Just curious. A lot of metal musicians used solid state for the majority of their careers like Chuck Schuldiner, Dimebag Darrel (both of them used Randall), and I think Kirk Hammett?

Just curious as to why some people even consider solid states when tubes/valves are supposed to be "better". Or maybe I'm missing something.
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There are two main ways of amplifying an electrical signal: valves and transistors. Transistors are far better at pretty much any kind of electrical amplification than valves. Valves are a much older technology and have been superseded by transistors almost everywhere. The only places you still get them is where you can hear them. Guitar amps, and some very expensive hi-fis. This is mainly because of how they respond to being overloaded. Overloading an amp is a very important part of an overdriven (hence the name) or distorted sound, and transistors and valves are quite different in this respect.

When you hit the maximum voltage of a transistor it switches off, and the top of your signal, which should be a nice curve, becomes a flat line. When you hit a valves max voltage the signal keeps rising, but it rounds off more and skews slightly. This switching off is called clipping.

In addition valves distort linearly. What the hell does that mean? It means that as you put more power in the valve distorts in proportion to it until it starts to clip. Transistors show almost no distortion as you increase power until you start to overload them, and they distort exponentially and clip sharply.

Transistor clipping sounds harsh, valve based overdrive sounds warmer and smoother. It's sometimes referred to as more 'musical'.

^ Basically that, but it's opinion at the end of the day. Some people prefer one, some the other.
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Thnx but can you put this into laymen's terms for me?
Currently using:
B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe Jr. V
B.C. Rich Revenge Warlock
Bugera 6262 212 120 Watt amp :

Coming soon:
B.C. Rich Pro X Mockingbird Hardtail
All of those people you mentioned are from metal bands, SS amps generally give a crunchier tone than valve amps, which is a more desirable tone for metal.
there not better.
a cheap amp is a cheap amp.
a nice (often expensive) amp is a nice (often expensive) amp.

it doesnt matter if its solid state or tubes.
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I didn't know tube amps are better then solid-states. I personally think they both have their days.

It's all down to personal preference. I for one love both.

When a tube amp is done right, it will sound good. When a SS amp is done right, it will sound good. Who cares what technoledgy an amp uses? As long as it sounds good at low and at high volumes (some SS do because of huge headrooms), I don't give a damn.
dime at the beginning and end of career used tubes, Kirk I think always used tubes, and Chuck was just really poor at first and couldnt afford a tube amp and he based his tone off of the sound of his marshall valve-state amps, If you play them side by side tho their is a difference, I do find tho that the extremely high gain tube amps are not that much different for high gain ss heads in tone, I also prefer and jazz chorus for clean tones then a fender
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I personally think Dime had the worst tone out of any professional metal musician I've ever heard. But really tubes are generally the better technology when it comes to amps (unless you spend tons on SS, the AxeFx is one example.)
I guess in a way you could think of it this way:
In a solid state amp, when the signal gets boosted (you turn up the gain) it's like the signal hits a big fat rock and distorts.
In a tube amp, when the signal gets boosted it's like the signal hits a big fluffy cloud-like pillow and distorts smoothly and nicely.

EDIT: Horrible analogy
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I would take a Line 6 Vetta over most modern tube amps. I also think the Flextone is one of the best practice and gigging amps around.

Swings and roundabouts.
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A lot of people prefer tube amps because they sound like tube amps. Tough to explain, but it's all a matter of your own idea of good tone.
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Tubes have softer clipping which gives that lovely power tube saturation sound... think blues-rock/classic rock, whatever you like to call it.

Tube amps are also fairly easy to fix, whereas transistor amps can be a total bitch to fix.

Also it is possible to have terrible tone with both tubes and transistors. Dimebag Darrel had God-awful tone, but I also think that several Metallica albums sound like absolute trash.
Tube amps are also fairly easy to fix, whereas transistor amps can be a total bitch to fix.

Tube amps require more maintainance though. You don't have to replace transistors. If you know how to solder SS amps aren't particularly difficult. There's a lot of "Solid State" components in modern tube amps too.
I'm more and more thinking that it's down to the fact that most SS amps are cheap and most Tube amps are expensive. It's also easier at least these days to make a cheap tube amp that sounds professional quality as a cheap SS amp(Vox AC4 vs most SS amps in it's price range). Tubes kind of give you a sound out of the box, but SS actually requires you to know a bit more about signal theory and processing. That's how it's "Meant" to be, it's just that a lot of companies especially in the 90s and early 00s cheaped out with shitty 10 Watt practice amps, and up to 100 Watt ones that weren't much better.

SS is just more versatile, but because of that you get more options to suck too.
Last edited by GURREN LAGANN at Nov 28, 2009,
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They should build an amp with a built-in searchbar. Maybe the Spider V will have one.

I'd rather have Line 6 skip the Spider V and go directly to Spider VI which comes with a built in android that pops out and breaks his foot in someone's a$$ when they speak out of line.

lol wut
Currently using:
B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe Jr. V
B.C. Rich Revenge Warlock
Bugera 6262 212 120 Watt amp :

Coming soon:
B.C. Rich Pro X Mockingbird Hardtail