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#1
I see a lot of people bashing Blackstar for using them. But they're also in all of the Carvin Vintage series and I see those get recommended a lot.
#3
When you have the ability to introduce them or remove them from your signal chain at will ex: Tubescreamer
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Aug 11, 2015,
#4
Nothing inherently wrong with clipping diodes, its just a tool for a job. But as far as distortion goes they do the job differently than a tube or mosfet would. Problem with Blackstar is the false advertising, claiming to be an all tube amp when they are loaded with non-defeatable diodes. Though to be fair apparently they distort only when you crank the gain, otherwise its just a clean boost circuit pushing the tubes harder for more distortion, which is OK in my book. But for people expecting a traditional tube amp this is a big deal.

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#5
When they sound good.
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#6
Quote by Spambot_2
When they sound good.

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/THREAD

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#7
Quote by MaaZeus
Nothing inherently wrong with clipping diodes, its just a tool for a job. But as far as distortion goes they do the job differently than a tube or mosfet would. Problem with Blackstar is the false advertising, claiming to be an all tube amp when they are loaded with non-defeatable diodes. Though to be fair apparently they distort only when you crank the gain, otherwise its just a clean boost circuit pushing the tubes harder for more distortion, which is OK in my book. But for people expecting a traditional tube amp this is a big deal.


agree. most modern amps that have any kind of gain to them most likely have some extra stuff in the signal path that isn't tube. if handled well then i don't see a problem with that. being able to remove them from the signal path is a plus. my Valveking has the boost feature which of course is clipping diodes that ad gain and some mids as well (much like a tibescreamer). when practicing at low volumes it can be useful (especially if i'm to lazy to hook up an overdrive). at higher volumes it sounds like crap (unlike my overdrives).

as for Blackstar, personally i don't have anything against the ht-1 or ht-5 as long as it's understood that they are just practice amps. the higher wattage amps that compete with other amps meant for band use seem overpriced and they have more crap in them that isn't tube which defeats the purpose of having a tube amp. obviously a few pro players like them so who am i to say they're crap. just not really for me.
#8
Quote by JELIFISH19
I see a lot of people bashing Blackstar for using them. But they're also in all of the Carvin Vintage series and I see those get recommended a lot.


I don't think it is the clipping that blackstar gets shit for, they catch shit because they were deceitful in their advertising.

Also FWIW, I had a VK a long time ago, and i thought that the boost function was pretty bad.
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#9
Carvin advertises the vintage series as all-tube as well. So do the Ibanez TSA amps and the DV Mark Little 40 II. But aren't the clipping diodes always technically defeatable because you can opt to not use the gain channel.
#11
Quote by Robbgnarly
When you have the ability to introduce them or remove them from your signal chain at will ex: Tubescreamer

+1 That is a good answer.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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#12
Quote by JELIFISH19
Carvin advertises the vintage series as all-tube as well. So do the Ibanez TSA amps and the DV Mark Little 40 II. But aren't the clipping diodes always technically defeatable because you can opt to not use the gain channel.


why buy an amp that you won't use the gain channel just for that reason.

seems like the definition of "all tube" is kinda hazy these days. most modern amps do have a bunch of stuff in them that you wouldn't find in a 50s made amp. so if an amp say has digital reverb is it no longer all tube? channel switching? the list could go on for a long time. perhaps an industry standard needs to be set for what is or isn't
#13
Quote by JELIFISH19
Carvin advertises the vintage series as all-tube as well. So do the Ibanez TSA amps and the DV Mark Little 40 II. But aren't the clipping diodes always technically defeatable because you can opt to not use the gain channel.

It's not just the solid state gain stage and clipping diodes that caused Blackstars issues. Their phase inverter is solid state too.

This kills all dynamics between pre and power amp sections, and while this is actually excellent for squeaky cleans and metal its pretty vital part of the signal path that really defines how an all tube amp works. It's not just a gain boost like if you used a TS out in front, it actually messes with the way the amp works. There is (at least in my opinion) a solid difference between an addition stage to boost gain the way many use pedals anyway, and replacing what is a fairly defining characteristic of a tube amp.

It's not a bad thing if that's what you're looking for, but they were pretty deceitful in their advertising originally.
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#14
Quote by Blackstar

"All the HT Venue amps are “all valve” in so far as they all have valve preamplifiers and valve power amplifiers. However, we do augment the valve circuits with other analogue electronics (opamps, fets etc) where this doesn’t affect the sound but adds benefits in terms of flexibility, reliability and cost.


In the preamp we use op-amp circuitry to get the signal level up to a point where the ECC83 will overdrive (this is required as the ECC83 has the full HT supply applied and hence headroom). As the ECC83 is at the end of the preamplifier signal path it is the valve harmonics and compression that you hear and the op-amp is really used as a signal booster.


Similar is true in the power amplifier. We use a high voltage MOSFET phase splitter to boost the level and generate the out of phase signals required by the push-pull power amplifier. But all the tone, compression and overdrive are from the valves.


This is the way we achieve the all valve sound with increased reliability and a more affordable price. We have A/B'd these products against everything else in the market and are confident they beat any comparable product on tone and flexibility.


Kind regards,


Tom

Blackstar Customer Services
----------------------------------------



Blackstar email 2011:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1421837&page=2&pp=20
#15
Quote by monwobobbo
why buy an amp that you won't use the gain channel just for that reason.

seems like the definition of "all tube" is kinda hazy these days. most modern amps do have a bunch of stuff in them that you wouldn't find in a 50s made amp. so if an amp say has digital reverb is it no longer all tube? channel switching? the list could go on for a long time. perhaps an industry standard needs to be set for what is or isn't
Apart from the rectifier, if you can't switch the SS stuff out then it aint all tube.
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#16
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Also FWIW, I had a VK a long time ago, and i thought that the boost function was pretty bad.



Quote by Cathbard
Apart from the rectifier, if you can't switch the SS stuff out then it aint all tube.


Derek - no one really liked that boost feature (including me with mine when I had it) but....we could switch it out by turning off the boost function. That's one way to keep the amp an all tube amp
#17
Quote by Cathbard
Apart from the rectifier, if you can't switch the SS stuff out then it aint all tube.


well but if their is a SS rectifier then technically the amp isn't all tube. kinda what i was getting at. there must be a point where a builder can say "all tube" and have that be accepted. at this point "tube" is getting to be a buzz word thrown in to make it sound better.
#18
Well, in reality, a SS rectifier also prevents it from being able to be called "all tube" too.
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#19
Quote by Cathbard
Well, in reality, a SS rectifier also prevents it from being able to be called "all tube" too.


sure but most accept that feature on a "tube" amp at this point. this is why i think that a decent defining of what constitutes a "tube" amp these days is needed. like anything tube amps have evolved at least some over the years. along with that advertising has started to use "tube" as a buzz word and amp builders are trying to slap a tube into an otherwise SS amp and claim it gives true "tube" tone. i can see where newer players would get confused.
#20
Quote by Robbgnarly
When you have the ability to introduce them or remove them from your signal chain at will ex: Tubescreamer


+1

And also when the manufacturer is up-front in the advertising about what's going on.

There's nothing really inherently wrong with non-organic food either, but there is if it's sold to me as organic when it's not, and costing the same price as organic (or conversely, where it's touted as being a good deal because it's so much cheaper than most organic stuff).

Quote by monwobobbo
agree. most modern amps that have any kind of gain to them most likely have some extra stuff in the signal path that isn't tube.


I don't think that's true. There are way too many amps with shenanigans in them which are advertised as (or at least where the manufacturer strongly implies they are) all-tube when they're not, but at the same time there are plenty of amps which are high gain and which genuinely are all-tube.

Not even expensive ones, either. The Jet Cities are probably the prime example of a good, cheaper high gain amp which are genuinely all-tube.

Quote by JELIFISH19
Carvin advertises the vintage series as all-tube as well. So do the Ibanez TSA amps and the DV Mark Little 40 II. But aren't the clipping diodes always technically defeatable because you can opt to not use the gain channel.


No because there are other SS shenanigans in the Blackstars as well as the clipping diodes. the PI is transistor, and there are op-amps at the input stage.

Quote by Cathbard
Apart from the rectifier, if you can't switch the SS stuff out then it aint all tube.


probably things like channel switching etc. as well are ok.

for me it's the signal path. that seems to me to be the handiest way to define it.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 11, 2015,
#21
Doesn't Mesa have a tube and ss rectifier? At least their big boy amps do. My Dual Mini doesn't, it's only solid state but I wanted that sound so I am okay with it.

I'm not against Blackstar for using them, their HT series pedals sounds great, for example. Hiding it from the public and in marketing is where I start to get mad.
#22
If an amp is all tube apart from the rectifier it should be called a "tube amp with a SS rectifier." Marketing doesn't define language, regardless of prevalence. "All tube" means all tube. It's pretty clear really.
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#23
^^ I think a few mesas actually have shenanigans

^ Agreed. If we had it right down to the rectifier I'd be ok with it (i.e. I think ss-rectified amps are all-tube), but I agree in an ideal world everyone would be 100% up-front.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
Quote by Cathbard
Well, in reality, a SS rectifier also prevents it from being able to be called "all tube" too.

Well Hell.

Then all of my amps are hybrids





I thought the generally accepted consensus was that if the guitar signal stays in an 'all tube' path then you can call it 'all tube'. Pre and Power section but not including rectification.
#25
We tend to pardon rectification but yes, technically it does matter.
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#26
^^ yeah that's what i always heard and thought. by that logic a plexi isn't all-tube, which is crazy.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
Yes, it's true; to be technically correct, a plexi is a hybrid.
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#29
Quote by JELIFISH19
I see a lot of people bashing Blackstar for using them. But they're also in all of the Carvin Vintage series and I see those get recommended a lot.


I have a Carvin Belair, and recommend it highly.

However, there are mods for it available (the "Hasserl" mods), and one of the first things done is to clip the diodes. http://hasserl.com/vt50_mods The consensus on the Carvin forums seems to be that these mods should be made standard across the Vintage series, but that really depends on your taste.

I have the Stage II mods done on my Belair (Richard L Hassebrock is Hasse.R.L.). The stock gain ("Soak") channel was done with Allan Holdsworth, who wanted a gain setup that lent itself to his very legato style. The modifications to the tone stack "sound like a vintage Marshall but with more gain than any vintage Marshall ever had." For me that's a good thing, and it's made it one of my favorite amps. Other modifications include a "presence" pot that allows you to dial in the negative feedback from the stock amount to zero and a master volume setup. Richard has a Nomad (the 1x12 version of the same amp) and seems to use it everywhere.

We tried it out with a slightly modified (that word again) Carvin DC-145 when I picked it up. Our reaction (and that of a neighbor who wandered over to see what the loud was about) was that the guitar and amp were made for each other. While a Carvin is a semi-custom anyway, I'd swapped out the phase switch for a wiring that allowed me to add in the bridge pickup to whatever the five-way had selected. This offers a couple of options that aren't normally available on an HSH guitar, including the LP-style middle position "both humbuckers selected" sound.
#30
Quote by Cathbard
If an amp is all tube apart from the rectifier it should be called a "tube amp with a SS rectifier." Marketing doesn't define language, regardless of prevalence. "All tube" means all tube. It's pretty clear really.


Wait. All tube. No resistors? No capacitors? No diodes?
#31
Quote by dspellman
Wait. All tube. No resistors? No capacitors? No diodes?

I don't think my tubes are all tube.
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#33
Quote by dspellman
Wait. All tube. No resistors? No capacitors? No diodes?
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#34
Quote by Cathbard
If an amp is all tube apart from the rectifier it should be called a "tube amp with a SS rectifier." Marketing doesn't define language, regardless of prevalence. "All tube" means all tube. It's pretty clear really.


IMO ,"all tube" means an all tube signal path, no need to be semantic and pedantic.
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#35
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Derek - no one really liked that boost feature (including me with mine when I had it) but....we could switch it out by turning off the boost function. That's one way to keep the amp an all tube amp


I maybe could have phrased it better. I was saying that it had the boost, and i didn't like it. I know that you can turn it on/off

But I agree that if you can turn it off its fine.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#36
Quote by GABarrie
It's not just the solid state gain stage and clipping diodes that caused Blackstars issues. Their phase inverter is solid state too.

This kills all dynamics between pre and power amp sections
What?
Why?
How?
Quote by diabolical
Doesn't Mesa have a tube and ss rectifier? At least their big boy amps do. My Dual Mini doesn't, it's only solid state but I wanted that sound so I am okay with it.
Yes, but these are rectifiers.

The guitar signal path is still all tube, while diodes are used for rectification.

The fact that even in a world of tube amps rectification is mostly done with diodes should be an indication that tubes aren't inherently better for every application.
Quote by monwobobbo
at this point "tube" is getting to be a buzz word thrown in to make it sound better.
This.
This.
This so much.
This^999999.
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.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#37
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH

I'm reading that thread right now.
God, that one guy is a douche nozzle.
I mean this bit is a seriously dumb ass statement:
Quote by Some Fvcking Spelling/Grammar/Semantics/Whatever Nazi
First learn how to spell - its op amp (as in operational amplifier), not opamp.
I use both. Depends on my mood or whatever I guess.
"Wen sumjuan attax ur speelling or grammer azz theiy're furst sentens, they gotz nuffin else 'n evrething they say aftre that careeEes very little wait" - Me (and lots of other people).


And speaking of rectifiers and an amp being "All Tube"...
Get an AC30 made in uhm, about 2007 or before and you get a tube rectifier.
So there.
Pffft
#38
Quote by Arby911
IMO ,"all tube" means an all tube signal path, no need to be semantic and pedantic.


Same here.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#39
The rectifier can make a huge difference. It may not be in the signal path per se but it is what the signal is drawn from. It is the signal, effectively.
The big difference is the size restrictions placed upon the reservoir cap. There's that whole lag thing working here.
I think one should be told about it, that's for sure. Call it a "tube amp" regardless sure; but ALL tube? I don't think so.
Stick a heap of op-amps and clipping diodes and call it "all tube"? Get out of my office. That's a whole extra shitfight over the line.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Aug 12, 2015,
#40
Quote by Cathbard
The rectifier can make a huge difference. It may not be in the signal path per se but it is what the signal is drawn from. It is the signal, effectively.
The big difference is the size restrictions placed upon the reservoir cap. There's that whole lag thing working here.
I think one should be told about it, that's for sure. Call it a "tube amp" regardless sure; but ALL tube? I don't think so.
Stick a heap of op-amps and clipping diodes and call it "all tube"? Get out of my office. That's a whole extra shitfight over the line.

So with that said, which of your amps are now considered all tube?
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