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What tube bass amp will get me that cranked sansamp bass driver DI sound?

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  • What tube bass amp will get me that cranked sansamp bass driver DI sound?

    My band is a real grungey 3 piece, for our bass tone we use a sansamp bass DI with the drive cranked all the way up into a Swr working man 400 head(solid state)into a 1x15 cab. It's an acquired taste. Balls to wall bass overdrive- the sansamp seems to be the only pedal I've used that will preserve the low end even extremely driven. In the event we came across the money, is there a tube amp for bass that will give me this tone or something close? Or do u just have to use a pedal when it comes to dirty bass?
    -"Who is John Galt?"-

  • #2

    Well this is an ironic question...usually people are looking for a pedal that sounds like a tube amp. 

    The SansAmp bass DI is supposedly based on/voiced like an Ampeg SVT. It is supposed to simulate the tone of the SVT amp, cab, and mic. Having said that, a fully-cranked SVT would be punishingly loud, and would shorten the life of the expensive power tubes too. If you're happy with the distortion tone of the SansAmp, just use that. Why a tube amp? 

    Tech21, the company that makes the SansAmp, also makes the RPI, basically a rackmount version of the sansamp, that could easily be paired with PA-type power amplifier to make a bass rig, or Tech21 also sells a powered, 2-channel head version that's based on the SansAmp preamp. 

    Another alternative to look into is buying a 70's vintage Silverface Fender Bassman head, there are 50 and 100 watt versions, and they are not too hard to find nor too expensive for a vintage amp, maybe about $600 or so, but I don't know how the distorted sound is on those. 

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    • RoadRanger
      RoadRanger commented
      Editing a comment

      The Bugera 1960 Infinium I sometimes play bass through can get pretty dammed fuzzy if you play through the series connected input channels (AKA Randy Rhodes mod) which is a feature of this amp. At only 100w or so and because it's designed to run distorted there's no concern with running it that way. It also has a master on the back but like all master equipped amps output tube distortion sounds different than preamp distortion. I paid only $340 shipped for mine as "open box"  .

  • #3
    "Some men see things as they are and say why - I dream things that never were´╗┐ and say why not."-- George Bernard Shaw


    • #4
      Thanks everyone for your insight. Yeah, the more research I've done into it, it seems you just gotta use solid state to get that kinda tone or at least an OD pedal. Nate newton of converge actually uses two oranges the bass amp for his low end and the thunderverb-which is actually a guitar amp- for his crazy buzz saw driven part of his tone. My band isn't anything like converge but I love his tone. I guess as a guitarist I just know that solid state doesn't hold a candle to anything tube so I figured it must be the same for bass but,it seems to be kinda that way but kinda not. So I guess we'll stick to what we got. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?
      -"Who is John Galt?"-


      • isaac42
        isaac42 commented
        Editing a comment

        I think you're missing the point. To get that kind of sound, whether on guitar, bass, organ, whatever, you need to really crank up the gain. Do that with a regular amp, and the result is a really high volume. You also lose any of the nuance you might have been getting from the tubes. Square waves are square waves. Doesn't matter much how they're generated. So, if you want that kind of sound and have to have some control over the level coming out of the speakers, you're going to have to do it with a pedal or some other sort of device ahead of the amp's preamp.

        I also don't understand what you're hoping for. What I'm getting is, "I really love this particular sound. How can I get the same thing with a much more expensive piece of gear?"