Low watt all tube bass head for recording

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Platinum, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    I'm looking for a little all tube bass head for the studio that I can also use as a practice rig.

    I'll probably pair the head with an Ampeg or Fender 115 cab, so you can probably imagine I'm a fan of the classic B15, however, I would like something more flexible. Another reason why I don't just get a B15 is that I'm in Australia and importing is both costly and potentially risky (damage).

    I've heard that the Ashdown LB30 could be a good option?

    Any others I should add to my short list?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    V4B. Definitely.
     
  3. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    I doubt that many made it down under, but during the Superchamp era of the 80's Fender made the Bassman 20. 20 watts, all tube, sounded gorgeous.
     
  4. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently picked up a Sansamp RBI (rack bass preamp/sim) from a friend. It has made my bass recordings gobs better. Add a powered speaker and you've got a pretty meaty bass rig. This might be an option if recording is your main intended use.
     
  5. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    I've had that little guy on my radar, but I have literally never seen one for sale (and I include the USA in my search). Any tips where I should be looking or if there are any keywords I may have better luck with?

    Are any of the 50w models as sweet sounding?
     
  6. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    I will keep the V4B on my short list, for sure. What would you say in response to those who claim it is difficult to move much air with clean gain?
     
  7. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    More speakers!!!! I use 90 watts into a 4x10, and its been plenty for the last few years. But my bands haven't been stupid loud either. Also, you need to run it with the master CRANKED and control overall volume with the gain, basically taking the master out of the equation and making it more like a NMV amp.

    But you also have to decide if it is truly a studio/practice amp, or if you are going to use it in rehearsal or live with drums. The LB30 is great for the former two, not so good for the later two. The V4B is a LIVE amp, and will sound great wound up to compete w/ a drummer, but may be too much to wind up when recording.
     
  8. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    Thanks for that. I have no intention on using it with acoustic drums, but will still plug into a V4B and see what it can do at recording levels :D
     
  9. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I also have an RBI and that ain't a bad way to go either, though I doubt I would pair it with a powered speaker.


    I am not a recording guy, I use all my gear for live performances. My rig is an SVT with one or two Ampeg 810s. Usually one. For clean, Endr rpm is correct. Dime the master and use the gain as a volume knob. The V4B is basically a 100 watt SVT. Since I have never had to run my SVT with whichever knob I am controlling volume with past 4, I would say you will move plenty of air with the master or the gain as long as you have the right cab.
     
  10. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    In all honesty, I don't see myself gigging anything larger than an open plan pub/club. I used to gig (on keys) at larger venues, but always had PA support, so if experience is any indication, I'd wager that I could even gig with the Little Bastard via the DI out. That being said, it could still be handy having the extra headroom in the V4B.

    Could the V4B double as a guitar amp or is the bass voicing a problem there?
     
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Which little bastard? If you mean the RBI, sure you could, I've done it a million times. The RBI has a good DI. As long as you're happy with the monitoring situation and you have a good PA and a good SE, it will sound great out front.


    I really have no experience trying to run bass amps as guitar amps so I'll leave that to someone else.
     
  12. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    it makes for a very clean and loud guitar amp. The gain structure in the inputs is the major difference between it and a V-4. It weighs a lot, btw. All those amps use the same printed circuit board, so you could mod one input for guitar. I suggest a sub for the input tube...a 5751. They're preternaturally bright otherwise.
     
  13. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the info! When you say modify one input for guitar, do you mean simply exchange the input tube? If so, then too easy!
     
  14. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    Vintage Ampeg B15 fliptop. They are just the bomb.
     
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    How about considering a different direction??? - IME/IMO, the Genz-Benz Streamliner 600 and 900 have the best sounding tube driven DI I've ever heard in an amp, and go to tape extremely well - besides being a great amp, period... I've gigged my Streamliner 900 a ton, and gotten lots of compliments on it's DI send... FWIW, my other two amps are a Mesa 400, and M-pulse 600, and I have an Aguilar Tone Hammer DI as well - I've also owned a few of the Sansamp products, too(VT pedal, BDDI, Paradriver, etc...)



    - georgestrings
     
  16. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the lateral thinking. I'm not an all tube snob, just love tube tone! I have no real way of testing one out though as there are no Genz-Benz dealers in Australia ... maybe I should add them to my store ...
     
  17. 56Tweed

    56Tweed Sub-Octave Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Another option would be to get something like a Reddi DI, which as I understand it has the front end of a B15. You can then feed the thru connection to something in the room to hear it on a live amp. For me, this scenario seems to be a lot more flexible than a full sized tube amp, mic'ed in the room/studio.
     
  18. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Genz Benz made some great little amps, but they are out of business.
     
  19. Platinum

    Platinum Member

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    I have and love my REDDI. :) Are you suggesting I could just use a power amp (with no pre-amp) to send the REDDI signal to a bass cab? I hadn't thought of that ...



    Doh. That's a shame.
     
  20. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    No, it involves changing the cathode resistor and adding a cathode capacitor for the very first triode circuit. It's very simple for a tech with the proper schematics and equipment. $0.50 worth of parts and probably an hour of time..these things are a bear to get into and put back.
     

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