#1
What is the difference in sound of a tube amp with a SS Rectifier and a tube rectifier? Does the SS Rectifier make the amp sound less tubey? And what is "sag"? Does a tube amp with a SS Rectifier like the Twin Reverb RI still provide the natural compression of a tube amp?
Thanks-
#2
All I know, is amps with SS rectifiers have more headroom.
Quote by chip46
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#3
Quote by asdaven
What is the difference in sound of a tube amp with a SS Rectifier and a tube rectifier? Does the SS Rectifier make the amp sound less tubey? And what is "sag"? Does a tube amp with a SS Rectifier like the Twin Reverb RI still provide the natural compression of a tube amp?
Thanks-

Solid State rectifiers provide more headroom, I believe.

Yes, the TR will definitely have the tube amp dynamics, if you can tolerate extreme volumes (over 3 shakes my house).
#4
Yes, i know this. But, what is "sag" and the spongy sound they talk about with tube rectifiers? If it has a SS rectifier, does that mean its not a tube amp even though it has pre-amp and power tubes?
Thanks-
#5
No, an SS rectifier doesn't mean it's now tube, the Twin has an SS, and it's a very popular ALL-TUBE amp.
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
#6
Tube rectifiers are less efficient than SS rectifiers, which means that if you hit a big chord or loud bass note at high volume then the rectifier will take a little bit of time to respond with enough juice to fully amplify the note.
The end result is extra compression, and a blooming or breathing effect to some notes as mentioned above. Due to the inefficiency there's also a voltage drop to the power tubes so there's less headroom and more of an edge to the sound when driven. SS rectifiers sound to sound a little more crisp while a tube rectifier in the same amp strikes me as rounded or mellow.

A tube rectifier is certainly not necessary to the dynamics or sound of a tube amp. Being in the power supply section, the rectifier contributes more to the 'feel' of the amp than to the sound, though it does alter both.
#7
The best way I've heard it described is the note "blossoms", the attack is slow, with an ss rectifier the attack is immediate.
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#8
Kevin, does that describe sag?
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
#9
Yeah, colin description is good too.
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#10
Ok.
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
#11
Quote by Roc8995
Tube rectifiers are less efficient than SS rectifiers, which means that if you hit a big chord or loud bass note at high volume then the rectifier will take a little bit of time to respond with enough juice to fully amplify the note.
The end result is extra compression, and a blooming or breathing effect to some notes as mentioned above. Due to the inefficiency there's also a voltage drop to the power tubes so there's less headroom and more of an edge to the sound when driven. SS rectifiers sound to sound a little more crisp while a tube rectifier in the same amp strikes me as rounded or mellow.

A tube rectifier is certainly not necessary to the dynamics or sound of a tube amp. Being in the power supply section, the rectifier contributes more to the 'feel' of the amp than to the sound, though it does alter both.


Thank you, Roc8995. I've always wanted to know the answer to this question, and this is the best, most clear answer I've ever gotten.
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#12
Another way to say it is the SS rectifiers are more punchy, fast and instant sounding. Tube rectifiers are slower, spongy. If you are a modern high-gain metal player, you want SS rectification. For Classic Rock or dirty blues, Tube rectifiers are great.
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#13
Is the difference between a all tube amp with a SS rectifier and tube rectifier very different? I played on a Twin Reverb which is SS rectifier and a Deluxe Reverb which is tube rectifier and i couldn't really hear or tell much of a difference as far as what you described. The Twin and Deluxe are almost the same thing other than the deluxe is a 1x12 instead of a 2x12 and its less power plus it has tube rectification. So, those would probably be two that would be good to compare to hear the difference between tube and SS rectification? The the original blackface twins have SS rectification? Also, does a tube amp with SS rectification still offer natural compression? Lastly, i heard SS rectification is better for the amp, is this true?
Thanks-
#14
You won't hear the difference until the amps overdriven. All amps have compression, and tubes will compress when overdriven. SS rectifiers themselves will last longer, but I have no idea about the rest of the amp. I think the main draw for SS rectifiers construction wise is you don't have the extra transformer.
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#15
I guess the reason for the twin reverb being almost impossible to overdrive is because the SS rectifier. So, there is no difference between almost identical tube amps with SS and tube rectifiers, when they are clean and not overdriven?
Thanks-
#16
if you really want to compare the sound of tube and SS rectifiers in a way that really lets you hear the difference, go play an amp that has both. i know there are amps (mesa stilletto comes to mind) that you can switch between tube and SS rectifiers. since the amp needs to be turned up, use the ace please (or at least the 50w settings on the others). turn the amp up a good ammount and play, then switch to the other rectification style and play some more. if you cant hear a difference, then dont worry about looking for an amp with one style of the other.
#17
Let me preface my statement with this: I love the sound of a tube rec. It is very dynamic. ACDC, Zepplin, Sabbath sounds: Tube Recs. Love the sound.

Ok now my statement. SS rectifiers are waaaaayyyy more reliable than tube rectifiers. Tube Recs dont burn out like say power tubes, but they are still made of GLASS with a tiny network of extremely thin metal pieces conducting tons of power. Try knocking an amp with a tube rec over on stage and see what happens. I'll tell you, pain happens. If you are lucky then transformer wont blow with the tube and your amp wont become an expensive paperweight. SS rectification is so much more reliable. That said, the main reason to pick one is the reasons that a couple of guys before me said: the sound. And like they said, you will only really hear the sag at high power levels.

To my ear, tube sag sounds a little more organic and natural, but if you are a metal player, words like "organic" and "natural" probably don't enter your vocabulary very often, so you'll want SS.

Here is my last technical explanation: at high power level and playing a power chord, a common SS rectifier can reach full power in .01-.1 seconds...near instantaneously. Under those same conditions a tube rectifier could take anywhere from .3-.5 seconds to reach full power. A half a second is not instantaneous. That is tube sag. It is what causes tube amps to have such a dynamic sound that responds to the playing dynamics and give certain amps that special "feel". That is the best way I can describe it. Hope that helps.
#18
Tube rectifiers are incredible imo, but are not for everyone. The simplest way to define "sag" is that the peak volume of a note is not immediate, meaning you will hit a note and there will be a slight delay in response, it will bloom, peak and then decay, whereas the peak volume of a note on a SS rectified amp is quick and immediate.

That sag will not cut it if you're into fast metal rhythms and the high note bloom will not if you're into very high speed leads.
#19
Quote by asdaven
I guess the reason for the twin reverb being almost impossible to overdrive is because the SS rectifier. So, there is no difference between almost identical tube amps with SS and tube rectifiers, when they are clean and not overdriven?
Thanks-


You can overdrive a twin, it'll just be ridiculously loud.
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#20
One sidenote is that SS diodes frequently put a bit of high-pitched static into the circuit (if you use traditional 4001/4007 diodes). Using ultra-fast recovery diodes (5408s) gets rid of that...one of the reasons people sometimes don't like SS rectos, but you don't really notice it.

Tube rectos don't have that same noise issue.
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#21
Quote by Roxor_Mc0wnage
Let me preface my statement with this: I love the sound of a tube rec. It is very dynamic. ACDC, Zepplin, Sabbath sounds: Tube Recs. Love the sound.


You're covering a broad range of amps when it comes to Page/Zeppelin, many of which were SS rectified including his Marshalls.
#22
Quote by Whole Lotta Led
You're covering a broad range of amps when it comes to Page/Zeppelin, many of which were SS rectified including his Marshalls.


True my friend, true. Perhaps I was hasty in my description. What I was really referring to was sort of the sound of that era of rock. When I think British invasion thru mid-late 70's, I generally think tube recs and it could just be the kind of thing I listen to, but I am far from being an expert. But you were right to call me on that one.
#23
All Marshalls outside of the JTM45 were solid state rectified, so any plexi, jmp, on and on and on were all SS rectified.
#24
Well, I play blues, country and rock, so i know all about warm sounding and organic. Definitely not a metal player. Im just concerned about the SS rectifier in the twin reverb possibly making it sound too solid state. And get an amp like the deluxe which has a tube rectifier. Should this not be a concern? Does the pre-amp and power tube still offer compression that a SS amp does not?
#25
the majority of tube amps are SS rectified, the tone isn't vastly affected by the rectifier, however, as stated earlier, the "feel" of the amp is slightly different.

you will get fantastic tone out of a twin reverb, I prefer them to the deluxe reverbs actually.
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#26
The Deluxe is tube rectified. So, is the super reverb. I like the sound of the Twin Reverb over these, which is SS rectified. And the difference between the Twin and Deluxe is not really much. But, you don't think the SS rectifier in the Twin makes it solid-state sounding or feel like solid-state rather than tube? I know a lot of people say the hot rod series sounds solid-state. But, the twin Reverb is a much more expensive amplifier.
Thanks-
#27
SS rectification doesn't make an amp anything like a solid state amp, you're putting way too much stock in the rectifier. My guess is you like the deluxe more because of the 6V6 tubes, not the tube rectifier, especially if you are getting powertube saturation out of the amp.
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