#1
what exactly are the catch with Tube Amps? I know they sound amazing, but what i very rarely hear is the downsides of owning a Tube Amp. How often is it nessecary to change tubes? How much to tubes generally cost? Are tube amps prone to break within a year and half of owning? Are Tube amps bad for transporting (Ex, will the tubes possibly break if you transport it alot)?

I hear good things about tubes non-stop, but i never actually hear the downsides of them...maybe because there isnt...idk...im new to the whole tube amp world...but i do know that i want to know the pro's and cons of owning a tube before i dump 800$+ on one

thanks for any help you give.
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#3
The main downside is that you never stop spending money trying out different tube combinations or replacing power tubes you burn out.

I'd say the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#4
yeah, AM is right.

i mean there is no downside to falatio... tube amps are kinda like that.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

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#5
Power tubes will last at most two years, while pre-amp tubes will last LONG time, years and years. They won't break while transporting unless you're an idiot with it, don't store drinks on top and the like. In my opinion the only reason SS amps are considered sturdier is because they don't have tubes.

For the genres you're doing, you'll want a tube amp. There's a reason they are so common in post practice-amp price range.
#6
Quote by gumbilicious
yeah, AM is right.

i mean there is no downside to falatio... tube amps are kinda like that.

Tube amps are like fellatio with the dentures out.

Awwww yeeeaahh.

Quote by Frank_Black
Power tubes will last at most two years, while pre-amp tubes will last LONG time, years and years.


Yeah, my power tubes last like, 5 months.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#7
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Tube amps are like fellatio with the dentures out.

Awwww yeeeaahh.


Yeah, my power tubes last like, 5 months.



HAHAHAHAHA....ahh...

well, i posted this thread because all i hear are these amazing things about tube amps...but i've never really heard anything bad about them...i've assumed the only downside is the whole having to buy new tubes every once in a while...but i didnt know if they were trouble some...
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#8
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Tube amps are like fellatio with the dentures out.

Awwww yeeeaahh.


yup, no downside to that.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#9
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Yeah, my power tubes last like, 5 months.
Dude... you need to treat your amp better man.

Quote by VintageAmigo
HAHAHAHAHA....ahh...

well, i posted this thread because all i hear are these amazing things about tube amps...but i've never really heard anything bad about them...i've assumed the only downside is the whole having to buy new tubes every once in a while...but i didnt know if they were trouble some...
The only trouble mine has given me is it made me a tone elitist, but that's cool because you appreciate good tone so much more.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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Last edited by food1010 at Apr 25, 2011,
#10
ya, im looking for an amp to play the genres in my signature (i made a thread called "MASSIVE Tube Amp" or something like that...check it out sometime, it has a list of all the tubes im currently looking at)
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#11
downside

warm up and cool down period.

some single channel amps will need to be cranked to get the best tone. newer amps have a master volume so you can get nice creamy distortion at bedroom levels. if not you will need a attenuator.


these downsides don't even come close to the downsides of having a digital amp.

I easily put up with these issues
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Last edited by CEREBRAL-INFERN at Apr 25, 2011,
#12
Quote by food1010
Dude... you need to treat your amp better man.

It's less a problem of maintenance and more a problem of

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#13
Quote by food1010
Dude... you need to treat your amp better man.

The only trouble mine has given me is it made me a tone elitist, but that's cool because you appreciate good tone so much more.



lol, im not a tone elitist whatsoever....mostly because i have a Line 6 Spider 4 15w...so ANYTHING sounds good to me...thats why im having such a hard time finding a really good tube amp
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#14
Quote by CEREBRAL-INFERN
downside

warm up and cool down period.

some single channel amps will need to be cranked to get the best tone. newer amps have a master volume so you can get nice creamy distortion at bedroom levels. if not you will need a attenuator.


these downsides don't even come close to the downsides of having a digital amp.

I easily put up with these issues



that is exactly what im looking for...a good tube that plays great at bedroom levels and band practice levels...

and i know NOTHING about any warm up time or cool down time...i guess thats to get the tubes preped for playing?
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#15
Quote by VintageAmigo
that is exactly what im looking for...a good tube that plays great at bedroom levels and band practice levels...

and i know NOTHING about any warm up time or cool down time...i guess thats to get the tubes preped for playing?



before playing, I usually put the amp on standby for a couple of minutes, after playing I put it back on to standby for a few minutes before turning off

tube amps can become incredibly hot.
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#16
so, im assuming that standby lets it heat up before playing and cool down after finishing
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#17
Quote by CEREBRAL-INFERN
tube amps can become incredibly hot.


cuz they cleanse tone with fire

but more seriously, there are issues that ALL amplifiers must deal with and tube amps have their own things they are good at and other that they aren't so good at.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier

that brings up some issues that face amps.
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#18
eh, i don't let mine warm up much. i flip it on and by the time i'm done checking my tuning, it's good to go. i do let it sit for a while before moving it after practice or gig. maybe 10-15 minutes? even that isn't really needed perse. people think i'm stupid for doing that.

$800 for an amp to cover those genres? i'd say a jet city 20 watt combo would do that for about half your budget. but certainly there are more expensive amps that also do it a bit better. just starting off, you may or may not want the 10% return on 50% more cash invested. (just using round figures here people, no need to get into % arguements... it's just an example.)
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Last edited by gregs1020 at Apr 25, 2011,
#19
I'll just say this:

Most SS amps, not all, just sound terrible...
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#20
Quote by gregs1020
eh, i don't let mine warm up much. i flip it on and by the time i'm done checking my tuning, it's good to go. i do let it sit for a while before moving it after practice or gig. maybe 10-15 minutes? even that isn't really needed perse. people think i'm stupid for doing that.

$800 for an amp to cover those genres? i'd say a jet city 20 watt combo would do that for about half your budget. but certainly there are more expensive amps that also do it a bit better. just starting off, you may or may not want the 10% return on 50% more cash invested. (just using round figures here people, no need to get into % arguements... it's just an example.)



i've actually been told to invest into a Jet City 20w with a 2x12 cab set


that and the Egnater Tweaker 15w head/cab set...

personally i only want to spend about 600-700$ because i want to switch out the pups in my les paul
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#21
Quote by Jarrodthebobo
I'll just say this:

Most SS amps, not all, just sound terrible...



yes i know...i've played SEVERAL high dollar SS amps...and none of them sounded amazing

they dont have the "warmth" or "cream" that a Tube has
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#22
Sometime this year a Jet City 20w 2 channel head is suppose to come out right? I might have to look more into that, because that sounds pretty good
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#23
Quote by Jarrodthebobo
I'll just say this:

Most SS amps, not all, just sound terrible...


thats great...

why is that exactly? or should we just do a search on the subject in the searchbar?

lets not turn that into this again, there is room for more intelligent discussion
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#24
personally, i'd love an open discussion on tube amps...seeing how i dont know much on the subject myself
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#26
cool thanks man, i'll certainly read it
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#27
Other than having to replace valves nothing much.

Theyre a bit more temperemental though, dont go throwing em round like your old beater SS amp, dont let n00bs try and use it without explaining how to switch them on and beating them for putting beer on it. Theyre more sensitive to impedance mismatches, and generally get a bit dramatic and suicidal if you run them without a load (A speaker plugged in.), avoid this and you're good.
#28
k, ya i've heard that they're very picky and sort off stuck up lol
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#29
Yeah like people are saying it's generally just the tubes that go wrong. There can also be trouble with the caps/resistors and transformer, but that's very... very rare. Really, you only need to worry about a tube blowing out during a gig, but as long as you've got spares then you're golden.

I've gigged for about 6 years. Usually 3 fri/sat 4 hours gigs per month, and only once in that time have I ever had a problem.

Other downsides? They're heavier than solid state amps, they cost a lot more, you do have to take better care of them, and you'll go deaf sooner. Even with master volume or attenuation they sound better as they get louder. You're going to want to turn up, and you're neighbors will hate you

As for SS amps, yeah most suck, although this one looks pretty damned awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFPPLJe5vdg
#30
Quote by gregs1020
i do let it sit for a while before moving it after practice or gig. maybe 10-15 minutes? even that isn't really needed perse. people think i'm stupid for doing that.



I don't, that's a smart thing to do. When tubes are hot, both the glass tube and the metal elements are far more prone to damage.

And on the subject of problems or downsides particular to tube amps, my only complaint would be the cost over time. But for the tone, the power, and the quality of manufacture, the tube amp is far more superior as a rule. I use a little Marshall 10 watt'er for in my room and the 120 Watt tube for use in public.
#31
Quote by icronic
As for SS amps, yeah most suck, although this one looks pretty damned awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFPPLJe5vdg


I love my Roland cube 60. It's solid state and was less than £200, so I find it hard to believe that generally the SS amps as technology sound bad. I think the issue is that most cheap amps are solid state, because they can be made really cheaply, hence the crappy tones. Pay the same price as a decent tube amp, and I bet it wont sound crappy. Having said that, for those prices Id rather get a more authentic tube amp, it just has a better feel about it.
#32
Quote by Spudderz
I love my Roland cube 60. It's solid state and was less than £200, so I find it hard to believe that generally the SS amps as technology sound bad. I think the issue is that most cheap amps are solid state, because they can be made really cheaply, hence the crappy tones. Pay the same price as a decent tube amp, and I bet it wont sound crappy. Having said that, for those prices Id rather get a more authentic tube amp, it just has a better feel about it.

The cube is ok for a practice amp but you surely aren't comparing its quality of tone or level of player responsiveness with a half decent valve amp are you? A SS amp that works almost as good as a reasonable valve amp costs more than a really good valve amp.
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#33
So, essentailly, the only thing i really have to worry about is the tubes overheating and breaking? Im sure in the manual when i get the tube amp it'll explain it more in depth (atleast i hope)

lol at the guy who said i'd go deaf sooner...ya, i know...tubes sound even better the more you turn them up, and the only neighbors i have are probably 2 miles away..."we all live on the edge of town, were we all live aint a soul around" lol, that song pretty well sums up me in 3 minutes
#35
lol, i've been told to look into the Crate Blue Voodoo, is it anygood?

i brought it up because that video reminded me of it lol
#36
another random question...do more tubes in a amp mean more tone control? The Blackstar ht-40 has 2 preamp tubes and 2 "power" tubes while the 6505 has 5 preamp tubes and 2 power tubes...
#37
Quote by B.C. RICH5000
lol, i've been told to look into the Crate Blue Voodoo, is it anygood?

i brought it up because that video reminded me of it lol

it's ok. they go cheap and there are a ton of mod's online to improve the tone.

/threadjack.
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#38
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Tube amps are like fellatio with the dentures out.

Awwww yeeeaahh.


Yeah, my power tubes last like, 5 months.



You owe me one new 18 inch monitor and a soda.
Tastes like chicken, if chicken was a candy.
#39
Quote by Cathbard
The cube is ok for a practice amp but you surely aren't comparing its quality of tone or level of player responsiveness with a half decent valve amp are you? A SS amp that works almost as good as a reasonable valve amp costs more than a really good valve amp.


No I am not, I said spend decent money on one and it should sound as good. Most people never play an expensive solid state, just cheap ones that are doomed to sound bad. Tubes dont make a good amp by themselves. I get annoyed that clearly people around here (I dont necessarily mean you) just spout out what the next person says. You cant generalize a whole 'species' of amps based on some dodgey ones. There are a plethora of good tube amps though, more than SS for sure.
#40
Quote by Spudderz
No I am not, I said spend decent money on one and it should sound as good. Most people never play an expensive solid state, just cheap ones that are doomed to sound bad. Tubes dont make a good amp by themselves. I get annoyed that clearly people around here (I dont necessarily mean you) just spout out what the next person says. You cant generalize a whole 'species' of amps based on some dodgey ones. There are a plethora of good tube amps though, more than SS for sure.



well obviously...but ya, the whole bandwagoning thing is annoying, but hey...most the time what people recommend is really good
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