Are High Powered SS Amps the Way to Go?

Tim S

Tele-Afflicted
Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Posts
1,694
Location
Upstate NY
.FYI... the Vox Valve Energy pedals are amazing. Very much like a smarter version of their mini amps. 3 band EQ and active cabinet emulation (all analog). These pedals will really get you that all analog, tube tone joy through clean solid state power. If you approach them as an modeler you will not be disappointed. In distortion box mode they are "meh" or "meh+" at best, but when you feed dirt pedals into them and make them the center of the board, oh wow. I bought them all, but for almost everyone the Silk Drive is the most flexible of the lot. It is like the clean channel of a Laney Ironheart in a box. The high gain Mystic Edge pedal does an amazing job of sounding and feeling like my old Mesa Boogie .50 Caliber. I mean, you need to turn the gain knob all the way down, but where it is cleanest the hair and edge of breakup is awesome. Hit that with a Fuzz pedal and it is joyous!.
Thanks for the GAS. I now have all 4 on my Wish List. {I have 3 of the VOX MV50 amps and I’m quite happy with the NuTube sound and the emulations)

My lightweight DV Mark FGC121 has 120 watts. I got it to keep up with a loud drummer. Sounds good at any volume. I've never had to really turn it up.
I bet that’s a nice amp. I received a new DV Mark Neoclassic 112 Small cabinet this week. I got it to use as an 18 lbs grab-n-go cab that can also store a few mini amp heads. It doesn’t disappoint.
 

naveed211

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 16, 2009
Posts
4,027
Location
Iowa
It’s certainly one way to go.

I went from a Quilter 101 which was very loud and could stay very clean to a 20 watt tube amp, which I run very dirty and ride my volume knob. So I guess headroom isn’t really what I’m after.

I get more joy from playing out of the second option, but I’ll admit the fact that a high wattage solid state amp can be tiny and weigh next to nothing is very appealing.
 

Ringo

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
8,917
Location
Memphis TN
I'm playing through a Quilter 101 Reverb (they say 50 watts) into either a 1-10 semi open back cabinet with an Eminence Ragin Cajun (very efficient speaker) or a 1-12 semi open back cab with a WGS ET65.
Both sound very good to me. I generally have the gain at about 12 and the output less than 10 watts and it is plenty loud for my needs, with a band. I do generally use a boost pedal in front, and OD for gain tones.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I'm playing through a Quilter 101 Reverb (they say 50 watts) into either a 1-10 semi open back cabinet with an Eminence Ragin Cajun (very efficient speaker) or a 1-12 semi open back cab with a WGS ET65.
Both sound very good to me. I generally have the gain at about 12 and the output less than 10 watts and it is plenty loud for my needs, with a band. I do generally use a boost pedal in front, and OD for gain tones.
This reminds me that I have an ET65 that's going unused right now. I've got a 1X12 cab with a Lil Texas in it that's kind of cool sounding, but not really working for me (just seems a bit too aggressive with overdriven amp tones).

I had a pair of ET65s in an open back cab, and they sounded glorious. I stole one of them to put in a closed back 2X12, along with a Veteran 30. That's like my standard go-to for using with my old 2204'ish head.

The ET65 seems to be one of those speakers that sounds great with a wide variety of amps. I mostly have used Eminence speakers in the past, but WGS seems to have a lot of great offerings.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
When you start trying to consider the complex interactions of the tube power section and the dampening of the speaker, reactive loads yada, yada... that is just a bit too cork sniffing for me as a guy pushing 50 with 35 years of hearing damage and constant ringing in the ears. The law of diminishing returns kicks in real fast.
I'm in my mid-50's, and have had tinnitus for almost sixteen years now. Despite that, I can still easily hear the difference between a nonlinear tube power amp and a fairly linear SS power amp, especially when using the same speakers & cabs to A/B with.

And that's why I really appreciate the Quilter amps, because they're really the only SS ones that I've tried that have a similar kind of nonlinear quality to them like tube amps do. A close runner-up would be my old Vox Valvetronix, but it's still noticeably more linear.

My Katana 50 and Vox MV50 Boutique also seem less linear than many of my older SS amps did, but they admittedly sound and feel considerably less tube-like than the Quilter does.

Except for the Katana 50, I've A/B'ed almost all of my other amps, both tube and SS, thru the same cabs and speakers. Despite my hearing damage (and age), the difference is very audible. I wish it wasn't, as it would make things a lot easier.
 

vernon

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Posts
233
Location
granby, ct
Careening toward 70 and have settled on two vintage Fender Princeton amps (a ‘62 and ‘64)… but the Quilter 201 at 200 watts pushing an Eminence beta 8a in closed back ported cab is the best I’ve found in the SS category for archtop jazz.
 




Top