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#1
okay, i know a tube amp is alot better than a solidstate, what exactly is it about the tube amp that makes it so much better, and please dont just say oh because its better, or its 99.999999999999% better....

actually give me some reasons please, because im in the process of buying amps right now and i could use some help.
#2
because it has tubes......

tubes give you a more natural, better sounding overdrive, compared to solid state which TRIES to recreate the overdrive of a tube amp.
#4
a tube amp is 99.999999999999% better. You'll have better tone, more volume, and the warmth you just can't truly get from a solidstate
#6
i also heard that solidstate amps crack if you turn them up too loud, is that true or did the salesman just want me to buy a tube? haha.
#8
lets put it this way the best possible sound u can get out of a solid state is about a 7/10 where 90% of tube amps are 9/10 or 10/10

an unusualy comparison but yea.....
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#9
how much louder are tube amps than a solid state.
ex. a 50 watt solid state vs. a 50 watt tube how much louder is the tube compared to the solid state?
#10
Quote by ibanez4life SZ!
Possibly....they begin to clip, which can cause of shorting in signal if it becomes extreme.

The higher you push a SS amp, the more tone it loses.
The higher you push a tube amp, the more tone it gains.


they do start to clip- the speaker on mine started shorting out. After finally buying a tube amp i just cant go back to that
#11
The most extreme difference in tubes and solid state is when they're cranked. At bedroom volumes, without an attenuator, there is pretty much no difference between tubes and solid state sound-wise.
Hi, I'm Peter
#12
tube amp sound is campared to double the wattage SS amps, if that makes sense. A 50 watt tube amp will be as loud as a 100w SS amp, but sound a hell of a lot better.
#13
Dirk.....in all honesty, if I had to take my recto WITHOUT an attenuator or a good SS amp for bedroom practice, I think I would go with the SS amp.

Most tube amps are about the power tube distortion.....you really have to push them for the tone!

Also, with a tube amp, not only is it louder, but it has much more usable volume, as a tube amp will hold tone from 1-10....most SS amps go after about 5-7
#14
Quote by ibanez4life SZ!
Dirk.....in all honesty, if I had to take my recto WITHOUT an attenuator or a good SS amp for bedroom practice, I think I would go with the SS amp.

Most tube amps are about the power tube distortion.....you really have to push them for the tone!

Also, with a tube amp, not only is it louder, but it has much more usable volume, as a tube amp will hold tone from 1-10....most SS amps go after about 5-7

Meh its preference. i like the Low volume gain i get with my JSX at times for liek nightplaying.

And to answer volume question its 2.5- 3 times as loud depending on the tubes used.


so 30watts tube = 75 watts-90 watt SS
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#15
^^^ The difference in loudness has to do with the type of harmonics produced by a tube v. a transistor; tube harmonics are perceived as louder by the human ear.
Hi, I'm Peter
#16
You can't really strictly describe it. You just need to "feel" it.
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#17
You know, I always find it disconcerting to hear people make blanket statements about how tube amps just sound "better". They don't sound "better", they just sound completely different. It depends on what you're after. Also you must consider that tube power- and pre-amp sections are different beasts. Depending on what you like, you may, in fact, hate one or the other or both.

It's a wickedly subjective question. For example, I dislike just about every tube pre-amp I've ever owned or heard, but I *LOVE* my VHT kt88-driven tube power amp. I have owned/played Marshall JCM800, 900, and 2000; Owned a VHT Gp3 preamp; played a Mesa Triaxis; owned a Mesa Dual and Triple Rectifier; old Randall, 5150, Rocktrons, Soldano, etc. etc.

Did not keep any of them. Most Tube preamp distortion, while warm, lacks a certain kind of articulate definition that I need. It's buzzier, softer, typically. But, the trade off is tubes offer more dynamics. Most solid state stuff these days is totally sterile... no matter how hard you hit the strings, you get the same feeling while playing the note through most solid state amps.

However, I found my solution that has yet to be rivaled, which is a long discontinued, very old Rocktron preamp, which is warm and rich sounding, running through a beefy tubed up power amp which rounds out the tonal dynamics nicely.

But, to the point again... it's not "better" or "worse". It's just completely different. The reason they are so expensive is a) Marketting makes people believe that they are definitively "the ****" and b) the parts tend to be more expensive and costlier to build than IC-based solid state gear.

The moral... try a bunch of different things out and find what works right for YOU. Don't give in to hype. Make your own decision about tone.
#18
Actually, run through an oscilloscope, it's proven that tubes sound better to the human ear when clipping than do solid state amps because of the shape of the sound waves and the type of harmonics produced.
Hi, I'm Peter
#19
Quote by Dirk Gently
Actually, run through an oscilloscope, it's proven that tubes sound better to the human ear when clipping than do solid state amps because of the shape of the sound waves and the type of harmonics produced.


pwnt.




anyways, I see where...idk that new guy with the novel length post...where he was coming from. Everything about music is preference. Its the fact that 90% of all tube amps sound better then any SS amp is where the whole TUBE>SS hype comes from.

IMO good tone=a nice tube amp.


[edit] but yet i havnt closed my mind to SS amps. I wouldnt like gig or anything with one but still. I like the H&K Edition Blue amps, and the Cubes *a ton*, and Vox Valvetronix...so on so forth...
#20
Quote by Dirk Gently
Actually, run through an oscilloscope, it's proven that tubes sound better to the human ear when clipping than do solid state amps because of the shape of the sound waves and the type of harmonics produced.


This is more like an explanation for why tubes sound better to most people.

I agree though, tubes do pwn.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#21
Yep, tubes are just better.

By the way, maths lesson people. I don't know why you refused to go to 100% better or beyond. As you're comparing one to the other, you could say 200% better (meaning twice as good). Technically, 99.9999% better means it's 0.0001% worse.

*Apologises for random outburst*
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
if ur going to play some american idiot stuff heres the settings:

Master Volume : 0
i dunno about the rest
#23
Quote by TeenBite
Yep, tubes are just better.

By the way, maths lesson people. I don't know why you refused to go to 100% better or beyond. As you're comparing one to the other, you could say 200% better (meaning twice as good). Technically, 99.9999% better means it's 0.0001% worse.

*Apologises for random outburst*


because believe it or not there are some SS amps out there that sound a whole lot better then some tube amps.
#24
I can't really say why tubes sound they way they do, I haven't looked at it all too much, but, from what I've read, this diagram should explain why they have better overdrive.


The ideal refers to an amplifier that could amplify without ever clipping (which is real-world impossible).
Last edited by greenbox at May 20, 2006,
#25
Good diagrams greenbox. Why has no one made an amp with no clipping? I don't know the exact electronics behind amps, but compared to, say, aeroplanes, they aren't that powerful, so surely they should be able to make whatever it is they need big enough to not clip at all.
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
if ur going to play some american idiot stuff heres the settings:

Master Volume : 0
i dunno about the rest
#26
Quote by TeenBite
Good diagrams greenbox. Why has no one made an amp with no clipping? I don't know the exact electronics behind amps, but compared to, say, aeroplanes, they aren't that powerful, so surely they should be able to make whatever it is they need big enough to not clip at all.



The thing is, electronic components have real-world limits (a transistor can handle only so much current before melting, or an opamp has a voltage/current output limit for example), plus there's a price factor involved. The more limited a component is, generally, the cheaper it is to manufacture.
#27
Oh, thanks. Are the real-world limits so much that with unlimited funds there would still be clipping?
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
if ur going to play some american idiot stuff heres the settings:

Master Volume : 0
i dunno about the rest
#28
Quote by TeenBite
Oh, thanks. Are the real-world limits so much that with unlimited funds there would still be clipping?


Well, theoretically you *COULD* build some sort of super amplifier, but at some point there would be clipping... I mean, I can't forsee a machine being able to handle an infinite amount of current and voltage.

That and people like hearing the distortion for guitar amps.
#29
That's it, for my next Physics coursework I'm building a guitar amp the size of Spain with no clipping.
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
if ur going to play some american idiot stuff heres the settings:

Master Volume : 0
i dunno about the rest
#30
Quote by TeenBite
Good diagrams greenbox. Why has no one made an amp with no clipping? I don't know the exact electronics behind amps, but compared to, say, aeroplanes, they aren't that powerful, so surely they should be able to make whatever it is they need big enough to not clip at all.


if you had something like a 10,000 watt tube amp, it would virtually never clip out on you, but its kinda like one of those 99.99999999999999999999% deals where you can't get to 100%

Good solid state amps are propably better at playing cleans at high volumes
#31
I got my first tube amp a little over a week ago, and it's the greatest purchase ever. it's SO much better. if you hardly think it'll be better, you'll probably be amazed.
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#32
^ What was it, out of interest?
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#33
WHAT ARE U USING IT FOR?

what's ur budget and music u play?

all amps are different man.

SS rock at lower levels. no reason to go out and spend every dime on an amp thats all wrong for ur specific use.
Jenneh

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#34
Quote by jj1565
SS rock at lower levels. no reason to go out and spend every dime on an amp thats all wrong for ur specific use.

I love my Cube at bedroom volumes, I can get awesome sounds out of it. It's band situations which is why I'm looking for a tube amp atm.
- Gibson Les Paul Studio
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- Roland Cube 60
- Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde
- Boss OD-3
- Behringer EQ700
#35
yeah, thanks for all the help ive already learned alot...sorry if i come across as a noob, i kind of am....but anyway im going to be playing shows with this, lots of shows, im in a metalcore band that plays shows as of now monthly...but we just started about a month ago hah, so im going to need something loud, and that wont crack

my price range for the head is from 300-600


also about cabinets...do they really make a difference in the sound? or do they just affect volume, also would i like to match brands from head - cab, ex. peavey-peavey or marshall-marshall
#36
^^^ Brand matching isn't necessary. I was at a gig last week, the guy was using a triple recto with a Marshall 1960 series speaker stack. It's all personal preference, but yeah, the cab will make a difference. Remember, the speaker is what actually produces what you're hearing, so a Celestion-loaded Marshall cab will sound different than a Black Widow loaded Boogie cab.
Hi, I'm Peter
#37
Quote by mexican_shred
Meh its preference. i like the Low volume gain i get with my JSX at times for liek nightplaying.


seconded. I'd take my engl over solid state even at low volumes. But rectos do sound better pushed (so do engls, but not just so "flat" at low volumes...)
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#38
randall FTW. high gain animals, and u can get one without using up all ur cash.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#39
Quote by kurdtkobaign
pwnt.

...novel length post....

Its the fact that 90% of all tube amps sound better then any SS amp is where the whole TUBE>SS hype comes from.


Ok, sorry for the length of that one. Short and sweet here: That's not true. That dude can put his oscilliscope on a Fender bassman all day long and that thing ain't going to make a good metal tone. End of story.

There are a TON of tube amps out there that can't do sh!t for a real metal tone, even the ones geared toward metal. Do get certain tones, your range of options is narrow in some cases, and a person *can* be better served looking at solid state...

...that's all I'm saying.
#40
^yes but there are also tons out there that can do metal.
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