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Tube amp or solid state?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BahamaBass, Nov 17, 2008.


  1. BahamaBass

    BahamaBass

    Nov 15, 2008
    I like the solid state bass amps. However tubes are where its at for guitar amps. is this the same with bass amps?

    I don't want tube break up. I like a clean punchy heavy bass.
     
  2. thesteve

    thesteve

    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Not necessarily. Unlike guitar amps, where that tube breakup is almost universally desired, bass amp tone tends to be stylistically driven. Some folks love that growl of a cranked tube amp with bass while others demand that clean, punchy tone that tends to come best from solid state amplification.
     
  3. K-Funk

    K-Funk

    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    Do a search! This has been argued 9494382962576 times, I'm sure you'll find scads of arguments for both camps by searching the forum.
     
  4. spectorbass83

    spectorbass83

    Jun 6, 2005
    canada
    Here we go again lol
    Bahamabass, check out http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=166225
    Its a list of a bunch of different threads covering many popular topics. There's a section about Tube VS Solid State there. Hope that helps man.

    As to your original question, a lot of higher powered all-tube bass amps (200-300 watts+) don't tend to break up until they are pushed very hard. What kind of music you play and your technique will also be attributing factors.
    I've played 300 watt all tube Ampegs that remained clean when pushed, I've also played 100 watt Ampegs that broke up rather quickly - some like it, some don't.
     
    Wrylygrin85 likes this.
  5. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Try some and trust your ears.
     
  6. BahamaBass

    BahamaBass

    Nov 15, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. yeah I like clean for sure when it comes to bass. I like that GK sound a lot. thanks again for the replies.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I gotta tell you...nothing on here cheeses me off more than solid state bassists having no clue what tube lovers like in bass amps. Growl and cranked tones have zip to do with why I and many others like tube amps better. I like their clean tones better, too. Yes, surprise surprise...I know it's very hard for you solid staters to believe that, but it's true.
     
  8. Yessur, Jimmy M! I second that. There's nothing like the warm, rich, harmonic thunder of a glorious sizzlin' hot tube amp.
     
  9. I don't believe you. :bag: J/K
     
  10. BahamaBass

    BahamaBass

    Nov 15, 2008
    is the GK RB2001 got tubes in it?
     
  11. paganjack

    paganjack

    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    nope GK is all SS except the fusion 550
     
  12. BahamaBass

    BahamaBass

    Nov 15, 2008

    I love GK's.

    Duff McKagan turned me onto GK.
     
  13. thesteve

    thesteve

    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Certainly I wasn't trying to misrepresent your position for your preference Jimmy. If my statement came off as an absolute, then my bad.
     
  14. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    NEW YORK
    I agree. Only thing many amps today are hybrid yet called a tube amp. Someone even stated "Some folks love that growl of a cranked tube amp with bass while others demand that clean, punchy tone that tends to come best from solid state amplification." I like some Hybrids, some solid states and some all tube amps. But if I had the choice it would be a hybrid. That DB750 have many players sell it because of its weight only to buy another. I like the tube warmthness. So I like the idea that many companies choose to put in a tube for just that. Eden, mesa boogie, Aguilar, etc. A tube can really bring wonders to a solid state head.
     
  15. BahamaBass

    BahamaBass

    Nov 15, 2008
    my GK sounds warm.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you like its sound, stick with it. Lots of pros use GK amps.

    Anyway, sorry to sound so militantly tube, but it just bugs me that tubes don't get respect for their clean sounds on here except from other tube lovers. It's one thing not to like the clean tube sound, and another to say that tube lovers only like grindy or dirty sounds. I like power tube breakup as much as anyone, but it's not why I use them. It's kind of impractical to get power tube breakup out of a 300w amp ;)
     
  17. K-Funk

    K-Funk

    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    It seems as though this thread's going to live, so I'm going to side with tube amps.

    I agree with JimmyM; I love the clean sound of tube amps much more than overdrive. In fact, I'm not a fan of distorted bass at all! I like the cleanest, purest sound possible, but with character and "voice", for the lack of a better term. Solid state amps really don't give that to me, but my Mesa Bass 400 tube amp certainly does. I also like the knowledge that if I don't like my sound, I can change the tubes out for different tones and responses.

    As far as weight, it's a non-issue with me; I'm young and strong, so now's the time to own these behemoths. People also talk down about the reliability of tube amps, but as long as you get it biased every now and then and don't throw it out of your truck, they're just fine. The tubes in my Mesa are 20 years old and sound great.
     
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Let me explain my skepticism. The cleaner the signals get, the more that tube and solid-state amps should sound the same. Unless "clean tube sound" involves some level of distortion.

    I agree about power tube breakup. As a jazz musician who has to play at different volumes, depending on the "dirty" tone of a power amp would be pretty much useless for me.
     
  19. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Now that's one clean point!
    :)
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    How do you know it's the tube amp that has the distortion? ;)