Tube Amps. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tom Gotsch, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Tom Gotsch

    Tom Gotsch

    Sep 30, 2018
    Chicago, IL
    Hey everyone. I've been wondering, are tube amps really worth it if you aren't going to use them for distortion? Can you get the same warm sound with a solid state? Obviously it would depend on the amp and cab, but for this, let's just say a Markbass tube amp.

    Let's Discuss.
    radbass likes this.
  2. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    I was not aware that Markbass made an all tube amp?
  3. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    I love tube amps. I rarely overdrive them.
    The sound and attack are superior to me from that of amost any solid state amp.
  4. Tom Gotsch

    Tom Gotsch

    Sep 30, 2018
    Chicago, IL
    Little Mark Tube/800, but that's my bad, I kinda gave a very narrow example. Maybe it would be better if we stuck with tube amps in general. :p
  5. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    The amp you list is not an all tube amp it's a hybrid.
  6. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    An all tube amp is a tube preamp and (instead of transistors or mosfets) a tube power amp.
  7. Tom Gotsch

    Tom Gotsch

    Sep 30, 2018
    Chicago, IL
    Ha, well now I feel stupid. Forget I said anything. Let's just say tube heads in general
  8. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    I'd say try some. They are not at all equal.
  9. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    This is an all tube amp, right down to the tube rectifier but this is 50 year old amp. Sounds amazing much more 3D sounding than my Markbass LMII it's also a 70 watt amp based on a well respected hi fi power amp so it's not about dirt.

    lowplaces, dBChad and pht2356 like this.
  10. If you're talking ALL tube, tube power AND pre amp, and not just a tube pre amp.... and, nicely designed and made ones... then, yes it's totally worth it and no, solid state cannot do the same things but, as usual, it depends.
    On the amp, the cab, the player....
    Some all tube amps ain't designed to do the lush, gooey thing that others ARE designed to do. Some tube amps(& when I say TUBE AMP, I'm meaning ALL tube... power and pre ) are designed to be quite tight sounding
    I like the lush, gooey ones myself. So, SVT-VR, Fender Super Bassman, Orange AD200B do it 4 me.
    dBChad, SactoBass, pht2356 and 3 others like this.
  11. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    So far, I say yes.
  12. Oberst


    Oct 1, 2018
    If solid state amps are trying to match the sound of a tube amp, that answers the question for me. In reality, both have their purpose but to me, tubes give a warmth to the sound that I prefer.
    pht2356 likes this.
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Only really worth it if it's a McIntosh.
    edwinhurwitz, lexefx, lukaas and 2 others like this.
  14. gelinas666

    gelinas666 Guest

    Sep 8, 2009
    IMAG0342.jpg Full Tube Amps are my fav.. Try a Fender Super Bassman 300 and decide! :thumbsup: Here's a few of mine..
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
    P-oddz, metron, Raymundo49 and 12 others like this.
  15. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Yep. Their worth it.


    I prefer tubes, but these work well also.
    EAD7DB6D-C721-41A6-8B45-BE3AB378D780.jpeg B6032D8F-A111-47ED-BDF9-CDA78EE0AFEA.jpeg EDAC9B3A-CA05-41A2-8C0E-A89C62CCAEFE.jpeg
  16. jmon


    Jan 27, 2002
    Jax Fl.
    I went all tube about 6 months ago. SVT-CL 300 watts. OMG it sounds amazing. Is it a beast? Yes. But I transfer it out it’s road case to my 15 cab and it’s all wheels from there. Can’t say I’d wanna lug it up stairs but besides that it goes to every gig. Totally worth it. And the tone cannot be matched by any solid state I’ve ever owned IMHO. And that list is long. GK, Ampeg, SWR, Fender, TC Electronics, Carvin, Peavey......
  17. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Just start explore with Ampeg PF50T.
  18. Madhouse27


    Sep 19, 2016
    I have early 70's Fender Bassman 10 that's really worth the price of admission simply for the old-school smell it puts out when those tubes get cooking. It's like a sonic time traveling device. I love the thing, but it rarely ever leaves the house these days.

    For this discussion, I'm running a Le Bass tube preamp pedal into a Mesa D-800 through an Ampeg 610 and getting a pretty awesome warm tube sound. That tube vibe thing can be somewhat replicated, but it's still not quite the same. It's like a good gravy that tastes almost perfect but just needs a little something, like to be just a little thicker or just a bit more salt. I'm going to an Ampeg SVT Classic which to my taste makes the perfect gravy.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Tube amps being only good for distortion is 100% a creation of the internet due to the grunge era. I started playing in 76, and though there were bass players who ran tube amps distorted, it was pretty rare. I still run my tube amps clean, too.
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    To me, "warm" as a term is under-determined, i.e., it is suggestive, but what it suggests is too subjective—making it essentially worthless. What one musician thinks is "warm," another might find too "boomy" or "lacking mids," which another could find too "dirty," or yet another could find not possessing enough "hair."

    A pox on all those "tone" ideologies. Try some amps—tube, hybrid, solid state. Learn what the cabinet/instrument/string collective effect brings to YOUR playing. Ignore Talkbass ideologues and especially avoid stupid youtube demos.

    Be a Musician. Trust your own musical and artistic judgement. Pick a couple of respected powerful amps and buy them used. Use them a lot with top quality used cabinets, and learn how to get the musical result they have to offer. It takes time, and if you buy good used gear, it still takes too much money.

    Or just get an XXX like "everyone" says, and think that what you hear must be great, or warm, or possessed of just enough "hair." That is basically all there is. Learn or be a lemming. Music is learn by doing and doing and doing and doing and doing and doing and doing and doing and...
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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