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Solidstate Amps - pros and cons

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Mr_Martin, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    Had a Princeton Chorus for years as a practice amp. Underpowered for performance - the larger Ultra and Ultimate Chorus were loud enough but somehow didn’t sound as nice. I had a Lab Series L5 which I loved but it died and was unrepairable. That seems to be the main problem with SS amps. When they fail, they’re done.

    Speaking of solid state, my current practice amp is an iPad (w/ iRig and headphones).
     
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  2. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Holic

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    ...and then the drummer kicks in......
     
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  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a running thread now on TDPRI , about an OP not getting the Eric Clapton ' Layla album' sounds out of his tweed Champ and Princeton.
    I'm someone who is both familiar with that album, and also pretty good at getting that 'early Clapton Strat tone' out of my Fender tube amps+ afew of my fave overdrive pedals.
    Now, I just bought a (SS) Roland Micro Cube amp 2 weeks ago so I can play my electrics in our apartment ( quietly), and just love this amp and its features.

    So in light of the TDPRI Layla thread, I thought I'd try to get THAT sound out of the Cube and NO pedals, and after fooling around with the models ( actually the ' Classic Stack' Marshall one), the Gain knob, my Strat, and my ears- I think I got pretty close! Knocked me out! Roland really delivers, even with this baby amp!
    20201018_211935.jpg

    (I have other small SS amps, that lI love- gig with)
    Edit: settings in top pic are not settings I used
     

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  4. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Sooner or later tube amps will be a historical curiosity. Most of my amps are tube amps though. I have a few solid state amps in my collection too Mark Bass Amps, Peavey Special 130.
    SS technology as come a long way. Blind tests have been done and 90% of the players cant tell the difference. A lot of it is the speaker and the OT.
    If I needed an amp (and I don't) I would go solid state. The newer ones sound good and tend to be a lot more reliable than modern production tube amps.
    Back in the day I vacillated between SS and tube. I use Kustom 200 SS amps a lot because they were roadie proof. If you think anybody except maybe a guitarist can tell the difference you are deluding yourself. I have used Gibson SS amps too ... not as good as the Kustom 200's I had but very usable especially for jazz.

    In general ... if I was starting out I would go SS and not look back,
     
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  5. UlricvonCatalyst

    UlricvonCatalyst TDPRI Member

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    When I want some Buzzcocks-inspired, or generalised post-punk tones I go straight to the source - my well-loved H/H VS Musician. I love my various valve amps as much as the next guy, but there's a world of fun to be had in the transistor world too (as any booteek pedal aficionado who took out a second mortgage for a genuine Klon will tell you).
     
  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    My old blonde Blues Jr. is now my 'big gig' amp ( I do small lounge/Brewpub/winery gigs anymore) as it is loud and heavy, and I have a bad back.

    These get the gigs these days, and they sound great:
    Frontman 25R ( now with better Eminence Legend 1058 I just put in )
    and Vox Pathfinder ( with Celestion/Vox 8" from a Cambridge 15)
    20201010_200155.jpg 00606_akEg5eS3VH0_1200x900.jpg

    * so far I have ( all small SS) fake BF Fender, fake Vox and Cube amps ( along with BJ).
    Next year SS Orange Crush, and Marshalls!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
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  7. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Despite mainly using an Orange Rocker at present.... No problem at all using Solid State and, with the right pedals, these days of generally lower volumes in smaller venues - far more manageable.
    But, I'd exclude modelling amps... Just too many things that get on the way of settling on one tone/way of using it. Hence, imo, amps like the Orange Crush, esp. 60, really score well.
     
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  8. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    This is my SS Marshall MG102: 2x12", 100 Watts

    I only use the crunch setting (JCM 800 Sound), i don't use the onboard effects.
    My "pedalboard": Boss Tuner >> ARTEC Analog Delay >> Donner Boost Killer

    The thing is loud, sounds like a Marshall and is not too heavy for a 2x12.

    marshall_mg.jpg
     
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I find myself playing a bit of Neil Young here and there, mainly Ohio and Cinnamon Girl. I have a 5E3 clone that works pretty good for lower volume Tom Petty/Mike Campbell stuff, but it's actually my Boss Katana 50 that gets way, way closer to those blowing up tweed N.Y. sounds...

    ...It took me awhile to get the Kat 50 sorted to do that, and requires that the crunch channel have a conservative amount of gain, then add a little bit of the built-in boost to that. And then, on top of that, I add just a little bit of pedal boost, for the exploding tweed thing.

    My hat is absolutely off to Roland/Boss, as they have fantastic products at every price point.
     
  10. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    As with many others, I love tube amps personally but solid state has its benefits and I love the sound of my Bandit and ZT Lunchbox equally. With solid state, I don't necessarily have to crank the amp so much to get it to the overdrive sweet spot (my bandmates and sound guys definitely appreciate that, although I still think amps sound a little better louder). They're much more reliable and predictable gig after gig (no tubes going south randomly). I also find they're a bit more rugged and I feel I have to baby them less, especially rough-handled (not like the time a sound guy took all the tubes out of my ex-BJr to see which one was the line out, while I stepped outside to grab something).
     
  11. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    This is my other SS: Echolette CA 80, 1x12" 100 Watts, made 1980 in Japan

    Echolette.jpg
     
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  12. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    There's no amp, tube or otherwise I would trade for my Evans!
     
  13. SomeGuyNamedRob

    SomeGuyNamedRob Tele-Meister

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    My old Princeton Chorus was my main gigging amp for about a decade. Always sounded great no matter where I was playing, wasn't a backbreaker to move around, and was super reliable.
    I kind of miss it, though if I was going to replace it, I'd go for a Tone Master Deluxe or Twin instead.
     
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  14. SomeGuyNamedRob

    SomeGuyNamedRob Tele-Meister

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    Listen, we don't have time for rational solutions...

    But yeah, totally this.

    And sometimes you just need a spitty, ratty sounding amp to give you the right texture for a recording. Cheap SS amps can deliver all flavors of that too.
     
  15. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I've had more than one valve amp that did it much better, with burning smells and smoke too.
     
  16. Tuneup

    Tuneup Tele-Meister

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    On the idea of getting Clapton's "Layla" sound, one thing I notice no one ever seems to mention is how it was recorded, the mics, recording and mixing process can change a sound dramatically.
     
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  17. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    If it's just a tool, yeah you're right...every time.

    I like tube amps because I'm interested in the history and antiquated technology. One of my earliest memories is sitting in church with my dad (who's now passed on) on a Saturday while he worked on the old tube organ. Now that I've modded a few tube amps and built a couple, I feel some connection to his story when I play through tubes.
     
  18. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm with you on iStuff/ Macs for practice and home recording.

    You can grab a high quality stereo receiver at a thrift store for next to nothing because no one wants the old ones without HDMI.

    Take an old keyboard (Bluetooth keyboards work on iPads, as do keyboard shortcuts https://support.apple.com/guide/garageband-ipad/use-keyboard-shortcuts-chs88452c59a/ipados) and pull all the keys off but R and Space and use it as a footswitch for recording and looping.

    Multi-effect, looper, BIAB, multitrack recorder, and access to all the lessons and info the internet can offer.

    I get that going down rabbit-holes is part of the fun of this whole thing :) but an iPad/ Mac setup is hard to beat for general utility with decent sound quality for the average home user.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
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  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Have a good SS amp (Peavey Bandit with an Eminence speaker upgrade) and a good tube amp (H&K Tubemeister). Both great sounding and interchangeable, from my perspective.
     
  20. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I always just enjoyed my (now departed) Super Reverb and Pathfinder 15rs for what they were. I never thought or cared about what else they may or may not sound like.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
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