#1
Picking up a new amp today - very excited...but I have to get rid of/sell one of the 2 I currently have.

I have a new (to me) Peavey Vypyr 60 tube, and an old Ampeg VT-60 Tri-ax (1990ish)

I want to keep the Vypyr as it allows me to plug in mp3's to play along with backing tracks, but I'm worried about the long term durability of this amp. I know the Ampeg will last and is easier to repair if something goes wrong. I have multi-fx for versatility, but really like the versatility of the Vypyr. Just scared it won't last. The Ampeg has great cleans which I like as the amp I'm buying does not...but then again the Vypyr cleans are pretty good as well...

Which should I sell? Can probably fetch the same price for both (though could take the Vypyr back now to GC as I'm not past the 30 days)...
#2
Quote by Mole351
I know the Ampeg will last and is easier to repair if something goes wrong.
Is it?
'cause I don't think it is.

The vypyr isn't a bad quality amp y' know.
It'll require changing the power tubes when they go bad but it's not something you wouldn't have to do with the ampeg either.
The ampeg may even want you to change it's pre tubes, which the vypyr don't even have.

I'd keep the tri-ax anyway, I'd never sell something like that, but that's just me.
Plus it depends.
What do you play and what other amp have you got?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#3
Quote by Spambot_2
Quote by Mole351
I know the Ampeg will last and is easier to repair if something goes wrong.

Is it?
'cause I don't think it is.

Yes, it is.

Tube amps are generally easier to diagnose and repair; and the older they are, the better.
Solid state and hybrid amps are also pretty straightforward, but modelling amps can be a PITA to repair. Plus, some of the parts are more difficult to source for modelling amps, namely the proprietary hardware and respective software for the digital processing sections.

I'm willing to bet that 20 years from now you'll still see old tube, SS and hybrid amps being restored fairly easy, while modellers like the Vypyr Tube will become impossible to repair at a certain point.
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#4
What amp are you buying today? That'd certainly affect my desicion.
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#5
Quote by Linkerman
Yes, it is.

Tube amps are generally easier to diagnose and repair; and the older they are, the better.
Solid state and hybrid amps are also pretty straightforward, but modelling amps can be a PITA to repair. Plus, some of the parts are more difficult to source for modelling amps, namely the proprietary hardware and respective software for the digital processing sections.

I'm willing to bet that 20 years from now you'll still see old tube, SS and hybrid amps being restored fairly easy, while modellers like the Vypyr Tube will become impossible to repair at a certain point.
Well in a tube amp it's easier to diagnose what's wrong, but it's also more likely to go wrong in my experience.
I mean I've seen a couple tube amps go bad because of the tubes and some bugeras because of simple stuff, but I've never really seen any modeler go bad.
The tubes are replaceable and the digital part likely just isn't, though I wouldn't say it's likely that it will have any problems.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#6
Quote by Spambot_2
Well in a tube amp it's easier to diagnose what's wrong, but it's also more likely to go wrong in my experience.

Agreed. But the fixes are mostly simple and cheap.

Quote by Spambot_2
I mean I've seen a couple tube amps go bad because of the tubes and some bugeras because of simple stuff, but I've never really seen any modeler go bad.

Bugeras are a whole different category -- they have (even the new Infinum series) known quality and reliability issues. As the Germans usually say, "you get what you pay for".

I've seen a few modellers go bad. Just as any equipment, problems can arise. They're fairly reliable, but they break down as well.

Quote by Spambot_2
The tubes are replaceable and the digital part likely just isn't, though I wouldn't say it's likely that it will have any problems.

All other factors aside, time does take its toll on components, wether they're digital or analog. And when I presented that "20 years from now scenario", I was referring precisely to that.
In that time, I think it's more probable that TS's Ampeg VT-60 is still running, than his Vypyr 60 Tube.
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#7
Didn't mention the amp I'm buying as I know it pretty much gets straight hate here...but it's the DSL40C.

And as others have mentioned - it's the digital part that I worry about going down the road. I think I'm going to keep the Tri-ax. Great cleans, and if I really want a modeling amp I can get something cheap down the road - only thing I hate to lose is the input in for backing tracks.
#8
A DSL?
I'd get a boost to push it and keep the ampeg for sure.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#9
That's what I did spambot! Love the new amp so far.

When you say boost you mean something like a TS?
#10
I've got no issues with the long term durability of solid state gear. I've got a 1971 Carvin amp (275W) that's still going strong. Tube gear is simpler, to be sure. But pro audio companies have been hauling solid state gear around forever, and it holds up just fine. Same with the military. Laptop computers seem to be doing very well. Given the millions of solid state components that we rely on every day, I'm surprised that this is even a question.

Tubes might be simpler to fix, but honestly, I find tubes to be FAR less forgiving of handling, vibration, impact, etc. I've arrived at gigs with chassis actually bent by heavy transformers, tubes shattered, solder joints jiggered, the whole works. Tubes will just suddenly decide to stop working, on no schedule but their own.

As for long-term futures, I'd point to the fact that the only reason we still have tube amps past the '70's is that the Soviet bloc military relied on tube technology 40 years longer than the US military. Nixon opening China to trade in the early '70's gave us access to tube manufacturers and guitar amp technology stopped progressing right then and there. But times have changed, tube manufacturers are steadily dropping off the map even in China, and we're steadily headed toward declining availability and an eventual "boutique" manufacturing situation that will cost significantly more money to keep the old clunks running.

While I've got a stack of tube amps that work well for guitar playing, I also play bass and keys, and honestly, I've been seduced by the dark side where those are concerned. I have neo-based speaker cabinets that can handle 900W each, outshout any Marshall stack, and weigh in the 40-47 lbs region. They're capable of going both higher and lower than a 4x12 with better dispersion of sound. I have 1500W amp heads that weigh in at 10 lbs. With a modeler, I can carry a complete rig into a gig with one trip from a Honda Civic and not have to roll anything.
#11
Quote by Mole351
That's what I did spambot! Love the new amp so far.

When you say boost you mean something like a TS?
Yeah, a tube screamer or anything that'd get you more gain and a bit of bass cut, just to get to the metal stuff that might be too heavy for the amp by its own.

Have fun!
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#12
Quote by dspellman
I've got no issues with the long term durability of solid state gear. I've got a 1971 Carvin amp (275W) that's still going strong. Tube gear is simpler, to be sure. But pro audio companies have been hauling solid state gear around forever, and it holds up just fine. Same with the military. Laptop computers seem to be doing very well. Given the millions of solid state components that we rely on every day, I'm surprised that this is even a question.

I've went through a few computers and laptops because of small issues that were apparently easy to fix, but in the end determined the "death" of them because the needed components were no longer available, and none of the newest versions of those components were compatible with the rest of the computers' hardware.

As I said, it's much more probable that tube, solid state and hybrid amps can be maintained, fixed and/or restored for many years to come, than modelling amps that rely on particular components that will be pretty much non-existant in a mid-term future.

I've seen situations in which cars being repaired and restored were fitted with 100% mechanical parts to replace electronic components that were working with faults/glitches or that even stopped working at all.
In some of those situations they could be retro-fitted with newer electronics, but the owners chose the long-term solution of going with fully mechanical parts.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking against modellers, other digital gear or electronic components at all.
I just think it'll be very hard to see a 40-year-old Peavey Vypyr, a Fender Mustang, etc., being restored to new condition the way we see it happening with analog amplifiers every day.

Quote by dspellman
As for long-term futures, I'd point to the fact that the only reason we still have tube amps past the '70's is that the Soviet bloc military relied on tube technology 40 years longer than the US military. Nixon opening China to trade in the early '70's gave us access to tube manufacturers and guitar amp technology stopped progressing right then and there. But times have changed, tube manufacturers are steadily dropping off the map even in China, and we're steadily headed toward declining availability and an eventual "boutique" manufacturing situation that will cost significantly more money to keep the old clunks running.

Tubes are so popular among guitar players and the hi-fi community that they'll probably never go away. Even if this is a small niche we're talking about here, it's still a huge market demanding for them all across the world. And as long as there's this demand that justifies it, production will not stop.

Quote by dspellman
While I've got a stack of tube amps that work well for guitar playing, I also play bass and keys, and honestly, I've been seduced by the dark side where those are concerned. I have neo-based speaker cabinets that can handle 900W each, outshout any Marshall stack, and weigh in the 40-47 lbs region. They're capable of going both higher and lower than a 4x12 with better dispersion of sound. I have 1500W amp heads that weigh in at 10 lbs. With a modeler, I can carry a complete rig into a gig with one trip from a Honda Civic and not have to roll anything.

Of course.
There's no denying the practicality (and affordability) of modelling gear. Hell, for my band's weekly practice I just throw a Zoom MS-100 small modelling pedal into my guitar's gigbag, and then plug it straight to the studio's PA. Works great and saves me a couple of trips to the car to lug my whole pedalboard and amp.

But the issue here is its durability.
E.g., despite taking extremely good care of my stuff, I don't believe my Zoom MS-100 will be working flawlessly, let's say, 25 years from now.
And when it breaks down, it will probably be impossible to repair, which won't happen with the rest of my gear (which is mostly analog).
Also, it was pretty cheap, so it'll be better to write it off and just buy a new multi-fx unit when that happens.


Taking the computer example again, my mom has a vintage typewriter. It's probably about 40 years old. It still works perfectly.
Do you have any idea how many computers, cellphones, etc., we went through during that typewriter's life? I lost count.
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#13
Quote by Linkerman

Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking against modellers, other digital gear or electronic components at all.
I just think it'll be very hard to see a 40-year-old Peavey Vypyr, a Fender Mustang, etc., being restored to new condition the way we see it happening with analog amplifiers every day.


I don't think we'll care. If you want to speak out against an entire society that tosses stuff rather than fixes it, you're welcome to, and you'll find disciples. I have film cameras from Hasselblad that work perfectly and date to 1956, and that can be fixed by a competent repairman. OTOH, Hasselblad promised to support their digital backs for at least 10 years. They lied, and have withdrawn support for five-year-old backs. I have rows of digital camera bodies that have been obsoleted over the past 10 years. They still work, but performance on the new ones is so much better that we're looking at a durable item that's become disposable.

Quote by Linkerman

Tubes are so popular among guitar players and the hi-fi community that they'll probably never go away. Even if this is a small niche we're talking about here, it's still a huge market demanding for them all across the world. And as long as there's this demand that justifies it, production will not stop.


Tube amps exist because in the '70's a source of *cheap* tubes presented itself. That's going away. Neither the guitar nor *especially* the hi-fi community have enough volume to support a manufacturer who will do cheap tubes. We've already seen NOS tubes run to $60 and more each. When tubes become expensive, cheap tube amps will disappear and with them, entry level buyers. That very nearly happened in the '70's, and manufacturers had by and large already turned to solid state. That's what's going to happen again.


Quote by Linkerman

Taking the computer example again, my mom has a vintage typewriter. It's probably about 40 years old. It still works perfectly.
Do you have any idea how many computers, cellphones, etc., we went through during that typewriter's life? I lost count.


That vintage typewriter still works, but who wants to use the things? It's a curiosity at this point, and a museum piece in the future. The same with tube amps. My tube amp *may* be working in 30 years, but it will be a nostalgia piece more than anything else.
#14
Quote by dspellman
I don't think we'll care. If you want to speak out against an entire society that tosses stuff rather than fixes it, you're welcome to, and you'll find disciples. I have film cameras from Hasselblad that work perfectly and date to 1956, and that can be fixed by a competent repairman. OTOH, Hasselblad promised to support their digital backs for at least 10 years. They lied, and have withdrawn support for five-year-old backs. I have rows of digital camera bodies that have been obsoleted over the past 10 years. They still work, but performance on the new ones is so much better that we're looking at a durable item that's become disposable.

Put the obsolescence of those digital cameras aside. Now, they still work today. Do you think they'll still work 10 years from now?
Once they break down, can they be fixed? Probably not, and that was my point.

Again, I'm not speaking against nothing; I'm simply sustaining my argument that analog amps are more durable than digital modelling amps.
Don't read a deeper philosophy into this -- I'm only explaining why I have this opinion, the reasons behind the replies I've posted in this thread, since I find this an interesting subject to discuss.

Quote by dspellman
Tube amps exist because in the '70's a source of *cheap* tubes presented itself. That's going away. Neither the guitar nor *especially* the hi-fi community have enough volume to support a manufacturer who will do cheap tubes. We've already seen NOS tubes run to $60 and more each. When tubes become expensive, cheap tube amps will disappear and with them, entry level buyers. That very nearly happened in the '70's, and manufacturers had by and large already turned to solid state. That's what's going to happen again.

Or a new manufacturer will appear to fill that void, supplying cheap tubes. We're talking about a huge and very widespread market, and there are companies working to supply much smaller markets with affordable replacement parts.

And don't forget that NOS tubes are a limited stock and they get even more rare as those reserves get depleted, it's no wonder their price will increase accordingly.

Quote by dspellman
That vintage typewriter still works, but who wants to use the things? It's a curiosity at this point, and a museum piece in the future. The same with tube amps. My tube amp *may* be working in 30 years, but it will be a nostalgia piece more than anything else.

There are some areas in which old stuff is extremely sought after, despite newer models being better in most ways. Like cars, watches, even photo and video cameras, etc., which people still do want to use regularly.

And I feel that tube amps won't be relegated to the mere position of "nostalgia pieces" in the foreseeable future, because for many people they simply can't be replaced.


Besides, you're drifting away from the point in which you and Spambot initally disagreed from me, which was the durability of modelling amps.
I still think there's no argument against what I said -- that they're less durable than their analog counterparts (be it solid state, hybrid or tube amps).
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Last edited by Linkerman at Apr 16, 2014,
#15
Quote by Linkerman
Again, I'm not speaking against nothing; I'm simply sustaining my argument that analog amps are more durable than digital modelling amps.


Seems to me your argument is to repairability, not durability?
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#16
Quote by Arby911
Seems to me your argument is to repairability, not durability?

Fair enough. Since TS was deciding which amp to keep, my mindset was automatically towards the really long term, durability in the sense it lasting as much as possible, even if the need for interventions arises.

If you remove that factor, the durability of modelling amps will be the same as the durability of a solid state or hybrid amp.
I'd even put tube amps a little behind them just because their tubes need to be replaced eventually.
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Last edited by Linkerman at Apr 16, 2014,