Why are tube amp people so adamant. Solid state has much to offer.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Cheap guitar guy, May 30, 2019.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keeping things simple can be very liberating. I played a gig on Saturday with my Rivera era
    SuperChamp. Once I had my amp set up (volume down around 3) I had an OD3 to goose it
    for more overdrive, and I turned on my MXR Phase 90 a couple of times, and that was it.
    The rest was controlled from my hands and guitar controls.

    If I ever make a transition to SS I will be looking for a similarly simple rig. Some people like
    lots of channels and features: to each his own.
     
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  2. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have one of those Super Champs. Of all my amps, that’s the one that was always plugged in and ready to go. What a truly great plug and play amp.
     
  3. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, during the past two years I bought a used Princeton Reverb for $600, a Vox AC15 for $450, and a Peavey Delta Blues for $325.
     
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  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Even more amazing is if you run a SuperChamp through a 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet. Wowza!
     
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  5. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I think he was maybe arguing tube amps are better cause there are plenty of them that are still worth a lot used.

    I fell for it too.. thinking he was complaining tube amps are too expensive.
     
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  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    THIS^. I mentioned the Marshall CODE amplifier head I picked up a few days ago; last night I had the opportunity to try it in a rehearsal setting with a drummer, bass player, and vocalist who also plays keys on some songs. I have an external 1X12 cab for it, but last night I wanted to see what gear I could take to rehearsal as a bare minimum. Normally, I bring an AC10C1, my pedalboard, guitar, and a bag full of instrument cables, picks, etc. Last night I brought a guitar, the amp head (no speaker cab), a pick, and one cable. I ran the head straight DI into the P.A. channel, because I wanted to hear its speaker emulation through the system. Earlier in the day I programmed a preset to sound like my normal rig with pedals (delay and reverb). So anyway, yeah... it sounded pretty close to the sound I normally have with my tube amp. The tone was slightly different (I used the "50's British" digital model, assuming it's based on a Vox AC30), but all the tone was definitely there. It didn't "feel" any different than playing through my AC10C1... that's where a lot of people seem to notice a difference between digital modeling and a true tube amplifier. Really, I don't see what the problem is. It didn't seem like it was reacting any differently to my playing at all.

    Now keep in mind that I am not a great musician, not by a long shot. I should probably spend some of the energy I usually dedicate to tone and gear and spend it on practice.... but the point I'm making is that I am obsessed with tone, and I've been playing tube amps since 1988, so I think this qualifies me to make statements regarding tone. In the particular case of this particular modeling amp, nothing in the way of tone, dynamics, or "feel" is lost. And I carried a heck of a lot less gear to and from my car last night!
     
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  7. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah, got it, ok.
     
  8. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    What is true to you is true to you - when it is about sounds, feels and such.

    Insisting that everybody should agree with your opinion is a bit ... arrogant? self-centered?
     
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  9. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    My preference is for tube amps with solid state pedals in front of them.

    Best of both worlds. :cool::)
     
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  10. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Quoted because a like just ain’t enough. We all have different tastes and opinions, and to infer that someone else is “doing it wrong” because they do it differently is not cool at all. It’s just gear.
     
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  11. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a perception among tube amp fanatics that digital modeling amps are okay for beginners, but those who are more "serious" should use tube gear. What I am noticing from actual users, however, is that many of the guys using digital or solid state amps are older tube amp fanatics who have grown tired of lugging all the heavy crap around to gigs, and have realized that the solid state/digital alternatives perform the task just as effectively as tube amps. Honestly, I lugged around a Marshall JCM900 half stack, plus two guitars, in my old '72 VW Bug. I stuffed the 4X12 in the back seat, and put the head and guitars in the front passenger seat. Was my tone awesome? Sometimes.... other times I didn't feel that it was, so I'm guessing there were other factors. But what I can tell you is that with the digital amp I have now, the tone is all there.
     
  12. micpoc

    micpoc Friend of Leo's

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    I've never heard a tube amp have the stark, can't-hide-behind-it, naked, direct-to-the-board sound of a clean SS amp. ;)
     
  13. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

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    All the pros know good tone starts off with a solid state guitar. Rock on! :)
     
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  14. die Fliege

    die Fliege TDPRI Member

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    I own a tube amp (Fender Hotrod Deluxe), amp modeler (Adrenaline III), hybrid amp (Vox AV30) and a small solid state (Vox Pathfinder). I don’t see any advantage for to owning a tube amp unless you like dealing with maintenance issues stemming from technology developed in the 1910’s. And when it comes to modeling, one would never know the difference between a model and a tube amp. And those who claim the can are welcome to put a wager on it.
     
  15. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    When I played out, I used SS and valve amps. I don't think the paying customers noticed any difference. My spine did though.

    Now I only play at home, I currently have a JC40, SV20C and a Katana 50. It's nice to have choices, and I'm old enough not to care what others think. :)
     
  16. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Cause I've owned or played most of em.....

    At least the Fender, Vox and Marshall stuff.

    I dig lotsa stuff it's all fun. Great tone comes out of many different boxes. However, I no longer own (or want) the many boxes replicated by my HeadRush pedalboard.

    I'd like a USA hand wired booteek tube amp like a Goodsell Super 17 but my AC15 and Redstripe Envoy make plenty of cool noises when I don't want to bother unzipping the HeadRush bag.

    Make music and have fun however you like folks!
     
  17. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    I believe the harmonic distortion and compression characteristics of tubes are inherently pleasing to the auditory sense and not just a learned response. Why does a symphony sound better in a concert hall than outside in the open -- the latter is a more accurate representation. It's because the reverberations from the hall are inherently pleasing to the auditory sense. That's the magic of electron tubes. When a tube begins to overload it creates low level distortion in mathematical patterns that align with the rules of musical harmony, which the brain understands as a pleasing auditory sensation. Likewise, the brain inherently understands that the solid state amp is lacking in this regard and when it does distort it sounds like ass. So most every non-tube amp has some sort of tube emulation. So why should I not just enjoy the real thing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  18. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    You're comparing apples to oranges there.

    Symphony orchestras were not noted for using amplification in the 19th century, and distortion is not a desirable thing in 'classical' music.

    Jazz players don't seem to have such an antipathy towards SS amps. I wonder why that is.?
     
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  19. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    I'm not saying orchestras used amplification or distortion is desirable in classical music. That was an analogy. I'm saying reverberation is actually an artifact created by the hall that the brain finds pleasing; harmonic distortion, the subtle kind that you don't hear as distortion, is also an artifact created by tubes that the brain finds pleasing. That's why it is necessary for solid state amps to have tube emulation to match up to a real tube amp -- that's what modeling amps are all about. Creating the pleasing artifacts of vacuum tubes. And I agree they're getting very good at it.

    Many jazz guitarists use Twin Reverbs to get that little tube sizzle and "warmth". It is an industry standard. Others want a totally clean more acoustic sound and like those pure solid state amps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  20. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

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    I am truly a dyed-in-the-wool old Fender tube amp player and fan of the big old Fenders. However, in my own personal experience not all of the much-hyped-up Fender tube amps do that much for me, namely the smaller ones with less than Twin Reverb power and headroom. I have a beautiful 79 Vibrolux Reverb that was professionally black-faced a couple years ago. It sounds pretty good at home, but lacks the clean headroom I need, and I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around this amp because of that. We gig alot and only mic our vocals.
    So, cut to the chase....I have found a handful of older Solid State amps that deliver the tone, warmth, sizzle and clean of a Twin Reverb. Most SS amps won't do that for me, but I have found and use(d) a few that do. It highly depends on the amp model and most critically the design, settings, speaker size, type and manufacturer, new(er) strings and a proper setup of the guitar. It works for me and gets me exactly where I need to be when I choose to use a Solid State amp that will deliver the goods for me. Just my own opinion and varied experiences. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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