Solid state vs. tube

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Solid state vs. tube

MarcusWiesner

Registered User

Joined: 04/09/11

Posts: 34

I like tube amps for the clarity of tone. Like for me, every solid-state amp I've ever played just puts our lots of static, which is cool for like black metal, but you can get pedals too (and I don't really play black metal. The closest I get to black metal is desolate hard rock) The only problem is that my 2 12" Fender Evil Twin Tube amp just isn't loud enough for my gigging.

I need something even louder and with more fidelity, like a building sized speaker cone installed in the side of a mountain haha. I also need a loud PA system.

#31

I like tube amps for the clarity of tone. Like for me, every solid-state amp I've ever played just puts our lots of static, which is cool for like black metal, but you can get pedals too (and I don't really play black metal. The closest I get to black metal is desolate hard rock) The only problem is that my 2 12" Fender Evil Twin Tube amp just isn't loud enough for my gigging.

I need something even louder and with more fidelity, like a building sized speaker cone installed in the side of a mountain haha. I also need a loud PA system.

James Sheasgreen

Registered User

Joined: 04/05/12

Posts: 19

Tubes sound better but for a practice amp i use a solid state because at lower volumes it sounds better and i dont have to worry about burning out my tubes or warming them up.

#32

Tubes sound better but for a practice amp i use a solid state because at lower volumes it sounds better and i dont have to worry about burning out my tubes or warming them up.

jav8599

Registered User

Joined: 01/15/11

Posts: 4

I love tube amps....BUT,...

o When it comes to all out metal gain,...without the volume of a tube amp, meaning to get the full overdrive and gain of an all valve amp,...you have to cook those tubes, or drive that amp at least 60-70% volume to experience the "BROWN SOUND". I, having over 30 yrs experience and growing up with 70's - 80's rock,...I am not such a snob anymore about all valve units. Marshall's solid state units provide the tone and high gain for lower and higher volume venues, while larger venues definitely will justify a 50-100 watt Marsall JCM, I just can't deal with the massive volume any longer. I have more control with today's technology solid state units at low volume, ex...practice, ... Actually I prefer that solid state definitive clipping gain these days as opposed to yester years louder than hell brown sound. I know I'm gonna get kdilled over this, but so be it. Don't be afraid or ashamed of the newer solid state technology. It's Killer to metal heads and with the right person behind the tone and gain adjustments, it will surprise you. Nobody wants to admit it, but here I am. There are also plenty of 5-15 watt lower output all tube combos and heads out there, but....you still can't beat the gain of either a solid state or DUAL RECTIFIER valve amp, which not many offer. I guess the jest of my rage here is attitude about solid state technology because of a lot of us older purists is simply gonna deny you of what may be the perfect sound for YOU! Try em all out and buy and use whatever gets you off. Respectfully submitted, a former Valve Snob.

#33

I love tube amps....BUT,...

o When it comes to all out metal gain,...without the volume of a tube amp, meaning to get the full overdrive and gain of an all valve amp,...you have to cook those tubes, or drive that amp at least 60-70% volume to experience the "BROWN SOUND". I, having over 30 yrs experience and growing up with 70's - 80's rock,...I am not such a snob anymore about all valve units. Marshall's solid state units provide the tone and high gain for lower and higher volume venues, while larger venues definitely will justify a 50-100 watt Marsall JCM, I just can't deal with the massive volume any longer. I have more control with today's technology solid state units at low volume, ex...practice, ... Actually I prefer that solid state definitive clipping gain these days as opposed to yester years louder than hell brown sound. I know I'm gonna get kdilled over this, but so be it. Don't be afraid or ashamed of the newer solid state technology. It's Killer to metal heads and with the right person behind the tone and gain adjustments, it will surprise you. Nobody wants to admit it, but here I am. There are also plenty of 5-15 watt lower output all tube combos and heads out there, but....you still can't beat the gain of either a solid state or DUAL RECTIFIER valve amp, which not many offer. I guess the jest of my rage here is attitude about solid state technology because of a lot of us older purists is simply gonna deny you of what may be the perfect sound for YOU! Try em all out and buy and use whatever gets you off. Respectfully submitted, a former Valve Snob.

G1619T

Full Access

Joined: 03/15/11

Posts: 34

Tubes v. Solid State

Hi All,
I've been playing since 1960. My first amp was a Hohner 50w tube. At that time I did not pay much attention to what was in an amp or not. There wasn't a whole lot of solid state amps anyway. Since then I have built my own or modified old tube amps to fit my needs. One day a while back I was going thru a copy of a spec sheet on an old PA amp that a middle school was using for a PA system in their gym. Then I looked at my old Dynaco 70 amp manual and others from that time period and compared the specs to old guitar tube amps. What I found was that up to a certain loudness level the older units were designed like hi-fi and stereo units. They were transparent until you got the amp into distortion. Usually at a volume level of 5-7 depending on the unit. The harmonic and crossover distortion specs were the same. My old PA amp had 6L6's in them but the output was only 25 watts. Same with an old RCA hi-fi bi-amp system. one 6V6 and 2 6V6's. Power was 8 watts. The bias was set pretty cold. Increase the volume and you could get a nice sweet overdrive. If you continued on you eventually got distortion and then bad distortion. I installed a master volume on these tube amps basically to overdrive the power amp. I integrated it in the phase inverter so it's not post or pre master. Pre-amp distortion and power amp distortion or I should say overdrive sound very different. The older transistor amps while acting like tubes were still handy capped by the fact that the signal was being processed thru a crystalline type matrix. A tube amp does not have the signal go thru a tube. So the amplifying device has no direct effect on your signal. New DSP type modeling amps are the same as old solid state devices except everything is crammed together into a tighter structure.
If you like the sound of what your producing fine. The brown sound can be emulated. This is just the output stage driving hard enough to sink enough current to lower the voltage at the plate of the tubes. I have found that when a solid state device goes from a soft saturation to distortion it is very sudden and instantly sounds bad. A tube just does this slower. I read a test result of Audiophiles at a sound test. It was found that they all like the tube amp sound and to their surprise their comfort zone for the music was at or just after the amp started to clip. Bass and PA amps are a different story. I like those transparent. What I put in I want the same out. Keyboards, too. My amps are tone machines. An electric guitar is half the equation, your amp is the other half.
Regards, G1619T

#34

Tubes v. Solid State

Hi All,
I've been playing since 1960. My first amp was a Hohner 50w tube. At that time I did not pay much attention to what was in an amp or not. There wasn't a whole lot of solid state amps anyway. Since then I have built my own or modified old tube amps to fit my needs. One day a while back I was going thru a copy of a spec sheet on an old PA amp that a middle school was using for a PA system in their gym. Then I looked at my old Dynaco 70 amp manual and others from that time period and compared the specs to old guitar tube amps. What I found was that up to a certain loudness level the older units were designed like hi-fi and stereo units. They were transparent until you got the amp into distortion. Usually at a volume level of 5-7 depending on the unit. The harmonic and crossover distortion specs were the same. My old PA amp had 6L6's in them but the output was only 25 watts. Same with an old RCA hi-fi bi-amp system. one 6V6 and 2 6V6's. Power was 8 watts. The bias was set pretty cold. Increase the volume and you could get a nice sweet overdrive. If you continued on you eventually got distortion and then bad distortion. I installed a master volume on these tube amps basically to overdrive the power amp. I integrated it in the phase inverter so it's not post or pre master. Pre-amp distortion and power amp distortion or I should say overdrive sound very different. The older transistor amps while acting like tubes were still handy capped by the fact that the signal was being processed thru a crystalline type matrix. A tube amp does not have the signal go thru a tube. So the amplifying device has no direct effect on your signal. New DSP type modeling amps are the same as old solid state devices except everything is crammed together into a tighter structure.
If you like the sound of what your producing fine. The brown sound can be emulated. This is just the output stage driving hard enough to sink enough current to lower the voltage at the plate of the tubes. I have found that when a solid state device goes from a soft saturation to distortion it is very sudden and instantly sounds bad. A tube just does this slower. I read a test result of Audiophiles at a sound test. It was found that they all like the tube amp sound and to their surprise their comfort zone for the music was at or just after the amp started to clip. Bass and PA amps are a different story. I like those transparent. What I put in I want the same out. Keyboards, too. My amps are tone machines. An electric guitar is half the equation, your amp is the other half.
Regards, G1619T

mhowell67

Registered User

Joined: 10/27/07

Posts: 15

Originally Posted by: G1619T
Hi All,
.
.
.
I have found that when a solid state device goes from a soft saturation to distortion it is very sudden and instantly sounds bad. A tube just does this slower.
.
.
.


Tubes can also clip hard.

#35

Originally Posted by: G1619T
Hi All,
.
.
.
I have found that when a solid state device goes from a soft saturation to distortion it is very sudden and instantly sounds bad. A tube just does this slower.
.
.
.


Tubes can also clip hard.

aschleman

Registered User

Joined: 04/26/05

Posts: 2032

Originally Posted by: mhowell67
Tubes can also clip hard.



A Univox 1000? That amp is about 40 years old...

#36

Originally Posted by: mhowell67
Tubes can also clip hard.



A Univox 1000? That amp is about 40 years old...