#1
Ok, i searched for this and found 350 posts and i got to page 6 without finding a good answer. Do tube amps sound bad at low volume? im talking playing in the house levels. i understand they sound better cranked up but does it sound crappy on low volume? I will be purchasing a ESP LTD EC1000 guitar and i wanted a nice amp to go with it. I was thinking of a Spider-Tube. I like the idea of being able to get a ton of different tones without pedals since i will never be gigging. I currently have a Roland Cube 20watt. Would i see a big different between to Roland Cube and the Spider-Tube when playing the EC1000 at low volume? Thanks guys.

Dave
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#2
If I were you i'd just avoid line-6 like the plague. Shocking amps...full stop
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#3
A line6 I don't know but my Laney GH50L beats the crap out of any practice amp I've heard at any volume.

Edit:
Quote by Bigdave9576
If I were you i'd just avoid line-6 like the plague. Shocking amps...full stop


That's not really fair, the spiders are not good gigging amps this much is true but as practice amps go you could do far worse and once you get to things like the Vetta series heads you've got some pretty damn good gear there.
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#4
tube amps are favored better then solid state amps at high volume...

but if your not playing at high volume.. theres really no point in getting one, their more expensive generally
#7
My Peavey Classic 50 sounds great at low volumes, the Peavey Classic 50 clean clip in my profile was recorded late at night and still sounded pretty good.
Most good tube amps will sound good at low volumes and great at high volumes, atleast from the ones I have played.
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#8
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#9
if you wan't a practise amp at low volume levels, i'd get a fender champion 500, but they don't sound "crappy" at low volumes, tube a amps just shine when they are cranked
#10
Quote by Bigdave9576
If I were you i'd just avoid line-6 like the plague. Shocking amps...full stop

definately stay away from that, i was playin on a Spider Valve, and honestly, before i played it i thought it was gonna be amazing.... but after, i coudlnt believe how disappointed i was...
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#11
Please dont let this turn into a line6 hate thread guys,i know the spider iii sucks but im talking about the spider tube, which i am hearing is quite good. i also played one at gc and it sounded real nice.
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Gear:

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Want:
New tube amp.....
#12
Peavey Valveking folks. Try it out
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#13
Quote by DLesko
Please dont let this turn into a line6 hate thread guys,i know the spider iii sucks but im talking about the spider tube, which i am hearing is quite good. i also played one at gc and it sounded real nice.

It's had mixed reviews, I think it's just preference. If you want a blues amp and something pure then yeah the line 6 probably won't be your cup of tea.

Though some people who want gain and versatility in an amp will probably like it more. I didn't like it much but you'll just have to try it for yourself.
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#14
At low volumes (e.g. can't be heard outside your own house, so you don't piss off the neighbours), the difference between the smaller tube amps and some of the nicer SS amps is nothing clean.

For example, amoung my amps are two practise amps I use for home practise; one is a 15watt solid state, the other is a 5watt tube. Both are Fender, and both sound exactly the same on the clean channel at usual home practise levels.

The difference only shows up when you get either overdrive or distortion going. This is why tube amps are preferred, since when they naturally clip at higher volumes, it sounds good; but when SS amps naturally clip at higher volumes, they don't sound anywhere near as good. That is where the difference lies, and is where it matters most.

If you play with overdrive or distortion (it applies to both, though perhaps is slightly more important for overdrive than distrotion) most of the time, then it's worth getting a tube amp, even when you're not playing at very loud levels.

If though you're mostly going to play the amp clean, and you really will never crank the volume up much past halfway, then there's not much point getting tube, you might as well stick with solid state.
#16
Quote by bokuho
At low volumes (e.g. can't be heard outside your own house, so you don't piss off the neighbours), the difference between the smaller tube amps and some of the nicer SS amps is nothing clean.

For example, amoung my amps are two practise amps I use for home practise; one is a 15watt solid state, the other is a 5watt tube. Both are Fender, and both sound exactly the same on the clean channel at usual home practise levels.

The difference only shows up when you get either overdrive or distortion going. This is why tube amps are preferred, since when they naturally clip at higher volumes, it sounds good; but when SS amps naturally clip at higher volumes, they don't sound anywhere near as good. That is where the difference lies, and is where it matters most.

If you play with overdrive or distortion (it applies to both, though perhaps is slightly more important for overdrive than distrotion) most of the time, then it's worth getting a tube amp, even when you're not playing at very loud levels.

If though you're mostly going to play the amp clean, and you really will never crank the volume up much past halfway, then there's not much point getting tube, you might as well stick with solid state.


You pretty much hit the nail on the head here... good post.....
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#17
I think if you had a ****ty tube amp and a good SS amp, the difference might not be there but I think if you get a decent tube amp you wont regret it.
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#18
My personal advice would be to go in and listen to them. Disregard tube and SS and simply try them out by comparing with your ears. Ultimately it's the "sound" you want.

Try them out at the volumes that you'll be playing and pick the one that has the right tone for you. Make sure that it has some room to push at higher volumes just in case you wind up needing or wanting to some day...
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#20
Thanks for the advice guys. I know that a lot of people do not like line6. I think that is because they cannot get past the sound of the spider iii's. I was at Guitar Center last night playing a spider iii and i thought it wasnt that hot put then i plugged into the spider-valve and there was no comparison. the valve sounded great. The reason i was thinking about going for the spider-valve is because i like to play metal and do not want to have to deal with pedals and crap like that. i figured that the spider-vavle would be a good compromise.
- - Dave - -

Gear:

ESP LTD EC-1000 Amber Sunburst w/Duncans
Roland 20W Cube Amp

Want:
New tube amp.....
#21
Quote by bokuho
At low volumes (e.g. can't be heard outside your own house, so you don't piss off the neighbours), the difference between the smaller tube amps and some of the nicer SS amps is nothing clean.

For example, amoung my amps are two practise amps I use for home practise; one is a 15watt solid state, the other is a 5watt tube. Both are Fender, and both sound exactly the same on the clean channel at usual home practise levels.

The difference only shows up when you get either overdrive or distortion going. This is why tube amps are preferred, since when they naturally clip at higher volumes, it sounds good; but when SS amps naturally clip at higher volumes, they don't sound anywhere near as good. That is where the difference lies, and is where it matters most.

If you play with overdrive or distortion (it applies to both, though perhaps is slightly more important for overdrive than distrotion) most of the time, then it's worth getting a tube amp, even when you're not playing at very loud levels.

If though you're mostly going to play the amp clean, and you really will never crank the volume up much past halfway, then there's not much point getting tube, you might as well stick with solid state.


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#22
Here's my 2 cents.....Buy a Vox AD50VT (Valvetronics) 2X12 or the 1x12 (Celsteron).....It's got Tubes (valves) in the power amp circuit ...it's about $300. KIcks ass IMO for the $$. You can Set it to crank at full vol. , then turn down the Power Amp on the Rear, so the sound doesn't change as you lower the Vol. .... Sounds the same as Fully Cranked, just quiet for your house.
Last edited by bullshark012 at Feb 18, 2008,
#23
Well my switchblade sounds great at higher volumes, but I can only do that during the day(I work nights so I crank it whenever I get the chance) but it still doesn't sound bad at lower volumes.
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#24
Get a small 5watt tube amp like a Fender Champion 600 or something similar. 5watts tube will be louder then 15watt solid state. My Champion has a sweet sound at any volume but yet the more I crank it the better it sounds. Thats the nature of tubes, but even at low volumes its still very tonefull. Plus effects pedals sound more natural on a tube amp.
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#25
tube amps will always sound superior to solid state amps for distortion.

Some solid state amps have very convincing clean sounds, but you probably don't have one of them, unless you just happen to have a jazz chorus. I still find that my tube amp sounds VASTLY superior to the majority of solid states on clean, even at very very low volumes.
#26
Tube amps WILL NOT always sound better for distortion. If you're playing with distortion, or if you're playing clean the difference is virtually indistinguishable. The real difference comes when playing bluesy type stuff with just a hint of breakup. And to answer your question, at low volume solid state wins. The whole "cranked tube amp sound" means just that CRANKED. Not on 1 late at night while the rest of the family is asleep. Balls to the wall,cranked to "11" tube wins. Hope you don't mind tinitus(look it up). As and interesting side note. Notice all these guys claiming "tubes or nothing" ....check their equipment list. Practically every one has some sort of overdrive/distortion/boost pedal!! Last time I checked those were SOLID STATE TRANSISTORIZED!!!!! So..... you're getting your lovely tone from the pedal. If you learn how to properly EQ your amp, don't max out the gain, you can get a good solid state amp to the point where 99% of the "tube snobs" couldnt tell the difference, in a blind test. I've done it, others have done it. Of course once you prove to them they cant tell the difference in a sound clip, they start in on the "feel" "warmth" " responce and feedback" rant...blah blah blah.
Last edited by irok660 at Mar 5, 2008,
#27
Quote by DLesko
Thanks for the advice guys. I know that a lot of people do not like line6. I think that is because they cannot get past the sound of the spider iii's. I was at Guitar Center last night playing a spider iii and i thought it wasnt that hot put then i plugged into the spider-valve and there was no comparison. the valve sounded great. The reason i was thinking about going for the spider-valve is because i like to play metal and do not want to have to deal with pedals and crap like that. i figured that the spider-vavle would be a good compromise.


No, the Spider Valve does not sound horrible; in fact, in comparison to the Spider IIIs, the Spider Valve sounds great. In a world in which I had unlimited financial resources, I might even own one. For the price though, you can probably get a much nicer sounding amp (or even a nicer sounding amp at a much lower price, with effects to complement the amp with the cash that you save).
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#28
Quote by irok660
Tube amps WILL NOT always sound better for distortion. If you're playing with distortion, or if you're playing clean the difference is virtually indistinguishable. The real difference comes when playing bluesy type stuff with just a hint of breakup. And to answer your question, at low volume solid state wins. The whole "cranked tube amp sound" means just that CRANKED. Not on 1 late at night while the rest of the family is asleep. Balls to the wall,cranked to "11" tube wins. Hope you don't mind tinitus(look it up). As and interesting side note. Notice all these guys claiming "tubes or nothing" ....check their equipment list. Practically every one has some sort of overdrive/distortion/boost pedal!! Last time I checked those were SOLID STATE TRANSISTORIZED!!!!! So..... you're getting your lovely tone from the pedal. If you learn how to properly EQ your amp, don't max out the gain, you can get a good solid state amp to the point where 99% of the "tube snobs" couldnt tell the difference, in a blind test. I've done it, others have done it. Of course once you prove to them they cant tell the difference in a sound clip, they start in on the "feel" "warmth" " responce and feedback" rant...blah blah blah.


While there are definitely "tube snobs" out there, this is not entirely true. There is far more tonal difference between a tube amp in a certain price range and a solid state amp in that same price range than simply when they are "cranked." Use the search function, and read through the forums for some of the more intelligent (and sometimes lengthy) posts on this issue. Ultimately, of course, it all comes down to your ear--if you can't tell the difference, then I would probably purchase whatever is cheaper (and more often than not, to get a solid state amp that matches a tube amp, the solid state amp ends up being far more costly).

As far as overdrive pedals, they aren't all solid state, but, yes, many do, in fact, have transistors. This does not, however, mean that people are getting their, "lovely tone" from the pedal. If an overdrive pedal, for example, is used to push a tube amp harder, the tone produced is the result of the tube amp being pushed harder. True, the pedal itself will color the tone of the tube amp, but, for many people, the benefits here are great enough to outweigh the option of purchasing a much more expensive analog pedal (or even tube pedal).

With that said, just get to your nearest guitar shop and try amps out yourself. Find something that sounds good to you at the volumes at which you will be using the amp within a reasonable price range. If you do that, you can't go wrong.
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#29
You can buy an attenuator, which allows tube amps to be played quieter but still retain most of their original tube amp sound.
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#31
Since you don't plan on gigging, why don't you just buy a low volume tube amp? It'd be cheap enough to warrant some pedals for the versatility that you want.

Edit - And, yes, my 60W tube amp still sounds great at bedroom levels(which is rolled all the way down to 1).
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#32
I am in the same boat as you. I have owned two Line 6 spider II half stacks for the last 5 years. I play tech death metal and they were really great for that at low volumes, but when my bands had gigs or practice I couldn't turn it up past half without it sounding awful. Yesterday I got a Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100 and now that I don't have a band and live in an apartment I can't crank this baby to see what it's potential is. Clean sounds better than line 6 on it. Distortion doesn't sound as good at less than 2 volume. If I were you I would get the Spider Valve. It's got all the effects and models of line 6 that you need for metal. It's cheaper than most tube heads, and since you're at home you can keep it low and still sound good and have the headroom to crank it if needed.
#33
Quote by TonyShredder
I am in the same boat as you. I have owned two Line 6 spider II half stacks for the last 5 years. I play tech death metal and they were really great for that at low volumes, but when my bands had gigs or practice I couldn't turn it up past half without it sounding awful. Yesterday I got a Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100 and now that I don't have a band and live in an apartment I can't crank this baby to see what it's potential is. Clean sounds better than line 6 on it. Distortion doesn't sound as good at less than 2 volume. If I were you I would get the Spider Valve. It's got all the effects and models of line 6 that you need for metal. It's cheaper than most tube heads, and since you're at home you can keep it low and still sound good and have the headroom to crank it if needed.


Look at the date of the last post.This thread has been dead for over a year and TS probably isn't even active on UG anymore.

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Last edited by Pr0gNut at Dec 1, 2009,
#34
Quote by Bigdave9576
If I were you i'd just avoid line-6 like the plague. Shocking amps...full stop


Stop being an idiot jumping on a bandwagon. I think you will find that outside the Spider series, they make EXCELLENT amps. The Flextone and the Vetta are amazing modelling amps and the Spider Valve is at least above OK.

TS - Valve amps sound better once you've got them loud, but they don't sound bad at low volumes. It just sounds like they're being restrained a bit, if you can picture that.
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#35
not BAD tone, just not as amazing as at a higher volume.
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#37
Quote by benmoon
this thread answered my question lol, thanks


That's good but you don't need to bump up old threads just to say thanks.