Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Opinions on the Sunn 300T

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by catphish, Nov 21, 2003.


  1. catphish

    catphish

    Feb 25, 2003
    I'm making the jump to the tube world, and I'm doing it with a Sunn 300T. I wanted to know what you guys thought of these amps. Does anyone here have experience with these? How to they stack up to the 400+ or SVT?
    Thanks,
    Dugan
     
  2. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    I've GAS'd for one of these for over a year now, ever since I was trying out basses at a local music store--i noticed every bass (except one) sounded dynamite! then i noticed it was the anp, not the basses! sunn 300t through a 2x15" cab! everything fat, round, buttery, growly--just like I like it!

    sorry I can't compare w/ the other heads you mentioned (I have a hartke 5000 head w/ ampeg pr1528he cab)

    what do you run through yours and how do you set it? curious
     
  3. catphish

    catphish

    Feb 25, 2003
    I haven't gotten the amp yet. I bought it two days ago, and it should be here within the week. Assuming the guy packaged well and it's not trashed, I'll be rocking it by next weekend.

    Once I get it I'll be running my Modulus Quantum through it into a SWR WM 410 (for now)

    Anybody else got any input?
     
  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Someone I know has this head. Says they sound at least as well as current all-tube SVT heads, with a touch of MESA in the global tone.

    Would this be the best of two worlds ? I really can't answer. But if I have an opportunity to try one (or the Fender Bassman 300, which is the same head but renamed under the Fender brand), I'll post a review here.

    By pure intuition (which actually means nothing), I think it's a great tube head.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I'd kill to try one, as it's cheaper than an SVT, has more features, and is 5 lbs lighter! :bassist:
     
  6. drd07

    drd07

    Jan 19, 2003
    I've got a bassman 300. I couldn't be happier! It's the only head I'll ever need for gigs/rehearsals. Lots of power and a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet tone. The only time I don't use it is when I do my daily practicing. I use a roland kc-300 as a practice amp.
     
  7. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    I believe some people here would be glad to know how you would compare this head to other tube heads, such as SVT, Mesa, etc. Please could you tell us ? Also, what cab(s) do you use it with ? With which bass(es) ?

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  8. I use the roland kc-300 as a pratice amp too. How do you like it? I think it sounds pretty good, punchy for a kb amp.

    I tried the Sunn 300T. That's one incredible amp. Tone to die for.
     
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Glad to read the 300T (or Bassman 300) is such a great amp. I was almost sure about that.

    You'll never see me say bad things about Sunn amps. Each time I played through one I was impressed, even with the 70's solid state models.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  10. drd07

    drd07

    Jan 19, 2003
    I play the bassman 300 through 2 avatar 210's. The bassman has a very deep and rich tone. I've found it to be pretty versatile. Just plug your bass in, leave all the controls flat and you have a great warm usable tone right out of the box. With the 10 band eq, I can achieve a vintage or modern sound. I've played a thunderbird, precision, and jack casady through this amp and all basses come through sounding excellent. I've had this head for about 8-9 months now and it has never let me down. My previous amps were a fender studio bass head (an old tube combo amp converted to a head) and an original fender bassman blackface. I need that warm tube sound and the bassman 300 (300t) delivers. Much more like the original bassman than the studio bass though. This amp has A LOT of bass. Very boomy. So much bass that I have to turn the lows down below nuetral! I couldn't imagine turning the lows up to 8 or 9, unless I was playing through a massive cab setup (810 or 115/410).

    I haven't played through a 400+ or a svt though, so I can't give you an accurate comparison. I just know that this amp sounds good. I haven't seen them around at a lot of stores though. I ordered mine through www.music123.com just based on that I loved the original bassman. Unfortunately, the original bassman doesn't have enough power for me to cut through 2 marshall halfstacks in my current band.
     
  11. I hate to be the voice of dissention in an otherwise postive thread, but my old Sunn 300T bought used was the ONLY amp I've ever owned and gotten rid of. It was underpowered, too boomy and I hated the compressor. It wasn't really a BAD amp per se,(Mine at least worked, unlike the other new ones I tried!) but compared to most other 300 watt tube designs, it was sorely lacking in headroom and tone.

    The graphic EQ didn't really do much other than add noise to my ears and the best tone I could get out of it was by basically running the EQ, graphic and knob, flat through the clean channel and the tone was still hollow with an obnoxious upper midrange honk that couldn't be EQ'd out, no matter what cabinet/s combination I used.

    FWIW, I bought mine used and it was the only one out of four others new ones I tried at various dealers that even worked at all! Fortunatley I was able to sell it and actually got more out of it than I paid for it and the guy who owns it now loves it, so YMMV. Compared to my stable of other big tube heads, I just don't care for it.
     
  12. catphish

    catphish

    Feb 25, 2003
    Well, I just spoke with the guy I bought it from, to make sure he padded all the tubes properly and is going to double box the origonal box. (heard to many horror stories about shipping tube amps)

    This will be my first tube amp. I've played through SVTs and 400+ and like them a lot, but the headaches of the weight and tube maintenance have kept me away. Frankly i'm not unhappy with my currrent set up (ada mb-1) but I got a really good deal on the 300T and figured I just need give tubes a shot I think.

    The reviews I've read here, and everywhere else, are, for the most part ;), excellent. The warmth of a tube amp, and still packed with features.

    If anyone else has any comments I'd love to hear them.
     
  13. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    My comment is that the Sunn 300T is an all-tube amp, and so you will experience weight and tube maintenance as well as with an SVT or a 400+.

    But most all-tube amps are worth these efforts.

    ;)
     
  14. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    BTW, I read the 400+ weighs only 40 lbs. True or false ?
     
  15. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Did you try replacing the tubes to try and get more headroom?
     
  16. I'm an amp tech. I put the amp on the scope and made sure it was making max clean power first thing. I didn't like the preamp voicing, the compressor, or the EQ (which is mostly s/s, with the tubes only acting as line buffers, BTW) and the overall output of the amp wasn't very stable, either.

    There's a HUGE backstory with me and that amp (I bought it on principle... don't even go there), but rest assured, I was judging the amp and not a crap set of tubes, although I'm not particularly fond of of the Svet 6550's they use.
     
  17. catphish

    catphish

    Feb 25, 2003
    Bass guy,
    I was planning on buying a set of spare tubes before the amp gets here, what would you recomend? I know you arent fond of the amp, so I'll ask you what you'd suggest to make the best of it?

    FYI, I'm playing a modulus quantum into it.
     
  18. I've had really good luck with the Sovtek KT88 as a power tube type. They're a direct replacement for any 6550, they're cheap, and they take lots of abuse. They're basically uprated copies of the old Tungsol 6550, but the hifi crowd doesn't like them because they say "Sovtek" on them. For preamp tubes, I like old JAN Philips or Sylvania (same tubes)12AX7's. They're neutral sounding with good definition. If you can't find them, get JJ 12AX7's from here:

    Eurotubes
     
  19. catphish

    catphish

    Feb 25, 2003
    Thanks PBG, I hope my milage varies from yours. :D I'll check out those KT88s

    I went to the local small music store this after noon and played through a Trace Elliot V4 that had some serious isues...it was cracking and hissing like a mo fo. Tried it with three diff basses and two cabs, so it was definitely the head. Sadly, I don't have enough tube experience to identify the problem.

    Poor guy at the music store was in a twit about the whole thing. Everypeice of gear I picked up had a problem with. One bass had loose pots, the other had action so high it was unplayable, and the head was on the fritz. I think he almost offered me a job as quality control man! :p
     
  20. drd07

    drd07

    Jan 19, 2003
    The kc-300 is a great practice amp. I basically run my bass through the monitor jack in the back so I just get the sound from my bass. The only downside is that I have a buzzing noise coming from somewhere on the amp. It's not the speaker, but it's on the body of the amp.