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. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the sound of a good tube is the best. However, when my Egnator Tweaker died on me twice last year I had to rethink the whole situation. First time it died was a month before the warranty ended, second time after it ended. After much research I bought a Quilter Route 101 head. 50w, 2lb, $300. Won't buy another tube amp.
     
  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don’t like modeling. Not because it doesn’t sound good. It’s just too much work. And I don’t trust it. Being a working player for so long, I’ve just seen too many of them go down, and they’re really not repairable cost effectively most of the time. I know the Kemper and Helix and Axe FX guys will wanna argue that it’s not disposable technology, but to me it is.

    Now, real solid state is a whole nuther animal... I’m a big fan of real, analog solid state. I’ve been using the same amp for every single gig for about 19 months now, and I don’t see ever going back to tubes. I just don’t have a reason to.

    I have a DV Mark FGC121. It’s a 120 watt 1x12 combo with two great sounding channels, that weighs in at 23 lbs. I’ve used it indoors, outdoors, everywhere, for gigs from a 20 seat pub to major venues. With the master volume that functions like one is supposed to, I can get my sound anywhere from whisper quiet to paint peeling with no compromise. And I’ll never run out of headroom. I’ve never had the master past 9 o’clock at any gig anywhere.

    What it comes down to for me is that I had a dream amp in my head for years, and tubes couldn’t give it to me, and won’t ever be able to. I used to compromise because while tubes had a long list of limitations, they sounded undeniably superior. That’s no longer the case.

    I always said I wanted a really high powered amp, with near unlimited clean headroom, that I could also drive effectively using a separate volume and master, that would sound great from below bedroom levels, to large concert venue levels, that was no bigger than 1x12, and weighed under 25 lbs. Everybody said it was impossible. I always though it was impossible. But guess what? It’s no longer impossible. Thank you, solid state.
     
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  3. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I'm playing my PRRI in my band, I sometimes think that I could switch to a Katana or something, and it would be perfectly fine. Then, I play the PRRI at home, and I think there's no way I will ever sell this amp.
     
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  4. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yah if I was to seriously look at a really nice SS amp to replace my tube amp it would be something like the Quilter products, DV Mark, Orange Crush Pro, etc, etc.. not a modeler.

    An SS amp that is it's own thing and has it's own sound and unique benefits, not an amp that is trying to pretend to be other amps.
     
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  5. 6String69

    6String69 TDPRI Member

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    I think an all tube amp has a certain presence in the room that cannot be replicated. I’m a purist. I will carry my heavy amp until I cannot anymore. I will replace tubes as needed. This is my creed.
     
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  6. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've had both, nice tube amps and a SS modeler. To my ears my Helix Floor and Powercab Plus sound just as good as the real tube amps, but you so much more convenience with the modeller setup. Also, one pedal board, one amp, thousands of choices.
     
  7. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If I did all jazz or all soul all the time I would definitely think
    about getting one. Probabably a roland chorus amp.
     
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  8. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    It obviously has to do with tone. A lot of traditional jazz players like the cleans in many SS amps. If you want better overdriven sounds, you need tubes.
     
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  9. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis TDPRI Member

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    There are plenty of people who just prefer tube amplifiers. There are also plenty who listen with their eyes and/or follow conventional wisdom. They want to believe in a "better" for all, because that makes life easier. Amps are just one product among many that are chosen based on motivations that have little to do with reason or actual sensory data.

    Why question what motivates the choices of others, unless you're a behavioral economist? Play what you want to play, and be honest with yourself about why you like it, and you'll have no regrets. If you need to be "right," you'll just argue and argue without any hope of anyone really "winning."

    All of my amps have at least a solid state aspect (Jazz Chorus, Blues Cube, HT-1 heads with their "ermahgerrrrd!" opamp in the drive channel and solid state phase inverter). I've owned and played Fender, Mesa, Egnater, and small custom build tube amps as well.
     
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  10. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    "Why are tube amp people so adamant. Solid state has much to offer."
    Why should you (or anybody) care? They're your opinions. It's your job to find out if they're valid. What works for me may not work for you. It's fine, I'll live. So will you. The only caveat is that your right to swing your opinion around stops at my nose.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  11. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    Someone earlier mentioned tube amps being more THREE DIMENSIONAL. That’s the thing, in a nutshell, that makes them superior, to this day. Play softly, it’s lovely. Add some aggression to your picking attack and the increase in volume is amazing. You can adjust where you are in a live mix with your playing... to an extent.

    But it’s enough of an extent to make tube amps superior in the eyes of most working players.

    About eight years ago, I was in a two guitar band in Williamsburg Va. I’d just gotten back into playing after a decade long hiatus. I’d picked up a 100W Vox Valvetronix. I thought it was amazing. Until I started playing with a full band. If I was the only guitarist, it would have been okay. But the other player had a hot rod deluxe. It was like I wasn’t even in the mix. The dynamics of that tube amp essentially made my playing inaudible.

    THAT experience is what made me a tube purist. Head-to-head, real world experience.
     
  12. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've always been a tube amp guy. About ten years ago I bought an '80's Peavey Backstage Plus for a living room practice amp. I started gigging it since it was small and light.

    A month ago I bought a Digitech RM 360 modeling pedal to run through my studio monitors for practicing. I'm playing two gigs with it next week. It's small and is easy to take on the bus.

    Notice a trend here? I haven't sold any tube amps and still bring them with me most of the time, but for simplicity and getting close enough for low volume gigs, I think solid state and modeling have arrived.
     
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  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Call me adamant. (Adam Ant?) SS sucks, compared to tubes. Why? Because tubes create high energy electro-magnetic output from a torrent of electrons ripping through space at 400-plus volts, actual lightning plasma. Being an elemental force of nature, the distortions inherent in tube amplifiers are sweet, even-harmonic musical tone enhancers. SS inherent distortion is pointy and harsh, evil odd-harmonic noise that hurts our ears and creates bad feng shui.

    Pretending or insisting that modeling does the same thing does not make it true.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  14. JTB21

    JTB21 TDPRI Member

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    I am surprised at anyone who has compared the feel/presence of tubes vs SS and prefers SS but I believe it has a lot to do with how you were raised. We are generally most comfortable listening to or playing the music we grew up listening to and many of the younger generation were raised playing SS and that just sounds right to them. I don’t get it but see it quite often. It also may relate to the type of music being played but medium break-up classic rock/blues/country is very difficult to properly replicate with SS amps, in my opinion. I can use some SS modeling but it has to come through a good tube amp. My advice; find what inspires you and go with it
     
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  15. DaddyG

    DaddyG Tele-Meister

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    At 72 years old my ears have probably heard better days. Last year I sold my '65 DRRI which I really liked a lot, just a great amp, then I bought a Boss Katana 100 212. I could not be happier. The Boss has every thing I need, in fact I've barely scratched the surface of what this amp will do. Also, there's a Yamaha THRC in the house and a 1982 Yamaha G100 112 which sounds as good as the day I bought it, plus it has never needed any repairs. The G100 is both heavy and loud, a real nice amp considering when it was made.
     
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  16. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Holic

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    Anyone other than a serious collector/investor who buys a standard issue tube guitar amp as a monetary "investment" doesn't know what they are doing.
    When a person buys a piece of gear it could be considered an investment in that person's future. Meaning they will hopefully enjoy it, use it and become a better musician. Someday, if they decide to sell it, only a fool or noob would expect to get their "$ investment" back. Or make a profit.
    Your argument is always made by contrarians in threads like this.
    "Oh, the tube fans have to love their amps because they spent so much money on them."
    Bull. They bought them because that's what they like, that's what inspires them.
    I've used lots of solid state amps and modelers and profilers. They are fine for what they are. And they may be what sounds good to some people. All I know is what sounds good to me. That would be tube amps. An exception for me is the Roland JC120 amp. The original one with 2 12" and the original chorus circuit. They sound great for 70s/80s music. But the lead channel (distortion) sounds like a cheap stomp box.
    Just like solid state amps, not all tube amps sound great or even good. Some of them sound like cheap budget amps.
    Caveat Emptor.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  17. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Most tube amps have a transformer coupled push-pull output stage, just like solid state. Both of those generate mostly odd harmonics.
     
  18. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    Why don't you just ignore threads that you don't like? It should be very easy to not open a thread. Maybe you should start a thread entitled, "Why can't I ignore threads that I find boring?"
     
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  19. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I have had a bunch of tube amps. Imo, at higher volume they start coming into their sonic territory. But, I really don't play at those volumes, anymore.

    So, I'm down to one tube amp, a 15 watt Fender Pro Jr. It's fine!

    SS amps?

    I've had one over the last 20+ years.

    A Fender Studio 85.

    I put a Helletone 12 alnico speaker in it and as long as I don't run it too loud...

    It's fine!

    Clear as a bell.

    Sometimes I run them both together and it's really fine!
     
  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    (Humorous sarcasm alert): Oh, gee, that completely changes my mind. Now I love SS.
     
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