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Uh oh - I just had my first tube experience, and...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Johnny5, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    I hated it. :bag:
    Whoa. Just kidding! :hyper:
    It was soooo awesome guys, seriously. I've never had so much fun playing bass before, and I can't believe I waited until now. Now I know why people play tube amps, because you get eargasms.
    My band opened for Zuckerbaby (they're back!) last night at the Hifi for their official comeback show, and their bassist Marcus asked me if I wanted to use his rig. I nearly pissed myself. I knew nothing about real tube SVTs (I play a SS SVT350), but was familiar with the Ampeg interface, so I just dialed in my usual tone using the 3 band EQ (bypassing the 9 band EQ) and WHAM! Instant sore cheeks from smiling action. Every note would envelope me like a pillow, so warmly overdriven but still crystal clear. I almost forgot to sing some of my harmonies because I was so focused on how good the tone was. His rig consisted of an SVT4-PRO into SVT-210 and 115 cabs (I can't even imagine what the vintage heads sound like). It's one of those things that you can tell almost instantaneously how it'll change your outlook on everything - the way you play, the gear you buy, the music you write.. whoosh.
    As of that moment I decided that I'd go tube from now on. There's no other way really. I don't know what kind of gear I'll get, but atleast now I've tried tube and know that's the way to go. :bassist:
  2. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    And that just has a tube preamp... Wait till you play an all tube amp.
  3. I'm surely no Ampeg expert, but I'm pretty sure the SVT-Pro is a solid state amp with a tube pre (similar to the EdenWT line and the Mesa MPulse line).

    What you were probably experiencing was a good old fashioned increase in clean, punchy solid state power, with some nice tube sound on the front end.

    If you like that tube-like tone and power, the EdenWT800 or Mesa Mpulse600/750 do it even better!
  4. thrashermatt


    Jan 26, 2006
    western mass
    the svt 2 pro (and non pro) are all tube. i think thats the only one out of the pro series thats all tube
  5. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    True, it's only a tube pre, but still something I've never experienced strangely enough after 3 years of playing bass. I've always been a SS user.
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    A tube in the pre is just dippin' your toe in the water, amigo. ;)
  7. +1 That's a nice feature, and unless you want balls to the walls SVT grind, there would be little reason IMO to go the weight, size and expense of all tube. You really can hear the slight tube effect in the Eden WT line, and the very extensive tube impact in the multiple tube pre's in the Mesa Mpulse line.

    However.... since the head you played through has so much more power than you are used to, I'd be hesitant to say that the primary thing you were hearing was the tube in the pre. Before you attribute the whole experience to a little 12ax7 int he signal chain, you might want to try some different all SS amps with similar wattage... you might be surprised.
  8. Ohhhh yus!
  9. Johnny5 - welcome to the wonderful world of TUBES! - Ok... I am no expert, but I know that up until I got my SVT 2 Pro I thought bass amps were all the same... I had played on some rather inexpensive (Peavey TNT 130 combo - GK RCB 200) and was never impressed with the sound. Got the SVT 2 Pro + 810e and suddenly there was QUALITY to the sound and it sounded goooood.

    Disclaimer - until I got the SVT 2 Pro (and ever for a few years after I got the SVT 2 Pro) I knew absolutely NOTHING about amps - solid-state, tube, wha? Watts this, Ohms that, huh? And even today I am still learning the ropes, but I know for a fact that I love the way my rig sounds. I also know that I need to get outta my cave and try some other rigs before I pass judgement on whether solid-state or tubes make a difference to me. There have been many more then one occasion as I am heaving my amp into the truck or hauling it up onto the stage that I cursed it's weight, but once I get it up and running I am in absolute growly, gritty, punchy, butt-kickin' bass playin' heaven!

    I have also played though some PJB amps at my teacher's place and have been quite impressed with what they deliver for their size - but I don't have any extended experience gigging or jamming with them - so at this point and until further notice, I am a tube-believer too.
  10. zoloo


    Jun 7, 2005
    It's always nice to see a Solid State guy's coming out
  11. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    The SVT-4 has 3 pre amp tubes...not all tube, but better than one for sure :smug:
  12. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups

    People are way too hung up on thinking that if an amp sounds GREAT to them, it simply must be due to a small glowing filament and none of the other 40,491,209,715 variables.

    Fact: There are crap, good, and amazing amps in all varieties of tube and solid state preamps and power sections.

    Opinion: Most preamp tubes don't do dick, power tubes are the real cheese. :)

    Whatever: I have an all tube head as well as an all solid state head. They are both amazing for various reasons.
  13. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    Nad, your signature is the cats pyjamas.

  14. The truth.
  15. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    +1. I'm actually selling my vintage SVT because the Epifani gear gives me what I need without the weight. My whole rig weighs less than just the SVT head.
    I used to have an Ampeg 350H and can say that it didn't really do anything for me. There are so many great solid state amps out there that you can't let the 350H be the standard in the tube ~vs~ solid state debate. If you want an inexpensive way to get alot more out of the 350, try a SansAmp. It took mine alot further.
  16. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Power tubes are friggin' bass heroin.:D
  17. +1... that was actually my main point above... not so much that tubes 'aren't good' or that they don't 'sound different' than a good SS circuit (not better or worse IMO, but different), but that the head he tried had a lot more differences than the preamp tubes from the rather anemic (IMO) 350H..
  18. why tubes sound different. It gets into something about odd and even harmonis and if memory serves a bunch of other stuff.
    If any one has access to the paper, please let me know where I could get a copy, mine is lost, stryed or stolen.
    I have played through some SS amps that I simply loved. My current set up works well and is SS.
    I do fear palying through an all tube rig of reasonable repute as I simply cannot afford to spend anything that is not an absolute necessity right now. I know that I would fall in love all over agai with tubes. I was a tube guy from the early 60's through March of '04.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  19. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    I've always been told that the majority of tube sound comes from the pre-amp side.Have I been misled?:eyebrow:
  20. Slightly , The crunchy tube overdrice sound comes from the power tubes saturating. Same with Guitar amps. The harder you drive them the better they sound distorted.

    If your playing at low volumes a tube amp will never sound as good as it does cranked.

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