Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Did not believe power of tubed amps...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by azsfcsh, Oct 12, 2005.


  1. azsfcsh

    azsfcsh

    May 31, 2005
    Gilbert Arizona
    Well, tonight i bought my first tubed head. Its the Carvin x100b. Its made for guitar, but reading on here that you can play a bass through a guitar amp, as long as its hooked up to a bass cab, i decided to buy it. I got it for $350, which i think is a good deal for 100watts of tubed power. I tried it a little tonight, and i couldnt turn it past 3 out of 10 with out shaking the walls. I didnt really believe in the power of tubed amps, because i thought you just wanted as many watts as possible. I have an SWR Workingman's 4004 amp that i was using before, but it was only 400watts at 4ohms. It seems that this tubed amp blows the SWR out of the water. The amp its self seems in good condition, but im not sure on the tubes, but they sound like it. Anyone else play through one of these amps, or have any reviews on it? Ill try to have some pics of it up tomorrow.
     
  2. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I knew someone who had one in the early 90s, used it for guitar though. It sounded great, very reliable, the whole band loved it. Then he sold it to buy a "famous name" amp, the band was unhappy and sound of the band as a whole was not as good, but he was stuck on his expensive name brand amp. Soon after he and his name brand amp were out of the band.

    They don't handle the low string of a 5 too well, but good tube guitar amps can be great as bass amps if you like the sound and they go loud enough.
     
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Part of that is the fact that it's a tube amp, but more is the fact that it's a guitar head which has a higher gain pre-amp than the average bass amp, the intent being to easily overdrive it into clipping. As long as it works for you that's all that matters, but it's more than just tubes responsible for what you're getting. Bass amps tend to have lower gain pre-amps so you won't be able to get them to clip easily, so you have to turn them up higher.
     
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Playing bass through tube guitar heads rocks. :cool: Try experimenting on the overdrive channel with sustain & feedback, it's alot of fun!!! Kept me interested in bass, and I learned alot from it.
     
  5. azsfcsh

    azsfcsh

    May 31, 2005
    Gilbert Arizona
    Sorry about not posting pics of this amp... Been really busy, and i still dont have any taken..

    But i do have a question about this amp. Ive been trying to do research on this amp, but either im not good at doing research, or something like that. Anyways, I read the manual on carvins website about the amp. It says its 100watts rms, but 250 watts peak. Which is wattage is really runing into the cab? Also, the manual says that the amp runs off of 4 el34's. But on the back of my amp, it labels the tubes in order, and it says that they are 6l6gc's. This labeling is printed on the steel plating of the amp, like the warnings and such on it. Are both tubes rated the same, or is one more powerful than the other? I was reading somewhere that 6l6gc's are around 33 watts each, but then i also saw on here, that they are around 25 watts each. Im not sure on the differences, but I was thinking about upgrading the tubes a couple of days ago, but I decided to check what tubes they were, and the manual and amp are not matching... So i passed on getting new tubes. I was gonna get new tubes to test the strength of the ones in there currently, but they sound fine and all, its just that I dont know how old they are. Some of the tubes have a bit of printing on them, but most of it is worn away. I believe they are original tubes, because one of them had the first three letters of the printing still intact, which were C-A-R, and the rest were worn of. Although another tube has the same sort of logo, well part of the printing anyway, of the first one i checked. I also read that the amps were made around 1986, so if that is the case, is it possible that the tubes are from the same date? Or could the have possibly replaced them with newer Carvin tubes? Also, there is a sticker near the tubes, that says that had been matinenced by a technician, and passed, but there is no date on that sticker. If you guys could help me find out some info on this amp, it would be greatly apreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The 100 watt rating is how much power it puts out when you're running it clean. When you're overdriving it (not a bad thing), the most it could put out is 250 watts. That's peak power.

    Dunno about the tubes thing, but IIRC alot of Carvin amps can be biased for either EL34s or 6L6s.
     
  7. azsfcsh

    azsfcsh

    May 31, 2005
    Gilbert Arizona
    So, could i get EL34's for it, and still have it work? I saw that some amps have like a switch for each type of amp, but i didnt see something like that on this amp. Also, im guessing that both would be the same wattage, so is there a tone difference in the types of tubes?
     
  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I think EL34s can handle a bit more wattage, and they also have a snarlier more "British" sound, that gets juicy in the mids when you push it. Most Marshalls use EL34s, whereas most Fenders use 6L6s. You can also get the EL34L from Bob @ eurotubes, which supposedly have 20% more clean headroom, which will be good if you're using this amp for a fairly strong clean bass sound.
     
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    From a quick search it appears that the x100b amp came in both 6L6 and EL34 versions, but the tubes are not interchangeable. From the quick search I did, it looks like the EL34 version is a later one. I guess Vai used to play these, and they later turned it into the Legacy model?
     
  10. azsfcsh

    azsfcsh

    May 31, 2005
    Gilbert Arizona
    Thanks.. so my version would be an older version? Not thinking about doing this anytime soon, but if i were to sell it, would that increase the value, or not?
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I don't know enough about Carvin amps to give you a good idea on value or desireability.

    I'd do a search with the model name and the tube types and dig through the links...I'm sure there are plenty of opinions...not to mention that you might consider posting on the carvin board for more information.
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Just make sure you post NOTHING, and I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing negative about Carvin on that board, or they will come to your house, burn it, rape your woman, kill your children, etc. I personally avoid going there at all costs. :rollno:
     
  13. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I dunno bout the Carvin, but in my experience with Crate guitar amps (hey its still a guitar amp) they can take 6l6 or EL-34, and some models that come with those stock can also take 6550s or KT-88s (which is a scary thought considering my guitarist :p ).
     
  14. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I just have taken up some tube experimentation which is it's own world. Haven't learned much yet but have learned some from amp manufacturers and amp repairmen I've spoken with and the following is more or less the jist so far.

    I've done more messing with pre tubes myself than power tubes but you can do a google search for like: 6L6 tube substitution, 6L6 tube conversion chart, 6L6 tube equivalent, or the like and get your answers for subs.

    Power tubes are expensive and you don't want to screw up and buy what you don't need. You also pay more for matched sets. The different tubes vary in gain and some tubes (seems EL34) in particular are more inclined to distort which is not desireable for typical bass application. Also some ARE NOT interchangeable and if you change to a different type in most amps the amp has to be rebiased by a tech (more dinero).

    One of the major differences between bass and guitar amps is the cap and filter values which alter frequency. Some guitar amps will effectively reproduce below 80Hz and some won't. Cap/filters can be changed but Caps/filters and transformers (and tubes for big amps) are where the bucks are in tube amps.

    To my knoweldge, most bass players that have ran through guitar amps have ran the top half of a stereo setup through them. The bottom will likely sound noticeably thin if it's not reproducing those frequencies because it's picking up the harmonics and not the fundamental of the note. Nothing real unusual about that in the bass world cause most compact bass cabs and and combo's do exactly the same thing and operate more around a low of 55Hz than 41Hz. Not critical but it does make a big difference to some players/bands. Anything above about 82 Hz (Octave E exactly and open G roughly and up on a 4 string) shouldn't be an issue cause it's a guitar frequency.
     
  15. You dont always pay more for matched sets, bob at euro tubes is good and your cheaper with sets than you are with single tubes
     
  16. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!


    Repeat, 6L6GC's and EL34's are NOT NOT NOT interchangeable in most amps.

    There are a few amps that will allow you to swap tubes but they all have special switches somewhere on the chassis or have a special Auto-Biasing circuit and if your Carvin had that it would say so right on the chassis. If it does not, do not interchange tubes or bye, bye amp.
    The EL34 tubes have extra grids in them that the 6L6's do not have.
    The EL34's are a Pentode (5 Grids) the 6L6's are a beam power tube (4 Grids).
     
  17. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Just to clarify,

    Are you saying he charges less for 6 matched tubes than 6 unmatched tubes?

    Obviously, given the same tubes, fewer tubes will cost you less money and you're probably going to get some kind of price break per tube in buying 6 tubes instead of one - shipping if nothing else.

    By the way, by matched I mean not just identical make/model of tube but identical specs. I never really thought about it, I just assumed that's what was meant by matched cause the same tubes new will vary spec wise. More an issue with used tubes I guess. Something to clarify at any rate.
     
  18. I know, bob only sells sets as matched sets, so a matched sextet would be cheaper than 6 unmatched individual tubes, shhhhhh, dont ruin my point :p