on a clean channel, if you have a solid state amp and put a distortion pedal in front of it, will it sound any better or worst or just the same as having a tube amp and a distortion pedal?

tube amp (clean) + distortion pedal
solid state amp (clean) + distortion pedal

will the sound quality be almost the same? disregarding the brands.
Too many variables here. The design and quality of the preamp, power section and speakers would hugely effect the results.

'Solid state' DOES NOT equal 'bad'. Just because most cheap amps use transistors, we assume that transistors are bad. A well designed and manufactured SS can sound great.

Manufacturers seem to spend their time trying to hide the negative characteristics of transistors instead of designing amps to take advantage of their positives (reliability, clarity, less compression, and headroom). Those are the reasons solid state amps are favoured by many jazz and metal players.

However, in your question, in most cases I'd say the valve amp would sound significantly better.
Last edited by kyle62 at Dec 31, 2011,
It's hard to say because every amp is different.

Tube amps will generally be warmer, and the od pedal will help drive the tubes a bit harder.
Solid state amps will be more sterile, you will mostly be getting the sound of the pedal vs. the sound of the amp/pedal.

What really makes a difference is the quality of the preamp and poweramp and speakers.
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Last edited by stonyman65 at Dec 31, 2011,
It's more dependent on what amp you're putting the pedal through. There are several great tube amps out there that just don't take distortion pedals well at all.
At the risk of muddying the water...

A solid state distortion pedal is a solid state gain stage, in effect a preamp stage. (There are pedals with a tube or tubes in them.)

That being said:

-What is a an overdrive (OD) pedal?
-What is a distortion pedal?
-What is fuzz?
-Preamp gain versus power tube saturation.
-Tube preamp into solid state power section.
-Solid state preamp into tube power section.
-Solid state preamp in solid state power section.

A pedal run into a tube amp set clean is essentially a solid state preamp into a tube power amp.

A pedal run into the clean channel of a solid state amp is a solid state preamp into a solid state power amp.

Hence, it depends.

I have tried many of them. While they can be similar, their relationships can produce different results depending on their inherent strengths and weaknesses.

I am currently running several gain pedals (treble booster, fuzz, OD) into a rack mount Chandler Tube Overdrive (set clean and used as a preamp) into a Marshall 8004 Valvestate power amp into 1x12 cab.
Last edited by irnmadn88 at Dec 31, 2011,
the overall tone that you get out of any rig is the sum of all it's components, so if you change one thing you will alter the tone even if you keep everything else the same - including the player.
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.