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Hand wired, tube, 200 watts or more...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eilif, Sep 26, 2008.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Ok, Here's the situation. I've been give the ok to get my dream amp when my wife gets out of school! This will be in a year and a half, so I am planning ahead hoping to gather all the info I need by then. I've been inspired by my father's philosophy to start acquiring gear that won't have to be replaced, and can be serviced and repaired virtually forever. Thus I am looking for a bass amp that is...

    1) All tube
    2) Hand wired (NO PCB!)
    3) 200 watts or more
    4) less than 3,000 dollars
    5) US or Euro construction

    I like deep, round tone, and currently have a Traynor YBA200 that I could be happy with for years, but I realize that it isn't "the one". As a general barometer of tone, I do like the Ampeg CL type of tone, perhaps even more than my Traynor.

    Here's the amps I've researched, and issues I am facing.

    1) Electric "green" amps. The amp that the Orange was. It's going to be nearly impossible to find one to try out, but I think I can find an Orange AD200 (not handwired anymore:scowl:) in Chicago. I found it intersting that it's not much more costly than the PCB board Orange AD200 If I like the Orange, I would go with the Electric. Any problems with this?

    2) Reeves. This one was reviewed in Bass Player, and if the pics are correct, the interior on this one looks really nice. I like the fact that it has more -but not too many- features(Balanced out, active/passive inputs, etc). It will likely be nearly impossible to find to play. It may be possible to find a HIWATT, which I have rejected based on cost. Any major differences between the HIWATT and the Reeves? Anyone have any comments on this one?

    3) Weber. Another HIWATT clone, this one from Germany. Anyone played one or even know what one costs in USD?

    There was one other handmade amp I found whose name escapes me, but I couldn't stomach the silver "L" swipe motif that graced it's exterior. Are there any others I should be aware of?
     
  2. If I were dumping that much money into an amp, I would want something more versatile than a 200 watt tube amp.

    Don't get me wrong, my main amp is a YBA-200 as well, but you're talking about a $2500 amp versus a $600 amp which will essentially get a very similar tone.

    I would hang on to your amp, pick up a LMII, and maybe some kind of high power hybrid amp... or an assortment of cabs.


    Now, if we are talking about the cool factor, I vote for the Electric green amp with the nicest flight case you can afford.
     
  3. K-Funk

    K-Funk

    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    Aren't the Mesa D180, 400 and 400+ hand-wired?
     
  4. Why?
     
  5. weirdbeard

    weirdbeard

    Jul 20, 2008
    well with electric your gonna wait awhile. i placed an order 3 months ago on a kt88 power unit and a 4x15 cab. they told me 40 working days on the cab and 6 months on the head. well here it is 60 working days and no cab. they tell me it ships next week that week comes and gos oh it will ship the next week that week has come and gone. also i,ve heard that people have waited 14+ months for their amps. you should keep an eye out for a 200 watt sound city. they some times go for under 1000.
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've seen just as many arguments against hand-wiring as for it. The only argument for hand-wiring that I know of is that it's not on a PCB; and the only argument against PCB that I know of it that it's not hand-wired. IOW I have not seen an argument with any substance there. People against PCB's say PCB's are more prone to breakage, but I don't think that claim is based on any facts.

    I'm not really picking a side or saying I know best- but I am saying don't get too caught up in the "hand-wired mojo mystique" unless you consciously want to.
     
  7. Here are a few more for you:
    1. Divided By 13
    2. Reinhardt
    3. Paul Ruby
    4. Traynor YBA-3A Super Custom Special
    A couple other guys to check with would be:
    Doug Roccaforte.
    Satellite Amps.
    Give Nik at Ceriatone a shout also.
    But you could try any of the amp builders really. Everything has a price. But if money is not a problem you could call Two Rock and Carol-Ann. It would not be that much of a stretch for those guys to build a Tube Bass Head. It might even be relaxing for them. All they can say is no.;)
    Good Luck
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you want SVT tone, just get an SVT.
     
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    What about a Sadowsky SA-200? I don't know if there are any PCBs in there, though. I agree with Andrew. Your criteria put some serious limitations on what you can get in volume and versatility. I'd be looking at Aguilar and Glockenklang, but the Glock probably isn't up your alley at all.
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Oh yeah, Alessandro. You can get a solid gold chassis at about $50K.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF

    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    Aren't some Marshall heads hand-wired?
     
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Get a Sunn 2000s.
     
  13. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
  14. Nikoubis

    Nikoubis

    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
  15. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    And to think of the speaker cab I could build with the $50k! Would make a hell of a lot more difference to the sound than a chassis whose predominant effect is to make the amp heavier...

    Alex
     
  16. Energy

    Energy

    Jun 20, 2006
    Germany
    for me, the weber mywatt 200 marks the end of a long quest for the perfect amp. i always wanted a hiwatt custom 200, my dream-amp. first, when i was a student, i couldn't afford one. later, they became so hard to find, and even if you found one, the price was ridiculous. so i gave up looking for one and tried to find an alternative. the weber amp is the alternative. if you like the hiwatt tone, this is THE amp. as for the price in USD, and the shipping costs, i think it would be best to ask max weber directly via e-mail.

    the reeves amps are exact re-builds of the hiwatt amps, but they are also quite as pricey as the hiwatts.
     
  17. musicelectronix

    musicelectronix

    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    I believe his arguement is not based on the sonic properties of the platform. I may be mistaken, but he prefers point-to-point, because he thinks any amp tech can troubleshoot it and fix it without any complication, which I believe is not that spot on.

    A straight-forward "old-school" designed tube amp (I mean no logic controllers, no relays [even so, but..], no junction field or any other rather "new" components on the signal path, etc) can be easily serviced whether it is wired point-to-point, PCB, components secured with a spider web, super-glued together or welded with elven magic. On the other hand, this type of amps "tend" to be point-to-point hand-wired; so this probabily is the reason of the confusion.
     
  18. I couldn't tell you if the wires were put in by hand or not, but the circuit board would probably put the OP off.

    Elven magic can be pretty tricky sometimes.

    IMO Hiwatt, Orange, and amps based on them won't sound too much like an SVT-CL.
     
  19. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    If i was in your position i'd get a vintage hiwatt in nice condition. It would probably cost over half the price of a new one. Make sure its got it's original partridge transformers.
    The military spec. point to point hand wiring in these is almost a work of art.. no wonder they say they are built like a tank. Take it to a good tech and it'll be as reliable as a new amp (maybe more reliable). They'll be tricky to get but you have 1 1/2 yrs to source one. Check them out on the net; plexi palace.
     

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