Heads with builtin distortion (high gain)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by superbassman2000, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. hello, i am looking for a future head (and when i say future, i mean distant future) with a built-in distortion channel, like a few of the gk backline series head, and i just was thinking about that tech21 head with the builtin sansamp di or something like that. are there any others that i don't know about, i think there's an ampeg head with built-in high gain channel,but i am not sure. can anybody give some advice? yes i also realize that by the time i actually get a new head, there probably will be a few more heads like this on the market, but i want to know everybody's opinions regardless.
    Thanks, Charlie
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The GK backlines have horrible distorsion, as well as horrible clean tone. However, Yorkville has a new 400 watt beast that has a tube overdrive/distorsion channel, that many say is very good. Genz Benz and Mesa Boogie also have amps with tube overdrive/distorsion that are very good as well.
  3. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    If 400 watts isnt't enough for you try out a Sunn 1200S / Fender Bassman 1200. 1200 watts @ 2 ohms, 800 @ 4 ohms. It has a two channel tube pre-amp with channel one being clean and channel two has overdrive available. You can also have the option to blend the channels together and it is footswitchable.

  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Ah yes I knew I was forgetting something.

    Also, if you love the sound of tubes, try the Sunn 300T/Fender Bassman 300.
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Isn't that all solid state? :confused: :spit:
  6. How about a preamp? The Ampeg SVP-BSP is dual channel, combinable.
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Although it is not footswitchable, the tube overdrive on the Mesa Boogie M-Pulse line up amps (including the Walkabout) is very, very nice.

  8. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    One thing to keep in mind: if you buy a head with built in distortion, you may or may not like the tone of the distortion. At least with pedals you can choose the pedal you like that works well with your head.

    For HIGH gain distortion, the Mesa D-180 head is incredible, it actually has the same high gain preamp as the original Boogie guitar amps...but you'll have to buy a used one since they haven't been made for over a decade. Also, there is no way to switch the distortion in and out, you have to adjust the volume controls.
  10. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Yorkville XS400H

    'nuff said.
  11. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Sure is,why do you ask?
  12. ampeg makes the B5R, which is very similar to the SVP-BSP, except that it has an internal power amp. i have a BSP, and i try to use a B5R when i'm trying out basses to get an idea of how they sound.

  13. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    That's like saying Taxis are bad because they are not Limousins. You get what you pay for. I paid $300, and I got a GK head. It's no Aguilar, but it gets the job done. The distortion is actually quite good. I agree with you that it is not great clean, but I don't think it's horrible. It doesn't sound any worse than any of the other solid state heads. I plan on keeping it until I can afford a tube head.
  14. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Bip:ninja: :hyper:
  15. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I was waiting for someone else to comment on this.The GK Backlines are not horrible by any means.They are meant as an amp for the young player who is just starting out or as a good home/practice amp for the intermediate/advanced player.IMO they serve this purpose quite well.The high gain channel is very good when used sparingly and the clean tone sounds just like the more high end GK amps to my ear.All these posts where people go around bashing everything THEY don't like when really it's all a matter of taste.Jack Bruce plays a Hartke rig and i'm quite sure he doesn't give a !#$! what anyone thinks about it.Be true to yourself and your playing and let the gear snobs waste time arguing about gear while you spend your time actually playing......
  16. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    Ampeg B5r
    Has two channels, clean and distortion.
    The overdrive and clean can be combined. Both channel switching and channel combine are footswitchable.

    The distortion channel has a gain and volume control, plus a 5 position voicing switch and bass/mid/treble.

    I do not use much overdrive, so I usually play through the clean and add a touch of distortion through the combine function.

    At first, I will tell you the distortion channel on its own sounds terrible. Play with it a little, check out the different voicings, and try the two channels combined. I can get some really good sounds out of mine with an Avatar 2X12

    A very flexible distortion channel. I bought mine for $489, and it is 500w into 2 ohms.