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huge tube sound in a small box?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthias, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    For one or the other reason I do not want to lug around and maintain a huge all tube amp and I also want to have that tube sound when I plug directly into a mixer (e.g. for home recording).

    So I'm looking for a preamp (regardless if there are any tubes in it...) or any other device like a POD or SansAmp BDDI which comes close to that tone.

    Of cause I'm aware that nothing comes close to 'a dozen of happily glowing tubes' and the sheer physical presence of a 70ies SVT rig ;)

    Your appreciated opinions please...

  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    SWR Interstellar Overdrive.

  3. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Thanks so far!
    I think I'll try to make this thread more 'efficient'.
    Reading various threads these are the names I came across so far:

    Warwick Quadruplet
    SansAmp RBI and PSA-1

    SansAmp BDDI
    Fulltone Bassdrive
    Budda Phatbass

    I don't want to end up with a complete list of all available preamps and overdrive pedals, but is there anything important missing which comes really close to that all tube sound?

    BTW price is not the main issue - portability and the possibility to 'plug and play' (i.e. without micing a cab) are important for me.

  4. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification
    For portability, I don't know what would beat out the SABDDI. I can fit it in my bass case.
    It's also very durable,and if you realize that a clean direct tone is really what you're after (it happens more than you might think) then you can bypass the effects. Bass player reviewed a similar product ,made by MXR. I don't know if it's any good, but you may want to look into it.
  5. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Stick the ampeg svp-pro on your list of things to check out. I got mine and been lovin every since. IMO it gets the most true tube sounds without the tube power section, one rack space and get a one rack space power amp and you have a easy to carry tube sound generator (spelling). Thats what I did and I love it. .02

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I personally like the SWR IOD or the Ampeg SVP pre-amps for that tube warmth. Both are capable of giving you that SVT grind, or a warm tube response when used clean(they both use 12AX7's). They aren't that cheap, but they are worth it. Just my $0.02!
  7. Don't forget the Ashdown ABM-RPM1.
  8. Can't go wrong with the SWRIOD. It has two El-34's and one 12ax7. You'll get a warm purr or a fat tube grind....the Sansamp stuff can be a little odd when dealing with a "peaky" signal. I have owned both the SABDDI and the PSA-1. The sounds are great, just don't plan on using an EV follower, wah or snapping to hard, they can frap. An SVP or IOD are more forgiving....
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm very fond of my SansAmp RBI...nice smooth tube emulation.
  10. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    you are from austria, i suggest you to give the Hughes and Kettner Tubeman a try. yes, i know that this is a guitar preamp, but i use it with my bass and it helps me a lot. i have a great sound with it and it makes my SWR sounds very ampeg like. try the Crunch channel with drive setting at 6. very very warm. i have the old rack version, now they make it as a pedal:

  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Since you realize there is no such thing as "huge tube sound in a small box," I'd say your best bet for pseudo-huge, pseudo-tube sound in a small box is the SansAmp BDDI. Best value, too.
  12. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hi Matthias
    I guess you will get many votes for the Sans amp bass DI but try it before buying. I don´t like it´s sound at all. Well it´s a nice sound but it cuts all the mids out and you get lost in the mix. And IMO it doesn´t beat my Ashdown head when it comes to tubewarmth or overdrive. I´m actually about to try the Hughes and Kettner Tubeman that barroso uses. I´ll let you know what I think.
  13. He's right about that mid-cut thing. You will get lost in the mix.
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Which is why the RBI has a mid control!
  15. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Wow this is the first time I've heard anybody but me diss the BDDI. I had one, hated it. No mids! The RBI very well may be cool, though.
  16. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    By chance I found a used SA BDDI in mint condition at a decent price - I just HAD to buy it.
    So far I could just try it at home and it's true, it eliminates all mids and the suggested method to 'boost' mids by cutting bass and treble does not really work because the level decreases dramatically.

    After some tweaking and blending in the dry signal I found a sound which seems useful - I will see if it works with the band playing.

    However this pedal sounds really fat - with it's built in mid scoop it can undoubtedly brush up honky practice amps and I'm sure it also makes recordings sound more lively.
    Also the distortion sounds way better than any pedal I've heard so far...

    I'm really curious how it will work with my main amp (I'm also considering to run it straight into the power section)

  17. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Thanks, this is an interesting hint!

  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The Blend control is the secret to restoring mids with the SABDDI pedal. If you roll it back significantly you can also turn up drive and/or presence, thus adding warmth/grit without totally fuzzing up your sound.

    IMO the SABDDI is more impressive when used alone: for example run straight into a power amp or very flat amp head. I currently run the SABDDI into a Stewart power amp and find it easy to hit the "sweet spot".

    If you already get good tone, the SABDDI's mid cut might disappoint you at first... as it did me. Until I discovered the Blend control! The blend is easy to overlook because it's always maxxed in the example settings.