Bass tube head under 100w for home

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

  1. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Staff Reviewer Bass Gear Magazine Silver Supporting Member

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    Does such a thing exist? I'd sure like to have a Reeves 225 in a much smaller package!!!! Lol!

    I currently have a GK 700RB-II, an Ampeg SVT 410HLF cab, the SVT Micro VR and the matching cab. I used to have an Ampeg SVT-VR but the fan was just too loud so I sold the VR and bought the GK instead.

    I would really like to have a small watt tube head. For home. No gigging. Just a hobbyist player.:)

    Any ideas?


    My gear:
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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  2. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    Snag a used Bogner Shiva head, rated at 85 watts. Obviously a guitar head, but works great as a bass amp. Built like a tank.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    for messing around at home, go vintage.

    an old fender bassman or showman head, one of those 50-100w non-SVT ampeg heads like the v-4 or B-25, stuff like that can be found for not too much.

    through the right cab they'll sound (and record) great.
     
  4. nealpolitan

    nealpolitan Member

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    Ditto. The Bassman is an awesome bass head, too!

     
  5. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Staff Reviewer Bass Gear Magazine Silver Supporting Member

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    I was also looking at that Fender 100T. Guitar amps? really?
     
  6. nealpolitan

    nealpolitan Member

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    I inherited an old Peavey 120 watt head (SS pre and 4 6L6 power section) a few years back and tried using it for a bass head (it stunk for a guitar amp). I bypassed the preamp and plugged a Sansamp DI into the power amp in. It worked good but the sound didn't knock me out. I went back to my trusty old GK400rb (about 20 lbs lighter).
     
  7. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Member

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    I just got a '65 Bassman head, which I hope to try out this weekend. Fifty watts into 4 ohm, so I'll plug it into a pair of Genz-Benz 8 ohm speakers. The guy I got it from says it's LOUD, so it may not be what you want. I'll report back: Saturday's gig is with a drummer, rhythm & lead guitars, and me on bass. I've been using the G-B speakers with a Mesa/Boogie Walkabout head (300 watt) so it'll be interesting to compare.
     
  8. rybass

    rybass Member

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    I modded an Epi valve junior for better tighter bass. It works great for recording and home practice through a bass cab.

    I'll second the vintage bassman as well. I've owned a couple and they sound darn good recorded at low to med volumes.

    But I prefer SS for low volume bass recordings. Some SS amps can get a fantastic growl and thump even at bedroom volumes.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    "loud" is what you do want for bass, because it means you can turn it down for some clean headroom.

    Really though, a 50-watt tube head is not loud at all for bass unless it's plugged into big, efficient cabs.

    If you're used to a 300w solid state amp, the bassman is gonna be weak and distorted by comparison. I'd bring the ss amp as a backup.
     
  10. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    I second the 'Lil Bastard from Ashdown.
     
  11. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    No recommendations other than an old Fender, but wanted to say, nice basses!
     
  12. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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  13. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Staff Reviewer Bass Gear Magazine Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks everyone for chiming in! And the nice comments. So I could still have Reeves 225 and just turn it down with great tones still there?
     
  14. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Member

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    Traynor Bassmaster: great guitar amp, darned nice low-volume bass amp.
     
  15. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Member

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    Honestly, I don't know about this rubbish about headroom. Tube amps aren't like solid state amps in that they sound best only once you get the power tubes really working. The sound just fills out and that's where you get that nice tubey character everyone desires. And of course, if you want to push it a little further you can get that nice overdrive.

    But below that you're in the realm of the amp and speakers not being awake, the tone is dead, and any dirt is preamp dirt which is just not the same as good old power tube dirt. For home use you want something as small as possible if you're going to get the power tubes working to get the good tones. I can't hardly get an amp small enough to be appropriate for my apartment. For apartment use 1/10th to 1/4th of a watt (attenuated) works.

    Unless you play really weak and are afraid to turn up the volume and use really inefficient speakers, and are one of those idiots that think a little breakup is a bad thing, a Bassman or some other is easily enough to gig with, a little too much for home use unless you're isolated enough in your living situation to get loud. I've done outdoor gigs with an Ashdown Little Bastard or Bassman with no PA support, and tons of bar gigs with my 20 watt Lead and Bass, which is my main gigging amp. I don't know how loud you want to be at home, but if you want to get the power tubes working you're probably not going to be able to do that at home on a Custom 225 (great amp though it is).
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Plenty of folks get great bass sounds out of bigger tube amps turned down.

    "tube bass tone" isn't always about overdrive.
     
  17. CavePassivePedals

    CavePassivePedals Member

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    I practised at home for years with a Laney LC15 guitar combo. 15 watts of tubey goodness.
     
  18. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Member

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    Yeah, but tube amps still sound best once you get the power tubes working, overdriven or not. Not until that poweramp starts working does the tone really fill out. Sure, you'll probably still sound as good as if not better than a solid state amp turned down, but the OP is looking for tone, not volume, for home use.
     
  19. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Staff Reviewer Bass Gear Magazine Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep. Tone is desired. But I think this is a great discussion and am enjoying the responses, viewpoints! Thank you all for your input!

    It would just be nice to have a tube amp that isn't overkill.

    My 410hlf is overkill but I like it and it gives me more amp options, right?
     

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