1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

External Tube Preamp W/ a SS Head

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ToddOfThunder, Nov 9, 2018.


  1. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    I bought a Tube Ultragain MIC 500 USB to use as a preamp and was trying to get some tube sound. Although it has “softened” my tone in a tube way it really only shines if used as a interface for recording. My question is, are there any tube pre’s that will sound closer to a all tube amp without dropping serious dough on a tube head?
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  2. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Suncoast HD3. Has two JJ 12AX7 tubes. I have Suncoast BC1, which is one serious piece of gear. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
     
    ToddOfThunder likes this.
  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    A good part of the elusive "tube thing" is the tube power amp stage. That's where a lot of an amp's character comes from. So while a tube preamp will get you some of that vibe it still won't get you all of it based on my own experience.

    However, if you ever find something that proves me wrong on that, please let me know? Because I really want to get one.:thumbsup:
     
  4. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    The Suncoast f2b .
    Correct sound custom
    Olympic
    Blue tube
    Noble
    Verellen
    Albit
    Frog pedals
    Broughton archetype
    Broughton p15

    I have about 15 tube pres .love them
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Ah, there's the rub! I've used a couple of tube pedal pre's that provide some grit / drive / warmth on the front side but fall short of providing the character associated with pushing a tube power amp "to the rails". The closest I've come is the Fairfield Barbershop and that purchase was based on the recommendations of @johnk_10 and other in-the-know TBers.

    Riis
     
  6. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    The vast majority of tube gear runs low voltage tubes that are there for marketing reasons rather than sound reasons. I have the behringer mic100 and 200 just like yours. Real tube gear is expensive. Tube sounds on the cheap means modelling these days. Look into the Zoom B3n or something, might be just the ticket on a low budget.
     
    ToddOfThunder likes this.
  7. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    Have you ever switched out tubes? I’m wondering if a different tube will give me different results?
     
    pellomoco14 likes this.
  8. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    I’ll look into that one thanks. I think I also saw an Art Tube rack mount with 3 or 4 12AX7’s in it but it was almost as much as buying a head.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  9. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I'm no expert, but you could swap a 12AX7 for a 12AU7 tube to get a cleaner sound. Jim at Suncoast is very helpful and would be the one to ask. Totally recommend.

     
    Low Down Brown and ToddOfThunder like this.
  10. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    Thanks, yeah this 500 really does well as an interface with the recording software that came with it. If I use some old school ear muff style headphones I can hear the tube sound pretty good but putting it into my signal chain doesn’t do much for my ears anyway. Needless to say I’ll be saving for a Ampeg PF50T or a V4B reissue.
     
  11. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    Thank you. What I was really hoping for was the breakup or distorted tube growl of a tube head so I’ll probably just save my pennies and get one.
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  12. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    I have an Ampeg B4R that I use and it’s basically the SVT 3 but without the tube preamp. Mine is all SS. I got it for a steal and being Ampeg it has a good tone already just not the tone I’m wanting.
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  13. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    Will do, i’ll probably keep searching but I’m going to get a tube head I think eventually.
     
  14. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I use an EBS Valvedrive di.Makes any amp sound tube like.has 2 channels and does amazing job as a an overdrive too.
     
    Zbysek and ToddOfThunder like this.
  15. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I have an Ampeg B2-RE which is another one of Ampeg's solid state heads. I use several different all tube preamps patched into the poweramp in or effects return patch points depending on whether I want to be pre or post master and it works really well, IMHO. I have Ampeg SVP Pro and SVP CL preamps as well as an Aguilar DB659 and an Arkham Bullet preamp and they all sound really good utilizing just the power section of my B2-RE. While it's probably not quite the overdriven sound of power tubes being pushed to the rails that you seek, it is a very good sound, IMHO.
     
    ToddOfThunder likes this.
  16. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    I love my Ampeg SVP preamp. It's packed with 5 tubes for the gain and eq stages. To my ears, this is the tone I've been looking for. I even bought another for a backup because I don't want to ever go without one.

    These aren't made anyone but can still be found used.

    Contrary to many, more of your tone comes from your hands, Bass, and preamp. The power amp just amplifies what you put into it.

    People are so infatuated with power tubes for the amplification stage.

    A good SS power amp will sound great.

    I already put a SVT CL against my SVP preamp and Class D amp using the same Bass and SVT 810 cabs and I much preferred the class D amp/SVP sound over the SVT CL.
    The SVT CL does sound good though, but at higher volumes, the higher power SS amp excels. The 300 watt SVT CL is adequate but can be limiting whereas with SS, much higher power amps can be used giving a cleaner, stronger Bass tone at higher volumes

    I still have the SVT CL for sale in the classified section if anyone is interested.
     
    ToddOfThunder likes this.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I see various Barbershop models used for $100-140 which is a lot of bang for the buck. I bought the Modele B because it was available and sports a footprint smaller than a Twinkie. The BS feeds an Ampeg SCR-DI 'cuz I need some type of tonestack. That being said, the two pedals "play nicely" together. I kinda wish Fairfields Circuitry would consider adding a 3 band EQ and DI to make it a true stand-alone preamp.

    Riis
     
    ToddOfThunder likes this.
  18. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    That is kinda what I was looking for! Good to know! Yes I’ve looked into the SVP and may consider it as well.
     
  19. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i've had several tube pres ... tried many cheaper units , and a few pricier ones .. i've settled in the middle $$$

    currently have an Eden tube warmer .. and yes, i changed the tube to one with slightly less gain ... i'm using a 1957 JG-5751 ... mil spec 80% gain pre tube ...
     
    Zbysek, DrZ and ToddOfThunder like this.
  20. ToddOfThunder

    ToddOfThunder

    Feb 9, 2016
    I’m gonna look into getting one of the SVP’s. If I can find one I’ll give it a try first. I mean 5 12AX7’s dang! You can really go wrong there.
     
    Engle likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.