Bass tube head under 100w for home

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by BluesyCat, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    I totally get that "why have a tube amp..."! Lol!
    It's just something I'd like to have. Certainly don't need.

    I'm kinda lookin' at that 65 amps Apollo. 50w head. Pricey tho....unless a used one pops up. still pricey $1800 used. :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    again, a quick look on ebay showed me page after page of old 50w and 100w fender bassman heads for like $800.
     
  3. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    Fender bassman older generation is too close in price to a new 100T. I'd rather spend the extra and get the new 100T...which is still at the top of my wish list.
     
  4. HowardMusic

    HowardMusic Member

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    Didn't know Fender put out a new tube head - the 100t seems pretty good, but a bit expensive at $1,500. I still think an older Bassman, or the Traynor YBA-1, depending on condition, can be reliable, and can still be a more economical option, but heck, if you've got the cash, then why not get the 100T !!
     
  5. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. Member

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    I can't believe it's been 5 pages of discussing low watt tube bass amps and there has been no mention of the Sunn 200s! To me, they're sort of the kings of low watt bass amps. 60W of Dynaco Hi-Fi circuitry. Everything above 2 on the volume dial is fat and warm, and distortion doesn't really come into play until about 6-7, at which point you've probably already surpassed the volume requirements for the situation in which a low watt amp is needed. They get silly loud for a 60w amp. Through some old JBLs, I can't really fathom a better small setup sound, be it warm and fat and clean, or gnarly and overdriven.

    I've played the older Bassman amps that have been recommended, and I can't say they really hold up in comparison. The 60w Sunn smokes the 100w Bassman for clean headroom in my opinion, partially due to the circuit design, which wasn't intended to distort, and partially due to the ridiculously oversized transformers. So, for my money, I'd search for the Sunn 200s (or the Sorado, Sonic, or 190B, which were all the same amp just under different names), as for the most part these amps can be had for equal or less money (I bought my 200s for $550, in good cosmetic condition, with original RCA 6550s, and it's never been worked on), and I believe are a far superior amp for the money.


    Just as a side note though, I kinda find it humorous how a 100w amp is considered low wattage. It was obscenely high wattage until the advent of the Marshall Major, Hiwatt 200s and SVTs. I don't think bass players give enough credit to how loud these lower watt amps can be through the proper speaker configuration, what with 2000w SS amps and what not. I used to use a Bassman 300pro because I thought that anything below 300w was underpowered. I've since replaced that amp with a Sunn 2000s rig, which is a mere 120w into 4x15s, and it is building-shaking loud. Even the 200s into those speakers is shockingly loud. Granted, I play these amps cranked so they are pretty driven and crunchy, but even on lower settings, where the clean is retained, they just have a big presence. Last summer, at my band's last show of our summer gigging schedule, we played down in Seattle at this place called Studio Seven. There were a number of other acts, and the bass players all had fairly powerful amps (the lowest watt one I remember was a 500w), though, granted some of them were combos. Anyways, despite this huge power they were packing, none of them really cut through or kept up with their bands (that could have a lot to do with EQ though). We got up and took the stage, and my humble 120w amp smoked these monstrously power rigs. A couple of the guys that worked at the venue came up afterwards and were just floored by the tone, one of the older guys saying how long it'd been since he'd seen a Sunn amp, and the younger guy was shocked when I said it was only a 120w amp (he was also amazed that a P-bass could sound so, I quote, "brutal"). Anyways, long story short, low power amps can still hold their own impressively well. Huzzah for low power amps!

    /ramblings.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    and that's the trade-off, and where the technology marched on.

    now that high power is cheap, small, and light, those 2000w solid state amps make sense, and are meant to drive more compact cabs that themselves are designed to take that kind of power. (the trade-off being that those cabs need that kind of power to get loud, whereas the old big stuff was more efficient at translating what little power it got into volume.)

    i was recommending old bassman heads because they're just about the last plentiful and relatively cheap old handwired tube fenders to be had (priced an old deluxe reverb recently?),and sound decent for bass; i've rarely even seen an old sunn tube head, which was always a mystery because there were a ton of those made, too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  7. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Member

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    Says the guy who gigs a Sansamp through a solid state power amp. LOL! :nuts
     
  8. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    I think that I am going to get the 100T when I have the cash saved up. I nearly bought a 65 Amps Apollo last week... Used...but it is the same price as the 100T.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    ha, busted!:peenut
    actually, my sansamp setup sounds wonderfully close to a real '70s SVT head, fat and grindy but with more headroom from the 750 watts of amp channel driving my two Low Down Sound 15 cabs. (not the same, but close.)

    it's a kick-butt "real world" bass setup that doesn't break my back or wallet.

    i'd still pick an actual old SVT rig over it, but only if you flew down from michigan to move it for me ;) and for gigs i would choose my rig over any other tube bass amp, including modern SVT classics or whatever.
     
  10. HowardMusic

    HowardMusic Member

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    Post a review of the 100T once you get it !!
     
  11. ttasselm

    ttasselm Supporting Member

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    Just as an aside, I'm pretty sure you can use whatever gear you want and still be picky about your tone...if there was a single desirable tone we'd all be using the same gear.
     
  12. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    This is a post in the TB forums of someone who has one:

    Features: This amp has everything. All the old vintage features plus some new snazzy stuff. The fact that it has a constant tube status on the back is great. It basically has a blinking light that goes through a legend on the back of each tube letting you know if each one is working accordingly on an individual basis. The 100T also has a self biasing system when you replace tubes so you don't need to bring it to a tech which is awesome. Lots of other features, but my favorite is the ability to switch from 100w to 25w to Silent mode. This means I can have head bursting volume at practice/shows, get the same tone at home practicing by switching it to 25w AND for recording I can switch to silent mode without frying the amp from not being plugged into a cab - so...freaking...awesome! You also have the ability to switch the tubes from Low to Normal to Hot depending on what kind of grit you are looking for (and yes there is a huge difference on sound you can get by toggling). Fender also included a little baggy of fuses - thats awesome.

    Sound (with a GenzBenz 212 New with side ports): Like I said earlier I've always been in love with Fender tube amp tones over any tube amp out there. This amp takes everything I loved about the old 300 and gives me a tone more. There are two channels so you can get a nice clean old jazz tone from the clean channel, but thats not my bag. I love tube dirt and lots of it. I use the dirty channel with the gain/blend both at 9 respecitvely. So much chunk and grit without losing any of your notes. I play in a post metal band (think Isis/Russian Circles) and the drummer and guitarist are LOUD. I'm in a corner of the room where they can't really see my rig so I got there early to see if they would notice a difference. I didn't play a note until the first song and we play about 1 minute before the guitarist and drummer stop and have to ask what happened. They were utterly amazed at how great this amp sounds - almost as geeked up as I am. It cut through the mix and just adds a whole new layer. When your bandmates stop and gawk you know you are on to something!

    Power: Ok so like I said I'm in a LOUD band. I had the amp switched to 100w with the master volume set to 3 and had to turn down to 1.5. Kind of sucked but oh yeah I have a freaking feature to turn the amp down to 25w! So now at loud practice I go at 25w and have the master volume at 8. Perfect! That feature is just great. Played a couple medium size venues and have the amp at 100w and the volume at 3 and its perfect. I really can't see why anyone would ever need more headroom than this amp can provide.

    Weight: Ok the amps a little bulky but using the side handles its extremely manageable. Compared to my old 300 this thing is a feather.

    Overall: This amp is unbelievable. I couldn't be more happy with my purchase.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  13. lpcustom

    lpcustom Member

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    +1 on the old Traynors. The YBA-1A pushes closer to 90 watts, so it's less favored by the modding types, and can be found on the cheap more often. I know people who've run them with 4-ohm loads for decades with no problems, FWIW. Lots of tonal variety to be found and they're friggin' bulletproof!

    Happy hunting!
     
  14. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    I caved and bought the Fender 100T Bassman amp. It just arrived today and it sounds :love: GLORIOUS :love: with my Grosh PJ4 and my Sadowsky JJ4. Cannot wait until the weekend to get into it more!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    Nice looking rig!


    dk
     
  16. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    First attempt at recording with all new tubes:

    [SOUNDCLOUD]http://soundcloud.com/alzysposse/whydoeslove-5-30-12-lee-sadpj[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    settings that were used:
    Fender 100T amp in VINTAGE, Silent Recording mode, Level Out=7, Post, Master Vol=6, Volume=6, Bass, Mid, & Treble knobs=10

    Sadowsky PJ5 Bass in Active,Volume knob close to 50%, Both pickups equally, VTC 50%, No Bass Boost, approx 25% Treble Boost
    New strings=Sadowsky Blue Label Nickel Rounds, Standard(med)

    PreSonus FireStudio Mobile and Studio One Software with no additional sound effects

    Mogami gold cable between 100T and FireStudio Mobile

    100T has all new tubes, (Russia) Preamp=Tung-Sol Goldpin 12AX7 selected for low noise, Tung-Sol 12AT7 also selected for low noise, and Power Tubes are SED 6L6G

    All original 100T tubes were so LOUD that I could not record at all with the 100T. The noise level was very high. (no recording was made.)

    Note: the sound file is dated 5-30-12...is a typo. Meant the 28th. oops. :hiding:
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  17. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Supporting Member

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    I'm missing some boomf, here. How's the bass boost?

    And how about some deeper notes? ; )
     
  18. heffernoise

    heffernoise Supporting Member

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    yup silver face bassman 50. sounds real good
     
  19. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Supporting Member

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    I can go back and record some deeper notes...might be a couple of days.
     
  20. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

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    Traynor Bass Mate is 20 W and a killer amp.
     

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