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#1
For the sake of my sanity I feel I must make a thread that actually defends solid state amps. Why is it that every other thread here is either "which tube amp" or "should I get a tube amp". Hell, I've seen people ask which guitar they should get next, and be told to buy a tube amp. What next, a thread where somebody asks "what plectrums should I buy" and they will get "save up for a tube amp".

Urgh.

I play solid state, 100% of the time. And a lot of guitar music I hear kids play these days really does not need tubes to make it better. Take shredding, you play so damn fast each note lasts a fraction of a second, so does it matter if there is a tube in the equation.

Also, I've heard plenty of rubbish tones out of tubes. I for one am not a fan of Jimmy Page's post Hiwatt live sound, and there was a lot of tube going on there.

To me there is not enough presence (not the amp setting) with tubes. I like a certain level of immediacy with my guitar playing the whole time, I like to know that what I am playing will sound a little like what I am about to play. Having played the violin and viola, to me it is like every violinist turning around and say "Play with Baroque Cat-gut strings". They sound ok, but hell, I like modern violin strings. Playing the violin also taught me how to get dynamics out of the instrument itself, not merely winding down the volume control and letting the tubes rest a little.

I also like to shift my amp about, and have had to hulk it up stairs, dropped it about etc. Will the transistors break? No. Did the amp still have a certain reaction to how hard you hit the strings? Yes, the speaker will compress slightly etc and you CAN STILL BE DYNAMIC with a solid state amp.

I am not saying that you should never regard a tube amp at all, but to me they are a certain commodity and not the answer to every guitar-playing quibble.

Oh, and in ten years time when you all get over the tube-amp hype I will be scavanging thrift stores and picking up your old 212 tube combos.
#2
your missing some things:
if you break a solid state amp guess what happens: you pay **** loads to get it repaired, or you buy another amp...

also, it's all preference
idk if this should be reported to spark flaming all around
...
#4
There have been quite a lot, a lot of anti SS amp hype is all jumping on the bandwagon, its highly unlikely that many people would be able to tell the difference between a valve amp and a high quality SS.
#5
I just prefer the sound of tube amps when loud. The tone, the dynamics, the whole package. At low volume, it really doesn't matter. If someone has money in their pocket to buy an amp, why not recommend what we feel is best? If you love SS amps, I'd never fault you for it-it's your preference, & I can respect that, but...there's a reason that almost every professional recording of guitar is done with tube amps .
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#7
Quote by minibrowny
There have been quite a lot, a lot of anti SS amp hype is all jumping on the bandwagon, its highly unlikely that many people would be able to tell the difference between a valve amp and a high quality SS.


Yeah, it's just the low-quality ones that give SS a bad name. Such as the Frontman or MG, which are both made by very good companies, but are terrible amps. There are some advantages to SS, and some advantages to tube. So it's all preference. It doesn't matter if it's tube or not. Personally, tone is the most important part. And my tube amp just happens to have much better tone in comparison to my SS.
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#8
Each to their own. If you prefer SS then more power to you, it's called preference for a reason.

But you do know that page used a solid state amp quite a lot too, right? A Vox something or other, I'm sure a Zep-head will turn up and fill in the details.

I love my valve amp and haven't played a SS amp to match it, but again, it's called preference for a reason.
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#9
TS, you just won the internet.
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#10
Quote by Meddled
I play solid state, 100% of the time.


Okay, I'm curious. What amp(s) do you use?
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#11
There is absolutely no point to this thread. It's your own personal preference that matters, nothing else. I use a tube amp because I prefer it to the solid states I've played.

Quote by Meddled
Oh, and in ten years time when you all get over the tube-amp hype I will be scavanging thrift stores and picking up your old 212 tube combos.

So the only reason you're using solid states now is because you can't afford a tube amp?
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#12
This is probably typical of my strange equipment tastes. I love for example, an unmodded DS-1. I've never thought about getting a Keeley job on it.

The thing is, I saw on the TV the Cream reunion, and Clapton was using tube amps, but that was the most safest, manicured guitar sound I've ever heard. To me what I like about a tube amp is that slight uncontrollable edge to it, and with the way technology and live gigs are set up these days, it is the safest environment.

Another of my gripes is people who think 100watt is a minimum wattage requirement. At most gigs I played the amp was running low, and mic-ed up.
#13
As a player of all, a good tube amp will beat a good SS. Not saying SS is bad, but a tube does have something a SS doesn't.

When I play high gain stuff, I have to use a SS system to play.
But, I LONG for a high gain tube amp (but am happy with my mid-gain VC15), as the sound will be even greater. Every subtle part of my playing would then be projected - the tubes in my amp will be running nicely - so the vibrato will be warm, yet very much respective of my playing style.
A tube is MUCH more dynamic with the subtle things. An SS can be dynamic, but nowhere near as much.
A tube can add something an SS can't.


Oh, and in ten years time when you all get over the tube-amp hype I will be scavanging thrift stores and picking up your old 212 tube combos.

lol.
There is no "hype". It's just that a lot of people here recommend tube amps, as, let's face it, they're bloody good (and even if you want to get one of the better SS amps, there can be a cheaper tube alternative, albeit not so good if you want the best cleans around).
Are you telling me it was hype in the '50s? '60s? '70s? '80s? '90s?
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#14
Alright, I'll start of to say that solid states aren't bad. Not all of them. Heck there are many good ones (Roland JC, Vox Valvetronix, Roland Cubes and Line6 Vettas/Flextones). The big problem is that MOST solid state amps are low end amps. Hence they're very cheaply made and often sound fairly bad.

Most of all though. What do I play? I play classic rock and blues. I have used many solid state amps, but for me, I just love the tube tone. They have a certain kind of dynamic I can't get the same way with a solid state. If you were to take my 18 watter and crank it and compare with an SS amp, it will have a MUCH larger dynamic range. For what tones I like, I prefer tubes really.

However, not all tube amps are good though. I'd take a Flextone over a Valveking anyday for an example. Solid states aren't bad, just that in many cases, tubes amps are just much better really. Really, you can't get that cranked up tube tone with an SS amp. You can get CLOSE, but not EXACT!
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#15
Its a bit strange that they try and marked SS amps to work like tube amps to the guitarist. I prefer a SS amp on its own terms, not with a computer floating above a speaker.

I find it very hard to define "better" though. To me a pipe organ will always sound better than a guitar, just because they have a massive frequency range! I don't play pipe organ btw, so that was not a plug.
#16
Quote by Ghold125
your missing some things:
if you break a solid state amp guess what happens: you pay **** loads to get it repaired, or you buy another amp...

also, it's all preference
idk if this should be reported to spark flaming all around


my 30 watt solid state has got a $15 transformer, a $5 opamp chip and maybe $10 of other parts and needs any maintenance at all (the electrolytics will go bad in......2 decades)

look at a 15 watt tube amp
you've got a $70 power transformer, $40 output transformer, $40 of tubes and the other stuff


tube amps are expensive as you can see, hence it's the amp companies incentive to make good amps, as noones going to buy something that costs $$$ and is junk
if you want to you can make a junk tube amp as well as a junk SS amp
Last edited by seljer at Aug 21, 2008,
#17
You play SS amps 100% of the time. How can you say anything only knowing half the story? And why would you want to buy one used if you play SS 100% of the time? Why do you want to shift your amp about and drop it? This thread is like pure fail, and I'm not defending the "Tube State" from the evil clutches of the "Solid State", I'm saying you aren't making any sense whatsoever.
#18
Quote by Gabel
Alright, I'll start of to say that solid states aren't bad. Not all of them. Heck there are many good ones (Roland JC, Vox Valvetronix, Roland Cubes and Line6 Vettas/Flextones). The big problem is that MOST solid state amps are low end amps. Hence they're very cheaply made and often sound fairly bad.

i'd like to add that most of the better solid states seem to be from better known brands. The reason behind it is the better known brands are normally best known for their tube amps (except line 6!) because thats all they made when they got their recognition (ie, vox, marshall, fender) so their solid states are usually the "budget" models.

There are many great solid state amps, its just the chances are you haven't heard of them.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#19
i dont agree with the TS, i think valve is better (but perhaps only because the sound i like can only be achieved with valve amps...)

but i DO agree about how ridiculous it is when people ask for advice on a new guitar on get told to get a valve amp. For some people, SS may simply be a better option. A kid in his bedroom will struggle to crank a blackheart little giant, never mind a 5150 or whatever. Sometimes SS is a better option. IMO a vox AD30VT sounds a heck of a lot better at bedroom volumes than any marshall valve amp does.
#20
Quote by gregs1020
You play SS amps 100% of the time. How can you say anything only knowing half the story? And why would you want to buy one used if you play SS 100% of the time?


I know that makes no sense, very sorry. What I mean is, I own only Solid state amps, by "play" I meant more as if I live with and build a relationship with them. I've borrowed a few tube amps, once for several months as the guy was away on holiday, and I spent the whole time bricking it incase I did something bad to it by accident! The sound was ok, but you did have to play it very loud to get into that zone.

I've also played through a borrowed tube amp for gigs, and being used to SS made the gig a bit more edgy than I would have liked.
#22
Quote by slashs_#1_fan
i dont agree with the TS, i think valve is better (but perhaps only because the sound i like can only be achieved with valve amps...)

but i DO agree about how ridiculous it is when people ask for advice on a new guitar on get told to get a valve amp. For some people, SS may simply be a better option. A kid in his bedroom will struggle to crank a blackheart little giant, never mind a 5150 or whatever. Sometimes SS is a better option. IMO a vox AD30VT sounds a heck of a lot better at bedroom volumes than any marshall valve amp does.

Though you generally wouldn't listen to someone who recommends a tube amp to a strict bedroom hero.
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#24
I don't think I've explained myself well enough! I am not suggesting SS pwns valves, I am simply defending them, because they still have *some* value to a guitarist, and are not simply obsolete technology in my opinion.
#25
Quote by rhcp_freak
Though you generally wouldn't listen to someone who recommends a tube amp to a strict bedroom hero.



I bet there are some 'impressionable' kids out there who have bought big valve amps because someone has said they are better. With 'tube is better' being bandied about so much i would not be suprised if some people have bought them not knowing that they need to be cranked to sound good

I say try before you buy!
#26
Quote by Meddled
I don't think I've explained myself well enough! I am not suggesting SS pwns valves, I am simply defending them, because they still have *some* value to a guitarist, and are not simply obsolete technology in my opinion.


They have a lot of value. When I play at night, I plug into my computer (although, more of a modeler [Guitar Rig 3] as opposed to a strict SS), and can shred at a reasonably good tone all night.
But when you don't have to be quiet, a good tube amp is great for everything (but an SS can do some things, but not all, equally).
And you can get an "edgy" tone (if my definition is correct), by getting a lower wattage tube amp and cranking it higher.
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Guitar:
- Ibanez S670FM w/ JB
- Fender 'Lite Ash' Stratocaster
- Fender '72 Deluxe Telecaster
- Arbiter LP Jr. Doublecut
Amp:
- Laney VC15

'72 Tele Appreciation Group
RIP DIO
#27
no one's saying tubes are the way out 100% of the time either.

i prefer tube amps because i can find a good sounding one cheaper than a good sounding solid state.

i'm sure many feel that way too.
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#28
Quote by UnsignedRecords
no one's saying tubes are the way out 100% of the time either.

i prefer tube amps because i can find a good sounding one cheaper than a good sounding solid state.

i'm sure many feel that way too.


I didn't know you could get a decent tube amp for a low price?

I got the latest Argos catalog today (Argos is sort of like a British Walmart) and they had a 50 watt amp in there for 50 quid. SS presumably, and good I guess if you want an amp that adds 0% character to your sound!
#29
We rec SS amps all the time tho. Vox AD's, Rolands, Vetta's. When the budget is there and someone says, "I'm looking for a tube amp", it gets things started. Most ppl that come into the amp forum and start a thread aren't regulars in GG&A. Some are but most aren't and don't know much about tube amps and are younger players and have only played SS amps. We get the same questions all the time, how long tubes last, biasing, reliability issues, etc. But in the right cases, we rec SS pretty consistently.
#31
Quote by Meddled
I didn't know you could get a decent tube amp for a low price?

Thank you, you just made my point from my previous post. So what's your budget?
#32
Quote by Meddled
I didn't know you could get a decent tube amp for a low price?

maybe you should look.

Quote by Meddled
I got the latest Argos catalog today (Argos is sort of like a British Walmart) and they had a 50 watt amp in there for 50 quid. SS presumably, and good I guess if you want an amp that adds 0% character to your sound!

since when is character only partial to tube amps? all amps have their own 'character.' i'm sure that *awesome* 50watt amp adds shit character to your playing.
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#33
Quote by slashs_#1_fan
I bet there are some 'impressionable' kids out there who have bought big valve amps because someone has said they are better. With 'tube is better' being bandied about so much i would not be suprised if some people have bought them not knowing that they need to be cranked to sound good

I say try before you buy!

they don't need to be cranked to sound "good". they just sound better when cranked more due to more power tube saturation. at minimal volume they will pretty much sound like a solid state amp only with a bit more dynamic response.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#34
Quote by Blompcube
they don't need to be cranked to sound "good". they just sound better when cranked more due to more power tube saturation. at minimal volume they will pretty much sound like a solid state amp only with a bit more dynamic response.



well that depends what amp your playing :P

I found the marshall DSL401 to sound like utter poop at bedroom volume (although you are right, probably better than SS, except cube or valvetronix maybe.

Also the laney LC15r doesnt sound good at bedroom volume.

But granted some do
#35
Argos
British walmart?

have you ever tried G.A.K?
lmao

TS nobody really hates all SS its just there are some great sounding amps in simaliar priceranges that are tube and sound better man, ok?
#37
Quote by IbanezPsycho
This is what people hate about SS amps...

"Ohh my gods I wants tha br00talz and a halfstack my budget is $500 bucks should i get an mg or a spider..."

When they obviously could get a good used tube combo for less.
#38
Quote by Highwaytohell
Argos
British walmart?

have you ever tried G.A.K?
lmao

TS nobody really hates all SS its just there are some great sounding amps in simaliar priceranges that are tube and sound better man, ok?

To clear things up, Asda is the british version of WalMart. It is owned by the same company. But thats not really relevant to the thread
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#39
Quote by Blompcube
To clear things up, Asda is the british version of WalMart. It is owned by the same company. But thats not really relevant to the thread



I read something about chinese democracy only being available through walmart (if it comes out)... does that mean we can only get it from asda?

I wont get my Tesco Clubcard points if i get it from Asda

On Topic: Erm...

..

Tube
#40
Quote by Meddled
This is probably typical of my strange equipment tastes. I love for example, an unmodded DS-1. I've never thought about getting a Keeley job on it.

The thing is, I saw on the TV the Cream reunion, and Clapton was using tube amps, but that was the most safest, manicured guitar sound I've ever heard. To me what I like about a tube amp is that slight uncontrollable edge to it, and with the way technology and live gigs are set up these days, it is the safest environment.

Another of my gripes is people who think 100watt is a minimum wattage requirement. At most gigs I played the amp was running low, and mic-ed up.



Hey I like my DS-1 also, unmodded. It serves its purpose well for a simple distortion pedal.
Its the whole bandwagon BS. Like saying Blackouts are better then EMG's, tube amps better then solid state, Line 6 sucks...blah blah list goes on and on. What people gotta realize is that equipment serves a purpose for what its made for, if you try and go outside of that and crank a 15watt Line 6 Spider...well you're an idiot . If someone says solid state amps suck then I guess they've never heard of the Roland JC-120. I like tube amps, but I'm not counting out solid states. I watched a jazz concert a few days ago and the guy was playing through a Roland Cube 30 or 60 I can't remember which exactly. Of course used the JC setting and it was perfect, great tone.
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