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Minimum power for a tube amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Transverz, Apr 9, 2005.


  1. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    So I went into my local GC and checked for some used values. Nothing much until I happened upon a Peavey Classic 120/120 all tube poweramp (120w per side or 240w bridged). Of course, usually I see these and think "GU*TAR". But it was hooked up to a pair of peavey 2x10 cabs. Hmm. This would be intersesting. So I plug a bass straight into the input in the back. WOW, it was crazy loud. And low! With no preamp!

    So of course, now my question:

    Could this 240w tube power amp be enough to power my 1x15 + 2x10 Mesa cabs? Or rather, with a preamp, would it be as loud as my hybrid 600w M-2000? It sounded really loud to me at the store, but doesn't everything sound great at the store? That's where you all come in. I'd appreciate any opinions! Thanks!

    -T
     
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I just looked at the manual on-line at Peavey.com (do a manual search for Classic 120/120). That's pretty cool...I never knew that Peavey offered a power amp like that.

    Since it's a tube amp, I believe that the channels are actually being connected in parallel...which is cool with tube output sections (but not with solid state ones). At any rate, the results are the same, twice the steam from one channel.

    Being at GC, you should be able to buy and try out the amp for 30 days (it might only be 15 for used gear....ask and get it in writing) and return it if you aren't happy. The only way to find out if it's truly suitable for your needs is to try it out with your bass, preamp, cabs, etc.

    If it's loud with just an instrument input, the amp might just be more sensitive than a Pro Audio power amp that is looking for a +4 dBU signal. The manual says it needs 1 volt (0 dBV) for full output.

    Other interesting specs are that the low frequency response is rated at 40 Hz (- 3 dB) probably thanks to the output transformers and that the 3 rack space amp weighs 55.3 lbs. Put that baby in a rack and you're well above 60 lbs.

    If the price is right (I don't know what that number is) and it does what you'd like it to do, go for it!!!

    You have to promise to let us know though ;)

    Have fun!!!
     
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I was looking at the specifications that Peavey offers for the Classic 120/120 again...

    120 watts per channel at 5% THD (ratty) 40 to 20 KHz (no +/- dB rating here).

    100 watts +0/-3 dB 40 Hz to 20 KHz...

    So at 120 watts per channel, the 40 Hz output must be down a bunch more than 3 dB... But that's not necessarily a bad thing depending on your wants/needs, etc.
     
  4. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hmm. Wow, thanks for all tha info and opinions BillyZ. It did give off some real lows at GC, but you are absolutely right. I'm debating about going there with my entire rig at this moment. I don't know though. 60lb rig? Well, I'm kinda already there with my rolling SKB rack, tuner, Furman, and M-2000. But I'm guessing 70lbs+ with the Peavey. But hey, gotta pay to play when going the tube route. I really feel for the Mesa 400+ people! But no one would do it if it wasn't worth it.

    Question: How does the specs you quoted match up to other tube amps that are specifically made for bass (like the power section from a 400+ or SVT2 or etc), other than wattage rating? So is what you are saying is that on specs alone, it doesn't seem like it would be the ideal bass amp? I know these are specs alone and I still need to try it for myself with my rig.

    Regarding my uses, I'm basically trying to replicate or do better than my M-2000 in a alternative/hard rock setting. Low, growly, slightly overdriven. And all that.

    Thanks again!

    -T
     
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I honestly don't know what the frequency response specifications are for any other tube bass amps. My guess is that they're similar because the lower you want to go in frequency, the more iron the output transformer is going to need to do it cleanly.

    The real proof is by using your ear...specs only tell you so much and it's the ear that you're looking to please anyway.

    I looked at Prepal and they haven't tracked prices on the Classic 120/120...how much is GC asking for that beast?
     
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    another hidden gem from Peavey. They make a 50/50, a 60/60, 120/120 as well as a mono 50, 60 and 120 that I've seen and/or know of.

    I've been watching them on eBay for a while now. One of these days I'll snag one a 'living room PA' I'm planning.... plugged into a pair of Bag End TA1200-B :bassist:
     
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    120 watts to each should be fine... that power amp bridged is only a little bit less wattage then a 400+ and it a little bit more than a Traynor YBA200 or Trace V4 or the small Aguilar, etc

    maybe not as low as clean and as loud... but should be close.
     
  8. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Went to GC today and took the only "preamp" I had lying around which was a Bass V-amp. I took my M-2000 too but didn't have time to hook it up to do a direct comparison of sound level. But...

    I dunno. It seemed to me MUCH louder when I first hooked up a random bass direct to the input. It was booming and I only had the front levels on halfway. Okay, not booming like BOOMING but it was surprisingly loud. After hooking up the V-amp and plugging in a Sterling, it was somewhat subdued. Like, I knew I could have turned up way louder, but I didn't want to have to. Well, just as you said JamesH, it wasn't quite as loud as my M-2000 could have probably gone on the pair of 2x10's there. Could have also been the cabs, I know. But hmm. I wasn't exactly "I'LL TAKE IT!". I'm still deciding though. I was hoping to replace my M-2000 and either sell it or save it from daily abuse. Ehh. The 53+lbs makes that thought a bit less desirable, but for the right sound and volume level, I'd be down with it. Hmm.

    I might go in there again sometime, but maybe I'm just pushing the issue.

    Oh, and they're asking $250 for it, which is the reason why I'm even bothering to think about this. I think it's a pretty good price, eh?

    -T
     
  9. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    *NEW REALIZATION!*

    OKAY, I messed up and realize what happened!

    Maybe I should start from the beginning.

    I first even bought the V-amp because my band is traveling out of state again and we no longer want to haul all the gear across the country. Trust me, IT SUCKS. So, we all decided to get a decent sounding enough direct-in set up to get away with. Most audience members don't even care about exactly what you sound like, and we aren't exactly *insert big name band here* to afford to care about how we sound like for a one day show in a city we've never been to before.

    SOOO, I bought the v-amp because it was affordable and sounds decent enough. Anyway, I've been using it direct-in to the board for as long as I've had it (a whole 1 week or so). BUT, when you use it direct-in, it has no control over it's XLR output! SO, the master volume I've always had on 2-3! So when I tried it out at GC, I kept turning the amp volume up but not the MASTER VOLUME! DOH! :rollno:

    Okay, I think I'm going to go back for it. Maybe I'll test it out again. They can't release it until May because of some pawn-shop type regulations about seeing if it's stolen or whatever, but they said I can put it on layaway. And he even said I could have it refundable if I change my mind in a certain # of days. I'm hoping this last part isn't BS.

    Whoa, okay, this may work! If so, I'm off to find a decent preamp! SVT-CL? SVP-Pro? SVT-BSP? Sansamp? It just needs to be hard-rockin...

    I'll update!

    -T
     
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    cool!

    the new Fender Pre looks killer... even though I'm set for a rig, I'd still like to give it a spin.
     
  11. 6L6

    6L6

    Apr 7, 2005
    What about the peavey at top
    and another amp for low ?
    I started a new thread for this ! :smug:
    BW, i have a 60/60 W CLassic.
    Mine can't be bridged. (at least
    there is no easey way to this).
     
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    $250...that seems like quite a deal to me. I've seen a number of Classic 60/60s and they always seem to be about $200. I'd grab that puppy for $250.

    Seems kind of weird that they'd put it on the sales floor before they can actually sell it...I guess they can get some of your money now and some later. I hope that they take it off the floor once you put it on layway so some bozo doesn't blow it up...

    Just imagine that power amp and a pair of Klipschorns for home stereo....
     
  13. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    For $250, I'd jump on that. If you were really concerned about volume, run your M2000 as a pre into that, run one cab from the Basis, and one from the Peavey. Overkill? Probably. Fun? Oh yes!
     
  14. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    HOLY MOLY! Yes, that would be severe overkill. In volume, nice tone, and my back! Yikes! But great idea! I like the way you think... :bassist: I'll think about that...

    Yeah, I do want to make my way down there very, very soon (if I do decide to get it) so that some dude doesn't go "Hey, let's unplug the speakers and test the DI out on this thing!" Yeehaw. :rollno:

    -T
     
  15. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just looked up the weight on a Mesa 400+. It's "only" ~45lbs? You mean this beast weighs MORE than a 400+?! WHOA! And here I was saying to myself I'd never own a 400+ until I was cool (and rich enough) to have roadies to carry it for me. Part of the reason I gave up my SVT-4Pro was weight. Then again, I hear the older SVT heads weigh even more than that (and that Peavey Classic 400 is around 90+?). Geez, how do you guys do it?
     
  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    spinach























    and a hand truck :bassist:
     
  17. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Don't need to imagine around here! '76 Klipschorns (with custom Jensen PIO networks) and McIntosh Mc30s are my daily drivers. Plenty sweet, plenty balls! Bout perfect, really. I'm thinking about a new preamp, though.

    Are you familair with the Chicago Horn Club?
     
  18. I use a good friend or bandmate!