#1
I've played both amps and tube amps definitely sound better to me. Why is that? What's the differences from the types of amp that give them such distinctive sounds?
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#2
Various imperfection in the amplification make tube amps sound more 'organic' or 'natural'. Notably the asymmetrical clipping and compression in the tubes, the voltage sag in the transformers among other factors. Also tube amps produce a lot of even order harmonics which sound good to the ear while ss amps produce more odd order harmonics which can sound harsh.
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Last edited by justinb904 at Aug 19, 2010,
#3
well you see, the inside of every tube amp is coated with a certain amount of win. the more win you coat it in the more tonal qualities you have. but every tube amp has some amount of win within it. hope that helps.
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#4
I have to say I like jimi's explanation more.
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#5
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#6
The important thing is that you noticed the difference, so you are automatically cool. If you hadn't you wd be ... Not so cool. It's a difference that you don't just hear but feel. Tubes breakup so after you wallop them with more volume they don't get louder, instead they distort, even if u use a clean sound. The way that it distorts, ever so slightly or alot, has a life, not a harsh robotic pattern. My answer is funkier, but with solid state, it's easy to identify too much distortion cuz it gets flatter, unusable, and harsh. With tubes, to get the sound you want isn't just tweaking buttons, it's feeling the verve that brings your sound life cuz the tubes "sag" , that is to say, drop, or buckle under the pick attack, and when you add more volume before the tube, it can liven and energize your sound without just distorting it more, AnD THAT is what you can't do w solidstate. I lime clean, mangle, blues, and metal, ...all are better served on a tube platter. My pers caves are JJs and Groove, but I think they're all Russian. Anyways, the answers above are better, but since you're in the know u are way ahead me in my first ten years...hail tubes!
#7
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#8
keep up the spam, i dare you....


its as justin said. the big things are the asymetrical clipping and even order harmonics. but youve also got to remember they are very non-linear.

that means that as you push them to the limit, they start to distort the waveform gracefully. a SS amp has a more abrupt limit to clipping. it can go from nice an clean to nasty and harsh real quick. tubes have a grace period where you get that crunchy sound.

another problem with SS amps is that so many these days try to emulate tube amps. a good SS amp (talking transistor and not digital) can sound fantastic, even in the gain stages. they take advantage of the properties of the transistors, instead of trying to force them to be tubes.
#9
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#10
I knew about some of these things but other stuff really helped me see why I like tubes better. Thank you guys.
Quote by Sinister Waffle
Who pirates Winrar? that has to be the most passive aggressive program I've ever seen.

"hey you should really buy me, the 40 days is up"
* hits X button*
" Oh okay, maybe next time?"


You sir have just won a thousand internets.
#11
Another thing probably not mentioned is that you were probably comparing a low-quality SS amp to a decent quality tube amp.

The vast majority of SS amps on the market are cheapshit for beginners, not amps worthy of professional use.

A shit amp will sound shit regardless of the technology behind it.
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#12
Quote by Raijouta
Another thing probably not mentioned is that you were probably comparing a low-quality SS amp to a decent quality tube amp.

The vast majority of SS amps on the market are cheapshit for beginners, not amps worthy of professional use.

A shit amp will sound shit regardless of the technology behind it.

+1
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#13
speaking about the quality of solid states, one of the best clean amps out there is the Roland JC-120, which is solid state, but sounds beautiful, just don't try to use its distortion and you should be okay.
#15
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+1

But a cheap valve amp will cream a cheap SS amp. IMO a mediocre valve amp will cream the best SS amp you can find. SS amps designed to run clean at all times like the Jazz Chorus are pretty good but the best dirty amp (Ampeg VH104) is still lacking the player dynamics of any half decent valve amp and quite frankly is still quite harsh in comparison. That makes them good for Scandinavian death metal though I guess because they want to sound like a buzzsaw.
The thing about a valve amp is that the amplifying element (the valve itself) sounds good with no trickery. Jut look at the circuit for the simplest of amps like a Champ (below) or an 18W Marshall. There's nothing but a few biasing resistors and coupling capacitors around the valve and they sound awesome, they don't even need tone controls.
It's actually hard to design a valve amp that sounds bad.

I mean really, how simple is that? It's not much more complex than a light switch and it sounds fantastic.
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