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. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Too much invested (can't be wrong).
    Image (gotta be the 'right' tube amp too),

    If SS doesn't sound like a tube then .. so what? Does a tube amp sound like SS? Do you want to be the player everyone says "sounds just like so and so" or instead, to get to be a famous player you need to hear "you're an awesome player, what a great tone" and that does not necessarily require tubes.

    The downfall of tubes, and why SS is making more inroads:
    -Tubes are called big iron for a reason, big and heavy
    -fragile
    -high maintenance, gotta replace tubes every year and re-cap the chassis every decade (except bedroom players can go longer)
    -high initial cost -- actually a more simple circuit than ss, but priced for a bigger profit margin

    What really kills tube amp use is the aging player population just doesn't want to carry that big heavy anchor around. That will continue. The amp companies who survive will build acceptable lightweight solid state amps 'that get that sound'

    .
     
  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    go play a good tube amp when it's cold, then 30 min later when the tubes are good and hot

    if it doesn't move you, then buy whatev
     
  3. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Personal preference. I only play through tube amps but I keep a Ross Loudmouth at my repair bench as a test amp.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^^^ THIS . It's not that I haven't tried... for decades. Not that others haven't tried too. Otherwise, why have an amp at all? DI into the SS PA.
    I almost always have 1 or 2 SS amps around. They just dont get used except as backup etc...
     
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  5. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    For the playing I do these days, I hear no meaningful difference between tubes, solid state, and digital. I do hear differences, but for my purposes, they amount to nuances, not matters of quality. Someone with different circumstances could easily come to the opposite conclusion.

    I've settled on three amps that do everything I need: Vox Pathfinder 15r, Peavey Envoy 110, and Vox VT40X. I intend to sell the only all-tube amp I still own as soon as the shop tech figures out what's wrong with it and gets it working again. If I'm lucky, I can sell it for at least half of what I've spent on it. But again, that's me. Everyone's mileage varies.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting about your bass player and his SS amp. I’ve been listening to recordings from the ‘70s lately. The Byrds. Linda Ronstadt. The bass very often comes through to the front of the mix. What’s different is that back then, bass amps were tube amps which when played loud had a kind of breakup that’s unmistakable. I swear I can hear the beat of the frequency of the note. I played tuba in high school and played well, you could hear the frequency of the players lips vibrating in the mouthpiece. Listen to the tuba in Dixieland recordings from that time followed by the Byrds. You’ll hear what I mean. I’ve never heard that from a SS bass amp no matter how loud it was played. SS in bass amps seems to stand for soft and smooth. A tube bass amp like a Bassman or B15 from that era just sound so alive.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  7. kbold

    kbold Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I've a tube amp for electric guitar - such a nice, nice sound.

    I've also got a SS acoustic amp - because for acoustic I want a clear sound, and a mic' input.

    I've also got a SS bass amp - because for Bass I want clean sound and lots of watts.

    Translation: Depends what you want from your amp.
    Alternate translation: You need more than one amp.
     
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  8. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I think most players have several amps and they don’t try to get one amp to do everything.
    Tube amps have earned the accolades of famous players for many years, SS will have to prove themselves over time.
    I don’t hear anyone putting down Roland products, because they flat out get the job done and have proved their worthiness over many years.
    But if you’re waiting for a consensus among guitar players, we’ll, don’t hold your breath.
    Some people like to argue, feel superior,or whatever kick they get putting other people down.
    I think Epiphone is an outstandingly good product, but because of their checkered past 25 years ago or so many people will not even look at one.
    What ya gonna do?
     
  9. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I own and use both for different things. They sound and feel different, so what?

    Why do people get so upset over other people’s preferences?

    I’m neither a tube snob, or a SS snob. This is pointless.
     
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  10. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Just curious why so many guitar players keep insisting how far Solid State Amps have come?

    Over the 50 or so years that Solid State amps have been marketed to guitarists only one can be considered truly iconic and accepted.

    The Roland JC120.
    It costs as much as a tube amp and weights as much as a tube amp.
     
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  11. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I don't choose tube over SS because one sounds better than the other (at least not in the last few years) as the new crop of SS is very good. I choose tube because I simply feel more inspired by that tool and always will. It is no different than any other tool really, I still prefer to shave with my '50's Gillette Fat Boy safety razor and a good quality shave creme. Sure, the multi-blade razors of today shave just as well and some even better, but I still prefer the morning ritual of the hot towel, working the creme with a natural bristled brush, and holding that vintage razor...and my results are very good.

    SS amps get the job done these days, but I like the ritual of powering up that tube amp, seeing the glass glowing orange, smelling the warm components, etc. Just a different tool and for a different reason, it will never change regardless of how far SS becomes at making good sounds.
     
  12. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    A key point.
     
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  13. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    The Gibson Lab Series deserves to be listed there as well....damn good tones
     
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  14. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Afflicted

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    This is like the dreaded oil threads on a motorcycle forum or the chain lube threads on a bicycle forum, they just won’t go away.

    Use whatever oil you want in your motorcycle, use the bicycle chain lube of your choice and please just use which ever type of amp you prefer, SS or tube.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah I got pretty excited about the cool SS tech in little boxes that fit on a thing called a pedal board.
    Back in the day there was only fuzz.
     
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  16. sardinista

    sardinista TDPRI Member

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    I just don’t see the point. No solid state amp that I’ve EVER tried has sounded better than a decent, reasonably-priced tube amp. Some people say they’re “good for practice,” but... I mean... like I said, I don’t see the point. I practice with a low-wattage/low-volume tube amp. It sounds lovely and inspires me to practice more.

    Consider this: no one markets a tube amp as sounding “just like a solid state amp.”
     
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  17. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker TDPRI Member

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    Well, I've been lucky enough to miss out on the whole SS thing. My last amps were all tube/valve, but that was back in the early 1980s. I'm currently looking to get back into a little twanging about at home, and I've been bothering my local traders testing out some suitable candidates.

    My thoughts, based on my recent experiences are:

    The newish low-wattage tube amps sound really good (Marshall DSL, Blackstar HT, etc)

    The current crop of 'home use' non-tube amps (Katana, Blackstar, Vox, THR, etc) sound really good too.

    But I have to say, not having played any kind of amp for a long time, that the non-tube ones are simply astounding considering their price, flexibility, portability, recording options and software control options. I guess I'm lucky because I didn't have to go through the pain of the 'not so good' SS stuff!

    Conclusion - lots of really great amps of all flavours/varieties available these days, ain't we lucky?
     
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  18. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    Here's the takeaway.
    Modeling can sound similar/the same, especially in recorded situations, but they do not feel the same when playing.
    But then again, I am an analog tube guy from way back.
     
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  19. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never owned a solid state amp. I think I'm about to buy a BOSS Nextone.
     
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  20. John How

    John How Tele-Meister

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    I just bought my first SS amp ever...it sounds great and it’s only 18 pounds!!!
    It’s a bass amp, Rumble 40...I like it
     
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