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#1
This thread is no meant for hardcore vintage heads to argue against solid state users.

The question I want to ask is are there any examples of really awesome Solid state amps that perform just as well as a quality Tube equivelant?

Who are some famous guitarists that exclusively use Solid state?

Is solid state generally better for cleans?

If I'm mostly indifferent about "vintage" things.. could a nice Solid state be as viable as a nice Tube amp for my upgrade?

Should I feel inferior using Solid states if I chose that route?

Just a few interesting questions meant for friendly discussion, I know how heated SS +Tube debates can get but I hope this can be open minded!
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#2
Quote by WhoDooVooDoo
This thread is no meant for hardcore vintage heads to argue against solid state users.

The question I want to ask is are there any examples of really awesome Solid state amps that perform just as well as a quality Tube equivelant.

Who are some famous guitarists that exclusively use Solid state?

Is solid state generally better for cleans?

If I'm mostly indifferent about "vintage" things.. could a nice Solid state be as viable as a nice Tube amp for my upgrade?

Should I feel inferior using Solid states if I chose that route?

Just a few interesting questions meant for friendly discussion, I know how heated SS +Tube debates can get but I hope this can be open minded!


famous artists: dunno

it's all personal preferences, but i prefer tube ( more full and more body ) than ss

there is nothing wrong with a good solid state amp.
only the cheap ss-amps are bad..
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


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#3
Can solid-state be just as good as Tube?
yes

Is solid state generally better for cleans?
i don't know

Who are some famous guitarists that exclusively use Solid state?
again i don't know

f I'm mostly indifferent about "vintage" things.. could a nice Solid state be as viable as a nice Tube amp for my upgrade?
yes

Should I feel inferior using Solid states if I chose that route?
no


sorry i couldn't help more xD
Belief is a beautiful armour but makes for the heaviest sword.
#5
Solid state have a different response than tubes do, and while pretty much everyone prefer tube amps, and indeed, pretty much all mid/high end amps are tube amps, solid state amps can sound if they are of a good quality and your sound is decent.
Don't feel inferior for using solid state, if you prefer the sound and feel of one, then you prefer the sound and feel of one, and that's what you should get.
#6
Quote by Nugma
Solid state have a different response than tubes do, and while pretty much everyone prefer tube amps, and indeed, pretty much all mid/high end amps are tube amps, solid state amps can sound if they are of a good quality and your sound is decent.
Don't feel inferior for using solid state, if you prefer the sound and feel of one, then you prefer the sound and feel of one, and that's what you should get.


i don't agree!!
there are a lot of expensive good ss amps out there..
but they don't get attention because everything thinks ss = bad >
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


My Colourful Rig:
ESP M-ii Deluxe
ENGL E570
Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 Stereo
Framus FR212 v30
#7
One forseeable issue is that I play blues and such.. I realise Tube would generally be a better option for that kind of stuff but I'm starting to see SS the way I used to see Tube amps.. it's almost as if SS has become niche and Tubes are just the way to go when you get to a comfortable skill level.
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Korg Pitchblack > Fuzz Face > Tubescreamer -> Crybaby -> Modded SD-1 -> Big Muff -> Phaser -> El Capistan -> TS-1 Tremolo/Stereo-Pan

Vox VT20+
#8
Sure, solid state can sound as good as tube. Some people prefer SS over tube, others prefer tube over SS. Certain SS amps sound great! One of the nicest sounding amps I've every played through was a Roland Jazz Chorus. They're a well-known and respectable SS amp. It's all up to your personal preference. If you like the way a certain SS amp sounds, then for you it is a good amp.
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#9
Well when it comes down to it, tubes for the most part are not as linear as Solid states, and that is why they sound better to our ears, but in recent years I have heard MANY solid states that have come close to getting that "tube" sound.
In the end solid states are cheaper to own, and you will have a lot less worries about mismatching ohms. With tubes every few years you need to replace all your tubes and depending on what amp you get that could be a fortune.
#10
Quote by JohnRegular
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6eQVVnKbKM&feature=channel_video_title
You wouldn't have a clue it was Solid State if nobody told you.

Also, I think Dimebag preferred SS amps.



Yes, Dimebag preferred solid state. I do, as well.
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#12
In the be-bop jazz scene solid-state amplifiers are generally preferred to tube amps. Look no farther than Polytone, the most famous solid-state jazz amps, for an example of excellent solid-state amps. Another company that is worth note is Henriksen, and many others besides.

As for players who preferred solid-state, here are some famous jazz players who played Polytones.

Joe Pass


George Benson


Jim Hall


Howard Alden

DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC!
THEY DON'T LIKE IT UP 'EM!
#13
its not that tube amps are better than solid state amps; there are lots of quality solid state amps (roland cubes, for instance). Tube amps have a warm, organic sounds that solid states have not yet been able to replicate to most peoples' satisfaction. It's apples vs. oranges.
#14
are there any examples of really awesome Solid state amps that perform just as well as a quality Tube equivelant?

there isn't really an "equivalent" as such. tube amps and solid state amps are just different. a solid state amp that is trying to sound like a tube amp is pointless because no matter how good of a job they've done of capturing a tube tone, naturally it's still not gonna be as good at delivering "tube tones" as a tube amp.

But you're not likely to get a solid state sound out of a tube amp, either.

Who are some famous guitarists that exclusively use Solid state?

i don't think there are any "exclusive" solid state users but there are people who have used solid states a lot. but that shouldn't really matter to anyone.

Is solid state generally better for cleans?

i don't mean to come off smart-alec-ish but... that depends on whether you want solid state cleans or tube cleans. like i said before, different sounds. you decide which is 'better' for you.

If I'm mostly indifferent about "vintage" things.. could a nice Solid state be as viable as a nice Tube amp for my upgrade?

Yes, unless you're really looking for tube tones which most people usually are. do not buy a solid state as a "cheap alternative to a tube amp" ever. buy solid state if you want a solid state tone and not a tube tone.

Should I feel inferior using Solid states if I chose that route?
No.

I will point out, and this may just be a false observation i've made, but it seems to me like you have to pay more for a good solid state amp than you do for a good tube amp. all the solid state amps in the price of a decent 30-50 watt tube combo seem to be oversized and overpowered cheap practice amps that are generally useless pieces of crap that give solid state amps a bad reputation. good solid state amps aren't cheap, whereas good tube amps can be.

edit: btw, that retro channel amp sounds fantastic - i think the breakup sounds more like a nice overdrive pedal than a real tube amp, though.
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.
Last edited by Blompcube at May 12, 2011,
#15
people need to stop using Dimebag as an example for things like this. His tone sucked. He should only be used as an example if you're arguing that tubes are better than solidstate.
#16
My general sentiments about SS amps and tube amps... (and there are probably a lot of exceptions)

To me, SS amps tend to do two things well, 1) provide a really clean clean sound and 2) very high gain sounds (like some of those old Ampegs, NOT Dimebag Darrell, why anyone would want to sound like him is beyond me whether you use a tube or SS amp). I don't mean to say that all SS amps are really good at these things, if your purpose for asking this is to legitimize purchasing a Fender Frontman or something, it doesn't really apply. Bad amps sound bad whether they're tube or solid state.

Whether those are useful to you or not depends on how you play guitar. I personally have no use for a very clean clean sound like a Roland Jazz Chorus. I think it sounds sterile and I think adding chorus to make it less sterile sounds cheesy (mainly because I think chorus sounds cheesy).

Imo, the place where tube amps really excel is that huge in-between range. I prefer the clean sounds of a Marshall JTM45, or a Fender Super Reverb or a Hiwatt DR103 over any SS amp. They're not quite as "clean" but they have more character and they sound a little bit more musical to my ears. You can push the amp and the clean sound will fatten up and you can set the amp to that point where you don't hear any grit but if you really dig in hard, the amp will start to break up. That's something that you don't ever really see in SS amps and to me, that's the sort of thing that a tube amp does well.
#17
My biggest issue with solid state is that it seems a lot of times companies release them as just a cheap amp with a name on it. It seems most solid states are aimed at newer players who have limited budgets and want to go as cheap as they can. They dont really target these amps at the tone freaks of the world who will prefer a good tube amp anyways. There are some pretty good solid states out there (like the Roland Jazz Chorus) but the cheapos are much more common.
#19
There are a lot of good high end SS amps to be had, they're just produced in much smaller quantities and are much less visible than tube amps.

See the following:

Retro Channel Retro Wreck
Pritchard amps
Fractal Audio Axe-FX (digital, though)
Hughes and Kettner Zentera
Ampeg VH140c and SS140c
Roland Jazz Chorus
Line 6 Vetta II (digital)

A few of the amps listed there are discontinued, likely because of poor sales. Companies don't usually promote their SS amps as much as their tube amps, and the combination of people going "eww SS" and little promotion ultimately will cause an amp to fail sales-wise.
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#20
BB King uses LAB amps which are solid state and has for many years. as mentioned many jazz artists use SS as well.
#21
Basically the fragile harmonics cannot exist inside a solid state crystal lattice, thats just the way it is. ..
#22
i've got some recordings with a GK 250ml up on soundclick

btw, this is not me in the picture. just evidence of a pro using a SS

#23
Quote by sethp
i've got some recordings with a GK 250ml up on soundclick

btw, this is not me in the picture. just evidence of a pro using a SS




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#26
Agreed that Dimebags tone sucked, however, I just dont know that Pantera would be the same without that crappy tone.
#27
Quote by guitarpatrick66
Agreed that Dimebags tone sucked, however, I just dont know that Pantera would be the same without that crappy tone.

You're right, they'd probably be better.
#29
Some of the modeling solid state amps sound really good, like that new fender mustang I think its called. kind of a silly name but it sounded remarkable for a medium wattage ss.

Best ss amp of all time I think is the roland jazz chorus. I think they started making them again!
#31
I knew a guy that trolled the shit out of pantera fans when dime died by making jokes about it.

Ok its harsh and i didnt really agree with it but man

the amount of death threats he got was comical
Last edited by coolstoryangus at May 12, 2011,
#33
Alot of amps made in the 90's were excellent SS amps, when they actually tried to make them decent. If you can nail a high quality SS amp from the 90's you will be pleasantly surprised at how good they sound.

Some of the better SS amps can actually sound better than tube amps, it's just tube amps can get a decent tone without having to spend a lot of parts, it's easier to achieve a better tone for cheaper with tube, but SS amps can defiantly be a lot better than tube, but you have to give up the $$ for it.
#34
Quote by TheQuailman
I can honestly say I do not dislike Pantera for Dimebag's tone. I dislike them because their music's shoddy.
Instead of using words, I will provide a photo journal of why I dislike Pantera as a musical group...

When big hair and spandex was cool...


But once being an androgynous glam rocker was no longer cool, our glitzy troop of rock superstars turn into these hard-hitting group of Texas roughnecks.

MAN they dived off that bandwagon pretty quick.

Making jokes about a guy's death is bushleague in any circumstance. But as far as the band goes, they're like Bob and Midge from That '70s Show.
Last edited by al112987 at May 12, 2011,
#35
Quote by coolstoryangus
I knew a guy that trolled the shit out of pantera fans when dime died by making jokes about it.

Ok its harsh and i didnt really agree with it but man

the amount of death threats he got was comical

I'm sure Dime had a lot of biker fans. Probably explains that, haha.

EDIT: Apologies for the offtopic thread hijack. I have said all I wanted to say.
Last edited by Norse Thrasher at May 12, 2011,
#36
Oh yeah i deffo thought joking about was lame as hell. It just cracked me up that this guy had like threads made about him on forums and death threats from like american bikers to a guy in scotland due to jokes on his myspace that managed to spread around the internet.. haha

But yeah dimes tone sucked on kranks too..

He liked them because they sounded like crap solid states
Last edited by coolstoryangus at May 12, 2011,
#38
Quote by TheQuailman
I'm loving the first photo. Dude on the left is priceless.
That's Dimebag... or rather.. "Diamond" Darrell Abbot.

I would've had more respect for them if they had stayed that way. At least it would've shown that they were actually into what they were doing instead of just following commercial trends.
Last edited by al112987 at May 12, 2011,
#40
Phil Anselmo was a major influence in the change of sound for the them when he came into the picture, consequently changing their style in image, as well. Research is good.

To actually contribute, I guess I will follow in the footsteps of the live-let-live "it's your preference" guys and agree with them. I got a shitty Line 6 half-stack. I don't care for it, mostly because it's just a low-end modeling setup and what not, but I'm pretty sure Randall and high end Marshall SS's can sound decent.
Last edited by Norse Thrasher at May 12, 2011,
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