#1
Hey guys! I currently have a Yamaha B100 115 as my main amp. It is lovely, has a good sound, and is very loud. The problem is, it is very heavy, and a combo. I would like to own my own head and cab one day. I also live at two different places from time to time, and the Yamaha B100 is too much of a paint to tote back and forth, so I would like another rig at my other house (my mom and dad are separated).

As I was looking for bass amps though, I noted that there are a ton more solid state amps than tube amps. You can find quite a few good tube amps, but there appears to be a monstrous amount of solid state bass amps in existence.

Is there a reason? I know they're cheaper, but is solid state better for bass? Also, the reason I'm concerned about tube, is someone informed me that overdrive pedals work better through tube amps than solid state. Not sure if this is true, but they worked at a music shop.

Whats up with that? Is the overdrive thing true, is there any reason there seems to be tons more solid state amps, and do you reccomend anything in particular. Want to keep it under $1,000.
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#2
Solid-state is easier for companies to make, and therefore they make more. Tube amps require big ass transformers, which can be hard to get, and well, tubes are an "obsolete" technology, making tube amps much more expensive.
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#3
just realized the title says tuba amp
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#4
Haha it does. Close enough, I play the tuba as well.
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#5
Bas tube amps are heavy, expensive and fairly rare.

The reason most people use ss amps is because it's easier t make them higher wattage hench more headroom. They're also cleaner and more hi-fi sounding in general.
Only go for a tube amp if:
-You don't mind carrying around something the size and weight of an elephant
-It's the only way to get the sound you want or you want some vintage pushed overdrive sounds (this will happen only at really loud volumes though)
-You have a lot of money to buy one
-You have even more money over the years to replace power tubes (and bass amps have lots of them)

The OD pedal thing is codswallop btw.
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#6
That sounds rather terrible now that you put it that way. haha
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#7
It's not for most people.

I'd love one for a stoner doom band, but I'd rather use my 1000W SS for almost everything else.
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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#8
The advent of Class D designs may make tube bass amplifiers more prevalent. Peavey's flagship VB-3 is class D; rated at 300 watts and weighs only 37 pounds. Compare that to an Ampeg SVT that weighs 85 pounds or a Fender Bassman 300 at about 75 pounds.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#9
Can anyone explain the overdrive thing?
Quote by smirnoff_black
Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#10
You'll be lucky to get a straight answer on that one. By and large, tube amps require output transformers and these transformers, when overloaded, produce a harmonic distortion that a lot of people find pleasing. The tube design causes the amplifier to favor the even harmonics, which makes the amp sound louder than a comparable solid-state amp and (it is claimed) makes the distortion pleasing, rather than harsh. Crank a solid-state amp and it will boost the harmonics almost evenly, so at high volumes tube amps start to lose their advantages - even with overdrive.

The issue of overdrive is often tied to the myth that tube amps are louder than solid-state amps and at what point the two amps will distort. Anyone who tells you tube amps are louder than comparably-rated solid-state amps doesn't know his or her ass from a hole in the ground. If you want proof, get a solid-state and a tube amp; each rated at 100 watts. Play them through the same cabinet at maximum volume and stick a decibel meter in front of the cabinet. You'll see they both put out the same number of decibels. Tubes do sound nice (particularly with guitars), but bassists don't go for the overdrive nearly as much as do guitarists so most bass amps dispense with the emphasis on overdrive.

You probably won't need the lustfully sought-after tube distortion for bass anyway, and even if you do, plenty of solid-state devices get fine bass overdrive. I have a SansAmp RPM rackmount preamp and it gets great bass distortion if I want it. Guitarists would scoff, but Geddy Lee uses two of them and he and his tone are greater than all guitarists, so clearly I am right and they are wrong.

Be thankful you asked that question here. Among guitarists, the question of tube overdrive and what is the best blah-blah-blah is enough to start a holy war. There is so much bullshit and generally wrong-headed crap concerning tube amps among guitarists that it actually doesn't pay to ask one anything anymore. To them, tubes are nothing short of a religion, and the only thing worse than a tube atheist is a tube apostate. Both must be killed on sight, or so they say.

Now see what you started?
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Jul 5, 2011,
#11
Oh no.
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#12
+1 to PLENTY of solidstate and hybrid (tube pre-amp/solidstate power amp) amps can get workable overdrive.

I have had a few tube amps over the years (Ampeg V4, Ampeg V4b, Ampeg B-25b, Sunn 200s, and my still owned and loved Traynor YBA-3cs). Aside from the overdrive-y-ness, there's something about the response from a tube amp that's hard to emmulate. However.... i dunno how much touring or giging you do... but it DOES actually become an issue with weight. So these days i tour and gig more with my solidstate stuff.


My advice... look for an old solidstade amp:

-60's/70's Kustom
-70's Acoustic (NOT the new ones)
-70's Sunn
-80's Peavey
-80's GK


As technology wasn't as far progressed, a LOT of those older solidstate rigs are pretty tube-ily voiced. They also go for pretty damn cheap on the used market ($50-$200 cheap)... except for Sunn... effing doom metal.
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#13
^ I think weight is still an issue with those old SS amps. My 80's Peavey head is still 54ish pounds, which isnt as much as a tube head, but it's not exactly the lightest thing to carry.
pinga
#14
Quote by Cb4rabid
^ I think weight is still an issue with those old SS amps. My 80's Peavey head is still 54ish pounds, which isnt as much as a tube head, but it's not exactly the lightest thing to carry.


Yeah that's true. Still the 50 or so lbs of a Sunn/Acoustic/Peavey (GK, Kustom, and Earth are preeeetty light) is much more doable than the 75+ lbs of a tube amp... and the reliability is a bit better.


I have an ingrained feeling that heavyness makes a better bass amp... it just feels viscerally WEIRD to me when i play a Genz Shuttle 9 or GK MB500 or something...
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#15
Quote by Din of Win
Yeah that's true. Still the 50 or so lbs of a Sunn/Acoustic/Peavey (GK, Kustom, and Earth are preeeetty light) is much more doable than the 75+ lbs of a tube amp... and the reliability is a bit better.


I have an ingrained feeling that heavyness makes a better bass amp... it just feels viscerally WEIRD to me when i play a Genz Shuttle 9 or GK MB500 or something...

It's probabaly because we like that old style/almost vintage mojo that old amps and cabs have

I love my amp, I just think about what it's seen or done for 23-24 years since it was made. All the shows it's been to, what it's gone through. I didn't really want to clean it up, it seemed sacrilegious to do so.
pinga
Last edited by Cb4rabid at Jul 6, 2011,
#16
Quote by Cb4rabid

I just think about what it's seen or done for 23-24 years since it was made. All the shows it's been to, what it's gone through. I didn't really want to clean it up, it seemed sacrilegious to do so.


Sooooooooooo true!!!!! Agreed 110%
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#17
I was a very proud owner of a peavey vb-2 225watt bass tube amp. Replaced the power tubes after 2 years just because i felt they were losing some tone(they were). I did have some issues with fuses blowing and taking out the preamp tubes, but considering when i bought it i most likely had an early model. Just had a serious bout with an undiagnosable problem that blew my power tubes after 5-10 minutes of playing... Pretty sure mine was a lemon, but that gets really costly.

I did absolutely love the tone of my amp. and being able to overdrive it by bumping up my bass's preamp was really handy. If you want to risk less reliability for that tone you can't get anywhere else then go for it. But always bring a backup amp to gigs.
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