Hybrid Head with Preamp Tube that Matters???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheEmptyCell, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Prior to selling my entire amp setup, I was running an Ampeg SVT3-Pro (2003 model) to an Avatar 2x12. For the two years I used it, I never once found the preamp tube to make any bit of difference.

    When I had the tube gain dimed, then it seemed to make the sound a teeny bit fuller, but nothing I couldn't do with a tiny amount more bass on the EQ. I just left it there cuz I could, and it made the investment seem worth it. I could crank the volume and input gain to eleven and it still didn't sound (hate to say it) any good.

    So my question is: Are there any hybridheads (tube pre, SS power) whose tube parts actual make any difference in tone?

    I don't care about price much; I actually run an Ampeg V-2 (all tube) currently, so that's plenty tubey, and I plan on getting a digital head to use when my cab comes in.
  2. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    check out some ashdown. i have the ABM500RC EVOII. it's got one 12AX7 in it... it definitely makes a difference in the character of the tone- depending on how much of the tube grit you dial in.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I haven't played an Ashdown gear yet... nobody around here uses it. I have used a Hartke, which sounded exactly like my Ampeg. Pee'd me off, cuz it was about half the price of my Ampeg and just as solid.
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    aguilar db750 without question.

    right now in the tube/ss camp, its the only amp that matters to me. dunno how helpful that is to you, cause i'm guessing you're aiming for something lighter in weight.
  5. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH

  6. Couldn't agree more.
  7. I also used an SVT-3pro for years; also to my not-quite satisfaction. Same gripe w/the tube's effect(or lack thereof)on tone. Mine was an older model, w/5 preamp tubes. I liked the tone in general, I just wanted more volume/headroom(I always had gain & master up well past 1/2-3/4). I have had opportunity to play through an Ashdown 575 watt 2x10 combo, & though it took a bit of fiddling(I was trying to dial it as I played)I did eventually get a very gritty tone, while still retaining PLENTY of low-end clarity. Right now I'm using an eden WT-400+ Bag End S-15X-D; I like the tone but it's as far from gritty as you can get, IMO.

    Edit: Just saw Pattitucci live: for the first time in years I considered duplicating someone else's rig. The tone was absolutely that good(although JP must have had something to do with that:D ).
  8. ScubaSteve


    Jul 30, 2006
    Heres the real question....is the 12AX7 actually a gain stage in the preamp, or is it just hooked up as a dual clipping diode for some grit and distortion ? Even if it was a gain stage, it's still being driven or driving other solid state components since 1 tube generally isn't enough to drive a power amp. Not to say that the preamp tube thing is a gimmick for every piece of equipment, just saying that a lot of manfacturers put that 1 tube in there just because tubes are held in high regard so they can get higher prices. All the Behringer tube gear that's being sold these days has the 12AX7 for distortion, they use regular solid state op amp chips that are producing the gain. They lead you to believe the tube is a gain stage but it is not.

    If it was a preamp with all tube gain stages, I might be a little more convinced.

  9. +1 I had a SVT3PRO & have now gone BACK to all TUBE, BUT I'd like to know the deal here also??????:bag:
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Try the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout. It has a 2 tube preamp that really does do something. With mine, I can set the gain so that I get anything from exrea clean to slight tube warmth to flat out tube squish. You can get a very fat sound with this amp. It alo seems to have a lot of headroom compared to other amps at or above its rated 300 watts. Well made in typical Mesa fashion. And it's light-the head is just 13 lbs. If you want a tube sound without the weight, it's the closest I think you'll get in a hybrid amp. I sure like mine and wouldn't change it for anything I currently see on the market, including the high priced boutique amps.

    I've used it with the 12" Scout cabinet and also taken the head to drive various speaker cabinets such as an Eden 4X10, SWR 4X10, Eden 1X15 and a custom built 3 way similar to the Whappo. With each cabinet it did very nicely. It really does sound much more powerful than many of the other amps out there, even at 8 ohms. At 4 ohms it's even better.
  11. Good 2 hear - 62 bass!
  12. Yorkville XS series combos and heads. Sounds great!
  13. renejaime


    May 25, 2005

  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 :)
  15. +1 on the DB750 and the Mesa 'Simulstate' line of amps (Walkabout, BB750 and 1200 and Mpulse600).

    All these amps have multiple tubes in the pre section, and really sound more toward the 100% tube amp side of the equation than the SS side.

    The Walkabout, Mpluse600 and DB750 are designed to run clean... more tube warmth than snarl. The BB750 (and I assume the 1200... I haven't hear that) are designed to snarl and grind.

    To me, the Mpulse600 is the best of the bunch.... two rack space, under 30 pounds, massive tube warmth, but very extensive and modern EQ, compressor, etc.
  16. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    The only hybrid amp that I've played is an Eden. How do they compare to the Aguilar db750? I'm not really asking which sounds better, because, I'm happy with my Eden. I just want to know some opinions of those with alot of hybrid expierience. For what I'm playing right now, my Eden sounds better than my old V4 and B-15. Of course, I may be flamed for that, but on my current gigs, the Eden is the sound.
  17. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    I gotta disagree - While I like Yorkville products and stand behind their bass gear, I tried out an XS800 and was not too impressed. The Tube Drive channel was irritating and didn't have much warmth to it. Definitely nothing close to that of an all-tube overdrive tone.

  18. You think? To each their own I guess. Sure, it's not going to give that all-tube overdrive tone but the pre tube definately gives some nice growl. No SS/hybrid I've heard has had that tube power section tone though.

    I often ran my XS400 combo on the tube drive channel but with the wet/dry knob most of the way down. It just fattened out the sound.

  19. the mesa big block is the most tubey sounding hybrid amp I've heard..it's also tight in the lows..simple control layout and easy to get a great sound. thats why I own one
  20. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    GBE 750, is pretty much THE 2 in 1 amp, IMO, it's tube preamp is pretty convincing, or so, I at least seem to think so. I'm buying one, as soon as I have enough money. It also has power. Lots of it!
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