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want to get an old tube bass amp head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lt762x39, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. lt762x39


    Oct 27, 2010
    I am looking for opinions. I have a dream of rebuilding a tube bass amp. Which one would you guys would say the best brand is? Best sound? :D
  2. bolt_thrower


    Aug 10, 2008
    Much love for vintage Traynors.
    Traynor YBA-3
    Traynor YBA-3A
    Traynor YBA-1A Mk.2
    Traynor YBA-1
  3. lt762x39


    Oct 27, 2010
    were they just a bass amp or did they do stuff for guitars to? I love the tube sound. I get mezzmerized by the purple glow of the outputs (power tubes)
  4. lt762x39


    Oct 27, 2010
    bolt what were the years that they were manufactured?
  5. Ampeg, Mesa/Boogie, Sadosky, Aguilar, Sunn, Fender.
  6. tifftunes

    tifftunes Guest

    Fender amps, from tweed to "silver faced;" Sunn, Traynor, Vox, in alpha order. Brown Fenders would probably top the list, however.
  7. There is no universal "best." Lots of people like Ampegs, some like Fenders, many like Sunns and Hiwatts, and then Traynor, too, has many fans.
  8. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Sound City. Best if you are going to rebuild, they used good components and cheap labour.
  9. lots of guys like the yba 1's for geetar....there are clips on youtube.....the 1's are kinda weak for bass by todays standards,but i played lots of dances/bars with them back in the day
  10. !960's or 1970's Ampeg SVT. There is a reason why so many bass players still use them today.
  11. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    You could try the Sunn 300 tube head, lots of head room and nice tones..
  12. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    If you're just looking for a project amp, any of the Portaflex amp "heads' are always a good choice, along with Ampeg B25's, V4BH's, and even old Sunns and any other funky old tube amp from the 60's. Doubtful you'll come across an SVT at low enough price and in that bad of shape that it would be considered a "Project Amp"
  13. Just as a question: do you have the skills needed to work on a tube amp? Meaning no disrespect but you will be working with voltages that are potentially lethal. I worry when I think of folks doing this without the knowledge needed.
  14. lt762x39


    Oct 27, 2010
    To put your fears to rest Bassman, Yes I do, I took electronics back in high school circa 1983 cut my teeth on tube stuff before they introduced us to solid state. Ten years later I took electricity. I am a maintenace electrician by trade and most of the equipment I work on is 480 volt 3 phase. I am carefull trust me. I will reveiw the tube safety stuff before I roll on in anything. I like the discharge tool that some one posted. Discharge spoons make me uneasy because of the crack and flash. It gives me of a flash back of seeing a guy though a disconnect and watch it blow out a huge fire ball. It was a direct short to ground. Its called an arc flash. It kills and mames. It melted a 2inch wide 1/4 inch thick copper buss bar. ( I told them not to do it, but hey I am just an electrician ) Then they ask me if I can fix it.... I said do we have any copper 2 inches wide x a 1/4 inch thick and a new can. They said no, k, there is your answer. It also took out a 1200 amp breaker. I am also happy to report that the guy did it to one side so he got missed by all the copper vapor fireball. I think he did have to change his underoos.... :rollno:
  15. lt762x39


    Oct 27, 2010
    obtw thanks to all who have given their input. I love this place
  16. bolt_thrower


    Aug 10, 2008
    Early 60s to late 70s.
    Yep, pretty much all of them can be used on guitar with great results. Tons of people play YBA-1s and they sound awesome, I play guitar through a YBA-4 myself.
    Sure, if we're talking about the overrated thousand watters of today, but if you have some good efficient cabs, they'll be plenty loud. I used to jam with my band through a YBA-1 setup for a little while, it ran through two old, single ported 15"s and it was ridiculously loud. Just get some efficient speakers and you'll be flapping pants in no time.
  17. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
  18. MikeM


    Apr 21, 2004
    Cool thing about those old Traynors is that they were built like tanks so they are easy as crap to work on. They used to be cheap to the point people would give them away. But as with most things like that someone noticed that they sound great for guitar and the price went nuts.....

    I had a friend who had the 60watt amp with matching 1X18 cab. He could play weddings with 500 people on that rig and it sounded great. His total cost $0.00.
  19. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    +1 to everyone who has already posted. Don't think anyone mentioned a V4B yet. Or convert a V4 to a V4B which I'm assuming is probably a difference of some cap values and possibly an output transformer.
  20. i agree.....seems like a hundred watt tube amp is considered unfit to gig with these days....i think that 100-150 should be the standard for tube amps and if you need more use 2..........i wouldn't say the ones i used were super loud,but with a traynor 8x10 and no pa support they were enough....in those days we were happy just to have an amp....l+m rented traynor,so we used those,but i would have bought garnet if i coulda....

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