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If they quit making tube amps tomorrow...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Mar 3, 2006.

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  1. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    If they quit making tube amps tomorrow, would any of you cry about it? After recenting owning an SVT Classic and a V-4BH, I wouldn't mind at all - just being honest. I did look online last night at the Sadowsky SA-200, and that amp looks killer. I need to hear a tube amp that sounds even as good as some of the SS or hybrids, not to mention better. True, I didn't have a sealed cab for my tube amps, and maybe my ear just isnt developed enough to appreciate an all tube amp -but based on the 2 I've heard, which is most definitely narrow minded, I would'nt shed a tear.

  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I'd be bummed for sure, but I think a decent number of us play amps that were made years ago anyway. I guess they would just get rarer.

    I think preferences are subject to many factors - personal taste, obviously; but also cabinets that they are matched with; basses; tubes (important); and perhaps most importantly, the band you play in. For some situations, the "classic tube sound" doesn't really fit, though I find that term misleading. Tube amps don't sound all the same, much as solid state or hybrids don't sound the same. In fact, I'd venture to say that some SS amps come closer to the "classic tube sound" than some modern hybrids and maybe even some tube heads.

    But yes, I'd cry.
  3. Though I'd be covered since I have plenty of tube amps that just keep on gettin' it, I'd be bummed. Mostly because I realllly dislike the SS sound for me.

    I like it for some other people just fine, though.
  4. If they quit making tube amps tommorrow I wouldn't cry; I'd produce my own and fill the void in the amp market!!!

    I've been toying with the idea of designing some tube amps but I don't think there's a big enough space in the market for it to be profitable.
  5. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Let me clarify as well. I'm only talking about *all tube* amps - not hybrids.

  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'd be bummed, even though I'm a GK player. The tone of tubes is wonderful, however not MY bag of chips.
  7. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've got my SA200 and V8, so I guess I'm covered. :D
  9. While nothing replaces the sound of tubes 100%, MOSFET transistors work on a valve principle like tubes. So, they may sound better than the more typical BJT transistors to those who like the tube tone.

    Paul Mac
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I would rejoice that the musicality has progressed and we not stuck in some retro sound standard.

    For tube power stages - they're already out. There's no need for them. They don't lend themselves to modern manufacturing techniques. There's not a growing market.

    Tube preamps will be around until people and manufacturers wake up to emulation and modeling. Some say emulation and modeling will never sound the same as tubes - well no two tube amps ever sound the same as each other, And
    - who cares? - signal processing sounds better. And you can control your sound at any level.
  11. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Yeah MOSFET from my experiences does sound a bit warmer and tubelike, but I don't see much point in amps that have a valve front end and MOSFET output stage. If they're goin' for the "tube tone" why don't they actually go for the real deal. And is weight is a design goal, use quality torroids like the Eden did.

    A tube amps have yet to be fully replaced, becuase if they had been, no one would make them anymore. They have their own irreplacible sonic signature.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Modern SS amps are transparent. signal out = signal in but only louder.

    So really what you don't like is "No coloration" to the sound. This is easily compensated for with signal processing.

    Take a listen to preamps over at basstasters.com. If you like the sound, you can have it but only louder by using a transparent and accurate SS amp. At different volume levels - so you have better control.

    If you hook up a preamp to a tube amp you'll get preamp sound + extra distortion added. And at different volume levels you get different levels of distortion. And different levels of distortion over time.

    Tube preamps are taking a different approach and running the tubes at a lower level. They still wear out, but not nearly as much as power tubes.
  13. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Oh and please let me know what your main or favorite tube amp is if you reply.

  14. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    No problem for me. My Glock sounds better than any tube amp anyway. :D
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if roger sadowsky, jim demeter, and george alessandro decided to stop doing so, i'd cry like i've never cried before.


    you can have your silly wannabe tube preamps, cause there's just NO substitute for that low fat, weighty, hefty feel that only an all tube power section can give you.
  16. WovenGraphite

    WovenGraphite Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    In my early days of bass playing I was solid state only, active, graphite bass and slap technique :eyebrow:
    Now, I am older... I mean, wiser, I started to use tube preamps and can definitely hear the difference (Ampeg SVP-CL).
    Switching to passive bass also helped getting more of the subtlties of the tone. And playing with headphone a couple of times a week makes you pay attention to some of the tonal details.
    Recently, acquired an Ampeg B-15NF and realized the difference.
    I should get on monday an Aguilar DB 728 to go with my SVP-CL.

    Some other things I'd like to try would be the Demeter 201 and the Aguilar 680. But... no gas for now as the 728 is gonna make me eat rice and beans for the rest of the year (and of course help my ageing back...) :p
  17. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    While I agree with your position the hybrids are a good compromise, and even full SS amps are a good solution for some people, this last statement is just ridiculous. If that's your position, then why bother playing bass at all? Just get a synthesizer with a bank of bass sounds.

    My problem with emulation is that it just makes everyone sound the same. As you noted, in the analog world, every amp, every pre, every bass has a slightly different sound, and there's value in that for those who want to do something unique.
  18. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio

    haha seriously
  19. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Yep. Line 6 NAILS vintage tube tone.

  20. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    Grrrr. I want one!!! Hopefully I'll be getting an All-Tuber soon though!
    :hyper: :bassist: :hyper: :bassist:

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