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Low Wattage Tube Amp Experiment

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chaosMK, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I recently picked up a Krank Rev Jr. 20w amp for guitar and thought to try it out as a low wattage tube power amp for bass. This amp actually has 2x 6L6 but it's supposed to be the 20w version... maybe some transformer magic?

    Boomy tone with Sansamp

    I jammed it sans Sansamp (I forgot it) at a medium volume rehearsal (medium drummer, clean guitars) through a loud 1x12 cab and it sounded great in the mix though it was quite distorted. I think that with this little tube power you lose pitch definition on the lowest notes at volume... you get a nice expansive warm low end though.
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    my little 20 watter is a pair of 6v6. it sounds really full through a pair of 12's. almost enough to jam out with the guys. if i push it into creamyness, it can keep up, but it's pretty fuzzy, especially down low. i just keep it in the living room. and now the shameless exploitation:

  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I'm getting a '80's Peavey Classic 50 very soon. I'll let you know how that works for bass.
  4. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Isn't the too little power that causes the tone issues, its the too little transformer that can't pass low end.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    +1. About 10 years ago I had a '66 BandMaster head that I sent to Gerald Weber to perform some magic on, including putting a Showman type OT in it. Big difference!
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Most likely cathode biased.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    If there is ever a "prettiest" or "coolest" amp poll on TB, I'm voting this one.

    It looks like it was made out of the gas space heaters we had at our previous house. I kept the front panel off of one of them to put on an amp someday.



  8. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    If you're looking for a low power bass tube amp, you may want to check one of these out:


    Another option is the new Fender Bassman 100T. It has an option for running at 25w.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Does this mean that the power section doesnt really overdrive the way I was hoping? I've noticed that when I really push it my speaker (300w) has kind of jagged excursions... it made me think it was more like solid state clipping. I'm no expert though.
  10. Low wattage bass amps. I have had a few! My fav is the Fender Bassman 20. 18watt 1x15 bass combo.
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have a BF Princeton Reverb the does duty as the lead channel on my guitar rig , (Rivera Doce for rhythm). Every so often I jack the PR into a 1x15 for bass. It is just gucci...
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    Just last night I was getting together a rig for a jam/practice that was supposed to be tonight. I plugged a Carvin LB70P into my Masters TVA-30 1x12 guitar combo (all tube, EL-84), and then instead of the onboard guitar 12, ran it through my older Trace 2x10 wedge (no tweeter). This particular amp is know for it's toroidal PT and overbuilt (for guitar anyway) OT (the 12" is also pretty burly and rated at 80w).

    And it actually sounded really good. If anything I had to roll off some low end. The best part is this same rig sounds great with GUITAR too, so it can do double duty (at least for practices). Actually for guitars the Trace cab has a really thick low end that would be good for metal stuff with the right amp. And it's rated for 300w, so you could probably run a 150w Mesa Triple Rec through out balls out if that's your thing.
  13. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    :eek: collest of cool :eek:
  14. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    People think I'm crazy, but I've played many shows with my little SB-12 portaflex; all 25 watts into 1-12". These were full band gigs: strat into a Deluxe, an acoustic guitar, small, but full drumset and me and a PA for the vocals only. We weren't playing hard rock, but it was similar to Tom Petty for lack of a better description. The SB-12 was never turned up past 10:30. The shows were at coffee houses, blues bars and other small venues.

    This experience has led me to believe that I could play almost anyplace with a 40watt bassman head, as long as I have a really good 1-12 or 1-15 cabinet. YMMV, but my "stack" days are behind me. (although I enjoy playing through a Mesa or Ampeg tube powered stack as much as the next guy; I just wont' be transporting one ever again)
  15. A long time ago, in a time before dirt was invented, my Dad was fixing an old Silvertone amp for me.
    It had four 6L6 installed, which he said was good for an honest 15w per tube.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have often used a B-15N from 64 on my gigs, and I love it. I have almost been running out of stage volume lately with it, though. Not quite but I'm definitely at the breaking point with it.
  17. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Maybe it's just old age and getting hard of hearing. :p

    Thankfully it's the high end that goes first. That's why you see so many older bass players.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Funny you say that. I've noticed lately that my right ear hears better than my left. Not sure why, though...
  19. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Sometimes I get that if I clamp my jaw on one side and my facial muscles and sinuous swell. Happens when I'm intently working with my head tilted down.
  20. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Sounds like it's the mind that's going :confused: