Poll: What matters most?
Poll Options
View poll results: What matters most?
Preamp
26 50%
Poweramp
12 23%
Speakers
9 17%
Rectifier
0 0%
Cab Design
0 0%
Other
5 10%
Voters: 52.
#1
Preamp?
Power Amp?
Speaker?
Cab design?
Rectifier?


I think it's the preamp, and I'm trying to think of a cool way of building a versatile amp that goes something like this: Basically, everything that needs to be in the amp is, except the preamp. Then you could have little plug and play preamp modules. So like, you could have you're tube module, or SS module, or marshall simulator etc., and they'd be little boxes that you'd plug into some part of the amp. They could even have their own controls on em specific to their electronics.

So if you had a SS power amp and a Tube power amp, and they both had plenty of headroom so they weren't clipping, would there be a sonic difference? Because I think this amp would only need a SS poweramp, and all the distortion would take place in the preamp.

Is the rectifier super important to the sound? If not, I figure it'd be easier to make it solid state too. Any thoughts?
#2
Quote by flashbandit


Basically, everything that needs to be in the amp is, except the preamp. Then you could have little plug and play preamp modules. So like, you could have you're tube module, or SS module, or marshall simulator etc., and they'd be little boxes that you'd plug into some part of the amp. They could even have their own controls on em specific to their electronics.


Sounds like a randall MTS you're thinking of
Vociferance


Halcyon

Quote by dead-fish
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sean hart i love your avatar
#3
By saturating preamp tubes you will get distortion, while saturation of power amp tubes will cause overdrive. There really is no most important part. Tubes all have different sound characteristics, and both parts have a great effect upon tone.

It will be much easier to have the modules all be tube, or solid state and have a tube power amp because the voltages would be much closer to what they would need to be.

A personal favorite of mine is using a post phase inverter master volume which allows you to keep tone at lower volume levels that a pre phase inverter mv will. I know you didn't ask this but most people complain about tone loss of tube amps so that may help.
#4
Quote by flashbandit
Preamp?
Power Amp?
Speaker?
Cab design?
Rectifier?


I think it's the preamp, and I'm trying to think of a cool way of building a versatile amp that goes something like this: Basically, everything that needs to be in the amp is, except the preamp. Then you could have little plug and play preamp modules. So like, you could have you're tube module, or SS module, or marshall simulator etc., and they'd be little boxes that you'd plug into some part of the amp. They could even have their own controls on em specific to their electronics.

So if you had a SS power amp and a Tube power amp, and they both had plenty of headroom so they weren't clipping, would there be a sonic difference? Because I think this amp would only need a SS poweramp, and all the distortion would take place in the preamp.

Is the rectifier super important to the sound? If not, I figure it'd be easier to make it solid state too. Any thoughts?
They're ALL very important, but if I had to pick just one, I'd pick speakers. There's a HUGE difference in efficiency and frequency response for speakers.

Distortion in the preamp or in a single ended tube output has mostly even harmonics. You need a push-pull tube output to get all the nice sounding odd harmonics. (squarish waveform, rather than triangular)

Preamp distortion has a tendency to sound "fizzy". Power amp distortion has a much richer character, imho.

Tube rectifiers provide "sag". But that can be simulated, to some degree, by adding series resistance in the power supply.

Cab design has more to do with low frequency response. Somewhat important for a guitar amp, VERY important in a bass amp.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#7
Of your choices, I have to say the power amp section, which would be the output tubes and output transformer together, since they comprise a system. All other things being equal in a listen test, I believe the tube power section will always sound better to the ear than a solid state output section(unless the output xformer sucks ass!) Regardless of preamp, speaker, cabinet, or rectifier; if you compare both with the same set up, the tube design will win.

The philosophy I've been developing lately, though, is more of a complete package solution, rather than which part is greater. I think our hearing is subjective, so we all like to hear different things. I think finding the right combination of components that pleases the one using it is most important.
#13
they dont sound because they generally only have one preamp tube as a bit of a gimmick. having more tube preamp stages would make it seem more natural. so the rest of the necessary overdrive comes from digital signal processing or diodes which drowns the tubes overdrive out(sort of like when putting an OD pedal into the effects loop of an all tube amp)
#15
power amp distortion is definitely important in many genres, but in a lot of modern rock pre amp distortion is exclusively used which makes having a tube power amp of far smaller importance.
#16
Most modern rock tones sound like crap.


You'll notice that some guitarists who use a rack setup choose a solid state preamp, and a tube power amp. Why that combo?

No matter how good your preamp distortion voicing is, it has a different character than the complex dynamics of saturating power tubes interacting directly with a hard-driven guitar speaker.
#17
Quote by 1337void
they dont sound because they generally only have one preamp tube as a bit of a gimmick. having more tube preamp stages would make it seem more natural. so the rest of the necessary overdrive comes from digital signal processing or diodes which drowns the tubes overdrive out(sort of like when putting an OD pedal into the effects loop of an all tube amp)
It might interest you to know that there are some different ways that "preamp" tubes are being used in some of the "hybrids".

The Marshall Valvestates use a 12AX7, but they DON'T use it for gain.
They use the two sections as DIODES for clipping.
A real waste, imho.

The Vox AD series imbed a 12AX7 in a push-pull configuration in the poweramp section.
A rather novel approach. They use it to mimic the characteristics of a valve poweramp.

Many others use a tube preamp section, and a solid state poweramp.

Early Music Man amps used a solid state preamp and a tube poweramp.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#18
Quote by XgamerGt04
By saturating preamp tubes you will get distortion, while saturation of power amp tubes will cause overdrive. There really is no most important part. Tubes all have different sound characteristics, and both parts have a great effect upon tone.

.

dont mean to hijack the thread, but, how do i saturate my poweramp. i prefer od to distoriton any day, so i want to kno, i have a fender vibrochamp xd(5 watt) and usually play with the bass at 4, treble at 7(no mids knob) and gain at 5, and of course, volume 10
Quote by chs170
Quote by Carl6661
Quote by chs170
Wow.

This is deep
.
Was the pun intended?
Actually no

E-married to Nikki82
#19
Quote by ManicBluesist
dont mean to hijack the thread, but, how do i saturate my poweramp. i prefer od to distoriton any day, so i want to kno, i have a fender vibrochamp xd(5 watt) and usually play with the bass at 4, treble at 7(no mids knob) and gain at 5, and of course, volume 10

I am building one rioght now....When you crank it is the gain not smooth?

Addign a mid knob is easy btw.
#20
Quote by ManicBluesist
dont mean to hijack the thread, but, how do i saturate my poweramp. i prefer od to distoriton any day, so i want to kno, i have a fender vibrochamp xd(5 watt) and usually play with the bass at 4, treble at 7(no mids knob) and gain at 5, and of course, volume 10

The Tonestack probably works like a Vox AC30, where the bass and treble knobs have a big effect on the mids.

To saturate your power tubes...Turn the volume up pretty high, and play hard.
#21
Quote by kurtlives91
I am building one rioght now....When you crank it is the gain not smooth?

Addign a mid knob is easy btw.
Not exactly. You're building a Vibro Champ. He has a Vibrochamp XD.

That has a gain control, DSP, "voicing" control (who knows what that might be?),
and a solid state rectifier.

Could be similar, could be light-years apart.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#24
^ that made my day, thanks.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#25
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
Not exactly. You're building a Vibro Champ. He has a Vibrochamp XD.

That has a gain control, DSP, "voicing" control (who knows what that might be?),
and a solid state rectifier.

Could be similar, could be light-years apart.

ahhh didnt read that, true.

Why did Fender go with the fixed mid reistor (4.8K, 6.8K)? Was it so they would always be reconized.
#28
Quote by kurtlives91
ahhh didnt read that, true.

Why did Fender go with the fixed mid reistor (4.8K, 6.8K)? Was it so they would always be reconized.
The same reason Fender has made nearly every decision in their history. Money. Resistors are cheaper than pots and knobs. Eliminate a pot, make an extra dollar on every amp sold.

Quote by flashbandit
Do any amps have a preamp gain knob AND a power amp gain knob?
Not exactly. Gain = Volume.

Put it early in the preamp? Call it Gain.

Put a volume control in the middle of the preamp? Call it Volume.

Put it after the preamp, but before the PI? Call it Master Volume.

Put it after the PI, but before the output tubes? Call it Post PI MV.

Put it after the Output Transformer? Call it an Attenuator.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#29
And after that?... ... ... No, I'm kidding, but I'd never heard of a Post PI Master V though, that's cool.

Actually, the next one after that would be being deaf... What's the best we to be deaf, you know, for tone's sake?
#30
Quote by kurtlives91
ahhh didnt read that, true.

Why did Fender go with the fixed mid reistor (4.8K, 6.8K)? Was it so they would always be reconized.


Because the Fender tonestack doesn't allow for a useful mids knob.

(My Champ has a 15k there, btw).
#31
Quote by kurtlives91
I am building one rioght now....When you crank it is the gain not smooth?

Addign a mid knob is easy btw.


i dont want a mid knob i want to kow how to get overdrive not distortion, and yes it is but it is still a little too crunchy
Quote by chs170
Quote by Carl6661
Quote by chs170
Wow.

This is deep
.
Was the pun intended?
Actually no

E-married to Nikki82
#32
Quote by forsaknazrael
The Tonestack probably works like a Vox AC30, where the bass and treble knobs have a big effect on the mids.

To saturate your power tubes...Turn the volume up pretty high, and play hard.

vol booster?, should i?
Quote by chs170
Quote by Carl6661
Quote by chs170
Wow.

This is deep
.
Was the pun intended?
Actually no

E-married to Nikki82
#33
Quote by mr_hankey
Because the Fender tonestack doesn't allow for a useful mids knob.

(My Champ has a 15k there, btw).

Yes I have now seen a lot that have the 15K as well.

I have talked to a lot of people about the mid knob. They all seem to think that it is worht it. I don't know why you hate it so much.
#34
Quote by kurtlives91
Yes I have now seen a lot that have the 15K as well.

I have talked to a lot of people about the mid knob. They all seem to think that it is worht it. I don't know why you hate it so much.




I don't like it since it can't give you more mids than without it; you can only scoop more- which is definitely unnecessary.

I don't think the bass knob on Fenders is really that useful either (put it on 3, never touch it again), but that's a whole different story.
#36
im doing that at the moment, and i want that eric clapton cream sound.... so i reckon i should build a volume pedal.
Quote by chs170
Quote by Carl6661
Quote by chs170
Wow.

This is deep
.
Was the pun intended?
Actually no

E-married to Nikki82
#38
sorry i meant a volume booster....lol
Quote by chs170
Quote by Carl6661
Quote by chs170
Wow.

This is deep
.
Was the pun intended?
Actually no

E-married to Nikki82
#40
Quote by forsaknazrael
Right, then I still say Rangemaster. Google the site Fuzz Central, they have a nice build plan there.


+a lot.