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Tube Amp Questions/Opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by edbass, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I need the opinions my talkbass brethren, I'm sure there is no better place to ask this!
    I’ve been lucky enough to be asked for my input regarding the new prototype Reeves bass amp, their first bass oriented amp, and it’s pretty close to production.
    It’s regarding whether or not they should include the following in the production model;

    1. An Active/Passive input feature
    2. A balanced line out for DI purposes

    I personally think I would want both because they would provide modern convenience, but since it’s a pure tube signal based on a classic circuit, some others feel that it would be unnecessary, and might even detract from the classic vibe.
    So… whadaya think?
    Thanks in advance for giving me “bass oriented” input/ammunition.
  2. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Not exactly. Well, half of it I guess, but I think it was a somewhat obscure post based on the lack of response. BTW, also agree with your opinion about the volume pot on the bass, but since you were the only person to respond, I'm hoping to get some other viewpoints. What do you think about the DI part?
  3. It will add to the expense, but I think a high quality transformer XLR DI shoud be included: no DC issues with phantom power and hum rejection all at once.
  4. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Thanks! The guys at Reeves are mostly boutique guitar amp oriented and without fellow bass player support my only argument has been "Everybody else puts a DI on their amps".
  5. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Actually, I'd rather have the active/passive option as many modern basses run super hot. Every XLR on every amp I've tried has been disappointing. (And most sound guys just want to give you a box anyway.) Leave it off to cut down costs. I don't think many will pass on an amp for lack of an XLR

  6. Don't put a DI on it, just include a Sennheiser MD421 when you buy the amp :)

    If you do put a balanced out on it, how about a very simple speaker sim circuit that can be turned on or off?
  7. Load it with a quality XLR DI out. As a sound engineer the quality of DI outs vary, Ampeg ones are generally quite good, Ashdown ones are ok but worst of the bunch in probably Hartke. I agree with PBG, a quality transformer balanced output would add greatly to the amps flexibility. I believe Jensen do a very good quality unit just right for the job... An IC balanced one may have better impedance matching abilities but it terms of sonic bliss, the transformer ones always sound nicer. I used to have some MTR DI III activeDI boxes and they were ok but they don't sound as pretty as the the cheap little Palmer passive ones that i use now...
    I appreciate it may be a little tricky to take a feed at the the output transformer but maybe one stage before the phase splitter would give a quality sound... Put a DI on it.
  8. I would expect to see both of those features on any bass amp that is available today... it's not a matter of if they should be there... they MUST be there!
  9. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I would prefer to have both the Active/Passive pot with the ability to adjust the amount of db drop and of course a jensen DI built in.
  10. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    Active/Passive Input:
    The amp should have the 4 input configuration, i.e. Normal High/Low and Brilliant High/Low, Normal and Brilliant channels each with it's own gain pot. That way, all options are present: different sensitivity inputs, patching the two channels, or looping in of effects.

    I think, soundwise, a 100 Volt Line Out deviating the signal after the OT would be best, because you get the exact same signal from the line out and the speaker out. You could use the line out either to plug into a DI-box, or to connect a slave amp.
    I own a DR201 clone made in Germany (Weber), which has the line out as described above. The line signal sounds perfect.
  11. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I think it's crazy not to have a good sounding XLR out these days. If they want to sell any of their amps, anyway.
  12. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Those are both features I look for when amp shopping. Personally, I could live without the Passive/active inputs, but it would be nice to have at least a switch to choose the input signal strength, and the balanced XLR DI is a given, even if I do have my own DI box, ya just gotta have that option.
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    IMHO if the front end is properly designed an active passive switch is simply not needed. Add a NFB loop to control the gain of the front end - problem solved. I concur with PBG re the transformer isolated DI solving phantom power issues. My BBE pre-amp has a Jensen transformer but the last time I worked with a soundman, he just shoved this little box at me that looked like it had been in an explosion. Use that he sez! Huh so much for up to date electronics!
  14. I find it really interesting that people have said built in DI's are something they expect and that they wouldn't buy an amp without one. I can't understand why someone would DI a tube amp, but each to their own and due to peoples comments so far I think a DI should be included on this amp. I still think my built in speaker sim idea is a good idea though.

    My Orange doesn't have a built in DI, and I like the fact it doesn't.
    I guess since I wouldn't use it anyway, I would rather it just not be there.
  15. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Yeah, I think I change my mind. The expectation of an on board DI overthrows the arguments about their necessity/practicality.

    Just don't put a Scoop/contour button on it. Otherwise known as The Speaker Nuclear Option. :D
  16. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006

    I'm about to try out an Orange, and the 1 thing that's buggin' me is the lack of DI.
  17. You could run the slave out into a DI if you really wanted to, I believe it comes from the transformer or something.

    Its an amazing amp, let us know what you think!
  18. PBG - I agree completely...gotta emphasize the words "high quality" here. A high quality transformer XLR DI with a selectable pre/post preamp switch will simplify and streamline anyone's rig. If the sound engineer wants you to use his box - oh well - What if he doesn't have a box or asks if you want to use yours...? A quality built-in DI allows you to save that $150 or so and haul less to any show - whether a small club or a large auditorium relying completely on PA support.

    As far as inputs go - I'm simple. Just keep a high-z input that won't load up the passive instrument's pickups and let the player adjust volume for any exceptionally hot active preamps. Perhaps another option would be a selectable 6-9db resistor in series with the one input...as long as a quality unit is soldered in-line, it shouldn't affect tone quality and would allow the "buffering" of the input for those with very high output preamps on their instruments.

  19. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Thanks for the input everyone! I'll be talking to the Reeves guys next week, and I'll share the viewpoints. I will probably have the amp in a gig setting on the 15th of this month, I'll post the results.

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