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paul, the

Valve amps vs Solid State

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[quote name='Hamster' post='446814' date='Mar 27 2009, 01:33 AM']You've got me interested now! - have you got a schematic for the mod you've done - or can you direct me to who did it for you?

Cheers[/quote]

It's not mine, my amp came with a brand new set of Mesa 6L6's so I won't have to look at retubing for at least 2 years, that's a guy off Talkbass's but I'm sure Dave Lunt in Stockport could acomodate you, he's mentioned to me that he's converted a Bass 400 or two before and they're similar amps. His number is 07966 263 616.

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[quote name='Dan_Nailed' post='446798' date='Mar 27 2009, 12:45 AM']No it isn't, the mark one is far better! No terrible solid state clean channel.

Unless you mean the 6505 series, which are a different beast.[/quote]

Guitarist has used both mk1 and mk2, the fact you have seperate EQ for each channel is pretty much vital, you don't want your clean/ crunch with the same EQ settings as the gain channel, if you want to do things other than sound like Van Halen. Granted the clean channel isn't great, buta clean channel with the same eq as our guitarists gain sound would be dreadful (is dreadful, heard it). Actually, the MXR compressor helped a lot with the clean.

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='446672' date='Mar 26 2009, 10:56 PM']To head off on a tangent, would I be correct in presuming that Class A valve amps don't have adjustable bias because the valves always have full current running through them? And Class B (as used in radio transmitters) have no idle current at all?[/quote]

IIRC classes C, E, and F are used in radio transmission; class B is only used in applications where crossover distortion is acceptable as an offset to less power consumption, such as in mobile phones.

Setting the bias on tubes is not the same as setting the bias in a class AB transistor amplifier, with valves the bias adjusts the amount of plate dissipation and ultimately the amount of power dissipated by the valve -- too low and it lasts longer but doesn't sound as good, too high and the plate dissipation will be higher than the valve can handle, eventually wearing it out. However, valves are much more rugged than transistors due to their much larger physical size, and while an overloaded transistor will often die within uS an overloaded valve can often last minutes or even hours before failing.

Class A valve amps, as a result, DO need bias, just like any other valve amplifiers do, regardless of their amp class. Pre-amps are in a different class, as the power dissipated is not dependent on the signal, they are really just amplifying voltage and the current flow through them is very, very small.

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' post='447015' date='Mar 27 2009, 11:19 AM']Guitarist has used both mk1 and mk2, the fact you have seperate EQ for each channel is pretty much vital, you don't want your clean/ crunch with the same EQ settings as the gain channel, if you want to do things other than sound like Van Halen. Granted the clean channel isn't great, buta clean channel with the same eq as our guitarists gain sound would be dreadful (is dreadful, heard it). Actually, the MXR compressor helped a lot with the clean.[/quote]

But due to the setup on the 5150 2, it's more flexible but has a much worse overall sound, the gain especially is nowhere near as flexible and articulate as a normal 5150. Andy Sneap backs me up on this.

And if you're adding a compressor to clean up a terrible clean channel, why not do the same thing with an EQ pedal on the 5150 to change the lead channel? It's swings and roundabouts.

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[quote name='Dan_Nailed' post='447560' date='Mar 27 2009, 06:02 PM']But due to the setup on the 5150 2, it's more flexible but has a much worse overall sound, the gain especially is nowhere near as flexible and articulate as a normal 5150. Andy Sneap backs me up on this.

And if you're adding a compressor to clean up a terrible clean channel, why not do the same thing with an EQ pedal on the 5150 to change the lead channel? It's swings and roundabouts.[/quote]

My guitarist is totally happy with his gain sound from his MKII, the clean is meh, the MXR is cheerful to stay on all the time, for one stomp changes.

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.
i think the bass tone do not sound much better if use a tube (valve), but i notice better sound with a guitar !

[url="http://www.MakeMusicNews.com"]www.MakeMusicNews.com[/url]

CC

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IMO a very very good and under-rated valve head is the Fender Bassman 135. And they're not too dear either. Mine has been as reliable as anything else. I've not GASed for anything else for over 10 years now, so I guess that speaks for itself. I do now have a hybrid Hartke H350w to back it up and leave at rehearsal studio; but I only gig and record with the Bassman.

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[size=2]I have purchased new tube amps. The Fender Bassman 300 (without a fan) is a great sounding head with Fender cabs. I don't anticipate any issues in the near future. Ampeg's on the other hand are up and down as far as quality goes. IMO the CL is their top product. The VR and the svt2PRO were returned due to quality issues. At this price level, be careful what you buy!!!. Many people purchae used due to $$$ and reputation of the equipment I understand this but when you see old Ampeg tube amps on EBAY the price seems to be way to high for something that will require more $$$ to get working correctly. My opinions are based on shellong out a lot of $$$, keeping some and sending others back. My steady everyday amp is the SvT4-pro(pre-amp tube ) which is capable of running (2) SvT810E cabs (way too **** Loud!!!) in both mono or stereo. The toughest is knowing how far you should go with something. If you buy new, why start messing with it at the service shop? The Ampeg VR which I posted about was a case in point. The fan was too loud for me,sound was great and the 2nd channel was too dirty . I got posts about how to fix these issues and I said why should I be the one to do this? I shelled out $$$ for a new amp not B-stock. This situation comes up a lot with these bass amps. I know there are members reading this post that can relate to this either in the USA or over on your side of the pond.........Have a great day!!! :) [/size]

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I love valve amps, I love the warmness, however I used to have a Trace Elliot v6 as you have heard everyone get almost Seminal about these dudes. It did sound nice, however its was pretty unreliable. It was never the valves that went. I think it was because it had printed circuit boards in it and they don't go well with the valves and their heat. But hey someone bought it from me than I paid for it!
If you really want a valve sound then the valve pre /SS route is a good option for gigging, I would suggest looking at some of the older Marshall DBS stuff the 7xxx series, great warm tones, very underated and so cheap built like a tank and very relaible. It you really must have a valve amp then an Ashdown little Bstard could be a good option. Lower power jobs are much more reliable, then get a massive PA and a mic for those gigs!! If you win the lottery and want a valve amp for giging then get a trace elliot v8................ err sorry Ashdown 427 big block...... they have learnt about those circuits over heating!

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I think valve amps sound great, however i think it's pretty crap when you have to spend £67 having the power tubes replaced only for one of them to go again after 2 f***ing months :)

Edited by EdwardHimself

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my first "stack" consisted of an Ampeg B2Re and it sounded very very nice actually. however at high volume it started to be a bit meh.... and would loose its great sound.....

my new SVT VR is AWESOME put simply. the SS b2re sounded great. but this thing is just loud on a different level! and sounds truly amazing! :-)

....however i dont think itl be very long before ill be turning to mark bass...... simply because i will have no back left to lift anything even mildly heavy!

long live the svt vr! :) ha

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I have had the luxury over the years of a vast array of SS & Tube......I have 3 tube combos sat here doing nothing and 5 SS likewise....WHY....because I prefer playing through an 80s Fender twin minus the tank.....never designed for bass...but I had no use for it and one day thought >>What If....well the what if sounds pretty fine to me..I know it shouldnt but it does....
However for anyone looking for a decent combo at not to much wonga then the good ol Peavey120 SS is a good all rounder while on to valves I can thoroughly recommend the MesaBoogi Walkabout

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I use a little tecamp Puma 500 (class D SS) for gigs and rehearsals cause it's lighweight and easy to transport.

and I use a SAdowsky SA200 (200W all tubes) at home cause it sounds whaouou yihah !"
and cause it looks beautiful in my home also standing on his cab.

the best of both worlds adapted to the situation

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Ive got a couple of Valve amps and one SS amp (well its a highbred SS I think). Must confess I do prefer the sound of both my valve amps over the sound of the SS amp. Having said that I probobly use the SS amp the most. Why ? . . . Its the old weight thing ! . . . Both my valve amps (Fender Rumble Bass & Hiwatt DR405) weigh a ton - so when it comes to loading up the gear before I go out to a gig I always start off with the very best of intentions "yes I will give one of the Valve heads a run out tonight" ! ! . . . . but then, when it comes to actually picking it up and lugging it out to the car . . . . guess what . . . . . yep . . . . I pick up and take my very much lighter SWR SM500 ! ! . . . happens nearly every time !

So my thoughts are simple . . . . Valve amps sound the best . . . . but SS amps are more practicle.

:rolleyes: :) :lol:

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I've always owned hybrids of various varieties as I've always felt the tube in the front end was sufficient to my tastes. However, I'm at a point where I really feel like I need to own a valve amp in my lifetime, so am looking at trying a few this weekend. :)

I'm not sure if this has been covered in this thread, but I expect some people can help yet another basic question/principal I'm struggling to get my head round! Please correct anything that i state that is wrong, but some of this is probably very generalised!

I pretty basically understand that watts arent db. I also understand that tube amps for their power rating seem louder than SS at the same rating. My understanding of this is that the tubes provide a richer harmonic content as they are pushed. My query is in repsect to cabs. If you have a SS head that pushes the cabs to their absolute limit, even if there is more juice in the head thats all you're gonna get. If you then do the same with a valve amp, and there is still juice left, is it still perceived as louder, or the same as the SS? :)

Someone tell me if I'm talking b*ll*cks, or if this is one of the most ridiculous posts ever made! :lol:

Really looking forward to trying so all valve stuff. Orange is on the list, marshall, but theres part of me that cant stop thinking about a Matamp!!

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Tube amps sound louder since the tube circuit will compress the input as it reaches saturation. Since the saturation is very musical, pleasing and so on, you can push a tube circuit harder at input before you perceive real overdrive or distortion.

This means you are getting several dB of compression at the input stage, this is also true of the input to the power side of the amp too though, upshot is you are getting a fair few dB of added gain due to compression that will make the amp deliver more volume for a given input.

Result is it sounds louder. A watt is still a watt though...

You can do the same kind of thing with a really good rack compressor into an SS head in terms of perceived volume increase if you know how to set it up - ultra fast attack, very low ratio, very low threshold, medium fast release will get you in the ballpark...

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Ah, ok, I think that helps.

So if the limiting factor in your rig is the speaker and you reach xlim with a straight forward SS, reaching the xlim with a valve amp will sound louder due to the compression, even though the speaker is still effectively working as hard as it can in both cases? Sorry if I've hashed this theory up! :)

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With the speakers you're using even a 300W SVT isn't going to play as loud as your Shuttle 9.0 - though one of those Peavey 400W valve amps might.

Valve amps do get you more apparent loudness with lesser demands on the speakers. But many modern cabs aren't great for valve amps due to their impedance curves.

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[quote name='paulflan0151' post='1147029' date='Mar 2 2011, 12:54 PM']Hi,
Has anybody had any experience with matamp? I'm thinking of getting a valve amp and these look pritty good.[/quote]

Do a search, there are a few threads, [url="http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=121698"]This one,[/url] [url="http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=87989"]and this one[/url] are pretty good.

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Looked at them, wish I didn't, want one now!
I got a price off matamp, I like that you can custom the amp too.
What are the cabs like? Is it cool to use other cabs, barefaced or bergs for example?
Gonna have to save up!!

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='Salt on your Bass?' post='1130983' date='Feb 17 2011, 02:26 PM']I also understand that tube amps for their power rating seem louder than SS at the same rating.[/quote]

There are two reasons for that: firstly the rating of an amp is usually with reference to the power it can generate while keeping harmonic distortion below a specified level so since tube amps start to distort sooner and more gradually/gracefully they usually have lots of usable power left beyond the rated level. Secondly tube power amps exhibit "sag" near their power limit which acts a kind of compression effect which along with the graceful distortion shifts energy from low frequency fundamentals and transients to higher harmonics which the ear is more sensitive to. Hence a higher apparent volume.

Of course a well designed SS amp can do all of those things too and in fact many of the decent modern ones do exactly this. IMO the biggest difference in sound between bass amps with SS and tube power sections is not to do with the clipping/compression distortion (of the nice kind) or warmth since you can design SS circuitry to emulate that, rather its down to the way the output transformer and speaker interact - the speaker is not under such precise control of the amplifier as it is with a SS amp and is adding much more if its own "flavour" to the sound. Its a very hard effect to describe in words but it gives note attacks more weight or body, its especially noticeable on any percussive or damped noted but at the expense of smoothness and definition in the low notes.

The effect is pretty much essential for rock and metal chuggy chord work but is more of a nice-to-have or acquired taste for bass. Personally I can live without it if means a lighter and more consistently performing rig.

Edited by bassman7755

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