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ohmage help with a tube amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassManPatsFan, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Hey guys Ive been playing for a couple years now and i finally feel the need and desire to upgrade my amp rig. As ive been playing, listening to other players, and trying to find "my sound" I have come across an attraction to the sound of old tube amps turned way loud. Ok maybe its turned slightly into an addiction, but basically im a young, poor bassist and I NEED TUBES!!!!

    ok now that ive given you an intro, ill get to my question. The rig i had in mind to buy consists of an avatar 212 cab and possibly a mesa boogie buster bass 200 all tube head, iffffff i can find one that is. However, this head is out of production making it harder to find and also making it harder to find information on. The only information ive found does not tell me what impedence the head runs at. Maybe im missing something completely and ohms dont matter for tube heads or soemthing, but i havent found my answer anywhere. Id like to know this so i could know which cab to order from avatar (8 ohm or 4) and how this choice will effect the output of the amp.

    Obviously these amps are hard to find, and i could very well find myself buying a totally different amp but do ohms matter for tube amps? I assume yes, but i know next to nothing about them, im just in love with the sound.

    Thanks in advance for any help
    -Alex
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    If you're gonna look for long gone Mesa bass amps that are tube but not as big as the 400, you should look for a Mesa D-180.
     
  4. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    ok so does this mean that it really doesnt matter which ohms i choose?

    Is there still an advantage to buying one of them instead of the other?

    Thank you.
    -Alex
     
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Tubes amps usually can deliver full power at multiple ohmage (is that a word?). If you can find a buster, you're probably gonna pay about $600-$700. I've seen the 400+ in close range pricewise ($700-$900) and the extra power will be greatly appreciated
     
  6. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    ok so the amp i ahve now has an extension speaker output with a minimum cab rating of 8 ohms. What i was planning on doing was getting the avatar 212 8 ohm for my birtthday (sept. 18) and use it as an ext. speaker with my peavey to get some more air moving until i save up more money to buy a head. If its true about the 400+ being close in price to the buster like you said, then ill definitely be shooting for that one. Does this sound like a good plan?
    Thanks
    -Alex
     
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Hey Alex,

    I bought my 400+ from another TB'er and paid $800 cash for the amp, a Mesa shockmount rack and 2 extra sets of preamp tubes and one extra set of power tubes.

    To answer your question about the benefits of 4 or 8 ohms, or in the case of the 400+ also 2 ohm loads...they're going to sound pretty similar. If'n you buy 8ohm cabs you have the ability to expand your rig easily. Fer instance if you wanted to do 2 x 8ohm cabs for 4 ohms or 2 x (2 x 8ohm cabs) for a total load of 2 ohms, you could...but of course you'd be ungodly loud.

    The down side of the 400+? It weighs about 50 pounds before getting a case. If you need to re-tube, you'd better have $220 handy for those glass bottles. It does give you heavenly tone though.
     
  8. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    holy mackeral!!! 220 bucks????

    I can deal with the weight, im a rather large kid but 220 bucks?

    How often do you have to retube? Ill have to keep in mind that im going to college in a couple years and 220 is a lot of money to retube if i have to do it often while also having to pay for college and living fees.

    Thanks for all the help
    -Alex
     
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    A lot of people like to spread the myth that you'll have to re-tube lots n' lots...like every few years. I'm not of that mind. A good set of tubes run within the right tolerances should last much longer, if not indefinitely. I have some old tubes that sound great about 50 years after they were made. I also have a 1965 Fender Vibrochamp that came with a set of original tubes and still sounds great.

    If you run your amp every day for several hours you may have to replace them before someone who only plugs in every once in a while. I also run a fan at the back of my amp along with the on-board Mesa fan (set at high)...Keeping them cool can't hurt their longevity either.

    The final answer is...change them when you don't like the tone they produce.
     
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I always suggest 8 ohm cabinets... That way, when you go back to solid state, you can use two of them on a head that can't go below 4 ohms.
     
  11. Dave M

    Dave M

    Jun 12, 2005
    upper left corner

    Ahhh, no, that's not a word. "Impedance" is the word that's applicable. ;)

    Tube amps are typically transformer coupled, and those output transformers may have multiple choices for impedance matching -- the 2,4,8, (or 16, as in some guitar amps) ohm jacks, or impedance selectors on amps.

    Yes, the will still pretty much deliver the same power at any of the available impedance "settings". :D
     
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Yes.

    It is a word.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=ohmage
     
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
  14. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have two tube power amps a DB359 and a DB728. I've put tubes in the 359 after 3 years (oh yeah... it was a floor model too) of hard use and have had the 728 for 2 years and haven't changed tubes yet. It helps to warm the amp up for at least :30 seconds before your pland and let it cool down about the same time. I've been told this, and I do it all the time and it seems to work. If you look at changing tubes every two years, save $.60 a day to save for your next tube change
     
  15. Dave M

    Dave M

    Jun 12, 2005
    upper left corner
    Okay, I stand corrected in that sense, but it's not the word to be properly used in this context. Impedance is what is being discussed.

    Do I get a brownie button now? ;)