#1
okay so ive been looking for a tube amp for a while, something that will be better than my fender frontman and ive come across a couple good amps which are...

orange dark terror
jet city jca20h
blackstar ht 20/40
ibanez tsa15h
line 6 dt 25

ive been reading about some of these amps, mainly the blackstar ones which say that they are hybrid amps. i know the line 6 one is a hybrid because it has digital amp modelling with real analog tubes but i read that since they only have 2 preamp valves, the blackstar's gain is coming from somewhere else. Im not complaining about hybrid amps because the line 6 sounds really good but how is the blackstar circuitry hybrid and how is it different to the dark terror or the jet city circuitry?
#2
A hybrid is anything that uses both solid state (whether that be modeling or not) and tube components to create a final sound.

The HT's have a crapload of opamps in them, which is what makes them essentially hybrids.
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#3
The blackstar's gain is mostly coming from solid state components (ie clipping diodes like in a distortion pedal or solid state amp). The TSA15h does the same thing. It literally has a tubescreamer built in.

The Jet City and Dark Terror only use tubes for clipping.
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#4
No, its gain comes from op-amps and a proportion of its distortion comes from diodes. Diodes can't cause gain (unless you count attenuation as gain) because they are passive components.
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#5
I think it is time to start looking at hybrid amps as their own category, rather than something between a tube amp and a solid state amp. The better ones are good for certain things, and if you like the tone then by all means go for one. But if you're really looking for a tube amp, then you probably won't be satisfied with anything else. From your list, I think you'd be best off looking at the Jet City and the Orange Dark Terror.
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#6
Quote by FatalGear41
I think it is time to start looking at hybrid amps as their own category, rather than something between a tube amp and a solid state amp. The better ones are good for certain things, and if you like the tone then by all means go for one.


Aside from price, what advantages do hybrids have?
I recently passed up a great deal on a HT-60... still not sure if I made the right decision...
#7
Straightforward hybrid amps like the Blackstars are pretty dumb, IMO.

Hybrid modelers, on the other hand, I think are the greatest thing ever. All the unlimited possibilities in a single box of a modeler/DSP, with added tube warmth and organic-ness of a true tube poweramp.

One of my dream amps is an amp that sounds as good or better than the Vypyr Tube, with the reliability of an MIA amp. I was hoping that the new Line 6 DT would be that, but the DT totally fails at modern high gain tones. So I twiddle my thumbs and wait...
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
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(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
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Line 6 Pod HD500X
#8
Quote by Offworld92
Straightforward hybrid amps like the Blackstars are pretty dumb, IMO.


Thats what I'm trying to get my head around... who are they trying to appeal to?
#9
Some of them do the heavy, down-tuned stuff very well. They're trying to appeal to people who like the sound. They cost less and require less upkeep. They're like anything else: if you like how they sound, then go for it. If you want a tube amp because you think they deliver a sound you can't get any other way, then tube amps are the way to go. If you want a tube amp simply because they have tubes in them, then you might be better off looking at something else. It all comes down to personal preference.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#10
Quote by zero
Thats what I'm trying to get my head around... who are they trying to appeal to?


idiots.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#11
Thats what I figured... But I cant imagine the boffins sitting around the conference table at Blackstar HQ saying "Right, lets make an amp that will appeal to idiots."
#12
No but they would say,
"How can we cut costs and still sell amps?"
"Replace half the parts with cheap SS crap and still call them tube amps, the idiots won't know the difference."
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#13
I mean they really didn't design anything.

all of their amps are straight up everything they designed at marshall.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#14
Get whatever sounds the best to you.

Just because an amp is tube it doesn't mean it's awesome.
And just because an amp is not (completely) tube, it doesn't mean it's bad.

The Line 6 DT-25 and the Blackstar HT series are both good sounding amps.
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#15
Quote by Cathbard
No, its gain comes from op-amps and a proportion of its distortion comes from diodes. Diodes can't cause gain (unless you count attenuation as gain) because they are passive components.

gain meaning distortion in this case. I'm not familiar with electrical terms, man, but thanks for clearing that up
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#16
The Line 6 DT amps are all analogue modeling amps not digital. they dont have the typical Spider Valve modeling going on inside.

But I think there is a place for ss, hybrid and tube amps. Most beginer amps are SS, most of your Hybrids are middle of the road price range, Tube amps tend to be the most expensive (even though you can get cheap tube amps).
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#17
Quote by zero
Thats what I figured... But I cant imagine the boffins sitting around the conference table at Blackstar HQ saying "Right, lets make an amp that will appeal to idiots."

Right, corporations have never held meetings to formulate the best plan to screw over the dumbest portion of the population.
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#18
Quote by Robbgnarly
The Line 6 DT amps are all analogue modeling amps not digital. they dont have the typical Spider Valve modeling going on inside.

But I think there is a place for ss, hybrid and tube amps. Most beginer amps are SS, most of your Hybrids are middle of the road price range, Tube amps tend to be the most expensive (even though you can get cheap tube amps).


no they have a digital front end.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#19
Quote by AcousticMirror
no they have a digital front end.

Right on, I read a write up in a mag and it said nothing about that.

I wonder if Strymon is going to make a tube pre like they did with the SV mark1.
2002 PRS CE22
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Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#20
Quote by Cathbard
No, its gain comes from op-amps and a proportion of its distortion comes from diodes. Diodes can't cause gain (unless you count attenuation as gain) because they are passive components.


+1

basically in an all-tube amp (which is reasonably high gain) you'd have a bunch of preamp tubes cascading into each other, which causes the last couple in the line to be completely overloaded/saturated, and they distort.

in the blackstar you still have the two triodes from the preamp tube, but to get a fair amount of preamp distortion out of them, they have a bunch of op-amps before the preamp tube to increase the gain so those tubes distort. there are also clipping diodes in a feedback loop around one of the op-amps (much like how an overdrive pedal works) to add additional clipping/distortion. the blackstar also has a transistor-based phase inverter (again, in an all-tube amp, this would be performed by a preamp valve normally).

cath can explain it better than i can, but that's the (very rough) gist of it.

Quote by tubetime86
Right, corporations have never held meetings to formulate the best plan to screw over the dumbest portion of the population.


haha
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 21, 2012,
#21
Nah, that's a pretty clear description Dave.
All I'd add is a simple clarification of the word gain itself. Gain is the output voltage divided by the input voltage. ie. the amplification factor. The cleanest amp in the world has gain otherwise it wouldn't be an amplifier.
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#22
^

and agreed with the clarification

(also cleared up a typo in mine which was confusing )
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
Does it matter much if an amp is all tube or hybrid (or SS) as long as it sounds good to you? I'm 14, and I'm never affording a £1k plus tube monster, even though I want one. The Blackstar HT20 was in my price range, I like the sound for the music I play, and I don't give a shit whether it's hybrid or not.
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#24
No it doesn't matter. It does matter however if they are lying to you to get you to part with your money for something you aren't getting. Go in with your eyes open is the key.
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Marshall 18W clone
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Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#25
Quote by Offworld92
Straightforward hybrid amps like the Blackstars are pretty dumb, IMO.

Hybrid modelers, on the other hand, I think are the greatest thing ever. All the unlimited possibilities in a single box of a modeler/DSP, with added tube warmth and organic-ness of a true tube poweramp.

One of my dream amps is an amp that sounds as good or better than the Vypyr Tube, with the reliability of an MIA amp. I was hoping that the new Line 6 DT would be that, but the DT totally fails at modern high gain tones. So I twiddle my thumbs and wait...

Kemper profiling amp?
Vettas?
Axe fx-II
The list of amps that sound better than a vypyr tube with better reliability could go on and on lol.

The vypyr tube is basically a budget amp, its not bad by any means but its just not that good either.
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Last edited by themelodicdeathshow at Feb 21, 2012,
#26
"Play what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

But I agree with the condemnation of deceptive advertising.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#27
Quote by themelodicdeathshow
Kemper profiling amp?
Vettas?
Axe fx-II
The list of amps that sound better than a vypyr tube with better reliability could go on and on lol.

The vypyr tube is basically a budget amp, its not bad by any means but its just not that good either.


what part of the axe fx is the power amp.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#28
Quote by AcousticMirror
what part of the axe fx is the power amp.


The part that gives it power duh.

You so smart
My gear-
Schecter C-1 Classic
Mesa Boogie 2 Ch. Dual Rectifier(blackface)
Avatar 2x12- v30s
And some pedals

For sale Minty Ibanez RGA7 seven string with tour grade hsc $330+s/h or best offer!
PM me if interested

R.I.P Ashley S. Jean
#29
Quote by Cathbard
No it doesn't matter. It does matter however if they are lying to you to get you to part with your money for something you aren't getting. Go in with your eyes open is the key.


+1
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
Quote by themelodicdeathshow
Kemper profiling amp?
Vettas?
Axe fx-II
The list of amps that sound better than a vypyr tube with better reliability could go on and on lol.

The vypyr tube is basically a budget amp, its not bad by any means but its just not that good either.


I've never heard of the Kemper before. It looks like a PITA, and not very useful as just a head.

The Vetta is nice, but it's pretty old now. Side by side, it sounds rather sterile compared to the Vypyr Tube. I wouldn't say it sounds better. More reliable, and more options yes.

Axe FX is just a preamp. The II is very nice though, I haven't ruled that out as something I'd like to get. I'm just personally not a fan of rack or separate pre & power amp setups.

I like everything to be all in one box, which is why I love the Vypyr. That, and I got the head on ebay for $350. Now compare the sound quality in terms of price to anything you listed. There's just no real competition there, unless money is no object (which sadly it is for me).
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
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(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
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Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#31
Quote by Cathbard
No it doesn't matter. It does matter however if they are lying to you to get you to part with your money for something you aren't getting. Go in with your eyes open is the key.


If it wasn't for GG&A I wouldn't of known it was a hybrid, last time I brought a brand new tube amp I don't think hybrids existed... how can unaware consumers like myself tell the difference?

For example: http://www.blackstaramps.co.uk/products/ht-amps/ht-60h.html
What is it people should be looking for in the specifications, or is it something you kinda have to dig up yourself? (in which case it is very deceptive)
#32
Well in that case if it is an A/B amp with two 12AX7's it doesn't add up. If it was a real A/B tube amp then one has to be used as the phase inverter or there is only one 12AX7 is in the preamp. How can you get high gain tones with one 12AX7 without op-amps or other SS amplification? You can't. Even if it is a single ended class A amp and therefore doesn't need a phase inverter you won't get that level of gain from even two 12AX7's in the preamp.
However you cut it, it can't be all tube can it?
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Marshall JTM45 clone
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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