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#1
I'm going to buy an amp and have it down to two: the Fender Mustang III and the Fender Super Champ XD. I've been told that generally guitarists prefer tube. Right now I jam with my room mate who's into pop/punk alt rock; I'm into more classic rock and hard rock. What is your opinion on the two (specifically your opinion of tube amps)? I've been practicing without an amp a lot to build my skills, and I feel like now I'm good enough to get a real amp, so I'm not well versed in amps at all. Thanks!

Some more info:

Budget - ~$300

Genres - Rock. Kinda broad. Guy I jam with likes new punk/alt rock like Sum 41. I prefer more hard/classic rock

New or Used - No preference

Home or Gig - Most home and for jams. Might play at very small events around campus.

Closest City - Miami

Current Gear - Xaviere 870 (Pickups- GFS Vintage Alnico Staggers- Calibrated Set, Tuners- Sealed Die Cast 14:1, Tremolo- Vintage USA spaced, Steel Baseplate, Full Sized Sustain Block ). Plays friend's Stratocaster every now and then (I forget which model-a cheaper one. Standard I think) He has a few guitars and may be bringing better ones down after break.
Last edited by Ganadote at Nov 26, 2011,
#2
What sort of budget do you have? Of the two I'd take the champ, but there is better out there.
#3
it really depends what youre going for, the mustang is a really versatile amp. but no solid state can replace genuine tube amps. its a personal preference
#4
The Super Champ is a hybrid, not tube. I'd still take it over the Mustang though.
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#5
Tube amps > any solid state.

The thing is, you've gotta remember that 100w SS does NOT sound nearly as loud as 100W tube. A 30W tube amp will blow your ears to shit when it's cranked, but not quite big enough for larger gigs, IMO. Not sure what amp to get for that genre, but 50W tube should be good enough.
#6
the mustang is amazing for the price but it is true that guitarists hugely prefer tube, but in this case id get the mustang since the superchamp is only a hybrid anyway
#7
Quote by Raijouta
The Super Champ is a hybrid, not tube. I'd still take it over the Mustang though.


Ah, didn't even notice that! I'm choosing between these two cause they fit right into my budget with the holiday sales and seem to have good value for the cost. I don't want to spend more than ~$300. I may be using whatever I get for playing at events around campus (college student). If you know of a different amp around that cost feel free to suggest it.
#8
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.

The thing is, you've gotta remember that 100w SS does NOT sound nearly as loud as 100W tube. A 30W tube amp will blow your ears to shit when it's cranked, but not quite big enough for larger gigs, IMO. Not sure what amp to get for that genre, but 50W tube should be good enough.


from the amps that hes looking at, its obvious he doesnt have a high enough budget for a 50w tube amp and who said that he gigs?
#9
Quote by itamar100
from the amps that hes looking at, its obvious he doesnt have a high enough budget for a 50w tube amp and who said that he gigs?

Good point. Still, I was just throwing out my piece of information.
#10
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.

The thing is, you've gotta remember that 100w SS does NOT sound nearly as loud as 100W tube. A 30W tube amp will blow your ears to shit when it's cranked, but not quite big enough for larger gigs, IMO. Not sure what amp to get for that genre, but 50W tube should be good enough.



Let's separate fact from fiction...

Depending on whom you talk to, opinions vary. Personally, I'm a tube guy all the way, but there are guys who swear by their SS amps. Some guys claim they can't hear the difference between the two - I can and so can others. Tubes exude a certain warmth to the tone that no SS amp can ever do.

Here's where we get into fiction land, folks. While it is true that a 100 watt tube amp produces slightly more power than does the same wattage SS amp, chances are, you'll never be able to tell the difference. The reason for this is how the tube amp approaches and goes into overdrive, or clipping. A transistor has a fairly well defined knee. Once it reaches the knee, it rapidly goes into clipping and sounds like crap. While a tube gently approaches clipping and once it goes into it, tends to sound warmer.

More fiction to debunk... A 30 watt tube or SS amp will be plain loud. There's no getting around it. A 5 watt amp, when cranked, will also be louder than you can stand in your bedroom. Even a couple of watts is quite loud.

So, which amp to buy? If you can afford the occasional maintenance required by a tube amp (new tubes and possibly a bias adjustment by a technician), then buy a tube amp. If you can't afford the occasional maintenance and need a solid performer, then buy a SS amp.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Nov 25, 2011,
#11
There is a noticeable difference between the 'texture' of a good tube amp and a good solid state amp, but most people won't notice it if you are any good at tone-shaping, and especially when you hear it *in a mix* and not isolated, it becomes more of a non-issue. Just get an amp you like.
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#12
Quote by Ganadote
I'm going to buy an amp and have it down to two: the Fender Mustang III and the Fender Super Champ XD.

good choices.

pick the one you like.

the champ is easier to work, the mustang has more features.

good luck.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#13
I would go for the Fender. I tried them both out last week while looking for a cheap amp for my little sister.
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#14
look at some jet city or something, always good for hard rock!
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#15
out of the two I suggest the hybrid... but my personal preference for a small tube amp to jam with someone would be a VHT special 6 and switch the power tube out for a JJ 6L6. Watts is not linear to volume a 5 watt tube amp is about 50% as loud as a 50 watt tube amp and with the 6L6 in a special 6 you run around 10 watts which is plenty loud for any jamming with a friend. provided he is not blasting a 30-50 watt tube amp at full volume.
#16
If you can swing $300 try and grab a used Peavey Classic 30(30 watts) or a Used Peavey Valveking(50 watts). I usually see those for <300. There are two valvekings for $250 at the guitar center near me in NYC.

Stay Frosty!
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Way Huge Swollen Pickle
Line 6 DL4
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#17
Quote by Most_Triumphant
I would go for the Fender. I tried them both out last week while looking for a cheap amp for my little sister.


They're both fenders......

I was in the exact same situation as you and narrowed it down to the exact same choices. I was set on the SC but when I demo'd it, it was practically a solid state amp at bedroom volumes. You could "feel" the warmth of the tubes kicking in after I turned it past 8 o clock. It doesn't seem quite like a tube amp but its pretty good.

In the end I went with the Mustang because you can really get into it and there's never a shortage of tones.

A few weeks later, I really wanted a tube amp (I loved my Mustang to death but still, I wanted toobz). So I went to GC and demo'd alot of the amps there. I tried the Vox AC4TV and that blew the SC out of the water. I didn't need the effects the SC had so I went with the vox.

In one straightforward sentence: The Super Champ XD is tube but it sounds pretty digital compared to other tube amps but sounds more "tube-like" compared to solid state amps, its right there in the middle (hybrid )

Have fun!
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#18
so much fail in this thread.

ss always < tube?

SS nothing but cold and sterile?

so, gourmet food is good, but there are still people out there that just enjoy eating crap? so many great worldly opinions here.

let me state my opinion: i own solid state, hybrid and tube amps and easy generalizations like "tube amps are always warmer sounding than SS" are BS but are easy to digest and quick to cause band wagon opinions.
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
Last edited by gumbilicious at Nov 25, 2011,
#20
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.


oh dont even start with that...

not coming off as hostile but that really is a bad generalization. i know plenty of tube amps and can weep in front of a SS amp.

just depends on the application
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#21
Quote by gumbilicious
so much fail in this thread.

ss always < tube?

SS nothing but cold and sterile?

so, gourmet food is good, but there are still people out there that just enjoy eating crap? so many great worldly opinions here.

let me state my opinion: i own solid state, hybrid and tube amps and easy generalizations like "tube amps are always warmer sounding than SS" are BS but are easy to digest and quick to cause band wagon opinions.


+1
A while ago I was set on getting a tube amp, but I ended up getting a weird 50w ss Yamaha from the 80s for $120 which I love to bits. I recently got a ~3w Canadian-made 60s all-tube amp which is also awesome in its own way. You have to try amps out and make your own comparisons and decisions, don't base it on the technology alone, base it on what you think of the sound. Just because somebody else loves the tone, doesn't mean you will too.
#22
I was looking into a White Box classic 212, but don't know what speakers to put in them. Does anyone know which are the best? Not necessarily overall, but for the money.. I'm not super rich haha
2010 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2011 PRS SE Santana limited edition of 25
2007 Ibanez SZ520QM-VCB
2009 Washburn Renegade WM23
Vox 20W Valvetronix

#23
Out of those two I'd take the Super Champ but why only those two?
Do this: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138
Give us that info and you will get far better help, you haven't told us nearly enough.
Gilchrist custom
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Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#24
Quote by Cathbard
Out of those two I'd take the Super Champ but why only those two?
Do this: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138
Give us that info and you will get far better help, you haven't told us nearly enough.

The thread is closed..
2010 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2011 PRS SE Santana limited edition of 25
2007 Ibanez SZ520QM-VCB
2009 Washburn Renegade WM23
Vox 20W Valvetronix

#25
Quote by john.pratt1321
The thread is closed..

It's closed so people don't ask those questions in that thread. You're supposed to use the info in there to start a thread of your own. It's meant to be a guide on how to ask for advice, not a thread to ask for advice in.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#26
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.


Most ignorant statement.
Squier Strat
Behringer Fuzz
GFT-90
#27
Quote by Cathbard
It's closed so people don't ask those questions in that thread. You're supposed to use the info in there to start a thread of your own. It's meant to be a guide on how to ask for advice, not a thread to ask for advice in.

Oh haha, I'm an idiot. Gotcha.. I was looking at a Vox Night Train, but can't find a cheap cabinet to go with it.
2010 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2011 PRS SE Santana limited edition of 25
2007 Ibanez SZ520QM-VCB
2009 Washburn Renegade WM23
Vox 20W Valvetronix

#29
So I went to Guitar Center to try out some amps. They had the Marshall III there and played on that. Sounded great. Heard the difference between tube and ss. Depends on the amp, for me, right now not sure about the always T>SS. Then i tried out an Acoustic G35 FX and absolutely fell in love with it. Has slightly less features than the Marshall III (no computer connection being the biggest for me) but sounded just as great, and the speaker is larger so it has a better sound at higher volumes. Plus it costs $100 less (usually 300, took off 50%). So thanks for all the help from you guys! Def helped in learning about amps and choosing which ones to test. Love my new amp
#30
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.

That's such bullshit.

I'd like to see anyone who'd take a Epiphone Valve Jr over a Roland Jazz Chorus.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
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#31
Quote by kangaxxter
That's such bullshit.

I'd like to see anyone who'd take a Epiphone Valve Jr over a Roland Jazz Chorus.


uh, Roland Jazz can't bring teh br00tz! even though metallacock plays them.

Maybe I need to get the highest wattage instead of the 60?
Squier Strat
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#32
It always makes me laugh when the tube vs SS argument happens. All anybody can ever bring up is the JC. The JC is a great clean amp but that is all it can do. When challenged on that people bring up the Ampeg VH-140C (which I think has pretty crappy distortion). Otherwise it's some crazy expensive thing that costs more than valve amps that kick their arse.
Generally speaking, tube is > SS unless all you want is cleans and even then I'd take a Fender Twin over a JC-120 any day.
If I only wanted cleans I'd take a JC over a VJ, sure, but if I was recording blues I'd use the VJ because I can crank it and get some nice distortion with some real dynamics. To get any distortion from a JC you have to do it with a distortion pedal because the distortion on a JC-120 is disgusting.
Also with a VJ I can mod the crap out of it, the PT can even handle an extra tube and you can get some serious distortion out of it with very little work. Modded VJ's can be fantastic. Who mods a JC-120? It's a clean amp, that's all it is and is all it will ever be.
That's another reason that tube > SS. Tube amps are easier to fix and easier to mod. Now don't throw up how complex a Road King is because even that is easier to repair than a JC-120.
When civilisation collapses the cockroaches will all be jamming away on Plexis and Fender Twins while all the SS amps have turned to dust.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


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#34
Quote by Cathbard
It always makes me laugh when the tube vs SS argument happens. All anybody can ever bring up is the JC. The JC is a great clean amp but that is all it can do. When challenged on that people bring up the Ampeg VH-140C (which I think has pretty crappy distortion). Otherwise it's some crazy expensive thing that costs more than valve amps that kick their arse.
Generally speaking, tube is > SS unless all you want is cleans and even then I'd take a Fender Twin over a JC-120 any day.
If I only wanted cleans I'd take a JC over a VJ, sure, but if I was recording blues I'd use the VJ because I can crank it and get some nice distortion with some real dynamics. To get any distortion from a JC you have to do it with a distortion pedal because the distortion on a JC-120 is disgusting.
Also with a VJ I can mod the crap out of it, the PT can even handle an extra tube and you can get some serious distortion out of it with very little work. Modded VJ's can be fantastic. Who mods a JC-120? It's a clean amp, that's all it is and is all it will ever be.
That's another reason that tube > SS. Tube amps are easier to fix and easier to mod. Now don't throw up how complex a Road King is because even that is easier to repair than a JC-120.
When civilisation collapses the cockroaches will all be jamming away on Plexis and Fender Twins while all the SS amps have turned to dust.

That may all be true, but you can't overlook the fact that as far as overall sound goes, a $300 will possibly sound worse than a $3,000 SS. There are limits to everything
2010 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2011 PRS SE Santana limited edition of 25
2007 Ibanez SZ520QM-VCB
2009 Washburn Renegade WM23
Vox 20W Valvetronix

#35
i like tube and solid state so much that i don't decide which one i'd rather play and instead play them both. i don't understand how inequalities come into things, i only understand assignment operators like

tube = love
SS = love
hybrid = love
modeling = love

they all make my guitar sound different, and the better i get at using each one, the better i get at "sounding better" in general.
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
Last edited by gumbilicious at Nov 27, 2011,
#36
Quote by The.new.guy
Tube amps > any solid state.

The thing is, you've gotta remember that 100w SS does NOT sound nearly as loud as 100W tube. A 30W tube amp will blow your ears to shit when it's cranked, but not quite big enough for larger gigs, IMO. Not sure what amp to get for that genre, but 50W tube should be good enough.


:rollseyes:

AxeFX >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> hb 5w tube..

never say tube is better than ANY ss amp..

the higher end SS amps are awsome!
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#37
Quote by Cathbard
It always makes me laugh when the tube vs SS argument happens. All anybody can ever bring up is the JC. The JC is a great clean amp but that is all it can do. When challenged on that people bring up the Ampeg VH-140C (which I think has pretty crappy distortion). Otherwise it's some crazy expensive thing that costs more than valve amps that kick their arse.
Generally speaking, tube is > SS unless all you want is cleans and even then I'd take a Fender Twin over a JC-120 any day.
If I only wanted cleans I'd take a JC over a VJ, sure, but if I was recording blues I'd use the VJ because I can crank it and get some nice distortion with some real dynamics. To get any distortion from a JC you have to do it with a distortion pedal because the distortion on a JC-120 is disgusting.
Also with a VJ I can mod the crap out of it, the PT can even handle an extra tube and you can get some serious distortion out of it with very little work. Modded VJ's can be fantastic. Who mods a JC-120? It's a clean amp, that's all it is and is all it will ever be.
That's another reason that tube > SS. Tube amps are easier to fix and easier to mod. Now don't throw up how complex a Road King is because even that is easier to repair than a JC-120.
When civilisation collapses the cockroaches will all be jamming away on Plexis and Fender Twins while all the SS amps have turned to dust.


VJ sounds like total ass cranked up imo.
Special 6 on the other hand, that i could rock.

Solid states can do blues man!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RNPE-nYslA&feature=related
#38
Quote by beckyjc

It aint no Gary Moore. Where are the dynamics? I want my amp to have a conversation with me, not just say the same thing again and again and again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O_YMLDvvnw
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#40
Since we're throwing our opinions at eachother and smearing our own shit against other people's faces, allow me to stir the pot even further;

1) The majority of people that defend tube amps on this board do not own a tube amp.
2) The majorty of people that do own a tube amp won't play it at a volume where it actually fucking matters more than once a month.
3) The majority of people on this board that admittedly use solid state amps are likely many times happier with their overall sound than the ones that crap on about toobz on here all day 'erry day.
4) Tone is subjective, deal with it you silly fuckers.
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