Lets make this easier-Tube Amps-Which Suck?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SnoMan, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Because I can.
    This is a which tube amps suck thread.
    Why do other's who love tubes post so much about how they like them?
  2. I can't say it completely sucked, because it was loud, and it did the job, but the New Ampeg SVT AV (is that right? the AV?) anyways, I didn't like the tone much at all through the 810 cab it was mated too...

    It distorted the whole gig - or rather overdrive - even though I kept the gain as low as possible, and the master up as much as possible, to get the volume necessary. I think I am just a fan of a more modern sounding type amp that I can EQ

    I know this is a godly amp to a great deal of players on this thread, but if anyone is planning on buying one based on what they've read on this forum, I would seriously recommend trying one first to see if it is the sound you are looking for...

    My SVT AV experience sucked - 3 times out of 3
  3. Poor reason.

  4. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Partially correct. There is some debate amongst even the leading thaumaturgists as to whether the magic actually does run out at all, as long as all other components of the fantastic contraption are properly ensorcelled. The magic is still in bounteous supply in the stock tubes in my Sound City, which are no doubt older than you. Possibly older than your mother as well. And today, there is some very good magic still being bottled, and some that is less spectacular. As it was, and always shall be.

    My impression of the original poster's intent was to find particular models of tube amps that people who like tube amps would generally agree aren't very good. I doubt that "all of them" was a very good answer. Perhaps you should create your own thread, or better still your very own forum, devoted to hating tube amps.

    You're going to have to be very particular about the music you listen to, by the way. Not even considering classic rock and blues, it's pretty tough to avoid hearing a tube bass amp if you're listening to music incorporating an electric bass that was recorded since, oh, say forever. Ever watch MTV2? Not too many bands on there where everybody's old enough to drink, but SVT-CLs aplenty.

    Still haven't seen a consensus on one amp in particular sucking. I don't like the current Ampegs myself, but they don't suck. To me, that would mean pretty much defective, unreliable, DO NOT BUY. I liked that one amp that was named had someone who had changed it a bit and liked it. That's a great thing with tube amps. Different tubes can totally change the amp, and mods are relatively easy to have done.
  5. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    ... said Captain Obvious. I was asking if you have a point to convey besides all tubes and amps containing them suck.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Fair enough.
    IMHO - All tube really add is distortion and compression. And what they add varies at different volume levels and over time.

    Just trying to help players looking for equipment take a real look at their options and not just based on coolness factors and who plays what on MTV.

    I'll try to stay out of tube lover threads.
  7. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Ok, now lets not worry ourselves too much about Sea Monkey's opinion, which he's entitled to. Plenty of tube lovers often say the same toward solid state....so let's just leave this one be.

    As to my use of the word 'suck'

    To elaborate, suck really isn't the best word for what I meant, but it was short...and I needed to keep it short since the title was already long enough.

    I know there are plenty of different flavors of tube amps, like solid state.

    Can tube amps differ as greatly as solid states due from model to model? (I've never played an all-tube head, this is an honest question)

    Also, I know one reason I say solid states may seem to differ so much is because many will incorporate tubes in the preamp.

    Basically, I want to buy a tube amp in the future. I want to have a good experience, but if I find a good deal I don't want to pass it up....so for a general good tube experience...to get me hooked if you will...what heads should I be more apt to avoid.

    The yba200 and that pignose heads both have nice prices(new) compared to the big names in the tube business...would these make me wish to continue buying tube heads? Or if I want truly nice tube tone should I go for something along the lines of an older SVT, Mesa 400, Peavey 400+ or Trace Elliot V8?

    This is kinda of vague...and I'm sure a lot goes to personal preference, but I'm just trying to help myself and other keep away from making a purchase that may keep us from considering tubes again.

    did that make sense..... :ninja:
  8. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    No need for that. See the point you make here is a good one. Distortion and compression are why I like the sound of my tube amp better that my SS power amp. :D But you know that semiconductors and vacuum tubes both have bias drift over time right? Anyway sorry to take it off topic a bit. Im out...
  9. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've played Mesa's for years, and have also used many Ampegs too, never a problem with those, and Trace's are also excellent. Basically, tube amps aren't cheap to build like SS is nowadays, I don't think there is a sucky one, that's why so few companies do make them, they've done their homework. The YBA seems great, but owners have said there's not quite the volume with them.

    The big name amps you mention should be relatively easy to find anywhere used that you can try out to see if the sound is right for you. Tubes shouldn't be a 'fad', they're a lifestyle that requires upkeep and require a strong back and the right kind of owner.
    I really don't like buying new, and would recommend buying used.
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    For seamonkey's info, I do own both all-tube amps as well as all-solid state amp; A Mesa 400 and Ampeg B500RD and B15. So while some of us do have opinions, it's from facts, and not because we don't know what the other side is.
  11. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I have the YBA200, and it's a great-sounding, well-built little amp. The auto-biasing circuits are a major plus, not only when the power tubes need changing, but to combat drift. But it is a bit volume-limited at only 200W, which sucks a bit - so I recently scooped up a Peavey Classic 400.

    The Classic 400 sounds awesome IMHO, tons of headroom, syrupy tube tone, but it weighs almost a hundred pounds, which sucks a bit when the gig doesn't require that kind of stage volume - so I'm keeping the 44-lb. YBA200.

  12. Eden, Aguilar, and that new Sadowsky All tube head... they all stink! :bag:
  13. I never heard a Vox BASS amp that i liked the sound of.

    I always buy and sell used and vintage, had lots, traynors, hi-watt, marshall, loved em all. All had different sounds, each one special in its own way.

    Jus' the Vox bass amps...got no love for them.
  14. +1. Also, on the Traynor, it is not as loud as some, and you need to get a cabinet that matches it well. It is picky in the cabs it sounds good with. Other than that, it sounds great, and if you want something that gets fairly dirty at higher volumes this is a good choice.
  15. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Holland, MI
    I found two Traynor BassMates in the same place I found my Bassman 100. One is a 1x15 (maybe 1x12) open back combo, and the other is exactly the same but in a separate head/cab unit. Just Volume, Bass, High, an on-off and the fuse on the front. No standby. I haven't had a chance to try these out yet, but who knows. I think it was two 6V6 power tubes, so it's probably about useless except as a studio/practice amp.

  16. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    i don't dig stock YBAs and almost every new Ampeg tube head. Frankly i think it's a shame that marshall (known for guitar amps) has a tube head that blows away everything ampeg (supposedly the "Standard" of bass amps) has to offer (new). :scowl:

    anyway, back to the new bass :bassist:
  17. Coming from Toronto and remembering when Pete Traynor worked at L&M contributes to my lust for Vintage Traynor product. First Bass amp was a Bass Master Head with a 2x15 Cab loaded with Marsalands.

    I would probably buy anything in good shape with the Traynor name on it...were it not for my wife stepping in with a "ya but we need a new..."

    As for the volume issue, I always like to mike my cab when performing loud anyways.

    Never met a Traynor I didnt like...
  18. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Holland, MI
    It'd be a really nice thing to have for me - a tube practice amp would be great in a dorm. My Bassman is a bit too large. I don't have the coin to spend on it though, and if I tried it, I'd want to buy it (and could get it for a steal).
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