Page 1 of 2
#1
I am relatively new to electric guitars and all of the accessories that go along with the hobby. Every day I learn more and more and find the technology fascinating. One intriguing aspect is that technology from the 1950's and 60's seems to be rather coveted. It seems that other than digital modeling, amps have more or less remained unchanged and re-issues of 60+ year old technology is prevalent in all gear.

Why is this? With all other hobbies I have previously engaged in, the tech has evolved and constantly improved with only small segments dedicated to retro gear. Maybe there are some refinements that have occurred and some gimmicky things added. But by and large, guitars and amps all seem to be based on developments made in the middle of the last century.

Anybody have some insite?
#2
Quote by Moto4Fun
I am relatively new to electric guitars and all of the accessories that go along with the hobby. Every day I learn more and more and find the technology fascinating. One intriguing aspect is that technology from the 1950's and 60's seems to be rather coveted. It seems that other than digital modeling, amps have more or less remained unchanged and re-issues of 60+ year old technology is prevalent in all gear.



Guitarists, for some reason, have been sheep, content to follow in a few innovators' footsteps. As you note, tube amps and most electric guitars haven't changed since the early '50's. This may be due to an over-veneration of the Baby Boomer Sound Track over the years. That's going away as that generation moves into retirement at the rate of about 12,000 per day.

As you'd expect, real innovation is happening in solid state and in computer power -- look at a Korg Pandora PX-5D or Pandora Mini. Look at the apps that will work with an iPhone.
Guitars have also been moving forward (see the Line 6 Variax guitars), but guitar players regard all of this with some suspicion. As a result, guitar bands are largely disappearing from popular music, to be replaced by chick singers with one name and the occasional hip-hop artist, who is mostly working with synth tracks.
#3
We are getting more and more "mini" pedals tought, since components are getting smaller.

Guitarists, for some reason, have been sheep, content to follow in a few innovators' footsteps


Totally agree.
#4
Tubes potentially sound better than SS or digital. All the modelling in the world still hasn't changed that.
I think it's great that we have a link to vacuum tubes that nobody else has. Fuc iphones and all that crap, give me a classic tube amp any day, even if it costs double
#6
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Why **** with something that already works and sounds good?

Why not make it sound better?
Why not make it sound the same in a smaller box?
Why not give it more features?

Sure, if it's broke don't fix it. But if you can, try to make it better.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#7
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Why **** with something that already works and sounds good?


It sorta works.

But...

It's heavy, it's relatively delicate, the parts are disappearing (as tube manufacturing closes rapidly even in third world countries). It's more expensive than it needs to be, it's not very versatile and guitarists with extended range instruments are outgrowing it. That's why.

Bass players have 1500W solid state amps that weigh 10 lbs, lightweight (and loud) speaker cabinets that go both higher and lower than guitar amps.
Drummers have electronic drums, and even when playing acoustics, there are often mesh pickups on those drums.
Keyboardists run mixers and PA-style power amps into full-range speaker cabinets that handle 900W each but are smaller and lighter (and have wider range frequency response) than the 4x12s some guitarists still use.

The rest of the world has moved on. Guitarists are stuck in 40 years ago.
#8
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Why **** with something that already works and sounds good?

+1
Guitars and amps work and work well for what people use them for. Why change that?

there are some FX pedals and some designs that are starting to push the envelope a bit, but that is a very small percentage of the "guitar" population.


Someone one hear put it plain and simple an guitar sounds a certain way and an amp amplifies this. All the other cool stuff is just add ons
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#9
"Lunchbox" amps and smaller heads have been introduced also.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#10
There's lots of great new tech that's better than the old. But sometimes there's simply no new tech that outperforms or even equals old tech. And until they find something better, valve amps will remain the standard in most genres.
#11
Its the romanticism of the music industry. Why do people still prefer to listen to vinyl for example?

Also the music played on guitars hasn't really changed for many years (with a few notable exceptions of course). The real innovation in guitar music happened way back in the 50s and 60s so people aspire to match the tones of those classic innovators known by so many. It's not just replicating the sound, it's replicating the methods and the excitement which is why I love picking up my guitar.

I'd expect that if you looked at areas of music which are considered innovative in this era, synth/electronic type music for example, then there will be a much more progressive technology adoption culture.
#12
well to say that todays amps are the same as the ones in the 50s is pretty simplistic. just looking at the guts of a new multichannel amp and you'll see a huge difference. just because the tubes themselves haven't chaged doesn't mean the rest of the amp hasn't. tubes provide a certain desirable sound that hasn't been duplicated fully by other technology. it's kind of like saying cars still use internal combustion engines so they must all be the same, right.
#13
Quote by jecooper86
Its the romanticism of the music industry. Why do people still prefer to listen to vinyl for example?


My short answer is "Because it sounds better to me."

Not everyone's ears are the same. Some people CAN indeed hear a difference between analog vs digital and give specific, qualitative and quantitative information to back it up.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pearl & Ebony • Les Paul PlusTop Pro Honeyburst • AJ220VS • Squier Standard Stratocaster CAR
Marshall Class 5 Combo • Digitech HT-2 • Vox V847 • MXR M68 Uni-Vibe • Soul Food • BOSS SD-1 • Digitech RV-7
#14
Quote by jecooper86
Its the romanticism of the music industry. Why do people still prefer to listen to vinyl for example?

Also the music played on guitars hasn't really changed for many years (with a few notable exceptions of course). The real innovation in guitar music happened way back in the 50s and 60s so people aspire to match the tones of those classic innovators known by so many. It's not just replicating the sound, it's replicating the methods and the excitement which is why I love picking up my guitar.

I'd expect that if you looked at areas of music which are considered innovative in this era, synth/electronic type music for example, then there will be a much more progressive technology adoption culture.


I get what you're trying to say here, but I'd argue that vinyl is more of a novelty than tube technology in amplifiers. To anyone who actually knows anything about vinyl, knows that vinyl is not a superior format to a lossless digital format (FLAC, WAV) in most cases. This is due to bad and digital masters, the fact that colored vinyl sounds worse than black vinyl, poor cuts, bad pressings and low-quality turntables.

Unless you have black or clear vinyl with a high quality master, mixed specifically for vinyl and cut nicely, you might as well be listening to 192kb/s MP3's.

Don't get me wrong, I love my vinyl. But older amp technology has a following that actually makes sense. Buying a tube amp is a commitment. You're spending money on something that needs regular maintenance and needs to be taken care of because you like how it sounds. Buying vinyl is a novelty. The big album art looks awesome and the color variants are cool. People also buy vinyl because there's a forced collectability to it. Some people spend hundreds of dollars on a record just to frame it.
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band
#15
Quote by Moto4Fun
I am relatively new to electric guitars and all of the accessories that go along with the hobby. Every day I learn more and more and find the technology fascinating. One intriguing aspect is that technology from the 1950's and 60's seems to be rather coveted. It seems that other than digital modeling, amps have more or less remained unchanged and re-issues of 60+ year old technology is prevalent in all gear.

Why is this? With all other hobbies I have previously engaged in, the tech has evolved and constantly improved with only small segments dedicated to retro gear. Maybe there are some refinements that have occurred and some gimmicky things added. But by and large, guitars and amps all seem to be based on developments made in the middle of the last century.

Anybody have some insite?


if you are talking about just amps, just getting the signal louder, then the biggest innovation in a while is class D operation. it's made amps louder, more efficient and lighter. other than that i don't see what else there is to 'innovate' with pure amplification.

if we are talking more than just amplification, like purposefully affecting the signal of the guitar, then i think this is an entirely different subject.

but people like the sound and look of the old stuff. there is a large debate as to whether you can get that old sound with new technology. if you want that old sound, then it is hard to argue that anything designed to emulate something like a jtm-45 can sound more like jtm-45 than a real jtm-45 can.

i feel this debate stretches well beyond just 'amplifiers' though. imo there has been incredible innovation in different sounds and effects in guitar (including modeling), i find this field to be far from run by stagnant/old technology. i also find that most companies that still sell these 'old designs' of amplifiers are selling more of the 'new designs' than the 'old designs'.

Quote by dspellman
Guitarists, for some reason, have been sheep.


you have really been sounding like more and more like some kinda militant truther or a scientology nut. i swear, i keep expecting to hear some kinda: "car drivers are sheep. for some reason they keep wanting to use the wheel, which is like the first simple machine ever. i guess manufacturers cater to this lack of interest in innovation and just give the masses what they want. i guess eventually when the baby boomers die then we can start getting hover cars."
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Feb 4, 2015,
#16
^ clearly you have never seen a 1970's Boy's Life magazine add have you?
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#17
The change from tube to solid state isn't as convenient as it was for bassists. A tube bass amp is huge. It needs a lot of tubes and big transformers for the clean headroom. Even most of the highly regarded solid-state are heavy compared to the class D amps. But many pick convenience over tone because that convenience can be more than a 100lb difference. That's a big deal to a gigging musician who has to carry their own gear. That's why the shift to class D happened with bass amps. They were serving the needs of players.

Guitar players don't really have needs that need to be fulfilled. You can already get a 15-20lb tube head. The small heads are rather new but you could get a tube combo that's under 50lbs for a while now. And tube amps are already cheap. A Peavey Classic 30 is 40lbs and a Roland Blues Cube is 30lbs. The two are basically the same price and a 10lb difference isn't that big. Even going digital with a monitor isn't saving much money or weight. So those options have to win on tone alone. And that's not going to happen because they have to try to sound like a tube amp and they're never going to quite reach that. Even bass amps do it and they sometimes puts tubes in them. But the price and weight difference between a tube and a solid-state bass amp is a much bigger deal than it is for a guitar amp so there will likely never be a shift.
Last edited by JELIFISH19 at Feb 5, 2015,
#18
Technology is changing and modelers are getting vastly better, but tubes still work, work well and provide the sound that many (most?) guitar players are looking for.

Many early adopters of SS and modeling technology were burned by sub-par gear and sub-par tone, so the newer equipment has more of an uphill battle.

I'm not opposed to new technology, and even use it (and my next major gear purchase will be a KPA) but quite honestly tube amps and conventional guitars do everything I need them to do, sound great doing it, and aren't cost prohibitive at this time so there's no real incentive for me to divest myself of them.

Even The Digital Militant (dspellman) above will admit that he has bins of pedals and a storage unit full of tube amps. If he was as true to his cause as his postings suggest he would get rid of them as quickly as possible, yet that doesn't seem to be happening?

He claims it's because they are an investment, but who invests in old, outdated tech that no one is going to want in a few years???
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Feb 5, 2015,
#19
This has been some great perspective. I do realize that there are great advances taking place. But I look at things like the Amplifi 75 and wonder why the retro designs are so much more popular (if indeed they are). The yamaha THR is a great example. Some say they have come with a great modeling formula, and with two tiny speakers have created an amazing sound. But would anybody be buying it if it was in a high tech modern enclosure with a nice super functional touch panel HMI?

Is it that the market (the people spending the money) is filled with old guys, or is the appeal of the guitar leveraged on the "old" days of rock. I guess if you compare it to the classic acoustic instruments like a violin (where virtually nothing has changed), the electric systems have come a long way. And. Maybe, in music technological advancement isn't so necessary. While digital design has streamlined commercial design, the artist will still create using a paint brush or pastels or whatever tools allow them to realize their creativity.

Again, I am relatively new to this. When I bought a guitar last year, I picked up an Epiphone Les Paul and Marshall combo. They both really appealed to me visually. I then picked up a Line 6 sonic port to use with my iPad, and I was amazed at the possibilities. I just had to wonder how long it would until everyone had some kind of digital interface in their setup. But then I started reading about and seeing how much effort is put in to recreating old tones. I see Fender's offering: '57 reissue, '63 reissue, Princeton, Champion, etc. even the Mustangs with their modern tech inside look like something from decades past. These are more like the throw back designs in the Auto industry, yet nobody is re-issuing the 1967 Camaro RS or 69 mustang Mach 1.

I really do think it is cool. I'm just trying understand the culture more and learn about this new world that I have begun to explore.
#20
Quote by Moto4Fun
These are more like the throw back designs in the Auto industry, yet nobody is re-issuing the 1967 Camaro RS or 69 mustang Mach 1.


Really? The 2010 Camaro reboot was a direct nod to the first-gen Camaro's, as was the 5th gen Mustang to the 1st gen?

Things that are classic have multigenerational appeal, and will keep reappearing in some form or another for a very long time, whether it's tube amps, cars, guitars or whatever.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#21
When digital technology has advanced to the point where completely organic algorithms can be implemented in effects and amps to sound identical to tube and analog effects, guitar players will still keep using tubes and bulky stompboxes.
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band
#22
Quote by Moto4Fun
It seems that other than digital modeling, amps have more or less remained unchanged and re-issues of 60+ year old technology is prevalent in all gear.

Why is this?
Because guitarists are luddites and thus the laughing stock of the instrument-playing world.

Even digital modellers, look at what they model - old amps.

You don't need tubes for good cleans, overdrive or distortion. Roland and Pritchard prove that with SS tech. With modern tech in pickups and amps we could have amazing tones from guitars with each plucked note sounding like a symphony of Aston V12s and harps.
ZEN JUDDHISM
The new solo project, and spiritual philosophy... Album out now !
----------------------------------------------------------
hybrid 6.0
Debut album 'Silent Destruction' out now
Read the Two Guys Metal review here
#23
Quote by The Judist
Because guitarists are luddites and thus the laughing stock of the instrument-playing world.

Even digital modellers, look at what they model - old amps.

You don't need tubes for good cleans, overdrive or distortion. Roland and Pritchard prove that with SS tech. With modern tech in pickups and amps we could have amazing tones from guitars with each plucked note sounding like a symphony of Aston V12s and harps.


That would get annoying pretty quickly, but maybe as an effect...

The reason they model old amps isn't because they are old, it's because they produce the tones that (many) people enjoy.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#24
Quote by Moto4Fun
When I bought a guitar last year, I picked up an Epiphone Les Paul and Marshall combo. They both really appealed to me visually. I then picked up a Line 6 sonic port to use with my iPad, and I was amazed at the possibilities.

What possibilities were you amazed by? Everything in it is trying to imitate things that a tube amp already does. Digital things and solid-state amps are trying to capture the feel and tone of tube amps. And their effects are imitations of pedals. Innovation in the solid-state and digital marketplace is just trying to do what tube amps and effects pedals already do. So why go that route when it doesn't do it better than the actual thing it's trying to imitate?

If you're talking about the possibilities of having many amps and effects available, then the reason why that will never get huge is that most guitarists don't need that many options. They can get better results by buying what they need and what they want. Most people have a favorite amp and effects.

Quote by The Judist
Because guitarists are luddites and thus the laughing stock of the instrument-playing world.

How are they the laughing stock of the instrument playing world? Pianists prefer grand pianos to digital pianos. There are electric violins but people prefer the real thing. Korg has the wavedrum but most people prefer acoustic drums. Akai has the EWI but that's not replacing any wind instruments. I can't think of any instruments have been replaced or even made better by digital technology.
#25
I've pondered this topic many times. I'd LOVE to see guitar technology rise in the coming years. I'd love to be able to buy a 500 watt 5 lb ss amp that fulfills all my tonal needs.

But here's the thing: I've played and owned a bunch of ss and digital modeling gear. I love the line 6 pod hd. It was being used at my church twice a week because it was so much more convenient than an amp. BUT all the digital stuff I've played with has always felt like I was just feeding notes into the gear. It sounds great! And does everything I need. But it sounds like I'm playing my guitar and the pod is playing back the notes. But my 1967 fender bassman? It feels like I'm playing the amp. There's an interaction between guitar and amp that feels so satisfying. It's something I never felt with modeling gear. I still used it, but it was always a compromise.

If modeling gear can reach that point of inspiration and interaction, trust me, I'll be on board in a second! The idea of new technology is really exciting to me. And I hope some companies take some risks and try to push it forward.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
Last edited by ibanezguitars44 at Feb 5, 2015,
#26
Quote by JELIFISH19
Guitar players don't really have needs that need to be fulfilled.


Haha nice one. I'll remember that.
#27
still blows my mind that in about 60 years the electric guitar has come from being on the cutting edge of electric instrument innovation back in the 50's to being the instrument of choice for sheep and luddites.

you know what instrument is older than the electric guitar? like almost every other instrument.

are certain people really that persuaded by the speed of technical innovation (like the computer) in our modern society that we have become this impatient to see radical change in this popular musical instrument?

hell, they had to wait about 200 years to go from a harpsichord to a piano. yet it's been almost 100 years and the electric guitar has only spawned many styles of amplifiers, 100's of designs and 1000's of effects. yet it's luddite and played out...

i guess i am just a sheep then, i'm personally seeing more innovation in the electric guitar than i can keep up with. but i guess we all see what we want to see.

anyway, i gotta go, i am going to go take this device that is the size of my thumb and go plug it into my computer to play my guitar through it wherein i can record digitally and control midi instruments monophonically. jeez, when will they make something cool and innovative for electric guitar.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Feb 5, 2015,
#28
A Road King is nothing like a Bassman. WTF are you guys bullshitting about? There have been heaps of innovations. So they use tubes - big ****ing deal. They're the right tool for the job. You don't use an iphone to hammer in a nail do you?
This whole thread is dildos.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#29
Quote by Cathbard
A Road King is nothing like a Bassman. WTF are you guys bullshitting about? There have been heaps of innovations. So they use tubes - big ****ing deal. They're the right tool for the job. You don't use an iphone to hammer in a nail do you?
This whole thread is dildos.




i pretty much said the same thing.

dildos haven't had much innovation in a long time either so yes i can see the comparison
#30
You haven't shopped for Dildos lately have you?

I wasn't intending to get anyone worked up. I was merely making an observation and stimulating conversation to gain perspective, and it has worked. I am not disappointed by the lack of progress. In fact I recogniseze the many advancements that are being made. I am just intrigued by the fact that basic guitar itself has remained relatively the same for the last 50 years and amps from 50+ years ago still remain the gold standard. I think it is really cool that that is the case. Some things don't have to change.
#31
Quote by Cathbard
A Road King is nothing like a Bassman. WTF are you guys bullshitting about? There have been heaps of innovations. So they use tubes - big ****ing deal. They're the right tool for the job. You don't use an iphone to hammer in a nail do you?
This whole thread is dildos.


I did once. Worked fine.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#32
Quote by gumbilicious
still blows my mind that in about 60 years the electric guitar has come from being on the cutting edge of electric instrument innovation back in the 50's to being the instrument of choice for sheep and luddites.

you know what instrument is older than the electric guitar? like almost every other instrument.

are certain people really that persuaded by the speed of technical innovation (like the computer) in our modern society that we have become this impatient to see radical change in this popular musical instrument?

hell, they had to wait about 200 years to go from a harpsichord to a piano. yet it's been almost 100 years and the electric guitar has only spawned many styles of amplifiers, 100's of designs and 1000's of effects. yet it's luddite and played out...

i guess i am just a sheep then, i'm personally seeing more innovation in the electric guitar than i can keep up with. but i guess we all see what we want to see.

anyway, i gotta go, i am going to go take this device that is the size of my thumb and go plug it into my computer to play my guitar through it wherein i can record digitally and control midi instruments monophonically. jeez, when will they make something cool and innovative for electric guitar.


Pure win.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#33
Randall RM seems like a pretty good innovation. Then compare three channel high gain monsters with 85 switches and knobs on the damn things compared to a once channel amp from 60 years. That's a slow but pretty large evolution in amps. Sure they still use tubes, but that's like saying a 2014 Lamborghini is the same as a Model T because it's a combustion engine. I've never played a Kempler or an Axe-Fx which are supposed to be the best modelers. I'd certainly believe they can sound amazing, but they're in the thousands of dollars once you pair them with a nice power amp and speakers. I sure as hell can't afford that and I got a decent tube amp for $100. I've played with cheaper digital modelers and none of the ones I've ever played have sound good, but that's a pretty limited sample. My analog Engl-in-a-box pedal sounds really great to me, and I suppose that's an "innovation" as it is a JFET copy of a tube. Okay, I'll stop rambling now.

The guitar innovation that excites me the most is the Peavey Antares system. Perfect intonation and quick tuning at a moment's notice. I want that to become more popular and lead to more implementations of it. Digital pickup modeling with it is a really neat idea too. If I had millions of dollars and guitar company under my control I'd want a system that comes with a footpedal instead of the controls being on the guitar. A few knobs to set what pickup models you want, a knob to set what tuning you want. Maybe even a three way switch for standard, open, and drop tuning as well. I would eat that up in a heartbeat.
RG351DX - Bridge Dragonfire Screamer, Mid+Neck Fender Hot Noiseless
Peavey Valveking 112 - Eminence GB128
AMT E1 > Joyo AC Tone > Dan'o EQ > Shimverb > Digidelay
#34
Let me ask this, when you open the hood on a Blues jr 3 or one of the various fender amps, what is new/different from the 60s or 70s era model? Are the "re-issues" configures as they were originally? Are they equivalent to the current Camero, Mustand, challenger,Mini, etc with all modern tech but retro looks? Are is more like a kit Cobra with all old school tech newly manufactured?
#35
Basically everything. Back in the 60's and 70's, they didn't have circuit boards in the way we do today. IMO, vintage amps look way more clean.

This isn't a perfect comparison, but here's a vintage Marshall next to a modern Fender Super Sonic Twin: https://www.facebook.com/goobyelectricinstruments/posts/578109362295167
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band
Last edited by nick.culliton at Feb 6, 2015,
#36
Quote by JELIFISH19


How are they the laughing stock of the instrument playing world? Pianists prefer grand pianos to digital pianos. There are electric violins but people prefer the real thing. Korg has the wavedrum but most people prefer acoustic drums. Akai has the EWI but that's not replacing any wind instruments. I can't think of any instruments have been replaced or even made better by digital technology.


This sounds like the arguments in the photographic industry regarding film vs digital technology circa 2005. In 1990, Kodak predicted the replacement of film by digital by 2005 (unfortunately and ironically, their management was inept at responding to that). But digital was still just a tad behind film that year in terms of resolution, quality, etc. Nonetheless, that was indeed the tipping year where digital became "good enough" and "cheap enough" and it was all over from there.

Pianists may like to play grand pianos, but they're often impractical. Besides, you can not only get grand piano sounds out of a yamaha or korg, but you can select whether you want a German or Japanese grand and even how far open the lid is propped. Even the mechanical noises are duplicated. The best electric piano actions are pretty darned close.

Korg's replicated drum kits are vast, largely indistinguishable from the real thing when recorded, and precise. And while pulling in a whole taiko drum ensemble for a few action hits on a movie score may be fun, the replicated versions that run on my Korg Kronos X are, again, indistinguishable, repeatable, precise and cheaper than playing for their lunch and certainly cheaper than renting the studio space and paying for cartage.

Woodwinds and brass instruments, as well as most strings, have also been replicated pretty well by synths, though there are performance characteristics (both on the real instruments AND on the synths) that can make big differences.

Just as digital photography first had to prove its worth by equaling film standards, so also is electronic modeling proving its worth by duplicating and equaling the existing technology. Digital photography, however, has gone light years beyond film, making possible photography under conditions that film couldn't begin to conquer and producing photographs to which film couldn't aspire.

Guitar players are currently undergoing the same changeover.
#37
Quote by dspellman
This sounds like the arguments in the photographic industry regarding film vs digital technology circa 2005. In 1990, Kodak predicted the replacement of film by digital by 2005 (unfortunately and ironically, their management was inept at responding to that). But digital was still just a tad behind film that year in terms of resolution, quality, etc. Nonetheless, that was indeed the tipping year where digital became "good enough" and "cheap enough" and it was all over from there.

Pianists may like to play grand pianos, but they're often impractical. Besides, you can not only get grand piano sounds out of a yamaha or korg, but you can select whether you want a German or Japanese grand and even how far open the lid is propped. Even the mechanical noises are duplicated. The best electric piano actions are pretty darned close.

Korg's replicated drum kits are vast, largely indistinguishable from the real thing when recorded, and precise. And while pulling in a whole taiko drum ensemble for a few action hits on a movie score may be fun, the replicated versions that run on my Korg Kronos X are, again, indistinguishable, repeatable, precise and cheaper than playing for their lunch and certainly cheaper than renting the studio space and paying for cartage.

Woodwinds and brass instruments, as well as most strings, have also been replicated pretty well by synths, though there are performance characteristics (both on the real instruments AND on the synths) that can make big differences.

Just as digital photography first had to prove its worth by equaling film standards, so also is electronic modeling proving its worth by duplicating and equaling the existing technology. Digital photography, however, has gone light years beyond film, making possible photography under conditions that film couldn't begin to conquer and producing photographs to which film couldn't aspire.

Guitar players are currently undergoing the same changeover.


I think your analogy fails a bit, given that digital is only "equivalent" to film in a fairly narrow range and doesn't even begin to approach film resolution in the medium and large format arena where the high end professionals play.

How many professional musicians outside of the guitar/pop/edm etc. arena use digital tech? Pretty much none for all practical purposes. Concert pianists, orchestra, solo and ensemble stringed instrument players, woodwind and brass players all use old-school analog instruments.

I'd say from a rational relative perspective, guitar players are at or near the bleeding edge of tech on a pretty regular basis.

To respond to one analogy with another, I have a very nice 4x4 4-wheeler for riding in the outdoors, and it has a number of features and conveniences that I very much enjoy.

There are still places that I can't go with it that I can reach quite easily on horseback. Newer technology doesn't automagically replace the older, sometimes it simply augments it.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#38
im sure that if a manufacturer is funded and dedicated enough, they can make a transistors or ICs that emulate tubes perfectly, but sadly noones trying that. It would certainly be nice own an amp that sounds and plays %100 like a HiWatt, but is the size of a pedal. one can only hope for that to happen. I dont quite see a big budget chip company collaborating with amp makers for something like this though. firstly, guitarists have been led to believe by other guitarists (to good reason) that solid state = bad, tube = good. this mentality will prevent any profits from being made with this type of investment even though it may create amps that sound exactly like the oldies. guitarists are too skeptical.

60s and 70s amps are coveted so much because they did tone right. People covet not the amps themselves, but the tone.
Marty Friedman is GOD!

curently in a SEX MACHINEGUNS and X JAPAN phase AND Galneryus AND Anthem phase

damn J-Metal, why you so awesome

My Gear:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1 fr
Ibanez RG321mh
Fender GDC-200sce
Peavey Vypyr 30 w/ sanpera 1
#39
Quote by Arby911
I think your analogy fails a bit, given that digital is only "equivalent" to film in a fairly narrow range and doesn't even begin to approach film resolution in the medium and large format arena where the high end professionals play.


I have an 11x14 DearDorff Commercial (six FEET of bellows) and some astounding lenses (want some?). I can tell you without question that professional medium and large format digital backs mean that I'll probably never haul that beast out again. Both resolution and dynamic range on digital far exceed film. I was using 105 megapixel 4x5 backs back in 1994, ferchrissakes. Current medium format: ISO range from 100-6400? 14 stops of dynamic range? 1/10,000th of a second to 10 hours of exposure time? Ain't no high end professionals stupid enough to be using film these days. Only the artistes.

Quote by Arby911
How many professional musicians outside of the guitar/pop/edm etc. arena use digital tech? Pretty much none for all practical purposes. Concert pianists, orchestra, solo and ensemble stringed instrument players, woodwind and brass players all use old-school analog instruments.


And aside from occasional concert work or academia, you'd better have a day job if you're one of those using an analog instrument. Pretty difficult to find a composer or arranger of any kind that doesn't have an electronic keyboard or two. Pretty difficult to find any recorded music or live performance that isn't using electronic technology at some level.


Quote by Arby911

There are still places that I can't go with it that I can reach quite easily on horseback. Newer technology doesn't automagically replace the older, sometimes it simply augments it.


Okay, I get that. I backpack and climb and canyoneer and your horse can't follow that either. But it's technology that allows you to have fresh New Zealand strawberries in LA tomorrow, and that's an everyday thing, not an augmentation.
#40
Quote by bustapr
im sure that if a manufacturer is funded and dedicated enough, they can make a transistors or ICs that emulate tubes perfectly, but sadly noones trying that..


Already been done. They exist and several manufacturers have shown examples. They've done the side-by-side blind tests at NAMM for several years now and even the haters admit they can't hear the difference. Same general shape and everything. Unplug your glass tube, plug in the solid state one. The real issue is that real tubes are still individually cheaper, so there's simply not wide acceptance, even though the solid state versions will outlast years of tube changes, run cooler, use less power, be less delicate for traveling and cost less in the long run.

Quote by bustapr
60s and 70s amps are coveted so much because they did tone right. People covet not the amps themselves, but the tone.


Actually, it's not that the tone is perfect, it's simply what guitarists have become used to.

If you're used to a Gibson or a Fender headstock then everything else looks funny, even if a Gibson headstock means that your guitar is always going out of tune or if a Fender strat headstock has a funny "bulb" on the end of it and a tele headstock looks like deflated condom (these are actual design assessments voiced by non-guitar-players). Guitar players have simply become conditioned.

Hand someone unfamiliar with electric guitars a pickup-less unwired guitar today and tell them to choose their own strings, amplify it somehow and do interesting things with it soundwise and you'll get a whole different result.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 6, 2015,
Page 1 of 2