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TUBE Ampeg flavor within $$/space constraints?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by focusbob, Feb 11, 2019 at 7:48 AM.

  1. SVP-Pro

    9 vote(s)
  2. SVP-cl

    4 vote(s)
  3. B25

    2 vote(s)
  4. Svt-iip (do they exist?)

    1 vote(s)
  5. Other (please explain)

    28 vote(s)
  1. Well any vintage fender tube amp is pretty much the identical preamp to what Alemebic sold as their high end bass tube preamp back in the day (it was just a copy of the standard fender preamp section). So a twin reverb with the built in speakers disconnected and a bass cabinet connected should sound just like a Fender 100-125 watt tube bass amp.

    The particular amp I'm using is too bizarre though and not one you'd normally find for sale - it was an accordion amp from the 50's made by a company called "Sano" and is full of Amperex tubes. My brother in law bought it new in the 50's and it cost him a fortune back then. It's not worth much on the used market but I could sell the virtually unused Amperex tubes for much more than I could get for the complete amp.
  2. PSPookie

    PSPookie Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    The Tech 21 VT heads might work well for you, or one of the Blackstar combos, depending on your power needs. They're at least worth taking a look/listen at.
  3. JulienP.


    Jan 28, 2016
    Just for info, I have both a PF-50T and a Linden.
    A Linden is nice in front of a tube amp, like a Hiwatt, then it's very nice.
    I front of an Ampeg, already colored, such as a PF-50T, no so useful after all.
    Also in a bag, when you don't want to carry your Ampeg or Reddi.
    NKBassman likes this.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    The Barber Linden EQ into a clean solid state amp will get you a very close approximation of a classic Ampeg B-15N tone. But it doesn’t deliver an SVT vibe to my ears.

    Closer to an SVT sound are: Catalinbread’s SFT, the Lounsberry Rupert, and some settings on the Southampton Ictineo.

    Hardest part about nailing the SVT sound is emulating the mild compression and note attack and bloom characteristics of a high wattage tube power stage. No preamp (unless it has some modeling circuitry) is going to get that for you even if it does have a tube in it. As was mentioned elsewhere, MOSFET power amps can be designed to get you very close to a tube like sound. Combined with a properly voiced preamp and you’re in business.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 4:46 PM
    focusbob, NKBassman and JulienP. like this.
  5. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    If you want Ampeg tone on the cheap in an amplifier; you want the PF350. It’s shockingly close when driven:

    johnpbass, focusbob and NKBassman like this.
  6. I'd start out by getting a Tech 21 VT pedal and running it into the effects return on the rig you already have. You might find that this scratches your itch, and if so, good for you because your Rumble setup is much better in terms of volume/portability than most of your next options, and of course you'd save a lot of coin. I'd research the 3 different VT options (the regular pedal, deluxe, and DI) to see which best meets your needs. If you really want the Ampeg name, they make an external preamp/DI as well.
  7. Nobis17


    Dec 18, 2018
    New England
    I have an Ampeg BA210v2, it has a built in scrambler that does a pretty good job of copying that tube sound. and for $500 new it can really push the air for a combo amp.
  8. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    @focusbob, if interested in a preamp, my B-1 is in the classifieds. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
    Played through a 6 Pro for several years - and didn't fully explore it's potential. Great head, but I felt like I had to move knobs and push too many buttons to get it to sound good. When it fried due to bad generator power, it was replaced by a Mesa 400.

    focusbob, two fingers and NKBassman like this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Interesting. I found it pretty intuitive. It reminds me a lot of my current Walkabout.

    You gotta learn that voltage control and para mids section. Then you'll own that amp.
    JulienP. and focusbob like this.
  10. focusbob


    Jan 28, 2019
    I've been looking into the portaflex options and the pf-20t is looking pretty dang attractive! With all of the di options, I could scale the power using my ss and tube power amps to fit my needs.

    How does it get by without a speaker load though? And what voodoo is producing that post transformer di?!

    Still looking into options, thanks so much for all of your input guys and gals!
    NKBassman likes this.
  11. focusbob


    Jan 28, 2019
    I have the SFT (v1) and love it! I'm just a sucker for high voltage vacuum tubes :D
    NKBassman likes this.
  12. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I was less experienced when we first acquired it, and coming from a Trace Elliot GPX 12-band preamp, it was definitely NOT intuitive for me! My best friend and bass mentor helped me a lot (and I read the manual) but it wasn't until much later on that I appreciated what a parametric EQ can do (which is what's in the Bassman 400 that I just got).

    However, my Bassman 400 sounds awesome set 'flat'; without the ultra-low, ultra-high, and other stuff engaged the 6 pro didn't sound good to me. We were using Hartke XL cabs, so that is another component of the equation.

    I do really like the B-1 I have, but I'm taking it out of my signal chain and just sticking with the Mesa. I was really using it as an experiment; now that I have a combo I don't need the B-1.

    I didn't notice too much difference with the voltage control; admittedly I probably wasn't leveraging it correctly. Moot point now. I do, however, know how to leverage the pre- and power amp sections of the Mesa. That, my friend, is an exercise in awesomeness. :thumbsup:
    focusbob and two fingers like this.
  13. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    I had a PF-20T and ran it direct to FOH @ church (transformer DI out) or to a Crest Prolite power amp. Worked great. The A Designs REDDI could do the same thing, although the PF-20T gives you more control.

    I'm more of a Fender Bassman guy so I sold it. It sounded great though. I bought an inexpensive carry case for it.

    Good luck!
    Zbysek, focusbob and JulienP. like this.
  14. focusbob


    Jan 28, 2019
    I can't seem to find any sound samples of the b1 online! Do you know of any? Is the preamp all tube or are there ss elements (eg op amps) in the preamp signal path? How does it compare to the svt-iip or svt-cl? Are you able to push the tubes to breakup with a strong input signal? Thanks! Still googling around but not finding much...
  15. Flog

    Flog Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    Another vote for a V4B reissue. I found one locally in perfect cond. last month for $800.
    I've been playing a Mesa D800 for the last year or so, but the Ampeg is on another level. It's got "that" familiar tube tone!
    Oh, and it just looks striking and vintage. If you are into aesthetics.
  16. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I have both the Ampeg SVP Pro and SVP CL and both are great preamps. However, if you want grind, the SVP Pro would be the better of the two for you because it has the drive control which enables you to dial in some grit. I often see both of them (particularly the SVP Pro) available used for very reasonable prices on eBay, Craigslist and of course, TalkBass.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 9:47 AM
    focusbob likes this.
  17. Hotone Thunderbass
    Honkey tonk likes this.
  18. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    @focusbob, you have inspired me - I'm going to go make some sound samples right now, in the form of YouTube vid's using my Sony HDR-MV1 (which produces fantastic audio). I'll slide the B-1 in the 1u rack slot of my Bassman (talk about the ultimate backup amp - that is, if I kept it and left it in the slot instead of a tuner or something, hmmm...) and A/B those two amps through the combo itself. Stay tuned, have to go get all that set up and stuff, film my mediocre playing, then upload it, etc. I don't do any fancy video editing (or slapping for that matter) so don't set your hopes up too high, but I will check the vids through my JBL headphones to see how they sound compared to how the rig 'actually' sounds, and provide my thoughts. Hope that will help.

    I would like to try to answer your questions (in order) - here goes:
    1. There will be a sound sample online soon.
    2. No, not yet, but there will be (from me).
    3. Preamp consists of two tubes but I can't say if there are op-amps in it or not. Prolly a question for my tech.
    4. I'm not familiar with Ampeg's SVT-iiP or the -CL; it's been years since I used the 6 Pro. This has the ultra-low and -high buttons like the 6 Pro, and sounds somewhat similar, but it's been a while. I like this one better than it from what I remember.
    5. Yes, you can overdrive them, and I'll include that in the video (along with the voice feature - it's kinda a boost channel like GK, sorta) and you can form your own opinion of it.

    I'm trying to be unbiased, and I'm curious to know what you'll think of it.

    Stay tuned...

    focusbob and vvvmmm like this.
  19. Blaze Barlow

    Blaze Barlow

    Mar 8, 2018
    I would go for the ampeg svt pro 4.........3 tubes in the preamp..mosfet output..1200 watts bridged at 4 ohms..900 watts bridged at 8 ohms..you can run parallel with seperate speakers at each speaker output (at 2..4..or 8 ohms...see back page of manual)....here is the last page of the manual.......Technical Specifications - Ampeg SVT-4 PRO Owner's Manual [Page 18]
    focusbob likes this.
  20. BassGH


    Sep 13, 2015
    Another vote for the pf50t. One of the best music gear purchases I’ve ever made.

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