Best Tube Head for Guitar AND Bass

HouseBoat28

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I'm looking for a 30ish-100 watt head (preferably tube) that can be used mostly for guitar, but could also double for use with a bass or bass VI. Looking to spend under $1000, new or used. The style of music would mostly be overdriven, downtuned sludgy punk with a hint of clean sparkle, along the lines of Torche, METZ, Greet Death, Baroness. I'm playing into an Ampeg SVT410HEN bass cab.

A Fender Bassbreaker 45 or something from the Laney GH series seems like it could fit the bill, as they sound like they produce a decent amount of low end, though a Peavey Classic or ValveKing seems like it might work too. I've also considered an Orange Terror Bass head with the hybrid tube/solid state model, though I feel like that could squish the guitar tone too much.

Does anyone have experience with a tube head that works well for guitar and bass?
 
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VonBonfire

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Plexi 100 watt loaded with 6550's can cover it but pushed too hard may not suit your tastes on the bass end of things. Some good cabs might help. For guitar it is insanely loud, clean, and powerful to the very top of it's range before breakup but does get a nice clang past 6 on the dial at which point someone is hurt or upset. It makes a Twin Reverb seem like a low powered combo amp, lol.
 

stantheman

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1966 Fender Bassman.
Marshall made one that Jimi Hendrix favored - it may have been called...
The Super Bassman...? I'm not really up on the things Marshall and never have been.

Roland is where I'm at these days.
I don't even own a Bass these days.
The next one? Maybe a fretless upright solid body.
 

marshman

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If you're only planning to record, any amp will suffice, but to play live music with a full band, 100 watts would be a minimum. And any amp engineered to generate distortion for guitars will probably make a bad-sounding bass amp, and vice versa. If you're planning to derive all of your 'dirt' from pedals and just need a good, powerful amp capable of projecting your sound, there are plenty of options. I'd look for something with a 100watt (bass) and 50watt (guitar) output switch.

All that said, an Ampeg V4 might do the trick, it might even be considered the 'standard' for what you're asking, even without the 50-watt setting.

The larger concern might be the cabinet. While an amplifier doesn't really care what kind of signal you send through it, speakers definitely will, and a 4x10 bass cab that is designed for bass will probably sound pretty bad for guitar. Might not be as big a concern given the music you describe.
 

Jowes_84

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I’ve played bass through the normal channel of a 100W Silverface Twin circuit into a 2-15 bass cab and really liked it.
I now play a Fender PA 135 for bass with the same cab.
Havent tried it for guitar yet… Obviously, for guitar you end up on the clean side of things with these unless you turn the volume up to ear bleed.
 

Killing Floor

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Can you find a used Marshall? JCM-800 for example. These sound amazing with bass and they break up late so you don’t have to keep the gain at 8:00 for a good bass sound. Truth is any head will work. Just the speakers are where you need to be careful.
 

brookdalebill

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When I was young, many local (bar band) bass players used a Fender Showman with a 2/12 cabinet loaded with JBLs.
SF and BF, usually without reverb.
They sounded warm, clear and full.
Though only 85ish watts, it worked fine.
A Dual Showman Reverb might be a great option.
 

drmordo

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If you're only planning to record, any amp will suffice, but to play live music with a full band, 100 watts would be a minimum. And any amp engineered to generate distortion for guitars will probably make a bad-sounding bass amp, and vice versa. If you're planning to derive all of your 'dirt' from pedals and just need a good, powerful amp capable of projecting your sound, there are plenty of options. I'd look for something with a 100watt (bass) and 50watt (guitar) output switch.

All that said, an Ampeg V4 might do the trick, it might even be considered the 'standard' for what you're asking, even without the 50-watt setting.

The larger concern might be the cabinet. While an amplifier doesn't really care what kind of signal you send through it, speakers definitely will, and a 4x10 bass cab that is designed for bass will probably sound pretty bad for guitar. Might not be as big a concern given the music you describe.

I completely agree with this post.

Guitar sounds pretty dang good thru a cranked Ampeg V4, and so does bass. They do weigh approximately 7000 lbs though.

However, you would really need two cabs and possibly a power soak depending on how loud the band is. You'd want a 2x12 or 4x12 for guitar and probly a 8x10 for bass. You might be able to get away with a 4x10 for guitar and the same 4x10 with a additional 1x15" for bass.

Another and probly much cheaper option would be to get a Line 6 Flextone II head and then use the cabs I described above. The advantage with the Line 6 is you can dial in a dirty amp for guitar and a cleaner amp for bass. It would give you a lot more option and would probly weight half as much as a V4.

I love the V4 but I would go the Line 6 route. You can pick them up for $200 easily, though shipping would be the big variable to watch. Stick with the Flextone II though as they were the best of the line.
 
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northernguitar

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Marshall Super Bass 100. Can't argue with Lemmy.

Marshall-Amplifiers-008.jpg
 

archetype

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Here and on other forum sites I've seen several people mention how good their guitars sound through the current Fender Rumble series amps.
 

JRapp

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Ampeg V4, or V4B if you don't need reverb.
Some of the larger Traynors.
Hiwatt 200.
Marshall Major.

I didn't say they were cheap.
 

trev333

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you need a good speaker for bass.... any amp should work...;)

this champ holds up for practice with a trio.... for a gig I run DI to the PA and use it for a stage monitor....

I have bigger amps to get a more serious bass thump,,;)


BWM Kong check strap on bass.JPG
 

VintageSG

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A second hand Jet City 100 Watt head will bring lots of pain, in a good way.
100 Watts is maybe too much for a guitar in this day and age, but they're switchable down to 50 Watts. 100 Watts is just about enough for bass.
Speaker choice will come into play. Bass cabs often don't sound good with guitars, whereas a 1x15" with a 2x12" atop it, fitted with guitar speakers that can handle the bass[1] can sound fine for both. It's the speakers, more perhaps than the amp, that will determine your success.




[1] Jensen MOD speakers come to mind as they are readily available in Europe and I'm familiar with them.
 




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