Tube amp tone. Which one to buy? I need it but im not sure which one.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheREALRandyMos, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. I am a guitarist turned bassist. I have been playing guitar for almost 15 years now and filled in here and there on bass. In the last year i have taken a more substantial interest in bass and now play in a band where i share bass duty with the vocalist. I have a couple solid state amps that are not great but they are loud. I want a full on bass rig though and tubes seem to be what does it for me. I have played ss mesaa, peaveys, fenders, hartke, aguilar, ampeg, eden, mark bass. Some sounded ok. Others sounded great. The first time i plugged into an svt at gc i knew i was done with ss amps but so far that single svt at The store is the only tube bass amp i have ever played. What do you guys love? Ampeg, traynor, fender, mesa, eden. New, used, vintage.

    Tell me about what you have, what you used to have. Why do you love it or hate it. What broke, and how much did it cost to fix?

    Btw i will be using the head that i buy with quite a variety of cabs. Fender 4x10, markbass 6x10, a vintage sunn 1x15 with a jbl.
  2. I have a couple.
    Marshall vba400:Thick juicy tube tone. I use this when im after more of a clean tone. Had no problems with this amp yet.
    Marshall jcm800 bass series:This is my main amp. It keeps up with the vba volume wise. Not as bassy. But i like a mid heavy tone anyway. I find this amp responds to how i play. If i play soft its clean. But if i dig in it distorts niclely. Only had one problem with this amp. It lost volume. I just took it to a tech to get fixed. Wasnt expensive.
    Marshall '74 superbass:This amp is good if you feel like heaps of distortation. I do like the clean tone. But you'd struggle to gig using the clean tone. I need to get this fixed. Loss of power & it makes a loud pop when i turn it off stand by.
  3. I've always been an Ampeg tube head fan. Have owned a V4, V4b and a handful of SVT II non pro's.. I am partial to the v4/v4b tone over the SVT a little... They are 100 watt all tube (solid state rectifier)...

    Have also played through a couple Fender Bassman's. A blackface and silver, one stock and a few with custom circuits. They have a nice tone as well..
  4. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Inactive

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Mesa Boogie.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    There are several tube amp makers and they're all good in their own ways but Ampeg's the one that speaks to me like no other. Used to have a 73 V4B, and now I have a 69 SVT from the very first run of SVT's and a Heritage SVT-CL, plus a 64 B-15N. If I could find an amp I liked better, I'd play it, but I can't.
  6. bjelkeman

    bjelkeman Bass player wannabe

    May 9, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden
  7. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Budget. I like hotrodded vintage amps, because I'm tight with money but have the hotrodding skills.
  8. Jimmy, so far the only tube bass amp ive played through is an svt-cl and that sounded amazing. Can you tell me a little about the difference in tone from an svt-cl to an svt-2pro? I have found the 2pro to be a couple hundred bucks or so cheaper both new and used.

    I keep seeing mesa 400s on ebay and other used avenues for even a little less and i wonder how different they sound and how much they sound the same.

    I also keep looking for a good deal on a traynor yba300. I like the idea of so many options for the tubes.

    The max of my budget if i want to get this anytime soon is going to be about 1400 us. But i do have some other gear needs that i would like to satisfy with any leftover so im heavily considering used.

    Back to ampeg. I have heard/read mixed things about 80s svt heads but i recently saw a used one for about 900 online and thought that seemed a good price. Does anyone know the differences in the different generations and their accompanying reliability? A link to another thread would be fine.

    Also what is the difference in an ampeg v4 and v4b. I assumed previously that the v4 was guitar and v4b was bass but i see people saying they use them both for bass and usually when i see an ebay auction for them there is no specificity.

    Any traynor fans out there new ir vintage. The yba200 seems like huge bang for the buck but then it seems to get badmouthed a lot. I see they have updated it as the yba200-2 now. I have read a lot about their vintage yba stuff and people seem to love it.

    My only thing about hot rodded vintage is that my knowledge of how to hotrod is non existent and i dont know anyone that i would be willing to trust with such a project or really even what amp to buy as a platform and what mods to make.

    My style is mainly classic rock and blues. I do play some new stuff and i do play in the praise/rock band at church, although i usually play 6string at church. I definitely like some grit or dirt to my sound.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The little slight differences you hear from model to model can be nitpicked, but the way I feel is that any all-tube SVT sounds for all intents and purposes like any other. I've played them all at one point or another, and as long as they're in good working condition, they're all very close to each other with only slight differences at best. Cabs are a different story, with the original Flatback 810's and the Heritage 810e's being the best. But aside from a duff period from 2000-06 where the speakers were dark sounding, most 810's are quite good, too, just not as good as the Flatback and Heritage.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I like my "Dark Era" cab. Of course, I haven't A/B'ed it with a different model though. I'm afraid to. My wife would flip out if I brought another one home. lol

    SVT CL for me please.
  11. The v4 was designed for guitar and v4b for bass as you stated. But I have owned both and the v4 does just fine with bass as well. I would actually still have my v4 if I didn't find a v4b.... You will still get a grab bass tube tone through the v4...
  12. Thanks for all the info guys. I really appreciate it.

    Btw anybody wanting to sell anything right now?
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Well stated.

    Here's the thing. This is just my opinion, but I think every bass player should own a full blown SVT at least once in their career. There is just something about that beast that gets it done like nothing else. Maybe not "better", but just that Ampeg sound that sticks in your head. I run a V4 these days and I love it too. (I swap gear a lot) But again there is just something about the big dog (SVT) that will vibrate you to the core. If you can swing the money, give it a try just once. You won't regret it.
  14. redhed


    Oct 25, 2009
    I do love my SVT CL but my Orange AD200 MK3 is a close second.
  15. I finally pulled the trigger. I found a mesa 400+ on gc for $725 plus tax. i ordered it today. i will be out of town until the 3rd so i wont be able to play it until then but i don't know if i will be able to sleep between now and then.
  16. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    i love my svt too but i've been wanting to try out the orange. i hear clips on youtube and they sound amazing.