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Why WOULD you recommend tube over solid state?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by naveed211, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Dobronaut

    Dobronaut Tele-Meister

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    SS for gigs, usually a Peavey. Valves for home, usually a Supro. Best of both worlds. and I love them both equally.
     
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  2. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

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    Nope! Not given your criteria.

    "They just want a reliable, no-fuss rig that sounds good and will deliver consistently. Let’s assume they gig and record, they’re a great player, and that volume will be the same level for the amp regardless."

    You'll probably be much happier with a SS modeling amp.
     
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  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Oh joy. Another multi-page thread where people claim tubes are objectively better because they are better and if you care and can hear it and feel it they are better.

    I use tube amps, SS and modelers. If I can't get great sound and feel from each, shame on me.
     
  4. GrantR

    GrantR Tele-Meister

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    I would simply recommend that they go into a music shop and try as many different amps that they could, and go with what they liked best.
    I don't like these typical tube vs ss amp ******** wars. If you like A rather than B, that's all that matters. If you feel you have to like this amp or that amp because of what other people like or use, you're screwed from the outset.
    I now only use (at home) a Katana Artist (the original one), and I recently bought a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master. I don't own any tube amps any more. The Katana and the Deluxe Reverb sound and feel great to me . . . and THAT is all that matters . . . I LIKE them.
    I'm sick to death of all the snobbery. Just play what you like and forget about what's inside the box. If it gives you that feeling and inspiration to play . . . that's great !!!
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    High cost and inconvenience are really cool but it's the unreliability of tubes that I love the most!
     
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  6. LuvMeATele

    LuvMeATele TDPRI Member

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    I've tried every type of modelling amp in the game - from Line 6 Spiders to Kempers. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, effectively emulates the sizzle, snarl and texture of real tube distortion. Don't get me wrong - solid state amps, modelling amps and distortion pedals can sound good, or great, or even amazing, but nothing sounds like tubes except tubes. My SuperSonic 60 was a perfect example, as is my Orange Dual Terror. The 60 had an amazing, "molten" tone to it (I used to say it sounded like molten lava), and the Orange has the most fantastic natural fuzziness that adds depth and harmonic richness to both chords and single notes, but both have an unmistakable texture that only comes from tubes.
     
  7. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a few SS amps that were oka . But just ok. I just prefer the tube sound. Now if I was living in a RV or something where and an amp might get shaken around or weight might be an issue I could find one I could live with..m

    Actually there may be a Katana in my future. I would like a lightweight amp but with a 12 inch speaker with built in effects I can put on my balcony every once in awhile
     
  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's subjective, of course.
     
  9. fred4321

    fred4321 Tele-Meister

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    SS: suits my budget
    More sounds
    Low volume playing
    Some sound great.
    Tube/Valve: Highly desirable
    Awfully expensive for a decent amp her in Australia (IE Princeton, Twin)
    Hard to open up at home to get a great tone (Fender Blues Jnr)
     
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  10. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

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    I remember when my mate encouraged me to trade up from a solid state HH 100W head + gorgeous 4x12 to a Vox AC30. We went to the shop together, I tried the Vox and fell in love with it instantly. That was 30 years ago, and it was the moment I woke up to the idea of "tone" that has stayed with me ever since. I mean, I already appreciated the beauty the 4x12 brought to the tone, but the AC30 was on another level.

    So yes, I definitely would recommend it. Just as I'm really grateful that my mate recommended it to me.

    But then again, you have to be careful about how you recommend stuff. Just saying "try a valve amp" wouldn't have helped me, because the different models all sound different. For instance, I remember trying a Fender a long time before the Vox and not liking it one bit. Can't remember which Fender (a 2x12 with grey grille cloth), but it was loud as, and really trebly. Hard on the ears.

    The AC30 still sounds great to my ears : )
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I used a Polytone Mini Brute for several years, loved the clean sound.
    Also had a bigger Polytone 2x12, not sure of the model but even better clean sound.

    I'd still prefer some of my favorite tube clean sounds though, including some I wish I'd bought but was short on cash.

    "Tube amp sound" is really like "fish dinner flavor".
    The number of tube amps I've owned or played that stand out as favorite guitar sound is much smaller than the total number of tube amps, many of which were just good to my ear.
    None were budget priced imports.

    Many seem to refer to "tube tone" like it was a flavor of canned cat food.
    Many love to insist on forums that expensive amps are really no better than the lower priced but not the bottom of the barrel tube amps.
    That's the core of internet talk.
    Most of it is just opinions.
    All one can really do is laugh at a lot of that sort of claims.

    A good mackerel fresh caught is a cheap fish that nobody would really serve as fine food, yet it can be delicious.
    An expensive fillet of sole can taste like bait if not well stored and prepared.
    I'll take a nice chicken dinner over a lousy fish dinner.
    "Tube tone" is only great if it's great.
    SS sound is only lesser or lousy if it's not very good, or maybe if compared to a better tube sound.
    Great SS sound will always sound better than mediocre tube tone.
    I suppose some SS clean sounds might be better than comparable tube clean sounds, but I can't say I've heard that in the real world.
    Certainly a small tube amp turned up above its clean range will not have as good a clean sound as the SS amp with more power.
    I suppose there are SS dirt sounds that some prefer over comparable tube amp dirt, and there are certainly dirty tube amp sounds I just don't like. I'm referring to the playing process, not listening to mixed down recordings, where the playback is a SS amp sound.

    One thing I like about tube amps is they are almost always worth more over the years, compared to SS amps that lost more of their value. Also I find that an old tube amp that finally needs repair is almost always worth a lot more than the repair cost.
    SS amps I've had go bad on me were not worth the cost of transport and bench charge just to look at them and find the problem.
    Some would not work out that way, but I think the tube amps holding value thing is pretty real and covers a wide range of examples, unless talking about budget tube amps that are semi disposable.
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To be realistic about it (which seems out of place in this thread, but I digress), a majority of the "SS" amps referenced in this thread fall in the sub $500 (budget/disposable) category, yet are being compared to tube amps that cost twice as much (or more).
     
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  13. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you can't get a good sound out of a Katana or Fender Mustang amp, then the problem is you, not the amp. I use a Katana Mini, the $99 baby of the bunch, which is actually the only Katana that is analog SS, not modeling technology, and a Fender Mustang LT25, one of their newest and least expensive modeling amps. And, I post videos on my Instagram page of me playing through them, and I get compliments about the sound quality from very successful and accomplished professional players who are much better than me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well that's a tough comparison to make I guess.
    Seems like for example a 50w SS amp costs half as much in components as a 50w tube amp, if you source from the same level.
    Until getting into modelers with expensive computers, I'm not sure SS ever really get as expensive as high priced boutique tube amps.

    When I bought my new Polytone in 1984 it was considered a top pro grade amp, and was really not that expensive, maybe $175.
    50w @ 8oms/ 100w @ 4ohms, way cheaper than a new 50w Fender or Marshall but not because it was disposable grade.

    So how do we compare?
     
  15. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    Just wanted to say 'thanks' for making the differentiation. It gets lost too often in the SS vs. tubes debate. There are some very good SS analog modeling boxes out there that do very good simulation of the thing they are designed to emulate and are not digital. (..admitting that the quality of the digital counterparts continues to improve of course).
     
  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think an honest and objective comparison here is almost impossible, because it really is an apples and oranges thing. I know for fact that my Kemper can sound (and "feel") so much like my Mark V that it's difficult to tell which is which, but with the Kemper I also have all of my favorite effects included, and that takes it into a different direction.
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My sense is that those who say stuff like SS sounds cold and lifeless or tube amps are always better than SS amps, those are repeating stuff they read on the internet or in magazines etc.

    Plenty of great recordings were made with SS guitar amps, and then virtually every recorded guitar track was processed and played back with SS tech. Players who are convinced that SS amps can't sound great are IMO lacking in experience!

    And, if SS sounds cold and lifeless, how can we tell that tubes sound so great when played back on SS?
    Silly nutty internet stuff!
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As far as the recorded sound we hear played back goes, given digital recording and processing is what we hear when we listen to any recorded guitar sound, I cannot find any rationale for non tube tech to be unable to make the same sounds for playback.

    As far as a Kemper giving me the same playing experience, or handling like the same tool as my tube amps, I can't afford to buy and own one so it really is apples to oranges!
     
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  19. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    Depends on who was asking.

    I’d probably recommend a JC120 to a jazz player if asked. Or post-punk. Or country.
     
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  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Kemper is definitely not cheap, but it cost me less than what I used to spend on beer in a year before I quit drinking, so that perspective helped me justify the cost. :)
     
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