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uk_lefty

Tube/ valve head... Do I need one?

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1 hour ago, SamPlaysBass said:

I needed a fairly clean sound and Class AB and D amps were better suited for my gigs.

[...] the response from a valve amp is just different to class AB and certainly class D amps - everything is more immediate, sparkly and just better. Valve amps respond to inputs differently. Dynamics are different. Better, in my opinion. 

Most of my thoughts could probably be written off as pseudoscience or perception, but I don’t care. 

If you ever see an Ashdown ABM1000 on your travels, I'd urge you to give it a go. Might not hit the spot, but with some decent cabs it's the closest I've ever found to the 'feeling' I think you're describing, just with the basic tone of the ABM preamp and Class D power/weight. The only thing I find different on the dynamics side is that where a valve amp will eventually run out of steam when you push it hard into the red, the ABM just keeps kicking harder. I don't know whether it's that power module or the particular way they've put it to use (or maybe just that mine rolled off the bench as a very hot ship, even for the class) but it almost feels exciting to be connected to that much well-controlled power. Perhaps how those Ferrari owners feel until they run out of petrol 🙂 

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3 hours ago, SamPlaysBass said:

I find most of the practical points of owning and running a valve amp a bit like buying a Ferrari and being disappointed when it doesn’t do 40mpg. They aren’t designed with convenience in mind, and they are (in the bass world at least) a luxury item that needs more care and attention.

Good analogy! And in both cases there are very few opportunities to use them at full throttle 😁

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2 hours ago, Ed_S said:

If you ever see an Ashdown ABM1000 on your travels, I'd urge you to give it a go. Might not hit the spot, but with some decent cabs it's the closest I've ever found to the 'feeling' I think you're describing, just with the basic tone of the ABM preamp and Class D power/weight. The only thing I find different on the dynamics side is that where a valve amp will eventually run out of steam when you push it hard into the red, the ABM just keeps kicking harder. I don't know whether it's that power module or the particular way they've put it to use (or maybe just that mine rolled off the bench as a very hot ship, even for the class) but it almost feels exciting to be connected to that much well-controlled power. Perhaps how those Ferrari owners feel until they run out of petrol 🙂 

I’d love to try some of the big boy ABMs. I’ve yet to try an ABM 600 at full throttle, and the ABM 1000 seems a rare beast indeed. I think you’ve found a unicorn with yours - don’t ever sell it! If it’s got half the go that a valve amp has, you are on to winner. 

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4 hours ago, SamPlaysBass said:

. . . . . .  I find most of the practical points of owning and running a valve amp a bit like buying a Ferrari and being disappointed when it doesn’t do 40mpg.

I drive a Volvo so that explains a lot.

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Even now 40 years later I still go weak at the knees if I come across an original Orange 120 valve head or a Hiwatt 100 head or Ampeg V4B....used all three in the 70's with a P bass.......a glorious racket did they make!

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Posted (edited)

For myself, I was glad to leave tube output sections behind. I still build tube amps but they are aimed at the guitar.

My current amp is a 2000W capable class D stereo power amp. I designed and built a tube pre-amp to drive it. The system sounds great into a pair of 4Ω Acme B2 cabinets, one on each channel.

Edited by BassmanPaul

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I've had a genz benz streamliner 900 which has a very well known valve front-end that gave a nice tone- for a hybrid it sounded great... very different from the SS amps I've used. 

 

But.... its got nothing on my Fender Bassman 100T which I adore. That things does everything I need it to, and sounds glorious doing it. It has something that the other amps didn't, and yeah this may be a bit placebo effect-y, but it's just got heft.

... and can be put into 25watt mode or silent mode for home use too. 

I think, get one, and if you don't like it, you can sell it on to the next person that needs to see what ask the fuss is about!

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Posted (edited)
On 16/04/2021 at 14:43, BassmanPaul said:

You guys from Liverpool always were a little crazy!! LOL

 

Seeing as though @afterimage didn't rise to the bait I should explain that I too count Liverpool as my home city. Yes I'm a little crazy too!!

In the Sixties I worked at The Automatic Telephones plant on Edge Lane while I learned my skills and going to EE school.

At the same time I played with a Merseybeat era personality called Earl Preston, real name George Spruce. On June 6Th 1968, whilst playing a gig at Nalgo somewhere off Queens Drive, I met a pretty 17 year old girl who I fell in love with. We were married in 1969 and so have just enjoyed our Golden Wedding. We came back to the city to celebrate it with our family.

Forgive my trip down memory lane but it was a life changing time in my life. :D

to all of you keep yourselves safe in this horrible time!

Edited by BassmanPaul

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Posted (edited)

I’ve owned multiple valve amps but still pine over owning another SVT Classic! There is nothing like them hence, why they were on most stages pre COVID.

list: Trace V4, Marshall JCM900, Ampeg SVT Classic & Ampeg PF50T.

Hybrids: Ampeg SVT 3-Pro (6), Hughes & Kettner BB400, Trace Elliot AH300 & Bugera BV1001t.

Own now: 3-Pro, PF50T, Bugera BV1001t, TC Bam, TC BG250, Subzero Tube-5, Hotone Siva Boogie and Thunder Bass.

The 3Pro does a fab imitation of the the classic pre stage but does not provide the thunder of the all valve power stage. The PF50T is awesome and certainly scratches that itch to own an all valve amp. However and although a Hybrid, the Bugera BV1001t is awesome! Sublime power, tone and bang for buck - £279.

 

 

 

Edited by andy67
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46 minutes ago, andy67 said:

I’ve owned multiple valve amps but still pine over owning another SVT Classic! There is nothing like them hence, why they were on most stages pre COVID.

Maybe it is location but I am not sure I have ever conciously seen a SVT Classic on any stage at any gig I have been to.

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23 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Maybe it is location but I am not sure I have ever conciously seen a SVT Classic on any stage at any gig I have been to.

Could easily be the case. Lots of it on TV.

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On 05/04/2021 at 07:34, uk_lefty said:

Obviously the answer is No. However, boredom, lockdown and being in here daily is making me want a tube amp or some kind of hybrid tube/ solid state. 

I currently run an RM500 in to 1x15 and 2x10 RM cabs. I also have a Line 6 Helix Stomp with all its amp sims. I like the simplicity of the RM500 and it has never let me down. I play in a rock covers band that does everything from pubs to festivals to weddings and dinner dances, and I've got an 80s covers band starting up because the rock covers band won't do enough 80s tunes for my liking! 

I feel I'm missing something by not having a valve powered amp. I realise I'm probably not. But. 

What would a tube amp give me that I don't already have? More weight? One more thing to go wrong? More maintenance costs? A natural gritty drive tone that cannot be emulated by either the RM or the Helix? A warmth akin to a hot ovaltine while wrapped in a tartan rug atop a Scottish lighthouse in the bleakest of winters? 

If you had a few quid spare and an addiction to ebay, what would you go for? Ashdown ABM, Marshall Bass State or DBS? Mark bass tube hybrid amp? Something else? 

Is it all just nonsense? Or should I go totally the other way and get a Trace Elliot again for 80s-ness?

I have just re-read your original post and I would say that with an RM500 and a Helix, you can try out many optiions and probably get everything you want from that combination (except the weight).

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I still want an ampeg svt classic or svt 2.

Even though I know I dont need one, or want to lift one, or have the maintenance on one.... but I still want one.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, la bam said:

I still want an ampeg svt classic or svt 2.

Even though I know I dont need one, or want to lift one, or have the maintenance on one.... but I still want one.

Every bass player needs to experience a classic and 8x10 cab as part of our apprenticeship and appreciation of power 👍

Edited by andy67

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6 hours ago, la bam said:

I still want an ampeg svt classic or svt 2.

Even though I know I dont need one, or want to lift one, or have the maintenance on one.... but I still want one.

Buy it. Then sell it. Satisfy that itch.

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On 31/05/2021 at 20:01, BassmanPaul said:

Seeing as though @afterimage didn't rise to the bait I should explain that I too count Liverpool as my home city. Yes I'm a little crazy too!!

In the Sixties I worked at The Automatic Telephones plant on Edge Lane while I learned my skills and going to EE school.

At the same time I played with a Merseybeat era personality called Earl Preston, real name George Spruce. On June 6Th 1968, whilst playing a gig at Nalgo somewhere off Queens Drive, I met a pretty 17 year old girl who I fell in love with. We were married in 1969 and so have just enjoyed our Golden Wedding. We came back to the city to celebrate it with our family.

Forgive my trip down memory lane but it was a life changing time in my life. :D

to all of you keep yourselves safe in this horrible time!

my grandad worked  at plessy as well

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, afterimage said:

my grandad worked  at plessy as well

This was before the time of Plessey. You make me feel so old but it was more than fifty years ago!!  :(

Is the 'exceedingly bare' statue still there at the bottom of Brownlow Hill?

Edited by BassmanPaul

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Yeah yeah they're fun but I'm 63 w/ a bad back. Even in the 80's I was using a Roland pre-amp into a Peavey 400 watt power amp into 2 CerwinVega 2x12s and got as much warmth, and feedback if I wanted, to toast biscuits. Today I'm looking for a nice combo that can keep up w/ a drummer and guitarist that still has his wits about him. And I use a PODX3 for my effects - the amp modeling are antique in that thing and I get great bass tone w/ the AC30 model, it's what you got and how you use it. But get a valve amp, I'm not gonna call the police.

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On 02/05/2021 at 07:45, MartinB said:

Good analogy! And in both cases there are very few opportunities to use them at full throttle 😁

It's not how fast they go. It's how fast they get THERE

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Try an Ashdown LB30/Stubby/CTM30 or an Ampeg PF50T. Scratch the itch and easier to get shot of than the big buggers once the itch is scratched!

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For anyone wanting to scratch the 300w all valve itch without losing a fortune, I'm selling my svt clone, the 300w bugera bvv3000w for half the price of a used ampeg svt and a third the price of a new one.

Very close in every way, sound, style, weight, heft.

Worse comes to the worse you could sell it on easily at what you bought it for....

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58 minutes ago, la bam said:

For anyone wanting to scratch the 300w all valve itch without losing a fortune, I'm selling my svt clone, the 300w bugera bvv3000w for half the price of a used ampeg svt and a third the price of a new one.

Very close in every way, sound, style, weight, heft.

Worse comes to the worse you could sell it on easily at what you bought it for....

could swap for an SVT plus cash to the ex Ampeg owner 

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