Tube Challenge III.II: SVT vs. VT

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JimmyM, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. File 1

    96 vote(s)
  2. File 2

    175 vote(s)
  1. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry about last night's noisy version of this challenge. Here's another stab at it:

    FILE 1:

    FILE 2:

    One of these MP3's was recorded with a 1969 Ampeg SVT with 6146B power tubes. The other was recorded with a Tech 21 VT Character pedal I just scored yesterday. Your job is to spot the real SVT.

    The bass was an SX PJ with halfway dead rounds, both pickups on full. The SVT ran a speaker DI through a Hughes And Kettner Red Box Classic and into an old ART Dual MP Tube Preamp to boost levels to audible. The VT ran the same signal path, except I ran it into the line in of the Red Box. The SVT was channel one normal input, set flat, all rocker switches off, and was running at a medium high volume. The VT was tweaked to get a similar tone. I will discuss settings on the VT after polling, not before, so don't ask as it might give you clues.

    Results are on page 6, post 105. I'm not posting the answers here in case someone wants to try to guess that hasn't seen the answers.
  2. I really have no idea so I guess #2. It might be a little darker, I don't know. Is that I Was Born To Love Her (Stevie Wonder) I hear in the middle section? If not, it sure sounds like it. (Great bass line) :)
  3. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    #2 FTW!!
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, it's my version of it ;) Certainly not a note for note.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Just confirming. The Tech 21 VT Bass has continuous knobs, not click presets, so you're able to fine tune it by your own ears for a best match to the SVT?
  6. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I hit option 1, but I meant 2.

    Your results are already skewed!
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes you are. No click presets. It's difficult to work with on the fly, though. I'm getting used to it now, though, so it's getting easier. But the controls are very sensitive. Gives you a ton of variation, but you move a knob slightly and you can get pretty drastic changes.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I will make a note of that.
  9. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    Oh man, your "tell which of these what?" polls are truely a delight IMO.

    An interesting fact, if you will... The "tube emulation" SS units are believed to be designed to exaggerate qualities associated with tubes, rather than faithfully reproducing them. In my opinion, this is a really good way to mask certain nuances, those can not be emulated due to nature of the technology utilized. I remember reading this somewhere. At one of the early 90's NAMM shows, people were asked to listen 3 sound samples (A Peavey Tubefex, hybrid amp with tube pre with SS power section and an all tube amp) and to tell which one was "the true" tube sound. Over 90% of the participants designated the Peavey Tubefex as the real thing:D

    Anyway, good job! They are almost indistinguishable :) But I am gonna vote #1 as the SVT. I am 98% sure and can't wait to be disgraced! :p
  10. I'm going with #2 as the real SVT, only because #1 sounded a bit more hi-fi with a clearer top end. I've had my VT Bass for a couple of days now and rate it highly.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thanks, M. I like doing these little polls just to make sure what I'm hearing is really what I'm hearing. It's just so unbelievable that solid state devices can finally emulate tube amps to the degree they do. I don't know the first thing about how they do it, but it's finally working. For all intents and purposes, by the time it reaches the listener's ear, it might as well be an SVT. Even the waveforms are similar.

    Never got to try a Tubefex. I must say, though, that I've been pretty unsatisfied by everything I've heard that's supposed to emulate tube amps and I'd have a hard time believing Peavey could pull it off ;) But I just did an internet search, and it looks like there's a few sites and users groups devoted to it, so maybe there's something to it.
  12. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    I voted #1, IMO it is the better tone. Though if I'm wrong then I really gotta get a VT Bass pedal. :D
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    #1 is so much better sounding IMO than #2 it's not even funny. #1 sounds ballsy and warm, while #2 sounds anemic. I liked the VT track better than the B15 track in your comparison thread yesterday, so if it turns out that track #1 here is the VT, I will be buying one for sure. Os (musicelectronix) you are absolutely right about emulators being designed to be much more exaggerated than "the real thing"; but when you want color, you want color! :)
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups

    We shall have to continue this conversation after the answers are given. I started to question your sanity because all I hear is mad balls on both tracks ;), but that will have to wait.
  15. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Also, I think it should be noted, I have no idea what a 69 SVT should be sounding like. I voted choice two because it sounds closer to my Mesa 400+ when I crank the preamp a bit. :)

    But then again, how many people here have played through a real SVT?
  16. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    #1 sounds like what my SVTII sounded like.

    Hopefully it will sound like #2 when I get it back next week, its SOO warm.
  17. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    I think 2 is the svt , very tricky indeed
  18. jefkebass


    Dec 29, 2007
    Leuven, Belgium
    voted #2
    Can't wait for the result!
  19. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Although my knowledge regarding amplification technologies is seriously lacking (i've only heard the proper tube sound from a tube pedal), i've managed to get the past 2 tube VS emulation contests correct.

    I'm under extreme pressure to get this right, to prove there is a difference between tube and SS, but now, it's a SS pedal designed to sound exactly like tubes? Gonna be a tough one.

    And yes, after listening to it, i can't tell the difference, at all, even though i managed to the last 2 times. I think the difference is still in the slap sound though, and im going to say 2 is the SVT. I'm mostly guessing, though.
  20. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    +1..... Thats what I think too.