pros and cons for tube bass amps

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pros and cons for tube bass amps

Postby mike932 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:41 am

Anybody have input on tube amps for bass guitars? I have only played on solid state bass amps and have never heard the pros or cons of using tube amps for the bass. I read a review today about the 59 bassman. The author stated that he uses the 59 for playing bass , just for recording. The review writer also said he uses the 59 mainly for playing his guitars through, which is common.
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Postby ricochet » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:30 pm

No advantage to tube amps for bass. You don't want tube distortion for bass. Tubes are bigger, heavier, and more subject to damage from jostling around. The old Bassman was a terrific guitar amp, but not a great bass amp anyway. Too little power, and an open backed cabinet that wouldn't produce the low fundamental frequencies of the bass.
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Postby houndog » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:19 pm

Hello,
I tend to agree with Rico that tubes are a bit to fragile for my liking on the road.

But tube pre-amps do sound like the best of both world :lol:

http://www.genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid= ... 422&cid=95

adios,
Lovat
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Postby mike932 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:04 am

As usual you guys make sense. I was just curious , for some reason bass players do not seem to talk gear as much as guitarists , at least the ones I know. The amp head you listed Houndog looks very impressive, however I don't think I will need something that expensive. I don't gig anymore and when I play it is usually at a small gathering. I will stick with my trusty ampeg 210 combo, 220 watts of clean sound and it has the goofy effects switches which are fun to experiment with. I have a Pignose Hog 30 which makes practicing away from home possible. When I have a hospital stay the Nurses allow me to play , quietly , but the hog does the job.
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Postby lpdeluxe » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:15 pm

I used an Ampeg B15N for years. It sounded good, but it was heavy and fragile and used expensive vacuum tubes. The last time I had work done on it cost me $350! I sold it and replaced it with an Ampeg B100R.

The B15N was 100 lb and 40 watts; the B100R is 65 lb and 100 watts.

The new one also has a line out so I can run a cable directly into the PA mixer for gigs.

I am currently using a Music Man HD130 hybrid tube head for practice. Byh itself, it weighs 44 lb. It sits on top of a Hartke 410XL cab and the combination is 144 lb, and it sounds no better than the B100R.

For guitar amps I have always used tubes, because they have a sweet distortion in the range of the instrument. Tube bass amps are flabby in the bottom end, and the desirable parts of their spectrum is above the bass's range. In other words, what makes a tube amp good for guitar makes it bad for bass. On the other hand, solid state amps tend to have a clean high end and a tight bottom...so what sounds good for a bass doesn't sound as good on a guitar.

Another thing: to retubing the Music Man runs around $140. The B100R NEVER needs retubing.
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Postby mike932 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:06 am

lpdeluxe wrote: to have a clean high end and a tight bottom...
I like clean high ends and tight bottoms..we are still talking about bass amps aren't we?
What you have written makes sense, I was talking with a fellow bass player yesterday who said he tried the tube bass amp and he would have to bang on the head during gigs to reset the tubes, or he said he thought it reset the tubes, anyways it worked . I think he said it was a fender. My friend replaced his system with Hartke and G/B solid state. His set up sounds really good.
I have been reading articles about Mesa Boogie bass amps. They appear to be great for recording, but I would need to be Howard Hughes long lost son to be able to buy one. I do suffer from GAS, I now own 5 basses 4 guitars 15 harps 4 mics 8 amps 1 pa and tons of items realted to the aforementioned. I am not bragging, just hopping to find support in GAS anonymous ,because I now have the desire to buy a Danelectro long horn bass, they are cheap p.o.s , but I want one. I need theropy. (and spelling lessons).
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Postby lpdeluxe » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:16 pm

Yeah, I'd be reluctant to go back to tube for my bass rig. We gig all the time, and with the B100R I can toss it in the back of my Toyota Matrix along with a stand for it and another for the bass, put the instrument case in the back seat, and I'm ready to go.

If I were playing in a venue where I couldn't plug into the PA, though, if it were very large the B100R would be too small. Since we haul our own PA and lights, that's not a concern.

As for GAS, I have pretty much vanquished mine by finally finding a bass that sounds just the way I want: it's a Fender Classic '50s Precision with a Basslines Quarter Pound pickup and Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flat strings.

Since I got it I have sold or traded a Carvin LB20, an Ibanez 5-string, a Jazz copy, a Squier II Precision and a Tribute L2000 -- all of them pretty nice, even the Jazz copy, which had a nice vee neck.

I'm left with a fretless Jazz, a '51 Precision reissue, and a recent Standard FSR Precision, and the Classic '50s, all Fenders. I think I have the '51 sold, then the FSR will get a fretless neck, then the Jazz will go, and I'll have two Precisions: fretted and fretless.
Last edited by lpdeluxe on Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ricochet » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:18 pm

lpdeluxe wrote:On the other hand, solid state amps tend to have a clean high end and a tight bottom...so what sounds good for a bass doesn't sound as good on a guitar.

For the record, I like my bottom end clean, too.
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For the record, I like my bottom end clean, too.

Postby lpdeluxe » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:20 pm

Yeah, you don't want to be mistaken for the drummer!
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Postby houndog » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:03 pm

Yeah,
good analysis of how to make your bottom end flabby and tubular.

I play a old Yamaha tranny head at around 300w and a monster Peavey 1980's cab with 2 x 12's and a 18"I haven't weighed them...but my back has an opinion on em...+ the Fender Jag bass is around 12 lb itself.

I really like the thought of tubes...but I am always worried about them...sos trannys for me I think.

Any thoughts on the tube preamps into a tranny ?

Rico, have you ever put your tubes into a tranny ?

adios,
Lovat

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The London Lawyer exits his vehicle. The Glasgow cop takes out his
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or just slow down?"
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Postby lpdeluxe » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:58 pm

I have been converted to solid state for bass amps. You can get a lot more power for the same weight and the amps are less fragile.
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Postby ricochet » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:44 pm

houndog wrote:Rico, have you ever put your tubes into a tranny ?

Never.

Once saw, in a medical journal, an X-ray of what I recognized immediately as a 5U4GB inside a rectum. Don't know if it was that of a tranny.

I've heard those tubes referred to as rectumfryers many times. Don't know whether that one was inserted warm or not. It was just in an article about unusual objects seen on radiographs.
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Postby jeffl » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:47 pm

ricochet wrote:
houndog wrote:Rico, have you ever put your tubes into a tranny ?

Never.

Once saw, in a medical journal, an X-ray of what I recognized immediately as a 5U4GB inside a rectum. Don't know if it was that of a tranny.

I've heard those tubes referred to as rectumfryers many times. Don't know whether that one was inserted warm or not. It was just in an article about unusual objects seen on radiographs.
THAT'S what I call bein' PLUGGED IN!!!!!
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Postby ricochet » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:02 pm

I think it also entailed being plugged up.
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Ampeg B100R

Postby BobHolland » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:07 pm

I've had tube bass amps & I too like the Ampeg B100R.
My 200 watt, hand wired bass head sounds good if you don't push it for volume. Then it starts to break up just like you want a guitar amp to do.
4 x 6550 tubes & 12AX7's. Dang those loud drummers. If they got a drum they got to hit it. Most drummers don't even need half of the stuff they set up. Groove ain't about volume anyway. I guess that's why I'm not playing as much anymore. I stay broke, but I'm happy. :D :D :D
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