Poll: SS or tube
Poll Options
View poll results: SS or tube
Solid State
1 25%
Tube
3 75%
Voters: 4.
#1
Ive been playing for a few months on one of those cheap walmart amps and I want to upgrade. Ive seen a lot argument over tube amps and electric just what does each have to bring to the table? Any help is apreciated
#2
every amp is electric.
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#3
First of, its a solid state (SS), not "electric" amp.

In general, I think a tube amp sounds better, and has the advantage over ss amps in most ways. Tube amps are warmer, and more natural sounding. You can push (basically turn the volume up) them hard to get a tighter, clearer overdrive/distortion then you can get from a ss. I also find that a tube amp is much more responsive than a ss amp. For example, you can change your tone quite a bit just by changing the attack (how hard or soft) of how you strum/pick your notes. A tube amp isn't as forgiving as a ss amp. Your mistakes will sound much clear and not be lost in the mush of the mix

A ss amp will not breakup like a tube amp, which can be a good thing. If you take something like a Roland Jazz Chorus, it has some of the most amazing clean tones you will hear, and will maintain it's clarity even at a high volume level, long past where most tube amps would start to naturally distort.

That being said, in 90% of situations, a tube amp would reign superior for tone. I'm not trying to say all ss amps are shit or anything thing, its just that they usaully just don't hold up when compared to a tube amp. You also have to look at cost. Most tube amps will be more expensive, and will incur more maintenance cost (tubes, biasing...etc). SS amps are arugably more reliable than tube amps, but as long as you're not be a r-tard and just throwing the thing around, you should be fine.

I'm just scraping the surface of this debate.

I'm sure other will chirp in.
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#4
I want to provide just a short opinion on the matter.

Tube is awesome for the warm cranked tone, but most tube amps don't get to their sweet spot at low volumes. In other words, get a tube amp with low wattage (like 1 to 5 watts if you don't have to keep up with a drummer) or else find a solidstate you like the sound of and go with that. Some of the newer modeling amps are impressive at a lower cost.
#5
both of the guys above are right. It also depends on what genre of music you play
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#6
Even if you don't crank your amp, tube amps are generally still warmer than solid States. Plenty of tube amp users keep their power section clean. Which is what's being referred to when we talk about cranking the amp. Really clean amps like fender twins as well as really heavy distortion amps like the peavey 6505 or mesa recto have very high wattage power amps. This is so the power amp stays clean. Preamp and power amp distortion are two different things. Power amp distortion is generally for more vintage tones and medium gain tones. If that's what you're after, you definitely want a low wattage tube amp. Unless you plan on playing with a band. Power amp distortion on a solid state amp is awful, avoid it like the plague.

Preamp distortion is what you hear from modern rock and metal bands. It is tighter, crisper, but isn't considered as warm by a lot of tube lovers. Distortion in ss amps will come from the preamp using transistors and diodes. These methods tend to sound more sterile and harsher than their tube counterparts. The main reason for this seems to be attributed to even order harmonics, which sound sweeter to our ears. Tubes create more even order harmonics, ss components create more odd order harmonics.
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#8
Quote by Cathbard
SS sucks





now cmon
SS can be okay im sure if someone worked on making a decent ss amp itll be pretty good too bad tubes are just alot easier to get to sound right
#10
tube amps can sound good, but they are heavy and i heard people burn themselves on the hot tubes. plus tubes are made of glass and that can't be good.
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#11
i can't remember the company, but (IIRC) they are still building amps. all SS. they sound good.

problem is: if you would be dropping the cash they go for, you may as well go tube, because in my opinion tube is superior 98% of the time.
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#12
I've heard tube amps cost $200 a year to maintain. Changing tubes causes radiation sickness. Tubes need rotated once a month. Pffft, no thanks. Ill stick with my Danelectro HoneyTone.
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#13
Quote by lucky1978
I've heard tube amps cost $200 a year to maintain. Changing tubes causes radiation sickness. Tubes need rotated once a month. Pffft, no thanks. Ill stick with my Danelectro HoneyTone.


What.
No. If you play enough to require tube changes every year, and have a big amp like mine (Mark V), it will cost that much. That's a lot of playing though. I've not heard anything about tubes causing radiation sickness, otherwise so many people wouldn't vouch for doing it yourself. I've also never heard of the recommendation to rotate your tubes. I can understand the idea, but no.
#14
Tube amps are generally higher quality than solid state amps, which is a huge factor in the sound difference between most solid state and tube amps. I personally prefer tube amps, but a solid state with the same quality of components would also have a very good sound. And digital amps these days are getting pretty good. (That being said I'm pretty much set on only ever playing tube amps, no matter how good or convenient digital amps/effects become.)

Really what is going to end up making your decision for you is your budget and your needs. Solid State amps come in a wide variety of wattages (related to how loud they will be), and you can get solid state amps in price ranges as low as $50 (something similar to what you probably have now) up to probably $1000, which would obviously be far better than your current amp (I don't really know where the price range tops out).

Tube amps are harder to find in low wattages. There are a wide variety of wattages available, but you'll likely see only a handful of amps at say 5W or 15W, as opposed to solid state amps where just about every brand and model comes in any wattage you could think of. Most tube amps are 50W or 100W, though I've heard that the correlation between volume and wattage isn't as strong for tube amps as it is for solid state, so a 50W amp would be pretty much as loud as a 100W.

Tube amps are more expensive, ranging from around $400 up to several thousand dollars. The price might put you off, but you're getting what you pay for (at least up to near $2,000, after that the other amps are just different as opposed to necessarily being better, my opinion anyway). The components are generally better quality, though like I said you get what you pay for and a $400 amp is not going to sound like a $1500 amp.

I would recommend identifying amps in your price range that are suitable the genres of music you like to play (i.e. don't get a fender super champ if you want to play death metal), and then looking up some soundclips of people playing them on youtube or something to help you identify what you would like. Really at the end of the day though I think buying equipment is always a leap of faith, and you won't really know if you like something until you've owned it and been playing on it for a couple months. So best of luck with your search, and I hope you find this helpful.

edit:I disagree with people who say tube amps need to be loud to sound good, I play mine all the time at reasonable volumes and it sounds great. Also maintenance costs are not a big deal, I've only had to replace 1 tube in the two years I've owned my amp, and preamp tubes only cost like $20-ish.
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#15
Quote by katalyzt13
I want to provide just a short opinion on the matter.

Tube is awesome for the warm cranked tone, but most tube amps don't get to their sweet spot at low volumes. In other words, get a tube amp with low wattage (like 1 to 5 watts if you don't have to keep up with a drummer) or else find a solidstate you like the sound of and go with that. Some of the newer modeling amps are impressive at a lower cost.


This crap only applies if you're somehow living in the early 70s before the mainstream application of preamp distortion designed amps came about.
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#16
Quote by Soccerguy
What.
No. If you play enough to require tube changes every year, and have a big amp like mine (Mark V), it will cost that much. That's a lot of playing though. I've not heard anything about tubes causing radiation sickness, otherwise so many people wouldn't vouch for doing it yourself. I've also never heard of the recommendation to rotate your tubes. I can understand the idea, but no.



I think you've been trolled.


Also, **** tube amps. You have to plug them into a ****ing power outlet!


Some people here are just saying dumb shit about tube amps to be funny.


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#18
Thanks for all your input an after further research I've decided to to go with ss amp for now