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Hybrid Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sonic Napalm, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. are there any hybrid amps out there that have a Solid State Preamp and Tube Power Section?
  2. Yes there are many of them. Musicman to some Trace Elliot.

  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I think "many" is an exaggeration... there are like two or three.
  4. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    Hartke do a few

    VX3500 i belive
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No, that's a normal hybrid with a tube pre and a ss power section.
  6. broadblik


    Aug 10, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    Isn't there a Mark Bass hybrid coming out?
  7. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    pay attention guys, the OP asked about hybrids with SS pre and tube POWER section, not the much more common other way around
  8. I haven't seen many.

    Though you could always try running a SS preamp into a tube power amp (or running into a power amp section of an all tube amp). Would give you more options than the few amplifiers that were made like you asked about.
  9. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the tube power section the majority of the weight in a tube head? If that's the case, just go for the best of both worlds and get yourself an all-tube head :D

    Seriously though, not to pry, but what reason in particular would you want this combination? SS malleability coupled with tube breakup in a power section?
  10. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have some vague memory that Peavy tried this with a couple of guitar amps as well.
    The reason there were so few was that it was a pretty lame idea IMO.
    All the cost, weight, and mainteance of tubes with a transistor front end helping to create a transistor tone.
    Not surprising that there were so few of these.
  11. You are correct Bongo, perhaps many was a tad enthusiastic!

  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Music Man and Peavey did it in the '70s. The technology then was such that big powerful tube power amps were more reliable and not appreciably heavier than big powerful solid state power amps. And the low-noise and clean sound characteristics of transistors were attractive for the pre-amp. The Peavey "Classic" series amps had SS front ends driving 6L6 based power amps. They sounded OK if you wanted either a very clean sound or a nasty fuzz sound. Not at all good for a more commonly desired tube amp break up however.

    The Music Man amps (the 65 Series and the HD-130) were very good sounding bass amps. I frequently wish I still had the HD-130 I bought in 1977. It was kinda heavy, but it was utterly reliable, sounded good if a bit limited, and did what I needed it to most of the time.

    I don't know of any other common amps with solid-state pres and tube power amps. As the technology changed, it got eaiser to build big powerful, reliable, and good sounding power amps that didn't weigh much. And the tube pre-amp (which I think is frequently more a marketing device than actually being critical to the sound) is a good way to sell an amp! I love my more common hybrid amp (Eden WT-400) with a 12AX7 in the pre, but that's because it sounds great and it's only 15 pounds. I'm not conviced that it sounds great BECAUSE of the tube and the tube is certainly NOT why I bought it. But it's good marketing to have a tube in there even if it does nothing.


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