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Practice Tube Amplifiers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Biszkhopt, Aug 12, 2012.


  1. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Now, I know there has been few threads regarding this topic, but most of them failed to get past "get SS or throw more money and buy Ampeg B15 / Ashdown LB30" answer which is not an option for me.

    I live in a block of flats and my only practice amp is VOX amplug bass (headphone amp) which is utter crap (at least with my AKG K77's). And so i want something that i can play mainly in my room hence it doesn't need to be very powerful.

    As i mentioned earlier Ashdown LB is too expensive, so searching forums for other options i stumbled across this thread: Epiphone Valve Junior to Bass! A thread of tiny modding and major sound
    and I'm curious if Valve jr would be up for the job because some people say yes some no. Also i'm curious if Fender Super-Champ X2 HD 15W guitar head would do if connected to proper bass cab.

    Or if THIS THING (Harley Benton GA15which is supposedly based on Gibson GA15) modded with celestion bass 10' speaker and some non chinese tubes woudn't be a better idea than say modding Valve Jr.

    Oh yeah, and i want tube amp because i like tube tone, it can be a bit dirty (well that's what it's going to be if we talk about guitar head for bass), so yeah i know why i want Tube instead of SS, also i live in Poland now, i know in US there are kits like Ceriatone 2061x, but not in here and shipping to poland all the taxes pretty much place the kit in Ashdown territory.

    So i would like to hear your opinions, maybe you have some experience regarding this topic etc.
     
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    The Egnater Tweaker-15 or Tweaker-40 have a very bass friendly EQ section. I play passive and active basses from 4 to 7 string and my Tweaker-40 into a 2x12 Bagend cab has been working out great this past year.
     
  3. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Have you thought about searching for an old PA (public address) tube amplifier? Something with around 20-40 watts?
     
  4. dlegault

    dlegault

    Nov 11, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I currently own the head BassJunkie modded during the course of that thread, and I can attest that it's awesome for low volume practicing and recording. I'd been recording it through a baffled cab similar to a portaflex with a weber 15" speaker, and it sounded absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately I sold the cab before my cross country move, but I hung onto the head, and I'll never get rid of it.
     
  5. Whats your budget?
     
  6. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    The idea is to spend less than on Ashdown lb30, especially since i want only bedroom amp and having tested Little Bastard at local music shop, i can say that 30 wats it may be but it is still fairly loud. So i was thinking up to 300 EUR (370$). But generally cheaper=better especially since its only for bedroom (for playing with friends i use Bugera 1960 which is waaaay to loud and heavy to drag it up and down the stairs every time i go play with someone)
     
  7. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Minneapolis
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    All good advice here.

    I have spent a lot of time practicing (bass) through my Egnater Tweaker 15. I love the tone.

    I've also heard basses played through a few modded Epi Valve Juniors. I think they are a great, inexpensive option.
     
  8. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nice, i like the idea of modding Valve Jr a lot and it is certainly one of options i consider, but i'm also curious about alternatives.

    About your Valve Jr: Can you get some decent volume in smaller places? I'm only looking for bedroom amp but still it would be nice to crank it up (neighbor friendly up :D) from time to time.
     
  9. skychief

    skychief

    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I practice with this 1954 Heathkit EA-2.

    12 watts of pure bass bliss. You can buy one of these in working condition for $100 to $130 on fleabay.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nice one :D.

    Would love to get me some vintage amp but they are hard to find here. At least in 60s they made practice bass amps like for instance this sweet Hagstrom practice amp or Versatone combo.
     
  11. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Minneapolis
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    Oh man, that's cool.
     
  12. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Egnater is a bit too expensive but still nice option.

    Regarding Valve Junior i wonder how important is the right cabinet to the overall sound, if for instance something like Ashdown VS112 would be fine?
     
  13. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Would love to but as I've mentioned earlier customs would add taxes + my country 23% vat tax would make it 600 to 700. If not for damn custom taxes i would buy ceriatone 2061 kit long ago.
     
  14. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Minneapolis
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    Yeah the cab will make a huge difference.

    Have you read this thread yet?
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/low-cost-diy-practice-coffeehouse-tweeterless-110-[long]-736360/

    The driver has almost doubled in price since Duke wrote this, but it's still a good inexpensive option. One of the hosts of our regular GTG here plays a modded Epi Valve Jr. through this cab setup and it sounds fantastic.
     
  15. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    Thanks for link. This whole bedroom tube amps sure starts to look like some fun DIY project :D. I have nice old polish 2x12"custom cabinet loaded with celestion greenbacks that i use with Bugera amp, but still it would be nice to heave some 1x10" only for bedroom.
     
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If you have the skills needed to modify an existing amp why not just build your own? 10-15W from a pair of EL84s, 12AX7 for phase splitter and another for amplification and tone controls. A really easy project.
     
  17. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    I don't have any experience in building amps.
    And while building 1x10" cabinet or changing some things in already assembled circuit seems fairly easy I'm not sure if i have time and skills to build amp from scratch. I thought about building 50 watt Marshall, because you can chassis and turret board and rest of the components easy but 50 watt is to much, too bad there is no Soultone or Ceriatone kit avalieble where i live, because theres no parts for 20 watt lead&bass so i would have to do/order chassis and turret board myself.

    But then again if this is going to be DIY project maybe it's worth considering building some simple amp (i like 20w lead & bass and schematics don't look THAT complicated)
     
  18. Biszkhopt

    Biszkhopt

    Aug 16, 2011
    But modding something as cheap as Valve Jr. with better transformer, tubes etc. sounds easier and cheaper than building amp
     
  19. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I don't really see the point of buying an amp only to change it. You'll in essence be buying the transformers twice.

    If you keep your eyes open you can find old tube radios. These will supply the parts for a small single ended amp.
     

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