Solid State/Tube Hybrid Amp Heads with Character?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jdjk7, Jan 23, 2023.

  1. jdjk7

    jdjk7 Supporting Member

    May 12, 2016
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Hey, so I'm on a quest toward a new amp setup. A problem area for me in this regard has been choosing an amp head. A modern, lightweight Class D thing seems like the practical thing to do, but I'm really not super inspired by many of the options.

    A point of confusion I have regarding this type of amp: why do they all have ubiquitous 3/4 band active shelving/band pass EQs? Is there an option that has some other type of tone stack? I know that that this type of EQ, as well as graphic EQs, parametric EQs, etc, enable everything from totally flat response to powerful EQ, but... it gets a little boring.

    So... is there a solid state/tube hybrid amp with a more vintage type of EQ arrangement? Or... if not, is there a technical reason why not? Besides the more practical nature of the active EQ.
    DJ Bebop and LiptonJigglers like this.
  2. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    Look at Sisma
    - Hybrid (tube preamp + class G power section)
    - Passive Baxendall bass and treble tone stack "inspired from the Ampeg B15" + 2 semi parametric mids
    57pbass, MrDinsdale and jdjk7 like this.
  3. I have an Ashdown Spyder. If you can get one, you won't be disappointed.
    Nuage420 and jdjk7 like this.
  4. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Traditional studio quality pre amp maker adds a Class D onto their valve stage pre amp to get quite a nice compromise. Or the best I found for me.
    I generally like a valve at this stage...more pleasing to my ears.
    I generally gravitate to this hybrid type model and I'm looking to sell the one non valve pre amp Amp and replace it.
    The question is then..what with?
    Arthur U. Poon, MVE, GR7G5TER and 3 others like this.
  5. brocco

    brocco Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Genzler Magellan 800
  6. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    ihixulu and jdjk7 like this.
  7. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    The Genz BenZ Streamliner, available in 600W and 900W versions is exactly that.

    Only available used, I purchased mine new for full price and have been very happy.

  8. jdjk7

    jdjk7 Supporting Member

    May 12, 2016
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Wow! A lot of options to check out. Thanks guys!
    roller and kobass like this.
  9. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    If you don't need a tiny micro sized head you might want to consider an Orange Terror Bass MkII. Tube preamp, powerful Class D output stage (measures far above it's listed 500w), a vintage-style tone stack and way more character than most Class D amps IMO. It will of course depend on what you're looking for tonally.
  10. jdjk7

    jdjk7 Supporting Member

    May 12, 2016
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Yeah, of course. I'm just trying to get a broad list of things I might not know about... like the Orange Terror, which I didn't know is a Class D. (I thought it was all tube and just wasn't very many watts...)
  11. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    My choice for "hybrid with character" ,
    no graphic EQ, but it has parametric mids.
    3x12ax7 tubes

  12. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    orange terror bass. responds like a tube head. great sound.
    Wicked G likes this.
  13. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    Heads still in production that I have used and wold recommend: Ashdown ABM Series. Several wattage options. I have the ABM 600. Orange Terror is a great 'vintage" type tone.

    Out of production Trace Elliot V-type all day long. I have A 600H that is my main head...
    Arthur U. Poon and Wicked G like this.
  14. MrDinsdale


    Apr 2, 2022
    If you can afford a Jad Freer Sisma that thing looks incredible. Failing that I love my GK Fusion S, it has a 4 band eq along with a variety of additional voicing options. I couldn't tell you much about the EQ except that it has that classic GK sound but with a little extra warmth and a vintage tone compared to the RB stuff.
    matbard and gtirard like this.
  15. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Based on the title of your thread, the first amp that came to mind was the Aguilar Tonehammer. For a solid state head, it has a LOT of character. However, it doesn't necessarily fit the description in the first post (ie. "different" style EQ).

    You may want to consider buying a standalone poweramp, such as a Ganz, Baby Sumo, Jule, etc. and pair it with whatever preamp of your choice. I often use a Broughton P15 into the poweramp on my Aguilar TH500 which sounds glorious. Plus then you can mix and match preamps to your heart's content.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023
  16. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    +1. I'm running a Streamliner 600 into a Barefaced Super Twin and it crushes.

    Also, tube preamp + Quilter BB800 is another slamming combo.
  17. climber


    Oct 21, 2006
    I own both a Streamliner 900 and Genzler Magellan 800 and run RevSound cabs. Killer on all levels.
  18. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    I'm happy with my Markbass Little Mark Vintage amp (500W @4Ohm with a 12AX7 tube preamp).

    javi_bassist, 6-3-2 and SJan3 like this.
  19. the federalist

    the federalist I think about basses a lot. Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2014
    That's it!!
    climber likes this.
  20. GR7G5TER


    Dec 31, 2018
    Have you considered a pre-amp and a power amp set up?

    I'm an Ampeg guy, but I've got a GSS Baby Sumo, adding the Ampeg classic pre-amp with nothing else gives me some really good ampegesque tones.

    Plus i love valve pre-amp pedals and it's great to chop and change them.

    Failing that, someone mentioned the demeter would get my vote!