Good Tube Amp Heads ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CanadianEh, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. CanadianEh


    Jun 29, 2013
    I recently had to sell my GK Backline 600 and Traynor Cab :crying: Well now I have money flow again and really need to get a bigger amp. I currently have a 15w bedroom warrior practice amp and its alright, but I cant go out and jam with my friends or anything as it just cant cut through their gui****s and drums no matter how loud I crank it.

    I have seen a few videos comparing solid state to tube bass amps , and the tubes were always absolutely phenomenal in volume and clarity. I am unsure of what a good tube head is though for rock/indie rock and some, should I say it, metal :bag:

    Can anyone recommend me some tube bass amp heads ? Sunn, Orange, Ampeg, whatever works, just trying to get some feels for what is good and what to stay away from
    Bassman.1980 likes this.
  2. WhiteNinja


    Jan 20, 2011
    Ampeg SVT and Hiwatt DR201 are awesome tube amps for bass, imo. Orange AD200, too. There are quite a lot of good tube amps out there. Great thing about them is that many of the guitar tube amps also work really nice for bass, provided you have a bass cab, of course.
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    There are lots and lots of different ones.

    You looking new or used? Budget?
  4. CanadianEh


    Jun 29, 2013
    Looking to buy used, my budget is roughly $1400 for a used tube head
  5. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Well, you'll have quite a few options to choose from, then.

    I would think that in Canada Traynors could be had for pretty low prices used, well under that.

    $1400 should be able to get you a used Ampeg SVT, Mesa D-180/400/400+, Fender 300pro, etc.

    What sorts of sounds are you looking for (cleaner versus more overdriven, mid-present versus scooped, etc.)? How much power do you need? Do you favor more EQ control or is a more minimalist preamp section fine?

    There really are a LOT of different options.
  6. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    Trace Elliot V4 or V6, you'll never want another tube amp unless you find a V8
  7. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    A Peavey VB2 can be had for $800 or so new.

    The Peavey VB3 is around $1700 new, and is a really kick ass amplifier. I plated one and was really impressed. Not sure if you can find one used, but I doubt you would be disappointed.
  8. nightwulf


    Feb 27, 2011
    Edmonds Wa
    For the money, IMHO, you'll get much better sound out of a Genz Benz than you would an Ampeg...just not that impressed with them compared to other tube amps...and you can likely find a used Streamliner 900 for in the neighborhood of 6-700 bucks...which leaves you a good chunk of cash for a cab...
  9. The new Fender Bassman amps are beauties too.
    I've got the 300w Super Bassman & am VERY happy with it.
    I WAS gonna get an Ampeg SVT-VR but while searching a few reputable "gear-heads" recommended I try the new Super Bassman. I had the Traynor YBA300, which is a lovely 300w all tube amp at a great price.
    I was looking for a versatile amp with 2 channels & was prepared to forego the 2 channel option if it had "THE" tone-which the SVT-VR has. But still, ppl were recommending me try the Fender SB300.
    I'm SO glad I did. It has "THE" tone AND 2 channels. Also, here in Australia, it's retail price is WAY cheaper than the SVT-VR's retail price. And it's lighter weight- not by much, but still...:thumbup:
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    He asked about tube amps. Genz Benz doesn't make any tube amps.
  11. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Without more info, here's a list of tube amps I know of that can be had for $1400 or under.

    Mesa D-180
    Mesa 400
    Mesa 400+
    Ampeg SVT (various models, vintage, CL, VR, etc.)
    Ampeg V4/V4B
    Ampeg SVT-2/SVT-2Pro
    Sunn 2000S
    Sunn 1200S
    Sunn 200S (cheaper but relatively low power)
    Fender Bassman 300 Pro
    Fender's new bassman models (I think they can be found $1400 or under sometimes, at least the little one can)
    Peavey Classic 400
    Peavey VB-2 (if you can find one used, a VB-3 might be affordable as well)
    Traynors of various models
    Sound City (sometimes under $1400)

    There's a lot more I'm forgetting, but those are the ones I can think of just off the top of my head.

    I didn't include Marshalls, Oranges, or Traces, as I'm not sure how much they are on the used market.
  12. CanadianEh


    Jun 29, 2013
    Thanks for the list ! I love the sound of Ampeg and will make sure to check out a few of these as well, I will let you all know what I end up getting
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    My vote goes to Ampeg as well. Good luck finding an SVT II non-Pro, but if you can find one I'd go for it in a second. You could easily find a good, used SVT CL or SVT VR for $1400 or less ( I paid $900 for my '06 CL and I love it). There are threads here detailing the difference between a CL and a VR. Might be worth it to check them out. I use my CL the same way Jimmy M. does which pretty much gives you the same thing as a VR. I think I prefer the CL over the VR and I am glad that I got one that was made here in STL, though Jimmy swears he can hear no difference. A used Ampeg 810 can be had in the $500-$600 range. I got mine for under $400 but it had no tolex on it.
  14. CanadianEh


    Jun 29, 2013
    I have found a few SVT-CLs for $900-$1000 with minor wear and tear to them, is there a huge difference between the American made Ampeg tube heads and the foreign made ones ??????
  15. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Jimmy says that tonally they are identical to his ears, but given the choice the US made ones are preferred for the US trannys.

    I would have chosen the US made one regardless. ;)
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    To clarify, I have both an SLM made head and an SLM made cabinet from 2006, so the idea of a perfectly matched rig appealed to me. If price were a factor I wouldn't hesitate to get a Vietnampeg. I think it is easy enough to find a US made CL for a grand though.
  17. CanadianEh


    Jun 29, 2013
    Thank you for the input! I am willing to spend the extra $$$ for a SLM Ampeg head! I want to get two Ampeg 810 cabs as well, I figure for under $1200 I could find two, condition doesnt matter to me, [DEL]I just want to be louder then my gui**** for once[/DEL] maybe not louder, that is impossible, just be heard :smug:
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    You can easily find 2 for under $1200. Another one is on my list too. I doubt that I would use both on many indoor gigs, but I am just gassing for 2 so damn bad. lol

    The CL will easily drive them both. ;)

    I am finishing mine with truck bed liner. I am not particularly worried about so I will be using the $7 rattle cans from Wal Mart.
  19. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Also, I doubt very, VERY seriously you will have an issue being heard with the SVT driving just one of them. I was a little worried before I got mine because I was used to a 1000 watt SS amp and an RBI with a full stack. I play in a pretty loud hard rock band. The CL has more headroom. I run my master at 3:00 and my gain is usually at about 2 1/2 or 3. ( 9 o:clockish). You can hear me. Believe that.
  20. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    Max Weber in Germany builds a wonderfull amp by taking the specs of old Hiwatt-amps. This Amps are called "MYWATT". No compromises, only one channel and a sound that comes near to the old Hiwatt-Amps, power to blow anything out of the water. From 200 Watt to 300 Watt, and maxed out 400 Watt the front end is the same, just the poweramp changes. The specs are shown on his site.

    Lots of german, austrian and swizz bass players swear that they never have heard anything like this. The amps are known all over Europe. He only sells by mailorder, so he keeps real reasonable prices.

    Just have a look on his website, delicious all-tube-menu.