If you went from tube to solid state . . . . How come?

bluescaster72

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Well, mine is partly due to the fact I don't play out much anymore. But I play at home every day . I don't need the firepower of a tube amp and honestly like the clean tones better of a Solid State especially when using pedals . What opened my eyes was getting an old Peavey Back Stage for 25 bucks at a good will and using it with just an od pedal and the other guy used a Vox Pathfinder 15 with just an overdrive pedal . This was a local blues rock jam at an Irish pub and it was an amazing night just hearing how good we both sounded with small light weight solid state amps. Both amp were miced by the way and it made a big difference .
 

topoftherock

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I've just acquired a Roland JC40 after playing exclusively through an AC15C1 for the last 6 years. The Vox won't be leaving but the JC40 will be first choice for gigs and rehearsals.
Reasons? Mainly being interested in getting clean sounds at small bar gig levels. The Vox does sound fantastic but it's not good at playing clean. The JC40 does pristine sparkly clean at terrifying volume! I want to be able to get the most out of my new GP-10 so a clean "pedal platform" is mostly what I need. When I need dirt I will be adding it from the GP-10 (the distortion circuit in the JC40 isn't bad at all, but it's not usable live because there is such a volume drop).
And I'm not getting any younger and the Vox was not getting any lighter! I do have a gig coming up which is an open-air setting at a local Gala day so maybe I will bring them both for that special occasion...😄
Good choice! I've had my JC40 for about 3 years now. I couldn't part with it. It sounds great, easy to control, is totally reliable, and looks great as well. I could spend all day with it. At higher volumes the sound can get wonderfully beefy as well.
 

bobio

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I started with Vox and then Fender tube amps, loved the tone and the feel of both.
I came to a point though where I wanted more effects than just an overdriven amp.
At the time, I really didn't want to mess with pedals so I decided to go the modeling amp route.
I have had many SS amps over the past 13 years as I have upgraded as DSP technology has improved.
I currently have a Fender Tone Master Deluxe that I use as a pedal platform, yes I got bit by the pedal bug.
I have a BOSS Katana Artist and a BOSS Nextone Special for modeling.
I have everything I need and have absolutely no desire to go back to toobs ;)

IMG_5792.JPG 20220313_200503271_iOS.jpg 20220408_000526926_iOS.jpg
 
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ChazFromCali

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My only experience with solid state amps, beside a tiny practice amp, is a Jordan. We're talking antique... vintage I mean, manufactured by some guys that broke off from Ampeg circa 1968-'72-ish.
A CL purchase. I was looking for a Standel since I was playing my Ibanez "jazz" guitar a lot at the time and really into Wes. But Standel be hard to find yo ;-)

Thus the Jordan. Not a lot of info online about them. Mine had a 15" speaker. IIRC it was labeled a..... J115 duh, on the control panel. Apparently, Gary Lewis & the Playboys used them, don't know if it was an endorsement deal or not. I actually saw Gary Lewis & the Playboys play at Disneyland when I was a kid. Probably my very first exposure to live music!

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Robbie Krieger used them too I think.

One surprising thing to me at least was these things (Jordans) are HELLA loud.
The other was that it still worked! I figured some resistors may have gone bad or drifted out of tolerance and some caps would have failed, but it still screamed like a demon almost 50 years after it was manufactured.
Anyway, I'm not a touring musician but it struck me would a solid state amp be actually harder to service on the road? What would you do if it stopped working? Not like you can peer into it and see a tube not glowing. But then here it was still working after 50 years, sure, maybe out of spec/tolerance, but that's damn reliable!

I eventually sold it to a guy in a Doors cover band. He was delighted.
 
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AAT65

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Good choice! I've had my JC40 for about 3 years now. I couldn't part with it. It sounds great, easy to control, is totally reliable, and looks great as well. I could spend all day with it. At higher volumes the sound can get wonderfully beefy as well.
Yes I'm still very happy with mine, after a couple of gigs. And the band just invested in a new 18-channel mixer so I'm now taking stereo Line Out to the mixer to support the volume level if needed, but more importantly so we can get some guitar in the monitor mixes.
 

AAT65

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Anyway, I'm not a touring musician but it struck me would a solid state amp be actually harder to service on the road? What would you do if it stopped working? Not like you can peer into it and see a tube not glowing.
I would say you've sorta hit on a key issue... but Solid State wins easily! Sure you can look at a tube / valve amp and see where things aren't glowing, but if one isn't lit up then either it's a failed tube and you can replace it (but nothing in a Solid State amp is that unreliable, so you can't really say that's a plus point for tubes) or another component has failed or maybe a bias pot needs adjusted (in which case you start poking around, and the voltages in a Solid State amp are not likely to be as dangerous as a valve amp, although due care and attention will still be needed).
 

gimmeatele

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I just left out the SS amp too, now use a pod go and won't look back. I have a friend who owns a small bar and he was good enough to give me a couple of hours to play there to backing tracks so I could try the rig out live, I use a small FRFR speaker, which I stood on a stool, so getting the gear there literally took a small hand cart.
It all went well and it wasn't till I was packing up one guy noticed I didn't have 'an amp'.
As this is what I want to do now the pod go and speaker are perfect, I don't think I will use and amp again.
 
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Boogieman92

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Its really not an either or situation for me. A good sound is a good sound, period.

Funny little story though. I had wanted a fender 68 CDRI for a few years and finally scored one and loved it. Then after having our child and it collecting dust i traded it on a whim for a logan tele (phenomenal guitars fyi) and a few small ss amps. One is a red stripe peavy mia envoy. Then i scored a used 10” crex speaker for dirt cheap. Putting those two together has been a revelation and one of my all time favorite tones ive had. The cleans are just brilliant for warm jazz to twangy country it just does it all so well. I can honestly say the cheap little envoy fits and sounds better for my situation than the CDRI ever did.
 

JustABluesGuy

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Its really not an either or situation for me. A good sound is a good sound, period.

Funny little story though. I had wanted a fender 68 CDRI for a few years and finally scored one and loved it. Then after having our child and it collecting dust i traded it on a whim for a logan tele (phenomenal guitars fyi) and a few small ss amps. One is a red stripe peavy mia envoy. Then i scored a used 10” crex speaker for dirt cheap. Putting those two together has been a revelation and one of my all time favorite tones ive had. The cleans are just brilliant for warm jazz to twangy country it just does it all so well. I can honestly say the cheap little envoy fits and sounds better for my situation than the CDRI ever did.
I’ve been keeping and eye out for an Envoy. I have Bandit.
 

Burlington Dave

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My little Vox Night Train is dead. Again. I could have it repaired. Or, I could see what new solid state amps are like. I’m intrigued by Quilter. I don’t need megawatts. Don’t want them, really.

If you made the switch, how come? Are you happy?
I was playing with a Hot Rod Deluxe in a 9 piece band with 3 horns. Despite its power output there was something about how the frequencies sat in the mix that made it sound muddy and even difficult to hear, no matter the volume. So I switched to a Mustang III and miraculously problem solved! At only $300 CDN at the time, and with a headphone jack for quiet practice and all the modelling capabilities, it was a no brainer. I even bought a second one for backup. Fast forward many years and they still sound great with my current band, True Rodeo. www.truerodeo.com.
 

regularslinky

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Back in the day I gigged with a Twin Reverb. Then I got old and my back started complaining. I used a Roland Cube 60 modeling amp with a second 12" speaker cab for years because the clean sound is excellent and I got dirt from pedals. I recently got a Quilter Mach 3 combo. It's solid state, 2 channels, weighs 21 lbs., loaded with ingenious features. Sounds as good as any tube amp I've ever heard live, including my old Twin.
 

chris m.

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I play in a funk band. Cory Wong, consummate Strat funk player, recently switched to DV Mark and he is a die-hard Fender tube amp guy. If it's good enough for him I'm sure it would be good enough for me. I haven't switched (yet), but if I had to buy a new amp tomorrow chances are it would be analog solid state, not digital modeling.
 

bigben55

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I will never go strictly to solid state amps. I've played tube amps for decades, and have had scores of different ones. I still own two boutique hardwired combos that I love.

But.....I just recently got a Tone Master Blonde Twin Reverb, and its awesome. It will be my cover band gig amp(with pedals) for the foreseeable future. I feel these Tone Master amps have addressed most all of the challenges inherent with gigging classic Fender tube amps. The only unknown is longevity. I dont trust that it'll last and survive like a hardwired tube amp, but that's OK. Check back in 20 years.
 

Skyhook

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My little Vox Night Train is dead. Again. I could have it repaired. Or, I could see what new solid state amps are like. I’m intrigued by Quilter. I don’t need megawatts. Don’t want them, really.

If you made the switch, how come? Are you happy?
I like both.
However, I'd much rather lug around a solid state.
They feel more like stuff that doesn't mind being banged around, which inadvertently will happen.
They feel more... solid, for want of a better word.

Tube amps on the other hand... good for a controlled environment, sure. Great sound, of course.
But actual road work and the chaos of that? Not for me, if I can avoid it.
They feel... brittle. Never mind that they weigh a ton. Weighing a ton does not go well with 'brittle'.

Besides...
Nobody has ever complained to me about playing a gig through a solid state amp.
Complaints regarding lack of CCR, for sure... lack of Paranoid(the song(locally that's our 'Free Bird')) , absolutely...
but not lack of tubes.

Hell... nobody's even complained when I've gigged a modeler straight into a very much solid state PA.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I am playing a SS these days, an acoustic G120DSP (I think). It is much like a JC120, only a third of the price & weight. It is a good platform for pedals such as my Timmy & East River Drive dirt boxes.
 




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