Tube vs. Solid state

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boxofrocks
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Tube vs. Solid state

Post by boxofrocks »

Do you prefer tube or solid state? and why?

Solid state ...
I really can't tell that much difference in tone between the two, so I usually take whats cheap and sounds good. Tube is overrated against a really good high end solid state IMO...
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Post by Garr »

I think this is better suited here since it doesn't directly discuss a local band.

My preference is based on the type of music I'll be playing. For my rock stuff, I prefer a solid state with shloads of effects options. Blues, just give me a Blue VooDoo and a channel switcher.
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Post by bassjones »

for bass, I prefer a tube pre with a solid state power section, although I'm really digging the new hi-fi solid state bass amps a lot - markbass, EA, Epifani, etc... really quick response.
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Post by LC Pwince »

For me, tubes are the way to go. A high end tube amp will smoke a high end solid state amp (IMHO) any day of the week. NOTHING beats a good old tube Marshall or Fender. There's a reason that all of those modeling amps have dozens of variations on the best tube amps. I've had several solid state amps, from combos up to half stacks. Once I bought my Marshall about 15 years ago (a sweet JMP master volume from 1976, thank you very much), I've not been happy with anything else. I've had her retubed a few times, but she has never let me down. Ever.
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Post by adam atherton »

LC Pwince wrote: A high end tube amp will smoke a high end solid state amp (IMHO) any day of the week

true.


our lead guitar player and i, however, both play Tech 21 Trademarks, which are analog....and they sound amazing. better than (almost) any tube amp i've played, and literally 50 pounds lighter.

i sold an amazing Peavey Delta Blues to get on the Trademark train......worth every penny.
boxofrocks
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Post by boxofrocks »

What about running a tube pre thru a SS amp, I've heard great things about that. I just picked up an tube pre on eBay to try it out...
I've also heard great things about the tech21... Sansamp is amazing I would imagine the amps rock..
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Post by bassjones »

boxofrocks wrote:What about running a tube pre thru a SS amp, I've heard great things about that. I just picked up an tube pre on eBay to try it out...
I've also heard great things about the tech21... Sansamp is amazing I would imagine the amps rock..
Best of both worlds.
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Post by AcousticPimp »

TUBE!!!!!!! Tube Amps, Analog Effects, and lot's of soul. Solid state is alright for practice when theres nothing else available but you can't beat a good fender clean tube tone.

I play through a Fender 63' Vibroverb Reissue, discont. in the mid 90's
Mine goes to 11
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Post by natewright »

Depends on the application for me.

Personally, the only time I'd consider a SS amp would be high gain metal, as the dynamics and response of a tube amp could/can supplanted by the fast attack and sheer gain of a SS amp. There's a reason Ampeg VH140C's and Randall RG's and such are more reknowned in those circles.

For rock, country or whatever else, SS just doesn't have the nuances, sag or feel of a tube amp, IMO.

Modeling amps are a good compromise, but I only like the higher end ones. A Spider isn't going to come near what a Vetta or HD147 can do, but the price difference is huge.

But, anyone who has half a clue as to how to get good tones can make anything work. I think SS gets such a bad rap becuase the technology is just cheaper to produce...i.e. the regular joe can afford it. As such, the regular joe may not be as versed or experienced on the instrument to fine tune his sound for a good tone, so you get that icepick to the ears SS tone, or the good ol' scooped mids tone leaving crappy muddy bass and screaming highs.
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Post by natewright »

Garr wrote:I think this is better suited here since it doesn't directly discuss a local band.

My preference is based on the type of music I'll be playing. For my rock stuff, I prefer a solid state with shloads of effects options. Blues, just give me a Blue VooDoo and a channel switcher.
Haha, a Blue VooDoo, for blues?

:shock:
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Post by therecordinghouse »

although i prefer a good tube amp, i have some solid state amps that really get some good clean tones. imo, a tube preamp paired with a solid state power section is kinda a lost cause. the tube "feel" has more to do with the power tubes than the pre tubes. bass guitar is a totally different story however. 8)
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Post by natewright »

therecordinghouse wrote:although i prefer a good tube amp, i have some solid state amps that really get some good clean tones. imo, a tube preamp paired with a solid state power section is kinda a lost cause. the tube "feel" has more to do with the power tubes than the pre tubes. bass guitar is a totally different story however. 8)
depends on the amp, IMO. Power tube breakup for the most part is still only really noticeable on lower wattage tube amps.

If someone is playing with a good amount of gain on a 100 watt amp, you're not hearing much power tube breakup, unless it's at ear splitting levels (which in a studio scenario it may be). So, most of the tube sound comes from the preamp if you are using a good amount of gain. The funniest thing I hear dudes say is that their new amp with KT88 tubes "sounds so sweet with the power tube breakup of the KT88's". Then they play their 120+ watt amp on 2... :?

Thus the reason, IMO, that a SS amp can sound nice with cleans...not nearly as much gain to deal with. And, if you are playing a tube amp pretty clean, again, it's not getting power tube breakup (otherwise it wouldn't be "really clean").

I'm come from a metal background, though, so words like clean, low wattage, etc. are not common to our vocab! :P

In the scenario of a modern metal dood, preamp gain is where it's at. Generally, cranking the amp to get power tube breakup results in a looser, muddier tone, which wreaks havoc on 200bpm staccato riffs!
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therecordinghouse
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Post by therecordinghouse »

the above is true, i was definately thinking in the 5-30 watt range, but, the word "tube" has certainly become a gimmick. you really have to be careful with amps advertising "tube this", "valve that". i recall, although not a guitar amp, a certain behringer mic pre called a "tube preamp". the tube was visible on the front panel. the glow was romantic enough to give anyone a warm fuzzy feeling inside. however, if you remove the top panel and have a look, there is a nice little LED behind the tube contributing to that glow. there was barely enough voltage running through the tube to make it glow, so they had to compensate. successful marketing i guess. all that to say that amps advertising a tube preamp with SS output are more likely to be a gimmick than a full tube amp, specially in the lower price register.. but hey, if it sounds good, it is good... right? :P
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Post by bassjones »

therecordinghouse wrote:the above is true, i was definately thinking in the 5-30 watt range, but, the word "tube" has certainly become a gimmick. you really have to be careful with amps advertising "tube this", "valve that". i recall, although not a guitar amp, a certain behringer mic pre called a "tube preamp". the tube was visible on the front panel. the glow was romantic enough to give anyone a warm fuzzy feeling inside. however, if you remove the top panel and have a look, there is a nice little LED behind the tube contributing to that glow. there was barely enough voltage running through the tube to make it glow, so they had to compensate. successful marketing i guess. all that to say that amps advertising a tube preamp with SS output are more likely to be a gimmick than a full tube amp, specially in the lower price register.. but hey, if it sounds good, it is good... right? :P
Again this is not really applicable to bass amps. There are several high quality mid-priced bass amps with a tube pre/solid state power section. Examples include SWR, Ampeg, Eden, Hartke, etc... The ampeg tube pres have multiple tubes in them as well, while most have a single tube (typically a 12AX7).

I'm actually going away from any tube at all in my next rig, as I'm wanting a really quick hi-fi type response. The new solid state amps are much "warmer" sounding as well.
"brad!
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Post by therecordinghouse »

bassjones, i agree. bass is just different. probably has to do with where the fundamental frequency range of the bass is as opposed to a guitar. also, tubes breaking up for a bass guitar is not always a desired effect.
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