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Red vs Blue
Round vs Square
Up vs Down

:sport-smiley-002: :bow: :food-smiley-004: :rockon:

None is better. It's what your ear likes or dislikes.
 

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it depends...

It really depends on what you want to do.

The great thing about tube guitar amplifiers is that when they start to distort, it is a smoother waveform that contains even order harmonics. To most ears, this sounds 'warmer'. When transistor amps distort they contain odd harmonics which are really harsh sounding. So, if your looking for natural amp distortion, like in blues, rock, a bit of country, etc then a tube amp is a great thing.

however, if you want clean headroom, where you can really turn things up without distortion, you can generally find transistor amps with high wattage in smaller less expensive packages. if you like to use pedals for your sound, same thing can apply.

so, it really depends on your application. if it sounds good, it is good.

Gene
 

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Marlon..In general, I agree with what the others have said.

In addition, tube amps tend to be more expensive and they tend to weigh more (given that you are comparing "apples to apples" sort of thing).
They also need to be/should be cared for/maintained a bit more.

That said, I prefer tube amps personally. Many of my friends have SS amps and they sound great.

Dave
 

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great info here, you usually find that most folks like one type or the other based on the above mentioned diff's, and their preferences.

what I have experienced is: a good tube amp will change tonally based on what your putting into it, I would call this "liveliness/feel/character/even harms etc.., conversely, most solid state amps are "information", they do not react to your playing as a tube amp, and that's what I look for , something that enhances the intended musical experience, as always, ymmv, and for sure "trust your ears and not your eyes, if it sounds right...it is "!

imho of course :food-smiley-004:

ohhh..one last comment: the effect of the speaker is HUGE in any amp, and can transform an OK amp into a TERRific amp when chosen carefully, the speaker does alot, I would consider that as a very important part of the equation.
 

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when you say SS are you including digital... ala Line 6?

Either way Tube/Solid State/Digital... who cares who wins... if the amp gives you an inspiring tone..then love it for what it is.
Me personally... I love tube amps but there are some SS amps that are on the top of my list... can you say Roland JC-120! Then there is the new Vox line of modellers... I'm all over those they are awsome!
 

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Go with whacha' like... to me:

Tube amps are fantastic for every genre I can think of. Fender's cleans, Marshall's crunch, Mesa's distortion, etc... there's a brand for everythin'!

Solid state amps are great for clean *cough* Roland Jazz Chorus *cough* and maybe some high gain tones *cough* Randall *cough*.

Modelling is good if you need a variety of tones.

I use my tube amp (Marshall JCM 800) for jammin' / loud playing, solid state amp (Randall RG75G2) for practicing and modelling (Line 6 POD XT Live) for silent recording.

All depends on what you need. Just get some cash, try out every amp within the budget and then use your ears to decide...
 

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doesnt matter who made it or what its guts are - if it sounds good, it sounds good!

there's a handful of SS amps i'd buy, coincidentally they're mainly peaveys.. i stick with my tubes for all my uses though (live, home practise, home recording)
 

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I find that my tube amp amplifies every mistake that I make. Don't know if it's true for all solid state amps, but the few that I have been a lot more forgiving to my sloppy technique. They allowed me to play with more confidence.
 

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Wow, a question I rarely see off HiFi sites!

I find that my tube amp amplifies every mistake that I make. Don't know if it's true for all solid state amps, but the few that I have been a lot more forgiving to my sloppy technique. They allowed me to play with more confidence.
Then a tubeamp will help you play better :wink:

The geeky answer is the SS amps you used has lousy dynamic range, hence covered up errors.


doesnt matter who made it or what its guts are - if it sounds good, it sounds good!
Best reply EVAH! :rockon2:
 

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I found the same thing with my old solid state practice amp... so to make up for it I'd set the gain to 10, click on my Wylde Overdrive and crank all 3 knobs on that bitch too. Bit hissy LOL but it was worth it until I grabbed that Randall.
 

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A quality, well made, gig-worthy solid state amp you buy only once. A quality, well made, gig-worthy tube amp you buy over and over again as you replace tubes, have a tech set the bias, etc. Tube amps have "consumable" parts. For the most part, solid state amps don't.

True, but not the whole story!:smile:

Speaking as a man who makes his living repairing and building amps, it should be added that solid state amps are more of a PITA to work on, which generally means a higher repair bill if they DO need some work!

What's more, solid state amps are normally made in such a way that all but the simplest mods are either not cost-effective or just impossible.

I've said many times before that I believe solid state amps are only really popular with jazz players and shredders. Jazz guys like it super clean, which is the forte of solid state.

Shredders add so much gain and processing that no one can tell the original tone of an amp anyway.

That leaves traditional rock, blues, country and such to tube amps. These tones often demand some "dirt" and as someone already has said, solid state distortion is more harsh and much less pleasing with these music modes.

Chaque a son gout...

:food-smiley-004:
 

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...for me its tubes all the way for playing live.

but, for rehearsing, recording and, especially, playing at super low volume, i prefer solid state.

-dh
 

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Wow, a question I rarely see off HiFi sites!



Then a tubeamp will help you play better :wink:

The geeky answer is the SS amps you used has lousy dynamic range, hence covered up errors.




Best reply EVAH! :rockon2:

I'm aware of that. I have no doubt a good solid state amp would not have been as forgiving.

I usually play out of my tube amp. It sounds better to my ears, but at night, I use my 'Vox' VBM-1 (it's actually a Rockers VBM-1. The Korean factory that made them for Vox sold their surplus in a slightly cheaper cabinet. Cost me a whopping 55$). Good enough cleans and lots of distortion at extremely low volumes.

http://www.guitarline.co.kr/front/php/product.php?product_no=693&main_cate_no=33&display_group=1
 

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You can only impart so much useless wisdom in two or three snide sentences....I know I grossly over-simplify. As I understand it, a lot of current mass manufactued amps are less than tech friendly too. Boogies, Peavey Delta Blues and Classic 30/50's come to mind as awkward to work on.

And as I check the stable, my tube amps out rank the solid state 5 to 1, so I don't even follow my own non-advice!

The jazzers I know split about 50/50 on tube vs. SS. Some really like the polytone/acoustic image/jazz kat/Roland JC-XXX amps, and the other half use a tweed deluxe. I'm in the second group. :smile:

I've learned the hard way that 35 year old SS amps are somtimes un-repairable simply because the components are no longer available. This is less likely it seems with classic tube amp designs. There are some tube amps out there that use fairly oddball tubes, but I would venture a guess that 90% of the tube guitar amps ever made used tubes that are still fairly easy to get today.

Can you confirm my SWAG, Bill?
+1, Paul! And I'm also more a fan of jazz played through a vintage tube amp like a Tweed Deluxe. After all, that's what they used in the Golden Years of jazz!

I'll forgive a bass player for using SS. Today's bass sound is clean and snappy and SS does that just fine. That being said, recordings from the early 50's were of course all made with tube amps and they sound just fine to me! I LIKE the sound of a JazzBass or Precision played through an old Traynor or Bassman!

I remember when the world changed for bass players. It was in the early 70's, with Chris Squire championing "Round Wound Roto-Sound" strings! Played on a Rickenbacker, of course. 6 months after we started selling them at the store where I worked they started coming back for fret jobs! Nobody knew the new strings would wear out old style frets.:smile:

I actually prefer 30-40 year old SS amps to repair, like Sunn Concerts and Monoblocks and such. You're right that some parts may not be available but my career was in electronic parts and I know my theory so I've not been stumped yet at choosing a newer transistor or whatever that will fill form, fit and function. The advantage is that they were handwired and/or on simple circuit boards that are easy to work on. The modern boards can often be impossible to signal trace while powered up, since they pile stuff up on top of each other to cover the point you need to get at with a probe.

Anyhow, back to the flames!:smile:

:food-smiley-004:
 

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I'm going back to the start of the thread here. For starting out and cost, you'll do best with a SS amp. If would be good if you get something that has a line (headphones) out and a CD in so you practice along with songs and backing tracks. Cheap headphones are a no. You can practice with less distraction too.

Who knows, in six month you may outgrow, but I see that as a sign of progress.
 

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i'd get an SS to start too (looves my old peavey rage, may buy it back.. and the guitar lol), however i dont consider line out/headphone out or CD input to be a necessity.

practise unplugged late at night - it'll be just as loud as headphones lol. as for playing along to tracks, jsut turn down the amp and turn up the stereo - gets the job done, you dont have to be super loud (but if your stereo can do it, gopher it!), works well.

thats my 2 cents.
 
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