU plugged into a power amp?
     
    bassooka likes this.
  9. bassooka

    bassooka

    Feb 24, 2007
    Belgium
    I run a B7K Ultra in a SVT-300 (just the power amp of the SVT II non pro) and it is verrrrry nice. There are probably some out there who would say it doesn't matter to use a non tube preamp with a tube power amp but I am very happy.
     
  10. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Considering dropping down to a 500. Smaller size. Still enough EQ power. Probably loud enough, with my Barefaced BB2 (-3dB, right?). Anyone made the transition or compared/contrasted them IRL?
     
  11. Not really, assuming the power amp is clean Class D. The M900 uses a typical Ice module so nothing special, just a solid clean power section. I used a B7k into an Aguilar head for a long time. It's just nice having everything in one package with the M900.
     
  12. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Pushing the 2-ohm button turns it into a lower wattage amp. Is it a money thing? I get that.
     
  13. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    No. Just a miniaturization thing. It’s a tad smaller, and would fit better in my existing gig bags/cases.
     
    tallboybass likes this.
  14. pbass6811

    pbass6811

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Well, thanks to a desire to find a slightly grittier tone, a desire to continue to lighten my schlep, a desire to NOT hafta have any kind of back surgery, and my unabashed man-crush on Doug Castro, I just ordered an M900(with the bag and the super intelligent fs)! I've been reading different threads and watching YT vids and I'm fairly convinced this will get me where I want to go. I've been wanting to dirty up my tone ever so slightly without giving up my beloved clean sound.

    I'm currently running either my Mesa D800+ or my Arkham Sound Zephyr Tube Pre or Empirical Labs Mike-e preamp with a QSC GX7 power amp into a Barefaced Big Twin II. I recently got a B7K Ultra to put on my board along with a Super Symmetry. I'm wondering if I'll still need the B7KU? I'm thinking that I can now set up the B7KU for all-out grind and keep the amp clean and just dial in a bit of drive for stuff that needs it.

    It should be here Thursday or Friday and I have a gig Saturday night, so it shouldn't take long to figure out if I'm on the right track.
     
    Pleasurewizard and ev223 like this.
  15. bjelkeman

    bjelkeman Bass player wannabe

    May 9, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have a B7K which I hardly use now when I have the M900. Surprisingly I run the VMT effect more than the B3K effect in the amp.

    On my small board I put the AO instead of the B7K.
     
  16. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    After owning the Microtubes 500 for a couple weeks now I thought I would give some more thoughts on it for anyone that might be interested. I took it to band practice last night at a club where the owner is very cool with us and lets us practice there free of charge while still giving us good drink specials. Anyway that is another story. I now come to realize that the master appears to be more linear than most amps. I was running the amp last night with the gain about 2:00 and the master at the same and it was really kicking and pushing some air.

    That may seem a little extreme but it was actually producing about the same amount of volume as say a Shuttle 6.2 with the gain at about 2:00 and master below 12:00. And it still seemed as it could go further. Engage the Microtubes and with the level knob it can get ridiculously loud. I ran it with a GK NEO 410 4 ohm cab. I'm pretty happy with how it punches and cuts through a mix with the EQ flat and no microtubes engaged.

    Actually I purchased this amp for the Microtubes Engine, but am starting to see that I actually like the amp better without it engaged. It is pretty punchy, but once you engage the Microtubes Engine a lot of the punch is lost and the amp runs more grindy than I thought it would. I still need to work with the blend and gain more to find some breakup that still punches for me.

    Also I ran the gain at about 2:00 to introduce some compression that is really cool, but even with the Microtubes off it still produces some grainy sounding artifacts when playing hard that I was not too keen on. Not sure if that is the best way to describe it as it is always hard to explain sound. But again the punch, it's cut through ability and amount of air it was pushing really made up for it. I think lowering the gain should help take care of that.

    I'll be gigging with it both Saturday and Sunday and am thinking about lowering the gain to about 12:00 and the blend to about 9:00 and see how that works out with the Engine engaged. That may take care of the missing punch with the Engine engaged and also clean up the grainy artifacts with the Engine off. And maybe hopefully I don't loose too much compression.

    I'll report back again after the weekend for anyone who may be interested. I know this is a 900 thread, but I didn't think anyone would mind, since it's essentially the same amp minus some wattage, and really didn't want to do a NAD thread.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  17. You shouldn't be getting any distortion when just running the ICE module. Do you have another cab you could try it with?
     
  18. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    Yes I do. I'll probably be using 2 TC Electronic K212 cabs on Saturday and maybe back to the GK NEO 410 on Sunday. I don't seem to get those artifacts at low volume. I was just actually using it right now with 2 TCE RS210 cabs and a Sterling Ray 34 with the gain lowered to 12:00 and the hi-mid lowered to about 10:30ish and it sounded pretty good.

    I really don't think it was the cab reason being is that it only sounded that way playing hard as if maybe some gain stage clipping, but I'll have a better feel for it after this weekend. Thanks for the feedback. Something to keep in mind.
     
  19. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    I ran it right now at home exactly like I did last night with the RS cabs and damn that was freaking loud. Too loud for home use lol. And it sounded great. But then again I didn't play hard right now cause it was already insanely loud. I'm sticking to my plan of using the K212's Saturday and the GK NEO on Sunday and see what happens.
     
  20. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    Ok, so it is now early Tuesday morning and I did say that I would be reporting back on how the amp did again over the weekend with 2 days and 3 bands of use. I used 2 Sterling Ray 34's and the ESP B-4Z pictured. Here is a picture of it from the Friday night show:
    Darkglass Mega Bar.

    You can tell from the settings that I lowered the gain and Hi Mid and the amp sounded better to me. On Sunday I decided to dime the Master and control the volume with the gain which sounded even better, but the DI level was too low for FOH below 10:00 so I had to leave the Gain there and adjust the volume with the Master. Sounded good but there is still some grind at high volume that is just not going to go away. Not bad but it is definitely there.

    This amp is loud, cuts through with ease and is very articulate, but the clean side is still not completely clean. It is very reactive to how hard or soft you are playing. I received compliments from another bass player in the crowd who was impressed that it was a Darkglass and was seriously thinking about purchasing a B7K pedal even more so now. He plays in an original metal band so I can definitely see this amp totally being his thing.

    I am liking the amp more now since it is different from my other amps and somewhat similar to a GK with the boost kicked up, but with 2 really good distortion pedals built in. The VMT with Blend cranked to about 3:00 and Drive at 12:00 did a pretty convincing Ace of Spades while the B3K with Blend at about 10:00 and Drive at 12:00 sounded great on Slither.

    Pros:
    Very loud an punchy.
    Articulate and cuts through easily. You will not get lost with this amp.
    Great distortion with the VMT and B3K.
    The fan is silent.
    Amp is still cool after an all night show.

    Cons:
    With the Microtubes Engine off the amp is still not completely clean, but not bad if that's your thing.
    Gain needs to be at 10:00 or higher for a decent level out through the DI.
    The writing on the front of the amp is too small to read on stage so you better learn it.
    Doesn't come with a footswitch like the 900. :rage:

    A small part of me keeps thinking that I should have purchased the Magellan 800 instead as I really like the Genz Benz amps I own, but when I play Let There Be Rock, Slither, Ace of Spades and For Whom the Bell Tolls I can't help but smile. This amp was definitely made for that type of music.