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#1
I've been browsing the internet for the last few days with a particular topic in mind: tube amps vs. solid state amps. Almost everyone seems to be going for tube amps, and I really have no idea why.

Tube amps are expensive. They're heavy and they break, they really have to be handled with care and repair expenses are ridiculous really. It's often cheaper to get a new amp than to repair your broken one. Yes, they're responsible for some amazing tones, but I'm more than convinced that you can get an equally good tone through other means. Not that EXACT tone, because nothing can produce that EXACT tone except the thing that is producing it (a tube amp), it's unique in that sense. But is it really worth the grief that it can give you? The guy whose studio my band rents for rehearsals has had so many problems with his two tube amps, and yet the guy keep repairing them and seeing them break again and again (mostly due to the idiots he rents his studio to which just love to crank the volume up to 10 etc.).

I don't know, my personal opinion is that your sound is much more in the hands and your own capability of dialing in a good tone, than it is in spending $2000 or more on a tube amp. I know that there are used 5150's for like $600, but you still have to change tubes once a year. More if something accidentally happens to them.

On the other hand, the best tone I've ever gotten is through a Randall RX120D solid state, with a marshall 4x12 cabinet. Also I tend to notice that the sound depends much more on the quality of the speaker than on the amp itself. And as I use a stompbox for distortion, I only really ever need the clean channel. Whatever amp I use, I'm completely satisfied with my tone. It goes my guitar into an MXR M78 distortion stompbox, then into a POD xt live (just for effects like delay, chorus and flanger), and then into the amp. Nothing else, killer tone, every time. I ask other people about my tone after every gig, they have the same opinion. People come up to me and ask "Hey how do you get that tone?", I show them the stompbox, they can't believe it. People keep saying that SS amps have no "soul", that they're sterile, non-responsive, flat, etc. I don't know if I'm on to something here, but it seems like this is coming from people who could afford that their first amp be a good tube like JCM 800 or something, and that they never had to put in too much effort to create their sound. And therefore, whenever something wasn't going for them, they'd blame it on the amp.

There's also the influence of the older generation. The first solid state amps, as I understand (I'm only 23 so I wasn't alive at the time so I can't personally tell), were really horrible. But technology has gone a long way since then and I really don't understand why tube amps are still considered "essential" for a lot of people. For recording, I use amp sims, which, even the free ones, have become spectacular and no one can really tell the difference in a blind test anymore. There are no room issues, no mic placement issues, simply a superior option to me in every way. For live, I'd love to have a RX120D or a RX120RH as they're fucking beasts and robust as hell, not to mention loud enough for almost any occasion, don't get hot like tube amps do, and give the same sound - every time.

Solid state is simply superior technology. No one uses tube amps anymore save for guitar players and bass players. No one in their right mind would run a hi-fi system or something through a tube amp, as it would completely color the sound with its specific warm midrange.

The only thing I see that tube amps have going for them is that specific tone that people seem to like so much. Hell, I like it too. But that's why I have the MXR M78 that does a really good job in giving me a tubey tone, through a solid state. But I'm not about to give $1000 or more for that tone when I can get it for $100, if I put a little effort into finding it.

I know I probably sound pretty one-sided and subjective here, but I'm really trying not to be and instead be as objective as possible. What are some of the other advantages of using a tube amp? Alright, they're louder than SS at the same power. But they cost more for the same wattage too, I've seen 120w solid states for under $500, which is an impossible price for tube amps. What else? I'd really like to know more about this subject and hear some original, objective thought on the whole thing, but I'm sick of hearing "You can't beat the tone of a good tube amp cranked up high", because well, quite frankly, yes, I can, and I've done it. I've played JCM 800's, JCM 2000's, Mesa Boogies, a Framus Dragon, a Fender Deluxe and so on, and I've yet to see anyone of them surpass my MXR M78 through a Randall RX120D. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous to any tube fan, but that's how it is for me.
Last edited by Dzamija at Sep 25, 2015,
#3
While I believe fully that a solid state can produce an exceptional sound that can catch up and beat some tube amps, I am yet to hear an SS that can produce the sort of low-end clarity and tone that the old Model Ts and, in more recent times, the higher-end Orange tube amps can make.

But as KailM says,

Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 25, 2015,
#4
Quote by Dzamija
I've been browsing the internet for the last few days with a particular topic in mind: tube amps vs. solid state amps. Almost everyone seems to be going for tube amps, and I really have no idea why.

Tube amps are expensive. (1) They're heavy and they break, they really have to be handled with care and (2)repair expenses are ridiculous really. It's often cheaper to get a new amp than to repair your broken one. Yes, they're responsible for some amazing tones, but I'm more than convinced that you can get an equally good tone through other means. Not that EXACT tone, because nothing can produce that EXACT tone except the thing that is producing it (a tube amp), it's unique in that sense. But is it really worth the grief that it can give you? The guy whose studio my band rents for rehearsals has had so many problems with his two tube amps, and yet the guy keep repairing them and seeing them break again and again (3)(mostly due to the idiots he rents his studio to which just love to crank the volume up to 10 etc.).

(4)I don't know, my personal opinion is that your sound is much more in the hands and your own capability of dialing in a good tone, than it is in spending $2000 or more on a tube amp. I know that there are used 5150's for like $600, but you still have to change tubes once a year. More if something accidentally happens to them.

On the other hand, the best tone I've ever gotten is through a Randall RX120D solid state, with a marshall 4x12 cabinet. (5)Also I tend to notice that the sound depends much more on the quality of the speaker than on the amp itself . And as I use a stompbox for distortion, I only really ever need the clean channel. Whatever amp I use, I'm completely satisfied with my tone. It goes my guitar into an MXR M78 distortion stompbox, then into a POD xt live (just for effects like delay, chorus and flanger), and then into the amp. Nothing else, killer tone, every time. I ask other people about my tone after every gig, they have the same opinion. People come up to me and ask "Hey how do you get that tone?", I show them the stompbox, they can't believe it. People keep saying that SS amps have no "soul", that they're sterile, non-responsive, flat, etc. (6)I don't know if I'm on to something here , but it seems like this is coming from people who could afford that their first amp be a good tube like JCM 800 or something, and that they never had to put in too much effort to create their sound. (7)And therefore, whenever something wasn't going for them, they'd blame it on the amp.

There's also the influence of the older generation. The first solid state amps, as I understand (I'm only 23 so I wasn't alive at the time so I can't personally tell), were really horrible. But technology has gone a long way since then and I really don't understand why tube amps are still considered "essential" for a lot of people. For recording, I use amp sims, which, even the free ones, have become spectacular and no one can really tell the difference in a blind test anymore. There are no room issues, no mic placement issues, simply a superior option to me in every way. (8)For live, I'd love to have a RX120D or a RX120RH as they're fucking beasts and robust as hell, not to mention loud enough for almost any occasion, don't get hot like tube amps do, and give the same sound - every time.

(9)Solid state is simply superior technology. No one uses tube amps anymore save for guitar players and bass players. No one in their right mind would run a hi-fi system or something through a tube amp, as it would completely color the sound with its specific warm midrange.

The only thing I see that tube amps have going for them is that specific tone that people seem to like so much. Hell, I like it too. But that's why I have the MXR M78 that does a really good job in giving me a tubey tone, through a solid state. But I'm not about to give (10)$1000 or more for that tone when I can get it for $100, if I put a little effort into finding it.

(11)I know I probably sound pretty one-sided and subjective here, but I'm really trying not to be and instead be as objective as possible. What are some of the other advantages of using a tube amp? Alright, they're louder than SS at the same power. But they cost more for the same wattage too, I've seen 120w solid states for under $500, which is an impossible price for tube amps. What else? I'd really like to know more about this subject and hear some original, objective thought on the whole thing, but I'm sick of hearing "You can't beat the tone of a good tube amp cranked up high", because well, quite frankly, (12)yes, I can, and I've done it. I've played JCM 800's, JCM 2000's, Mesa Boogies, a Framus Dragon, a Fender Deluxe and so on, and I've yet to see anyone of them surpass my MXR M78 through a Randall RX120D. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous to any tube fan, but that's how it is for me.


OH GOD, NOT THIS SHIT AGAIN?

1. Heavy, yes. As fragile as you imply? Bullshit.
2. BULLSHIT. TOTALLY, AND COMPLETELY UTTER BULLSHIT. Most tube amp problems can be fixed with a tube swap. Around $100 or so. Any "Amp Techs" you go to or talk to are ripping you off or are complete morons.
3. User and "Amp Tech" error, not the amp's fault.
4. Opinion, ok, its till wrong though. Much of you tone comes from the amp. And a high end Solid State amp can run you over $2000.
5. Partially right. Speakers can make a huge impact on the sound.
The wrong speaker in an amp, regardless if its tube or solid state can sound like shit. Same with the cab. And you also contradicted yourself there. Good job.
6. On to something, maybe "On something" more likely. And your youth is a dead giveaway to lack of experience.
7. Quite possible. Not every amp works for everybody.
I've got an AC30 which works great for me, Some people can't stand them.
8. There's more to playing than playing loud, And you do know you aren't supposed to touch tubes when the amp is on don't you. I will give you that and AC30 is an exception to some degree. You could cook your breakfast on top of one.
9. There are some high end stereo systems that still use tubes.
10. COMPLETE BULLSHIT. a $100 being better sounding that a $1000 amp. BULLSHIT.
My AC30, with the cab (which I built myelf), I would put up against your $100 solid state amp any day of the week. Head cost me $900, cab, including speakers, was about $600. MY amp will blow your away with its cleans, and since you are using a dirt pedal for grit, so would I. And probably make you sound liek Michael J. Fox on a bad day. Or is that your normal playing style?
11. Objective? Hardly. There is so much bias and total bullshit in your post, its unbelievable.
12. Best get your hearing checked. Or maybe take some lessons. And again, your youth and probably lack of ear training is betraying you. And as you say, Ridiculous. No, more like Delusional.


If he feels up to it, I can let cath school you some more.
Better put on your cast iron panties.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2015,
#5
I generally stay out of the tube vs. SS discussions but I agree with the OP here. I have been playing for 40+ years now and have had most every "amp of the moment" both tube and solid state. He is correct that some of the early SS amps were "lifeless". I had an Acoustic amp (the company not the guitar) in the early 70's that really had no "balls" just clean power with no tone. That was also at a time long before decent overdrive or distortion pedals that really started with the TS808 in the late 70's. At the time that amp was a lot money for me and I also bought two cabinets but I was really not happy with it. I ended up going back to my Traynor tube amp (I still have that one collecting dust). Every few years I bought a new amp and most were tube amps until the 90's when my Peavey Mace amp was stolen and I had to borrow an amp to do my regular house band gig. I borrowed a friends Gallien-Kruger head. Wow. Solid state had come a long way since I last tried it in the 70's. Since then all of my amps have been SS or a hybred. I can get all the power and tone I need from a good SS based amp and my box full of pedals (old Ibanez TS9 and TS10) when I need distortion.

I play a variety of genres and my gigs on one night (like tonight) will be at an large upscale restaurant so I need good cleans. Tomorrow it is a classic rock room where I need crunch and distortion. I can get what I need from my VOX amps (VT30 and VT40). I understand the love of a good tube amp, they are great but that doesn't mean all SS amps suck. They may not be what some people are looking for but just because it's not to their personal taste in sound doesn't mean they aren't perfect for someone else. I find that is often the cork sniffing tone of many replies on the forum so I just normally stay out of these discussions. Mostly they serve no purpose.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 25, 2015,
#6
The amount of bullshit in the OP could fertilize a large farm. I'll not cover it as Codemonk has gotten the majority of it already.

As for the post immediately above, I think you've both misread the OP and have some apparent misunderstandings about the beliefs hereabouts as regards SS and Tube. Yes, most of us prefer tube, but I don't believe anyone here that's worth listening to has ever said that all SS amps suck and we often say that it's player preference that's the key.

Your Peavey Mace was already a hybrid (and a solid amp, although not to my taste) and the GK head you used wasn't exactly an entrey-level SS amp now was it?

I think you're railing against arguments not made.

Now the OP, that's just a load of uninformed bullshit.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#7
OH GOD, NOT THIS SHIT AGAIN?

1. Heavy, yes. As fragile as you imply? Bullshit.
2. BULLSHIT. TOTALLY, AND COMPLETELY UTTER BULLSHIT. Most tube amp problems can be fixed with a tube swap. Around $100 or so. Any "Amp Techs" you go to or talk to are ripping you off or are complete morons.
3. User and "Amp Tech" error, not the amp's fault.
4. Opinion, ok, its till wrong though. Much of you tone comes from the amp. And a high end Solid State amp can run you over $2000.
5. Partially right. Speakers can make a huge impact on the sound.
The wrong speaker in an amp, regardless if its tube or solid state can sound like shit. Same with the cab. And you also contradicted yourself there. Good job.
6. On to something, maybe "On something" more likely. And your youth is a dead giveaway to lack of experience.
7. Quite possible. Not every amp works for everybody.
I've got an AC30 which works great for me, Some people can't stand them.
8. There's more to playing than playing loud, And you do know you aren't supposed to touch tubes when the amp is on don't you. I will give you that and AC30 is an exception to some degree. You could cook your breakfast on top of one.
9. There are some high end stereo systems that still use tubes.
10. COMPLETE BULLSHIT. a $100 being better sounding that a $1000 amp. BULLSHIT.
My AC30, with the cab (which I built myelf), I would put up against your $100 solid state amp any day of the week. Head cost me $900, cab, including speakers, was about $600
11. Objective? Hardly. There is so much bias and total bullshit in your post, its unbelievable.
12. Best get your hearing checked. Or maybe take some lessons. And again, your youth and probably lack of ear training is betraying you.


Wow, alright, easy there big fella. Never said anything about a $100 solid state amp, that was my pedal. I do realize I've made an error in phrasing that, my apologies.

This is exactly the kind of post I was hoping to avoid. People screaming bullshit because they have a different opinion. I was hoping for some actual objective arguments in favor of tube amps.

Could be that I am young and inexperienced, but good luck to anyone young and inexperienced that has someone like you giving them advice, I'd rather blow my brains out. That's exactly why I came here, to hear different opinions, different arguments and to learn something.

To me, there are good amps and bad amps. A good tube amp will win against a bad solid state amp, and a good solid state amp will beat a bad tube amp. But as I said, I'd much rather get a good solid state amp and learn to work with it and get the tone that I WANT, than get an equally good tube amp and have to replace the tubes and have to worry about them breaking. It just seems like good sense.

Try that again, only with a pinch less of rage and some actual facts and we can talk.

EDIT:

Quote by Arby911

Now the OP, that's just a load of uninformed bullshit.

Alright, fine. Please, explain why?
Last edited by Dzamija at Sep 25, 2015,
#8
Facts?
How about pointing out what aren't facts in my post
Except for the 'You're on something and the Michael J Fox reference, I gave you facts.
And #3 was a guess on my part, but one that you seem to agree with.

And the rage is because this very same subject comes up at least once a month.

But I will give you that to Roland JC120 Jazz Chrous is an AWESOME amp. And its solid state.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2015,
#9
Quote by Dzamija
Wow, alright, easy there big fella. Never said anything about a $100 solid state amp, that was my pedal. I do realize I've made an error in phrasing that, my apologies.

This is exactly the kind of post I was hoping to avoid. People screaming bullshit because they have a different opinion. I was hoping for some actual objective arguments in favor of tube amps.

Could be that I am young and inexperienced, but good luck to anyone young and inexperienced that has someone like you giving them advice, I'd rather blow my brains out. That's exactly why I came here, to hear different opinions, different arguments and to learn something.

To me, there are good amps and bad amps. A good tube amp will win against a bad solid state amp, and a good solid state amp will beat a bad tube amp. But as I said, I'd much rather get a good solid state amp and learn to work with it and get the tone that I WANT, then get an equally good tube amp and have to replace the tubes and have to worry about them breaking. It just seems like good sense.

Try that again, only with a pinch of less rage and some actual facts and we can talk.


See, you seem to think that tubes are inherently fragile and need to be replaced constantly, and that's why we KNOW that you don't have nearly the knowledge you think you do.

I've got tube amps that have had the same tubes for 2 decades (in the case of my 5E3, it's likely they are over 40 years old and still rocking hard!).

Further, tube and SS amp failure rates are similar, the difference being that tube amps are EASIER to troubleshoot and (with a few exceptions) CHEAPER to repair. Most tube amps are relatively simple circuits, with far less components than a comparable SS amp.

The point of an amp IS to "color" the tone. An amp is as much a part of the overall system as the guitar, pedals and speakers. The only place in the world of guitar for FRFR is when you're using modeling to generate the "color" or in your PA system.

If you actually want to learn, we can help, but if all you want to do is spout false information as if it's fact you won't find much sympathy here.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#10
This is why I avoid these threads. It usually ends this way. Nice try though.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#11
I play solid state/modeling and tube amps. Alternate between them so the tube life would last longer.

I don't care about which one is better because I like them both, modeling and tubes.

But for pedals I prefer to use them with the tube amps.

I like these threads because I can't lose or feel offended since I don't favor one over the other types of amps.
#12
Quote by Dzamija

Could be that I am young and inexperienced, but good luck to anyone young and inexperienced that has someone like you giving them advice, I'd rather blow my brains out. That's exactly why I came here, to hear different opinions, different arguments and to learn something.


I'm happy to give advice to new people here and often do so.
But from the wording of your post, it didn't seem as though you came in to read "different opinions, different arguments and to learn something".
You sounded like you had already made up your mind and considered your opinions as fact.
"Solid state is simply superior technology." For somethings yes, others, no, still others maybe. Its all about context.

And for the record, I used to have a Vox Valvetronix AD30VT (Had to sell for moving expenses) and an AD50VT (got stolen), and currently own a Peavey Vypyr 30.
And I liked all 3 of them (a bit partial to the Valvetronix amps though).
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2015,
#13
Alright, why not?

1. Heavy, yes. As fragile as you imply? Bullshit.

Every guitarist I've ever known gets about a mini heart-attack whenever he accidentally whacks the things against something or just about puts it down a bit too roughly. Anyone that I've ever known that owns a high-end tube amp is dead-frightened of seeing it break. I guess that's why I think like that.


2. BULLSHIT. TOTALLY, AND COMPLETELY UTTER BULLSHIT. Most tube amp problems can be fixed with a tube swap. Around $100 or so. Any
"Amp Techs" you go to or talk to are ripping you off or are complete morons.

Maybe in the States, or wherever you're from. Amp repairs are costly where I come from.

3. User and "Amp Tech" error, not the amp's fault.

I agree. Still, he also has an SS with the same people using it, hasn't broken once, while the tubes have gone out minimum five times.

4. Opinion, ok, its till wrong though. Much of you tone comes from the amp. And a high end Solid State amp can run you over $2000.

As I said, I've gotten better tones from a $500 solid state and my pedal than any of the tube amps I've played. Could be it's because of my guitar or something. But why change my guitar or get more expensive gear when I'm satisfied with my sound and my gear is robust? Just because someone else thinks that tube amps are better?


5. Partially right. Speakers can make a huge impact on the sound.
The wrong speaker in an amp, regardless if its tube or solid state can sound like shit. Same with the cab. And you also contradicted yourself there. Good job.

...What?

6. On to something, maybe "On something" more likely. And your youth is a dead giveaway to lack of experience.

Cool

7. Quite possible. Not every amp works for everybody.


I agree. Solid states for me perfectly. Yet that makes you think that I'm deaf, for some reason.

8. There's more to playing than playing loud, And you do know you aren't supposed to touch tubes when the amp is on don't you. I will give you that and AC30 is an exception to some degree. You could cook your breakfast on top of one.

You're NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH THEM?! WHAT?!

I'm not saying it's all in being loud. I'm saying that sometimes you have to be loud enough to be heard next to the fucking drums, and a 15W amp won't cut it.

9. There are some high end stereo systems that still use tubes.

Why, I'll never know.

10. COMPLETE BULLSHIT. a $100 being better sounding that a $1000 amp. BULLSHIT.
My AC30, with the cab (which I built myelf), I would put up against your $100 solid state amp any day of the week. Head cost me $900, cab, including speakers, was about $600. MY amp will blow your away with its cleans, and since you are using a dirt pedal for grit, so would I. And probably make you sound liek Michael J. Fox on a bad day. Or is that your normal playing style?


Right, because it works for you. I'm sorry that you aren't able to get a good tone without $1500 behing your back, I simply am.


12. Best get your hearing checked. Or maybe take some lessons. And again, your youth and probably lack of ear training is betraying you. And as you say, Ridiculous. No, more like Delusional.


Maybe. We'll see in ten years or something, if I end up using tubes, I will personally look you up and apologize for you for this post.


You're making a lot of assumptions about me, my ears, my playing style, and so on. That's not what I wanted this to be about at all. So far, all I can see is that the only argument you have is that "they sound better for me and anyone that doesn't share my opinion needs to have their ears fixed" and, unless there's a specialist ear doctor who can tell me if my particular hearing is good enough to be playing guitar, that doesn't help me that much at all.

Quote by Arby911
See, you seem to think that tubes are inherently fragile and need to be replaced constantly, and that's why we KNOW that you don't have nearly the knowledge you think you do.

I've got tube amps that have had the same tubes for 2 decades (in the case of my 5E3, it's likely they are over 40 years old and still rocking hard!).

Good for you. I'm just stating what I've learned from my own experience. I've had a JCM 2000 fail on me in the middle of a gig, in the middle of a song. I've had a JCM 800 fail on me in the studio. And then a JCM 2000 again, though the last one was just a fuse breaking. To be fair, these weren't my amps, who knows who was using them before I was, they just happened to fail when I was using them. Maybe they weren't maintained very well. But as I am very clumsy at times, durability is something that's really important to me. I'm not going to drop it, but I am going to dent it probably when moving it sometimes. This is why I think like that. And whenever someone asks me to move a tube amp, it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS followed by "be extra careful, those are tubes". It's not as if I've simply read it on the internet and consider it fact. Everything I say is mainly from experience. Other things, I try to figure out from what I read and common sense. MAYBE I don't have enough experience, I'm not saying.
Last edited by Dzamija at Sep 25, 2015,
#14
Quote by Dzamija
Alright, why not?

1.) Every guitarist I've ever known gets about a mini heart-attack whenever he accidentally whacks the things against something or just about puts it down a bit too roughly. Anyone that I've ever known that owns a high-end tube amp is dead-frightened of seeing it break. I guess that's why I think like that.

Maybe in the States, or wherever you're from. 2.) Amp repairs are costly where I come from.

I agree. Still, 3.) he also has an SS with the same people using it, hasn't broken once, while the tubes have gone out minimum five times.

As I said,4.) I've gotten better tones from a $500 solid state and my pedal than any of the tube amps I've played. Could be it's because of my guitar or something. But why change my guitar or get more expensive gear when I'm satisfied with my sound and my gear is robust? Just because someone else thinks that tube amps are better?

5.)...What?

Cool

I agree. Solid states for me perfectly. Yet that makes you think that I'm deaf, for some reason.

6.) You're NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH THEM?! WHAT?!

I'm not saying it's all in being loud. I'm saying that sometimes you have to be loud enough to be heard next to the fucking drums, and a 15W amp won't cut it.

Why, I'll never know.

Right, because it works for you. I'm sorry that you aren't able to get a good tone without $1500 behing your back, I simply am.

Maybe. We'll see in ten years or something, if I end up using tubes, I will personally look you up and apologize for you for this post.

7.) You're making a lot of assumptions about me, my ears, my playing style, and so on. That's not what I wanted this to be about at all. So far, all I can see is that the only argument you have is that "they sound better for me and anyone that doesn't share my opinion needs to have their ears fixed" and, unless there's a specialist ear doctor who can tell me if my particular hearing is good enough to be playing guitar, that doesn't help me that much at all.


1. I suggest that your pool of known guitarists is relatively limited.

2. Amp repairs are costly everywhere. Tube amps are generally easier and cheaper to fix, assuming you have a tech that knows what they are doing.

3. Your anecdotal single-source concern isn't particularly useful. Tube and SS amps fail at about the same rate.

4. That's fine. Your tone is up to you, and no one can tell you different. I can tell you that often (but not always) as a guitar player matures, their desired tone changes, and often away from what they were getting with a SS amp.

5. Not all speakers sound the same, there's a HUGE difference between guitar speakers and FRFR (full range, flat response) speakers.

6. You're not supposed to touch the TUBES when they are hot. Seems simple enough.

7. And vice versa. The difference is we are going off of what you've posted that is factually incorrect, you are working off of what, exactly?

Quote by Dzamija

Good for you. I'm just stating what I've learned from my own experience. I've had a JCM 2000 fail on me in the middle of a gig, in the middle of a song. I've had a JCM 800 fail on me in the studio. And then a JCM 2000 again, though the last one was just a fuse breaking.


I've had tube amps fail as well. I've also had SS amps fail. The reality is that it means...nothing. It means a piece of gear failed. Electronic gear, regardless of whether it's SS or tube, fails at a pretty consistent rate, and it's pretty low for all of it. (Subject to reasonable quality of course, which many beginner amps simply don't have.)

The difference, as I've noted twice now, is that it's usually cheaper and easier to repair a given tube amp because tube circuits are simpler (use far fewer components) than an equivalent SS circuit.

If a tube does fail, it's the work of a moment to replace it. If the power end of a SS amp fails (or any section actually), it's tech time...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Sep 25, 2015,
#15
Quote by Arby911
1. I suggest that your pool of known guitarists is relatively limited.

2. Amp repairs are costly everywhere. Tube amps are generally easier and cheaper to fix, assuming you have a tech that knows what they are doing.

3. Your anecdotal single-source concern isn't particularly useful. Tube and SS amps fail at about the same rate.

4. That's fine. Your tone is up to you, and no one can tell you different. I can tell you that often (but not always) as a guitar player matures, their desired tone changes, and often away from what they were getting with a SS amp.

5. Not all speakers sound the same, there's a HUGE difference between guitar speakers and FRFR (full range, flat response) speakers.

6. You're not supposed to touch the TUBES when they are hot. Seems simple enough.

7. And vice versa. The difference is we are going off of what you've posted that is factually incorrect, you are working off of what, exactly?

Alright, I'll take what you've said into consideration. If nothing else, I won't be biased about an amp that I like simply because it's a tube now and I think that it is going to break. Thanks!

Also I was a bit sarcastic at point 6. :')

Thanks for your feedback everyone and for pointing out where I was mistaken, I guess you can never have enough experience with these things. I'm sorry if I come across as arrogant, I really try to not let my ego get in the way of improving myself as a musician, and it's not always as easy as I might think. Thanks again!
Last edited by Dzamija at Sep 25, 2015,
#16
Quote by Dzamija
Alright, why not?


Every guitarist I've ever known gets about a mini heart-attack whenever he accidentally whacks the things against something or just about puts it down a bit too roughly. Anyone that I've ever known that owns a high-end tube amp is dead-frightened of seeing it break. I guess that's why I think like that.



Arby got the rest, but you friends are just paranoid, or even lack knowledge on the actual durability if tube amps.

Watch this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-z_qNNcVz8
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2015,
#19
Quote by Dzamija
Alright, I'll take what you've said into consideration. If nothing else, I won't be biased about an amp that I like simply because it's a tube now and I think that it is going to break. Thanks!

Also I was a bit sarcastic at point 6. :')

Thanks for your feedback everyone and for pointing out where I was mistaken, I guess you can never have enough experience with these things. I'm sorry if I come across as arrogant, I really try to not let my ego get in the way of improving myself as a musician, and it's not always as easy as I might think. Thanks again!


No worries, we all start somewhere and we all have our own beliefs and biases. The key is to not let them get in the way of making music!

Stick around, we might learn some things from each other.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by CodeMonk
Arby got the rest, but you friends are just paranoid, or even lack knowledge on the actual durability if tube amps.

Watch this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-z_qNNcVz8

Woulda been cooler if they had used longer cords so they could throw it while the guitarist kept playing through it...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#22
Double Post
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 25, 2015,
#23
Quote by Dzamija
Alright, I'll take what you've said into consideration. If nothing else, I won't be biased about an amp that I like simply because it's a tube now and I think that it is going to break. Thanks!

Also I was a bit sarcastic at point 6. :')

Thanks for your feedback everyone and for pointing out where I was mistaken, I guess you can never have enough experience with these things. I'm sorry if I come across as arrogant, I really try to not let my ego get in the way of improving myself as a musician, and it's not always as easy as I might think. Thanks again!



There is nothing wrong with solid state amps, just that IMO, there are more crappy SS amps then there are crappy tube amps.
But most SS amps sold as part of a start pack and are crap.
High quality SS amps cost lots of money.
The Roland JC40 Jazz Chorus retails for $799 and the JC120 is a good deal more.
And there are others that are over the $2000 range. Pritchard I think is the name.
They make very high quality SS amps, but cost more than many tube amps.

And yeah, I can be sarcastic and an asshole.
I have a real difficult time holding back.
And not just on the internet, IRL as well. Its costs me more than a few jobs.

Like I said, this subject come up at least once a month, with someone claiming that "X" is superior to "Y" and states it as absolute fact, and those of us with experience know that's not always the case.
That probably lit my fuse.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2015,
#24
You all have way too much time on your hands.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#25
It's a common thread on many posts when amp questions arise there is often someone posting comments along the line of "You'll never get a good sound out of a solid state amp". For new players it becomes the mantra that they hear way to often. That's the part of the OPs comments that I agreed with and to say that doesn't happen here is being a little disingenuous (my big word of the day).

I don't care whether tube amps are heavier or not, more or less durable or more expensive to fix. That goes with the territory and if that amp sounds good to you and suits your purposes and ears no matter what it's drawbacks, people will buy it (I would).
My amps are SS and work for me. I have them, they are reliable and give me what I want and need to gig. If I was just playing at home I wouldn't even have them I'd just keep my old Vox Pathfinder R15 in my home studio and be happy with my pedals.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 25, 2015,
#26
By the way DBD is right. We must have away too much time on our hands. Actually I'm doing this while goofing off at work......oh dam, here comes the boss bye.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#27

Sure, SS technology has supplanted tubes everywhere but guitar amps. Doesn't that tell you something? Why do you think we all use them? Huh?
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
#28
Quote by Rickholly74
It's a common thread on many posts when amp questions arise there is often someone posting comments along the line of "You'll never get a good sound out of a solid state amp". For new players it becomes the mantra that they hear way to often. That's the part of the OPs comments that I agreed with and to say that doesn't happen here is being a little disingenuous (my big word of the day).

I don't care whether tube amps are heavier or not, more or less durable or more expensive to fix. That goes with the territory and if that amp sounds good to you and suits your purposes and ears no matter what it's drawbacks, people will buy it (I would).
My amps are SS and work for me. I have them, they are reliable and give me what I want and need to gig. If I was just playing at home I wouldn't even have them I'd just keep my old Vox Pathfinder R15 in my home studio and be happy with my pedals.


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I've never seen the regulars or anyone on the WTLT list say that. I have seen things along the lines of "you won't get "X" sound out of THAT amp." but that's quite a different thing.

I can't speak for the rest of the occasional knobheads.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#30
Aren't premium hi-fi audio systems using tubes again? Not sure which components though. Of course you pay dearly for the privilege. Which makes me wonder if the price of tube stuff is warranted or inflated.

I suspect that some of this debate comes down to whether someone is a "purist" or not. The questions then become-

- do you think it's possible to get the same sound/tone with a SS amp as with a tube amp?

- if it is possible, are there still some advantages to using a tube amp?

It would be interesting to hear from studio/recording people what they would have to say, too.
#31
Quote by Rickholly74
By the way DBD is right. We must have away too much time on our hands. Actually I'm doing this while goofing off at work......oh dam, here comes the boss bye.

When I work I GET THAT SHIT DONE. Seriously we don't fuck around. I guess that's why I am the baus and you are hiding from one.

So you don't even take your 40 hours at the day job seriously... and I am supposed to take your 3 hours of goofing off at guitar seriously? No. Everything you say is now null and void.

What I want you to do is go over to your guitar amp right now, tune up, and listen reeeaaal closely. Does your amp FEEL like an instrument? Is it reacting, in all its imperfections, to each and every variable?

Or is it just amplifying a guitar.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#32
Wow. I was kidding. Don't get your pantyhose twisted.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 25, 2015,
#33
Damn I'm late to the party.
I still wanna contribute tho.
Quote by Dzamija
Almost everyone seems to be going for tube amps, and I really have no idea why.
It's because the general consensus is that they sound better.
Thing is, most guitarists don't want SS amps, so they don't spend as much developing solid state tech that sounds good, people wouldn't buy it because there's no standby switch or glowing tubes inside it.
Quote by Dzamija
Tube amps are expensive.
Good amps in general tend to be expensive.
My amp (the head only, a blackheart BH5) cost me €95 tho.
It's a tube amp, it sounds good to me, and it's not much expensive really.
Quote by Dzamija
It's often cheaper to get a new amp than to repair your broken one.
I can't think of a single place where this is true if you don't know how to fix the common issues yourself.
I don't think a single place where that's true when you know how to fix the simple stuff yourself exists.
Quote by Dzamija
I'm more than convinced that you can get an equally good tone through other means.

This is true, but at a certain point you run into the diminishing returns rule, where you have to pay a lot of money to get just a bit better results.
Thing is, you can get better results according to the general consensus.

If you believe otherwise then simply play through a SS amp and disregard everything else.
Quote by Dzamija
But is it really worth the grief that it can give you?
I'll put that in the form of a question.
Have you ever tried a LoneStar?
(I have and yes it's worth it)
Quote by Dzamija
I don't know, my personal opinion is that your sound is much more in the hands and your own capability of dialing in a good tone, than it is in spending $2000 or more on a tube amp.
This can be true if your amp isn't a line 6 spider or something of the sort.

Again tho, there comes a certain point at which, even tho you have to spend a lot of money, you can arguably get better results with a tube amp.

If you don't agree with this either, keep to your SS amp knowing that your opinion is yours, and most people's is different.
Quote by Dzamija
the best tone I've ever gotten is through a Randall RX120D solid state, with a marshall 4x12 cabinet. Also I tend to notice that the sound depends much more on the quality of the speaker than on the amp itself. And as I use a stompbox for distortion
This is subjective, and while it's good for you that you're satisfied you can't pretend you're somehow superior to others because you have a different opinion.

I dislike distortion pedals generally.
Gimme a lonestar, a guitar and a cable and I'm all set.
To each its own.
Quote by Dzamija
People keep saying that SS amps have no "soul", that they're sterile, non-responsive, flat, etc.
These are idiots who haven't tried a good tube amp and/or are exaggerating.
Quote by Dzamija
whenever something wasn't going for them, they'd blame it on the amp.
This, to a certain extent, happens to everybody when they're talking whatever kind of gear
Quote by Dzamija
For recording, I use amp sims, which, even the free ones, have become spectacular and no one can really tell the difference in a blind test anymore. There are no room issues, no mic placement issues, simply a superior option to me in every way. For live, I'd love to have a RX120D or a RX120RH as they're fucking beasts and robust as hell, not to mention loud enough for almost any occasion, don't get hot like tube amps do, and give the same sound - every time.
They certainly have a hell of a lot of advantages and I have used them more often than not, but I can tell the difference between a symphony I/O's and an apollo's converters.
It's not like because you or somebody else tells you he can't hear any difference between A and B then "nobody" can hear it.
Quote by Dzamija
Solid state is simply superior technology.
You are right.
We are talking audio here tho, not technology.
Quote by Dzamija
No one in their right mind would run a hi-fi system or something through a tube amp
Go trying a Rogue Audio Sphynx, or even the lowest range McIntosh, then come back and tell me who isn't in his right mind
Quote by Dzamija
But I'm not about to give $1000 or more for that tone when I can get it for $100, if I put a little effort into finding it.
Thing is, it's not "that tone".
It's different.
You like it, good for you, but you can't go around saying you can get the same tone as me when my rig costs 3 times yours and expect people to believe you.
Quote by Dzamija
What are some of the other advantages of using a tube amp?
They tend to sound better.
If you ask most people, that is.
Quote by Dzamija
Alright, they're louder than SS at the same power.
This is false.
Guitar amps' power amps' ratings are made up, that's all.
Quote by Dzamija
I'm sick of hearing "You can't beat the tone of a good tube amp cranked up high", because well, quite frankly, yes, I can, and I've done it.
In your opinion still.
Quote by Dzamija
I've played JCM 800's, JCM 2000's, Mesa Boogies, a Framus Dragon, a Fender Deluxe and so on, and I've yet to see anyone of them surpass my MXR M78 through a Randall RX120D. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous to any tube fan, but that's how it is for me.
We're not "tube fans", we like amps that sound good to us, as you do.
We don't find it hard to believe that you prefer that sound, we simply believe we won't like it as much.
Quote by Cathbard
Sure, SS technology has supplanted tubes everywhere but guitar amps. Doesn't that tell you something?
Wasn't a line 6 advertisement about the spider something like "a milion guitarists can't be wrong"?
'cause you're using the same principle here.
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.
#34
Quote by Cathbard

Sure, SS technology has supplanted tubes everywhere but guitar amps. Doesn't that tell you something? Why do you think we all use them? Huh?


That you like tube amps.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#35
I won't get into this discussion, since it really does mostly come down to the principle of "it's all preference, although generally tube amps are more popular", but this thread does a better job instead at demonstrating who among those that did comment is capable of a civilised discussion and who is a dumb caveman flaming for no apparent reason and shouting "MUH EXPERIENCE" every second sentence. (And general hint: it's ironic if you highlight "it's your opinion" to the person you're replying to ten times per post, and then using your subjective opinion as a supposed counter-argument.)

Still, I congratulate the OP for pretty well-detailed posts, even though this is unlikely to lead anywhere (other than where it already has).
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#36
Quote by Spambot_2

Wasn't a line 6 advertisement about the spider something like "a milion guitarists can't be wrong"?
'cause you're using the same principle here.

OT, but relevant,,,
McDonald's - Billions Served.
#38
Definitely all preference here, I do think you make some outlandish arguments but hey.

I always like to default to the professionals when anything like this comes up and the overwhelming majority of professionals (people who make a living in music) use tube amps so they must be on to something.
Gibson 58 VOS, Gibson Rich Robinson ES-335, Fender Strat, Fender RoadWorn 50's Tele, Gibson LP Jr Special

Marshall JTM45, Fender BJR NOS
#39
Quote by Dzamija

Right, because it works for you. I'm sorry that you aren't able to get a good tone without $1500 behing your back, I simply am.


Just one more comment before I go to bed (which I should have done 4 hours ago).
I don't need the $1500 setup to get good tone.
I could get some nice tones out of my Valvetronix amps.
That gave me THE TONE I WANTED. And I've been at this since the early 80's.
As for the cab I built ( https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=26372230 ), well, I just like to build stuff.
That and the $10,000 insurance check helped.
#40
Play whatever amp gives you what you want, whether it be SS, tube, or modeling. If it doesn't suit your needs, it's worthless.

I've used some amps that I've really liked (BF-spec Silverface Twin, Cyber-Twin, Modded Epi VJ) but for one reason or another they weren't right for me. The silverface sounded amazing but was way too heavy and valuable to be dragging around everywhere, the cyber-twin was a great recording amp but has sloppy low-end that makes it hard to use at un-miked live volumes, the epi I modded myself and while it sounds good it won't cut it live and I wound up selling it to my drummer for financial reasons.

My current amp is a like-new solo series peavey bandit 65 I found and I don't see myself replacing it unless it breaks beyond repair. It fits all my criteria: reliable, good clean sound to use with pedals, easy to transport, gig worthy volume (louder than I'll ever need, honestly). Is it a $10000 Custom made diamond encrusted tube amp? No, but that's not a realistic option for most people and that's not what I need for what I do.

Go for what works for you, if a tube amp suits you, get one, if a $100 crate half stack gives you what to you want, great, if you're into amp sims or a modelling amp, go for it. Don't let some doofus on a forum tell you that you need tubes to sound good, because they're wrong. I'm not saying SS is better than tubes, because they're both just different ways of amplifying sound, despite what some people believe one is no more magical than the other.
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