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Tube to solid state transition=really rough.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ryan Smith, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith

    Aug 29, 2006
    I just got a GK 1001(not the II) to replace my fender bandmaster that I was using as a bass head. I loved the bandmaster, but the GK was too cheap so I had to get it. I have not had much time to play with it and I am happy with the purchase, but its just sooo clean. I really like the grit my bandmaster had and everyone talks about the "GK growl" and I have yet to be able to make it happen yet. Like I said I haven't played it very long, I probably haven't even spun every knob yet, but am I missing something completely? I use a fender P bass and Carvin 2X15 cab.
  2. Nope ...U may have to try 'spinning every knob" I've yet to hear the GROWL of 'em either- I've used em on a fair few occasions & never been overly impressed. Thats why I went back to ALL TUBE.
  3. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
  4. Tjats why I - tried lotsa s.s. & hybrid bass amps & after 2 years trying & buying 1st a B2R, Then a SVT3PRO-trying Eden, Mark bass, GK, Ashdown, Mesa, Hartke, & many others... I couldn't get the ALL tube sound I grew up on( & had until just B4 I tried these) so noe I have a Fender Bassman 300PRO & my old Aussie modded Eminar x Marshall-6x 6CA7-now 6xJJ KT77- 180w amp...!!! I just could NOT get that same warm grinding 'fill the room' sound & feel outta ANY s.s./hybrid amps.
  5. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Gotta stick with what works for ya.
  6. i use a GK set flat with the boost control set flat as well, and also use a sansamp BBDI and its a good tube emulation with lots of grunt.
  7. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith

    Aug 29, 2006
    would having a GK cab make a difference?
  8. A SS amp will not sound like a tube amp. Many, including me, like the tight, clear, quick tone of a SS amp MUCH better, and also like the ability for the tone to stay wonderfully consistent over the entire volume range of the amp.

    However, I can also understand why some love tube amps.

    There are a few hybrid amps (tube pre and SS power) that seem to bridge this gap quite well (i.e., sound quite 'tubey' while still being small and powerful. On the lower power end of the scale is the wonderful Mesa Walkabout. In the middle of the power scale is the Mesa Mpulse600 (clean tube-like tone) and Big Block 750 (SVT-like snarl). At the high end of the power and price scale is the Aguilar DB750... heavy, fat, warm, and super loud.

    I do find the GK amps to provide a somewhat aggressive growl, but it's a SS growl... not a tube one.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I much prefer the warm sound of tubes... or the sound of warm tubes, take your pick. :p However I don't want to deal with heavy transformers. So, I use a tube preamp (or emulator) along with lightweight power amps.

    As Ken Jung noted, no solid state solution will sound like an all-tube amp. I simply settle for second best because convenience is more important to me than ultimate tone. I'm now doing the same with speakers: using lightweight neo cabinets. My ears vote for an all-tube head with the Bergantino NV610 cab, but my spine has veto power.

    In short: you'll have to make that decision yourself. If you want that tube tone above all else, then nothing but tubes will do.
  10. I'm actually lucky that I greatly prefer the newer modern amps to the old tube ones... just different strokes for different folks! So, I don't feel I'm settling for second best. I also greatly like the tight and articulate tone of most neo cabs over the more wide open bass response and, in general, more polite mids of older style heavy cabs.

    Bummer on the compromise... I know what you mean though. Before the neo cabs came out, I had to give up size and SPL to keep the weight down. I suffered through many gigs playing out of a little 210 or 115 that was really too small for the gig. Not fun. The larger neo cabs solved all of that for me.
  11. Ryan, Before you give up make sure you are "doing it" right.

    First turn your master volume (or I think "woofer" on the 1001) off, and set your input gain as high as it will go without clipping (mine won't clip ever even with my active bass).

    You have to feed a hot signal to the boost circuit or it just acts as a volume control. Then turn up the boost to about 75% or so and bring up your master slowly and you should be getting growl (adjust to taste by using the boost control and master to get the over-all volume what you want).

    It probably is not entirely what you are used to with all tube amps but you should like it compared to straight S.S.
  12. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    And turn the contour off.
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I know that my "second best" is still a damn good rig... my bandmates dig it, and I doubt the audience notices or cares. I simply prefer vintage tones.

    Not to derail the thread, but my current playing technique is meant for tube overdrive combined with the slightly compressed punch of a sealed speaker cabinet. My new neo cabs are indeed tighter, more dynamic. Also, tube grind (even the preamp variety) doesn't work well with them, so I use clean tone. The end result is that some of my "gear shock" comes from having to change my technique to be less aggressive.
  14. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith

    Aug 29, 2006
    I got the GK growl tonight! im stoked, it gets the sound i wanted/was expecting. Doesn't exactly replace what my tube amp does, but for my needs in gigging and practicing with my band it will definetly be well worth using.
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Glad it worked out.

    I predict at some point you'll go back to the bottles, though.
  16. Gnosticbass


    Dec 24, 2006
    I've owned and played mostly solid state amps with the exception of one hybrid combo I had for 8 years with that said there really is no comparison.I have tried out many a good all tube amp and each time walked away wishing I had just saved up and bought one instead.The main reason why has always been money.However I am very excited about the new Peavey VB-2 from the limited info on it it looks like my problem may be solved.