Poll: will a ss amp in a few years be equal to a tube amp ?
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View poll results: will a ss amp in a few years be equal to a tube amp ?
in a few years there will exist ss amps that are equal to tube amps.
68 46%
there will never be an bettar amp than a tube amp.
80 54%
Voters: 149.
Page 1 of 3
#1
so i was thinking, 10 years ago, the SS amps back then were crap.
but now there are decent ss amps (line 6 vetta II) due to evolving technology.
so i think in a few years there will be modeling amps that are equal to tube amps (if not better!).
There are modeling amps now that come close to the amp that is imitated, for example this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D5um0kRcQQ
opinions on this ?
#2
I reckon it's more likely that we'll see more and more valve amps for beginners (Think Epi Valve Junior). Hopefully this will see the demise of the MG series and SS amps in general. Epiphone have proved that practive amps can be cheap AND excellent quality and it's time for the other companeis to follow suit.
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#3
Quote by aliwilson27
I reckon it's more likely that we'll see more and more valve amps for beginners (Think Epi Valve Junior). Hopefully this will see the demise of the MG series and SS amps in general. Epiphone have proved that practive amps can be cheap AND excellent quality and it's time for the other companeis to follow suit.




Valves are very old technology, there will come a point when that technology finally dies out. I mean, who uses valves now? Guitar/a few bass players and the Military. Solid state circuitry will get a lot better but you'll still have people going "z0mg t00bs dud3z!" even when they're clearly inferior.
#4
Guess they'll have to make the ss very good then.. They'll have to imitate being a tube amp. and why would you do that? because it'll be cheaper?
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#6
Quote by pity tha' foo'


Valves are very old technology, there will come a point when that technology finally dies out. I mean, who uses valves now? Guitar/a few bass players and the Military. Solid state circuitry will get a lot better but you'll still have people going "z0mg t00bs dud3z!" even when they're clearly inferior.


Valves will never be inferior to SS because SS will alwas give you a tone that lacks feel (when compared to a valve amp).
#7
Quote by pity tha' foo'


Valves are very old technology, there will come a point when that technology finally dies out. I mean, who uses valves now? Guitar/a few bass players and the Military. Solid state circuitry will get a lot better but you'll still have people going "z0mg t00bs dud3z!" even when they're clearly inferior.


Almost every halfassed musician on the planet uses a tube amp, except for dimebag, I cant name any one who would want to use a SS over a valve amp.

I highly dought that they'll ever have solid state amplifires that can relecate the sound of, say, a tube driven Fender Vibroking cranked, or a 1960's marshall. It just won't happen.

Another reason? Every tube sounds diffrent, they'll never get all those neusances.
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#8
Quote by pity tha' foo'


Valves are very old technology, there will come a point when that technology finally dies out. I mean, who uses valves now? Guitar/a few bass players and the Military. Solid state circuitry will get a lot better but you'll still have people going "z0mg t00bs dud3z!" even when they're clearly inferior.


This guy is an idiot.
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#9
I don't think they'll ever manage to faithfully reproduce the characteristics of a tube amp with modelling - there's too many variables and inconsistency with tube tone which is the complete opposite of what solid state amplification does. A modelling amp can get close to the tone, but will respond in exactly the same way every time....solid state amps are a tool, they're functional and predictable which is good. Tube amps are more an instrument in themselves, and mastering the interaction between guitar and amp is a useful skill. Modelling will always be a simulation, and a simulation is by definition never as good as the real things. It's close, and will no doubt get closer, but as long as players demand the warmth and character that you only get from tube amps there'll be a market for them.

It's like food - just because there's the likes of McDonalds and KFC doesn't mean that we'll ever stop eating proper food, and no matter how good fast food gets it's always a compromise.
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#10
i duno, it seems abit silly trying to make a SS amp as good as a valve amp when you could just buy a valve amp. They should try to focus more on improving SS amps tone in general and giving them their own specific tonal quality instead of imitating valve amps, that way they will gain status in their own right like the jc-120 and other famous SS amps.
#11
^ ^second that
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#12
I dunno Seagull about that "can't get better than the real thing" argument - a lot of Pilseners are considered better than the original Pilsener Urquell these days, even though in theory they're just trying to replicate it.
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#13
Quote by aliwilson27
This guy is an idiot.


Please expand, i'm willing to bet i'm less of an idiot that you think.

There are things i have forgotten to consider here (i put this to my lack of sleep and illness), but IMO valves will die out eventually. Saying that, i'll continue using my 5150 and various other valve amps until i hear a solid state that i can honestly say is better.
#14
Another thing that gets me is that us guitarists spend all this time and energy for that perfect "human" tone, but look at keyboards, they're all digital aren't they? All the notes are based on midi files etc.

That digital "fake" sound has its own charm with a lot of people, esp. if you look at 80's pop music. Even Muse sound kind of "fake" to me, but its part of the package, it makes them unique.
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#15
Quote by pity tha' foo'
Please expand, i'm willing to bet i'm less of an idiot that you think.

There are things i have forgotten to consider here (i put this to my lack of sleep and illness), but IMO valves will die out eventually. Saying that, i'll continue using my 5150 and various other valve amps until i hear a solid state that i can honestly say is better.


I really don't think it'll happen. SS amps will be good for somethings, but tubes will be good for others.
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#16
I dunno Seagull about that "can't get better than the real thing" argument - a lot of Pilseners are considered better than the original Pilsener Urquell these days, even though in theory they're just trying to replicate it.


Depends on what they're doing - if they're improving on an old recipe...using the similar ingredients, similar production methods but with modern equipment and standards then that's different to trying to replicate something using different methods.
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#17
i would actually say that it wont be long before there are amps that can model tubes very well. it all comes from the way the tube sound is modeled in the amplifier. if you take the input then digitize it to make it sound like it came from a tube amp, it is obviously not going to work. however, if you run the sound through wave digital filters designed to recreate all the properties of tubes you can achieve a more realistic tube sound. i have done research on the topic, so believe me when i say that digital models of tubes will be a lot better in a few years. so even if they arent perfect, i would bet that eventually digital amps will be able to sound like tube amps. solid state amps using transistors probably never will, but digital amps will sound like tube amps eventually.

and even if they arent exact, the difference in price, reliability, avalibility and lack of need to replace tubes will probably outweigh the small difference in tone for most people.
#18
I think that around the time of flying cars is the point were we'll have ss amps that can perfectly emulate the tone and responsiveness of a valve.
#19
Quote by steven seagull
I don't think they'll ever manage to faithfully reproduce the characteristics of a tube amp with modelling - there's too many variables and inconsistency with tube tone which is the complete opposite of what solid state amplification does. A modelling amp can get close to the tone, but will respond in exactly the same way every time....solid state amps are a tool, they're functional and predictable which is good. Tube amps are more an instrument in themselves, and mastering the interaction between guitar and amp is a useful skill. Modelling will always be a simulation, and a simulation is by definition never as good as the real things. It's close, and will no doubt get closer, but as long as players demand the warmth and character that you only get from tube amps there'll be a market for them.


I know nothing about the technology of SS amps or tube amps really but couldn't it be possible to build into the chips that modelling amps use a random filter that responds differently every time making it feel more like a tube amp...
#20
Tube will always be greater than SS, just as analog will always be greater than digital.

Problem is, analog is dying out because of the ease and cheapness of digital today. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to valve technology when Line 6 comes out with it's Spider XLIV. But I don't think it will. Consumers like CD's, but musicians will always prefer the warmness of tubes.

Sure, it's old technology, but so's the toaster. Doesn't mean I'll ever heat up an english muffin in a microwave. Some things will always have their place.
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#21
Quote by slatsmania
Tube will always be greater than SS, just as analog will always be greater than digital.

Problem is, analog is dying out because of the ease and cheapness of digital today. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to valve technology when Line 6 comes out with it's Spider XLIV. But I don't think it will. Consumers like CD's, but musicians will always prefer the warmness of tubes.

Sure, it's old technology, but so's the toaster. Doesn't mean I'll ever heat up an english muffin in a microwave. Some things will always have their place.


I'm a fan of valves myself but a digital TV reception or radio receiver is ALOT better quality than analogue. It isn't just the ease and cheapness. I know that probably isn't what you meant but claiming analogue is greater than digital is abit of a broad statement.
#22
Quote by fender&gibson
so i was thinking, 10 years ago, the SS amps back then were crap.
but now there are decent ss amps (line 6 vetta II) due to evolving technology.
so i think in a few years there will be modeling amps that are equal to tube amps (if not better!).
There are modeling amps now that come close to the amp that is imitated, for example this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D5um0kRcQQ
opinions on this ?



First of all, the Line6 junk is gimmick and EMULATION. Ya want to hear a solid state amp, get a Vox from the 1960s. Those were very well designed to sound as good as the tube amps they replaced. I dare anyone to hear a difference between the Beatles albums that were done with tubes and the ones done with the SS Voxes.

If you think that a Vetta (or Johnson, or Valvetronix) sounds like a tube amp then you need to put down the iPod and the MP3s and all the technologically advanced, musically retarded trash you've been polluting your senses with.

This is the 21st Century the era where everyone trades quality for quantity. There's more of it but more of it sucks.

Ron
#23
Quote by pity tha' foo'


Valves are very old technology, there will come a point when that technology finally dies out. I mean, who uses valves now? Guitar/a few bass players and the Military. Solid state circuitry will get a lot better but you'll still have people going "z0mg t00bs dud3z!" even when they're clearly inferior.

I disagree with you. Just because something is new doesn't mean it's necessarily better or "the best." Take CDs for example. Yes, they last longer because there's no physical contact between the reader and the disc, but it's widely held that physical transfer of sound through contact is still the best way to reproduce it. New record > new CD.
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#24
Quote by jof1029
i would actually say that it wont be long before there are amps that can model tubes very well. it all comes from the way the tube sound is modeled in the amplifier. if you take the input then digitize it to make it sound like it came from a tube amp, it is obviously not going to work. however, if you run the sound through wave digital filters designed to recreate all the properties of tubes you can achieve a more realistic tube sound. i have done research on the topic, so believe me when i say that digital models of tubes will be a lot better in a few years. so even if they arent perfect, i would bet that eventually digital amps will be able to sound like tube amps. solid state amps using transistors probably never will, but digital amps will sound like tube amps eventually.

and even if they arent exact, the difference in price, reliability, avalibility and lack of need to replace tubes will probably outweigh the small difference in tone for most people.


sound is only half the story, though. will they feel and react to your playing like tubes?
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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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#25
Quote by beckyjc
I'm a fan of valves myself but a digital TV reception or radio receiver is ALOT better quality than analogue. It isn't just the ease and cheapness. I know that probably isn't what you meant but claiming analogue is greater than digital is abit of a broad statement.


Everything has it's place, but I'll always prefer the sound of a clean record to a CD, and an anolog pedal to a digital one.

Transmission is a different story, but digital does well there because more info can be packed into smaller packages digitally. Everyone still looks like a claymation figure to me on the close-ups in HDTV, though. Is that something I have to get used to?
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#26
^ that must be because you're old fashioned, and everything old sucks. Us clued-in folks are running cars with square wheels now, dawg.
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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.

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

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#27
There are solid state amps that sound truly excellent right now. Check out Pritchard amps for example.

I think you'll always have both designs available. There will always be people who want tubes and SS will continually progress as well.
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#28
Quote by Mudder
There are solid state amps that sound truly excellent right now. Check out Pritchard amps for example.


is that that dude who always advertises in guitar world? you know "the best amp you've ever played or your money back"? I always wondered if they were any good... I just saw the dodgy moustache and thought "con artist/paedophile" and kind of didn't worry any more about it...
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#29
sometimes newer isnt better.
i cant tell u how many times i put in a new DVD/ CD and there's a skip in it, so i cant finish watching the movie.
meanwhile ive got tapes for 20 years, still sound great.

anyway. i just hope they keep bringing out small inexpensive tube amps.
get rid of some of the low level trash out there now.
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#30
^ yeah.

tapes aren't great either, put them near heat and they screw up, and they unravel really easily.

EDIT: i guess what I don't like about a lot of modern stuff is that ease of use seems to be the primary factor/feature in anything, with cheapness a close second. Have we all devolved into idiots who can't read manuals, and who want everything to be cheap even if it's trash?

I mean, mp3's are great because you can carry 150 billion songs on something the size of a pinhead, but the sound quality is trash. You can get a CD player now for like £15, but the sound quality is akin to putting a cat in the microwave.

garg.
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 7, 2007,
#31
Quote by Dave_Mc
is that that dude who always advertises in guitar world? you know "the best amp you've ever played or your money back"? I always wondered if they were any good... I just saw the dodgy moustache and thought "con artist/paedophile" and kind of didn't worry any more about it...


I don't get Guitar World so I'm not entirely certain. But I've seen/heard them in concert and studio and they're pretty impressive. The technology lends to power scaling so your tones stay the same at any volume and the "models" are really high quality.

Besides, the moustache doesn't always mean paedophile, it might mean police officer or Freddy Mercury or Father Dave. Hmmm, paedophile is starting to sound better all the time.

***forgive me, spirit of Freddy Mercury!!***
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#32
I don't think tubes will die out for a very long time, but eventually SS amps will be able to perfectly replicated all the various nueances of the various amps with various tubes. 10 years ago you couldn't have dreamed of a SS amp with the same sounds as some of the hybrids we have today . I bet in 10/20 more years we will see SS type amps with sounds that get damned close, and in about 40/50 years amps will be exactly on the money, with all the various little nueances.

To make my point about the progression of technology, I'm gonna use something completely different, but shows the same sorta ideas.

Take theme park rides.

Back in the hey-days of amusement parks, rides used very simple technology. You took a car to the top of a slope, then filled the car with passengers, and then let it rip. You either went down a rail, or a water flume.

Then with the advent of electricly driven motors, came the advent of dark rides. Relativly simple when compared to roller coasters and water flume rides. Just a building, some small sets, some track, and an electricly driven motor under a car. But for many years thats how it remained. Simple.

But one day a visonary came along, someone with foresite beyond the imagination of most people of the day.

Walt Disney.

He started using every bit of the then state-of-the-art technologies, along-side tride and true old fasioned technology, and started Disneyland. What we see in today's modern dark rides, is preaty much thanks to Disney himself.

And throughout the years, Disney Parks have continued that tradition of using the latest, greatest, state of the art stuff along with the ol' gags to GREAT effect.

And along that vein, look at the Tower of Terror.

That ride started off quite simple, though it still used both state-of-the-art components and the tride and true gags. Such as using Pepper's ghost effects and forced perspective, alongside the latest technology digital projection and fiberglass lighting!

Now if you take a look at what's being used, it's got state-of-the-art computer technologies in it used for various things, but also to controll one of the most advanced (if not THE most) "random" equation sets in history, which in turn chooses what kind of drops you will experience.

Now think about this:

Back in the 1950's when Disney first opened Disneyland to the public, he had huge amounts of foresite and had the best technologies available to them, but NOONE could have seen where they would end up 5 decades later! The same idea applies to solid state type amps! We started with 1 sound, and decades later we have something fairly close to that tube sound, which is what SS is attempting at most times... Who knows what we will see 50 years from today. BUT, I'm willing to say that we will have SS type amps sounding just like the antiquated Valve technologies of the past... hell it might just get so good, that valve amps will be completely replaced! Probably not, but it's one of many possibilities... Always look to the future with a positive light .
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Feb 7, 2007,
#33
It's possible that theyre will be modeling amps that will sound just like tube amps one day. But the myth with tube amps only being avalible for the rich musicians is now offically busted. An Epiphone Valve Jr. sounds better than any solid state amp up for atleast $800. It costs $100. Plus look at the market today of the brands releasing small decently priced tube amps: Fender, Orange, Laney, Vox and Epiphone. Peavey has just released the Windsor which is a JCM800 copy which sounds pure awesome. It's 120 watts and retails for $400. Sure they could make some modeling SS amps, but the market today has so many cheap tube amps most people can afford which sounds great, so whats the point?
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#34
People will still waste their time trying to make SS amps that sound like tube amps instead of focusing on the actual strengths of the solid state system.

Peavey has just released the Windsor which is a JCM800 copy which sounds pure awesome.


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#35
^ What's the point of progression?

But, I can see your very valid point in there. Tube amps are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and smaller... hell there's a 1watt amp out there now! LOL.

But progression and evolution will forever happen untill the end of everything. SS amps will continue to progress to better and better sounds. Though there are pitfalls to evolution (Line 6 spider series *shutters* anyone?), there are also the genious moments... I mean take a look at the Line 6 Pod XT line. Fairly close replications of the sounds they are attempting to replicate. I don't doubt that in the near enough future we will see Stuff like this sounding just like their RL counter-parts... if a bit sterile at first, they will eventually get there.

Another case-in-point:

Cinimatic and In-Game Graphic Technologies.

Look at Willy and the Steamboat (if I remimber Disney's first animation correctly named), compared to The Lord of the Rings or Bridge to Teribithia(sp?)... I don't think even with a mind such as Walt Disney's, they could have been able to see how far we would progress. Also look at in-game graphics... I don't think they had a clue how far we would go when they came out with mario and duck hunt. Now we have In-Game graphics looking not too far from RL and Cinimatic things . I don't think we can even begin to guess how far we will progress with our amps and guitar sounds today, but we can guesstimate! And I guesstimate that we will eventually see SS amps that exactly model valve amps... POSSIBLY to the point of replacing them...
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Feb 7, 2007,
#36
^Yeah its very good.

Also modeling technology is far from free, but now you can get great tube amps that is the real deal instead of a modeling amp that emulates the real deal.
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#37
Well, I mean, tape players are INCREDIBLY Cheap these days too, but Let's compare Casset Tapes to HI-FI CD's, Then those to Digital 7.1 albums through quality Digital 7.1 systems (such as Klipsh)... I am willing to bet that even the cheapest 7.1 digital system playing digital 7.1 albums can totally blow away Cassets .

Now I don't know about vinals, as I havn't experienced any of them through a quality system... So I reserve my judgement on those for now...
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#38
I'm a fan of valves myself but a digital TV reception or radio receiver is ALOT better quality than analogue. It isn't just the ease and cheapness. I know that probably isn't what you meant but claiming analogue is greater than digital is abit of a broad statement.


That pretty much sums it up, digital/solid state excel at faithful reproduction, which is what you want from a TV receiver, or any sort of playback system. However, in terms of creating something it's often preferable to have things that alter and provide "colour", hence why people still like tube amps.

I like the theme park analogy, but to me it only re-inforces the case for the longevity of tube amps. There's some fantastic rides around now that are far beyond the wildest dreams of people like Charles Paige, but ultimately they do the same thing...being dropped from a great height is still being dropped from a great height, it's just things have got an awful lot higher. A scare in the dark is still just a scare in the dark, no matter how advanced the effect or how fancy the carriage. The 4D rides are fantastic, but we still tend to choose hurtling round at breakneck speed over pretending to hurtle round at breakneck speed.
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#39
Quote by jj1565
sometimes newer isnt better.
i cant tell u how many times i put in a new DVD/ CD and there's a skip in it, so i cant finish watching the movie.
meanwhile ive got tapes for 20 years, still sound great.

anyway. i just hope they keep bringing out small inexpensive tube amps.
get rid of some of the low level trash out there now.



Brought me back to when I was young and was thoroughly distraught from having my Bambie video eaten by the video player, i'm pretty comfortable that my DVD player wont snap the DVD in half. They just take a bit more looking after.
#40
My thoughts...

SS and digital technology will improve. There comes a point where cost and quality reach an equilibrium with each other, and I think that point will come for guitar amplifiers within the next 10-15 years. As far as the digital realm is concerned, there are vast improvements to be made. CDs have held the same sample rate since they were first released, but now we're able to have music on much higher bit rates digitally. That's something that should be changed but cannot due to the vast amount of CDs in circulation. Digital amplifier technology, though, has nothing but room to expand, but most digital amplifier companies are not using better digital conversion technologies because CDs continue to use the same converters, thus making the higher sample rate converters more expensive. Digital amps will sound much much better once higher quality digital converters come down in price.

As far as the digital front goes, I personally think they should concentrate less on emulating classic amplifiers. Digital can be so much more. Personally, I would like to see digital technology allow the user to build their own amp from scratch...from the ground up. The user should be able to program how they want the preamp to respond and how they want the digital output to sound. The only thing digital modeling does is copy an EQ wave form that has been sampled from an actual amp. It forces the guitar signal into this box. How about making a digital representation of the reactions that occur inside tube or SS technology and letting it run wild with the math instead of using the math for squish the guitar response into a certain pattern?

Also, I think tube technology will fade out, not because it's obsolete, but because hopefully it will evolve. How about some new tube designs? Why not make the technology a bit smaller? Yes, the 12AX7 is tried and true, it's a great design, but can it not be improved? I think some of the tube amp builders should try to kick it up a notch...instead of simply rehashing old designs, try to take it somewhere it's never been before (paging Randall Smith...). Hopefully the next couple of decades sees a move towards some newer tube technology...reinventing the wheel isn't so bad, it's the main factor behind many of the most beloved tube amps today. We have the ability to prototype designs and R&D the results within the digital realm using computer modeling technology. Why can't we dig away and design and create the most efficient, best sounding tube and circuit from the ground up? The larger companies will not do this because from the business side of things, simply put, the old technology "pays the bills" and then some. Why innovate when you're getting paid well on the stuff you created 50+ years ago? There's more than enough room in the yard for the old and new to play.

EDIT - one more thing...for the larger tube amp companies (Fender, Marshall, etc), here are the only rules you need to follow for new amplifier designs...SMALLER, MORE AFFORDABLE, BETTER QUALITY and LOWER/VARIABLE POWER!! You have until NAMM 2008 to comply!!
Last edited by TwoString at Feb 7, 2007,
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