After going to my university campus with a rented Blues Jr for a jam, I suddenly found that, perhaps, my crappy SSamp, the Traynor TRM30, does have its benefit.

I will not disagree that BluesJr has way better tone, and that it cuts through my friend's line6 way better. However, even with a luggage pull cart, it's still ridiculously cumbersome when trying to go onto a bus, then the subway, then another bus. Imagine trying to bring a 2x12 or 4x10 onto the bus — you will probably look very ridiculous and takes a while. Then the way walking back home, I have to travel through numerous drive ways, so up and down those ramps. All these inconvenience would make good tone not that worth while.

So I think that high quality SS will have its place, namely in terms of portability; this is true especially when many cities, especially those in Canada and Asia, where public transit is the majority mode of transportation.

As for the tone: well, tone is only a small part of the overall sound. You give a surreal artist some garbage and he will make an art out of them; same thing with musician: we should be able to make some good sounding music even with "crappy" tone, which is subjective in the first place. I know a J-Metal artist use an MG to mimic the feel a J-horror feel in his music.

And yes, tube amp have its place — in the good old American Dream, where sky is always sunny, all roads are paved nicely, and everyone have a nice house and drive a huge ass american car or a SUV. Look, not every place are like that, however; some people, due to whatever reason, may have to take transit; and not every place have NYC cabs. In this light, to call tube amp an elistist ideal is not that far off.

But I will agree on one thing: as SS is about portability, don't bother with that MG or line6 head; those are pretty damn heavy.
Last edited by Jestersage at Feb 11, 2008,
right, but if you need a loud amp, and you get a big solid state amp, you will have all the same problems with portability that you would with a big valve amp. and to cater for the same needs, a smaller valve amp would deliver, and thus because its smaller, its more portable.
your statement has its merit but for someone who is serious about their guitar sound, portability is never the most important factor.
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I guess I am not just pissed off at those that insist tube is so much better like it's god (even though its tone is), but also those manufacteurer that also make SS huge like a tube amp. If Polytone, Fender, and Even Crate can make very powerful SS amps in a very small lightweight package (Fender's Jazzmaster Amp and Crate's powerblock), why can't others? those are the very best example of how SS amp should be made. (okay, not so much for powerblock, but you get my drift)
Ya i hate moving my 6505 combo around, its 90 pounds and BULKY
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Boss Ns-2
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Buy a Pandora, plug it into the PA, moniter with headphones.

But really, I think you get more tone and volume/weight with a tube amp.
Volume/weight is arguable; while I do not doubt that tube amp is louder and definitely sound better, the benefit point cut off on "low wattage" of around 15w with 1x speaker, even though it seems much louder than a 65w SS amp (I would guess so, since I never bother trying a 65w SS).

Then again, i am comparing between a 15w tube to a 30w SS, so perhaps you are right in terms of volume/weight ratio (To be fair, the TRM30 is light enough i can walk on for 5 minutes by carrying its handle). but to say that carrying a 4x10 or 2x12 with a luggage cart is easy and can take it on the bus implies one rely upon cars too much. It's not just weight, it's the fact that they are huge and difficult to move around. Plus, weight distribution matter: carrying a 60lb orb, on your hand, in your backpack, off your shoulder makes a different weight feel.

I may give ProJr a try some other time (since it's smaller), but aside from weight, size matters. Perhaps Orange TT and a lightweight speaker is the answer to all those that need to take transit but want a good tone.

Sidenote: funny how our body makes something smaller or larger or louder simply because of a slight different design, huh?
The real answer is to gut a BJ, buy a neodium (sp?) speaker, and put it all in a custom carbon fiber case.

My personal opinion that lugging around an amp that weighs half as much as me is completely and totally worth it if it sounds good. I plan on picking up a low wattage valver for taking with me to band practice. I wouldn't sacrifice tone out of being lazy, I allready sacrifice everything else for that.
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Stay with a tube amp...better quality of tone that you shouldn't sacrifice for portability. So what? You look ridiculous lugging it around but you're a musician...give yourself a good name.
I have a bit of a different take on things related to the volume of tube amps vs. solid state. There obviously is a difference in tone between the two but I feel that some of that is the difference in quality of matierials used. Expensive tube amps usually use better quality components including speakers that have a higher efficiency rating than speakers used in soild state amps therfore making them louder. A lot of solid state amps are just cheaply made so therefore don't have a chance against a nice tube amp. I have heard some nice solid states that have been made with some quality components and were very loud compared to a tube amp of similar wattage. Again, I love the sound of several tube amps but i always hated the whole tube amps are better "just because they are tube" way of thinking. Just my 2 cents
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I think SS amps are fine for bedroom practice, but a tube amp is so much nicer when playing with others.

I'd recommend considering a portable 1x12 or 1x10 15-30W tube combo before junking the idea of a tube amp entirely.
A blues jr only weighs 30 pounds though....
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
I really don't see the point of more than one speaker in an amp unless you have other people carrying it.