Solid State Amps

Discussion in 'Amps' started by stewiesguitar, May 20, 2015.

  1. stewiesguitar

    stewiesguitar Well-Known Member

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    so i was just thinking about things and started to wonder what you guys thought.

    what is your favorite solid state amp?

    how do you think the tone stands up to tube amps?

    do you think that solid state amps will ever be considered equal to tube amp? why?
     
  2. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    My favorite SS amp is easily the Fender Mustang 3. It's very versatile and sounds great. I also have a Fender Champion 100, A Fender Princeton Chorus, and an Acoustic G120DSP. All SS and all sound great. I think I prefer the tube amps I own, just because they sound so much different to my ear. My experience with tube amps is very limited, but I can see now, all future amp purchases will be tube based. I also think it's pretty interesting what some manufacturers are doing with the hybrid stuff. Tube pre and SS power. Will SS ever sound as good as tube? Albert King thought they did way back in the day. I think it's one of those deals where there is no right or wrong answer. It depends solely on what you like tone wise. That Acoustic SS amp I have was 200 bucks on sale. it's a 2x12 and sounds fantastic. Not as versatile as the Mustang, but a great, inexpensive amp. That's my 2 cents
     
  3. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    They all suck

    It doesn't

    One could theoretically build a digital amp that fully replicates an anolog circuit including the behavior of over driven or asymetrically biased tubes.
     
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  4. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    My favorite all-time is a mid 80's Randall RG100 with the fuzzy "carpet" on them. They sound just like a tube amp at any volume.

    These days it's a Blackstar ID Core.
     
  5. cybermgk

    cybermgk Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I think my Blackstar ID TVP stands up to a lot of tube amps, for tone, feel, and is more versatile than most. But, there are tube amps, and I have some, that do sound better. But then, it was designed specifically to emulate tube preamps and different tube output tubes, digitally.
     
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  6. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    I remember those....carpet covered amps. And the cabs too. LOL They were huge sounding monsters
     
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  7. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    Yep, best I ever heard was one through a Boogie 4x12 with Greenbacks, sounded just like a hot Marshall with more low end. And he got rid of it for a Boogie --- and regretted it. And hit the footswitch to the other channel and it's clean as a whistle.
     
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  8. zacsdad

    zacsdad Well-Known Member

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    I love a vox pathfinder, had a peavey transtube studio pro 112 years ago that was nice too.

    Now, i have a Marshall AVT 50 112, mainly solid state with a lonely 12ax7 tossed in. Sounds great to me
     
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  9. fullonshred

    fullonshred Well-Known Member

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    Fender Power Chorus. Great cleans and pretty decent OD and Distortion sounds as well. Luscious Stereo Chorus.
     
  10. tkcrabby

    tkcrabby Active Member

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    I have an old Fender Princeton Chorus, it's a SS 2-10" combo and I like it pretty good. No it's not as "good" as a good cranked tube amp BUT you don't have to 'crank" a SS amp to get what it's got to offer. Clean is nice and I even like some of the "overdriven" sounds it has to offer. I'm not a pro and not even that good of a player but it sounds pretty good to me. I have an older Peavey Classic 50 4-10 combo and the PV sounds great BUT again it has to be fairly loud to attain that tone.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
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  11. tonebender

    tonebender Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a favorite SS amp.
     
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  12. howardlo65

    howardlo65 Well-Known Member

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    Just MHO, but I really think the A's amps sound great. I really like my Mustang amp, very versatile with a lot of various great Fender amps among others.

    To me they seem like a lot less trouble than tubes, as well. I see no real advantage to tube amps, that would be like saying than the old cars that had carburetors, no electronic ignition, needed tuneups every 3,000 miles, just AM radios with one small speaker, etc.are better than the new cars.

    Anyone still want an old B&W TV with tubes and a mechanical tuner?
     
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  13. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right when you're talking about clean tones, IMHO a JC120 is about as good as clean gets. It's usually a different matter with overdrive though, with very few exceptions.
     
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  14. SexyGibson

    SexyGibson Well-Known Member

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    My favorite SS amp was a Roland Jazz Chorus that I once owned; easily the best cleans of any amp I've owned. I currently have a Vox Pathfinder and a Peavey Vyper that haven't gotten much attention since I got my Vox AC4TV but SS has it's place.
     
  15. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    Think of a tube amp as something organic, almost alive. A good solid state amp would be like an android that mimmicks the tube amp but is also superior in many ways.

    One of the big plusses of the tube amp is its imperfections. Not only do the tubes distort the signal, each part of the amp has an influence on the other parts. A burst of current draw in one place will drop a voltage in another and so forth. The variation in components and the interactions make each amp unique.

    In theory, the complex reactions of a tube amp could be completely modeled in a digital front end to a solid state amp, but so far none of the affordable options have fully nailed it. I think to do it today would cost as much or more than the tune amp. Tomorrow may be different.
     
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  16. cybermgk

    cybermgk Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I like my 2 SS amps (and my tube amps) but your analogy is not a good one imho.

    But, if we stick with it, yes I would prefer to have an older, 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO instead of a newer Chevy Chevette, Ford Pinto or even a brand new Ford Focus.

    I also much rather listen to music on Vinyl, for the pure listening pleasure, as opposed to MP3 format. But, I also recognize the advantage of having my entire song collection, that takes up a crate in Vinyl, in the palm of my hand on an MP3 player. The crucial point is, each has it's pros, and cons. Same goes for SS and tube amps imho. No need for either one or the other having to be completely superior. Nor, is either.
     
  17. peachhead

    peachhead Active Member

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    Well said!
     
  18. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    Great explanation man. It's so very true. When I'm out working in the gardens I usually have ear buds in and listen to my guy, Joe Bonamassa a lot. His live recording at RedRocks, as well as seeing him live recently in Chicago, is like the perfect scenario for hearing exactly what you describe. There are certain points on the live show recording as well as during the concert when I wondered if the speakers were going to blow up or the amp was going to go up in smoke? I've heard Joe talk about "the sound" he loves. He says basically he runs his amps just to the point prior to where they'll blow out. He also had to switch speaker manufacturers, because he was killing so many speakers during live shows. There's nothing quite as tasty as hearing a speaker that's just on the edge of blowing out, yet holding on. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Joe does it all with the volume and tone knobs on his guitar. Oh and he does it so articulately well, it blows my mind. You mix that with his low volume stuff and it makes for a tonal experience that's truly exceptional. IMHO, of course. Your description is spot on the money. ORGANIC is the perfect word. Thanks for articulating that for us. Seriously, I couldn't have said it any better or more accurately.
     
  19. Believer

    Believer Well-Known Member

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    I guess my favorite SS is my venerable Fender Frontman 212r.
    1) It is indestructible.
    2) It is ear-splitting LOUD.
    3) Beautiful sounding clean channel.
    4) Very acceptable spring reverb.
    5) Takes pedals well.
    6) Did I mention it's LOUD?

    I don't play out much, but the FF is more transportable than the Bug, and quicker to set up and dial in than the Night Train 50 and 2x12 Cabinet. Oh, and in case you didn't know, it's LOUD.
     
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  20. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    Yamaha DG 80 is an awesome ss amp.

    I wish I had one
     
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