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Tube Sound

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by grungtertl, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    Im trying to get a tube sound. Ive looked at tube eq's, tube preamps, even tube D.I., what is the best way to get a tube sound without replacing my amp. What should i get?

    My Rig-

    G&L L-2000 with Bartolini Preamp
    Bergantino Cabs
    Gallien Krueger Head
    BBE Sonic Maximizer
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    which ones have you looked at already? I'm not sure from what you say whether you've tried any, and if so which ones.
    And when you say you can't replace your amp, do you mean power amp / preamp or both?

    At the end of the day, from my experience the best way to get a tube sound is via a tube amp - or a tube preamp/solid state power amp combo. But, assuming that combo isn't doable for you:

    There's the tube emulation of the sansamp bddi. Personally I wasn't a big fan of it, but lots of people are.
    There are pedals with tubes in them, which can sit in front of preamp input or in effects loop.
    There's the s.i.b. fatdrive pedal.
    There's the tubeworks 903 blue tube pedal.
    Both do a good job of tubeing up your tone, can warm up solid state amps such as the EA iamp800.
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I know that technically-speaking, one issue is that of the impedance 'seen' by the bass' electric circuitry. I notice that you're using an active bass, so this probably doesn't make any difference in your case, but I know that some say there's a difference between a preamp that actually has a tube as the FIRST thing that is 'seen' after the input jack (like fender or marshal amps - most all-tube amp heads, I think), and one that has the tube buried in the middle of solid-state components. There's something good (or mystical-magical-wonderful, of you're one of these Super Tube Freaks) having to do with a favorable impedance match between a passive picup coil and a triode. I think guitarist talk more about impedances 'loading the pickups', and effecting the tone - is it not so much with bass?

    Anyway: it's at least one interesting factor to look at in a tube preamp - that being 'is the bass actually coupled right to a tube, or is it a transistor input, with the tube stuff later down the line?'

  4. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    Depends on what tube tone you are looking for. I play an tube fender bassman 135. I love the tone, but I also make sacrifices. I have to use big cabinets with efficient speakers (only 135 watts). The way I would go is to get a tube preamp, Such as the BBE, alembic, or other fender variation (12ax7 higher gain tubes). I really like the Passive tone control section. If you turn a knob down it boosts the rest of the frequencies. If you are looking for an SVT style tone, I think some one makes an svt-style preamp. Ampeg's SVPCL has (two 12au7 lower gain tubes) I thought the SVT was an active tone control amp, but I am not sure...3 bands with 2 tubes? I would run the preamp into the effects loop in on your amp. You could make a splitter box and switch between the GK preamp and the tube preamp, but that would probably be a pain with all the cables. There is no substitute for a real tube output section, but the trade offs on solidstate power are convienience, reliablilty and affordable headroom. hope this helps some
  5. Groovehunter


    Dec 3, 2004
    it's cool like, but to get a real tube sound imo you need real tubes!!! There are ways around it but it'll not be the same.

    I use a sansamp bddi which is great but I also use a mesa 400+ which is valvalicious.

    The sansamp is convincing as a valve amp though imo. it's warm and powerful providing it's set that way.