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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Geezerhood, Tube Amps and Class D Amps

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Aug 5th, 2017 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of the short-lived Eden e300t tube heads has been my main amp for several years. I’ve heard that there were problems with some of them, but mine has performed well. It is on its second set of power tubes and probably ready for another. Because it’s in the shop for a checkup, I used my Little Mark III at practice this week. It did fine, but I thought something I’m used to hearing was missing. Obviously, no one else noticed, as they all told me how good it sounded.

So, if no one else hears it, I'm beginning to wonder whether it makes sense for someone my age to continue dragging around an amp that weight about 10x as much as the Markbass and occasionally requires 6 new KT88s, or if it's time to start using Class D amps for main and backup purposes.

The next question is where to look if I decided it’s time to move on. There are so many Class D options these days and my taste in amps ranges from an old Ampeg B15 fliptop to a SWR Redhead.


(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 01:58 PM, Aug 5th, 2017)


Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Aug 5th, 2017 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Huge question.

This response probably isn't going to help very much but here it is anyway.

Over the years I've tried just about everything. Most didn't make the cut, some did.

Today I have several Class D heads, an all-tube amp and an amp that is solid state with tubes in the pre-amp.

When I play any one of these, there always seems to be something missing from the amp I played a few days before.

They're all different and it took me a long time to accept this and to get into the habit of adjusting each time I put one aside and grab for another.

It's also true that many of us get locked-in to one sound and nothing else will do.

If you're locked-in, get your Eden fixed, go with it and use the Mark III in case of.

As far as the Class D amps go, I just bought a Rumble 500 head and like it very much. There's a lot of good stuff on the market today.

So many amps, so little....


Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Aug 5th, 2017 12:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, George. I will definitely get the Eden in playing shape no matter what.

"They're all different and it took me a long time to accept this and to get into the habit of adjusting each time I put one aside and grab for another." is an excellent point.

Glad to know you like the Rumble 500. I looked at it, the Ampeg PF 500 and the comparably powered TC models on line this morning, but had to take a break because there is so much out there.

Danny Nader


You should have been there!
Aug 5th, 2017 03:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Take a look at the Aguilar offerings. Wonderful amplifiers. The Tone Hammers w/ the built in Drive control is quite nice and effective. From subtle overdrive to crunch.





Aug 5th, 2017 10:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

Love my Genz Benz Streamliner 600. It is no longer made as Fender bought them out then eventually dropped Genz Benz all together. It has a Class D Solid State output with a 6 stage tube preamp (3 12AX7's). It will fit in the front pocket of my Gig Bag, weighs 6 lbs and puts out 600 watts RMS with a 4 ohm load. Dark Horse on another popular bass forum Engineered them and luckily will repair it if ever needed.

Jeff Scott

On a spinning rock

Aug 6th, 2017 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 that has been stellar in tone and reliability. Previous to it I have been using Walter Woods amps for my micro amp needs, going back to the mid '80s. Nothing missing for me.

As to recommendations based on things I have read from those I trust, besides my Aguilar, I'd check out the Mesa Subway D800 and D800+, and the Genzler Magellan amp.



Do'in the 5 string thing!
Aug 7th, 2017 11:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Amps are funny things. As most of you, I've tried many over the years. I'm also advanced in age to the point where the convenience of smaller, lighter gear has become very important. I tend to not be overly picky in my amp's tone. Since my signal chain always begins with a Sansamp BDDI and has for almost 20 years, that device defines my tone more than the amp does. Rarely have I practiced or performed without that magic tool.

Like Bubbalou, I am a fan of the Genz-Benz family of amps. I have had a Shuttle 6.0 (3 lbs.) since they first came out and in the last few years picked up a Streamliner 900 (6 lbs.) that has become my main gigging amp. Both Class D, both very light. Those combined with my Aguilar SL-112 cabinets mean's I'm hauling a grand total of 56 lbs. to the gig. That's about 150 lbs less than my Ampeg rig. Got to love that! It's enough amp and cabinet to cover any venue I'll ever play, and sounds as good or better than my former rig.

Contributing Member


The Plankster of Love
Aug 7th, 2017 03:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

Quilter Labs Bass Block 800

4 pounds, 800 watts. Gain, Master Volume and two knobs for your EQ....but it takes getting used to!! Different than anything you've heard before, believe me. But once I got the hang of how those knobs work, I was sold.

I have it with the matching cabinets, (one single 12, the other dual tens) plus I have a Mesa Walkabout single 12" with tube pre for smaller gigs. Frankly, I may be selling the Mesa soon, as the Quilter with either cabinet is more than enough oomph

Contributing Member


Aug 8th, 2017 07:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

I went from a SVT!! (Non Pro, Full of KT88's) with a Mesa 6x10 to a TC Rebelhead with 2x10 & 2x12 and am now back to an Orange AD200 with 4x10 & 1x15.

I bought a trolly :-)

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Aug 9th, 2017 07:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

In the mid 70's I went from a Carvin SS head to an SVT. The band didn't like the sound of the SVT...but they got used to it.

In the 80's I used a complicated biamped rig with tubes for the preamp and mid/highs and SS for the lows. It exceeded my SVT tone, but in the same vein.

For 10 years I used a GK1001RB. I never bonded with it. It got the job done, but the low end character and "feel" were wrong. Adding a Sansamp helped. It finally went down in a strange accident.

I bought an Ampeg PF-500. Dang...there was that SVT tone and feel. My current band didn't like it, at first...just like my band in the 70's. I am totally happy with this amp. I have tube bass amps. I prefer this one.

In the 90's, I built a tube preamp, with three band passive and 4 band active EQ. I used that with a SS power amp until I got the GK. For fun I pulled it out, and set up so I could switch between the PF-500 preamp and my tube preamp quickly into the Class D power amp.

With each using the settings I usually use (or used) I switched between them while playing.

I could not tell the difference, in spite of the different control typologies and types.

I'm gas free with my cheap Ampeg.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Aug 9th, 2017 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

At one time I used a Tech 21 VT pedal in front of a rather bland solid state amp. I will leave whether Tech 21 accurately reproduces the Ampeg sound to others, but I liked the B15 pedal settings with some power behind it so the PF500 and VT Bass 500 seem to merit further consideration.

Tangentially related to the original post, the tech didn't need to replace power tubes in the e300t, just 2 preamp tubes. His words: "My God this thing thumps through my ported Carvin 18."



Aug 9th, 2017 08:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Bonkers, Aged Horse on another forum was an engineer for Genz Benz and is good to know he still supports the repairs of Genz Benz amps.



Do'in the 5 string thing!
Aug 10th, 2017 11:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes sir - I am aware of that. So far I'm a lucky guy and no issues with either Genz Benz head. I've been very please with both of them.

A have tried the Quilter Bass Block per RWB's post, and I was impressed as well. If I was in the market, it and the Mesa Subway D-800, as well as the Genzler Magellan would be at the top of my list.



Who is E. Sandoval?
Aug 19th, 2017 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

"In the mid 70's I went from a Carvin SS head to an SVT. The band didn't like the sound of the SVT...but they got used to it"

Who were those guys?

How could anybody not like the sound of an SVT coupled with an electric bass guitar?



Fender power to the people!
Sep 19th, 2017 07:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am in my 60s and find that moving lots of big gear just isn't as much fun as it was in my teens.
Over time, I have learned that each amp, like each bass has it's own set of advantges and disdvantges.
I still have several amps, but these days I am most likely to use a Carvin BX1500.
With it's power and tonal options, about the only thing it can't do reasonably well is being tubey.
It isn't, but it is light and versatile.
I expect that description will fit a lot of other class D amps, as well.



Sep 20th, 2017 09:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Bonkers, I am convinced the people that had problems with their GB Streamliners was because they yanked tubes out like a "Bull in a China Closet". I slightly wiggle while pulling up on the tube and so far no problems. Did not have to change tubes but I like the Tung Sol 12AX7 in the first position. Seems to have a deeper yet clear tone for me.

Contributing Member

USA / Virginia

Sep 29th, 2017 11:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yep, time to ditch the big, heavy, expensive tube amps, and switch to a Class D.

Your back will thank you!



Sep 29th, 2017 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

"It's also true that many of us get locked-in to one sound and nothing else will do. "

Guilty as charged George :)

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 30th, 2017 09:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've always gotten used to what I had, my first bass amp was a 1967 Fender Bassman, 2 X 12 Speaker cab and a 50 watt head, I was really happy when dad bought it for me on my 16th birthday. Years later It was stolen. My second amp was a 1970 Bassman 4X10. It was good, better than the 67, but now I consider both of these underpowered for bass.

I still own everything since these two, Each amp I got has been better the the previous. What I hear when playing live is not what the audience hears. What it sounds like to me is also different when I hear a field recording of the tunes. I really don''t get so picky about it anymore. I dial in a tone I like and the tone range I'm happy with on the bass and I'm good.

So today most of the time I'm using the class D (Shuttle 9.0) into 2 X 12 neo SWR speakers, that easily handles the output of the GB at 8 ohms. Total weight is about 42lbs. I can make one trip with out a hand truck carrying Bass, amp and cabinet.

If the venue needs more I'll add a 15 dropping the ohms to 4.

Lately I'm getting more picky about the tone range that is produced by the bass. The Ibanez AFB200 (newest store bought bass) tone control is lame, but I've been told what the problem is and I've ordered the parts to fix it. Strange that Ibanez has let this problem persist for more than 7 years.

Even my basses are getting lighter.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Sep 30th, 2017 01:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Even my basses are getting lighter."

I'm still on the fence about the tube head, but have been on the lighter bass bandwagon for some time. Except for a 9 lb. Rickenbacker, which I hang onto but don't play much anymore, the heaviest bass I own weighs a couple of ounces over 8 lbs.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Geezerhood, Tube Amps and Class D Amps

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