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Old 01-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
ramonfr9
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Valve + Solid State

Hi there,

I like to play a heavy sound with a lot of distortion.

I'm wiling to buy a new amp head which has a good drive built in.

Well, I wanted to buy a combo instead of an amp head, but a combo is way too big for an airplane travel, but an amp head isn't. I'm living in another country now and I want to take the amp head with me when I go back.

I've been thinking of buying one of these 2 head amps: Marshall JVM410HCF or Line 6 Spider Valve MKII HD 100.

I guess both are valve amp heads, right?

So, here comes the problem: I will buy a Line6 Spider IV when I go back home, which is a good solid state amp and it's affordable in my country. If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?

I guess this is a dumb question, but it's the first time I'm going to buy a decent amp, and they are pretty expensive, I don't wanna make any mistake.

Cheers.

Last edited by ramonfr9 : 01-03-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Of those, get the Marshall. I have no idea why you would think the Spider is anywhere close to being in the same league.

Obviously you're new here - read the stickies. Provide the requested information and we can make recommendations for you. It's possible neither are suitable for you.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
Hi there,

I like to play a heavy sound with a lot of distortion.


ASG hybris

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
Well, I wanted to buy a combo instead of an amp head, but a combo is way too big for an airplane travel, but an amp head isn't. I'm living in another country now and I want to take the amp head with me when I go back.


you will still need a cabinet to play the head. but a head is a good choice in that closed back cabs are generally preferred for most modern high gain.

have you thought of anything like computer modeling, DSP, multi-effects, or a hardware solution like Axe-FX? this type of approach seems like it would be favorable for your situation.

what will you be using the head for? practice? gigs? jamming with friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
I've been thinking of buying one of these 2 head amps: Marshall JVM410HCF or Line 6 Spider Valve MKII HD 100.

I guess both are valve amp heads, right?


the marshall would be considered 'valve', the line 6 would be considered a hybrid valve/DSP amp. i consider the marshall to be a but overpriced as well, i think you could get better for cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
So, here comes the problem: I will buy a Line6 Spider IV when I go back home, which is a good solid state amp and it's affordable in my country. If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?


valve amps will need a 'load' or speaker in order for them to work safely. you can't just take a tube amp's speaker out and plug it into any amp... you'd need a cabinet. there are some 'load boxes' that act like a speaker so you could plug that into the speaker out of a valve amp and then the load box will have a 'line out' you could plug into other devices... but this is an convoluted solution, requiring more equipment than you need in the first place.

you could just keep a 1x12 at home to plug your head into. you could also go the digital route for convenience.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
tubetime86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
I guess both are valve amp heads, right?

Not really. The Marshall is a tube amp, the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?

Why would you plug one amp into another? My guess is you mean plugging a tube amp into a solid state speaker cabinet. It doesn't work that way though. Speaker cabinets aren't tube or solid state... They're just speaker cabinets.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tubetime86
Not really. The Marshall is a tube amp, the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.



Actually no, the SV has a tube pre as well. It just has a SS modeling section before that. (a pre-preamp?)
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetime86
the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


OP, an amp head is rarely much lighter or smaller than a combo, other than in height, and only the smallest heads are really safe to stick on a plane. You certainly can't take an amp head on board with you as hand luggage, and anything you have checked to the hold will be thrown about, crushed and subjected to unpredictable moisture and temperature. That's besides many airlines refusing to allow such things on board.

In short, do not bank on taking a valve amp on a plane. A solid state amp may fare better as they're lighter and ever so slightly tougher, but even then, it's a fair risk.

Buying things in one country and taking them back home with you isn't that easy anyway, as you'll be subject to all manner of customs taxes.

You also can not plug a valve amp into a solid state amp. Valve amp heads need to be plugged into a speaker cabinet.


If you can buy a Spider IV easily and cheaply where you live then you can also buy a Spider Valve there; any Line 6 dealer can order one in for you. So if your heart is set on valves, just do that.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


You sure about that, because that's not reflected in the signal diagram?
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:01 PM   #8
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Oh whoops, didn't know the SV was tube pre also. My bad... But either way it's a hybrid.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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It's not really a 'hybrid', either. For all intents and purposes, it's like getting a valve amp and sticking an HD500 in front of it with a few pedals in the effects loop. In theory it could operate without any of the digital stuff at all, it's just that sadly they don't give you this option (bizarre, since you can use the DT amps with the modelling stuff turned off). So it's a kind of... hybrid hybrid. Quarter hybrid? Somesuch like that.

And yes, the digital stuff can come in anywhere. Mostly the modelling comes first and the effects come between the preamp and power stages, but if you dick about with the in-depth preset tools via MIDI, you can move stuff around. It's not quite as flexible as the new DT & HD integration, or what the old Vetta II could do, but it's more than your common Spider IV.

I still would not argue that the Spider Valve is a nicer amp than the Marshall JVM, I think it's a no-brainer than the JVM is going to sound nicer in 99% of situations, but the Spider Valve certainly is misunderstood. I think if they had dropped the 'Spider' name it'd have a better reputation.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
It's not really a 'hybrid', either. For all intents and purposes, it's like getting a valve amp and sticking an HD500 in front of it with a few pedals in the effects loop. In theory it could operate without any of the digital stuff at all, it's just that sadly they don't give you this option (bizarre, since you can use the DT amps with the modelling stuff turned off). So it's a kind of... hybrid hybrid. Quarter hybrid? Somesuch like that.

And yes, the digital stuff can come in anywhere. Mostly the modelling comes first and the effects come between the preamp and power stages, but if you dick about with the in-depth preset tools via MIDI, you can move stuff around. It's not quite as flexible as the new DT & HD integration, or what the old Vetta II could do, but it's more than your common Spider IV.

I still would not argue that the Spider Valve is a nicer amp than the Marshall JVM, I think it's a no-brainer than the JVM is going to sound nicer in 99% of situations, but the Spider Valve certainly is misunderstood. I think if they had dropped the 'Spider' name it'd have a better reputation.


If you plug your guitar directly to the rear panel Power Amp in, it does exactly that as I understand it. (It goes through the tube pre and power amps, regardless of the nomenclature)

I'm still unconvinced about your signal path description, but it's not worth arguing about.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
ramonfr9
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Thank you for your answers and sorry for my newbieness, I've never had an amp head before, so I didn't know if it could be pluged in another amp or whatever.

It's good to know that a cabinet is only a cabinet and can't be classified in solid state, valve, etc...

So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?


Short answer: A Lot.

Long Answer: A Lot.

Cabinet design, construction quality and most importantly, speakers used, play a huge part in the final sound from an amp.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #13
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A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
It's not really a 'hybrid', either.


what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.


oh thank god, someone who isn't posturing

+1

@flibble: you've argued the most unimportant points on this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?


depends. i have picked up some pretty cheap cabinets and changed speakers and had some success. but a good cabinet will get the most out of your head, it can be like night and day between a good cabinet and a poor one.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.


Wouldn't that make any tube amp with a boost pedal in front of it a 'hybrid' of sorts?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just not sure how appropriate the moniker is?
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Arby911
Wouldn't that make any tube amp with a boost pedal in front of it a 'hybrid' of sorts?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just not sure how appropriate the moniker is?


way i see it is that it is hard to define exactly what a hybrid is.

if an amp incorporates more than one basic technology (tube, SS, DSP) then it uses hybrid technology (valves, transistors, opamps, micro processors).

if the maker sticks a micro processor in the signal path of a tube amp, i consider it a hybrid.

if you stick boost in front of an amp... well hell, i'll let you name it.

but yes, when you start thinking about all the different crap we put in the signal chain of our amps then there is hardly any rig out there that isn't some kinda 'hybrid' rig.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #17
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A boost pedal in front of a tube amp isn't contained in the same unit. It is however a hybrid system so in a way yes - but the pedal isn't part of the amp. It's a hybrid system but not a hybrid amp, if you get my meaning.
Can you use the tube preamp part without the solid state part? If you can't then it's one component not two as is the case with a pedal. If the tube and SS sections of the preamp of a spider valve cannot be separated then it is a hybrid preamp. That seems pretty clear cut and beyond interpretation. If you can bypass the SS part entirely then I'll concede that there's some grey area, if not then it is a clear cut case.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
A boost pedal in front of a tube amp isn't contained in the same unit. It is however a hybrid system so in a way yes - but the pedal isn't part of the amp. It's a hybrid system but not a hybrid amp, if you get my meaning.
Can you use the tube preamp part without the solid state part? If you can't then it's one component not two as is the case with a pedal. If the tube and SS sections of the preamp of a spider valve cannot be separated then it is a hybrid preamp. That seems pretty clear cut and beyond interpretation. If you can bypass the SS part entirely then I'll concede that there's some grey area, if not then it is a clear cut case.


Yes.

I agree with your clarification, thanks!
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #19
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Amazing. Correcting misinformation is now "posturing" and "arguing". Bless you, internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonfr9
So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?
Your speakers are almost as important as the amp itself. Everything has to come through those speakers, so it's vital they're as good as can be and voiced appropriately for the sort of tone you want. It's always smarter to buy a decent amp with a good speaker cab than it is to buy a really amazing amp with a bad cab. A bad cab can make even the most expensive, professional guitar and amp sound cheap and terrible.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Amazing. Correcting misinformation is now "posturing" and "arguing". Bless you, internet.


you come in here and immediately post this crap

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


coming out the gate ready to 'correct' someone based on some shit you believe. immediately trying to establish yourself at the expense of someone else.

he was not 'incorrect', he just had a different view on it than you. shit like that garners no respect from me.

besides, did you ever look at the schematic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911
You sure about that, because that's not reflected in the signal diagram?
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