#1
If I'm the wrong place for this, just set me straight... But iI have a question. Is there a such thing as an amplifier head that has a tube and solid-state configuration that you can switch back and forth between? May be a stupid question, but just kinda wondering. Would love to be able to easily switch between the two sounds with one amp (and it be a genuine tube sound, instead of pointing me to modeling amps), unless there's a solid-state amp that can sound like a tube and get it pretty spot on (like I've heard this about Randall amps, but I don't know how true it is),

Thanks in advance!
#2
Well some Mesa amps have tube and ss rectifiers, I think that's as close as it gets...unless you want to go modular via a rack setup - there you can pick one power amp and switch different preamp choices, say Sansamp PSA-1.1 (ss) and Mesa Triaxis (tube) via some kind of power amp, most likely tube.

Alternately you can go with a floor modeler and use in 4 cable method into tube power amp, in some patches bypassing the tube amp's preamp and just using the last power section. I can do that with my Boss GT-10.

If you can afford tube why would you go ss?
#4
Crate made a few that could switch the preamp between tube and SS, but they weren't ever very popular. I don't believe I've seen one that had a switchable power amp, but it very well could exist.

Not sure why it would be desirable though.
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#5
some bass amps do that (though as arby said, it might just be the preamp, and even then, it's often only one token valve), not sure about guitar amps though.
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#6
The Crate GT-80 quadradrive let you switch between tube (1 12ax7, 2 12au7's) or SS preamp for the rhythm or lead channel, all footswitchable.

It had a Mosfet power amp.

I'd kinda like to find one cheap and play with it.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#7
Thanks everyone. I was wondering about this because I play all styles of music, and would love to have the most versatile amp possible, maybe even open to a tube amp that could give a solid state sound... Again, could just be a stupid question, but I regularly gig playing country, classic rock, and Blues (here's where the tube comes in), but I'm also a guitarist in a metal band, and would prefer a solid-state sound for this
#8
Quote by jake2412
If I'm the wrong place for this, just set me straight... But iI have a question. Is there a such thing as an amplifier head that has a tube and solid-state configuration that you can switch back and forth between? May be a stupid question,


You can dump a rack mounted tube preamp and a Pod into a rack and have them run through a single tube power amp.

For example, I have a Carvin Quad X that has nine (NINE!) 12 AX7 tubes, four channels, six FX loops, up to 11 stages of tube gain, built in boost, MIDI controls, yada yada. About as tube as you can get. I also have an Axe-FX Ultra (also rackmount).

The power amp for this is a Carvin TS-100 stereo tube power amp. You can actually put 6L6 tubes in one channel and EL34s in the other side and run each preamp through its own side.

I have all that stuff, but these days I mate a Pod HD with a Two Notes Torpedo C.A.B. and run it either into a solid state power amp and PA-style speakers or into powered full-range speakers. MUCH easier to cart around. I'll leave you to Google to find out what the C.A.B. does.
#9
I've got a Crate Gt-200 head that has 4 channels , 3 12au7 and 1 12ax7 tubes, and is frigging loud

Ss clean- almost Fender-ish
Ss cruch - best thrash tone ever

Tube clean - really nice for classic rock
Tube crunch - a good heavy tube scream

I bought it brand new with a 4x12 cab back in the 90s
I got if for the same reasone
I'm in a classic rock band now so I always play my Marshall dsl40c
#10
Quote by dspellman
You can dump a rack mounted tube preamp and a Pod into a rack and have them run through a single tube power amp.


Tthat’s probably where there aren’t amps for this sort of thing. Once the amp reaches a certain level of size and complexity it makes more sense to just use rack gear.
#11
B52 had an amp that could do this, Though I think the sound went from bad to worse when you did switch. I wanna say Randall had an amp that did this like 10 or more years ago? I also believe Krank made an amp that could switch from SS to tube.
#12
I think I may have come to a decision, after looking at reviews and watching some videos, I'm thinking about going with the carbon xb100, it's tube and has a nice clean and dirty tube sound. And can get a pretty decent modern rock/metal sound out of it as well, I can go for the half stack and if I start getting bigger gigs I can get the top cabinet and make it a full stack. Anybody out there tried out this amp? Opinions?
#14
The XB is kind of a classic of sort so it'd be okay, not sure about the metal part though, might need a few pedal for the front.

Mesa actually has the amp/s you're looking for:
Mark IV or V
Lonestar

Also look at Peavey JSX (used) or I think 3120 is now the replacement for Joe Satriani's JSX.
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 27, 2015,
#15
Quote by FinderofNemo
I think rackmounted stuff is what you're looking for. Have you looked into the Axe FX II?

(This is assuming budget isn't a factor since you didn't mention it in your OP)


This. I know that you have asked us not to point you towards a modeler, but then you say:

Quote by FinderofNemo
I play all styles of music, and would love to have the most versatile amp possible


If you want the most versatile amp possible, getting a modeler will save you a whole lot of trouble, not to mention cash. I know that some folks are against digital modeling technology, but they're really missing out.
#16
Here's your solution for real.
You find a guy who builds custom amps. You tell him what you want. He'll ask why you want that, and there's nothing you'll be able to say that will make sense to him, but that's his problem not yours.
Have him build a 2x12 combo and put two completely separate amps in that bitch. On one side you can have your choice of tube amp, wired to drive the speaker on the left. On the other side you put your solid state amp, driving the right-hand speaker.
This will be a heavy son of a gun cause you're going to need lots of transformers.

Give it two separate inputs, one for each amp, but have him install a switch so that you can run both amps off of one input if you want.
Then you can play with all the volume and tone controls to create all kinds of crazy bi-amp sounds.

I wouldn't call it ultimate, cheap, portable or practical but it would be unusual and kind of interesting.
#17
There are things you can do with rack units. Mostly described above already. It won't be simple or cheap though. It would be easier to just use two amps and an ABY switch. Make sure you have a stereo cab and run each amp into 1/2 of the cab so you always have a load.

Quote by diabolical
The XB is kind of a classic of sort so it'd be okay, not sure about the metal part though, might need a few pedal for the front.

Mesa actually has the amp/s you're looking for:
Mark IV or V
Lonestar

Also look at Peavey JSX (used) or I think 3120 is now the replacement for Joe Satriani's JSX.


Close, the 3120 is a XXX w/ EL34s stock, the XXX II is the JSX. Because lol **** naming that makes sense.
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Ibanez RGA42E
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#18
Quote by jake2412
maybe even open to a tube amp that could give a solid state sound...

Can you elaborate on this a bit?

It doesn't make sense to have a custom amp built with both solid state and tube designs. Unless you are just filthy rich and don't mind lugging a massive amp around, it just would not be worth it. I actually would not go the combo route as Paul has suggested simply due to the fact that the amp will be heavy enough as it is. Just plug separate speaker cabinets in if that were the case.

Now, we all know you are not going to go down this route anyway so in order for us to really help you please answer these questions.

Budget?
Genres? (country, classic rock, metal)
Home or Gig? (you gig but do you already have a practice amp?)
New or Used?
Location?

There are amps out there that can cover country to metal but we need to know a little bit more about this solid state metal tone you are looking for.
#19
Quote by Offworld92
Because lol **** naming that makes sense.


I hear you...and since they chose to disassociate themselves with Satch via lightspeed you can't find any info on it when you try the search engine. I kinda knew he was going to ditch Peavey when he started using Vox pedals, and since Vox is owned by the same overlord that owns Marshall he ended up with them...

OK, one thing that perplexes me is that OP wants to use SS for his metal tones
#20
doesn't it seem like he should just get a Fender Deluxe Reverb and then use a Boss metal zone pedal when he wants to get a "solid state metal sound"?
#21
The only solid state metal tone that I see people wanting to chase is Dimebags.

There are some death metal bands that use the Ampeg VH-140C as well.

Is it one of those?

There are other ways to get those tones. Yes, it will be easier to put a metal pedal in front of a country amp vs a 'country' pedal in front of a metal amp
#23
Get yourself a Randall RG1503H, OP.
It will do all you want.
Great SS metal tones and nice cleans that you can slightly break up when you put the gain on the clean channel over 12 o'clock.
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