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 Post subject: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:15 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: ohio
Yesterday, I inadvertently posted this in the wrong forum, so here goes me moving it:

I am going to finally buy a tube bass head. Most likely an SVT, as they are pretty common. Used SVT Classics go for around $900- some of them are SLM-era, some a Chinese, some are Vietnamese, I guess the new ones are Korean. Should I avoid any of these? Are they mostly fine? Are there modifications that should be done to any of them that would make them sound better or be more reliable? Should I hold out for something vintage?


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:24 am
Posts: 194
Location: Austin TX
I've never really been a fan of the SVT-CL.

But they sound a hell of a lot better than most Ampeg SS amps.

Get a 70's one of you can find it. The SVT-CL's aren't voiced the same way and have a master volume.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 26
Location: Salinas, CA
I'd look for a used VR instead of a CL, if you like the vintage Ampeg sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Los Angeles, CA
If you can find a good deal on a vintage one I'd go for that or a V-4 if you don't need the clean headroom. The new ones just aren't the same and not well built in comparison. Look into old Traynor or if you can find a decent deal on a Fender 400PS jump on that. Mesa 400's or 400+'s are cool too. I guess I'd say open up your options to avoid getting a new Cl.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: ohio
Well, I don't know if it's the vintage SVT sound I am after as much as it is a tube sound I am after. My existing head is pretty nice, really- it's a pre-Fender SWR SM-900, it's pretty loud and articulate, and it's not exactly sterile- I swapped some capacitors in the preamp section that flattened it out and basically got rid of "the SWR sound." It has a 12AX7 in the preamp, and it warms it up a smidge versus other solid state stuff I have had over the years.

Basically, I am looking for some tube-y warmth and grit. I was considering a Verellen Meat Smoke for a while, and then the prices went ape shit, rendering them out of my price range. I am not sure I would have a problem with a master volume/gain setup- I usually run a dirt pedal anyway, so the clean headroom isn't so much the appeal. Are the CL's horribly unreliable?

EDIT: Okay, I could probably find a Mesa 400 for about the same money used as a CL. I am going to do some research on those things.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 26
Location: Salinas, CA
I saw a Mesa 400 (not 400+) go for about $550 on ebay recently, so if that's the route you want to go you could probably find a pretty good deal if you look around. If you're just looking for a good all tube bass amp the 400 and 400+ are definitely good choices, IMO. I use a Traynor YBA-1 (70, stock except for a recap) and it's plenty loud for me and has a huge sound, but it's a different sound than an Ampeg or a Mesa.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:58 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:27 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Portland, OR
I'm not a big fan of the Mesa 400, even though I play a Mesa guitar amp. They take, what, 8 6L6s? That's a bitch to re-tube, and I don't think 6L6s are all that great for bass anyway.

In addition to the vintage SVTs, keep and eye out for old Sunn 1200s and 2000s. Hell, even the reissue 300T or the re-branded Fender Pro 300 kick some ass, with extras like EQ and distortion to boot.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:24 am
Posts: 194
Location: Austin TX
I've tried a few Traynor YBA's as backline bass amps and have never liked them. Little too gritty and no way to EQ that shit out.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 26
Location: Salinas, CA
My YBA-1 works perfect for the sound I want in the band I use it, but I wouldn't use it for everything. I'm going for a kind of Deep Purple style bass tone, fat, chunky with some grit and pluck to it. So my Ric into the YBA-1 nails that perfectly, but the tone controls don't radically alter the sound. Although between the two gain inputs on two channels, which you can jump, it does have some flexibility. In that particular case I have a rig dedicated to a very specific sound for one band and other gear that's more flexible that I use for whatever else I want to play.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 7
It depends on the sound you want. Check out the 300 watt Eden amp they put out recently. It was a little too clean for my taste. I've played SVTs and I just don't like the Ampeg tone. There is always the Fender Bassman 300 Pro. It goes from clean to grindy pretty easily if you have time to learn the EQ and compressor.

http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0213302010

It's the same as a Sunn 300T and would easily be the last amp you ever need.

Recently I've been playing an Orange Terror Bass which has a great tone but it doesn't have a tube power section. Something to look into though. Tube amps are crazy heavy.

But before you pull the trigger make sure you play it first.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:05 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:02 pm
Posts: 57
I second the V4 idea if it has enough power for you. Mine rules for bass. My bassists 400+ is also pretty amazing. I don't think I've ever heard one of those amps sound anything but great, but it seems to do clean better than overdriven.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:42 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:36 pm
Posts: 189
randolfio wrote:
I'm not a big fan of the Mesa 400, even though I play a Mesa guitar amp. They take, what, 8 6L6s? That's a bitch to re-tube, and I don't think 6L6s are all that great for bass anyway.

In addition to the vintage SVTs, keep and eye out for old Sunn 1200s and 2000s. Hell, even the reissue 300T or the re-branded Fender Pro 300 kick some ass, with extras like EQ and distortion to boot.


12 6l6s.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube bass head
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:18 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:24 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Brisbane, Australia
To me, Mesa blows the SVT out of the water. It can get a beautiful fuzzy sound without any pedals, but the SVT only produces that mega awesome grumble, which is cool but not the same

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