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What's the best "fake" tube amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lotusland9663, Jul 11, 2014.


  1. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    IMO if you want a "tube sound" get a tube amp. I have played through several hybrids (tube pre SS amp) and they do not, to me, sound like the full tube power section. RIght now I have a tube pre and a RBI pre going into a SS power amp. It sounds good. But if I want a tube amp - which I do - I would (and plan to) get one of these:
    http://traynoramps.com/bass/yba/product/yba300/
    yba300_lg.
     
    nshuman likes this.
  2. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    The very best sound I have ever gotten was running my RBI pre into a old very heavy Peavey tube amp.
     
  3. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Hey, did you just call me a guitarist? ;) For the record, my best squishy-adjective, tube-like experiences to date have been with hybrid setups - a Mesa Walkabout and a Monique tube preamp + poweramp. I agree that, if you have a goal, it's easier to get where you're going. For myself, I guess I could simplify everything I said before to this: A sound rich in overtones and open up top, the ability to stay clean at volume, dynamic headroom (i.e. I want to maintain the impact of transients while slapping) and just the tiniest bit of give. The last, in particular, is subjective, but that's what the squishy adjectives are for.

    It occurs to me that one potential advantage/disadvantage of a solid state power section -- assuming it's fairly stout -- behind a tube preamp is that it should stay more or less the same at different volume levels. The Walkabout doesn't do this, but that seems to be by design -- or at least inherent to the design of the amp.

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  4. Sal Z.

    Sal Z. Banned

    Jul 17, 2014
    Bebass, I'm guessing you have used the hybrid amplifiers with one 12AX7 tube. If you look inside of an Ampeg or Traynor tube amplifier, you will notice several stages and several peramp tubes. Where as in a hybrid only has one stage and one preamp tube. A better system would be to use a solid state power amplifier with a multi stage tube preamplifier for better control of your tone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  5. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I've read about these, though I haven't, to my knowledge, heard one live. From the descriptions, sounds like it would be a good first foray into tube amps -- serious amp, rep for good clean headroom, reasonably priced, and about the same weight as my GBE 1200 in its rack (i.e. a one-handed carry with exercise, two without). Not going in the gigbag, though.

     
  6. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    ccp
    They are very nice. The YBA200-2 is also a good choice if you do not need as much wattage.
     
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    SansAmp stuff is touted as having tube emulation and that's close enough for me.

    Riis
     
  8. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Read about those, too, while reading about the 300. My takeaway was that folks dug the sound but not the lack of clean headroom (addressed, supposedly, with the 300) but that that could be ameliorated by using a 12au7 in place of a 12ax7 somewhere (I don't know how many preamp tubes that amp has).
     
  9. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    ccp
    I like the YBA300 and I may get one one day, I have owned quite a few Traynor amps in the past. Just not sure I need/want that big of an all tube amp...
     
  10. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    Well, I don't NEED one. Just want to say I have had the full-on tube bass experience before I die. :)
    I am joining a blues band shortly and am planning to get a SB500H head to replace a LMII; I will be taking that to my gigs with a 15 and 12 or 2 15's. If we do an outdoor gig or large venue MAYBE I will take the tube amp. Thinking of getting Traynors 4 12 to go with it.
    http://traynoramps.com/bass/small_block/product/sb500h/
    sb500h_lg.
     
  11. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    Mostly yes, but have played through multi-tube pres as well. IMO it is the POWER section that makes the audible difference. But I also like my SS 1800w amp with a RBI. I did post that the best sound, to me, that I have ever gotten was with the RBI into a tube power amp - totally reverse from what most consider doing.
     
  12. Sal Z.

    Sal Z. Banned

    Jul 17, 2014
    Bebass, please forgive me for not understanding current terminology. When you say rbi, I take it you are not referring to runs batted in, or
    the Reserve Bank of India, so you must be talking about the Tech 21 preamplifier. If I still did not get it correctly, please let me know.

    Tube preamplifier's usually have 1 - 12AX7 tube. I have a professional model made by Massa Boogie and it is called Recto Recording Preamplifier that would change your way of thinking once heard. Take a look and think about pairing it up with a Crown Power Amplifier and some Fane, Beyma or 18 Sound speakers. You will discover sound and tone you've never knew existed. Welcome to the world of tone.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RectRecPre/
     
  13. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    RBI is a pre-amp that most experienced bass players would recognize, and since this is a bass forum where I have seen the term "RBI" used probably hundreds of times without putting the "Sansamp" in front of it, I thought it correct to use it.

    Yes, that is a nice pre you linked to. When I used it I thought it quite nice but it didn't give the same sounds as the RBI (and here is the link, http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/rbi.html); also it (the Mesa) paired with a QSC PLX3402 (I MUCH prefer QSC over Crown, which I have also used) did not sound, to me, anything like when used with a tube power section.

    But what the heck do I know, acoustics grad school didn't teach me about proper "tone" as "tone" is simply whatever a person has in their own head about how it "should" sound. I think, to me, "tone" is better comprehended mixing pro sound with a number of different style bassists as well as over 40 years of bass playing and tinkering with electronics and loudspeaker design, which I have. It still is only what each person prefers on any given day.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use the Mesa you linked to. There are a number of amp and pre combinations I wouldn't hesitate to use.
     
  14. Sal Z.

    Sal Z. Banned

    Jul 17, 2014
    Bebass, I was being funny. Using the Mess Boogie Recto and choosing something other ?? I am very surprised. There are also tube parametric equalizers available which offer tons of tone. I am very familiar with most equipment on the market. I have been a New York City D.J. and Musician for several decades. I design and build most of my equipment. Fortunately, I shop from home and choose certain pieces by specifications. I have studied Professional Audio for many years. Test demonstrating in a store or home is not the best means of determining what sounds good. I can read and comment as to what a specific piece of equipment will do without listening. I'm also familiar with most tube preamplifiers and power amplifiers. I have noticed most, especially bass guitarist, have very little knowledge when it comes to the "Thiele Small Parameters" I recently had several conversations with musicians who purchase commercially made speaker cabinets and still do not achieve their desired sound. They continue to search for tube tone when their speakers are the culprit. Sending multiple frequency's into a speaker cabinet is not recommended in pro audio. We separate the signal into several groups by means of an electronic or active crossover. I use a three way crossover with three separate power amplifiers. This + three groups of speakers separates the signals creating more power and tone since the speakers now have to handle a less narrower signal and become much more efficient. Tone is not only achieved by tone controls. There are a few ways to manipulate the sound. Crown amplifiers are I class. They offer superior power, however, all of the preamps in the world will not help if the speakers are not reproducing those frequency's desired. Try plunging your amp into a folded horn and hear the difference in bass. I use one 18" folded horn cabinet and it is powered by a Crown amp. I send in 80hz. and below to 25 hz. There I cut there, so not to rumble and roll off.

    Let me know if you have seen this little unit.

    http://mars-realsound.com/bass-master.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  15. Thursday, July 17, 2014...
    ...September 4, 2006.


    Welcome to TB Sal! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  16. Sal Z.

    Sal Z. Banned

    Jul 17, 2014
    Hi Feral Feline,
    thank you, you were the first to welcome me. There is so much information out there and I'm always interested in learning. It seems as though the search for tone continues. As said above, having the power and speakers to match, it becomes much simpler to achieve. Many musicians mic their small amp through the pa system and leave their sound in the hands of others. Some pa systems just don't work well with so many frequency's traveling through the same speakers. A powerful bass amp will simply cut through. One thing I learned in the beginning is power and speakers make up the foundation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  17. I've learned a lot here, that's why I keep coming back. I'm the perpetual newb.

    First-hand experience factors in and reinforces what I've learned here – or rather should've learned here. Ex: I have a EA Micro and Wizzy 10, which is great for most of the gigs I do and I didn't "get" needing anything more or why people had mulitple or scalable rigs.

    I "got it" when I played a school gymnasium and my little setup was barely enough for the drummer and I as an onstage monitor – luckily I was going from my DI to FOH as well, or the bass would've been but a whisper. So many variables, there's no one set answer/solution to any given situation.
     
  18. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    HA HA - the choice was bang for the buck. If I had of had the funds at the time I would have gone for the Mesa! I thought it quite good. BUT, the ol RBI has some great sound! I also use a Presonus studio tube channel at the moment (with a QSC power amp).

    Fair enough - Just don't assume others on here have no experience. I have degree in EE, attended acoustics grad school, and was one of the very first in the USA to utilize computer software (remember Fortran and large-room size computers?) to design speakers utilizing lab-measured Thiele-Small parameters. Also have mixed sound professionally with top name acts and played bass for about 45 years. Tone is ever elusive -holy grail is just around the corner until the Light of Day - Yeah.

    My comments on Crown is because I have had Crown fail me in mid-show which sucked - yes, could have happened to any brand but I hold a grudge and have not as yet had any other brand fail me (let me find some wood to knock on).

    Have not seen that piece of gear but would love to check it out!

    I do still maintain that IMO the tube output power amp will give a different dynamic than any SS amp. Cleaner specs? HA! No. And I see your point about control which a nice SS amp with a separate good pre will give.

    Would be a derail for this thread but I would be curious as to your PA setup you use for DJing, possibly PM me? I love to look at different setups and since I sold my large system am thinking on getting another.
     
  19. taylor16

    taylor16

    Dec 25, 2012
    USA
    I'm still figuring "this" all out but what I like about my TH500+Darkglass VMT set up is that I can dial in the tone in my head at different volumes and outputs. Be that as it may, I'm still checking out YouTube videos on the SVT and V4B frequency and am STRONGLY leaning towards getting a V4B.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  20. bassrich

    bassrich

    Nov 20, 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    Peavey Century 120 nice tube like sound with a "little" less weight
     

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