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Once you go tube...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 15000volts, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. As an amateur player with shallow pockets, every amp I've owned or even tried was solid state. However, I've always wandered what it was like to play with a tube amp. So yesterday, at band practice(we practice in a studio the studio's amps), I got on a Mesa Boogie dual rectifier guitar amp to finally see what the fuss is all about. Even with a guitar amp I could tell what a massive difference it is. After that I didn't want to go back to "my" GK 700RBII.
    Now for the real issue: I think I need a tube amp, or every amp I play from now on is gonna sound like snot to me... that, or I need to go test a VT and see how close me can get to that tone.
  2. Your Gk will outperform *Nearly* any tube amp. I have a bunch of tube and a few solid state heads. I can find that tone with any one of them. I just through a good pedal in front of my Firebass or 700Rb & away I go.
  3. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    Also worth noting, Sansamp makes a Dual Recto character pedal.
  4. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Careful 15000volts; you'll get hooked and never look back! ;)

    I started with tube amps about 40 years ago, switched to the on paper technologically superior transistor gear in the mid 70's, and after a long run of buying whatever was the “hot amp du jour” I had a tube epiphany in the late 90's.
    Now my one time "latest and greatest" transistor amps are just expensive decorations sitting under covers in my shop.

    Obviously it boils down to personal taste, and of course often individuals need to make compromises based on their specific situations, but...
    There is a reason that so very often when you see bona fide pro players live you see tube amps behind them, regardless of the technology, weight, inconvenience, etc. they just sound good; and it seems most times it's an SVT.
    It's not a conspiracy, it's not because they haven't had an opportunity to ever play through transistor amps, it's not because they are naive and "don't know any better"; it's because they choose them, and the majority of big leaguers can play pretty much anything they want.
    Of course having crew to schlep them around is a huge advantage.

    So again; be careful! If you don't have the wherewithal, cartage, and dedication to tone needed to deal with them, tube amps can be a costly addiction, both fiscally and physically.
    If you aren’t ready to deal the pitfalls, just “step away from the glowing bottles”. :D
  5. PSPookie

    PSPookie Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    Actually, for some things I prefer my 700RBII to my VB-2.
  6. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I love tube amps for guitar.....but have yet to see the light on bass.

    I've tried: vintage OR120, SUNN 2000S, Traynor YBA-1 & YGL-3a Mark III, and Ampeg V4.

    While all have sounded good.....and all sounded good in different ways at different volumes.

    ...none sound good with my band at gig volume.....

    I've really dug most of the SS/Hybrid amps I've tried so far.

    I've never played a SVT....so.......:confused:
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've bounced back and forth between tube, SS, and hybrids for decades, now I gig mini Class D hybrid.
  8. I will never understand the tube hype.
  9. dozicusmaximus


    Mar 18, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I got a tube amp this past weekend, my first a VB-2.
    It's freakin awesome. I like my tone really dirty. It has an overdrive section that sounds pretty good. And when I boost it with the Boss FZ-2 it sounds even better.
    I guess the tone that I thought I wanted in Fuzz pedals, turned out to be a driven tube amp.
    I have to relearn all my pedals again :)
  10. While I can 'get by' using my s/s rack gear or going direct at venues, and there are far less variables and far more conveniences when I use them, absolutely nothing beats my vintage tube tone when I pull out the old Marshall head. Do I need or use it for every gig? No. Do I believe tubes flat out sound better? Yes.
  11. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Well I gig SS, Hybrids and all tubes!

    I consider my all tube Sadowsky SA200 to be one of the finest (and most epensive) all tube amps available, but there are situations where my MarkBass SA450 sounds better! (and weighs 6 times less)

    Its sound is far more "shapeable" and therefore useful in a dense mix or in boomy rooms than the SA200.

    So for me all tube is not per default "better" thn everything else.
  12. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Since the 70's, I have had all types of bass rigs (80 pound all-tube amps, all solid state amps, hybrid amps). The only thing I haven't tried yet are the lightweight micro Class D amps (such as the GB Shuttle 9 for example, or any of the Markbass lightweight amps).

    I am now 54 years old, and I just can't schlep around an amp head that weighs anything over 50 pounds. And yet, I love tube tone!! I have therefore settled on playing through a Kern IP-777 tube preamp, and a QSC PLX 3602 solid state power amp. It's schlepable, and it gives BIG tube tone!

    Me happy.:bassist:
  13. while a great tube amp will always be my passion... a great amp is a great amp no matter what means it took to get the sound out of your rig.

    Until I build my dream tube head (first build is getting closer every day), my 100% solid state AMP BH-250 completely suits my needs and mostly satisfies my taste for tone.
  14. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    From the sound of it, you don't enjoy the sounds of tube amps running hard...

    Tell me, what's it like your ears possessed by Satan?:p
  15. I JUST recently (like 2 weeks ago) got my first tube head, after playing nothing but solid state for almost 15 years.

    I.... LOVE IT!!!

    It IS pretty different than solid state. However... just because it's a tube amp, it doesn't mean it's a be-all-end-all. A few of my basses just sound BETTER through my SS heads... especially the active ones.
  16. the tubes just sound so juicy! plus, I believe there's a whole deal more into amps than just the sound. some people just feel better/happier playing through a huge rig with a tube head, and feeling good and having fun are the motives for me to play the bass, so that matters a lot. If only there were cheap tube heads...
  17. does anyone use guitar tube amps? I really don't need a 200W head, so maybe a used 30W guitar head would do the deal? but i'd probably have to push the lows on that up to max..
  18. brickerenator


    May 12, 2010
  19. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I've always loved tube tone but never actually owned an all tube amp (figure that one out). Finally sold off a bunch of gear over the last month and I'm working on picking up a Sunn 300t right now.

    There was no going back to my Sansamp rig after I tried out a real SVT at a few practices some months ago. What sounded awesome to me for years sounded like absolute ass after comparing it to the real deal.
  20. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    The problem with using a 30w guitar amp is the lack of headroom and the way it's EQ'd (usually more modern amps).
    bass frequencies suck way more power than guitar.

    I've tried to use my 50w Traynor YBA-1 with my band, but it's just not loud enough.....and runs out of headroom early. Sounds great, but can't keep up.
    Even 100w may not have enough headroom for band use.
    A lot of older amps were voiced for both guitar and bass.....so that could work.

    It all depends on application.
    30w would work for bedroom jamming or lower volume bands. :thu:
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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