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Help need opinions on tube heads,tube emulators,Ampeg ect

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Outlaw_son, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Outlaw_son


    Mar 8, 2007
    So after playing bass though SS rigs ever since I began playing,I have been itching to purchase a tube amp lately. I stumbled across the two videos below and instantly knew I wanted that tone. Now I never really researched what the whole pushed tube overdrive tone actually sounded like and now with these clips its clear as day,I f*cking digg it!



    Now Id just buy it and get the whole thing over with but the 100w just wont cut it for my situation. Im thinking 200w+ tube heads or 500w SS would be enough juice for my needs. So I have questions for you tube users and Ampeg users out there.

    The setting I liked best was when he had the master cranked and the gain about just past noon.

    1. Is that tone specific to just the V4B and or Ampeg?
    2. How does one amps overdrive character differ from anothers?
    3. Can other tube heads/emulators achive that grindy richness?
    4. Do any of Ampegs SS heads achieve this tone?
    5. Is it possible for any SS heads to achieve this? Possible with pretubes maybe?
    6. How much of that overdriven tone comes from the pretubes?
    7. What other heads could cop me that tone?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. You can get similar tones out of the V4B, B-15 and the all-tube SVT's. The SVT's are the only ones that will make you puke with volume, though.

    2. Different tubes and transformers make different amps react differently.

    3. Yes and no. Yes, they can be overdriven with volume, but no, I don't think any of them sound quite like the Ampegs.

    4. Sort of but not really.

    5. See answer to #4.

    6. Pre tube distortion can sound cool, but the really good grind tones come from power tubes and output transformer.

    7. There are some custom builders who could probably get pretty close, but none of the commercially available amps sound quite like Ampegs to me. Most aren't trying to imitate Ampegs, and most are built a different way with different tonal goals in mind.

    Don't underestimate a V4B, though. If you're overdriving them, you can get enough volume to get you and your band fired from most any respectable gig. Rarely would it not be enough.
  3. Outlaw_son


    Mar 8, 2007
    Thanks I was hoping you would chime in Jimmy. As i stands now I run a GK700rbII through a Ampeg 810 and Ive never had to go much over half power of the GK. So assuming I usually push 200-250 watts at gigs,would the V4B get into that grindy territory and be enough volume wise in your opinion? Wish I could give one a spin but selections is slim pickins around here. Thanks
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Every situation is different but I think it would...when you crank it, you can get as much as 200w peak power out of it, plus it's a pretty loud 100w clean to begin with. However, I can't say for sure.
  5. Outlaw_son


    Mar 8, 2007
    Well we are hooked up through PA's at just about every venue in town so I guess my rig has been a more of an stage monitor for myself and my drummer and most of the stages we play on are medium to small in size. We are a louder rock band with a loud drummer and just one guitarist with a 100w half stack. I might just bite the bullet and order one,could always return it if it doesnt work out.
  6. Just remember that power tube grind will be loud. One time I ended up knocking the smoke detector off of the wall at the practice space.
  7. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
  8. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If Youtube quality tone is what you are after, then digital emulation will work fine for you.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Try a V4B through a nice (Ampeg Heritage if you can swing it) 810. You won't be disappointed. If you need more of what you hear, go with an SVT.
  10. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    not to swim against the current, but the Tech21 VT pedals do a very good job of emulating the classic Ampeg tones, including grind. You get B15 and SVT type sounds and then you can adjust EQ and Drive to taste. They also have very nice DI's so if you are generally going into the PA, you get a lot of control over the tone thats hitting the mains with these boxes.

    So, a VT pedal (there a a few versions, VT, VT Deluxe and a rack mount version) into the front end of your amp for stage monitor, with DI out to FOH would also get you into that zone.

    I use the 6 preset VT Deluxe and have been very happy with it.

    certainly worth a listen IMO/IME

    good luck
  11. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    another option is to consider one of the two new Mesa tube amps. 250w Prodigy and the 465w Strategy. Both of them have a 5 option Voice switch, and 2 of the options (4 and 5) are specifically engineered to sound very Ampeggy - basically derived from a classic 70's blue line SVT through a flat back 8x10.

    Hard core Ampeg fans won't agree with this, but I feel there are a number of ways to get into the Ampeg tone zone without having to specifically use Ampeg gear. There is nothing super secret, or particularly unique about the Ampeg (Baxandall) tone stack and cabinet builds that deliver that set of sounds.

    of course, using Ampeg gear will pretty much guarantee you get some version of that sound too, so ......

    good luck
  12. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I can get a very similar tone out of the 7 pro, and even a little bit of it with the pf350. I would love to use an all tube, but I just find it practical to use the D class because of weight and power. I don't think many pedals sound as good as the baked in gain on the ampeg amps.
  13. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    While I too love the VT Deluxe as a preamp pedal, I will say that it works great as a DI or something to enhance a cheaper amp....definitely NOT a tube-amp substitute.

    The closest I've gotten to an Ampeg tone without it being Ampeg is my Traynor YBA200. It's sort of like a baby SVT, since it's only 200w. New ones can be around $900 and used ones pop up every now and then for around $400-600.

    You have the right cabinet for the classic sound, you just need the head. A V4B or SVT would definitely do the trick. As long as you are up to hauling it, it's a great investment to make. I wouldn't let the naysayers distract you though...listen with your own ears and decide on that.