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#1
I was wondering if there is some way to make your tube amp sound good. Mine sounds fine with the pedals i have and the tubes i put in it. But what bugs me is the fact that I can go into a guitar center or any store that sells tube amps and plug into a Mesa Boogie Roadking, or Peavey 6505+ or Krank Krankenstien or Rev. Or and Marshall or Mesa or any higher "quality" tube amp and they sounds like ****. I mean I sit there for a while and crank up the volume to push the tubes and tweak the eq and they still sound horrible. Is that from poor to no maintainence or is there something I'm missing because every tube amp that my friends and I play that are just simple and straight guitar into amp, sound terrible and we can get a better tone out of a solid state. Why is that?
#2
It is just a lack of really cranking it/ lack of correct EQ. You could just not like the tube tone, but the likelihood of you playing through all of those amps and not liking the tone is very small. Some amps at stores are just plain bad because of old/crappy tubes and abuse. Some are biased cold and won't sound warm and full. Idk, it could be a lot of reasons really.
#3
What cab/speakers do you use when you plug them in? Definently check out the speakers and make sure they arent the "designed by (insert celestion/tone tubby/weber/etc. here)"

I dont know if theres a trick to them, make sure that they have good tubes that arent used to ****. Do you warm up the tubes first?

The poor maintainence will also be a factor, imagine letting anybody play an amp without having to know much more than "Hey look the on swtich, theres teh sTaRp0w3rz knob!! Leaving amps on standby all day still wears out the tubes, some places do that which obviously isnt good.

The last thing that I'm going to say is your playing. Im not being a dick, but you have to be able to play something to make an amp sound good.
*I dont know how good you are so please dont flame me out if you are in fact decent at playing*
#4
Not enough seat time, amps not loud enough depending on the amp, wrong speakers, worn tubes, abused amp and so on...

A side note... I had a string of bad luck with 6505+'s for over a year, one out of about 10 sounded good the others sounded horrible. And I had great luck with 5150's and 6505's everyone of them sounded great so I new something had to be up. Finally pulled the trigger and the one I purchased sounds great. It happens... And for no rhyme or reason..
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Jan 6, 2009,
#5
Two very distinct sciences actually mistakingly blended, one's called taste, the other's called sucking.

To get those great old sounds you should try pushing the clean channel all the way up volume-wise and letting to void any other gain knob or whatever else, that's called tube saturation, and that's exactly why some say tube amps are louder, they're at their best when cranked.

If THAT fails (try it with a readily try-able amp that's decent enough, like a peavey classic 30 or a fender hot rod deluxe, the first's got el-family tubes, more british, the latter's got 6l6, cleaner and very distinct overdrive which responds better to single coils IMO). Well if it fails you really don't like tube sounds or really suck at what you do.
I love music, if music would be a girl then I'd date her, until then let's get back on Earth
#6
Quote by jarudy
What cab/speakers do you use when you plug them in? Definently check out the speakers and make sure they arent the "designed by (insert celestion/tone tubby/weber/etc. here)"

I dont know if theres a trick to them, make sure that they have good tubes that arent used to ****. Do you warm up the tubes first?

The poor maintainence will also be a factor, imagine letting anybody play an amp without having to know much more than "Hey look the on swtich, theres teh sTaRp0w3rz knob!! Leaving amps on standby all day still wears out the tubes, some places do that which obviously isnt good.

The last thing that I'm going to say is your playing. Im not being a dick, but you have to be able to play something to make an amp sound good.
*I dont know how good you are so please dont flame me out if you are in fact decent at playing*


that last point is very true.

how high do you have the volume? i mean, it doesnt have to be cranked by any means, but if you have it too low (ie below 1.5 on most amps) it will sound kinda lame.
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#7
I hear ya. Without effects or modeling the amps sound really good but a little flat. Its actually clarity rather than it being flat. I have an ampeg vt-40 that I wouldnt want to use without adding something to the equation to add distortion when I need it.

This is why I got a spider valve 212. It sounds a hell of alot better than a spider and has all the effects.

Certainly playing and skill comes above everything else but theres a reason not a lot of players just roll out on stage with a guitar and an amp.

Also, playing at the volume you need to make a good amp sound great may not be an option for a kid at home with rents or us married folk. I have a ss amp I use just for practice that works fine for me.
Last edited by DILtron3000 at Jan 6, 2009,
#8
hey, you know what, the guy's right.

I plugged into my old ss the other day and it was just so much . . . blander than the tube amps im used to! the distortion was so flat and lifeless just like i like it, and hardly reacted to different pickups or playing styles at all!

who wouldn't want that?
#9
a few possibilities:
1. poor maintence, GC has too much stuff, and they dont have time and money to switch out tubes and fix things when dumbasses come and ruin everything
2. you were using too much gain, 60 percent of the threads i see where it says "d00d, i tried out (insert high end metal amp here) and it s0und3d so gh3i" were caused because the guy was using a very high gain amp were he only needed his gain at 4 but he had it all the way up.

what amp do you have?
periphery/bulb!

gear:
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Peavey 5150 mk ii & b52 4x12 cab

line 6 podxt for recording

Quote by AsOneIStand
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#10
When you say, they don't sound good around 1.5 or usually even higher than that, does that mean, the channel volume is cranked to max, but the amp's max volume is only 1.5? And the great tone usually kicks in where? 5ish?
#11
Quote by shoolocomous
hey, you know what, the guy's right.

I plugged into my old ss the other day and it was just so much . . . blander than the tube amps im used to! the distortion was so flat and lifeless just like i like it, and hardly reacted to different pickups or playing styles at all!

who wouldn't want that?

so which one do you prefer?
#12
I played a 6105+ for a while at GC and it sounded like doodoo. The tubes musta been on their way out because it was not br00t4l at all. Had gain on 7 and post on 5 which should be UBER LOUD and UBER br00t4l but it wasn't loud nor brutal. Shame cause i wanna see what all the rage about the 6105s are.

On the other hand, i played some kind of Bad cat amp and also a blackstar HT-5 and both were focking sick
My gear:
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~!~--Peavey XXX super 40 EFX --~!~
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===JJ power tubes

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#13
i dont think any of these is the case. i dont think you really know what sounds "good". i mean its not an insult, its just once your ears are trained more you will realize it. your little line 6 spider bull**** in your room may sound a glassy and gainy and awesome, but really in a recording studio or even live band situation really doesnt hold up. these amps do a great job at fooling you. real tube amps arent easy to play, and definitely dont sound like what your used to. if these amps really sounded like crap everyone would be using ss amps on every recorded ever, not the other way around. be open minded and just keep listening. one day your just gonna plug into one of these amps and be like "****, my ss amp sounds lik ballz!"
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#14
Well, to put it harshly, it in my experience, people like solid states at first because they cover up mistakes, because the lack clarity and note definition etc.

Thats why they always say, tube amps make you a better player.

Either that, or just you simply dont like the tone.
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#15
Quote by DaddyBarbs
I played a 6105+ for a while at GC and it sounded like doodoo. The tubes musta been on their way out because it was not br00t4l at all. Had gain on 7 and post on 5 which should be UBER LOUD and UBER br00t4l but it wasn't loud nor brutal. Shame cause i wanna see what all the rage about the 6105s are.

On the other hand, i played some kind of Bad cat amp and also a blackstar HT-5 and both were focking sick


Calling BS..or you are jus deaf. 5 on a 6505 is a death sentance.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#16
Quote by dcdossett65
Well, to put it harshly, it in my experience, people like solid states at first because they cover up mistakes, because the lack clarity and note definition etc.

Thats why they always say, tube amps make you a better player.

Either that, or just you simply dont like the tone.



On the other hand a lot of ss amps are so muddy, like my spider II, that they make you sound worse. As soon as I moved to tube amps everyone in my house was a lot happier and I felt my practice had been paying off. Just couldnt hear it before.
#17
Quote by DILtron3000
On the other hand a lot of ss amps are so muddy, like my spider II, that they make you sound worse. As soon as I moved to tube amps everyone in my house was a lot happier and I felt my practice had been paying off. Just couldnt hear it before.


Well yeah, those suck. Im talking more along the lines of the nicer randall SS amps.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
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F/S:
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Orange PPC412
#19
Woah. I'm not saying I like SS amps, I personally hate them. But my friends could get more distortion and gain out of the SS they tried and they sounded cleaner and more prnounced than the Tubes they had there. Yes I know how to play proficiently, but I'm not Petrucci or anything. No I do not crank the gain up at first, nor do I with volume. I start out with both around 2-4. Then I crank it up to 5-7. Finally if I can take the overload of loudness, I push it to 8-9 on volume, never to the max though, that could **** the speakers up. Gain itself I alternate depending on what I'm looking for (Vintage vs. Modern) but I never max gain out. My comfort zone is 5-8 on gain. Only max it when I'm playing more extreme metal/bands that use distortion to cover up sub-par playing.
#21
Its prob just what your use to. After you spent some more time with a good tube amp and then tried to go back to the ss you would hear what the ss is actually putting out there.
#22
Btw, a good solid state will be tighter and cleaner with ridiculous amounts of gain than most tubes, especially tube amps of comparable price.

Also, take a look at what pickups you're using and what cab you're using. Cabs and speakers have a huge effect on the tone.
#23
True but if you get a good amp, say a Fender EVH III, or a Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ or Mark IV with a good set up, i.e. effect processor/pedal, and stomp boxes or rack gear. It can't get any better.
#25
Quote by SCopeland24
True but if you get a good amp, say a Fender EVH III, or a Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ or Mark IV with a good set up, i.e. effect processor/pedal, and stomp boxes or rack gear. It can't get any better.



a) yes it can
b) that first sentence doesn't even make sense
#26
I'm gonna propose this answer.

You don't like tube amps because you're young. Your ears are not trained enough to know the difference between good tone and bad tone. Your ears are too young to appreciate mid range frequencies. Your ears prefer the ear piercing sound of solid state amps because that's what young ears think sounds good.
#27
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
I'm gonna propose this answer.

You don't like tube amps because you're young. Your ears are not trained enough to know the difference between good tone and bad tone. Your ears are too young to appreciate mid range frequencies. Your ears prefer the ear piercing sound of solid state amps because that's what young ears think sounds good.


I'm gonna propose that you're being condescending and annoying.

It's not about age. It probably has more to do with how he's setting it up/what cabs etc he's playing through. Or maybe he has different taste.
Last edited by Say Ocean at Jan 6, 2009,
#28
Quote by Say Ocean
I'm gonna propose that you're being condescending and annoying.

It's not about age. It probably has more to do with how he's setting it up/what cabs etc he's playing through. Or maybe he has different taste.



? how was that condescending and annoying? or better yet, how was that more condescending than saying that he doesnt know how to set up his gear right?

EDIT: ah, i see the condescending SS comment there, my bad

anyway, i'm thinking taht years spent playing may actually play a big role in this. it took me about a year and a half before i could really tell the difference between my spider and other amps. i even thot that my spider sounded better than my friend's marshall triple-lead half-stack for the longest time.

now, i know much much much better
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



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Last edited by bored_maniac33 at Jan 6, 2009,
#29
Quote by bored_maniac33
? how was that condescending and annoying? or better yet, how was that more condescending than saying that he doesnt know how to set up his gear right?

EDIT:ah, i see the condescending SS comment there, my bad

anyway, i'm thinking taht years spent playing may actually play a big role in this. it took me about a year and a half before i could really tell the difference between my spider and other amps. i even thot that my spider sounded better than my friend's marshall triple-lead half-stack for the longest time.

now, i know much much much better



It's condescending because he's saying he is too young to know better, which is an insult to other people around his age. It would be more accurate to say inexperienced. Age=/=experience, knowledge, taste, ear, skill etc.


edit: and yeah, apparently he's too inexperienced to realize that not all solid state amps are marshall mg's.
Last edited by Say Ocean at Jan 6, 2009,
#30
Quote by Say Ocean
It's condescending because he's saying he is too young to know better, which is an insult to other people around his age. It would be more accurate to say inexperienced. Age=/=experience, knowledge, taste, ear, skill etc.


ok, i see your point.
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



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#31
Quote by Say Ocean
I'm gonna propose that you're being acondescending and annoying.

It's not about age. It probably has more to do with how he's setting it up/what cabs etc he's playing through. Or maybe he has different taste.


Give me a break. Beginning guitar players scoop their mids because they think it sounds better. It's more difficult to get a really deep scoop and have the same cut from a tube amp. It's beneficial to know that the more you play and train your ears the more you're going to enjoy having complex midrange tone.

Pipe down before I really become condescending and annoying.
#32
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
Give me a break. Beginning guitar players scoop their mids because they think it sounds better. It's more difficult to get a really deep scoop and have the same cut from a tube amp. It's beneficial to know that the more you play and train your ears the more you're going to enjoy having complex midrange tone.

Pipe down before I really become condescending and annoying.


Has nothing to do with age. It's experience. Once they play with other musicians, they realize that guitar is a mid-range instrument.
#33
Quote by Say Ocean
Has nothing to do with age. It's experience. Once they play with other musicians, they realize that guitar is a mid-range instrument.


Inexperienced musicians tend to be teenagers who want to learn their favorite heavy metal tunes.
#34
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
Give me a break. Beginning guitar players scoop their mids because they think it sounds better. It's more difficult to get a really deep scoop and have the same cut from a tube amp. It's beneficial to know that the more you play and train your ears the more you're going to enjoy having complex midrange tone.

Pipe down before I really become condescending and annoying.


um....ive never done that......and i'm pretty much a noob.

i agree, playing longer gives you a better ear, but yea, you cant jsut lump all beginners in the same group.

besides scooped mids can be pretty fregin awesome. Ask John Mayer or Stevie Ray Vaughn
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



Christian Guitarists
A Weekly Devotional
#35
Quote by bored_maniac33
um....ive never done that......and i'm pretty much a noob.

i agree, playing longer gives you a better ear, but yea, you cant jsut lump all beginners in the same group.

besides scooped mids can be pretty fregin awesome. Ask John Mayer or Stevie Ray Vaughn


Next time I see them I'll ask.
#36
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
Inexperienced musicians tend to be teenagers who want to learn their favorite heavy metal tunes.



I think we're using different words for the same thing


I just get defensive when people try to lump all of us teenagers into the same group.

I also think it's ironic that people make fun of teenager's ****ty gear, and then make fun of ones who buy good gear
#37
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
Inexperienced musicians tend to be teenagers who want to learn their favorite heavy metal tunes.


Excuse me? Are you for cereal?
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
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#38
Ok.
a. I know how to set up my gear.
b. Yes I know what a good tone sounds like. Just because I'm 18 and not 48 and been playing for decades doesn't mean I don't know what a good amp sounds like. My modded B-52 ST-6012 sounded better than a Boogie I played at GC and I payed about half as much for the B-52.
#39
Quote by TubeAmpGuy
Next time I see them I'll ask.


....could you also get their autograph?? especially stevie. cause like the whole dead guy signing an autograph would be pretty freaking amazing and probly worth a good bit of money.

but yea, they scoop their mids. check out john mayer's sig fender. it's pickups are basically pre-scooped.
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



Christian Guitarists
A Weekly Devotional
#40
Quote by Say Ocean
I think we're using different words for the same thing


I just get defensive when people try to lump all of us teenagers into the same group.

I also think it's ironic that people make fun of teenager's ****ty gear, and then make fun of ones who buy good gear


I'm not making fun of anyone... perhaps I was a little blunt but I don't like to dance around a point. I don't care what anyone uses or plays but if they have a desire to sound better I'll point them in the right direction based on the info. they give me.
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