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I love my Blues Cube, so why am I coveting a tube amp???

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by markal, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

    Mar 24, 2016
    I can't seem to let go of the idea that I need (yes, NEED) to try a tube amp. I've never had one. I love my Roland Blues Cube Artist. I recently used it at a gig and thought it sounded fantastic (as well as in all the rehearsals). And it sounds great at home too thanks to the built in power attenuator. I also have an Orange Crush 35rt which gives me a little different flavor when I want it and is also a nice small package for a regular jam I go to (where space is at a premium).

    I realize this is just GAS but I can't let it go. The tube amps I'm interested in include a Deluxe Reverb and Princeton Reverb (I like the 68s a little better than the 65 reissues) and the youtube reviews of the Laney Ironheart L5-112 are impressive, though I wouldn't be able to try one before buying. I'm not as impressed with the less expensive tube amps (e.g., Blues Junior).

    Should I pull the trigger and stop obsessing about it and just finally experience whether I'm missing out on that tube feel? Or is there some cure for GAS?!?
    Dr Improbable likes this.

  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    IMO both the DRRI and PRRI are great amps. Pick the one you need based on your volume needs and enjoy.
    Dr Improbable likes this.

  3. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    As my Grandfather would say, "You don't know what you don't know". If you have never played a few valve amps, you have no reference point as to whether you like it better or not. I think everyone should try a few at least to find out.

    That said, hype and the internet drives all this GAS and it will never end unless you turn off the computer for good and just play what you have.
    bgavin335, Tony474, Boubou and 7 others like this.

  4. viccortes285

    viccortes285 Tele-Holic

    Jan 14, 2017

    My 68 Fender Deluxe Reverb is hard to beat. I also prefer it over the 65 DR.
    Dr Improbable likes this.

  5. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    It's called G.A.S. a common affliction that affects many guitar players, no known cure except for being broke!

  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    Try, if you feel the need.

    Just remember to be really honest with yourself, and listen with your ears, not with your eyes (those little glowing bottles are mesmerizing) or your wallet.

    Tubes don't automatically mean it's better. Neither does being more expensive.

    Although, I suspect you have a pretty decent ear already. I'd definitely rather play a Blues Cube than a Blues Jr, or most other consumer grade cheap tube amps. They can be nice for a couple hundred bucks in speaker and tube upgrades, and maybe some mods. But at that point, why not just spend all the money at once on a real amp, or keep what you have?

    I do think the reissues are a cut above the cheap stuff. And I think the '68 models are much nicer sounding than the '65 models. But that's just my opinion. I regularly work with a guy on the road who uses the '68 and I think it sounds fabulous. I've worked with loads of people playing the '65 and have never liked them at all. YMMV.
    waparker4, Dr Improbable and troy2003 like this.

  7. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    There is but one cure for GAS, and your wallet knows it.
    The Laney sounds superb, but, and these may be the points against it, it is a physically large, heavy amp and it is a 5 Watt amp. Loud 5 Watts for sure, but still, a 5 Watt amp. Not for carting to your jam where space is at a premium. It'll struggle in the presence of more powerful amps. It'll sound fantastic while doing so, but it is large, heavy and needs mic'ing up if there is a thumpy drummer. It's only 5 Watts after all. Surprisingly, not much quieter than a Blues Jr. Bigger though.
    5 Watts in the sonic deliciousness region at home may be too loud!. You're using the Blues Cube attenuator. To get the Laney singing, you'll need understanding neighbours or an attenuator.
    The early L5T models were fitted with a proper spring reverb. The current ones have a digital reverb. It sounds different. Not better or worse, just different.
    If you can't try before you buy, buy from somewhere with a good return policy. It has a charm all of its own and is leagues ahead of the cheap stuff.
    Can you try the Fender amps?. Try them at 'home' volumes as well as cranked. You'll be playing at home volumes a lot, make sure it's worth the expense.

  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I've stated it on another post that a friend of mine is a professional and his go to amp is a Roland Cube.
    Tony474 and TRex13 like this.

  9. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Holic

    May 28, 2008
    Had the same GAS attack after years playing (only at home) with solid state amps and modeling amps and bought a engl gigmaster 15 combo.
    its a great amp, but somehow that huge amount of wow effect that i had hoped for did not come. found a vox pathfinder 15 with a tonelab st and are more happy with that than the tube amp.
    but don't forget, there is a big force of a huge group of guitar players that claim that only a tube amp is giving you THE guitar sound you want, you, need and must have. and you need a strong personality to stand up to that and say. i will judge on that myself.

    go to a store, play a tube amp you think you want to have, go home an rethink, play your own setup, sleep a night play your setup again.
    how much wow effect off the tube amp is still there and if it is, how much money is it worth to you?
    TRex13, wpf69 and dswo like this.

  10. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko TDPRI Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
    As already being said, Laney is wonderfull amp but completely different animal from Fendery type of amps. Laney is much more British sounding. :rolleyes: Just to keep in mind, bass can get a bit loose, depending for what you're going for.
    Good luck with whatever you decide. ;)

  11. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    As a tube amp snob... I love, love, love the new Blues Cubes! I think they're one of the best amps to come out in decades. I have a couple friends who have them. I am actually s little jealous. They are so much lighter than my tube amps.

    I have shuffled through a huge number of amps over the years. More than I care to admit to. I've tried a few solid state and never been happy. I've found tonal nirvana, currently. But, it has come at great expense and effort. Currently my gigging amp weighs a metric ton... If it didn't sound so good, I wouldn't struggle with it.

    But, the other night at a jam that I host, one of my buds showed up with one of the smaller Blues Cubes. The two of us played together and I was really, really impressed with how good he sounded. Then, he just picked his up and bopped off stage... Me, knowing later, that I would struggle with the weight of mine out to the car. Well, it made me do some thinking. I'm not ready to give up on this particular amp any time soon. But, the a smaller Blues Cube, may be what I replace my 5e3 with as a grab and go amp....

    All this to say, the grass ain't always greener....
    DaphneBlue, wpf69, Jakedog and 2 others like this.

  12. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Just get the amp. Then you'll see. I'm on the same track as Axis29. Love tube amps, always have, but keep trying out solid state out of curiosity. The one that came the closest for me was an old Lab Series L3. So why the hell don't I still have it??

    I have no reason to second guess my favorite tube amps for live stuff. Lil Dawg Dlux, Gries 20, Allen Encore for bigger sound. It's not going to get better. But with solid state, could be different, and just as good. Just did a trade for an early 80s Polytone Mini Brute II. Very curious to hear how it does with archtops, and the jazz lessons.
    Axis29 likes this.

  13. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    I have a Blues Cube Stage. I also have an AC15. Love the AC15 cleans, Love the BC dirty tones.
    TRex13 likes this.

  14. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I have a Mustang III. I *know* - for a fact - it does not sound as good as a good tube amp. It may, however, sound better in the very low volume home situations where I do almost all of my playing.

    I still look at tubes - I still check Craigslist. The price, and the thought of "well, I will still need two or three pedals" keeps me from more than casually looking.
    TRex13 and troy2003 like this.

  15. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    That, and I would need three or more tube amps to replicate the sounds I use.

    I agree with @Jakedog about not thinking with your wallet - that is why I think with my wallet. o_O
    Jakedog likes this.

  16. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

    Aug 14, 2015
    Try some out. You won't know until you go down that long, dark, winding road that ends with you right back where you started...

  17. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    That's the nature of coveting is it not? It just stays with you til you get the thing... You don't need one, nobody does. that said, can't go wrong with a 68 reissue.
    Jim Dep likes this.

  18. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Mar 4, 2009
    There is no cure for GAS.

    If there IS one, you are NOT going to find it here on this forum.
    Milspec and unixfish like this.

  19. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    They are all fine amps but keep your Blues Cube ... just in case ;)

  20. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

    Mar 24, 2016
    Yeah, I guess I shouldn't expect advice to not buy a new amp here!

    I will probably take the plunge. While I have not played the Laney (not available locally) I have played the '65 deluxe and Princeton reverb reissues and the '68 custom deluxe and Princeton reverbs. Just based on tone, I prefer the '68 deluxe. But I'm not sure I'd want that much amp. I'll just have to a/b the Deluxe and Princeton and see if the Princeton will suffice.

    I'm not a big fan of black face tones, but I do like black face amps with certain pedals (at least what I hear in reviews). I seem to like the baseman inspired voice of my Blues Cube, so it probably fits that i prefer the 68 custom fenders over the 65s.

    I also like British voiced amps as long as they have a nice clean tone, which is why I like what I hear of the Laney. Agreed that it's a large amp for such small power but that's probably ok for me.

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