#1
I wanted to get a tube amp but since I live in a college dorm.
It not ideal. Since to really get that tube to sound good usually means higher volume.
So I have decided to just play them with simulators on my computer and output with studio monitors.
I already have an interface (scarlett 2i4) and was wondering if there are any good recommendations for such thing under $300.
I might be getting a POD HD500x in the future also.
#2
Quote by sss880367
Since to really get that tube to sound good usually means higher volume.
No.

Turning up the volume is for power tube distortion, which is something most people don't wanna do.
Also that gets hella loud unless you have a 5w or less amp.

Tube amps don't sound worse at lower volumes because they're tube amps, they sound worse at lower volumes because the human hear likes stuff at higher volumes.
Everything sounds better at higher volumes to us, until the point where it starts hurting our ears.

Well there would also be the fact that speakers of the size used in guitar amps aren't designed to be used at low volumes and they work better at higher volumes.

Though tube amps have volume controls, and if you want a tube amp don't drop the idea of getting one 'cause it won't sound good at low volumes, 'cause it's not really true.

That said, using headphones would be a better idea in this case.

If you do want studio monitors, for that money get a pair of LSR305.

If you though don't care about your monitors sounding clear and natural and true to the source material, get krk rokit's 'cause they'll make your stuff sound better than it actually does.
Edit: the M audio BX5 d2 is also somehow flattering but way better than the rokits, so check a pair of them out as well.

Bad for mixing but good if you just wanna play by yourself.
Last edited by Spambot_2 at Nov 8, 2014,
#3
^^ While I agree with most of that, sometimes the lowest volume with 'correct' band response can be too loud.

With that I mean that if u go too low in volume, the bass/low mids get cut heavily.

I suspect it's the point where the speakers are just not driven enough, but it sounds basically as a cheap solid state amp with 'unworkable' response, and just a bunch of mid/high bands.

Fenders are notorious where literally 0,00001 mm makes the amp so much louder because of the volume tapering in the pot.

I mean, yes you can hear the notes off course separately, but a lot of guitar work/productions sounds good because of it's dynamic response which is just not apparent. Naturally if you want to practice ur tone control you need enough volume to make the relative difference stand out better.

You need a certain range to be able to have enough separate dynamic responses to get a better sound.

Unless you don't recognize the dynamic saturation differences of a nice tube amp, but then go listen to midi guitar pro sounds.

And before anyone says that's 'power amp distortion only'. Yes power amp drive seems to be the most affecting the dynamic saturation, but there's certainly stuff there at the pre, especially at lower gain ranges.
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 10, 2014,
#4
Quote by xxdarrenxx
^^ While I agree with most of that, sometimes the lowest volume with 'correct' band response can be too loud.

With that I mean that if u go too low in volume, the bass/low mids get cut heavily.

I suspect it's the point where the speakers are just not driven enough, but it sounds basically as a cheap solid state amp with 'unworkable' response, and just a bunch of mid/high bands.
That's 'cause speakers are heavy to move and 'cause of the fletcher-munson curves.
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I mean, yes you can hear the notes off course separately, but a lot of guitar work/productions sounds good because of it's dynamic response which is just not apparent. Naturally if you want to practice ur tone control you need enough volume to make the relative difference stand out better.
That's because guitar speakers aren't the best quality speakers.
Quote by xxdarrenxx
You need a certain range to be able to have enough separate dynamic responses to get a better sound.

Unless you don't recognize the dynamic saturation differences of a nice tube amp, but then go listen to midi guitar pro sounds.

And before anyone says that's 'power amp distortion only'. Yes power amp drive seems to be the most affecting the dynamic saturation, but there's certainly stuff there at the pre, especially at lower gain ranges.
I get what you mean, yes.

Though, distortion is affected by playing dynamics much more than volume at low volumes still because guitar speakers work better at high volumes.

My point was that a solid state amp won't sound better than a tube at low volumes just because it's a solid state amp, and a tube amp won't sound better at higher volumes because it has tubes instead of transistors.
#5
Quote by Spambot_2
My point was that a solid state amp won't sound better than a tube at low volumes just because it's a solid state amp, and a tube amp won't sound better at higher volumes because it has tubes instead of transistors.

This is true, to an extent.

I've played far more tube amps that sound terrible at low volume than solid states that sound terrible at low volume. This is mostly because of the fact that most tube amps have a very small section on their volume pots that change them from "whisper quiet" to "loud tv." Very few, if any, tube amp I've owned or played this low in volume sounded that good.

That being said - I guess it depends on whether you like the amp at more marginal volumes or not, as to whether it will sound better at high volumes. Solid state amps do not sound pleasant as they're pushed into the extremes of their volume, because the clipping that occurs on the transistors sounds gross. That's why most solid state amps that are meant for gigging have very high wattage outputs, so they stay clean as they're pushed into louder territories.

Tube amps, on the other hand, have a much softer clipping that tends to make them sound far more pleasant when cranked. Sure, most people who are playing high gain don't generally tend to want a whole lot of power amp saturation, because it tends to make the amp looser sounding, but it can also give a bigger tone, so many people like what tube amps sound like with a little saturation from the power section. That being said - if you're playing high gain, you'll likely have a 50-100w+ amp, which will, more than likely, never be turned up loud enough to attain a high level of power amp saturation, regardless. Power amp saturation is essential to the tone of many genres, though, and to say most people don't want it is absurd.
#6
Yes spambot.

I always suspected the speakers, but am too occupied with making music then figuring every technical spec out, which is not a bad thing...

And tube amps indeed do not need to be nowhere near full volume to sound good.

From personal experience just over halfway seems to be sufficient for most if not all tube amps to be workable and sound good. And even the low volumes after the quiet zone are perfectly workable.

In reality for practise, all amps can operate at the same percepted volume, just for learning's sake of dynamics and possible better hearing of string noise unmuted etc.

I say this, because if one amp's too loud, most likely ever amp will be too loud, except certain situations which you can read in my response to matrix below.

It's funny, cause I've been teaching guitar for well over 5 years now, and people who play very quiet all the time, pretty much sound shit at even just a bit louder. Suddenly they hear un-muted strings, harmonic resonance, dynamics non existent in their playing, too sharp of a a pick angle, which makes notes sound far more plonky than usual etc.

An indicator here on the boards is when people say tube amps are less forgiving. Well yeah if you practise at piss volumes all the time, and that low volume does not work because of the 'quiet zone' in tube amps.

Always practice moderately loud, or you will die at your first live gig. (or the sound engineer, which is just not nice).

To Matrixclaw.

Basically also my point in my previous post. There's that gap, and often even just the first value after quiet can sometimes be too loud.

It also seems tube amps also have this weird thing. I can setup for SS and tube to be about as loud, but the tube amp I can hear across the building, but the SS amp I cannot. I do not know why this sound seems to carry further, or if there's some illusion going on in the room with percepted volume but yeah.
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 10, 2014,