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Valve Amp - who’s still using them?

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Valve Amp - who’s still using them?

After nearly 40 yrs playing i think i've tried every make and model there is, there's tons of great valve amps but IMO nothing compares to a 70s SVT

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39 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

I hope we're all remembering that Class D watts = Valve watts, and you need at least 550w to gig.

😉

You’re a moderator so it must be true :)

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On 27/08/2020 at 13:14, skidder652003 said:

I rarely get my SVT-CL out these days TBH, just too big and heavy, but I've never got a tone from my other gear like that thing does. If its a special event (eventually) it'll come out for that.

 

There is nothing out there like an Ampeg SVT Classic! Unbeatable in my view. 💪😎👏🤭❤️

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I'm not saying valve heavy iron amps are any better than anything else out there but I do believe it's an itch everyone needs to scratch once in their playing career. TBH I've rarely used it in anger due to the simple impracticability of gigging at the dog n duck every weekend (remember those heady days?) but much like owning a classic car, every time it came out was an 'event' that I've remembered. The other plus that is rarely mentioned, much like classic cars is that they can usually be moved on with little loss (apart from maintenance)

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18 hours ago, Beedster said:

The comforting glow of power tubes. Our singer got a telling of a few years back for trying to take my Mesa 400+ out to the car park on a freezing night about 5 minutes after I'd turned it off. It would either have heated up the entire car park for all the punters, or cracked all the tubes, I wasn't going to risk the latter :)

Ironically, the gig I did with the Burman was for that Northholt/Ruislip London motown band we were both in!  I had a Mesa 400+ too at one point and it remains my favourite valve amp of all time - they're built like tanks as well.  It must have been pretty cold that night.

 

11 hours ago, Beedster said:

There is something visceral about a bass played through a big tube amp; 

The satisfaction from an ability to shift such huge volumes of air.  It inspires a sense of power.  

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I massively prefer valve amps. I've never played a Class D amp that I really liked. It's not necessarily about the sound but the 'feel' and response. I find Class D a bit uninspiring. Don't get me wrong, I don't think all Class D amps are junk. They they keep getting better and their size/weight is a lot more convenient of course. But I still prefer old school valve amps. If I had to use solid state I would probably prefer an old Peavey head from the 70s over modern Class D amps. I just like how they 'feel' a lot more. It's probably related to what type of amps I started out with. Valve amps just feel more 'familiar' too me. With Class D I always feel like I have to slightly adapt the dynamics of my playing or even use a pedal compressor more aggressively but it's not quite the same as the natural compression from a valve amp and how it interacts with the speakers.

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I’ve recently bought a Tech21 VTDI and it has that spongey valvey feel to the sound. It really captures it well and I can appreciate what the valve amp users on this thread mean, the sound and how it reacts to playing dynamics is a fair bit different, and I suppose depending on viewpoint more rewarding.

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Emulated or modelled valves still do not come close enough to the real thing so yes I am still hauling this beauty around.
Its little brother, an RAH600SMX graces the rehearsal room and serves as the backup amp.

I just had it serviced, it now has brand new 6550's, we have added a bias pot and the pre section has JJ ECC83S from Groove Tubes.
This one right here my friends is the best sounding bass amplifier on the planet. There simply is no competition.

hexa.thumb.jpg.ecc9f15c7f083d027ed77401c53e56c4.jpg

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Damn I miss my svt sooo much, but the weight payoff of playing a solid state and VT pedal slightly beats it. Always chasing that feel though

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I use an Ashdown CTM30. It sounds absolutely beautiful but as my band is very loud and being only 30w does mean I have to find ways around it's low power. 

Option 1 - small gigs:

Through a 4x8 and 1x15. Doesn't really move enough air on its own to be loud enough so I connect it to a power attenuator which then links into a 220W solid state head to do the heavy lifting driving the cabs. The signal comes off the speaker output of the valve amp so you're still getting all the nice back end drive in the sound. 

IMG_20200623_172503.thumb.jpg.e397d73caf475491f0a1de67fc8dd0f9.jpg

Option 2 - medium gigs:

Through a 4x10 and a 6x10. More speakers moving more air as well as the hight of the stack getting the speakers right up to ear level ensures it's loud enough on stage and the PA takes care of the rest if needed. 

IMG_20200829_195321.thumb.jpg.1defb9077d29f87722434b7591218c33.jpg

Option 3 - bigger gigs:

The valve amp runs the 4x8 and 1x15 and then DIs into the ABM500 which runs the 6x10. The CTM30's DI comes off the power stage so again you get the full sound of the amp sent to the ABM. 

Screenshot_20200628_145749.thumb.jpg.8d61ce7cbaacb9ad2f6921489ef08abc.jpg

It's obviously a lot of messing around to make it a usable amp for me to gig with but the bottom line is that it just sounds so good that it's worth it! 🙂

Edited by Painy
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13 minutes ago, Painy said:

I use an Ashdown CTM30. It sounds absolutely beautiful but as my band is very loud and being only 30w does mean I have to find ways around it's low power. 

Option 1 - small gigs:

Through a 4x8 and 1x15. Doesn't really move enough air on its own to be loud enough so I connect it to a power attenuator which then links into a 220W solid state head to do the heavy lifting driving the cabs. The signal comes off the speaker output of the valve amp so you're still getting all the nice back end drive in the sound. 

IMG_20200623_172503.thumb.jpg.e397d73caf475491f0a1de67fc8dd0f9.jpg

Option 2 - medium gigs:

Through a 4x10 and a 6x10. More speakers moving more air as well as the hight of the stack getting the speakers right up to ear level ensures it's loud enough on stage and the PA takes care of the rest if needed. 

IMG_20200829_195321.thumb.jpg.1defb9077d29f87722434b7591218c33.jpg

Option 3 - bigger gigs:

The valve amp runs the 4x8 and 1x15 and then DIs into the ABM500 which runs the 6x10. The CTM30's DI comes off the power stage so again you get the full sound of the amp sent to the ABM. 

Screenshot_20200628_145749.thumb.jpg.8d61ce7cbaacb9ad2f6921489ef08abc.jpg

It's obviously a lot of messing around to make it a usable amp for me to gig with but the bottom line is that it just sounds so good that it's worth it! 🙂

Interesting approach! I had wondered about using an external power amp if I ever needed to get louder with my Ampeg PF50T, but in practice it's been fine for me so far, and it might be that I'd look at a bigger cab first. I do know that through the 8x10" in one rehearsal space we used, it had a fair bit more oomph than my two 12"s.

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43 minutes ago, Painy said:

I use an Ashdown CTM30. It sounds absolutely beautiful but as my band is very loud and being only 30w does mean I have to find ways around it's low power. 

Option 1 - small gigs:

Through a 4x8 and 1x15. Doesn't really move enough air on its own to be loud enough so I connect it to a power attenuator which then links into a 220W solid state head to do the heavy lifting driving the cabs. The signal comes off the speaker output of the valve amp so you're still getting all the nice back end drive in the sound. 

IMG_20200623_172503.thumb.jpg.e397d73caf475491f0a1de67fc8dd0f9.jpg

Option 2 - medium gigs:

Through a 4x10 and a 6x10. More speakers moving more air as well as the hight of the stack getting the speakers right up to ear level ensures it's loud enough on stage and the PA takes care of the rest if needed. 

IMG_20200829_195321.thumb.jpg.1defb9077d29f87722434b7591218c33.jpg

Option 3 - bigger gigs:

The valve amp runs the 4x8 and 1x15 and then DIs into the ABM500 which runs the 6x10. The CTM30's DI comes off the power stage so again you get the full sound of the amp sent to the ABM. 

Screenshot_20200628_145749.thumb.jpg.8d61ce7cbaacb9ad2f6921489ef08abc.jpg

It's obviously a lot of messing around to make it a usable amp for me to gig with but the bottom line is that it just sounds so good that it's worth it! 🙂

Splendid 

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Simple Really, Laney Nexus Tube. Modern balanced DI and versatile as F***. Old, new and everything inbetween. Gigged and loved by sound men universally. Good luck finding one though. 

oh and an ABM600 as a back up or for A fun alternative doesn’t hurt 😂

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5 hours ago, jimmy23cricket said:

Simple Really, Laney Nexus Tube. Modern balanced DI and versatile as F***. Old, new and everything inbetween. Gigged and loved by sound men universally. 

At 34kg loved by chiropractors and at between 1400-1700 quid, hated by bank managers and spouses :)

  • Haha 2

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I have a variety of tube gear, Ampeg PF-50t, Bugera Veyron (love it 😍) and awaiting on a replacement SVT-3-Pro arriving. Cabs, Hartke AK410 & HD112. I’m enjoying using my little TC Electronic rig at the moment though. It comprises of a BH250, Helicon switch-3 and BC208 cab. The TonePrint function emulates some tube presets which are pretty cool. 

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On 27/08/2020 at 13:24, Beedster said:

SVT-II here, use it for all practice, rehearsals and gigs, even small ones. Tone to die for, will never need a gym membership, and my amp will never be stolen at a gig. What more do you need :)

Same here. SVT II non pro for everything from rehearsals to gigs. Cant get THAT sound from anything else

39F56C98-B8F2-42B5-A039-2235D86BD86A.jpeg

Edited by Pow_22
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10 hours ago, jimmy23cricket said:

Simple Really, Laney Nexus Tube. Modern balanced DI and versatile as F***. Old, new and everything inbetween. Gigged and loved by sound men universally. Good luck finding one though. 

oh and an ABM600 as a back up or for A fun alternative doesn’t hurt 😂

I had one of those - great amp.

Simple genius of it being 2 amps in one meant it was extremely versatile and should any valves go, just switch it to fet mode.

Regret selling mine.

 

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2 minutes ago, la bam said:

Have you managed to play yours in tour band setting yet @walshy ?

How is it compared to your other gear?

Yeah I had a live stream gig and then an actual outside gig. It was incredible, sound was beautiful, loud and typical valve/P bass growl. Deffo the right choice to move away from Aguilar and Ampeg SVT-VR although they were great amps, especially the VR which belonged to Pino who used it on last Who tour ( it’s now in Spain with a mate).

I love the rig, getting flight cases made, deffo keepers. 

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4 minutes ago, walshy said:

Yeah I had a live stream gig and then an actual outside gig. It was incredible, sound was beautiful, loud and typical valve/P bass growl. Deffo the right choice to move away from Aguilar and Ampeg SVT-VR although they were great amps, especially the VR which belonged to Pino who used it on last Who tour ( it’s now in Spain with a mate).

I love the rig, getting flight cases made, deffo keepers. 

My eyes like the look of it, but my back doesn’t. How much does it weigh?

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15 minutes ago, walshy said:

Yeah I had a live stream gig and then an actual outside gig. It was incredible, sound was beautiful, loud and typical valve/P bass growl. Deffo the right choice to move away from Aguilar and Ampeg SVT-VR although they were great amps, especially the VR which belonged to Pino who used it on last Who tour ( it’s now in Spain with a mate).

I love the rig, getting flight cases made, deffo keepers. 

Cheers! I get to try mine for the first time on wednesday in a new band. I was resigned to losing/selling it, but if I juggle a few things around I'm sure I can make it work.

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6 minutes ago, la bam said:

Cheers! I get to try mine for the first time on wednesday in a new band. I was resigned to losing/selling it, but if I juggle a few things around I'm sure I can make it work.

Worth keeping for sure. It just sounds great man, worth gigging to see how you feel about it. First time in a while people have said how bloody good and clear the bass sounded

 

18 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

My eyes like the look of it, but my back doesn’t. How much does it weigh?

Actually it’s exactly the same weight as a small African elephant. 

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