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Micro Amp With The Most Tube Growl?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by john nam, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Can someone tell me which micro amp (or light combo) comes closest to producing the most tube growl?

    I'm not looking for the warm vintage tube sound nor the fully electric guitar distortion tube sound either; just slightly overdriven, growly, tube sound.

    An example of the tone I'm looking for is on "Black Velvet":

    How much does compression come into play with this sound?

    I've had both ver. 1 & 2 of the VT Bass pedal and no matter how I set it, it just sounds mushy and distortion guitarish to me instead of a tight, growly tube sound.

    Can the Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal do this? What about the TH 350?

    I understand I will be getting a lot of responses that say "A real tube amp is the only way!", but I'm really looking for a micro amp that comes close.
  2. Bongokid


    Sep 28, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I think that if you wanted the "black Velvet" bass sound. Your going to have to put on a set of flat or round wounds to get a (less ting) sound. The tone seems to be cut significantly. Regarding the amp.... I don't know. I've got a Micro Vr that might do the trick, although if your looking for more than 200 watts you'd have to think away from Ampeg.
  3. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    STM-600 or STM-900. I can only speak for the 900, but I'm sure there are others with the tone you seek.

    Not sure what you mean by tube GROWL, but for warmth and break up the STM's from Genz Benz are very nice.
  4. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I second the Streamliner recommendation.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    The Walkabout can do a nice job. I'm not really sure if that's considered micro though.
  6. Genz Streamliner - Wide open tube tone... deep but warm
    Mesa Walkabout - lots of pleasant growl with that tube like deep, bloomy low end
    Aguilar TH500 - deep, open bass, and lots of tube-like midrange complexity... it GROWLS
    TC RS750 - lots of mid warmth, low end kind of emulates a sealed 10 sort of vibe (warm mids, tight bass)
  7. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I think he's playing a fretless bass (despite what you see in the vid) and that is a big part of the sound on this particular song.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Agreed. If you can't handle the 1-12 Walkabout, you are looking for one tiny rig. You can even get a little overdrive if you have the right pre tube installed.

    By the way, the bass sound on Black Velvet is a keyboard. Just saying.
  9. Actually the bass has keys :bag:


    edit: two fingers beat me to it . . .
  10. +1 on the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout.
  11. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    Check out the PF series from Ampeg. I have a 350, and I can get that tone.

  12. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    The album version is a synth.
  13. GRAHAM SG1


    May 3, 2010
    Streamliner 900 does it for me with plenty to spare :)
    I see the Ampeg PF mentioned, I have the 500 and find it very disappointing in the growl department :rollno:
  14. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I got that tone using my fretless with Labella nylon tape wounds on it with some mid increase, and digging in a bit. I used a GK1001RB, but could have done it with any amp that didn't have a big mid dip.
  15. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    5 string maple neck fretless synth..........with flatwounds! :hyper:

    I just went through the same thing you're going through and looking for the same tone. I wanted something to offset the 45 pound Kilo.

    I went with the Streamliner 900. I tried to head in a different direction. None of my music friends (whose opinions I trust) would let me.
  16. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I read a lot about the bass on that song, when we learned it several years ago. It was a keyboard, but was likely playing bass samples, probably of the songwriter's bass, who was a bass player and played with Alannah.

    My fretless is a 5 and we did play it in Eb. Most of the time, I used a flat wound setting on my Line 6 Variax 5 and got close enough...again, if I dug in a bit at the right places.
  17. For emulating that tone on bass, that is all about a strong low mid presence with lots of 'complexity and harmonic distortion'. A bass with big old classic Bartolini soap bars (like a Roscoe), with the blend favoring the bridge pickup, and the player digging in relatively close to the bridge (fretless or not) will get you there.

    Of the amps mentioned, if that was the vibe I was going after, it would be the Aguilar TH500 all the way.
  18. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I was just referring to the head, which IIRC is like 13lbs vs. 6.5lbs of a Streamliner 900 (which some people don't consider a micro either).
  19. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
  20. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012

    Tube growl?

    Gallien Kreuger MB fusion - 500 and if you can wait a while there's an 800 on the way!

    Have a listen