I honestly can't hear a difference between tube and solid state amps.

Stratmanshow

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Back in the late 60's & 70's we played tube amps at or near full output. No master volumes. The SS amp of today is not the same as the SS amp of that era. They sounded terrible at "clipping" volume because the waveform was flattened rather than "distorted". I think that's where the "warmth" of tube amps lore comes from. Nowadays, I can get good tones out of something like Guitar Rig or a modeling amp etc. Not the same as that 1966 Silvertone from Sears.
 

printer2

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Back in the late 60's & 70's we played tube amps at or near full output. No master volumes. The SS amp of today is not the same as the SS amp of that era. They sounded terrible at "clipping" volume because the waveform was flattened rather than "distorted". I think that's where the "warmth" of tube amps lore comes from. Nowadays, I can get good tones out of something like Guitar Rig or a modeling amp etc. Not the same as that 1966 Silvertone from Sears.
You obviously have not seen tube amps 'clip' on an oscilloscope. They 'flatten' just as well as SS amps.
 

Babaluma

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Sorry I have not read the whole thread but I always felt the pleasure of a tube amp was you can really use your volume and tone knobs to vary the dynamics of a hot amp and not have to reply on pedals as much. With a cranked warmed up tube amp you can go from sparkly cleans to grit and almost fuzz just by rolling back your volume pot. I don't really get that with SS amps. Having said that I do use a SS amp now (even though I still have a tube amp) as it is lighter, less fragile and I don't really play cranked up music anymore. My SS amp is pretty old so I don't know if more modern ones have some algorithm to get that tubey vibe, I just use a Boss Blues Driver if I want things more dynamic as it works well with my pots.

I could tell the difference between SS and tube if I was sat between two amps in a rehearsal space and of course if I was playing one. I could also tell if I heard a tube amp on stage. But in a well mixed recording these days probably not. At home I tend to DI my guitar for recording a lot more now due to laziness and recently did some recording with a jazz trio using a 20watt Orange Crush and it sounded fine.
 

DocHelliday

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I take them to live gigs and when I record at recording studios and other folk's home studios.
*I do mic up an amp at home occasionally but lately, more often than not, I am totally "in the box".

I'm 60 years old and a few of the now 'vintage' amps I bought new ;)
Oh okay that makes sense.
Really wasn't trying to be an a$$ lol
Cos I've definitely bought stuff thinking "This is too nice to play at the bar but I'll use it for recording"
Then I never do.

Sounds like you get some decent mileage out of them
 

klasaine

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Oh okay that makes sense.
Really wasn't trying to be an a$$ lol
Cos I've definitely bought stuff thinking "This is too nice to play at the bar but I'll use it for recording"
Then I never do.

Sounds like you get some decent mileage out of them
Admittedly, I have more amps (and gear in general) than I need but yeah, my amps see plenty of action. *I've damaged more than one cool amp hauling them in and out of $h1tty bars and rehearsal studios.
 

bblumentritt

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Not just that. Tubes are non-linear and respond differently with different input levels.

Also, tubes can operate in an overload condition without adding objectionable distortion, combining harmonic distortion with a natural compression, although the human ear does not detect the compression but hears a higher apparent loudness in spite of having the same dB reading as a solid-state amp. This extra headroom and higher signal-to-noise ratio that tubes have is what makes tube amps sound louder.

The harsh distortion that solid state amps produce is precisely why many metal players prefer those amps.

Add to that tube rectifier sag that some push-pull tube amps have caused the B+ voltage to sag during high current demanding loud passages while the B+ voltage rises during less current demanding soft passages. This makes loud notes quieter and quiet notes louder, enhancing the natural compression inherent in tubes.

Add into the mix that tubes are more efficient - hard clipped signals that Solid State amps produce greatly decreases the available power, giving them a higher speaker impedance and less overall power. Tube amps, in contrast, generally produce between 80% and 90% of their power regardless of frequencies. The tube's distortion leads to harmonics that are picked up by your ear, telling you there’s more sound.

Many small tube amps sound best wide open or start with wide open and then roll back to the sweet spot where the notes 'bloom.' Not really replicable in a solid-state design.

Modeling is like taking a recording of a tube amp, and then playing it back when triggered by your guitar. However, once you change the volume and tone knobs on your guitar, or pick harder or softer, a tube amp's dynamics will change.

Roy Buchanan was a master at this. He ran his 40-Watt silver face Fender Vibrolux Reverb amp with the Volume, Treble, and Bass all at "10" and controlled the volume and tone from the guitar's controls and from his picking style.
 

68goldtop

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Hi!
That's the best thing I've seen on the subject... ever. That's essential science and it cuts through so much of the BS that flows through these threads.
I wonder why anyone would call this "science" 🤔
He makes any amp sound like, err, poo, and then recreates that sound with a box of pedals.
Check out minute 7 onwards. How can a guy get these 3 amps to sound THAT bad.
That was when I got the feeling he did it on purpose ;)
I´m fine with that, but it´s neither science, nor does it prove anything.

cheers - 68.
 

printer2

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Which is barely clipping. The software here does not seem to like the gif files the page uses, open them in another tab. This one has two channels, the one tube is real sick here (lower half)


Here is with new tubes.


And with an analog scope you would be able to see the leading and trailing edge a little sharper (do not forget this is two traces).

Trainwreck express clone clipping.

IMG_0691.jpg


And a little harder.

IMG_0693.jpg
 

Blrfl

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I wonder why anyone would call this "science" 🤔

There was a hypothesis, a series of experiments designed to prove or disprove it and refinements to the experiments to remove some of the things that were distorting the results. It's not wear-a-lab-coat, write-a-paper-about-it science, but it has many of the elements. And, as I said earlier, it's head and shoulders above the rigor in a lot of the discussions about the subject.

He makes any amp sound like, err, poo, and then recreates that sound with a box of pedals.

Keep in mind that you're listening to the end results on YouTube, which poo-ifies what you put into it and one man's tone is another man's poo. I've heard plenty of material where people thought the tone was awesome but didn't blow my skirt up. Besides, whether he recreated the tone to end all tone or poo, he was able to recreate it without a single tube being involved.
 




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