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Thread: Is solid-state dead?

  1. #1
    Mojo's Minions misterwhizzy's Avatar
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    Default Is solid-state dead?

    I know we've been having this discussion about modeling versus tube, etc. But are the days of the RG100 and Warhead over? Straight up, balls-to-the-wall, rip-your-face-off transistor-based distortion? Is there anything out there that does NOT intend to sound like a tube amp?

    By the way, I have no interest in purchasing or even playing one, if it is in current production. I just meant to discuss the state of guitar amplification.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker whatshisname's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Actually, the RG100 was intended to sound like a Marshall. George Lynch worked with them, to design it.

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    Major General GAS aleclee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    No distortion but the Jazz Chorus was probably never intended to sound like a tube amp.

    I don't foresee much in the way of SS (vs. digital) amp front ends other than the absolute cheapest stuff. Curiously enough, there seems to be virtually no market for digital dirt box pedals. Folks seem to be okay with digital amp emulation but not so much with digital OD/distortion/fuzz.
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?


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    Butterball speed2dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Randall just updated and re-released the RG series of amps. It looks like the RG line has expanded, with multiple models and now includes a preamp/power amp pedal.

    Pritchard Amps has their own take on SS amps. They have a voice knob, which changes the tone stack from Marshall to Fender to whatever, but it isn't necessarily trying to emulate any specific amp.

    Blackstar has their ID series of amps, which has their ISF knob to change the voicing from UK to US as well as their Tube Select knob that allows you to change the voicing of the power amp. That said, I don't think it is specifically designed to emulate any specific amp, but rather be more versatile so the user can find their own tone.

    All that to say, I think most companies have stopped putting R&D into SS amps. Even Randall, who is/was synonymous with SS, went to tube or hybrid designs until more recently. I think there is a lot of potential, but overcoming the stigmatism that it's not a tube design is the biggest hurdle. How do you change guitarists' minds to accept SS when most won't even try it? I think that's the difficulty.

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    The Drama Dude CTN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    there'll always be a place for cheap solid state amps in the beginner market.

  7. #7
    In Fluence Y'all frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Well you can't ignore all the distortion pedals of the world. Whether you feed a tube or SS amp/power section anyone using one of the billion distortion pedals is using solid state, yeah even boutique ones. LOL. It's just a format shift. It's not something the consumer is paying high dollar for in an amp right now. But people pay good money for a Triple Wreck, so the demand for quality SS drive is there, just in a different format.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianS. View Post
    This would tend to demonstrate that even if S/S isn't dead it isn't looking too healthy. Sounds absolutely terrible.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    I actually like solid state and modelling tech.

    Oh well.

  10. #10
    He Did the Monster Mash DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    I've heard crap come out of tube amps more often than SS amps, largely because more crap players are going for tubes based on name and looks (Marshall logo vs Peavey logo).

    I've also heard - in person - an all-tube 100w head completely overpower a 100w SS head.

    I also know it's possible to make tube-equipped products where the tube is there for looks alone, and the work is all done by circuitry. The tubes can light up when power is applied, and their pins merely serve to complete a circuit, with no influence on the signal other than to pass it along just as it came in. So long as no one "peeks behind the curtain", you could get away with murder - selling all-transistor amps with pretty glowing dummy tubes in them, and people would say how great they were, until they peeked behind the curtain.
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  11. #11
    Funkfingers
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by aleclee View Post
    No distortion but the Jazz Chorus was probably never intended to sound like a tube amp.
    The Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120 does have built-in distortion. It is foot-switchable and it sounds appalling.

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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Regarding the SS amps, I really, really, really like the Vox Pathfinder 15R.

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    Super Toneologist Drunken Bowling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    I played through SS amps for years. I'm at a point now where I can't bring myself to go back to them.

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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    there'll always be a place for cheap solid state amps in the beginner market.
    I think that is the problem. People tend to perceive solid state amps as cheap beginner amps and tube amps as what experienced musicians use. That is why the focus is now on making non tube amps sound like tube amps.

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    Mojo's Minions Kamanda~SD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    there'll always be a place for cheap solid state amps in the beginner market.
    I disagree with this. With Mustang I's costing $119.99 its a pretty hard sell for a peavey Rage 258.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker xxxplorer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    ISP has that Theta amp.
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    The Drama Dude CTN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamanda~SD View Post
    I disagree with this. With Mustang I's costing $119.99 its a pretty hard sell for a peavey Rage 258.
    ever play the roland Cubes?

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    Junior Member xCaptainx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by speed2dirt View Post
    Randall just updated and re-released the RG series of amps. It looks like the RG line has expanded, with multiple models and now includes a preamp/power amp pedal.
    The RG13 is great too! Just spent a month on the road with one as my primary touring preamp. It's a modern twist on the RG100 sound and it slays!
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    Super Toneologist Drunken Bowling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimman View Post
    I think that is the problem. People tend to perceive solid state amps as cheap beginner amps and tube amps as what experienced musicians use. That is why the focus is now on making non tube amps sound like tube amps.
    Exactly. A lot of people forget that if you started out playing electric guitar in the 50's you most likely played through something like a Fender Champ.

  20. #20
    Amira-Maker
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    Default Re: Is solid-state dead?

    There's a decent amount of tube amps I have played that weren't "bottom of the barrel" that I thought sounded inferior to my amp for what I need out of it. My amp is 100% solid state. Would like certain tube amps but SS v. Tube is really just like actives v. passives. People on both sides have been able to get amazing sounds out of each, so just use what you like and what you think sounds best.

    I have a Kustom Quad 200 Head with a B-52 AT412 4x12 cabinet. Would like to get the matching head for the B-52 and call it a day with the half-stack rig using the Kustom as a backup. Then I'd get a Vox AC30 and be done with amps.
    Last edited by Myaccount876; 05-23-2013 at 05:17 PM.

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