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How to get tube sound… without distortion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassdude15, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    I like the very mild rich compression/overdrive you get from tubes, but I don't want full-on raunchy distortion. Another thing is I like to crank up the bass and mids-I think my setup sounds kind of thin and weak otherwise.
    Any ideas?

  2. Compression/overdrive mild or heavy IS distortion of the original signal. How hard you drive or how much you use it is your choice.
  3. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Like the VR head??
    Thats the only SVT on Ampeg's website specifically described as "tube."
  4. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    The trouble is, solid states sound unnaturally clean to me , but when I turn up the bass and mids like I like to, a tube amp breaks up into thick, fuzzy distortion and feedback.
  5. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    The VR and CL both really interest me… any thoughts on either?? And for a cab, how about the PF410HFL??
  6. So get a really powerful tube head.

    Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT-CL, SVT-2 Pro, vintage SVTs, V9s, and SVT-II (non-pro)

    The new Mesa/Boogie Strategy should have enough power on tap to let you boost the lows a bit (even if I don't recommend doing so, as it's hard on cabs) while retaining headroom.

    The old Trace Elliot V8 has a ton of power and so you can get a lot of clean lows from it, too.

    The Ashdown 427 also has a huge amount of power, so might have enough headroom to give you the lows you want.

    Personally, I think if you want to retain clean headroom while having a full sound, you might want to focus more on the low mids than the actual lows, or run a high pass filter between your bass and the amp to cut out the very lowest frequencies, which take a ton of power for the amp to reproduce and aren't that audible anyway, leaving more headroom for strong upper bass and low mid frequencies to hit you in the chest.
  7. If you want a lot of low end, and you want it loud, I'd advise you to get more than just a 4x10.
  8. The HLF is a very love it/hate it cab.

    I'm firmly in the "hate it" camp. I can't think of a single speaker cabinet that I dislike more. It also sounds nothing like the 810e, which I love.
  9. Cycho


    Nov 30, 2010
    Get a ZoomB3 and use one of their many tube amp emulations. Of course it won't give you the same feedback sound a tube amp will, but it doesn't sound like you want feedback.
  10. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Maybe one with 15" speakers?? I love me some 15" speakers!
  11. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Get a Sansamp BDDI and a tube compressor pedal, or get a 100 pound full tube amp (tubes for both the preamp and power amp sections).
  12. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    The Peavey VB-2 is also a good one.
  13. Driver diameter has little to no bearing on how a cab sounds. It's all about how the box is designed for the specific model of driver used.

    For example, Ampeg's 1x15 box, which I have, has more midrange snarl than low end boom. The 410HLF, which I've mentioned I can't stand, has a ridiculous amount of super low end boom (mud, to my ears), and almost no midrange at all. The 810e, in contrast, has a big low mid hump, making it sound big and fat, with a gradual sloping low end roll off down towards the sub bass.

    My favorite cab, the Sunn 2000S, is very full sounding but also snarly in the midrange. It also uses 15" speakers but sounds different from my Ampeg 1x15, just as the 810e sounds very different from the 410HLF.
  14. popgadget

    popgadget Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2005
    Eastern, PA USA
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    The 410HE is very similar in voicing to the 810e, unlike the ported 410HLF which goes much lower.
    But in general, speaker size has very little to do with cabinet voicing.
  15. I've played 410s I liked... just the 410HLF is not one of them. And I prefer the 810E to any 410 I've tried. Partly because it's bigger and louder, and also because, I think, it gets the sound closer to ear level.
  16. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    You are describing what is generally termed big "headroom" and to get that tube tone you need tubes. Emulation sounds OK but it sounds like emulation, not like the real deal.

    This will get the job done, strong clean bottom end for days.

  17. +1 to the Reeves. Can't believe I forgot to mention their amps.

    I'd guess that the 400 would get painfully loud while retaining low end headroom.
  18. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Awesome!! Ill see if I can find one ;).
  19. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    In this case I'd look if there is something wrong with your signal chain if you need to dime the bass and mids to get a useable tone. Any tone suckers in the chain?

    To get my 200 watt head to fuzz and feedback I need to be stupid loud (like squashing small animals with my sound loud)...
  20. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Mark Bass makes a tube compressor, the Compressore.