NAD - Done with tube amps

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Nubs, May 3, 2016.

  1. Nubs

    Nubs Friend of Leo's

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    Just picked up a Roland Blues Cube Hot a few days ago. Originally I thought the price tag was steep for an SS amp. But now that I have one, I realize why they are the price they are.

    I've had my Princeton in the shop for over a month now & have no idea when I'll get it back. Apparently around the Houston area, there only a very few amp techs which causes such delays in repairs. So whenever I do get it back, it's going up for sale.

    To a casual bedroom player like me, having to worry about tubes going out and having maintenance done is not worth it. I would much rather have something reliable and worry-free such as an SS. I'll take the ever-so-slight difference in tone if that means I don't have to wait 2 months for a fix and shell out around $200 each time to have it repaired.

    So as much as I like playing through tube amps, the peace of mind with SS amps outweighs the tone. And BTW, check out a Blues Cube Hot when you get a chance.
     
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  2. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    If you're a true bedroom player I can understand completely. If you ever start to play more than in your bedroom I'd expect you'll come back to some glowing tubes.

    A good tech should be able to take a vintage amp and make it great again, lasting 20 years before anything needs to be done to it (other than tubes). Over a month is nuts.. mine usually only take a few days to possibly a week.
     
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  3. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    I think of all the gigging players I know, only one still uses tubes. All the rest got sick of heavy amps that break down all the time.
     
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  4. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Strange, I've been gigging for YEARS as as my other guitarist and not once have we had a break down of our amps. Proper service goes a LONG way. Both of our main gigging amps are fairly light weight as well. The extra 5-10 lbs when it comes to how an amps sounds any day of the week.
     
  5. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    I thought the title said you had made a drone with tube amps. Oh, well...
     
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  6. billybarool

    billybarool Tele-Meister

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    The Blues Cube definitely seems like a cool amp. Would love to try one.
     
  7. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Are you talking about one of the original Blues Cubes, or is this a current model?
     
  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I hear you, I'm also done with tubes, but more because of the weight of the amps and also hype fatigue. OMG what if I got NOS tubes etc etc.

    Tube amps sound great though and the vintage designs are actually waaaaaaay easier to service. Replacing a tube is 1000 times easier than replacing a failed component on a wave soldered circuit board. There are many good reasons why so many blackface fenders are still in regular service
     
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  9. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    LOL ....... Then they're Pillocks who don't maintain them.
    I always take two amps, that's my compromise, so yes - weight and a back up.
    When I look at the TDPRI demographic, either we're atypical of giggers, or "all your gigging players I know" are.

    Would a couple of kilos at load in/out matter amongst all that gear?

    +1
     
  10. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think tube amp reliability problems are half myth, and half true.

    Old vintage amps that aren't properly serviced and maintained can certainly be a liability.

    I also feel that a lot of newer, pacific rim, consumer grade stuff that's built down to price point, is buying an amp that is destined to give you troubles.

    Newer top shelf stuff with high grade components and workmanship, and well made vintage stuff that's well maintained, should work plenty well. For decades.

    I think part of the issue stems from "I gotta have a tube amp, but I'm not paying $1000 plus for one. This one sounds great and it's $300-$500."

    Well, you get what you pay for.

    I'm a fan of tube amps. I'm a fan of SS amps. I think if you're going to spend short money on an amp (less than a grand) and you want decades of reliability, SS is definitely a good option. Maybe better than tube.

    I have older Marshalls, a Boogie, a boutique job, and an SS Orange Crush series currently.

    I've gigged SS Peavey, Roland, Yamaha, etc, all successfully, and would again.

    Tube amps are fantastic, and I don't ever see giving them up. But I have no trouble admitting the SS amps definitely have their place. They can be both convenient, and practical. And ultimately, play whatever gets you the sound you like. If it sounds good, it is good. No matter what anybody thinks of it.
     
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  11. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^^

    Guess quality matters ... I'm lucky enough to have a Matchless main gigger backed up by a vintage Traynor ... So both bulletproof and, to date, ultra reliable.

    Shows that you can get reliability at both price points $1.5k and $400, plus neither weighs over 50lbs.
     
  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I hear you. I paid less than a thousand bucks for BOTH of my Marshalls. Combined.

    I should have been more clear with my points about pricing. I meant buying new amps.
     
  13. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Dang -- carrying a Matchless and an old Traynor to the gig would beat a trip to the gym any day. Those old Traynor 2x12 combos weighed like they were bolted to the floor.
     
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  14. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Lightning was used £1k so great value, and a Lifer


    Lightning is a 210 15w, Traynor is a 22w 112 which I've taken the back off, so both are manageable ... yeh, I could DI through a pedal, but .... I'll carry my tone ....
     
  15. srinivassa

    srinivassa Tele-Meister

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    I have had a dozen "cheap" Chinese-made amps, and I have yet to have a problem with one. I will keep you updated if they start dropping off over the years. I have heard stories, to be sure, but I have yet to have the slightest difficulty. It sounds to me like the OP is dealing with an old lemon, which can happen with virtually anything you buy.
     
  16. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yay! more for us!
     
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  17. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't doubt what you say is true, I wonder if this is a regional thing. Are these players in blues bands with SS? I go out and see my share of bands in the Portland OR metro area and I enjoy checking out everyone's rigs. In the past three or four years I've seen only one SS amp. Perhaps this is due to the high number of blues bands I see that have older guys primarily playing Strats and Teles.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  18. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    I think it might be luck in some cases, bsd design in others. I have a first year Traynor ycv40 that has been in and out of repair shops. More than one repairman commented that the standby switch was a problem waiting to happen. But - it sounds great...

    ..however: as I gear up for gigging once more, I'm thinking about one of the new gen ss amps, e.g. Award Session, DV Mark or Quilter.
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whenever I see "Blues Cube" it morphs into "Blues Clues" (the cartoon)!
    That's what I get for having kids and a television....
     
  20. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Never hurts to have a backup plan. I've had 3 occasions in the last 5 years where a solid state Peavey or Fender came in handy and the earth rolled on. The venue where I do a weekly gig has a Peavey on hand. Can't kill it.

    My geometry is this: I'm 64, I can still carry whatever (or use a little cart that I built) and I'm gonna do that until I just can't. Only got so many gigs left to do (maybe another 20 years...) and I'm going to enjoy them to the fullest, even if most of the audience hasn't a clue.
     
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