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SamPlaysBass

Valve Amp - who’s still using them?

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17 hours ago, Kiwi said:

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

If weight and cost come into the conversation, then this isn’t the thread for you bud 😉

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2 hours ago, jimmy23cricket said:

If weight and cost come into the conversation, then this isn’t the thread for you bud 😉

I don't follow the logic.

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20 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I don't follow the logic.

Really? OP asked who’s using Valve amps. People responding clearly are regardless is weight or price. It’s a choice some take as they may have found other options wanting.

They are heavy, they are expensive, but as long as I can lift one, dear god nothing comes close. 

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Price is a big consideration for me, all my valve amps have been unfashionable off-brands and often bought needing work, except the Ampeg PF50T which I bought on Kenny's half price clearance and it was still the largest amount I've ever spent on an amp. And the compactness and weight of it definitely made it more appealing, since I'd already had heavier heads and found I often left them at home.

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22 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I don't follow the logic.

Did you not have the TE V4 combo for a while? 

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4 hours ago, andy67 said:

Did you not have the TE V4 combo for a while? 

I had a Trace V8, a Mesa 400+ and a Strategy 400 power amp  (which I ran with a Trace MP11) as well as the Burmans.  The V8 was swapped for the Hexavalve.  Ped had a V4 combo.

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13 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I had a Trace V8, a Mesa 400+ and a Strategy 400 power amp  (which I ran with a Trace MP11) as well as the Burmans.  The V8 was swapped for the Hexavalve.  Ped had a V4 combo.

Yeah remember now and I had cloth front V4 head. Must be nearly 10 years now since I sold it. Tempus Fugit

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On 28/08/2020 at 18:42, wateroftyne said:

I'm 'between' Handbox WB-100 valve heads at the moment. As soon as the gigs pick up again (pleeeeeeease) I'll be sticking my order in. Beautiful things.

PA291070.thumb.jpg.0255d261ee6cc7f0af669e8b1ea8a05e.jpg

Yep, I have one of these after watching too many videos of WoT playing through one. Great sound, and I've had my troublesome DI sorted with an upgraded Jensen transformer.

I still use a Class D for one band - a 1200w Bergantino Forte HP - but the combination of a P bass and Handbox WB-100 is just glorious for standard rock.

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On 27/08/2020 at 04:55, SamPlaysBass said:

So, my question is, who is still using big old Valve amps? Has anyone swapped to something new and is totally happy with a new solution? Is it always a compromise? I’ve owned ~10 other amps and never really been pleased with any of them. 

Yes, it always involves tradeoffs IME. I started 45 years ago on an Ampeg B-15 and absolutely despised it. Worked up to crazy biamped and triamped rack rigs and never loved that. Went through several classic Class AB jobs and then Class D amps, better but not quite there yet. Built my own Class D appliances a few years back, better yet. Now I've retired from gigging and figure I might as well bring it full circle with a  DIY tube amp build. At this point I don't need to be loud, I merely need to dial everything in for dead clean sound that works well with a tweeter. I do not covet Old School sound at all, for bass anyway. I've always loved tubes for rock guitar playing though, FWIW. So I'm  hoping that something switchable between 60 and 100 watts can scratch both itches, and results so far are looking good.

Edited by Passinwind
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Well...... finally got to give my ctm300 valve amp a blast tonight in a socially distanced out of restrictions rehersal. And @walshy you were right! It really was fantastic.

I'm now keeping it for good.

I found it likes to be loud and pushed. The louder you turn the volume knob the better it plays and sounds, rather than just going louder for the sake of it.

It's definitely NOT the same sound as a class d or class a/b sound. It's like a chorus of bass coming from one speaker. Completely different feel. No 'just' bass sitting in the mix. More bass on Ready Brek. Bass with a nice warm glow.

Worked really well with Indie stuff. The more confident I played the better it responded.

The EQ doesnt do a great deal :)but even Mark Gooday says that. It just fits. Nice.

Even the drummer commented it sounded lovely! Never had that before. Ever!

So, yep, add me to the list of bassists still playing a valve amp.

 

20200902_104022.jpg

Edited by la bam
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6 hours ago, la bam said:

Completely different feel.

That's the key isn't it, not about how it sounds as much about how it feels :)

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I've never heard a CTM 300 yet, heard great things about them.

Michael Rhodes, has been an Ashdown user for many years and uses them with Joe Bonamassa. Glad to hear you've seen the light, please shout up when we return to gigging again, would love to hear it.

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IMG_5540.thumb.jpg.3df9d1c2e9266fc9305e6398188e05c8.jpg

 

If further clarification on the wonders of valves was required, click the below link to hear my SVTII-Pro in action during a recording last month. You're hearing only the cab microphones, the DI was not used in the end. No modelling here!

 

Defiant Bass.m4a

Edited by Bankai

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Over 20 years using the same rig (1993 on the left and 2013 on the right - same bass actually too!).

I switched to valve/mos:fet hybrid and found no discernible difference in the sound. Now moving to valve/digital hybrid and expect no change again. I love full valve amps but rather suspect that sentimentality plays some part in it.

Steve - PT - Munich.jpg

Image040.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

Over 20 years using the same rig (1993 on the left and 2013 on the right - same bass actually too!).

I switched to valve/mos:fet hybrid and found no discernible difference in the sound. Now moving to valve/digital hybrid and expect no change again. I love full valve amps but rather suspect that sentimentality plays some part in it.

Steve - PT - Munich.jpg

Image040.jpg

No sentimentality in my instance. 

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18 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

No sentimentality in my instance. 

Of course a nice, light 100watt valve toy isn't going to weight too much!! 🙂

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Just now, Steve Browning said:

Of course a nice, light 100watt valve toy isn't going to weight too much!! 🙂

Apologies - I'm not sure what your point is...?

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I think if you go one way - valve to class a/b to class d you dont notice as much. But when you go the other class d to a/b to valve you do.

I'll never forget years ago - late 80s early 90s - when everyone used to record on cassettes at home. I had A kind of magic by queen which I recorded from tape to tape. My brother had the cd which had some extras on so I tagged the extras on the end of the cassette recording.

Listening back to the cassette it's fantastic. Great sound. Good depth. Great quality. Then the original recording ends and the songs I'd recorded from cd come on and wow! Absolutely different quality, depth, space, everything. Making the cassette recordings I'd had on earlier sound weak and poor. Yet only 5 minutes before they were great!

I think it's just what your ears attune to.

I used a/b for years, then went to class d for years. Then valve briefly, then back to class d. Now back to a/b and valve. Theres a place for them all.

99% of amps are perfectly acceptable. Sound good and do the job. But in a side by side comparison are quite a way apart in my opinion.

Also, some styles of music suit certain amp types better too.

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I spent years on A/B, then I was an early class D adopter (back in the early 2000's).

At first I thought they were great (so light!), and then fell out of love with one amp, then bought another, then another, yadda yadda. Different pre-amp, then another, etc.

Then I began to notice that the hired-in / venue provided old-school A/B / Valve amps instantly sounded much better than whatever new-fangled car radio amp I had.

Bought a Walkabout... sorted.

A new class D came out that promised to be a new dawn in class D tone. So I sold the Walkabout and chased my tail for a while again.

Realised I wasn't getting anywhere, bought another Walkabout.

Found the HandBox R-400. Even better than the Walkabout.

Tried the WB-100. OMG.

But at the moment it's a luxury for me, so the R-400 does me just fine (and has for a number of years now). As soon as the gigs justify it, I'll get the WB-100.

(Note: this was my journey. Yours may well vary.)

Edited by wateroftyne
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1 hour ago, wateroftyne said:

Apologies - I'm not sure what your point is...?

None whatever. All this is very subjective. I moved from full blown valve to valve:mosfet (I love my Walkabout still) but am moving to valve/digital with the expectation that there won't be much difference (other than weight).

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29 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

None whatever. All this is very subjective. I moved from full blown valve to valve:mosfet (I love my Walkabout still) but am moving to valve/digital with the expectation that there won't be much difference (other than weight).

Understood. Keen to hear how it works out for you...

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2 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

None whatever. All this is very subjective. I moved from full blown valve to valve:mosfet (I love my Walkabout still) but am moving to valve/digital with the expectation that there won't be much difference (other than weight).

Are you thinking about the Bugera Veyron BV1001T?

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If money and weight was not an object, a Mesa 400+ and maybe a 4 x 10" or 2 x 12" or even a 4 x 12". That would be it!

I had had one chance to play such Mesa in a gig. Loud, tough sound! Now my workhorse is a Glockenklang Soul. Works really well and weighs 24 lbs, which is about 1/10th of the 400+. Well, Mesa is actually 70 lbs.

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