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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by El Tele Lobo, May 14, 2021.
The Roland Jazz Chorus 77 is the reason why i gave up tube amps many years ago.....
Recently went to a Quilter 101 and I don’t foresee going back to tube, honestly. Sounds great, small, loud, and light.
I've moved to an older Fender Acoutasonic 30 (the one with digital reverb but no effects). It's the jazz sound I want: immediate and unforgiving. I'm tackling the dual headed best of learning to read music and learn chord melody guitar.
Guitar into amp, no veil. My ugly technique is exposed and it heps me practice.
Add one or two pedals, and the differences quickly disappear.
For guitar straight into an amp I prefer tubes.
For bass or acoustic I prefer SS (principally because I want clean).
I also quite like my guitar into my SS bass amp (but don't tell anyone). Sssshh.
Imo...a lot depends on the tone you are after. I play pretty clean most of the time. Just delay and verb (both of which I am very picky about) and I play a lot of lap steel. I used to play pedal steel a lot as well (stopped playing pedal years ago)..for that kind of thing, solid state is absolutely great.
I want clean with headroom.
If I played more blues or rock, and wanted creamy overdrive, I would probably prefer tube. Yes, you can get close in solid state, especially now in days, but for those tones, its easier to get with tube.
But again, for what i.play...give me solid state every time. Just my opinion.
I had an early spring reverb Acoustasonic Jr. for awhile, and had some fun playing electric into it.
The tweeter was actually kind of fun playing fingerstyle, like aurally reading my own fingerprint patterns or something. Not forgiving, but super-detailed wand pretty easy to EQ the harshness out. And it had nice onboard reverb and chorus, too.
But when I disconnected and removed the tweeter and treated it like a clean electric guitar amp, it was cool! It stayed clean up to 8-9 on the dial, but it got pretty lively and the speakers were juuuuust starting to give it up a little. It was a ton of fun to set it like that and work the volume knob on the guitar. I wish I’d kept it, fake wood grain and marketing aside, it was a pretty useful and versatile clean amp.
IMO, for clean warm jazz sounds there are a lot of great SS, hybrid and tube options. But matching them up with the right speaker really seals the deal!
In the 60s I have read that many NYC studios had Ampeg Gemini II tube amps with the stock 15" Jensen for the jazz players. I love this amp but it's too big to lug around.
I read that Wes Montgomery often recordeded through a Standel tube amp and, IIRC, a Standel cab with a JBL D130 or D130f.
Yamaha G50ii (SS) with the stock 12" speaker is really, really nice.
The Peavey Special 130 with the Burr Brown IC chip swap through several different speakers (Emi Delta Pro 12a, EVM-15B or -L, others) is awesome.
Music Man HD-130 and RD-100 through the same speakers in the above paragraph are great, too.
Fender Twins, Bandmaster thru JBL-130f, Pro Reverbs, Fender Rivera-era Concerts thru most good speakers, Princetons and Deluxe Reverbs can sound great .
I had a friend whose Roland JC (#?) sounded great.
To me, the speaker choice is crucial provided the amp is appropriate.
I went on a run a while back trying to embrace them for a travel amp..just couldn't do it..i mean, they're ok..have gotten better..but they don't pass the 'roundness' test for me and
and at higher treble settings i can really hear it..
i spose with a few 'amp sound' pedals in front of them they'd be great..never got there with em tho..
put together a little SS amp for bass once. My brother made a simple two transistor preamp with bass and treble in between the stages then it went to a car power amp. I built it to be portable and it could hold a gel cell alarm battery. Don't remember why I brought it in to work, probably told a budding guitar player about it and had him take it home over the weekend. He came back and raved about it, wanted me to make him one. He then had his friends come over to play it and they all raved about it also. He said they all have been chasing the tube tone, he has bought and sold small tube amps but never found what he wanted until he played mine. I made him one and he was happy as as a little pig in...
Fast forward twenty years and you see me making tube amps, learning how they work. While I did like tubes amp they generally had a sweet spot and other times did not sound quite right. I plugged back into that small transistor amp and it really sounded good. Don't get me wrong, I have a Champ-a-like right beside me and dirty it is really something. But for playing clean that SS amp was a tad better. I have learned a little about pedal circuits since then and that along with some of the other elements that came together in that amp works.
Thirty years after building that first amp I think I could make a nifty amp using SS. But I have enough tubes to last me my lifetime and maybe somebody else's as well.
If you play out these days, chances are you're being mic'd into a solid state (PA) amp.
So what's that make your mic'd tube amp? It's a way to get to a certain sound that gets amplified. You could use a modeler and do the same thing if you can find a modeler that gives you sounds you like. They're getting very good these days and add a lot of flexibility - I can sound like a Fender or a Marshall or a Vox or whatever.
I love a good tube amp, but I've come to appreciate that modelers are getting very close now. I don't know if the picking dynamics/sensitivity is there, but it's close. We might be at the point where only guitarists care about the difference and the mix covers it up. If I'm using a modeler, the amp might as well be SS so that it accurately reproduces the modeling sound.
I grew up on tube amps, but haven’t owned or used one in over a decade.
SS amps sound fine, IMO.
My “tone” is not a priority.
I prefer to focus on what I play, instead of how what I play sounds.
I still like, and appreciate great tube amp tone, but the weight, maintenance, and dependability issues keep me from using em’.
I am seriously considering the new Fender 68 Pro Reverb.
It ticks almost all my boxes.
I have yet to see or hear one in the real world.
Soon, I hope.
Some people like apples, some people like oranges. Nothing wrong with solid state, just don't expect it to sound like a tube amp.
Back in the mid 80s Dean Markley made a killer two channel two rack space amp.
It was 40 watts, weighed about 10lbs and sounded killer!
It's 2021, there's a lot of great S.S. amps being made these days.
Whatever floats your boat!
Back in the 80s I had a JC120 and a rack system. I had a Rockman Sustainer a Universal Audio 1176 compressor a dual 15 band E.V equalizer one for my clean sound and the other for the overdrive sound into a 2 channel mixer then into my amp. I listen to those tapes which have all been put on flash drives and it doesn't sound that bad. 36 years ago, my how time flies.
There are so many gigging players who carefully manage their tube amp and expensive mic that then goes to the solid state PA for the audience.
The tube amp is often just an oversized pedal board pedal.
The other half of tube amp players are feeding their fancy boutique tube amp a big plate of pedals.
This topic is of real interest to me. I love my wee Vox AC4HW1, but it only really has one sound. I'm thinking about the Boss Nextone, as it (supposedly) gives several generic tube amp sounds. I'm not overly concerned with having as exact as possible replication of a Marshall whatever model amp, of a Twin Reverb, etc. I'm not after, say, the Fender Tone Master degree of sonic accuracy. Instead, I just like the idea of ballpark amp style sounds to play clean to slightly driven, plus pedals.
Which is of course different from appreciating solid state amps for their own character / sounds.
I don't know yet if the Nextone will do it for me though - yet to actually try one.
Anyway, the practice space I use has a JC120 sitting up against the wall, and I always think, yeah, I should try that. Never have. But, I should.
Here, a JC40 costs about the same as a Nextone Stage too, and the Blues Cube Stage isn't much more either.
Anybody have any opinions about the differences of those three, esp the latter two?
Yeah! That is one nice sounding stock, clean combo amp (I bought / sold mine right after that series came out -- sold it to buy a Carvin 100W head! ) I wish I would have hung on to that one. The clean tones were really good in those amps.
Agree. And, it seems the history of many amp manufacturers is to consign their SS product line to a lesser importance or 'ugly step-child status' compared to tube amp counterpart(s).
Speaker selection for many SS amp makers is often a mere afterthought or not well researched at all it seems. Many SS amps can sound better, much better (good? -- I know, that's a infinitely murky term) when paired with a quality speaker.
In the end, the speaker is half the sound.
I have played through a 1970 Deluxe Reverb that has a 2x10 baffle loaded with JBL K110s and runs 6L6s, and it's an incredible sounding amp. Lately, I obtained a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, which is about as solid state as one can get. I've been gigging the Tone Master since last November. Tonally, the 1970 DR is a little bit better to my ears, but the TMDR gets 98% close, and weighs about half as much, which my old back REALLY appreciates. With both, I have the best of both worlds at my disposal, love 'em both!
I have 3 amps, Quilter Rt 101, Fender Acoustasonic 40 & Eden WTX 500. Solid-state all the way for me.
It doesn't hurt to be open minded about this stuff. You have to try things when opportunity presents itself. You never know what kind of inspiration you might draw from it. Modulated effects sound incredible through a jazz chorus and the Quilters.