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Eden VT-300 all tube Vs. Eden WT-800 Hybrid

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by booch, Jun 20, 2005.


  1. booch

    booch

    Aug 12, 2004
    Hi,

    I'd just like to get some opinions on the VT-300. Tube sound is great, but tube power amps tend to have smaller and "slower" output (hence hybrid amps).

    In comparison with, say, the WT-800, what pros and cons could you list? I am hesitating between these two. Pricewise I'd take the WT-800 any day, but I want a long term investment, possibly not having to upgrade/change gear for at least 10 years...

    Thanks!
    Booch
     
  2. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, I own the Eden Navigator pre, which (along with a competent power amp) sounds relatively similar to the WT-800, and I also own a VT-300A. The sound is worlds different. To my ears, the hybrid Eden preamps/amps sound very good, but not necessarily "tube like." The VT-300A is an entirely different beast. For some of my thoughts on the VT-300A, check out this thread.

    Tom.
     
  3. because of the way tube amps clip they do not need to be several hundred watts more, like SS amps, and most of the tube sound will come from the tube output, not the tube pre
     
  4. booch

    booch

    Aug 12, 2004
    Tom,
    Thanks, I am reading the thread. Serious read, on the least...


    Mohawk,
    What's the point of hybrid amps then? Do you think they don't have that Tube sound? Having never played a hybrid before, I can't tell.

    Booch
     
  5. 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 should add that while it is possible that this is true with some amps, do not think of this as a generalization of tube power amps. I presume that you have never heard an Aguilar DB 680 into a DB 728, nor have you heard a Trace Elliot V8. :p To my ears, there is nothing "small" or "slow" about the output from either of those!

    Tom.
     
  6. booch

    booch

    Aug 12, 2004
    True, I haven't played an Aguilar yet, although their reputations is over the top. Until now I have only had SS or tube amps.

    What's the advantage of using a preamp/poweramp combo instead of a complete package (to stay at the Aguilar exampla, say, a DB750)?
     
  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
    So, are you saying that you've tried all ss and all tube, but no mix and match?

    Well, the mix and match thing is pretty cool. But the main "advantage" as I see it to the 680/728 over the 750 is the tube power amp, and a slightly more flexible EQ in the preamp. Conversely, the main "advantage" of the 750 over the 680/728 is size/weight, though certainly some people prefer the ss power section, and would consider that a "plus." It's certainly a matter of personal preference.
     
  8. booch

    booch

    Aug 12, 2004
    Yes, until now I've only tried either SS or all-tube amps. That's why I don't know what to expect using a hybrid or a high-class all-tube.

    Thanks for the info on mixing pre and power amps, it seems to make more sense now!

    Booch
     
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Which all tube heads have you tried? If you are into the "tube thang", but want to avoid some of the low end "mushiness" which you occassionally find in tube amps, the VT-300 is not a bad choice. The only downside would be the reliability concerns (though I have had no problems) and the fact that it is not that loud for a 300w tube amp. Many would say that it is loud enough, but a vintage SVT will blow it away.

    If you are looking for a true "keeper" in the all-tube head department, keep your eyes out for a Trace Elliot V8. Dang, is that one nice amp! It's just about as flexible as the Eden, tonally, and can also sound good at a variety of volume levels. But it just crushes it in overall volume, and it has a very present, almost palpable tone. Truly a classic. Check out my blog for more information.

    As to the preamp/power amp route, again, if you are into all the things that tubes do well, but want to keep things tight and punchy, the 680/728 setup is superb. Very dynamic and expressive, and gives a "3D like" feel and "texture" to the sound. I also own a Demeter VTHF-300M tube power amp, which a bit more smooth and silky, and has a more full low end, though I find the 728 to be more punchy and cutting in the low end.

    One of the more common routes to explore is a good tube preamp (Aggie 659 or 680, Alembic F-1X, either Demeter, Read Purity, Kern, etc.) with a good solid state amp (Crest CA9 if weight is not an issue, Stewart World if it is). These will give you some tube tone but SS tightness and control. And as you mentioned before, the Aguilar DB 750 does this all in one unit.

    Lots of options out there!

    Tom.
     
  10. booch

    booch

    Aug 12, 2004
    Tom,

    thanks for the info, it helps a lot!

    Unfortunately I'm not in the financial league to mix equipment as I like. That's why I kinda fell on the WT-800 and VT-300.

    You haven't mentioned the WT-800 tone yet. Do you think it is not on the level of these amps? What can I expect from it?

    I have a GK-1001 now and the thing I don't like about it is its lack of softness. Seems to "clack" too easily, kind of like a "plastic" tone. Until now I thought it was of the SS, and hoped a hybrid/alltube would help eliminate this lack of warmness from the sound.

    Booch
     
  11. 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 have not gigged with a WT-800, but I've spent plenty of time with my Eden Navigator with a SS power amp, which from what I recall of the sound of the WT-800 (played it in a store a couple of times) is just a tad more tight and clear, with the WT-800 being a tad bit more warm. I generally use the Navigator set flat on the EQ, but with Enhance turned up to about 9 o'clock. This mild mid-cut, bass/treble boost seems to get it closer to what I would call a "flat" sound. Without any Enhance dialed in, I find my Navigator to be fairly present in the mids, but not as clear or as tight as it sounds with a bit of Enhance. The overall tone is full, yet clear. I like the parametric EQ's, as these allow me to correct for any room deficiancies, or to eliminate feedback when I play upright.

    All in all, I think that the "Eden tone" is one that a lot of people will like. It does a very good job of balancing a relatively full sound with a relatively clear, articulate tone. There are other heads that I prefer over Eden heads, and other preamps that I like at least as well as the Navigator, but IMHO, Eden gear is very good and well worth considering.

    I'll let others give you more insight into the WT-800. Munji, are you out there? :p

    Tom.