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Thread: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Funny, what I have been loving lately is my 2 Tech 21 amps, a Trademark 60 and a 10. They pre-date digital modeling, so they are sort of analog modeling.
    That's the company that figured it out before most anyone
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    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
    Fractal and kemper I believe are merely modelling tube amp tone via sampling a real amp. So they do nothing on their own.
    But the entry cost is still high, and the learning curve steep..
    Kemper profiles an actual amp. So it’s like a sample of that.

    Fractal totally creates the model from scratch. You can go in and change the tubes or even output transformer.

    I use a relatively cheap Marshall Code 100 combo on stage. I’m very happy with the tones I’m getting. It took a little tweaking of some of the presets, but it’s got a bunch of good patches.

    And again, I can change things like having a JCM800 preamp into an AC30 power amp and different speakers.

    It also has effects, so all my delays and reverbs are in the amp. And some modulation effects too.

    People like to badmouth these amps that either never used one or just didn’t understand how to operate it. These same people complain if a guitar has more than 2 knobs. lol

    The learning curve compared to a Fractal is very small.

    I played bass in a classic rock cover band a few years back. The guitarist switched from a Mesa TriAxis rack setup to a Fractal AxeFX II, mainly to reduce weight. Once he got it dialed in you couldn’t tell the difference. I actually thought it had better note definition than the MESA. It also allowed him to replace another rack of effects.

    I went with a modeling amp because when I record I use amp and effect plugins. I like to get a tone to match the song, rather than the same tone on everything. So this was an easy means to that end. It’s my second modeling amp; the last one was a Vox VT80+, which was a great little amp.

    At gigs other guitarist come up and tell me what a great tone I was getting, and they don’t recognize the amp. I love the look on their faces when I say it’s digital. Lol. They always mutter something about how they need tubes. lol

    Also think about all the people who run a clean amp and get all their tone from pedals. Pretty much the same thing.

    I love a nice tube Marshall, but it’s impractical gigging around NYC. And my digital amp sounds exactly the same. Plus I get to switch from a crunchy tone to a clean Twin drenched in reverb mid song! Not impossible if you have a multi channel tube amp, but I can get way more tones on mine.

    Here’s an example


    https://soundcloud.com/jezo-and-the-element/travesty


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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    Wait, now I'm confused... WHo's griping on here?
    Griping in this case is the incessant “digital isn’t as good as tunes.”

    This discussion is becoming akin to the 10k PAF from a decade or so ago.

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Probably the biggest gripe in digital machines in general that I have, is simply that I don't like owning stuff I can't fix myself if it breaks down.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
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  5. #45
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    Kemper profiles an actual amp. So it’s like a sample of that.

    Fractal totally creates the model from scratch. You can go in and change the tubes or even output transformer.

    I use a relatively cheap Marshall Code 100 combo on stage. I’m very happy with the tones I’m getting. It took a little tweaking of some of the presets, but it’s got a bunch of good patches.

    And again, I can change things like having a JCM800 preamp into an AC30 power amp and different speakers.

    It also has effects, so all my delays and reverbs are in the amp. And some modulation effects too.

    People like to badmouth these amps that either never used one or just didn’t understand how to operate it. These same people complain if a guitar has more than 2 knobs. lol

    The learning curve compared to a Fractal is very small.

    I played bass in a classic rock cover band a few years back. The guitarist switched from a Mesa TriAxis rack setup to a Fractal AxeFX II, mainly to reduce weight. Once he got it dialed in you couldn’t tell the difference. I actually thought it had better note definition than the MESA. It also allowed him to replace another rack of effects.

    I went with a modeling amp because when I record I use amp and effect plugins. I like to get a tone to match the song, rather than the same tone on everything. So this was an easy means to that end. It’s my second modeling amp; the last one was a Vox VT80+, which was a great little amp.

    At gigs other guitarist come up and tell me what a great tone I was getting, and they don’t recognize the amp. I love the look on their faces when I say it’s digital. Lol. They always mutter something about how they need tubes. lol

    Also think about all the people who run a clean amp and get all their tone from pedals. Pretty much the same thing.

    I love a nice tube Marshall, but it’s impractical gigging around NYC. And my digital amp sounds exactly the same. Plus I get to switch from a crunchy tone to a clean Twin drenched in reverb mid song! Not impossible if you have a multi channel tube amp, but I can get way more tones on mine.

    Here’s an example


    https://soundcloud.com/jezo-and-the-element/travesty


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Great post, I appreciate you explaining detail and your reasoning.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    This discussion is becoming akin to the 10k PAF from a decade or so ago.
    Great, now I can't stop thinking about the Brobucker. Thanks for nothing! UGH.
    Last edited by Despair; 09-06-2019 at 01:08 PM. Reason: quote

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Like David, I use a modeling amp and have been primarily since 2006 after my Marshall head blew the power transformer. It was eventually fixed and I used it here and there, mostly at outdoor gigs, but for the most part, I used the modeling amp, a Vox AD50VT silver grill. It proved to be very reliable and I, like David, had players thinking it was a tube amp. Yes, there's a 12AX7 in it but in starved-plate mode in the power section to add warmth.

    I sold that several years back in favor of a lighter amp, a Vox AV30. It's marketed as an all tube amp, and it has a 12AX7 in the pre and power sections, but it is technically an analog modeler. The only digital in it is the effects (chorus, reverb, delay). For a 30-watt 1x10 amp, the thing packs a serious punch. Our drummer beats the snot out of his kit, a really hard hitter, and my amp is right there in the mix.

    I can get tones from it ranging from crystal clean to bone crushing metal distortion but I tend to hang in the middle mostly. The 70's Marshall voicing and Soldano voicing are my 2 favorites. It takes pedals well, is easy to operate, light to move and 2 channels, no programming (thank you WYSIWYG interface). I set one for my rhythm volume and one for leads.

    Aside from Tech21, Vox has been kicking butt in the modeling amp arena, especially for those of us on tight budgets that can't afford a Fractal or Helix.
    Last edited by ErikH; 09-09-2019 at 08:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Beacause they work for what I need them for and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    The opinions expressed above do not necessarily represent those of the poster and are to be considered suspect at best.

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Whether the technology is “better” is a matter of opinion.
    I’m of the opinion that technology has not surpassed a good tube amp as of yet.

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Whether the technology is “better” is a matter of opinion.
    I’m of the opinion that technology has not surpassed a good tube amp as of yet.
    Powerful broad tonal preset changes on the fly is the only place where the Digital Solid State Amps, and Modelers are "better" right now IMO -but that can be accomplished with pedals or a unit in front of a Tube Amp, so it's not exactly a huge advantage yet -but certainly an enticing one for players with a huge swath of tones in a set and needing a small portable form factor.

    I would also argue that toting around a 15 lb 2U Fractal unit in a 10 lb Roadcase isn't a huge difference from toting a 25 lb VOX AC10 or a 30lb Fender Princeton as far as convenience -although the Kempers a little more made to tote at only 12lbs -unless I'm not understanding the size and protection the latest ones need.
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Perhaps....the best judge on sound quality of digital v tube would be your dog! Many have ultra sensitive hearing. Unfortunately they cant tell you..not in English anyway
    Last edited by Gold star; 09-09-2019 at 11:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    Powerful broad tonal preset changes on the fly is the only place where the Digital Solid State Amps, and Modelers are "better" right now IMO -but that can be accomplished with pedals or a unit in front of a Tube Amp, so it's not exactly a huge advantage yet -but certainly an enticing one for players with a huge swath of tones in a set and needing a small portable form factor.
    So if you are using a solid state pedal in front of your tube amp to get the tone you want, why use a tube amp? You are hearing solid state circuit.

    I would also argue that toting around a 15 lb 2U Fractal unit in a 10 lb Roadcase isn't a huge difference from toting a 25 lb VOX AC10 or a 30lb Fender Princeton as far as convenience -although the Kempers a little more made to tote at only 12lbs -unless I'm not understanding the size and protection the latest ones need.
    What are you going to do with a Princeton? That’s a toy.

    The Fractal can run into a 100 watt power amp if you need to.

    I use a 100 watt combo on stage, and I crank it



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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    So if you are using a solid state pedal in front of your tube amp to get the tone you want, why use a tube amp? You are hearing solid state circuit.
    I know you know the answer, everyone runs SS and digital stuff in front of their Tube amps, sure you're hearing it, you still get the heavy tube tonal and feel influence too -ESPECIALLY if you like power stage breakup and post amp tone shaping -BTW also I'm not against your approach AT ALL -so there's no convincing me of your position -I'm just trying to know what guys are doing -as I get on a train or a plane all the time with rigs to play gigs all year -it's a burden to bring vintage, vulnerable, or heavy or big gear to achieve something that can be done other ways

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    What are you going to do with a Princeton? That’s a toy. The Fractal can run into a 100 watt power amp if you need to.
    I use a 100 watt combo on stage, and I crank it
    Yeah, I was picturing the typical guy with a Modeler etc going DI into the PA, didn't know you were carting around speaker cabinet too. So that makes sense.

    Also, Princeton -or any small amp 1x12 amp is not a toy if the right sound reinforcement is behind it you can make them explode with tone and intensity -but you know that.
    Last edited by NegativeEase; 09-09-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    AFAIC it's a pushed-to-the-max PI tube that tickles my eardrums; solid-state stompbox in front or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    AFAIC it's a pushed-to-the-max PI tube that tickles my eardrums; solid-state stompbox in front or not.
    I run greenbacks so max power amp push is where the magic happens no matter whats in front of the amp.
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold star View Post
    No doubt this point has been made before, but i'll ask, if solid state technology is so good now, particularly from the likes of Roland, Audio Fractal and Kemper, why are tube amps still being made when even old school pros are taking to the brands I've mentioned ?. I believe there are as many brand of valve amps today than in the 50s & 60s, with some brands that were not even around during those years.
    Magnatone are still here, as are Supro who have been making tube amps since the 1930s. They clearly created a template in sound which solid state is trying to emulate and better.

    There has to be some intangible vibe to the kind of sounds/tones you get from good ones that people can hear and feel; the kind of thing you cant measure or pin down. One dark cloud with these is how long the tubes are going to be made...
    Because tubes sound better, anyone that says they dont is wrong LOL

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewizard View Post
    Tubes are only made in about a handful of places in the world now. Perhaps 3-5 places. That means most all tubes you buy are rebranded. Groove Tubes is making a really good business of rebranding tubes for instance ( may he rest in peace ). The vendors buy the tubes in bulk that meet a criterion and then the vendor classifies the tubes based on quality, current draw, etc. It wouldn't be a far stretch to bet that your JJ tubes are the same as your EH tubes or your brand of choice. Many of the higher end tubes are not made by them ( Genelex, for instance, is made by New Sensor ). JJ is one of the few companies actually making tubes and you can bet they are selling to other companies as well as an OEM. So to get back on topic though.....

    Tube amps appeal for a multitude of reasons. The predominate one is likely pedigree. If you have a Diezel, Soldano, Bogner, Friedman, Dumble or whatever, you know you have the best tube amp that your money can buy. Who do you buy when you want the best solid-state amp you can buy? A Roland, Randall ( from the '80s and 90's ), Line 6? And not one of them are hand made nor cost as much as any of the aforementioned tube amps. Tube amps are analog, so there is little that can go wrong and when it does, there are actually user-serviceable parts inside. When you want to build a tube amp for yourself, you can buy several different variations of many different models of amps and it is still cheaper in most instances to the more basic modelers available. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that as guitarists we just like to be able to reach over, turn a dial and turn back around and keep playing, which is hard to do with digital anything. And you just can't weed out the most basic principle of KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. It is just easy, simple and more rewarding when you have your favorite tube amp pushing air at your legs.

    Modelers and other digital amps just aren't what even a basic tube amp is, simple, easy and of course WYSIWYG ( what you see is what you get ). No menu's, no choices and no complicated layouts, just a guitar and an amp. Perhaps the biggest thing going for tube amps is distortion. There is nothing else like it. digital and solid-state devices have been trying to emulate the sound since the creation of silicon chips and just haven't been able to do it. Tosin Abasi is using Morgan amplification now and has gone through several digital platforms to come full circle back to tube amps. Tube amps just do what we want them to at a price we can afford with a value that we can quantify. If you think in 20 years from now that your Axe-FX is still going to be relevant and even still working or fixable if it isn't, your living in a pipe dream. You can buy a Fender Blues deluxe today and it will still work and at least be fixable probably 50 years from today. Tubes will always be a mainstay in the music world because you just can't beat the simplest and most basic thing.
    Nailed this comment man

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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    Kemper profiles an actual amp. So it’s like a sample of that.

    Fractal totally creates the model from scratch. You can go in and change the tubes or even output transformer.

    I use a relatively cheap Marshall Code 100 combo on stage. I’m very happy with the tones I’m getting. It took a little tweaking of some of the presets, but it’s got a bunch of good patches.

    And again, I can change things like having a JCM800 preamp into an AC30 power amp and different speakers.

    It also has effects, so all my delays and reverbs are in the amp. And some modulation effects too.

    People like to badmouth these amps that either never used one or just didn’t understand how to operate it. These same people complain if a guitar has more than 2 knobs. lol

    The learning curve compared to a Fractal is very small.

    I played bass in a classic rock cover band a few years back. The guitarist switched from a Mesa TriAxis rack setup to a Fractal AxeFX II, mainly to reduce weight. Once he got it dialed in you couldn’t tell the difference. I actually thought it had better note definition than the MESA. It also allowed him to replace another rack of effects.

    I went with a modeling amp because when I record I use amp and effect plugins. I like to get a tone to match the song, rather than the same tone on everything. So this was an easy means to that end. It’s my second modeling amp; the last one was a Vox VT80+, which was a great little amp.

    At gigs other guitarist come up and tell me what a great tone I was getting, and they don’t recognize the amp. I love the look on their faces when I say it’s digital. Lol. They always mutter something about how they need tubes. lol

    Also think about all the people who run a clean amp and get all their tone from pedals. Pretty much the same thing.

    I love a nice tube Marshall, but it’s impractical gigging around NYC. And my digital amp sounds exactly the same. Plus I get to switch from a crunchy tone to a clean Twin drenched in reverb mid song! Not impossible if you have a multi channel tube amp, but I can get way more tones on mine.

    Here’s an example


    https://soundcloud.com/jezo-and-the-element/travesty


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Those codes are so great, so great they dont make them anymore. I had one, and it wasnt good at all. I guess I had to get the latest firmware and yada yada. Pulled my little Peavey toaster 6505 and it sounded good to me in about 3 seconds. I understand pros like you can make anything sound good, I dont want to work so hard

  19. #59
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDERBUDWISER View Post
    Those codes are so great, so great they dont make them anymore. I had one, and it wasnt good at all. I guess I had to get the latest firmware and yada yada...
    You know they do still make the Code right?
    In my opinion they're good, versatile amps. Especially for the money. They're not everyone's cup of tea, and I'll agree that the factory settings are meh at best. But it's not hard to get good sounds, and there are hundreds of patches out there if you don't want to fiddle around making your own.
    I do love my tube amp, but the tone and versatility of the Code is very good at the price point.
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    Default Re: Better technology-so why are tube amps here ?

    Just because something isn't made anymore, doesn't mean it wasn't a good product. Not all good ideas make a ton of money.
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