I am new to amps, can someone explain the difference from a regular amp and a tube amp? I tried to look online but can't find a good explanation. Why is a tube amplifier so much better? What are some reasonably prices tube amps? Is there a standard brand out there that make the best bang for buck tube amps?
Epi Valve JR. best bang for buck

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Quote by Blueburst69
Epi Valve JR. best bang for buck


That's a little presumptious considering you don't know his budget or playing styles.

TS: here's a link that should help

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Last edited by shredhead22 at Jun 3, 2008,
Epi valve juniors are pretty good

I have a Laney VC30 212

They make thm in 15 watts as well
Quote by Blueburst69
Epi Valve JR. best bang for buck


epi valves are great, as long as you only want to play cleans or dont have any pedals and you dont want to do anythin other than practice

otherwise theres quite a few decent cheap(ish) tube amps, such as the valveking, Crate Blackheart series, and the epi valve junior like the other guy said, the valveking and blackhearts are fairly versatile, but if ur new to amps, then im guessing your new to electric guitar?
in that case, unless u have a lot of money to throw around, id suggest a cheap solid state like the Roland cube, theyre great for practice and very versatile ive been told.

and avoid getting a spider III or marshall mg UNLESS you just want it for practice, then its alright cos theyre fairly cheap and its just for practice at the end of the day

EDIT: please dont go and get a 100 watt tube amp, 50 is the absolute max in my opinion unless your gigging, i made that mistake, its great to have lots of watts, but you have to be VERY careful with the volume knob otherwise u might end up throwing your guitar unvoluntarily
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Last edited by chippythingy at Jun 3, 2008,
to answer the TS original question, the difference is in the devices used to amplify the signal.
A SolidState amp (or "Regular" as you call it) uses transistors to amplify the signal from the guitar.
in general the transistors produce a clean sound that sounds kinda sterile, and when they distort they introduce nasty odd-harmonics to the sound.

A tube amp uses Thermionic Valves to amplify, these "Tubes" look kind a like lightbulbs.
the tubes distort more as the volume increases and introduce even-harmonics to the signal , giving a
rich/ vibrant/ full/ downright-gorgeous sound
how much are you looking to spend?
there's almost always a decent tube amp within the same price bracket of a SS amp. (unless you are looking to spend under $350)
Quote by Slipstream_mike

that seems to be based on the old Marshall 18watt, sweet amp, i built one a while ago.
depends on what your looking for, wouldn't recommend it at all for bedroom use, you need to crank it up to get any distortion, and even then its a bluesy sound, not metal or modern rock at all
In my eyes a "regular" amp would always be a tube amp
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In my eyes a "regular" amp would always be a tube amp

haha i was thinking the same thing. i mean, tube amps came out first right? so id think they would be considered "regular" :-)
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.

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Yeah... the differences between transistor and tube sound are basically complexity and behavior, in that solid-state devices behave more angularly for lack of a more descriptive/appropriate word.

Tubes clip any given signal smoothly rather than harshly, which gives them much better edge-of-breakup overdrive characteristics instead of the nasty unprocessed clipping that we are accustomed to with mixers and computers. Tubes also compress differently than transistors, exhibiting more "natural" dynamics, especially when it comes to picking attack and distortion (this is why Plexis get to medium gain levels but still clean up exceptionally well when you pick lightly). Third order harmonics (octave + fifth) are also more pronounced when running through tubes, although in a subtle complementary manner, not like a harmonizer.

And that's the fundamental differences. I would note, however, that tube amps are far more costly to maintain. When a tube amp dies it costs to fix, and you have to swap tubes now and again. However, if a solid state amp dies, you usually have to buy a new one, either due to it not being worth it to work on or it being hard or impossible to work on.

If you play with lots of gain with the occasional clean, then solid-state would probably work for you, but if you enjoy your overdrive and crunch then you might invest in a nice tube amp (although that's just my opinion... For instance, Line 6 has the high gain and clean sounds pretty right, but their crunch is lacking).
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