#1
Okay... I've been playing guitar for a solid two years now and I still don't know exactly what a tube amp has over different models. Is there a difference? Is it sound quality? What?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
Its a different circuit. A solid state amp is always going to respond in exactly a same way. As tubes age their sound changes the current they are hit with affects this too.

when a solid state amp is hit with more than it can handle the excess is simple cut off while it causes distortion in a tube circuit.
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#3
The distortion and overdrive has a more natural sounding tone and the clipping has a soft compression to it causing it to have a more organic sound as opposed to a more harsh clipping sound from transistors. Though some mid range and higher end ss amps have come to sound more natural and "tube like."
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#5
Quote by TechnoLp
Its a different circuit. A solid state amp is always going to respond in exactly a same way. As tubes age their sound changes the current they are hit with affects this too.

when a solid state amp is hit with more than it can handle the excess is simple cut off while it causes distortion in a tube circuit.

What the hell are you smoking? In any case, stop.
In general, tube amps are usually seen as having a warmer sound and are more dynamic. It is also said that when you push tubes harder, the way they clip is more pleasant than the way transistors clip (soft vs. hard clipping). These are the two main differences.

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#6
Tone and volume. Basically a tube amp will have better quality and volume (for example a 40 watt tube amp is probably louder than a 50 watt regular amp) but you have to replace the tubes every so often. That's how I understand it at least, anyone is welcome to correct me
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#7
^ you're half right. Tubes tend to have a more organic sound with is generally more sought after but that doesn't necessarily mean the sound is "better quality" because tone is so subjective. I'd take a SS Line 6 Vetta over a cheap tube amp any day.

Technically speaking, SS amps have better "sound reproduction quality" because they give you clinical reproduced sound which is why people say they are sterile as opposed to the warmer natural "imperfections" of a tube amp.

That's why Hifi receivers are all solid state now because they reproduce the exact sound they are supposed to with minimal colouration (in theory of course lol any audiophiles will grill me here)
Last edited by AxSilentxLine at Nov 9, 2009,
#8
Quote by Jack Darkley
Tone and volume. Basically a tube amp will have better quality and volume (for example a 40 watt tube amp is probably louder than a 50 watt regular amp) but you have to replace the tubes every so often. That's how I understand it at least, anyone is welcome to correct me

The difference in sound level between tube and solid state amps is from the speaker. Tube amps have traditionally been given speakers that are more efficient. A ss amp being played through the same cab as a tube amp of the same wattage will be at about the same sound level, given tube amps will fluctuate.

edit: link for refrence
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Last edited by justinb904 at Nov 9, 2009,
#9
Quote by justinb904
The difference in sound level between tube and solid state amps is from the speaker. Tube amps have traditionally been given speakers that are more efficient. A ss amp being played through the same cab as a tube amp of the same wattage will be at about the same sound level, given tube amps will fluctuate.

edit: link for refrence


So you're saying that an MG100DFX and a Dual Rectifier running through the same 4x12 both with volume on 2 will be the same? My oh my..
#10
Quote by AxSilentxLine
So you're saying that an MG100DFX and a Dual Rectifier running through the same 4x12 both with volume on 2 will be the same? My oh my..

the Dual Rec will sound a thousand times better but the perceived volume will be roughly the same
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#11
I think the extra effect tube amps have on sound pressure after speakers get rounded out makes them significantly louder at high volume. I've played through a spider 3 head in a 4 by 12 line 6 cab and a spider hd75 through the same cab. there was a volume difference even before rounding. This could be the solid state preamp circuit in the spider 3 though.
#12
Quote by Plexi81
I think the extra effect tube amps have on sound pressure after speakers get rounded out makes them significantly louder at high volume. I've played through a spider 3 head in a 4 by 12 line 6 cab and a spider hd75 through the same cab. there was a volume difference even before rounding. This could be the solid state preamp circuit in the spider 3 though.

I think I get what you're saying. Their are always a lot of variables that will affect sound. Tube amps will fluctuate a lot with their output, a 120w rms amp reaching a peak of 300w, while ss amps are a lot more steady with their output. You can definitely make a lot of difference in sound level based on which speakers you use though.
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