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Hey guys I could use some help..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by andythsd, Apr 2, 2009.


  1. andythsd

    andythsd

    Apr 2, 2009
    Hey everyone, this is my first post on this forum, i'm looking at switching bass amps and I have a few questions and concerns that i'm hoping could be answered on here.

    First off, I play a Mesa 8x10 road ready cab, an Ernie Ball Stingray and a BBE Dual channel compressor. I'm currently playing out of a Mesa V12 Titan and it's time for this head to go! I do all my playing on the road and it's never been able to make it through a tour. I'm sick of having this problem and have decided to go with a solid state amp.

    I'm currently looking at the Warwick Extreme 10.1 and it seems like a good bet for my 1200 cab at 4 ohms. Can anyone tell me anything more about this head, or any other completely road reliable head out there?
     
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    The Titan is a SS output stage with a tube preamp so you are using SS already. May I suggest, if you like the feel of the Titan, that you look at a SS stereo power amp and possibly a tube pre-amp. I am a fan of Carvin's DCM series of power amps. My "goto" power amp is the DCM1000 that will provide 1000W into 4Ω bridged. My alternate is the DCM1500 with 1500W into 4Ω bridged. These amps new are going for in the range of $300-350.

    Pre-amps you can try the BBE BMax SS or BMax-T with a tube. These have the Fender Showman style of EQ. There are a range of other pres available or if you like clean check out some of the microphone strips that are on the market. Some of them make really good bass pre-amps. You can try various pres without having to change your main poweramp.

    Paul
     
  3. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    Do you like the V12 tone? What do you look for in tone? I play the little brother of that amp (Big Block 750) and have found it pretty reliable and unique sounding.
     
  4. andythsd

    andythsd

    Apr 2, 2009
    I used the 750 while my head was being repaired and I enjoyed it, but the wattage just doesn't push the speakers potential. I love the sound of the titan, but it keeps breaking. I'm mainly focussed on power. At the level we play that jump from my 1200 tube/solid state to a 400 watt yorkville solid state is barely noticable. My main concern is reliability. I don't wanna have to worry about my gear.

    I've never gone down the power amp with a pre amp road. Would you guys suggest this over a powerful solid state amp?

    If I went with a power amp and had to buy a pre amp, would this eliminate the need for my compressor I have now?
     
  5. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    I would. There's only a handful of heads that can push that amount of power, but plenty of preamps that you can couple with big power amps.

    I've heard some good things about that Warwick, though its tonally different from what you're playing now. Also, most of the good things I heard were at the Warwick forum - and they tend to say good things about Warwick products. You don't hear much about Warwick amps here, except every so often.

    Unless you found a pre with onboard compression, you'd need to keep your compressor
     
  6. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    If you really want to stay with a head, you could probably buy 2 Carvin B1500's for the price of one of the Mesa's and have a spare backup.
     
  7. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    that's true too, 1250W into 4Ω about $700.

    Paul
     
  8. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    What is breaking down on the Titan? I'm guessing preamp tube problems, but it seems unusual for a Mesa amp to be that unreliable.
     
  9. andythsd

    andythsd

    Apr 2, 2009
    Would I be able to dial in the same kind of warm tube feel that I get from my titan from a power amp and a preamp? I used to use a sans amp but found it was unnessesary, would I need something like this aswell? What other options besides sans amp do I have?

    What would you suggest for the best power amp/preamp combo for my 1200 watt mesa 8x10 4 ohms?

    What other amp heads could I look at besides the warwick extreme 10.1 and the Carvin B1500 to power my cab?

    The titan has had a few problems. When I flipped my standby it would continue to make a high pitched squeal. And this time around it seems to work totally fine until it cuts out completely for 15 seconds or so then comes right back in.
     
  10. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi andythsd.

    Zero Mesa Boogie experience here, but these symptoms sound like they could be caused by one or more bad (microphonic) pre-amp tubes.

    Since your TITAN V-12 uses four 12AX7 pre-amp tubes (~ $10 ea.) you may wish to contact Mesa Boogie re obtaining proper (healthy, non-microphonic) replacement 12AX7 tubes before you ditch your amp.

    EDIT: A source of tubes: 'Lord Valve: Great Selection, Service, & (MOSTLY) Advice'

    If you get rid of your Mesa Boogie and get a transistor power amp/tube pre-amp rig (which is pretty much what you have now), you will inevitably have to deal with the occasional ornery pre-amp tube anyway.

    From the Big-Block TITAN V12 Owner's Manual:

    "DIAGNOSING_PRE-AMP_TUBE_PROBLEMS:

    At some point it is quite possible that you will experience some kind of minor pre-amp tube noise.

    Rest assured - this is no cause for alarm and you can take care of the problem yourself in a matter of minutes by simply swapping tubes. It is always a good idea to keep at least a couple of spare pre-amp tubes on hand at all times to insure uninterrupted performance.

    These minor pre-amp tube problems can take many forms but can generally be described in two categories: Noise and Microphonics.

    Noise can be in the form of crackling, sputtering, white noise/hiss and/or hum.

    Microphonic problems usually appear in the form of a ringing or high pitched squealing that gets worse as the gain or volume is increased thus are more noticeable in the higher gain “HI” modes.

    Microphonic problems are easily identified because the problem is still present even with the instruments’ volume off or unplugged altogether - unlike pick-up feedback which ceases as the instrument is turned down.

    Microphonic noise is caused by mechanical vibration and shock: think of banging a microphone around and you’ll understand where the
    word came from.

    The best way to approach a pre-amp tube problem is to see if it occurs only in one specific mode or channel. This should lead you to the tube needing replacement.

    (EDIT: This next section of text appears to have originated from a manual originally written for one of Mesa Boogie's other, all-tube amps, hence the reference to a driver tube and power tubes. Your TITAN V-12 four 12AX7 pre-amp tubes + a MOSFET power amp.)

    If you cannot narrow down the trouble to a specific mode or channel, the problem may be the small tube that drives the power tubes which is operational in all modes and channels. Though rare, a problem with the driver tube would show up in all aspects of performance - so if you can’t narrow the problem down to being mode or channel specific, you may want to try replacing the driver tube. Driver problems generally show themselves in the form of crackling or hum in all modes of performance
    and/or weak overall output from the amplifier.

    (EDIT: Back to our regularily scheduled program.) :)

    Sometimes making the diagnosis is more trouble than it’s worth and it’s faster and easier to merely replace the small pre-amp tubes ONE AT A TIME with a replacement known to be good.

    But MAKE SURE you keep returning the tubes to their original socket until you hit the one that cures the problem.

    You’ll notice that tubes located nearer to the INPUT jack always sound noisier...but this is because they are at the start of the chain and their noise gets amplified over and over by the tubes that follow.

    The tube that goes into this “input socket” (usually labeled V1) needs to be the least noisy of the bunch.

    The tube that goes at the end of the preamp chain - just ahead of the power tubes - can be quite noisy without causing any problem at all.

    The tubes in your amp have already been located in the most appropriate sockets and this is why you should NEVER pull them all out at once and ALWAYS swap them one at a time.

    ALWAYS return a perfectly good tube to its original socket.

    (EDIT: I'd turn the amp COMPLETELY OFF before swapping tubes!)

    :eek: Also it’s a good idea to put the amp on STANDBY when swapping tubes to reduce the heat build up in the tubes themselves and to prevent explosive noises (which can still occur even if you are pulling the tubes away from their sockets gently) from coming through the speaker.

    Pre-amp tubes don’t normally wear out as a rule. Therefore, it is not a good idea to change them just for the sake of changing them.

    If there isn’t a problem - don’t fix it. If there is no result from your substitutions, it may be possible that you have more than one problematic tube.

    Though rare, this does happen and though it makes the troubleshooting process a little more intimidating, it is still possible to cure the problem yourself.

    NOTE: It is normal to hear a slight metallic ringing sound when tapping on the preamp tubes. As long as the tube does not break into oscillation or start crackling or any other form of bizarre noise, it is considered normal and functional."
     
  11. This rig has served me well for the last 3 years or so. Bulletproof, tone for days, lots and lots of power. DSC01125.
     
  12. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    *surrogate bump*
     

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