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Trace Elliot Twin Valve sound description

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by malpasso, Dec 19, 2016.


  1. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    Hi!
    I have the chance to get this head Elliot Twin Valve. My aim is a portable all-valve head that can get me the so much sought after 3d, tubey, note weight tone. Will play through a couple of front ported, tweeter defeatable Gallien Krueger cx210 cabs tha sound fantastic out of my current Tecamp Puma500 class d head, which I will keep anyhow.
    Band environment is a two guitar and drummer band at moderate volumes. Assorted music styles 90%, finger 1977 Jazz Bass, P.Bass with faltwounds (Sire v7/Stingray when i go active) and also fretless on rare occasions. so it should be versatile.
    I'm addressing former or current users of this head and would be most grateful if they should share their views.
    Thank you!!!
     
  2. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    I used to use the Hexavalves. Don't know if the Twin used the same front end or not. If so, that is a SS preamp; which I thought sounded good if you want a clean sound, but doesn't do the overdrive thing. Also, I ended up selling my Hexavalves in favor of a GB Shuttle FWIW. If you want tube tone, I would look elsewhere. Maybe old Fender Bassman or a Traynor?
     
    malpasso likes this.
  3. disssa

    disssa

    May 6, 2009
    The TwinValve sounds different than the Hexa. The Hexa have not that typical warm tuby tone. The Twin sounds more softer and round, more tuby.
     
    malpasso likes this.
  4. My drummer has a non-operating Quattra Valve that he REFUSES to sell to me. If you can get your hands on one of these amps, for a reasonable price, I'd do so.
     
    malpasso likes this.
  5. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    Funny that two amps like the Twin and the Hexa, belonging in the same series and with -supposedly- the same topology, show such a different tonal character.
    I guess you both like the tone, don't you?

    Talking about overdrive, it is not that what I am looking for... may be some hair preceeding break-up when pushed hard. If I needed that, I'd help whith some vt pedal or something...but I do want velvet-clean headroom.
    Ihad a Traynor YBA-200 for a short period that I sold because of the weight, bright character, EQ limitations in the passive tone stack and the fact that it was not as articulate as I wished (fast notes would come up sort of slow or lacking clarity)...still it made me a convert to all-tube religion: The way the air moves and pushes, the pillowy velvety envelope, warm smoothness, grease and butta pullin' the band together... ;) aaaaghhlllgh! drool
     
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    So, the flagship for those qualities you just mentioned is the SVT. I know when I play those, I can hear it. That said, the number of threads discussing how to get that same thing in a smaller package is large. There is a general lack of consensus on the point, which suggests that it is complicated. Getting the right balance of spatial texture to quickness is very tricky.

    And, you can try a bunch of options; but, that gets expensive.

    Some people like the Mesa Walkabout.

    Some of the newer micros actually have circuits to simulate: the Mesa and the Bergantino, for example. Some people like those.

    To me, it is somewhat of a consolation that the way the bass sits in the actual mix, some of those subtleties can get a little less important. YMMV
     
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  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
    Personally, I think that the Twin is the best sounding of the Twin/Quatra/Hexa line. I have GE6550's in both of mine, and they are certainly warm and full, but with that great tube "sonic texture" and "3D" quality. Plenty of clarity, too. I really, really love these amps, and there are not that many Twin Valve heads out there. I would call it a very good score! :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :thumbsup:
     
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  8. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    In fact I have a mesa WA I bought second hand one month ago wnich sounded promising...but the mains transformer melted without apparent reason and it is waiting for a new tranny :rollno: in the meantime, the chance for the twin sprang up.
     
    bucephylus likes this.
  9. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    Tom,! I've read you so much in this forum! ...including your combo shootout which included the Twin Valve. Your impression was positive back in the day; but not final: it seemed you still had to look into it more deeply...
    Now I see that you still keep it and speak for it, and that alone has nearly tilted my decision towards grabbing it!!:thumbsup:
     
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  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
    Happy to help! If the price is reasonable, I definitely encourage you to pick it up. I bought both of my Twin Valves from Steve Azola, and he was also of the opinion that the Twin was the best-sounding amp in the Valve line.
     
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  11. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    Itis going to be 350 eyros for the head+ shipping...It will be a bargain if it turs out t be what you say for me.
    Thanks once again to all af you, guys!!!
     
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  12. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    I've already ordered the amp!!
    It may probably need retubing...which bribgs about one question: coul I retube it with kt88s? I've heard that 6550s and kt88s are interchangeable...buy that depens on the amp design. Any opinions?
     
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  13. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    ETA for my Twin Valve is Jan, 3rd!!! :)
     
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  14. malpasso

    malpasso

    Apr 24, 2005
    My Twin Valve head arrived the morning of Dec the 51st, that was three days in advance.

    Cosmetic state is alright. just a bit grimey, but nothing that could not be sorted out with a slightly damp cloth and some elbow grease. No bumps or dents, just the expected swirls from age and normal use, not even scratches. I already knew from the seller pics that two of the EQ slider tips and caps were missing, but I have already ordered 4 new sliders from an american website (funny, isn't it) called http://www.britishau...page/3246761641

    I also ordered some Series Six knobs for the sliders, but they are white, not black like the originals. I may get some black Strat pickup selector plastic tips to keep it in accordance with the original aesthetics, but that is a minor point I will see to later on.
    The head weighs 13 Kilos. This is one Kilo less than my former Ashdown ABM 500 EVOII, which is perfectly alright for an all-valve head. Bear in mind that the lightest all-tube head I know of is the Mesa Boogie Prodigy Bass Four 88, that comes at 13 Kilos in a lunchbox format and pumps 250 Watts, but an Ampeg V4b that is powered at 100 Watts and weighs over 18 Kgrs.
    The Twin Valveis built like a rhino. it is easily carried by two sturdy sleel handles that feel steady and reliable. I will shortly have an enclosed cover made by Hotcoves, in the UK.
    here are some pcs from the seller. ill post better ones when I take my camera along sometime:

    Fancy an expresso? He he!!
    31352727944_4f25cdd24c_c.

    31383988333_817c7f19d7_c.

    One of the extras this unit brings about is a switchable fan . The switch is placed at the back of the head. On wading through forums about the Twin Valve, I read that it gets hot from use, so I found this was really handy as the heat issue proved to be true. Trouble is that it is fairly noisy. I am not picky in this respect, but I might replace it in the near future with some of the modern and more silent computer fans existinting now.

    Now, the sound. I only had the chance to test is alone at the rehearsal room. My heart sort of faltered when I switched from standby to on and I heard no sound but the fan's. Breath returned when I gradually started getting sound after a few seconds.
    I tuned the EQ section on the GP7 graphic the following way: Flat at 50 Hrzs, a slight boost at 100 and 230 Hrzs, flat again at 500, +3 decibels at 1 and 2 Khrzs and flat at the top high frequency and started to play on my Sire V7 with the master pot at 1.
    The sound is clean but thick, pushy, warm and authoritive. Using the passive imput, I could get clean headroom as far as 9 (will use 0 to10 scale for pot positions), then it started breaking up in a velvety way, but do not expect hairy overdriven sounds form it.
    As I started turning up the master windows and drums started to rattle at 3. I do have to say that this thing is loud!
    Could not turn it past 5,5. Still that can be misleadin when playing alone, and I will have to check out power and volume when the rest of the band is present.
    The tone from this head seems to be exactly what I was seeking. Creamy, air-moving clarity; definition with warmth. Switching patches from SVT to slap on my Zoom B3 made my bass keep the pace in both situtions without sweating at all. I got the thump and weight note in the first case (quick enough in fast, tight notes passages), and the snap without harshness in the second (highs never got shrill). I have the impression that sound tends to be a bit scooped for some tastes, but I get as many mids as I want from tweaking the basses preamp or the B3's EQ. It' was just the versatitlity I was pursuing
    All in all I could expect no more from a first contact, and I can't wait to test the head in a band context.
    Hope this helps!
    laugh. laugh. biggrin. tongue. wink.
     

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