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Tube tone stacks

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by denton57, May 31, 2007.

  1. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    What are the differences in the tube head tone stacks? I know that the Mesa 400 is based on a Fender Bassman and an Ampeg b25 is based on a b15. What about the others?What makes each tone stack different? Is my Sunn 300T based on a Fender Bassman like the Mesa?
  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Sunn 300T the same thing as a Fender Bassman 300?
  3. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    you're right

    orange, marshall, hiwatt, traynor all passive
    ampeg I don't know
    Sadowsky: bass, mid, treble passive, top and bottom active
  4. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    If I remmember from what I've read and from the way my old Fender TBP-1 preamp worked.

    The EQ is based on the Fender bassman. The EQ doesn't have a real "flat" setting like most amps at 12 o'clock. The "flat" settign recommended on the manual was BASS and TREBLE at 2 o'clock and MID on full. The MIDS were cut only and the bass and treble were boost/cut. The EQ was really reactive to one another. To me it was just a matter of getting used to it. I loved the way it sounded, very "natural" and with an "organic warmth" to my ears. These ar emy subjective terms but it really provided a very nice warm vintage sound. Not to clean and hi-fi; which is what I most like about the TBP-1.

    OK Im finished:smug:
  5. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Afroman has it right. The "classic" Bassman circuit is a tube-driven mid-cut only 3 band rotary eq. The bass & treble controls actually affect each other depending on how much they are "boosted" or "cut". If you crank the bass, the treble gets rolled off a little. If you crank the treble, the bass rounds off.

    The current Fender 300pro/Sunn 300T do not work this way. They have active Bass & Treble shelving eq (boost & cut) and a normal boost or cut graphic eq. While it says "Bassman" it really isn't the old "classic" Bassman circuit.

    I own a couple of Mesa Buster amps. They have the interactive "Bassman" type eq. I also own the Fender 300pro w/ the modern shelving eq. Both amps are great! To be honest, I feel that the Mesa's interactive circuit makes it easier to dial in great sounds. With the 300pro's more extensive circuitry, great tones can obviously be achieved - but it makes it possible to find some unpleasant sounds as well. You just have to be judicious with the graphic.

    The "classic" Bassman circuit can be strange to bass players who are used to the modern active eq in most bass amps. Once you play with it for a few minutes, however, the old circuit makes a lot of sense. It helps to keep you from boosting mids too much & also seems more "musical" in some ways. If you love parametric - style control, then you'd probably hate the old Bassman circuit.

    I still need to get my hands on a Fender TBP-1 preamp. It has the old circuit and a parametric band as well. Possibly the best of both worlds?

    Hope this helps. And I hope I explained the Bassman circuit accurately!:smug:
  6. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Thanks! I have been running the Sunn basically flat. Bass and treble at the click (btween 6-7) and the graphic eq bypassed. Master cranked 8-10 and pre around 3-4. I was just curious about the differences in the Ampeg and Fender tone stacks, and what makes them different. Thanks for info!
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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