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Good value tube amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by YuppyPunk, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    So I saw Dick Dale over the weekend. His bassist had the most amazing tone. I instantly decided that my search for "my sound" was way off and I needed to try a tube amp. The venue was small enough that I could get some glimpses as to what he was playing but only from behind. I think it was some type of vintage Fender.

    My cab is a Ashdown VS-212. I am looking for an all tube head that is good value that's will run at 8 ohms @ about 100 watts. I was checking out the Traynor VBA-1A. What other options are in the category?
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    S/H Peavey. But tubes aren't the magic thing alone its all about the circuit they are in.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Also, check to make sure what you were hearing was actually a tube amp, and not the bass player being DI-ed to front of house. Was there indeed an amp being mic'ed?
  4. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario
    If you like the Traynor sound you can find a Traynor Custom Special for $500-$600. I think there's one in the classifieds right now. This would be a great entry into the tube world and will fill out your Ashdown quite nicely. Pete Traynor was known for making a strong replica of the Fender Bassman preamp so you should be able to get something similar to what you heard with this amp.

    I see that a vintage amp store has one in stock here in Toronto: http://www.paulsboutique.ca/index.php?id=20120627204838

    No affiliation with the shop by the way.
  5. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    The cab was mic'd. I could only see his setup from behind, but I saw no DI or lineout.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If it was Dick Dale, I'd say there's every chance it could have been mic'ed. I hear he's pretty specific about what he wants, especially out of bass players.
  7. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    It was a pretty small venue. You could see the stage from 2 sides. The bassists was on the open side and I could see that had a tuner running into a splitter then into two tube amps in a road case that were facing away from me. They ran into 2 unlabelled 215's.

    He ran no effects, yet had this wonderful warm distortion and amazingly full sound.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's what cranking tubes a little juiced will do for you. Wish I could get away with it in my bands, but they even complain about the volume when I run a B-15 to that point!
  9. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    Obviously an SVT to that point is brain-meltingly loud. In your opinion is 100W into a 212 too much too?
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Can be in some venues. That's all situation dependent, though.
  11. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Depends on the band and the gig. My three piece likes clean tones so they won't let me use a 100w tube amp overdriving through my 410. It's loud enough but doesn't fit our low B country covers.

    Then again, my folk band will probably never need more than my B-15 or B-12XTC and that's assuming we even plug in. Those amps don't even put out 50 watts.
  12. I still see bassman heads for $500-600. As long as you get a non PCB version it can always be modded back to something more in line with early fender.
    Traynors used to go for $200-300 all the time. But the collector nerds (and guitarists!) are on to the secret. A yba-1a can be modded to fender bassman spec OR to Marshall Plexi spec. Since they were all working from the same basic circuits. Though it is easily surmised that Pete Traynor and Jim Marshall did "borrow" a bit from Fender.
    I guess the main differnces being 6L6 power tubes for Fender, 6ca7 or EL34 for Traynor and KT66 (or 6550 or EL34) for Marshall.
    Oh yeah, and old Ampeg V4 heads show up cheap from time to time.

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