Quilter Amps- What Are Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by bravescoob, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I know, and this guy chimes in like this every time Quilter amps are brought up. It's pretty insulting. I mean, like what you like and all (heck, even hating on stuff I am used to tolerating, this being the internet and all) but don't tell people they are being naive and must be "manipulated by the internet" for having their own preferences. That's some hyped up, radio talk-show level paranoia there.

    The OD200 is definitely my favorite too at the moment. I set the clean channel to a little bit of overdrive, and the lead channel with gain 5 output 6-7 to get more drive.

    And I agree with you 100% that I like to see what an amp can do, not what it can't "emulate" or whatever.
     
  2. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    @SolidSteak Do you have any affiliation with Quilter? You act like you do. Seems you are taking way too much of a personal investment in this, even to the point of going through my post history; it's probably been close to a year since I've posted in a Quilter thread - don't you have better things to do?

    Shill 5 start red alert alarm has been triggered - proceed with skepticism!
     
  3. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Holic

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    Make sure you find out if the amp has short circuit protection. I had a 45 watt Tone Block and I got burned. The 4th time I turned it on the output transistor shorted out and sent about 13 amps of uncontrolled dc current through my brand new EV speaker, fried the voice coil in about 30 seconds. Of course, by the time you smell it it's too late. He replaced the Tone Block without hesitation but would do nothing to help fix the speaker. I get that he has no way of knowing how my speaker got fried, but still it was enough to make me walk away from the brand forever.

    I can't imagine why anyone with his level of expertise would sell an amp that does not have short circuit protection. Oh well. Never again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  4. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Holic

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    Spot on. I have never had any solid state amp that responds to touch and volume knob like a cranked tube amp does. There are just some things those chips can't do. The Tone Block I had sounded really good, esp clean, but plugged straight in to a fully cranked 50 or 100 watt tube amp is a once in a lifetime experience that every guitar player should have. It changes you.....
     
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  5. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Holic

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    In a head format, you should check out Frenzel. His Mini Bassman is the best sounding amp I've ever had, right next to the Rivera Knucklehead 55 imo. Rivera came from Fender, and I've always considered Rivera to be the amps that Fender always wanted to be.
     
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  6. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the kind words - you are obviously a paid sock puppet with too much personal investment in these threads as well, seeing as how you post in every one of them! What other explanation could there possibly be? :D Maybe the fact that I really like Quilter amps, and you hate them, so we both see a discussion about them and decide to participate? Humbug! Shills like us don't even log in for less than $20 a post. Come on, admit it!
     
  7. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    The thing I didn't like about that amp was actually the fact that there is no power button on it, and I hate using 24v power supplies like the one that comes with the MicroBlock.
     
  8. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a MicroPro Mach II head that I like a lot. I must say the learning curve was long for me. I was in that "I want to like it but, ..." camp for some time, but after really working with it and finding I don't need extravagant EQ setting I've settled in nicely. I roll the bass of to about 9 o'clock, mid at noon and Treble at 1 on Surf and it sounds pretty darn good to me.
     
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  9. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    deleted post that was intended for a different thread
     
  10. Brucesu

    Brucesu Tele-Meister

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    I had my eye on a fender deluxe reverb, but I didn’t want to pay the price and deal with tubes.

    Instead, I bought a used quilter aviator 12” HD for like $650.

    It’s decent, and I think I’ll be using this amp until it blows up. One thing is the amp is crazy loud! It’s for sure a stage amp and not some at home bedroom thing.

    I have a JHS double barrel and misc pedals to go with it and I love it!
     
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It’s amazing sometimes just how much totally wrong stuff a guy can cram into a single post...
     
  12. mfowler314

    mfowler314 Tele-Meister

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    The thing that bugs me about all the posts that say what you can't do with transistors is that my guess is that those who are saying that *probably* don't really know anything about how transistors work. I suppose they might... but anyone who knows how transistors work likely would NEVER say such things.

    True... if you take a tube amp and replace each stage with a similar transistor-based stage then what you get will NEVER sound like what a tube amp sounds like. And that is EXACTLY what happened with the very first solid-state amps... and why they sounded bad.

    But... transistors are very versatile building blocks and we can put millions of them on a chip and create some very complicated things. And engineers understand precisely how to do these kind of things. And that is what Quilter has done. They use millions of transistors to create circuits that come pretty close to having the same overall input-output function of a tube amp... Is it perfectly the same? Probably not. Is it pretty close? Probably. Will some players be OK with it and others not? Yes. It will depend on the player as well as the job - and its various constraints - that the player is trying to accomplish.

    I've never played a Quilter amp... nor have a played any other recent solid-state amps. I play either tube amps (that I've designed and built myself) or I use a modeling amp (which also use millions or billions of transistors to mimic tubes in a very different way... but the main idea is the same - replace a circuit with a number of tubes that you can count on both hands with millions or billions of transistors). But how do I know that solid-state amplifiers have this potential? Because I've been teaching circuits and electronics at the university level for over 20 years. It is very easy to underestimate what *can* be done with transistors - especially if your view is colored by the many horrible SS amps that have been made over the decades. But just because someone built the pinto does not mean that someone else can't build a Ferrari out of pretty much the same technology.

    So... the Quilters probably sound pretty good (because the guy who designed them took a very different approach from what led to the original SS amps) and he has a pretty good track record as an excellent analog circuit designer)... but if you don't like them that is fine - just don't say that fundamentally you can NEVER design a SS amp that sounds good.
     
  13. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    I don't care either way, if the tone is there i use it!
     
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  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have nothing against solid state amplifiers.

    I own a bunch of them. I also have a bunch of tube amps. I have been blessed when it comes to amplifier choices.

    The OP asked for thoughts about Quilter amps.

    I have no experience with anything but the Steelaire 115. It was disappointing to me. I have spoken with other steel players who concur.

    These amps have 5 star ratings on all the gear review websites, but they are also quite plentiful in the used market at 50 to 60% off the original MAP price...

    Let's say you ran out and bought a new one for $1600, played it for a few months, and then decided it wasn't for you..

    Not too many people would honestly say, "Buy this amp for $900 bucks. I paid $1600 for it a few months ago, but it doesn't do what i thought it would so now I'm selling it."

    No, in my experience, they would tell you how awesome the amp is, but that they have bills to pay, thinning the herd, kid needs an operation, the taxman cometh, etc.

    I have no opinion on the other Quilters. But I think that the Steelaire is a big enough disappointment that it's worth warning potential buyers, just on principal.

    I'm sure there are some pro steelers who like them. If it did what I originally thought it would, I would like them too.

    I know nothing about the other Quilter amps, but based on my experience with the Steelaire, I would recommend a healthy dose of skepticism.
     
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  15. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for your interesting post. Your qualifications are quite impressive. That said, these points have been set forth for the 40+ years that solid state amps have been offered. They may make perfect, academic sense. Yet in the real world application - solid state amps sound markedly worse than tube amps in certain areas, like slamming the front end, or pushed power tube breakup. This is why 40+ years later, tube amps continue to prevail in most professional rigs. Tubes and transistors sound different, period. Digital modeling has made better progress than analog solid state, however, but that's another topic.

    Everybody curious about a Quilter should go play one and see for yourself. It's a solid state amp, and I have nothing against solid state amps. I only take issue with the ridiculous hype about how they sound as good as tube amps, how you can slam the front end, how they respond like tube amps. Because those claims are ridiculous. It is what it is, a solid state amp, no more no less. Solid state amps can sound good with compressed tones, but don't handle transients like tube amps do, and it's a big difference if that's a part of your playing style. I suspect lot of posters are bedroom players with tube amps that are never turned up enough to know the difference.
     
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  16. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    I've read or glossed by a lot of glib posts, would love to hear you present a logical refute. Until then, you ain't saying....anything. With your post count, I have to wonder if you've ever been offered and perhaps even shilled any gear on this forum, and this struck a nerve.
     
  17. mfowler314

    mfowler314 Tele-Meister

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    That is only a meaningful statement if you are talking about one tube stage compared to a comparable circuit structure with transistors. So for example, comparing a class-A triode pre-amp stage to a class-A transistor pre-amp stage. .Yes, those sound different - each device has operating curves that are shaped very differently so they will sound very different. That is well known now. It was that approach that was used to design the very first SS amps and why they sounded nothing like our beloved tube amps of the time.


    The second statement above seems to contradict the first one. In second one you are doing exactly what I was warning against - you are assuming that since many (most?) SS amps to date don't sound like a tube amp, then it must be true that *all* SS amps now and forever more are fundamentally unable to ever sound like a tube amp. I beg to differ with your view. I'd be fine if all you said was "I've tried lots of SS amps and have yet to find one that sounds like I think a tube amp should sound" and leave out the parts where you say SS is what it is.



    You are partly right here. Tube amps do still prevail but that is not based solely on the sound of the current generation of SS amps. There are many reasons that tube amps are still preferred by many - myself included (I like them because they sound good, they are simple, and I can design, build, and modify them to my heart's content). A big part of it is that early SS amps were so horrible... and that makes lots of people (yourself included) constantly imply that *no* SS amp can ever sound good... period. It is a culture thing based on decades of bad SS amps. But you have to admit that today's SS amps sound nothing like the old ones... they keep getting better. And we are at the point where some players (and not only bedroom players) look at all the factors and decide that a SS amp meets their needs.
     
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  18. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Lemme tell you a little about your theories, having worked with and had endorsements with several different music gear companies.

    First- you have zero idea what you’re talking about. Like, less than zero idea. What you’re proposing, just does not happen. Free gear hasn’t happened in any appreciable situation since the 90’s, when there were no Internet forums. Nobody on Internet forums gets free gear. Even as an endorsing artist, I’ve never gotten a piece of free gear. Not ever. The best deal most manufacturers will do is “cost of manufacturing”. Which typically works out to around half of dealer cost.

    As an endorsing artist, I have gotten extra special customer service. Such as an acoustic pickup that died on a gig. I contacted the company for a replacement, and they sent me one right out, and weren’t worried about getting the old one back. It was during the warranty period, but in most cases they’d want the old back for evaluation before sending out a new one. That’s one of the perks of being a company artist.

    But trust me, nobody on an Internet forum is getting free gear. In order to even get a COM endorsement, you have to approach the company you want to work with, provide them with all of your info (they want to see a very busy live schedule, of you playing original music, in real venues, on real tours, preferably on a real label. They also want high quality photo and video of you using the gear live. Even then, they will most likely say “no thanks” if your sound or image doesn’t specifically promote to the markets they’re targeting. These companies get hundreds of inquiries a day. 99% of them never get so much as a “thanks for the email”. I assure you that they are not out scouring discussion forums for people to give free stuff to in exchange for shilling. That’s an absolutely ridiculous idea from the word go. Nothing but paranoia.

    As for your statements about what SS amps are and aren’t capable of, they’re ridiculous as well. Twenty or even ten years ago you would have been *mostly* right. But today you’re not. No, not ALL SS amps will do the things you say they won’t do. Many still will not. The $99 kiddie amps definitely will not. But many will. They exist. I understand maybe you haven’t heard them or played them, but they are real. I mean, I’ve never met a wombat, but I’m not going to go around saying they don’t exist and that anybody who says they do is a paid liar shilling for the American Wombat Training Association. People might think I was nuts...
     
  19. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Jakedog, how do I get in on the American Wombat Training Association thing? Because...well...I AM NUTS!!!

    BTW, I took a look at the DV Mark series, looks interesting. That may be my next venture, although a recent purchase of a SF DR means that will be down the road a bit.
     
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  20. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

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    They're real, and they are quite cuddly... at least that's what this video says:
     
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