Clean tone – solid state and tube – a very personal estimation

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by nosuch, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2017
    Might be.

    This is one of the funny things I find about audiophiles.. no speaker is ever going to duplicate the sounds that don't come from a speaker the same way. No loudspeaker is ever going to sound the same as being in the room with a violin, acoustic guitar, large acoustic piano, etc... who knows where electric guitars come into this.. they use a speaker, but the amp/speaker is a part of the instrument.. maybe it's easier to duplicate with a playback system but still not the same.. certainly little home hi-fi systems are not going to reproduce the sound of a 10", 12", 2x12", 4x12" speaker cabinet quite the same way.

    It's like at what point should you give up and go get an instrument...
  2. John E

    John E Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Well I can only speak for myself... I'm not young anymore but I still power-lift so both points you mentioned don't apply to me... lol. And my tube amps are currently collecting dust since I bought my Katana. To be fair I gig 100% acoustic right now, so other than practicing with my former drummer and bass player for fun, I have not used it live. As it stands it's the amp I go to right now for that and home practice etc. I LOVE this amp.

    I have owned many tube amps. I still own tube amps and I'm sure will own others before I die. I haven't owned many SS amps other then an old Fender Princeton chorus and my trusty Vox Pathfinder (which I still have).

    I don't care if an amp has a hamster in a wheel running it if I like it. I'll tell you right now after playing Quilter, Orange CR, Nextone, Bluescube, etc. etc. I would rock anyone of them, I found them all to be fantastic. It just so happens that the Katana has really won me over. I love this freaking amp as much as any amp I have ever owned. And bang fer buck? Holy cow.
    nosuch likes this.
  3. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    I made a few tube amps trying to find the tube magic, Single Ended, Push Pull, Tweed, Blackface. I have over 100 NOS and used tubes to keep me going tile I leave this earth. While I like a bit of dirt I find I really like a full clean tone. One day I plugged into an old SS amp I made in the early 90's, two transistor preamp with treble and bass, car amp, 8" PA speaker. Darn it sounded good. Why? Well I think the speaker might have been one part, it sat in an industrial installation and had been fed enough power to drive the crap out of it but below burning it out. Almost like an old pair of jeans.

    Had another amp with a 10" from a 1960's tube console stereo, shame the second one was blown. Also sounded great, in a tube amp this time. Shame I let it go out of the house, never came back. Pulled some 12" speakers out of Yamaha organs. A beautiful ringing sound but with the ability to get loud unlike the 8" and 10". I have a WGS 12", some Jensen's from back in the day (ceramic though) that do not sound bad, just not great. A 12" from a Fender Blues Jr (possibly, can't remember) not bad but nothing memorable.

    So I am back to building another tube amp (5-8W) just for the heck of it. A couple in the future in the 15-20W in the not too distant future. A couple of class D amps in the mix also, Fets for the preamp in one, tubes in the other. Have some ideas I like to try out, think I can come up with something that will be worth playing through. Which brings me to an amp I picked up cheap and thought it did not sound that bad. A Frontman 25R. Then I put it aside and just picked it up again with a Peavey Raptor. Don't know if I just can no longer take the Frontman or the guitar just don't sound good. I usually keep the volume up on the guitar. Bass was at 1 and treble 2 with both still sounding excessive. (the tone stack of the Frontman is the same as a Blackface tube amp) I got frustrated and finally turned up the tone controls but added more mids, better but still not pleasing. Turned up the volume on the clean channel, turned down the volume on the guitar. Every position even the bridge seems playable, add some highs from the tone control.

    What the heck, sounds not bad even with the stock speaker, let's try turn down the volume on the amp and the guitar up. It seems to have lost something. Better than what I started out with but I can easily put it down and do something else. Seems that the lower volume om the guitar and higher setting on the amp smoothed things out. A lot of the volume pot resistance is now in series with the pickups. That should have tamed the pickup resonance somewhat. I am pretty sure the tone of the amp has not changed with the amp's volume control change. So something to think about. The amp sounding better clean with the guitar turned down.
    The Angle likes this.
  4. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    All I can say is - Blues Cube Stage brother.
    ac15 likes this.
  5. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    I have one of the 90's Blues Cubes and I like it just as much as my tube amps. Considering maybe getting one of the new Artists.
    Robert H. likes this.
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