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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

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. FilthyTerrible

    FilthyTerrible TDPRI Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    Okay, I'm going to express some unpopular opinions.

    1. Tubes aren't magical, and anything they do can be replicated in solid state circuitry. That said, creating a solid state version of an existing tube circuit is very difficult, while copying a circuit that already exists, is easy(ier) - and that's why we keep replicating classic tube amp circuits and reissuing them. But if you can get a great tone from a solid state circuit then you definitely have a better product.

    2. Not every tube amp sounds like every other tube amp even if the schematics of those amps are identical, and not all solid state amps sound or respond the same, so this consensus that all tube amps sound better than all SS amps is clearly nonsensical on it's face. The notion that all Dumbles sound great is evidence that people's notion of value is directly linked to the price, scarcity and reverence shown an amplifier. Which, I guess should be self-evident.

    3. People salivate over vintage gear even before they know what it sounds like, and conversely, they decide they're going to swap the pickups out on a cheap guitar before they even hear them. So there's an obvious prejudice that outweighs individual sense (because they haven't even invoked their sense of hearing) and their individual subjective criteria (because again, they ain't heard nothin). There are a lot of CBS teles out there with crappy pickups but it's blasphemous to call them crappy. If you don't like the neck pickup of a 1966 Telecaster, keep it to yourself.

    4. One of the most compelling parts of Fender blackface 'tone' is the reverb. A lot of talk overemphasizes the importance of the underlying tone. Really great reverb can make nearly any guitar sound ridiculously professional. Buy the pedal.

    5. The second most distinctive aspect of the Fender blackface tone, in my opinion, comes from the speakers. But you don't need to spend $1.5k to get there, a Jensen or a Weber California can brighten up your tone when you're feeling too Marhsall-y.
    drew1d, Jakedog and viccortes285 like this.
  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
  3. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country
    I'm flat broke... and im still gassing. No known cure, period.
    Jakedog and viccortes285 like this.
  4. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

    Jul 22, 2004
    I use a Cube 60 with a second 12" speaker cabinet. Sounds great, but I still get the occasional notion that a tube amp would sound even better.

    When that happens, I go to Guitar Center, find a nice 2x12 tube amp and lift it off the ground. Then I imagine carrying it to the car, putting it into my trunk, then carrying it into my house, then back in my trunk, then out of the trunk and down my buddy's basement stairs to the band rehearsal area, then back up the stairs . . . . .

    Then I put the amp back down on the floor, wave to the salesman and go home. G.A.S. cured.
    kful, Robert H., Tony474 and 5 others like this.
  5. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    I cured myself of a similar obsession with a Gibson R4 in the same way, but I don't think you can pick the magic out of a valve amp in minutes

    I think if someone spent an hour investigating a good tube amp then I think they say they know it to demean it. The time to get the feel of it as it warms up means I think the amps I played quickly years ago never gave them a fair chance

    I tried to explain the difference in valve and ss to someone who never tried one. I said the ss felt like maths: I knew where a dial would go when I turned it. Valve is more like something alive responding: swells and moans in a non linear way

    I don't know why people feel the need to hate on tubes. I don't like stratocasters, but if someone else does I don't need to say they are a poseur who is being tricked
  6. ce24

    ce24 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 26, 2008
    My experience. As this is all subjective anyway..... Yes maybe the waveforms look almost identical from SS to tubes but there is for me what I refer as the breath of an amp. I don't hear it in SS. That said I own a peavey studio pro that I like very much and will even gig with it. I can AB it with my 5e3 until they sound close but that distinctive breath just never shows up......Ymmv. IMHO.... SOME CALL ME CRAZY.....I won't affirm or deny...
    Piggy Stu and viccortes285 like this.
  7. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

    May 24, 2016
    Tube amps are sexy. The blues cube isn't. Practicality and even sound aside, thats why you want one.
    bgavin335 likes this.
  8. JagInTheBag

    JagInTheBag TDPRI Member

    Sep 23, 2017
    Grayslake, IL
    I have a Rivera Venus 3 Class A Tube Amp, best thing that ever happened to me. Check one out!
  9. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA
    I sold my tube amp and got a Blues Cube 60 Stage. I would not go back
    Lef T and Tony474 like this.
  10. ce24

    ce24 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 26, 2008
    I have a 5e3 and a Vibro champ and I'm going for a vox AC15.... Why? I don't know... My tone is killer;
  11. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

    Mar 24, 2016
    Well I ended up getting a Laney Lionheart and I'm quite happy when unit. Still love the blues cube too though.
    T Prior likes this.
  12. drew1d

    drew1d TDPRI Member

    Jun 30, 2014
    Westchester NY
    I think it's human desire to always want more. Even when you're happy with what you have, your brain will tell you it's not enough. Break the cycle, focus on playing.

    That being said, sometimes getting a new thing inspires you to play more. Which in turn makes you a better player. But it's the practice that makes you better.

    I am a total hypocrite. I buy crap I rarely use now.
    bgavin335 and Vespa_One like this.
  13. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    No SS or modeling amp sings like real glowing glass bottles, although many come very close. The Mustang GT40 comes closer to BF tones of any modeling amp I've tried, and the Vox MV50AC sounds amazingly close to the real thing. But these are at bedroom volume. At gig volume or rehearsal volume with drums, tubes rule. Try a Peavey Classic 30 or Vox AC10 or 15, more versatile and cheaper than the PRRI or DRRI, which both really need a pedal to get serious dirt at any volume lower than screaming.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  14. dean

    dean Friend of Leo's

    I’ve had a number of amps over the years from a Fender Champ to a Super Six Reverb, and the best sounding ones were old tube amps and one modern tube amp. Each had its own sound. But if I wanted an amp that could get many sounds, I would get a modern modeling amp (which is what I have now). I think it depends on how and where you play. If you are a pro, then I could see owning a few different amps - mostly tube amps. But if you are a casual, at-home player like me, a nice modeling amp will suffice quite nicely. At present, I am playing a swell Vox AV30 amp that uses tubes in the pre-amp section. It’s quite nice. But if I had to list my favorite amps of all time (at least that I’ve owned), I’d rank them like this.

    1. 1959 Fender Tweed Vibrolux (sold it to Stephen Stills!)
    2. 1966 Princeton Reverb
    3. 1963 Princeton Brownface
    4. Savage Audio Macht 6

    But for now, the Vox AV30 is working realy well, and those high end and vintage amps were pretty much wasted on me. But . . . if I were buying a newer tube amp today, and needed to watch the $$, I think the best choice would be a VHT Special 6. You can really do a lot with that little amp!
  15. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    I turn my main gigging amp on standby to warm the tubes, flick it on operate and play. It sounds great. It's got a great clean sound and a great footswitch lead/grind sound. It's touch sensitive and 'sings' based on volume and where you're positioned.

    It's got a real Greenback. It uses real 12AX7s and EL34s.If you want you can swap different, NOS tubes in to flavour it, you can. It's a real Marshall classic circuit. If something goes wrong it's diagnosable and fixable. It's in a real ply cabinet with real tolex and great hand workmanship including chalkmarks inside from real people in Bletchley, UK .

    If I want a different tone it's got a few knobs. I don't have to hook to my computer or tweak patches.

    I have a second basic cheap amp (Excelsior) I spent a few hours with a soldering iron and a few cents of parts converting to a classic Fender Brown Princeton circuit. It sounds awesome with a real, classic 50's Jensen speaker. It's MDF and the covering is chintzy but it cost very little. It's virtually infinitely repairable. I could recabinet it, or handwire it.

    Some people just love fiddling. I'd never touch the inside of something that boots up.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  16. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2006
    I reckon it’s just one of things where you gotta scratch that itch. The OP got himself the Laney and I hope he enjoys it, just as much as I enjoy my ‘65 DRRI, HRDx, Mesa ROV25, as well as my Vox AV15. Yep, gotta love that little guy with only 1 preamp tube and a whole lot of solid state trickery.

    They all occupy a space in my sonic palate, and they give me joy in equal measures.

    IMO there is a cure for GAS. You scratch that itch and keep scratching until you remember that to really let that scab recover, you just need to leave well enough alone.
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    Yes the Op grabbed a Laney, nice amp.

    Amps, like guitars, are very personal. Player x,y and z love one amp or guitar but that doesn't make it good for anyone else. Its irrelevant .

    If your tone and style of playing are suited for whatever gear you have then there you have it. You may bring home the most expensive tube amp on the planet but after working with it, if it doesn't offer what YOU are wanting, then it's not for you.

    Who really cares if others advise you to grab DR or a PR, or something else. Are they nice amps, ? Sure, are they for you ? Maybe, maybe not.

    Personally I am a tube amp player,( guitars) I own a few, (15 to 60 watts) I use whats called for based on the room or stage size . They are similar in tones but not total output. The sweet spots come in a different points. I can manage what I want for tones with each and I am very anal. I also know when I have brought the wrong amp to a gig or show . I also own a few SS amps, excellent amps but they don't provide me with what I want for guitars. For the Steel guitar, yes. The requirements are totally different.

    The differences between a 40 watt tube amp and a 15 watt tube amp are like night and day regarding sweet spots and clean tone. One may be perfect for a gig while the other can be a 4 hour nightmare. The differences may be considered slight but yet can be very significant to you, the player.

    Certainly experiment with other amps, see if they work for you , but don't grab one because someone says it's great or better, you won't learn that until you see if you can find YOUR sound with it. The Cubes are excellent , they sure cover a lot of ground.

    The one thing that is often overlooked with tube amps, they all have a sweet spot, but they all don't have the SAME sweet spot. If you bring an overpowered amp, the sweet spot may be too loud and vice versa, under powered, the sweet spot won't be loud enough so you may find yourself playing all night with tones you don't like, which will change the way you play.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  18. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Try a H&K so you can see the tubes glowing
  19. Just-Jim

    Just-Jim Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2008
    Opposite problem. I only have tube amps and gasing for a Blues Cube. The price is keeping me away. When the right deal comes along...
    BradL likes this.
  20. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    If someone likes chocolate ice cream, this does not proclude them from sometimes wanting coffee ice cream, or strawberry, or cookie dough, or tin roof Sunday...

    What were we talking about?
    Jim Dep, Crawldaddy and LGOberean like this.
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