Should I trade my tube amp for solid state? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Should I trade my tube amp for solid state?

I'm thinking of selling my Tube amp and getting a soild state amp. My tube amp is a 70's Fender Super Reverb. 45 watts into 4 10" speakers.
My Super sounds good on low volume but gets fairly muddy when cranked up. It is a nice amp for blues, country, jazz, anything like that but for heavy stuff it's not great. And it's not quite loud enough when jamming with a drummer. So I could probably sell it for close to enough cash to buy a solid state half stack like the Randall RH100.
Thing is a lot of people down solid state amps. So I was wondering if all solid state amps suck or are people just falling for the marketing BS they read in all the guitar mags.
I play classic rock, classic metal, heavy blues, and some softer rock like 3 doors down, creed, etc..
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 09:24 AM
 
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solid state's not the answer, man, you need a louder tube amp!

I can't recommend cornford amps enough, but they're pricey in the states.

failing that go for a good old marshall. they didn't get where they are by coincidence!

as for SS amps sucking, I don't think that's the case (though you're right - people do diss them). some do suck, some don't. there's a british manufacturer - session (and sessionette) - who make really great SS amps, but I don't know if you can get them in the US, or if they do a loud enough model for you.

but really, for the kind of music you say you're playing, you really couldn't beat a marshall (except with a cornford! ;-))

hth,
--c.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 09:42 AM
 
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Earthman is right: get a LOUDER tube amp with a 4x12" cab!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 10:49 AM
 
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I don't think it's marketing, at least IMHO. Perhaps for some, but not most. Besides owning several amps over the years, and trying out a multitude, I generally prefer tubers.

One experience helped illustrate the differences. I went to a Fender clinic at Mars Music (before they went under)...it was a chance to hear several amps at good levels from a distance, one after the other with the same guitar & player. The guy demoed amps started with the SS models...a Roc Pro was one. It sounded good, but then he plugged into the Hot Rod Deluxe...noticable better, warmer, fuller, etc...and then on to the Tone Master, etc.

Having said that, you may prefer an SS amp...try the Randall next to another tube option if you can. All SS amps are not created equal, and personal taste varies. Years ago I had a Yamaha G-100 1x12 SS amp...at the time I liked it better than my JCM800!...much smoother distortion to my ears. At the moment I'm really happy with my Budda Superdrive 30.
Greg
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 10:57 AM
 
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I would vote for the tubes as well. You can also get some good sounds from a good quality 2x12 cabinet, without all the back breaking weight of a 4x12, not to mention the space considerations like "does it fit in my car, and whose gonna carry this thing up 7 flights of stairs three nights a week.

If you play out a lot, I would suggest getting a 2x12 combo, or a head with a 2x12 cabinet. If you find you need to move more air you can add another 2x12. They weigh a lot less, take up less space, sound great, and you don't have to buy people nearly as much beer for helping you move all your crap. I can fit my 2x12 Mesa combo and my 2x12 recto cab in my car no problem....but I don't have a prayer of fitting a 4x12 in there no matter what I do.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 11:10 AM
 
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It just sounds like it's time to get a louder amp. Screw the critics, man. Start trying out new amps & find the one that suits you best. With today's technology, lots of SS amps can sounds just as great as a tube amp. And to retort to the Marshall amp comment above, why do you think modeling amps have become so popular? With each new innovation, some suck, but some having staying power.

10 years ago, I might've argued differently, but the technology is there & SS amps have come a LONG way.

For me, I've tried both SS & tube amps. I prefer SS amps because they aren't as tempermental as tube amps, they give me a consistent sound at all volumes, & they (generally) don't get muddy in the low end when I crank 'em up. And not to mention, the price is right.

So in short, get a louder amp.
<gets off his soapbox>

P.S. I have to throw this in there. Last year, I had a wonderful guitarist who was gonna try out for my band. After hearing I use an SS poweramp, he decided not to play with us because I used SS & he was an all-tube guy. Funny stuff. Purists....you gotta love 'em.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2003, 06:12 PM
 
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Lots of good points made in here, and the louder amp point is one I definitely agree on. I'm definitely a tube amp fan and dont care for many solid state amps for a few reasons. When I started playing solid state worked just fine, but after having played for more years and really coming to know what I want from an amp, they aren't working the magic like they used to. Even with the growth in technology, SS amps just dont have the same warmth and feel that a good tube amp has.

On the other hand, there are a select few that get damn close and its really up to the player. Play around and see what you like! Try out a 100W Randall solid stater, then try out a 50 watt Boogie head or something just to compare (50 class A tube watts will blow most 100 watt solid state amps out of the water volume wise)

I'd also opt for an amp that has a nice preamp gain stage to light up your sound when needed. Some of these Bluesy tube amps (like Fender Twin Reverbs etc) nail jazz, blues and classic rock well but when you get the urge to play something more modern or heavy, they don't cut the mustard.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input guys. I haven't had a chance to try the Randall SS amp yet but I plan to do it this week. The reason I'm looking at SS is the price. This is a hobby for me, not my job so it's hard to justify the crazy prices on top of the line amps. Why are they so expensive anyways? Tubes are not that costly, and the electronics seem basic enough. Maybe even more basic than the newer solid state stuff.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 12:34 PM
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I replaced a 2X12 Peavey solid state amp with an Acoustic 100W 1 X 12 (EVM) and couldn't be happier. The Acoustic is sort of a Boogie Mark 2, but the EQ can be put in or out of either channel. Get yourself an older tube combo, and be happy. (Mine was $280!!!!, dead mint)
(and it is crazy loud)

jim
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 12:53 PM
 
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If you like the basic tone of your amp, I'd say go ahead and stick w/ Fender tube amps. I've got a Fender DeVille 2x12 60W and it has no trouble getting loud enough to rattle the windows and seriously start hurting my head (and that's only a little more than 1/2 way turned up).

If it gets muddy at loud volumes (like mine), I'd crank the bass WAY down. When I'm playing at home, the bass is at 8-9 (out of 12). When I'm jammin with friends, the bass gets shut down to 3-4. The DeVille is a very bass-heavy amp, though.

Then again, there's something to be said for solid state. My DeVille blew a power tube last week, and she's out of the house for a while. Which is why I have a Johnson JT-50 as well. P.S.- the JT50 is a super little amp; I dig it more than the JM120 I used to have!

-Ben
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastofLove
If it gets muddy at loud volumes (like mine), I'd crank the bass WAY down. When I'm playing at home, the bass is at 8-9 (out of 12). When I'm jammin with friends, the bass gets shut down to 3-4. The DeVille is a very bass-heavy amp, though.

-Ben
It goes to 12!?!

jim
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 04:53 PM
 
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Just something to note.

90% of the problems people claim to have with digital or SS amps come when the amp is cranked. I totally agree. In the basement or bedroom a SS amp can be a better deal then any tube amp. Playing live I feel like non-tube amps totally fail. No presence but harshness. No bottum but boomy muddyness.

A Fender to play metal? No wonder you dont like your tone. But I also dont feel that SS is the answer for you.

Something else to note. Ive played next to people with Flextones and Vettas and tech21 amps. My Soldano or Bogner literally creamed them for power when set on 5. They were just way more present and cut through much better. My vocalist used a vetta when they first came out and he couldnt overcome the drummer without cranking the vetta to a level were the tone was just awefull. Hell, I had to keep my level really low to compensate which is why I eventually had him sell it. Ive never had an experience with SS or digital that wasnt exactly like that. I dont like to make presumptions, but I feel like people here and at harmony central make reviews and statements when they dont really know. By that I mean theyve never owned a real, all-tube amp. Thier just really happy with what they have. And Ive never played with or next to a Randall but in all my years Ive never had an experience with a SS amp that wasnt exactly as Ive described.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Dan, what do you think of the Soldano Hot Rod 50? Would it have more balls than my 45 watt Fender super reverb?
Price seems reasonable.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim777
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastofLove
If it gets muddy at loud volumes (like mine), I'd crank the bass WAY down. When I'm playing at home, the bass is at 8-9 (out of 12). When I'm jammin with friends, the bass gets shut down to 3-4. The DeVille is a very bass-heavy amp, though.

-Ben
It goes to 12!?!

jim
Yep- the chicken head knobs go from 0-12! I know- cheesey, right? But I love 'dat amp!

-Ben
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2003, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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CORRECTION!! price does not seem reasonable. I saw a couple of them on ebay (Soldano Hot Rod 50's) at $500.00 but I see they are worth closer to 2 grand. Tube amps are so expensive
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