Tube amp question from a SS guy

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ChrisAlan, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    This is not one of those baiting posts. I promise. I really want to know. I do Like the sound of overdriven tubes.

    What is the highest wattage tube bass amp ever?? or currently in production... or even recently?

    I have never seen anything beyond a rating of somewhere around 400 or 500 watts.

    Is there more than this?

    As I said, this isn't bait and would prefer an answer not a debate. I know a tube amp can be a bit louder because its distortion is actually more pleasing to the ear.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    400 is the highest i've seen.
  3. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
  4. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    It still fits in the power window I mentioned but it sure is damned interesting. I'm going back to read the full text now. :)

  5. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    Wow. To quote:

    This absolute monster was 8u (rack mounted) high, had three enormous transformers, 16 x KT88’s (……..yes 16!), 500 watts per channel (stereo) or 1000 watts mono, and four cooling fans (two sucking and two blowing). It took two people to lift this beast. The only mistake I made on this enormous baby was not to take any photos of the internals? Only the front and back.........what an idiot!

    That is definatly the kind of info I was hunting for.

  6. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Phil Jones makes one that's pretty powerful, IIRC. 500 or 600.

    Ashdown currently makes a 427 watt one.

    There have been a few that have been ~400 watts. Hiwatt made one, Marshall has made a couple 400 watters, Trace Elliot's V8 was 400 watts, I think. There aren't many that get up past that, due to bigger transformers being needed the higher up in wattage you want to go, making them less and less practical the more powerful they are.

    Though, I'm curious about Peavey's VB-3, and more specifically, how powerful one could make a tube amp using that power system. The VB-3 is 300 watts, but could one use the same type of power supply to make a 500 watt tube amp that didn't take a crane to lift?
  7. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    Okay, that explains some of what I didn't know.

    So realistic transportability is kinda what keeps most manufacturers from making nutty powerful tube amps from the sound of it.

    This thread answered my question pretty quickly.

    I've really thought about tube heads and was wondering what the max available is. I'd really like to try out a tube 400 at a gig to see how it does.

    I currently use a SS 550 watt.

  8. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    I suspect you'd be perfectly happy with an SVT-rated tube head.
  9. without starting up the whole "tube watts" thing again, suffice to say that being "only" 300 watts has never stopped the Ampeg SVT from being painful loud. Same for the Mesa Bass 400 (250 watts) and 400+(350 watts).
    There is not an issue with being loud enough, it more a matter of foes your tone work with tubes? For me my tone only works with tubes. For plenty of guys its the opposite.
  10. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    For others that run across this thread:

    Phil Jones

    TypeBass Amplifier,1CH,750W output,12 band graphic EQ,3 band parametric EQ,limiter,Active/passive input,headphone out,DI out,pre-amp out,tuner out
    Size16 x 13.8 x 5.9 inch (W x D x H)
    Poweroutput750W RMS
    Net Weight41 lbs/18.5 kg
    Volts120 or 240V AC

    That is damned sweet.
    I'm damn near forcing down a "pudgie"


    There went my pudgie, but I shall continue to dream.
  11. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    I know the whole tube watts argument.

    Check out that freakin' Phil Jones head. Holy crap that sounds cool.

    I'm sure it could be terribly awful in the wrong hands but I like to think I have taste. :)

  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    1.21 jigawatts

  13. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Yeah... I've experienced an SVT cranked all the way, when jamming with my friend who's also a bassist. We put in ear plugs and decided to turn our rigs up to full. Even with the ear plugs in, jamming in a huge room (warehouse), it was kinda painful.
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    Fender's 400PS was 435 watts, but you had to use all three 145 watt speaker jack outputs to get it. IMO, they were, and still are great bass heads:

  15. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    Oops, I don't see any mention of tubes one that one.

    Which Phil Jones head is tube?

  16. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    I've never seen it, only heard that he made a tube head with two old radio transmitter tubes or something that was quite high in wattage.
  17. baron665


    Apr 9, 2010

    skip to 5:11
  18. Plstrns


    Feb 4, 2010
    NO, cost/ affordability is what keeps EVERY manufacturer from making nutty powerful tube amps.
  19. gricko


    Mar 29, 2004
    look - guitar player i play w/ uses 2x marshall 1/2stack. i play ampeg v4b, eq flat, volume at 9:00-9:15. 9:15 w/ r/backer, 9:00 w/ thumb.

    not to worry, svt's 300w will cover you plenty.
  20. At the end of the day there isn't much need for more than 300-400 tube watts or 1200 SS watts for bass usage even for a large outdoor stage, as that is what is generally accepted as enough headroom to power 1 or even 2 810 cabs which is considered standard backline for the majority of big shows. once you need more than that you fall into the category of the exception, not the rule... and by that stage if you are gonna be using 1000 tube watts you would hopefully have roadies to carry it for you ;-)

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