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Old 05-18-2017, 07:37 PM   #11
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I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Modern SS amps. Quilter and others are making amps that sound good, are reliable, and some end up on stage. Myself?? SS for home, tubes for going out only because it's what I have.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:44 PM   #12
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So... tube amps are for old people and solid state are for younger ones?

Just kidding!
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:27 PM   #13
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Something for tube purists to think about: Who here with a tube amp doesn't have a dirt pedal, among others? Eric Johnson uses a DD-2 digital delay along with 20 other pedals.

So what's the difference in having all these effects externally and SS with onboard modeling? The biggest difference between the 2 that I can think of, is the nature of distortion in the two. Distortion on SS is thought of as "harsh," while distortion on tubes is considered "organic," but that's all subjective.

/The whole, "most people use tube" isn't proof of anything. It's simply a convention that's become popular. Prior to...possibly Ray(?) Davies slicing his speaker cone, distortion was once thought of as a horrible sound. Prior to guitar amplification, no one used what didn't exist.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
Something for tube purists to think about: Who here with a tube amp doesn't have a dirt pedal, among others?

Tube purist here, your Honor... Guilty as charged.

The lone pedal I have is an Ibanez Weeping Demon wah that has been in my storage unit, unused for years.
My rig consists of tube amps (exclusively), guitars and either Mogami or Monster cables.
Dats it, main!!

When an amp is pushed hard at stage volume, the diff between SS and a *good* tube amp is how the amp compresses sound waves. A solid state amp cuts off the tops of the sound waves... on an oscilloscope, the sound waves appear "hard edged" and jagged, producing odd order harmonics which to the ear can be non-musical and harsh sounding.
A (good) tube amp smooths over the sound waves (literally compresses them, but they still look like smooth waves) and the amp tends to get that sound we all love... even order harmonics, liquid sustain, and an almost vocal tonality.

*IMO, an amp is not "good" just because it has tubes. It seems that some tube amp mfg's build an amp with tubes just to be able to SAY it has tubes, but the amp doesnt sound like anything special... and there are tube amp builders that "get it" and build killers (Friedman or Soldano, for example). There most definitely are tube amps out there that have tone ranging from "meh" to outrageous, but there is no question that "outrageous" almost always comes with a fat price tag.*
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:39 PM   #15
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I do have a couple of distortion pedals on my board, but I mainly use the amp for my overdrive and lead sounds. I only use a Rat II with the drive backed right off to get that sort of very light break-up you get on some of the early soul records (Steve Cropper's sound) and a Metal Muff on one song, but in all honesty if I didn't have those pedals I'd happily play a gig without them. Most guys who use a drive pedal use it to drive the tube amp harder rather than for its own intrinsic sound
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Old 06-24-2017, 03:33 AM   #16
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The war of Tube vs Solid State has been raging for years and it will never be over. Tubes are high voltage and low current. Solid State is low voltage and high current. Volts times Amps equal watts. A 100 watts is 100 watts no matter how its generated. When Electricity is applied to a tube it creates a space charge(ionized gas) in it. A transistor doesn't. If you get real picky, you could make the case that the space charge warms up the tone and sounds better than Solid State. I don't necessarily disagree. My observation is that Solid State is way more precise and what you put in is what you get out. If you play a Solid State amp, make sure you practice a lot because if your playing sucks, the amp isn't going to lie for you. However, when you get it right, its going to show that you got it right. I personally have had Tube, Hybrid, Solid State, and Solid State modeling.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:09 AM   #17
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Watts in and of themselves aren't telling you anything musically anyway other than how much your electric bill is for the time you spend playing.
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKVeazey View Post
The war of Tube vs Solid State has been raging for years and it will never be over. Tubes are high voltage and low current. Solid State is low voltage and high current. Volts times Amps equal watts. A 100 watts is 100 watts no matter how its generated. When Electricity is applied to a tube it creates a space charge(ionized gas) in it. A transistor doesn't. If you get real picky, you could make the case that the space charge warms up the tone and sounds better than Solid State. I don't necessarily disagree. My observation is that Solid State is way more precise and what you put in is what you get out. If you play a Solid State amp, make sure you practice a lot because if your playing sucks, the amp isn't going to lie for you. However, when you get it right, its going to show that you got it right. I personally have had Tube, Hybrid, Solid State, and Solid State modeling.
The difference between tubes and SS is more that tubes control current flow (i.e. the flow of ions from the cathode to the anode of the tube) whereas transistors control voltage. That's why it takes a different skill set to design a good tube amp. I'd have to take issue with the concept that tubes in some way mask sloppy playing whereas transistors don't. If anything, to me, tube amps feel more transparent and responsive. I always feel like with a tube amp what you hear is the guitar, whereas with a solid state amp you hear the amp, but that's just how it feels to me.

Also, I don't think anyone would argue that a 5W valve amp will, generally, be a helluva lot louder than a 5W tranny amp. But Seattle is right, the power rating of an amp is a bit of a red herring, whether it's SS or tube.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:14 PM   #19
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I challenged a friend of mine Scotty to a duel a few years back---His brand new custom Gibson Explorer, Mesa half stack, and pedalboard (10 pedals) vs my '09 Epiphone LP-100 and beat-up Line 6 Spider 2 (2 x 12, 120 watts) I set my gear up in his studio, and since he is a much better player than I am he played both rigs back to back while the rest of his band, and a half-dozen others watched. General consensus was his rig did sound better (I hope so for 10 times the money) Next he played both rigs back to back with drums,vocals, and bass (kick, snare, and 2 overhead mics on the drums) Still everyone agreed his rig was the winner (by a smaller margin) Then I asked them which rig they would rather drag to a bar gig and cram onto a tiny stage! Or an outdoor gig in Florida! That, my friends is the biggest difference between tubes and Solid State!
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:35 PM   #20
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Yeah, although my Line 6 Flextone II XL was probably the heaviest amp I ever owned, even heavier than my current Marshall 2 x 12 tube amp and the floorboard was as big as my pedalboard. But you ain't wrong about the ease of carting a modelling amp with built in fx. Plus the fact that in the heat of battle, when you're up to your ears in muck & bullets, in a crowded room with poor acoustics and with a crowd who really don't care a toss about your guitar tone it could be argued that any differences in tone really don't matter
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