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Looking for bass amp info (valve)

 
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 2869
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

A good friend of mine is looking to get a valve bass head around the 100w mark, he played through a hi watt not so long ago and liked that but doesn't really know too much about the ins and outs of valve amps so i thought i'd see what people have to say here. What's good, what's not, opinions on valves and heads, all that sort of thing. He plays a fair bit of funk and jazz, plays pretty hard, does some slap here and there and he's used to a solid state head and uses a 500w but isn't finding the sound anywhere near as lush as the two or three valve heads he's played through and realises his current amp is way too much for the kind of venues he plays. So, what are your experiences, likes and dislikes, any info really that we use for food for thought for when we take a look around next week. Anything potentially relevant would be great. Before anyone says it, i'm checking out the search function as i post this.
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Scodiddly
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Posts: 3258
Location: Libertyville, IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

Tube amps do seem pretty nice for bass guitar, perhaps because they handle transients better.

Anyway, old Ampeg 100 watt heads like the V4B aren't too expensive and very good sound. The EQ is similar to the SVT EQ.
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llmonty
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 659
Location: richmond, va

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

There are some pretty good threads on the subject on the bass forum of harmonycentral.

Some of the usual suspects include Sunn, new fender bassman (rebranded sunn), ashdown, the all-mighty ampeg's in their various forms, mesa boogie etc.

I have a 68 bassman head that was modded to include 2 additional 6l6s - So it is in the 80-100 watt range. Perhaps in the bandmaster range. I really dig it, and it is usually plenty loud, though it does start to overdrive in the upper upper volume ranges.

Many will say that 100w is not enough for a bass, but i think it depends on the size of venue, loudness of band, and desired sound. To my ears it isn't the first choice for fancy slappin and other quick playing styles - but that isn't my first choice of styles anyway. Unless you go for the hi wattage, hi fidelity type of heads I would say you were in the realm of warm, slightly overdriven territory, with perhaps not as much of an attack or clarity, but plenty of round. Playing with something like a 4x10 could help project, and gain some clarity.
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 2869
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

Thanks Sco, what's an SVT?
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Scodiddly
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Posts: 3258
Location: Libertyville, IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

Rigsby wrote:
Thanks Sco, what's an SVT?


You don't know? Shocked
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takeout
steve albini likes it


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 388

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for bass amp info (valve) Reply with quote

Ampeg is the benchmark. V4Bs are about 100W; I recommend at least 200W though. One loud drummer will ruin everything.

Other good ones to watch for: Trace Elliot V Series (V4, V6, V8), Mesa/Boogie Buster, Sunn, Fender Dual Showman, the new Traynor tube amps, etc...
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