Page 1 of 6
#1
I've heard that SS amps could sound better than tube amps in the future with better technology. But it seems like no companies are jumping on the bandwagon. SS are more reliable, but it seems like companies are only interested in making cheap SS amps (MGs, Vypyrs, Vox). There will (hopefully) be a day when SS amps surpass tube amps. The ISP Theta will hopefully be the first of many. Anyone else agree?
#2
We've had threads like this before.
As far as I know, it's an impossibility in sound physics for a SS amp to replicate the sound of an overdriven valve amp.
I don't think that SS will better valve amps, but I do think that as technology progresses, they'll become more widely used.
Quote by Pookie6
Yngwi3, You win this whole monstrosity of a thread.

Quote by uk.mace
For the best tingle, use Original Source mint. That shit feels amazing on your balls.


Godfather of The Diezel Mafia
#4
The "solid state is more reliable" thing is debatable. When a SS amp is fried, it's pretty much done. Tube amps are much easier to fix and upgrade.
Hey, I'm Mike.
#5
I doubt it; digital circuitry just cant replace the warmth that tubes provides. I'm not a physicist, but I know tubes output sound in even order harmonics, something digital amps are not capable of. No matter how good they make modeling amps, it will never replace tube tone.

Companies HAVE tried to make high quality SS amps (1980's) and in the end tube always wins.
Suhr Custom, Flaxwood Rautia or Grosh Tele thru
HBE Medicine Bawl Wah
Analogman BiComp
Texas Two Step OD
Fulltone Ultimate Octave/Fuzz
Boss CE-2
TC Nova Delay
SLO-100, 65 London or Bogner Shiva
Ask me about any of this stuff!
#6
Actually I think SS Amps did overtake Tube amps, in the 80's. That was the ERA of SS. All due to marketing I believe. But things have returned to the way they should be with Tube amps resting comfortably on top of the world.
Gear:
Ibanez Prestige 1421F
Epi Les Paul Ultra (With SD JB/Jazz pups)
Bugera 120w 333xl 212 combo
Peavey ValveKing 50w 112 combo (Eminence Texas Heat 12" speaker)
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
MXR M108 10 band EQ.
Dunlop Slash Crybaby Wah.
#7
Quote by Thefallofman
The "solid state is more reliable" thing is debatable. When a SS amp is fried, it's pretty much done. Tube amps are much easier to fix and upgrade.

Agreed.
I made this analogy of old/new cars a while back:

Lets say you have a really quite nice SS amp. An ISP or Randall (idk, my SS amp knowledge is limited ). Compare this to a top of the range Mercedes Benz.

Then compare that with a nice valve amp, and imagine that to be...ooh idk... a nice old Austin Healy or something.

The Austin may be slightly more prone to breaking, but if it is, meh. It's not usually a technical problem which is difficult to fix - just change the spark plugs (or valves in the analogy's case).

Now take the Mercedes - it seems more reliable and it's got more buttons than you can throw a stick at. but oh noes! It breaks, just like the Austin did.
The difference is that this is a complicated problem and you need to take it somehow to Mercedes to have them charge you a lot of money for sticking a laptop in it and recalibrating something.

It's swings and roundabouts... both have their pros and their cons. It's up to you, the user to decide which one to choose.

YNGEDIT:
Quote by BadAxxe
Actually I think SS Amps did overtake Tube amps, in the 80's. That was the ERA of SS. All due to marketing I believe. But things have returned to the way they should be with Tube amps resting comfortably on top of the world.

I wasn't around then, so I'm going on second hand info here, but there's so many albums released in the 80's which used JCM800s or the like - in what way were SS more popular?
Quote by Pookie6
Yngwi3, You win this whole monstrosity of a thread.

Quote by uk.mace
For the best tingle, use Original Source mint. That shit feels amazing on your balls.


Godfather of The Diezel Mafia
Last edited by Yngwi3 at Mar 23, 2009,
#8
1980s was a really long time ago. Atari was in the 80s. Now look at Xbox 360 and PS3. The internet barely existed. Look at computers from even 10 years ago. Technology is always improving. We do things that we don't think is possible all the time. The problem is that no one is trying to advance SS technology except for cheap ones.
#9
i actually think the next generation of big bands will be almost entirely solid state driven, if these upcoming musicians don't find their way onto UG. tube amps are nice, but they aren't the be all and end all, and most people are perfectly satisfied with solid state until they get brainwashed by UG.

I want a giggable solid state amp to contrast with my tube amps. I'm starting to like the stiff, hard edged distortion you get from a solid state better than the responsive, smoother toned overdrive you get from tube amps.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#10
I really don't know. I wouldn't use the 1980's as a comparison (my cell phone use to be a brick and now it's Capt Kirk size). I'm pretty impressed with the way amp modeling has gone (just plug into an axe-fx). As prices come down and processing power increases who knows. Once it gets to the point to where only your dog can tell the difference i'd say they succeeded. give them another 10 years.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#11
Quote by Yngwi3
Agreed.
I made this analogy of old/new cars a while back:

Lets say you have a really quite nice SS amp. An ISP or Randall (idk, my SS amp knowledge is limited ). Compare this to a top of the range Mercedes Benz.

Then compare that with a nice valve amp, and imagine that to be...ooh idk... a nice old Austin Healy or something.

The Austin may be slightly more prone to breaking, but if it is, meh. It's not usually a technical problem which is difficult to fix - just change the spark plugs (or valves in the analogy's case).

Now take the Mercedes - it seems more reliable and it's got more buttons than you can throw a stick at. but oh noes! It breaks, just like the Austin did.
The difference is that this is a complicated problem and you need to take it somehow to Mercedes to have them charge you a lot of money for sticking a laptop in it and recalibrating something.

It's swings and roundabouts... both have their pros and their cons. It's up to you, the user to decide which one to choose.


The Mercedes will be a better car. It's faster, and has better gas mileage. The only thing the Austin Healy has over the Mercedes is novelty and it's worth more. Maybe it's easier to fix too. But I don't know much about cars.
Last edited by JELIFISH19 at Mar 23, 2009,
#12
Quote by JELIFISH19
Bad analogy. The Mercedes will be a better car. It's faster, and has better gas mileage. The only thing the Austin Healy has over the Mercedes is novelty and it's worth more. Maybe it's easier to fix too. But I don't know much about cars.

...Analogies can be stretched only so far... look at the analogy in terms of what I was talking about

(Also, if you have a nice Healy, it'll be worth a lot more than a depreciating new Merc )
Quote by Pookie6
Yngwi3, You win this whole monstrosity of a thread.

Quote by uk.mace
For the best tingle, use Original Source mint. That shit feels amazing on your balls.


Godfather of The Diezel Mafia
#13
Also I know they are making SS amps with a tube in it. I think it is just a scam. They need to make a touchscreen amp that would be awesome.
#14
Quote by scott58
I really don't know. I wouldn't use the 1980's as a comparison (my cell phone use to be a brick and now it's Capt Kirk size). I'm pretty impressed with the way amp modeling has gone (just plug into an axe-fx). As prices come down and processing power increases who knows. Once it gets to the point to where only your dog can tell the difference i'd say they succeeded. give them another 10 years.

i think there's 2 completely different discussions going on here because modelling and solid state are 2 completely different things which are often mixed up.

modelling is effectively using digital processes to produce lego-brick emulations of the sound of better amps. I thought we were talking about analog solid state here
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#15
Worth doesn't mean much. If you have an original prototype Les Paul, it would be priceless. But it probably can't compare to a lot of other guitars.

Quote by scott58
I really don't know. I wouldn't use the 1980's as a comparison (my cell phone use to be a brick and now it's Capt Kirk size). I'm pretty impressed with the way amp modeling has gone (just plug into an axe-fx). As prices come down and processing power increases who knows. Once it gets to the point to where only your dog can tell the difference i'd say they succeeded. give them another 10 years.


I'm more interested in the possibilities of SS amps making their own mark. They don't have certain restrictions that tube amps have (tubes). Imagine getting an amp that has can get Soldano and Fender type tones and do them both well. It's hard to think of SS having their own tones since tubes rule the amp world right now.
#16
For me, Solid State amps have already overtaken tube amps in the clean category. And if I say clean, I mean " perfectly clean", and not "bluesy clean".
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Quote by Lord-O-Donuts
Banned for being the coolest April 08'er on UG.


please check out my own album:
almilano.bandcamp.com
#18
Well SS does have it's own tone. It's more crisp i guess i'd call it. I was messing around last night and unplugged from my Vj and plugged into my SS PA. Noticeable difference, but to my ear it's a sterile difference. For some music it could be prefered by some. It's just that tubes add a dimension to the tone SS can't simulate at this point in time.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#19
Quote by scott58
Well SS does have it's own tone. It's more crisp i guess i'd call it. I was messing around last night and unplugged from my Vj and plugged into my SS PA. Noticeable difference, but to my ear it's a sterile difference. For some music it could be prefered by some. It's just that tubes add a dimension to the tone SS can't simulate at this point in time.

you plugged direct into the PA with no preamp? that would be why it sounds sterile. generally the preamp of a solid state guitar amp will add it's own sonic elements which will positively effect the tone of a guitar (to most people's ears, anyway). if you just go direct into a power amp which is designed to just make it louder with as little colouration as possible, then it will sound very dry, bland, sterile...

also, you can beat a roland JC-120. if you want a different clean tone, or if you want distortion. the JC-120 fails at distortion.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#20
Quote by Yngwi3

I wasn't around then, so I'm going on second hand info here, but there's so many albums released in the 80's which used JCM800s or the like - in what way were SS more popular?


I don't have stats or anything, but a lot of the 80's hair bands used SS amps. I will not go as far as saying they were more popular persay, but if there was an era for SS to be on top, it was definitely the era of the 80's. There are a lot of articles that go into SS amps of the 80's, and even talk about how Tube amps were sometimes hard to find and not even a little affordable in the 80's. When the 90's hit, the way of the tubes returned and have stayed there.

Again, not claiming to be an expert, just going off a lot of what I have read, and the little I remember of being a teen in the 80's. WAY to much pot smoked back then to remember in vivid detail. LOL. But I do remember when I would buy my gear back then, the music stores didn't even have tube amps in stock (or no more than one or 2) but SS amps were everywhere.
Gear:
Ibanez Prestige 1421F
Epi Les Paul Ultra (With SD JB/Jazz pups)
Bugera 120w 333xl 212 combo
Peavey ValveKing 50w 112 combo (Eminence Texas Heat 12" speaker)
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
MXR M108 10 band EQ.
Dunlop Slash Crybaby Wah.
#21
A lot of stores only carry what they can sell easily. The GC near me barely has guitars above $1000 except for Gibson and PRS. Amps is a similar situation. The highest end amp they have is a JVM410. The Samash is even worse. Thank god we can order stuff now. My gear would be completely different
#22
Line 6 has some pretty remarkable solid state amps. Id take a Vetta over a lot of tube amps.
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
#23
Yes, SS could 'take over' from tubes because a big part of this industry and what is 'better' is subjective: what's marketable and fashionable.

Tubes may be warmer but they are also slow. As mentioned SS is crisp, fast, and more efficient. All that amp makers would have to do is put some R&D into making some upmarket SS amps and get some top names to endorse them and buyers would come.
#24
Quote by Blompcube
you plugged direct into the PA with no preamp? that would be why it sounds sterile. generally the preamp of a solid state guitar amp will add it's own sonic elements which will positively effect the tone of a guitar (to most people's ears, anyway). if you just go direct into a power amp which is designed to just make it louder with as little colouration as possible, then it will sound very dry, bland, sterile...

also, you can beat a roland JC-120. if you want a different clean tone, or if you want distortion. the JC-120 fails at distortion.


No dude. Variax 700>MXR10 band>SuperPlextortion>Lunar Module>H2O chorus/echo>POD XT Live. I can reconfigure several different ways or run in stereo. This order is the best way for me, but it's the tubes that make the difference. I also have several other SS amps (Vox DA 20, Peavey Transtube, fender FM 25R) The Vj spanks them all. Next up will be the Egnator Rebel 20. Who knows after that.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#25
I dont think they will ever surpass tubes. But they can get pretty close. Again the JC-120.
::Support Our Troops::

To all the men and women in uniform, thank you for serving our country.
We love you. God Bless.
#26
There are plenty of SS amps that do "what they do" as good or better than most tube amps. Vettas, Rolands, Ampegs, Tech 21s. This is a preference in tone thread. People prefer SS, people prefer tubes, thank god/allah/aliens () we don't all like the same stuff.

And: The 80's weren't dominated by SS amps. Not anymore than today is fwiw.
#27
Keep in mind that you're still in modeling territory. This is about SS amps, not SS modeling. There's also tube modeling. Modeling tries to imitate certain amps at cheap prices. You can't expect a $1000 modeling amp to sound like a $2000 Marshall. I do believe modeling can actually do it, but it would be expensive. At that price, you might as well get a real Marshall. Just look at the Axe-FX
#28
I prefer the Vetta II over more tube amps than the other way around.

I give tube amps 5 years at most before SS are 100% able to replicate their feel, not just their tone, which they have already done.

Check out Fractal AxeFX if you're a disbeliever. They record better than any boogie I've heard.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#29
Quote by Blompcube
i actually think the next generation of big bands will be almost entirely solid state driven, if these upcoming musicians don't find their way onto UG. tube amps are nice, but they aren't the be all and end all, and most people are perfectly satisfied with solid state until they get brainwashed by UG.

I want a giggable solid state amp to contrast with my tube amps. I'm starting to like the stiff, hard edged distortion you get from a solid state better than the responsive, smoother toned overdrive you get from tube amps.

I agree with this. I say this all the time, but I actually miss the Insane channel on my old Spider III just because it was useful for a really disgusting distortion sound.

And I think advances in modeling technology will allow them to surpass tubes in much less time than we think.

╠═══════╬═══════╣

Solder fume huffer σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

╠═══════╬═══════╣

Electronic Audio Experiments
#30
Quote by MESAexplorer
I give tube amps 5 years at most before SS are 100% able to replicate their feel, not just their tone, which they have already done.


not gonna happen. they are and have been trying to replicate the tube sound for years with these hybrid amps. I have both and not even close what sounds wayyyyy better.

IF it was possible, the technology is good enough that it would have already shown itself. It is amazing that just because the majority of players still love tube amps over SS and there still is the few that want to argue. I realize it is a personal thing but some peeps just like to argue for the hell of it
R.I.P. Randy Rhoads
#31
Hybrid amps try to imitate expensive tube amps at a much cheaper price. Of course it's not going to sound as good as a tube amp. A good SS modeling rig will cost about the same, maybe even more than the tube amps it models. If I know I'm looking for a Marshall tone, why get a complicated modeling rig when I could just get a real marshall for the same price. That's why modeling fails. The JC-120 is still considered one of the best clean amps even though it's SS. Tubes don't make an amp sound good. Good engineering does. Remember, there are tube amps that sound like crap too.
#32
SS overtaking tubes? Perhaps not, as they are fairly different, by nature.

Modelling amps overtaking tubes? I'd say that they almost certainly will, one day. Just for the fact that technology in computers develops at a pace that completely over shadows tube advances. In fact, most tube amps are not a lot different to how they were 40 or so years ago; so it's a tried and tested method. Modelling might not be quite there yet, but it will be one day.

That's my opinion on the matter.

EDIT: People keep mentioning that they'd rather pay $2,000 on a Marshall than $2,000 on software the replicates it. Potentially, a modelling amp could replicate tones across a whole spectrum of amps - which would make them the most versatile amps on the planet, and actually make them the best value amps available.

Though I'm sure that if some company out there masters the modelling technology that would allow such an amp, you'd be paying out your nose for it.

The beauty of it being that the software itself could be easily pirated and used by the crooked masses!
Last edited by Mathamology at Mar 23, 2009,
#33
I don't really see how solid state amps can 'overtake' them. This is about preference in tone and people usually prefer the tube sound. I'm one of them, and all this about technology 'advancing' dosn't really mean it is advancing really, it means the SS amps are catching up with tubes and by the looks of it they're just trying to get up to the same standard of tubes with all these amp mods they have. That dosn't mean they're gonna overtake them, it means they're still behind and the best they can ever do is replicate but not 100%. The SS amps are using new technology to try to replicate old tech basically.
#34
Quote by madh4ttr
not gonna happen. they are and have been trying to replicate the tube sound for years with these hybrid amps. I have both and not even close what sounds wayyyyy better.

IF it was possible, the technology is good enough that it would have already shown itself. It is amazing that just because the majority of players still love tube amps over SS and there still is the few that want to argue. I realize it is a personal thing but some peeps just like to argue for the hell of it


Your argument is the same worthless **** everyone else posts, "it's not going to happen because it hasn't already". WTF is that?

You're going to say your Bugera sounds better than high end modeling amps? I've owned a Roadking, Mark IV, F-100, Splawn Quickrod, and Framus Dragon... The Vetta is a more impressive amp than all of those. The Fractal Axe FX is better than the Vetta. You can't sit there and say something isn't happening, when more and more guys are dropping their tube amps for some high quality digital amplification.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#36
Quote by MESAexplorer
Your argument is the same worthless **** everyone else posts, "it's not going to happen because it hasn't already". WTF is that?

You're going to say your Bugera sounds better than high end modeling amps? I've owned a Roadking, Mark IV, F-100, Splawn Quickrod, and Framus Dragon... The Vetta is a more impressive amp than all of those. The Fractal Axe FX is better than the Vetta. You can't sit there and say something isn't happening, when more and more guys are dropping their tube amps for some high quality digital amplification.

look here dude, get off your highhorse. Companies have been trying to get that "tube sound" for years with all the technology that we have and players still find that the "tube sound" cannot be emulated. The 40 yr old or so technology still is the choice among guitarists worldwide. Sure, they will figure it out sometime or another but bet it won't be in my lifetime.

BTW, modeling amps suck
R.I.P. Randy Rhoads
#37
Quote by JilaX^
There are already SS amps that sound as good as tube amps...

show me one that is good as Mesa, Matcheless, Hiwatt or any other high end tube
R.I.P. Randy Rhoads
#38
It's not going to happen. This is why companies now are putting tubes in their modeling and solid state amps making them hybrid amps. Like the line 6 valve and tube peavey vypyr. You'll see more and more tubes in amps in the future. Solid state seems to work well in a pre amp if it's a good SS pre amp. But having one tube atleast helps. But basically it's that power amp that makes the tube amp. It gives it the warmth and the loudness. I do think eventually there will be tubes that won't be glass. They already have them but they will be more common and sound better. Kindof like solid state tubes that sound like the glass versions. Technology will keep moving on but I think tubes are going to be around for a long time.
#39
Quote by madh4ttr
look here dude, get off your highhorse. Companies have been trying to get that "tube sound" for years with all the technology that we have and players still find that the "tube sound" cannot be emulated. The 40 yr old or so technology still is the choice among guitarists worldwide. Sure, they will figure it out sometime or another but bet it won't be in my lifetime.

BTW, modeling amps suck


I used to think modeling amps sucked too. But since the vypyr tube came out it changed my opinion. It's still the only one I would own though. But they are getting really good at this. The 6505 model is dead on and the fender twin models sounds so close to the real thing. Before it wasn't even close. Adding a tube power amp on a modeling amp really changes it.