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Listening to/Playing Tube Amps is beneficial to your overall health.

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Discussion Starter #1
makes me feel sick. I dont know why, and I am not joking. For some reason, if I play a solid state guitar amp it makes me feel sick after a while...I get like a weird feeling...mainly in my head....almost like a dull headache. This condition is even worse when listening to any digital pedals....doesnt matter how expensive...line 6, boss gt8, etc...


I can play any all tube amp for hours and not get this problem at all...even at loud volumes. Is there an explanation for this?

I need to listen to tubes again....aah....good ol' tubes.... Drool Drool Drool

Time for the tube pledge:


I pledge allegiance to tube amps and to the wonderful tone they make. haha
 

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+1 to noobcake, lol.

They each serve their purpose equally, tone is subjective. That said, I prefer tube amps but I also like me a good solid state Randall. Hybrid amps sound decent, then there's digital... well, I don't like that stuff at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
violation said:
+1 to noobcake, lol.

They each serve their purpose equally, tone is subjective. That said, I prefer tube amps but I also like me a good solid state Randall. Hybrid amps sound decent, then there's digital... well, I don't like that stuff at all.
you guys dont get these weird "headaches" when listening to solid state stuff?
For one thing, "weird" is subjective. I find people who prefer solid state amps to be quite weird.
maybe I just have better ears than you....haha :)

I have a few hypotheses to put up...

hypothesis 1: With solid state amplifiers and pedals...maybe you have to turn up the volume more to get the same amount of clarity etc,..and maybe THAT'S what is causing the headaches...

hypothesis 2:

Solid state amplifiers do not reproduce the chimey good wonderful harmonics and frequencies that tube amps do and thus do not give your ears the same pleasure haha or whatever
 

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Heard of a little guy called Dimebag (aka GOD)? SS pretty much all his career... even when he had the Krank amps out during shows, he was playing through the Randalls. Tell me that man didn't have a good ear, picked apart Kirk Hammet, EVH and Randy Rhoads solos back in the 80's.

If I'm at a friends house I drag my step dad's MG30DFX with me, which is quite possibly the most harsh, worst sounding amplifier known to man and I still don't get a headache or anything.

It's all in your head, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
violation said:
Heard of a little guy called Dimebag (aka GOD)? SS pretty much all his career... even when he had the Krank amps out during shows, he was playing through the Randalls. Tell me that man didn't have a good ear, picked apart Kirk Hammet, EVH and Randy Rhoads solos back in the 80's.

If I'm at a friends house I drag my step dad's MG30DFX with me, which is quite possibly the most harsh, worst sounding amplifier known to man and I still don't get a headache or anything.

It's all in your head, lol.
dimebag = high gain crap

if you want good tone...the good tone of a tube amp just beginning to break up....just a little bit of dirt...but not much...no solid state can match that.

high gain metal, etc...yeah...that stuff gives me a headache...doesnt matter what its played through haha.
 

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I own a tube amp and I like the sound of it, I've also played through many tube amps and like them a lot. But my main amp is a late 80's-early 90's solid state randall(RG80-112SC covered in black and white snake skin, oh yeah!). I've shopped for new amps but none of them had the sound I wanted. The thing sounds great, works great with pedals and can take a beating. I'll never get rid of it.
 

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After hearing Soild States and the tube amps. Tube is the only way to go. Well at least for overdrives.. I actually don't mind Soild State Cleans at all. Only benifit of having a tube amp for cleans it is has some nice balls to it.
 

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I did not vote since neither of the two options represents what I believe. They are opposite extremes.

I own a solid state amp, it's all I can afford at this moment in time. With my most recent setup, I have a Crate Powerblock paired with a Marshall 1936 and I get all my tonal variations from a Digitech GNX 3000 floor modeler. As I have been playing with this rig for over half a year, I can say that I am fairly content with my sound and I do not intend to purchase a tube amplifier any time soon. Even if I were to save up for any more gear-related items, chances are I would be spending it on a nice new axe over a tube amp. That is not to say that I do not prefer a solid state amp over a tube amp - I think that maybe I'm just not as experienced or dialed into the tone department like some of the more experienced players on this forum. Thus I don't really have GAS attacks for tube amps. Cool guitars on the other hand give me great GAS pains :eek:

All of my favorite artists use tube amps. They also have great tone, but as far as I'm concerned, my SS amp's tone suits me just as well. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, good tone is subjective and as you are entitled to your opinion, I must respect that. However please don't go about imposing your beliefs onto others. Afterall, it all boils down what comes out of those amps - music.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cross said:
As was mentioned earlier in this thread, good tone is subjective and as you are entitled to your opinion, I must respect that. However please don't go about imposing your beliefs onto others. Afterall, it all boils down what comes out of those amps - music.
Good tone may be subjective, but trust me, after you play a few good tube amps, you will not want to go back to solid state. Tubes just respond to your playing so well, and the little nuances and very small things just make the biggest difference to me.
 

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GuitaristZ said:
Good tone may be subjective, but trust me, after you play a few good tube amps, you will not want to go back to solid state. Tubes just respond to your playing so well, and the little nuances and very small things just make the biggest difference to me.
Fair enough. One of these days I'll hop on the tube amp bandwagon - right after I get my PRS first and foremost :food-smiley-004: I just wish there were an option where you could select that you appreciate BOTH tubes and solid state amps!
 

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Skoczylas said:
After hearing Soild States and the tube amps. Tube is the only way to go. Well at least for overdrives.. I actually don't mind Soild State Cleans at all. Only benifit of having a tube amp for cleans it is has some nice balls to it.
Roland Jazz Chorus is one of the best amps for clean tones that I've played, and it's solid state!

GuitaristZ said:
Good tone may be subjective, but trust me, after you play a few good tube amps, you will not want to go back to solid state. Tubes just respond to your playing so well, and the little nuances and very small things just make the biggest difference to me.
We own 2 tube Marshall heads and occasionally I still bring out the Valvestate one. You can't say "trust me, after you play a few good tube amps, you will not want to go back to solid state", it's all about preference and what the person wants out of the amp.

MAB used SS Randalls and I'm sure he had access to tube amps. Dave Mustaine is using SS pre-amp and power amp at the moment and he definetly has access to tube amps. I could go on for awhile, but I think you get the idea.
 

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I find it interesting getting feedback from my customers about this issue. It seems only some jazz players and many of the hardcore guys like SS amps. Talk about extremes!

From a tech standpoint it's not all that surprising. SS/transistors amplify cleaner than tubes. Mind you, tubes can be much cleaner than the human ear can normally detect. It's going into and dropping out of distortion that tells the tale. Transistors seem to snap from clean to "fuzz". They don't have that range where the tone gets warmer and thicker before the distortion goes over the top.

Since jazz guys don't normally play with distortion they can be happy with a Polytone SS amp. Not all of them, but many.

Hard Metal was born from preamp distortion in the 80's. The master volume is normally down a lot and so there's little or no thick and creamy power amp distortion happening. It's all "crunch". SS circuits can't do power amp distortion but they can indeed "crunch".

Mind you, it's easy to tempt a hardcore player into using tubes. Play some classic metal from bands like Mountain and he'll quickly learn he has no chance in nailing that tone with a SS amp.

I still maintain that one of the major issues with SS amps is that in the long run they can cost the player more money! The circuit boards are usually soldered by machines and are much more difficult to work on. Which means many extra labour hours to pay for in a repair.

Modding a SS amp beyond a few simple tricks is out of the question unless you have unlimited amounts of money and will pay more than to buy a new amp. The wires are "cast in stone" on the circuit board. You can't move 'em around like in an old tube amp.

Things are going to heat up over these issues, I predict. I've heard that since "the big F" moved their production to China they can't support replacement parts for servicing. They have to get entire boards brought over, at an entire board price. So they place these amps on a "Replacement only - Do not repair!" list!

What does this mean? Well, first of all the quality seems reasonably ok. So the odds are good that you won't have a problem, at least during the early years when you have a warranty.

If you have a problem during warranty they give you another amp! As a customer you'll be impressed. Wow! They just handed you a whole new amp! What great guys!

It's a different story after the warranty is over. You're on your own, with an amp that likely is an expensive PITA for your tech to service. Like a Bic lighter, I guess. Disposable. If you need a non-catalogue part like a "slider" in the EQ that was custom made for that model you can't buy one from an electronics parts store at all.

There hasn't been enough time for incidents to crop up about this policy. We will see over the next few years any reaction among players about buying such amps.

By now it's obvious I don't like SS amps but I'm speaking here not as an old guy weaned on non-master volume 100 watt JMPs cranked up to 10 but as a tech who adds up your repair bill!

Many shops in the US have decided on a "NO SS AMPS" policy. When you think about it it's easy to see why. Most good shops have more business than they can handle. Folks complain about the backlog wait. If SS amps are a pain to work on and make your customers grumpy about getting a big bill, why bother? Just don't take 'em in to your shop in the first place!

Older SS amps aren't quite so bad but many of the newer ones are really cramped and difficult inside. The factory obviously doesn't care about servicing at all, just how cheaply can those machines put the amp together on the assembly line. More money in their pocket...

When someone brings me a SS amp I check it out thoroughly over the phone BEFORE I decide to take it on. Sometimes the bill will make it more sensible to pick up a used amp instead. I don't want to spend a lot of hours of MY time to find that out! I can't afford it and besides, it means my customers with better amps (tubes!) have to wait even longer while I curse over the SS amp.

The polite excuse is to say "Gee, I'm really booked up and I don't want you to have to wait! Why don't you take my competitor's card and see him about your SS amp?"

I'd rather see my competitor have the aggravation!:tongue:
 

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...for me, both serve a distinct purpose. i prefer solid state amps for low volume, late night playing. i find they reproduce all the frequencies with less effort than tubes at low volume.

at higher volumes, solid state is just unsatisfying. very little depth, dimension, dynamics or warmth.

i remember when solid state amps first appeared - those big kustom stacks with the rolled and pleated naughahyde. when you cranked them it was like taking a dentist's drill to your ear drums.

-dh
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks for your input everybody, especially wild bill and mr henman.

you guys really know your stuff, and bring up some very valid and intersting points to consider.
 

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david henman said:
.........
i remember when solid state amps first appeared - those big kustom stacks with the rolled and pleated naughahyde. when you cranked them it was like taking a dentist's drill to your ear drums.

-dh
Oh yeah! I remember those David, so cool lookin and they were good bass amps, apparently.


I didn't vote, I like both, for bass, my mainstay, it's solid state all the way, I used to have an early 70's 50W Marshall half-stack, (kickin' my ass now!), for bass and it wasn't to my liking, I didn't play guitar then. My Ampeg has FET output section, they work similar to tubes, so I dunno, love the Ampeg so much, I want another to fill the empty rack space. (....here we go again!)

For guitar, I'm all for tubes, I like the harmonics in the feedback and it is good to warm your hands when you are doin the garage thing. :) I never tried a ss guitar amp and I'm not a guitarist anyway, I'm a bass player that likes to wind-out/thrash on guitar with as much volume and energy as possible. (Bass/Jekyll - Guitar/Hyde)

None of this give me a headache but I'm sure the neighbours get 'em.

Mich
 

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I've never heard of ppl getting sick from SS amps but I do not doubt you. I'll put my money on bad freqs... sorta like fluorecent lighting casing headaches.

I truely believe tube amps are better sounding for the most part but then there is the Roland Jazz chorus and another amp I cannot remember the name of but is made in England by a high fi builder and it does soft clip like a tube amp... it was reviewed by GW I believe... it really souded amazing but the price tag was over the top.

I'm surly not going to try and convince anyone that SS amps all sound like crap... thats simply untrue.

As was mentioned before Dime had some break thru tones with Randall SS amps and I myself owned a Randall RG 80 and it was actually quite impressive especially for an amp built in 1983!

The whole DIGITALrevolution has just begun... I remember hearing the first POD and Flextone amps and thinking what CRAP... now they actually sound good! Where will they be in another 6-7 years... 10... 15... 20 years...

Khing
 

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Discussion Starter #20
KHINGPYNN said:
I remember hearing the first POD and Flextone amps and thinking what CRAP... now they actually sound good! Where will they be in another 6-7 years... 10... 15... 20 years...

Khing
in 15 or so years...they will be outdated and again replaced by tubes...hahaha!

good points though, thanks! I shouldn't of said ALL solid state stuff is bad...I suppose there are some exceptional ss amps that do sound good. :) thanks again!!!
 
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