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solid state/tube....why?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AGav, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. AGav


    Apr 29, 2009
    so i have been looking at the Traynor web page for a tube head,and found the YBA200-2 and have noticed that they also have two other heads. The DynaBass 400H and 800. what caught my attention though is how they are solid state/tube. i thought that was weird. can someone tell me why having both is a good idea? also if its better then just getting a tube head?

  2. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    I believe the idea is to have a tube sound available in the preamp, and solid state "reliability" for the heavy lifting of the power amp section.

    Like anything else, it's a matter of preference. :)
  3. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Pre-amp tubes (which require no biasing, and therefore are user replaceable) sell for ~ $10.xx

    A matching set of power tubes (which have to be biased by a qualified tech) go for hundreds of dollars.

    Then (in the case of the Traynor DB 400, and DB 800 which have a Field Effect Transistor pre-amp channel as well as a tube pre-amp channel) there's the advantage of having a Hi-Fi all-transistor amp sound (for funk & slap etc) married to a quasi-tube amp rock 'n' roll tone.

    Tube-transistor hybrid amps are also lighter than all-tube rigs.
  4. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    I believe that the intention of hybrid heads was to be able to have solid state power and weight, and tube tone.
  5. rcarraher


    Dec 21, 2008
    Not just solid state power, but much less finikiness than tubes. SS travells better, doesn't require the warm up time, the tube matching, gives you much more raw wattage, weighs less etc...of course, even with FET's you don't get that true "tube" sound, that some of us want and are willing to endure all the above "negatives" to get.:bassist:
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Right, and the question then is how well do they each succeed, because some are hits and some are misses. The general answer is "try before you buy, whenever possible" because everyone will have a different opinion based on their own expectations. In the case of preamps which include both tube and ss channels, the idea is that the channels sound different. Versatility.
  7. rcarraher


    Dec 21, 2008
    So true. I have played one version or another of an Ampeg all tube amp for some 30 plus years, and so far the only rig I have played with a tube pre that gets close to that sound, or even impresses me is a couple of the Mesa rigs. 'Course, after 30 years I could be prejudgice or just trying to justify my pig-headedness:rollno:
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It's just part of the "Marketing" mix. Some claim to prefer "all tube" amps so many companies have one in the mix. IMHO, in a blind AB, those that prefer one over the other probably couldn't really tell a difference, or may be surprised by what they prefer.

    Just because it's a full tube amp doesn't mean it's good.
    Just like just because is a full solid-state amp doesn't mean it's bad.

    Every audio engineer has a desire to build an amp in all mediums. I'm sure that why Markbass built one. They tried to do one better and provide exceptional features but it probably scares off the purist. IMHO I predict you will see all tube designs from GK and GB. But they won't be bread and butter sellers for any company. We're not privi to the sales figures but I'm sure SS outsells all tube by a wide margin. The price for tube amps would be much lower otherwise.
  9. wallybill


    Apr 4, 2007
    Tuscola, Il.
    I really wanted to get a lighter amp, and tried a couple of the hybrids (for a couple of years) and while they sounded good, I just never had the same feeling while playing through them. I don't think I can verbalize it properly, but I'm back to all tubes now and much happier.
  10. DeluxeRed


    Jun 2, 2009
    My hybrid works pretty well for a general, mixed era cover-band set list, allowing pretty-good simulation of vintage tube stuff or getting that more modern ss buzz when necessary. A flexible bass helps, too, of course, and various fx and driver settings.

    OTOH, "pretty well" and "pretty good" are just that, approximations. It is not a "true tube" sound, but very pleasant and, as I indicated, useful and versatile. Recording from the pre out sounds pretty good, too, if it's gonna sit back in the mix, but there's those words "pretty good" again.

    When the room allows, or usually practicing, I use my all tube amp, just because I do like the sound better, the feel, the change you can affect just by altering your attach. The hybrid doesn't have quite "that" sound, quite "that" feel. It's not worth hauling it (B-15R) to rehearsals, though, unless we have a guest or someting.

    My hybrid is tough, loud, gets the job done, never let me down, and sounds great for most applications, but I always go to my tube amp when I can, and freak every time I move it.

    Hope that helps...:cool:
  11. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    If you look around, you'll find that "hybrid" amps are very common - just about everyone offers one. In fact, for pro gear that's probably the most popular design now.

    It's definitely more practical and affordable. IME it does NOT provide the full-on all-tube experience. A lot of folks don't seem to miss that, though. Some even have a strong preference for SS. A good SS power amp can certainly rock the house.

    If the power section isn't tube, I can go either way on the preamp - I've tried great examples of both. So the presence of absence of the word "tube" on the face plate doesn't really sway me.

    IMHO it's *all* about the "gig test" - all other facts & spec's are irrelevant. :bassist:
  12. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Am I the only person on TB who was unimpressed when playing through an SVT? Ive tried a good deal of amplifiers, and the only brand that has truly "wowed" me with the sound of their amp versus others was Markbass.
  13. milothefultz


    Nov 29, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Not a big fan of SVT either. It seems like it can do one tone and it can do it really really well! The problem is if you want a different sound it's not too easy to get. Plus they're heavy as hell. Which sucks. My 7 lb. ShuttleMax 12.0 is more versatile, more powerful, and lighter, so I'll stick with that.
  14. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Plus, if you forget to hook a cabinet to your GB when you fire it up, you don't have to worry about it melting down and costing buckets of money to repair :p
  15. Don't forget that a hybrid amp's sound can be improved by swapping out the preamp tube. Tubes give you a certain amount of versatility in terms of warmth and gain (distortion/growl) that a SS generally can't. Its worth it to try some differently rated tubes in your hybrid.
  16. milothefultz


    Nov 29, 2008
    Portland, OR
    And an SS's distortion sounds generally like a dead 9V in an active bass, which is usually unwanted. :p
  17. bjm


    Jan 2, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I play a Traynor DB800H through a Schroeder 15+L and it sounds great. I play in a classic rock cover band and in a modal funky jazz trio and it does both quite well.

    Regarding the hybrid-ness of it, I think it just adds a lot of versatility. I tend to prefer pretty clean SS tones most of the time, but when I want just a little grind, I like the tube sort. So I find myself using the SS preamp mostly, then engaging the tube preamp section with the distortion wet/dry mix set to about half way, the distortion knob almost all the way up, and the input gain set fairly high.

    Also, I didn't like the stock preamp tube as it was really hard to get any clean tube sound for me. I put in an GT ECC83S and it smoothed out a lot with just the right amount of subtle grind for me.

    This amp does have a lot of knobs, but the sounds are pretty much all in there. At 800W, I think it's a bit too much amp for my needs, so I might choose to downsize at some point.