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Tubes Vs. Solid State (is solid state bad?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gfgfgf, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. gfgfgf


    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    In guitar amplification all professionals use tube amps. Are the tubes that important for a professional bass sound? I want to buy amp Fender Bassman 100 or Hartke Kickback 10, and just wanted to know, would I loose much in sound if it's solid state?

    sorry, I'm a guitarist... (that's why I know so little about bass sound). I had Ibanez SR400 and Fender Rumble 15 amp... I sold them and decided to buy some real gear (american fender jazz or precision bass and some good amp like Bassman 100).
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Solid state bass stuff is awsome.... Flea is solid state, as are many others... but just as many also use tube amps. its all about preference.

    Amps in the range you are talking dont even come with tubes, so dont worry about it.
  3. gfgfgf


    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    well, that's what one professional bassist I know says. thanks for the reply.

    so... it's all about the preference...
  4. Don't forget the cost involved... Tube amps start at $1300 with the Fender Bassman 300 Pro head.
  5. gfgfgf


    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    but if I buy Fender Bassman 100. would it be good? is it a good bass amp which will give me a good bass sound?
  6. I used to practice through one. It is good for practice, but I wouldn't gig with it, unless you have some mellow bandmates and a good PA.
  7. gfgfgf


    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    actually, I am looking for an amp just for home practice. This one seems pretty much ok.
  8. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I hope :confused: your just talking about Fender tube amps. You can get the Traynor YBA for around $600 to $700.

    You also can go used for tube. I purchased by QuatraValve for $450.

    Anyways, I have used both SS, hybrid, and tube heads and like all three. I currently own one of each. Remember, it just dependes on your taste, period. Just try different heads out until you find the tone you like.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my old age, I am becoming convinced that tube and solid state bass amps are "different instruments" in the same sense as fretted and fretless electric bass. They sound and are played differently.

    There are lots of serious players on both side of the fence. Even among guitarists, it's not 100% tube. For instance, jazz guitarists often use solid-state amps.

    Finally, there is a compromise solution, which is to have one or more tube gain stages in the preamp of an otherwise solid state bass amp. This gives you the warmth of tubes without the bulk and cost of a tube power amp. Since the power amps in solid state bass amps tend to be fairly generic, you can start out with a solid state amp and add a tube preamp later.

    Also, as is likely the case with guitar amps, if you are looking at combo amps, then the speaker is probably the main factor influencing tone quality.
  10. gfgfgf


    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    the reason I was asking is because I am guitarist myself and in guitar sound tube is the only way of good sound (because of the overdrive which can only be good in tube amps), while solid state is basically a cheap stuff for people who do not have money to buy tube amps. as far as I can see, in bass amplification solid state amps are as good as tube ones and it is just a matter of preference.
  11. Actually, I was thinking 300 watters. Brain fart...
  12. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    He man, I have atleast one or two a day! :p
  13. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Besides the initial cost of tube amps there is also the maintenence costs. Tubes don't last forever and they don't cost $2 at the grocery store anymore (remember tube testers?). Tube and SS and in between can all sound good. Like you say personal preference. SS a lot less hassle on the road.
  14. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    I've been thinking about getting a Hartke amp to get the best of both worlds.
  15. Tubes last 5 years or more with a good set. Its not so much maintanance that it would be a major concern compared a SS amp. The weight, however, would be a big concern.
  16. I really think that to get the best of tubes, you need a tube power amp. I'm playing a hybrid Ashdown right now, and while it sounds good it just doesnt have the tubage I'm looking for.
  17. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    ..... and nimble roadies!!
  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    dunno 'bout the pros, but IMHO, if it sounds good, dont matter if its tube or not.

    heck, my Avalon U5 is one of my fav pieces of bass / studio gear, and GASP, it doesnt even have a tube! :smug: ;)

    and guitar wise, many many jazz guitarists use just as many solid state amps like Polytones, Evans, and Acoustic Image products.

    in the end, doesnt matter if the amp has a tube or not, all depends on how the amp designer goes about making it sound good.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I apologize in advance fer being argumentative, but for good clean solid state guitar sound, many many pros use the Roland JC-120. It's a standard in both jazz and reggae worlds, amongst others.

    That said, I concur with everyone here...there are good solid state amps for bass...it looks like you're looking for a combo, so in that 'home use' size and price point then you can find a decent solid state amp. If you want to introduce a bit of tube tone, there are plenty of amps that have a 'tube preamp' stage built in...usually a single 12AX7. It'll give you a taste of tube without breaking the bank...
  20. +1
    Oh, and you forgot Line 6 amps, my guit@rist loves his.

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