#1
I know that tubes and valves are always hailed as superior to solid state amplifiers, but after seeing a few reviews and videos on this new series of amps by Orange, I am nearly sold.

Here is my question: Tone wise, what are the differences? Why is it that people would spend twice or three times the money on a tube amp when there are these? In the gain channels, do tubes do it better than solid states? (Regarding fizziness and tightness)

Sorry if I seem vague, but the value of this amp really amazes me.
#2
Well tube amps and solid state amps sound different.
Most people will tell tube ones are better, but that's not that true.

The main problem with transistors is that when they are overdriven (you send to much signal in them, and they distort your sound) they distort the even harmonics of your sound, as opposed to transistors which distort the uneven ones.
The difference in results is basically a harsher sound in the solid state's case.

Theoretically they don't, bun actually tubes add a lot of harmonic distortion even when not overdriven, so they are regarded as having a warmer and fuller sound.

Is this true? Well, yeah.
Is that a good thing? It depends.

Fact of the day: the Roland JC120 is said to have one of the best sounding if not THE best sounding clean channel.
But that's a transistor amp! Yeah!
But didn't tube amps sound better? Nope.
Solid state amps sound cleaner, for they add waaaaay less distortion when not overdriven.

To make a solid state device distort like a tube device takes 3 times the components and 5 times the work, and it will most likely not sound the same even in that case.
But will it sound good? Well I like my solid state distortion pedal.

That's the background. Now...
If by fizziness you mean the characteristic of sounding dull and trebly, they usually do that more than tubes, but hardly noticeable if the thing is nicely engineered.
They will probably sound tighter for they lack in bass a bit, compared to tubes.

In the end, the thing will probably not sound as good as the real thing.
It will most likely sound a bit duller on the clean channel, and a bit harsher on the dirty one.
Up to you to decide if the actual Rockerverb is worth the extra money.
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#3
I'm getting one. I played one very recently, and side-by-side with a Rockerverb at sensible volumes you can't tell a difference. The thing is exactly the same as a Rockerverb but with transistors rather than tubes. That's the only difference (apart from the reverb as well) Pedals have done it for ages, in fact, most of Runoffgroove's distortion pedals are based on the same ideas that Orange are using here, and they've been around for ages.

Now when you crank them, like really crank them, you'll hear the tubes sound much better, but honestly, I'm sold on them. For the price, they're a million miles better than the Vox AC30VRs, and I'd rather have them over a tube amp at that price (obviously talking new here).

What was said above about needing extra components for SS to distort was false. You can look up solid-state implementations of tube stages all over the place, and they use almost exactly the same topology and parts count as the actual tube stages, and they sound pretty damn good. It's the same schematic in both amps.
#4
Quote by Dan_5893
What was said above about needing extra components for SS to distort was false. You can look up solid-state implementations of tube stages all over the place, and they use almost exactly the same topology and parts count as the actual tube stages, and they sound pretty damn good. It's the same schematic in both amps.

What I meant is that to get the same sound you need to do such a thing.
In big amps you usually have some tubes with attenuators between them, while in your everyday SS distortion pedal you have 3 times the components to get a pretty similar sound.

You can for sure use an implementation that works like Jet City's solid state tubes, but the sound will vary quite a bit :P

And just out of curiosity, where did you find the Crush's schematics?
I'm quite curious of seeing what they've done myself
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#5
Quote by Spambot_2
What I meant is that to get the same sound you need to do such a thing.
In big amps you usually have some tubes with attenuators between them, while in your everyday SS distortion pedal you have 3 times the components to get a pretty similar sound.


I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here when you're saying attenuators that you're actually meaning something different, because an attenuator is something you use to reduce the output of a big amp so you can use it at lower levels.

Again, it depends entirely on what you're going for. I've seen Mesa emulation preamp schematics, completely solid state, that have the same number or even less components than the actual valve preamp.

Quote by Spambot_2

You can for sure use an implementation that works like Jet City's solid state tubes, but the sound will vary quite a bit :P


Read this: http://www.runoffgroove.com/fetzervalve.html

That's what I'm getting at. Nothing to do with Jet City or their valve replacement things. This is the direct replacement of a valve with a JFET or similar transistor.

Quote by Spambot_2
And just out of curiosity, where did you find the Crush's schematics?
I'm quite curious of seeing what they've done myself


There was a product launch at a music store near where I live and the Orange guy there went through it with some of the guys who do the repairs, I was just lucky enough to be around at the time and asked the questions. They say it in some of the Messe interviews too.

And for the record, I'm a tube guy, but I'm not a tube snob.

I hope I'm not coming across a dick or anything, I just wanted to clear a few things up for the folks playing along at home.
Last edited by Dan_5893 at Nov 6, 2013,
#6
I spent almost an hour with a Rockerverb yesterday and I'd be shocked to hear any solid state amp come close to the squishy, organic feel of that amp.
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#7
As an owner of a Rockerverb, you're dreaming if you think a solid state crush will sound the same. Maybe at whisper quiet volumes, but once they're turned up holy shit there is a big difference. Does that mean solid states are bad? No, they're great for practice, and in some cases they're great for certain sounds to, but a tube amp usually sounds a lot better at higher volumes.
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#8
The biggest reason people seem to love tube amps on here is the sound of the power amp when it starts to distort. A lot of people actually hate it though. Especially for higher distortion tones. That's why amps like 6505s, Rectos, and Engls are usuall 100+ watts. They can get insanely loud before the power amp starts breaking up. Now though, even if you don't like power amp distortion, tube power amps are generally just a little warmer and fuller than SS amps generally are. I'm using the word generally a lot on purpose. As stated above, the JC120 is one of the most coveted clean amps in existence and its fully SS. Still, there are some people who say they're too cold and sterile. I've personally never played one, but from what I've heard I'd prefer a Vox AC30.

Now when you start looking at the preamp, this is where most distortion comes from for higher gain stuff. Tubes tend to create more even order harmonics (and thus sound better to most ears) compared to SS components that distort. However there are plenty of dirt pedals out there that people love. Tons of people swear by rats, Fulltone OCDs, MI Audio Crunchbox, Suhr Riot, and I personally love my AMT E1. Then even right here on UG, the most recommended amp under $400 is the Vypyr Tube. The preamp is SS. It has a tube power section, but virtually all the distortion comes from SS components.

I don't think I really made a point here, just making some observations.
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Last edited by tas38 at Nov 6, 2013,
#9
Quote by tubetime86
I spent almost an hour with a Rockerverb yesterday and I'd be shocked to hear any solid state amp come close to the squishy, organic feel of that amp.


This, the Rockerverb is pretty much the best sounding tube amp I've ever played, I'd be shocked if they made an SS version that sounded the same, purely from a marketing perspective
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#10
Quote by tubetime86
I spent almost an hour with a Rockerverb yesterday and I'd be shocked to hear any solid state amp come close to the squishy, organic feel of that amp.



The amp may sound awesome but it wont touch the tube Rockerverbs strengths I'm sure. Hell, my solid state Randall wipes the floor with my Valveking in how powerful and crushing it sounds and I'm not talking about the amount of gain it has. However, as much as I love the amp it cant touch how rich and "alive" the tube amp sounds.
Randall sounds almost two dimensional when I go back and forth between them.

I guess that organic nature is something solid state just cant reach (unless its a modeling amp but that doesnt count) because they are different beasts.

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#11
Quote by tas38

Now when you start looking at the preamp, this is where most distortion comes from for higher gain stuff. Tubes tend to create more even order harmonics (and thus sound better to most ears) compared to SS components that distort. However there are plenty of dirt pedals out there that people love. Tons of people swear by rats, Fulltone OCDs, MI Audio Crunchbox, Suhr Riot, and I personally love my AMT E1. Then even right here on UG, the most recommended amp under $400 is the Vypyr Tube. The preamp is SS. It has a tube power section, but virtually all the distortion comes from SS components.


Even though the tube poweramp is run clean on high gain tube amps there is still a difference between SS and Tube amp. Run a pedal through clean channel of solid state amp and it most likely sounds dissapointing, very small and wimpy. But through a tube amp it is a totally different beast. I almost trashed my US Dream (Suhr Riot clone) after trying it through my Randall and Valvestate (both are SS and really sterile on clean), but through the Valveking (very "tubey") it sounded amazing.

Just my limited experience on the subject.

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#12
I own a RV50 MKII and i got to play the new Crush during the weekend. The crush can hang at bedroom levels, but the moment you crank the amps even to shouting levels they behave completely different. They do not sound the same, at least to me they dont. The RV is by far more organic and articulate at louder volumes as well as in higher distortions.

That is not to say the crush sucks, but i dont think they are the same beast and should not be seen as such. If you like how the crush sounds and the price is good for you, then go ahead and buy it. Personally i think there are better choices out there but at the end of the day its a matter of preference.
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#13
Quote by Dan_5893
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here when you're saying attenuators that you're actually meaning something different, because an attenuator is something you use to reduce the output of a big amp so you can use it at lower levels.

You lost some credibility there. When talking about the topology of an electronic circuit, an attenuator is a resistor. Anybody with real electronics knowledge would know that is what he meant in the context he used it.
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#14
Quote by MaaZeus
Even though the tube poweramp is run clean on high gain tube amps there is still a difference between SS and Tube amp. Run a pedal through clean channel of solid state amp and it most likely sounds dissapointing, very small and wimpy. But through a tube amp it is a totally different beast. I almost trashed my US Dream (Suhr Riot clone) after trying it through my Randall and Valvestate (both are SS and really sterile on clean), but through the Valveking (very "tubey") it sounded amazing.

Just my limited experience on the subject.


I'm not sure if you were trying to disagree with me, but in the first paragraph I said tube power amps ran totally clean are still warmer and fuller than ss amps generally.
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#15
Now that the CR120H has been out a while.... what are your thoughts? I will say this, in the studio the SS seems to cut better with less artifacts that tubes smear over the entire spectrum. It's sometimes very hard to EQ/cut radical frequencies that tubes produce.....
#16
Quote by 1GoVols1
Now that the CR120H has been out a while.... what are your thoughts? I will say this, in the studio the SS seems to cut better with less artifacts that tubes smear over the entire spectrum. It's sometimes very hard to EQ/cut radical frequencies that tubes produce.....

The CR120h is an OK amp but it is overpriced, if it was $200 then I'd say get one but their not. They might be a SS rockerverb circuit, but they don't sound like a rockerverb.

Marshall tried it back in the 80's with the Lead Mosfet which was a SS JCM800 circuit, it didn't sound like an 800 either.

There is a reason professionals record and use Rockerverbs live and not the Cr120h.

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#17
Rockerverb 50 MK1 owner here. I've only had the chance to play a crush a once, and I would say that aside from at whisper levels, It's not even in the same ballpark as the real deal. The dynamics, and response just aren't there.
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