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Ampeg Tone


jimi_1985
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Hi

So I've recently been going through a major GAS crisis after using GK gear for the best part of 10 years. I've tried out numerous amps with the most recent being the TCE RH450, which I have to say sounded pretty nice to my ears. But still, nothing has been able to cut it like my existing GK rig in a band setting. My reason for contemplating a change is to 'warm' up my tone. I'd been advised to try the VT pedal from tech 21 & run it with my GK amp which seemed to be the way to go... until the BA 110v2 turned up. I love the tone from this thing!!! It has a tonne of growl with a great EQ section & holds it's own well in a live environment albeit not powerful enough to gig with. My situation now is GK + VT pedal or all out move to Ampeg? And if so, which amp?

Edited by jimi_1985
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[quote name='jimi_1985' timestamp='1434128278' post='2797035']
My situation now is GK + VT pedal or all out move to Ampeg? And if so, which amp?
[/quote]

Any amp as long as it is all tube, don't believe what some people say about SS gear getting 'close enough'. Close enough if you're half deaf and don;t care about your sound yes, but not close enough for me. I have a B-15 and a V4-B. Neither are rated above 100w, both can humble most guitarists and most drummers, and both sound superb.

The VT Bass might sound a bit like some of the Ampegs, but it doesn't feel like any of them.

[quote name='skidder652003' timestamp='1434128839' post='2797044']
there can be only one..... ;)
[/quote]

Exactly. I think :D

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1434131158' post='2797061']
Any amp as long as it is all tube, don't believe what some people say about SS gear getting 'close enough'. Close enough if you're half deaf and don't care about your sound yes, but not close enough for me. I have a B-15 and a V4-B. Neither are rated above 100w, both can humble most guitarists and most drummers, and both sound superb.

The VT Bass might sound a bit like some of the Ampegs, but it doesn't feel like any of them.
[/quote]

Plus about a billion, thank you.

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1434131158' post='2797061']
Any amp as long as it is all tube, don't believe what some people say about SS gear getting 'close enough'.
[/quote]

That's the thing, my GK amp has a tube pre-amp section which delivers extremely tubey tones when the gain is pushed, but this little BA 110 sounds great without the tube section. It has a rich tonal quality to it. Has anyone had any experience with the Portaflex series?

Edited by jimi_1985
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ok, so i also use a Dave Hall Tube pre-amp pedal
http://www.davehallamps.co.uk/page37.html
which, before i went all tube big amp, was used with an assortment of solid state amps including ampeg PF-500, SWR working Pro 700W and a 1500W power amp. All sounded great, really great in fact, BUT..it is simply a statement of fact that once you have experienced in a gigging situation ( even the Dog and Parrot in Slough) an all tube head through a 410 cab, you will simply never get the creaminess and weight of Tone that all tube heads deliver. God knows I would love a lightweight soloution, the head weighs 90lbs on its own, but I really believe there is no other way.

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Yep you can get near, and the nearest I`ve been was with the Tech 21 VT DI, quite near with my Aguilar Tonehammer, but it`s still not the same. The sound is there, but the feel, and that "sag" you get with a valve amp just isn`t there. But for me, with a bad back, I`ll take near any day.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1434155691' post='2797279']
Yep you can get near, and the nearest I`ve been was with the Tech 21 VT DI, quite near with my Aguilar Tonehammer, but it`s still not the same. The sound is there, but the feel, and that "sag" you get with a valve amp just isn`t there. But for me, with a bad back, I`ll take near any day.
[/quote]

We all have our own words for it, you've used "sag", others use "heft", I use "grunt", but the essence of all the words is the same, it's something that all tube amps give that others don't. And key to it is feel and not sound, and probably more for the player than the audience, but it still makes a difference and to me simply makes playing so much more pleasurable.

Re hybrids, having owned a SVT300 power amp a while back, I much prefer an SS preamp through a tube power amp than vice versa, although obviously this negates the weight and cost advantage that I'd guess is the essence of the tube preamp/SS power amp combination.

End of the day though, tube pre + tube power = tone

Edited by Beedster
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It's the power section that gives you the bounce and there is no substitute. If it's what you're after then buy an Ampeg SVT CL or Pro II. You only get one life,so live it. I gigged an SVT and it was great fun, yes it weighs a ton, but I did it. I'm through the other side now, but I wear the badge with pride.
I play a vintage Burman 100 watter, which is plenty loud (loud as f*** TBH), so don't believe what anyone says about that amount of watts not being enough. I've also got a lighter weight valve pre and digital back end in-coming which will give me the best of both worlds.
I highly rate GK stuff, and you may find yourself on a journey that ends up back where you started. When I gigged the Pro II I had a GKMB200 as back up and the rest of the band preferred the tone of that over the Ampeg. Maybe your GK stuff and the pedal is the answer?
Check out Ashdown valve stuff that comes up on the forum, I think it's always keenly priced and have a hankering for a CTM100. If you want Ampeg without the weight then go for a PF800 and avoid the reliability issues of the PF500. I strongly recommend you to check out the new Orange OB1 500 while you're on too.

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[quote name='Billy Apple' timestamp='1434188748' post='2797412']
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]It's the power section that gives you the bounce and there is no substitute... ...[/font][/color]I gigged an SVT and it was great fun, yes it weighs a ton, but I did it. I'm through the other side now, but I wear the badge with pride.
[/quote]

+1 Me too. There's really nothing like it and it remains the benchmark. Amp GAS (for me) is all about looking for 'that' tone in a lightweight package. Currently it can't be done and anything else is a compromise in one way or another.

Edited by discreet
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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1434189421' post='2797426']
+1 Me too. There's really nothing like it and it remains the benchmark. Amp GAS (for me) is all about looking for 'that' tone in a lightweight package. Currently it can't be done and anything else is a compromise in one way or another.
[/quote]

That`s just about right there Mark. It`s `that` tone that I look for, and whilst the TH500 is there in terms of sound, but it doesn`t have that `sponginess` of the notes that you hear when playing an all-valve amp. In amp terms, the Aguilar Tonehammers and Ampeg PFs are the nearest I`ve found, but yes, they are a compromise - portability and making a gig much easier against the whole package.

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1434131158' post='2797061']
Any amp as long as it is all tube, don't believe what some people say about SS gear getting 'close enough'. Close enough if you're half deaf and don;t care about your sound yes, but not close enough for me. I have a B-15 and a V4-B. Neither are rated above 100w, both can humble most guitarists and most drummers, and both sound superb.

The VT Bass might sound a bit like some of the Ampegs, but it doesn't feel like any of them.



Exactly. I think :D
[/quote]
Voice of decent here. :P

[size=4]My old PJB M500 out-Ampeged Ampegs. Utter valve tone, not valve 'like' from MOSFETS. [/size]

[size=4]Not light though [/size]

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In my opinion there is only one 'real Ampeg tone' and that's the 300 watt valve head going through the 8x10, even other SVT cabs like the 610 and 410 don't give you 'that' sound because the cabinet design is completely different (they are ported, but the 810 is four sealed 2x10 chambers).
Playing in front of that rig is what every bass player should do at least once in there lives.

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[quote name='Handwired' timestamp='1434275588' post='2798158']
Playing in front of that rig is what every bass player should do at least once in there lives.
[/quote]

+1. Trouble is you only need to do it once to be continually dissatisfied with anything else. :)

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1434275672' post='2798161']


+1. Trouble is you only need to do it once to be continually dissatisfied with anything else. :)
[/quote]

Yep, only done it once. Still the most awesome sound I have ever played live with.

Edited by deanovw
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Been doing a lot of festivals lately with an ipad setup, using jamup pro.Sounds great.
On a couple however, I simply went through a tuner into a D.I and our FOH engineer was completely happy with the sound, complimenting it afterwards.
Point made. I might like the jamup pro's subtle tone and drive but nobody else including a discerning engineer expressed a preference.
I do use in ears so i don't need an amp, and the stage sound for everyone else is a lot cleaner without one.
I did recently take the opportunity to link through to an SVT/810 stack last weekend for shits and giggles and yes, even with in ears in, you could indeed feel that air moving, which was nice.
Again, nobody commented or cared either way on the addition of a gert lurking 810 thudding away on stage.
So, to suggest that you need this type of rig for pub gigs/that tone,man is I feel ridiculous.
Nobody except you knows or cares, and you can easily use something lighter, cheaper and easily replaceable for 95% of applications.
I realise this is a geek forum where people like to persuade themselves they can hear individual tubes warming up their tone and are prepared to spend Yachting amounts of money on it, but I simply don't believe that it's needed in reality.
Stick with your trusted amp, and get a VT or sansamp, it'll sound great and you can carry it on your own..
IMO, of course : 0
>flees

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I wouldn't say 'nobody cares'.... a lot of these people aren't paid to care about your sound, they don't work for you so aren't going to
argue against what you bring to gig through. Their job is to just get your sound to the front, they might not care you can't hear
anything through the monitors and you may be little more than a service they have to tolerate.
I think the argument would be different if they had a REAL vested interest in your 'business'

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[quote name='MacDaddy' timestamp='1434199242' post='2797551']
Voice of decent here. :P

My old PJB M500 out-Ampeged Ampegs. Utter valve tone, not valve 'like' from MOSFETS.

Not light though
[/quote]

Really? I used to gig both an M500 and a V4B at around the same time in my 'career' (I use the term loosely), and I certainly wouldn't say the former did or could Ampeg the latter. In fact to my mind it's chalk and cheese, both are high quality, but neither can do what the other excels at.

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1434393611' post='2799200']
Really? I used to gig both an M500 and a V4B at around the same time in my 'career' (I use the term loosely), and I certainly wouldn't say the former did or could Ampeg the latter. In fact to my mind it's chalk and cheese, both are high quality, but neither can do what the other excels at.
[/quote]
Yup. M500 but through a 4x10. Rock bass heaven B)[size=4] [/size]

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In reply to JT, when I say nobody cares, I mean nobody cares unless your sound is sh*t.
If you have a good tone that works in the band, getting anyone other than yourself to notice any difference when you use valves or a pre amp is pretty hard.
The engineer we regularly use for FOH cares a lot about the sound, and would immediately voice his concerns if anything was causing a problem, but as I said, he was very happy to hear the bass direct, and compress and EQ it to suit the overall mix requirements.
As regarding the tone to fit the band,I bought a certain type of bass and fitted it with flat strings and it's that which provides my sound for this gig.
The amp is almost irrelevant in my setup so long as it doesn't detract from that.
I may go back to using Jamup/ipad just to guarantee a tone in my IEMs when there is a monitor engineer I don't know,but otherwise I'm completely happy with a bass and a tuner. If I were to use a pedal it would be a Sansamp.
I understand peoples joy when using the SVT/810 rigs, they are very nice, (I have an ampeg PF500 with a 1x15 and a 4x10 ampeg cabs myself)but almost completely impractical for most working bands, which is why there are so many very good lightweight alternatives.
It is of course up to your wallet and your back what you use, but the original question was about alternatives and so to counter the purists, I gave one ; 0

ps, anyone with a sansamp for sale?

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