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

Trace Elliot Twin Valve Combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tombowlus, Mar 2, 2005.


  1. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I just arranged to buy this little amp from Steve Azola. I just couldn't resist! I know, this is a common theme... :p

    [​IMG]

    At any rate, are any of you cats familiar with the Trace Twin Valve Combo, or this line of amps in general? It's 100 watts, from two 6550's.

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  2. Tom,

    I have a TwinValve head that I use for personal practice. It's an awesome little head; a bit colored sounding... think of the "A-curve" EQ offered on later Trace models. Mine arrived with the factory-original KT-88s in it.
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the reply, oddio. How does it sound, tonally, compared to the V8?

    BTW, Steve Azola is also picking up a 728 (and still hanging onto one of his two Twin Vavle Combo's), so the three of us have a couple of things in common! :D
     
  4. Tom, this series of amp has a totally different sound from a V6 or V8. It sounds similar to the TE "A-curve", also called "Pre-shape1" on their later SS amps. What I mean by this is that when the TwinValve is set flat it still sounds boosted a bit at 50Hz and 2KHz and cut slightly at 400Hz. Still, this is a tone that you can love and there is a ton of tubey warmth going on there.

    You're probably going to achieve the best sounds the same way I do, EQ off, running the Output Level at 2:00 and setting the input gain to get the desired levels (in my case about 11:00).
     
  5. WOW...I had one of these at 1 time myself...pretty neat little amp I used to use for practice definitely a "preemphasized A curve" going on there....VERY important to make sure you properly set the input gain to match whatever you are playing into it or you will hear the worst clipping and speaker farting of your life!!! You might want to try ouit a few different tubes if you have em too, probably got the originals in it which are not bad but I KNOW you have heard better!!

    Nice Score though for sure!! After all, it is a TRACE!!!

    Peace and Chicken Grease,

    T
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't know just yet, as I have yet to receive it from Steve - just sent him $).

    I will ask Steve about this. He seems to be quite knowledgeable about this amp. If he has not done anything like this already, I did find a seemingly very competent tech about an hour from my house, and I could take it to him.

    Tom.
     
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Believe it or not, this is the first piece of Trace gear that I will have ever owned! When I have tried out Trace gear in the past (or played through someone else's backline), it has always been TE heads with TE cabs, so I never knew what tonality each was contributing. It always seemed that there was something funky going on in the mids, but I could never quite nail it down. This was with their hybrid (tube pre, SS amp) gear, I believe. So, I really have no idea what the "A curve" sounds like, but your comments are very helpful!

    Tom.
     
  8. Glad to offer what help I can. You'll hear what I mean right away... I'm not sure if the KT-88-versus-6550 will make a big difference, but as mentioned this is one of those old school amps where the best sounds come as a result of driving the power section a bit harder and going easy on the input gain as Tom has also suggested.

    Edit: here's what the head version looks like... a bit like a lab instrument.
     
  9. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the advice. Man that thing looks really industrial as a head! You're right, it's like some cold war ear lab instrument! :ninja:
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, my Twin Valve Combo came in today, and I had a chance to play it over lunch a bit. My first surprise (which actually came via e-mail with Steve Azola a couple of days ago) is that he loaded it up with two NOS GE 6550's! :eek: These go for over $100 each! :hyper: They are only a few months old, and the amp has been recently rebiased. The preamp tubes are Ruby's, and I may try some of my other bottles in there, but as for power tubes, I have no intention of replacing the GE's!

    Right off the bat, this combo hit the "old school tube amp vibe" right in line with my expectations. But after I started playing with the EQ a bit, I realized that this is an incredibly versatile sounding amp! I was able to get get a very modern sound out of it (and this is even without a tweeter!), but what it seemed to do best was a combination of tube fullness, with a very articulate, precise tone, that has a nice musical roundness to it. I am very impressed!

    Now, if it only weren't so darned heavy! Man, that is a beast!

    More to come...
     
  11. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Man, if anything happens to you, your wife is going to be PISSED when she cleans out that bass-ment. You might put a codicil in your will about having a TB-ers only auction.

    BTW, we're getting tort reform and they're letting mountain top removal continue here...so it's going to be East Ohio instead of West Virginia!

    Congrats on another sweet score!
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    How's it sound cranked up? Does it get pissed off or does it have more of a milky growl?
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Definitely the latter. It does not get all spitty and dirty, but rather rumblely and growly. Very nice, IMHO.
     
  14. Yes, absolutely the latter. In fact, so much so that I bought a HexaValve (previously Jugghaid's, BassGreaser's). Unfortunately it was destroyed by UPS which is par for the course for them, at least up here. I am still mourning that incredible loss. That leaves very few H/Vs out in the wild and I am still hunting for one.
     
  15. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I agree, my QuatraValve is the same.

    Thats why I jumped on my Quatra. You just don't see the Twin, Quatra, or Hexa very often!
     
  16. And everytime you do, just remember that UPS is responsible for one less. Luckily the V8 fill the Trace gap very nicely!!!
     
  17. teotmb

    teotmb

    Aug 15, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    II like(d) the Twin Valve best when I connected direct to the Line in (Caution: the Output Level Knob does not work in this configuration, so use the standby switch before plugin in or out). The power amp section is identical to the V4 except that there are only two output valves and there´s no bias control.

    This way you get an more or less uncolored yet "full" and extremly responsive sound.

    As for the preamp section, oddio is right, it´s different from the V4 (not only because of the GP 7 preamp, the Valve input section is also different). To my ears it emphasis the lows too much, especially if you´re already using a bass with lots of lows. Otoh very clean (like my slapper bass) or lifeless bass benefits from this preamp (imho).

    The only bad thing about the Twin Valve is the way it is built. If you ever have to take it appart/service it :scowl:
    After I worked on mine for the first time I knew why TE went out of business.
     
  18. Despite my recent valve troubles, the sound of my V4 (new version, looks like a V8 with the compressor and overdrive!) is unquestionably fantastic, ive used trace gear for years and this thing is brill, clean but dirty if you catch my drift. Trace Valve units are great, its just a case of a reliability with mine. Luckilly, it was practice when it died not, the gig. Im glad I got an AH400SMX too, Im using that as my main rig now as I cant afford 4 new shiny KT88s at this time... DAMMMNNN