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I've played tubes for the longest time, until I tried a Quilter MicroPro 200 head paired with a Traynor YCX212Blue loaded with a Vintage 30. What an incredible amp! Solid state, no less, but if there's one amp that could convert tube purists, this could be it. My Les Paul sounded incredible through it and the gain/boost gave it a very natural sounding distortion, nothing like the tinny and ear piercing distortion you associate with SS amps. My Traynor YBA-1 Tribute may be getting significantly less play time now...
 

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When digital recordings (on vinyl) started appearing in the early 80's, people heard complaints about the harshness of such recordings, or that they sounded "sterile", etc. One of the reigning experts in audio - I forget whether it was Julian Hirsch or Len Feldman - had a sort of op-ed piece in Stereo Review magazine about the topic. He noted that, for many years, engineers had both mic'd and EQ'd recordings so that instruments could "cut rhrough" on tape. His contention was that engineering techniques intended to make up for the flaws inherent in mag tape technology were being misapplied in the digital context, where bandwidth and headroom were much less of an issue. He suggested that what we thought we didn't like about the new digital technology was not inherent to that technology, but rather because we were using it in old ways. He predicted that once recording engineers learned how to engineer for digital tech, things would improve.

I think the same thing applies to solid-state amps. What we like about tubes is how they distort. When it comes to clean sound, our general attitude is "Tubes, schmoobs". So the challenge was really how to design soid-state amps and especially pre-amps, so that they clip in desirable ways. I have a Fender Champion 110, which is essentially a Frontman 25R. I disliked the dirty channel sound immensely, so I dug up the schematic, saw where the weaknesses were, modded the amp, and now I love it. It wasn't a bad amp because it was solid-state; it was just not a well thought-out dirty channel.

So if I can leap that hurdle, I don't see why a company as capable as Quilter couldn't. It may have taken us 45 years to figure how to do "dirty" properly with chips, diodes, and transistors, but we've gotten there.
 

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If my local L&M had a Quilter or Katana, I'd love to give one a spin. I won't really know till I try one in a real world band-mix situation. So I try and stay opened-minded. But they are a cure looking for a disease to me, I'm not looking to replace what I have right now.

One thing I'm curious about is why anyone would want to reduce the power output on a solid state power amp? I think the Katana (and maybe the Quilter) have the option of reducing output to 5 watts, 1 watt, whatever. Why would anyone want to do that? Master volumes are fine, but unlike tube power sections, an overworked and clipping SS power section is not something I would think anyone would want. Perhaps a bit of marketing shenanigans, since I doubt they are actually reducing the output power, more like just reducing the volume (i.e. a master volume control.)
 

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Maybe think of it as a range expander for the volume. In other words, if the difference between a setting of 5 and 6 on the volume control, at full power, is the difference between less than I want but more than I need or want, then scaling back the power might turn that 5-6 range into the difference between 4 and 7 on the volume pot, so that I can nail the specific level I want.

I'm not saying that was their rationale, necessarily, but it comes along for the ride.
 

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I have a Quilter Mini 101 and like the surf (BF) and tweed settings. However, IMHO the Quilter doesn't sound as good my SCXD (which isn't exactly a high-end BF amp) or 57 Deluxe. Disclaimer: I'm no amp whiz, I only mention this because my experience may indicate that users will need to play with the Quilters a bit to get what they want out of them.
 

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I'm rooting for these new modelling and solid state amps. Would love to ditch the tube gear eventually....I had tubes go bad in two amps over the last couple of weeks :)
 

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I'm rooting for these new modelling and solid state amps. Would love to ditch the tube gear eventually....I had tubes go bad in two amps over the last couple of weeks :)
Ever had an SS amp go bad? Its not fun either ;)
 

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I'm rooting for these new modelling and solid state amps. Would love to ditch the tube gear eventually....I had tubes go bad in two amps over the last couple of weeks :)

Search out an old Lab Series SS amp. B.B. King played them for years and he sounded great.
 

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Ever had an SS amp go bad? Its not fun either ;)
I have actually. Was playing bass for a friend's band and the amp packed it in. Was a pain in the ass to fix since I had to replace the power transistors and a few others in the pre-amp that got taken out as well.

But that was an older Ampeg transistor amp that had probably gone 30 years without service, so a lot different than having to replace tubes every 2-3 years.
 

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Search out an old Lab Series SS amp. B.B. King played them for years and he sounded great.
I've played the older Lab Series amps and they are great for cleaner tones. I'm into the small amp sound where there is always some warm break-up....thinking that I'll eventually move towards some sort of modelling amp.
 

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I grabbed a Quilter Tone Block 200 head when it was under $500 IIRC. While reluctant to give up tube amps (hell I just got started), I kept it because I couldn't argue with the facts:
1. It sounded damn good.
2. I could stick it under the car seat to have on hand as a back up... a back up that cost me just $500.

I wish this model had more EQ controls. And maybe reverb. But then I'd have to have a tube amp clear out sale.
 

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I listened to a bunch of sound clips on You Tube and I would say tube amps are safe if people think a Quilter is going to replace them. Quilters do not sound any better than a 8080 valvestate. Clean channel sound the same.
 

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I listened to a bunch of sound clips on You Tube and I would say tube amps are safe if people think a Quilter is going to replace them. Quilters do not sound any better than a 8080 valvestate. Clean channel sound the same.
Imo YouTube sound evaluation is inherently inconclusive unless you know the mic and if it's mixed. Even then there are many variables.
 

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Congrats.

I had one on a test run - I'm back to tubes, but to each his own ;-)
 

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I still love my tube amps, but a little while back I tried a tiny Hotone Mojo Diamond amp and was quite impressed. The overdrive was actually quite pleasant. I used it for a bunch of practices because the thing is immensely portable (actually had it on my pedalboard for a while). It's only 5 watts, but it's the loudest solid-state 5 watts I've ever heard. Into a 4 ohm cabinet it easily kept up with a drummer, and was louder that a 5W Fender Champ plugged into the same cab. Small, cheap, loud, sounds decent, built-in effect loop... hard to go wrong!

 

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I'm rooting for these new modelling and solid state amps. Would love to ditch the tube gear eventually....I had tubes go bad in two amps over the last couple of weeks :)
Yes. I agree to a certain extent. I have had 2 boutiqueish tube amp heads cut out with volume issues. 1 I have had for 6 years and gave up playing it last year. The other head I got a few months ago has failed on me twice at rehearsal/jam. My back up is a Katana 100w head and I love it. I also have the Yamaha THR100HD which I started using recently and sounds very good so far.

The 2 aforementioned tube amp heads are to an amp tech tomorrow. I have no intention of getting rid of them because *when* they're working, they sound phenomenal. It's the best of both worlds and solid state/digital amps are right up there with tube amp responsiveness imo.
 

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The Guitar Corner here in Kitchener is advertising that they are now a Quilter dealer.

The "101 Reverb" on the left looks interesting to me.

From the Quilter website:

Specifications:
  • 50 watts of “FullQ” power
  • Gain, Limiter, Bass, Mid, Treble, Reverb, & Master controls
  • 1/4" high impedance input jack
  • Effects Loop: 1/4" Send and Return jacks
  • 1/4" Headphone jack for quiet practice
  • Dual 1/4" speaker outputs for variable loads 16 to 4 ohms
  • Standard IEC power cable (non locking)
  • Universal power supply – automatically works anywhere in the world
  • Ultra compact (roughly the size of a double wide effects pedal)
  • 8 3/8"W x 3 1/8"H x 5 1/2"D – (21.3cm W x 7.9cm H x 14cm D)
  • 2 Pounds (0.9kg)
 
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