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Got money.... Need gear.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mebusdriver, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. In the very near future I will be fortunate enough to be allowed to buy whatever type of amp and cabinet I would like. :bassist: This is awesome. HAHA. So I've decided to look at some tube heads..... and I've got a couple questions.

    1. Repairs... how often do tube heads require actual work? I see threads here all the time about tube heads crashing and failing at gigs. Are they really that troublesome or am I only seeing the bad. NOTE: I'm an electrical technician so I can fix most anything that breaks..... but who wants to fix stuff all the time?

    2. Tubes.. I know they're expensive but how often do I have to replace them? I mean..... whats the average shelf life of a set of tubes?

    3. Recommendations... So far I only know that I'm going to check the SVT-VR and the MB 400+. Any other models that I should seriously consider?

    4. Music... Seriously.... I play everything from punk rock to jazz. Can a tube head hang in all situations? Are they versatile enough? I'm really a bread and butter tone kind of guy so I don't think this will really matter for me. But you never know.

    ok thanks guys. any help is appreciated. if youve got a link to some already posted info I'll be happy to read if you dont wanna type. thanks:help:
  2. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    My 02: I'd divide my budget to get a modular setup so I could have a big rig and a grab'n'go rig. Maybe a tube head, 4 Ohm 410 and 8 Ohm 210 and a micro head. That'll cover it all. If you treat your gear well, it'll last long. Tube sets can last for many years-the bummer is that when it's time to retube it's pricey...up to a few hundred.
  3. Should have added that I have an 800rb already.
  4. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    If your worried about the cost of tube replacement you might want to stay away from the MB 400+ as it has what like 16 tubes. I've heard alot of good things about the Ampeg cl and vr.
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Unless you mistreat the amp, (non-matched impedance, overly pushing the gain, etc), a set of tubes can last several years. Preamp tubes can last for decades. As to musical styles, any amp can cover any style. That's more an issue of the player than the gear. Otherwise, it's an amp, and problems can arise no matter the amp's class, meaning SS heads break down just as often as tube heads do. Take good care of your gear, and it will take good care of you.
  6. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    The Fender Bassman 300 is worth looking at , weighs as much as a VR but is cooled by convection (no fan) which makes it quiet. IMO the quality is good with Fenders :cool:
  7. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Man, I'd be looking seriously at the Sadowsky SA200 if you've got the coin. Pair it up with the Schroeder/Epi/Berg etc cab of your liking and you're prolly done for life.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    1. & 2. -- I don't know where people get the idea that tube amps need fixing all the time....they don't. If you treat it right, it'll last at least as long as anything else will, if you abuse it, it won't. I know plenty of people who have amps (and tubes) older than me and they work fine.

    3. -- Search "tube amp" and you'll find about every one there ever was currently in production or not.

    4. -- They'll play whatever kind of music you can. Sure there are a lot of variables, musical tastes, playing ability, tone goals, etc. but you should be able to get a decent sound out of most any decent amp.
  9. pd1134


    Aug 27, 2008
    Chantilly, VA
    Peavey VB-3, Marshall MB-400, both monsters. Or that aguilar tube power amp and a VT Deluxe bass pedal would sound amazing and be very versatile for all of your tonal needs. As for cabs definitely aguilar or mesa if you have no spending limits.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
  11. The propensity for a tube amp to need work is no more or less than a solid state head and electronic problems are way exaggerated, IMO.

    I have a '76 SVT and the original preamp tubes are still going strong and had the original preamp tubes in my '81 Bassman as well. As far as power tubes go, I dunno... Maybe every 8 or 10 years under heavy use? If you don't run them hard they'll last longer. I generaly run both of my channels of my SVT at 10:30 or 11:00 so less than half.

    Anyway, others to consider would be Sunn 300s, Fender Bassman 300s, Peavey VB, and Trace V series.
  12. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    MB400+ and a MB 6x10 cab.

    That rig is Hos. I have teh M-2000. Good luck finding one. I will never, ever sell mine. I use it for Rock, Metal, Funk, Gospel, and even Jazz.
  13. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    WOW...fortunate indeed! If I were in your position I think, for new, I would be looking at Reeves, Ampeg Heritage, maybe something like the Ashdown Big Block 427. I'd also check into vintage tube heads.

    Which leads me to repairs. Given that you're a tech, you know with ss the general approach to repairing stuff with alot of circuit boards and surface mounted components is to replace the unit. Experiences from others who have had a need to have their ss Markbass equipment repaired indicate they have had to go to authorized dealer and pay big ticket prices for proprietary parts.

    People who have tube heads on the other hand can go to a reliable tech who has parts on hand (many times) and get their rigs serviced. So, in this situation I believe older technology maybe easier and cheaper to maintain in the longer run.

    You should consider how often you will be moving your gear around. A big tube head and cabinet is a workout.

    Have fun with your adventure!
  14. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    1. & 2. I service my car more than I service my tube amps and that's the way it should be. I have 9 tube amps and I've only ever had two serviced in the 5 years I've owned them. Why? Because I bought them run down and 40-60 years old.

    3. Marshall VBA400, Ampeg 300w tube heads, Traynor YBA-3, Markbass tube head, Fender Bassman 300

    4. I can adapt my Ampeg SVT-II to any situation via cab, bass, or playing style changes. I don't even need to touch the EQ. Modern, bright, snappy, all the way to boomy reggae. And that's just one of my (far too many) tube amps. ;)
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'd go straight to Genz-Benz and check their solid state amps with tube preamps. Their Uberbass cabs are fantastic. There's no reason to tote a boat-anchor tube amp around when you can get incredible sound with much less weight via Genz-Benz gear.

    If you don't go that way, do not worry about the longevity of tubes. I still have tubes in my 1967 Bassman that were in there when I got it...and I have a tube tester so I know they're good.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006

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