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Author Topic: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?  (Read 57857 times)

Offline teleleng

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Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« on: September 26, 2013, 02:17:53 PM »
Myth or truth? Can you tell the difference if it will be heard during a blind test?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 02:20:00 PM by teleleng »



Offline TagaRetiro

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 02:29:19 PM »
Myth or truth? Can you tell the difference if it will be heard during a blind test?

Yup. From the sound to the way the amp responds to how you play, ibang iba talaga yung sound for me.

Have you tried one already? :)

Offline DiMarzSiao™

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 02:33:21 PM »
"better" is subjective/objective.

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Offline tonwins11

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
I think only you can answer that question.  :idea:
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Online Bolt Thrower

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 03:19:32 PM »
Everyone who has played through an AXE FX II would tell you differently. Pero kanya kanya din yan.

Tube amps being louder and sounding better? True and not true at some degree. If measured both, a solid state and a tube amp  would measure the same loudness if dialed the same way. None of them is louder. The human ear is just sensitive to some frequencies which tube amps tend to amplify better that's why they sound louder to us and not to the measuring device.

Tube amps also happen to amplify the harmonics that is preferred by the human ear. Solid state, not so much. That is why the soft, slow roast distortion we hear with tube amps sound better than the sudden and harsh distortion we hear with solid state amplifiers. So to us, it almost always is the case the tube amps seem louder and more musical. 

But that is always not the case. Some solid state amps can rival tube amps already. And some people go for that solid state harshness and immediacy that tube amps can't give. That for them is the better sound. To them, a tube amp just sounds so "soft" and too much. Alot of jazz musicians also prefer solid state amplifiers.   


Offline Bart

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 03:25:45 PM »
Just like the other threads with "better" in the title.....  :)

Online siore

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 03:26:52 PM »
IMO better but I wouldn't mind playing a good solidstate. Don't go confuse solidstate with modellers though. To that point it becomes analog vs digital, and a lot would argue kemper and axefx have gone far and beyond. And as far as a live rig is concerned, it simplifies a lot of things.

I still prefer tube amps though. I can't prove it would sound and feel better, but that's how the experience of gear translates to me at this point of time in 2013.
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Offline skunkyfunk

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 04:05:16 PM »
the best solidstate amps can rival the best tube amps. Ex. SS Hughes and Kettner Attax heads vs. TUBE Marshall TSL 100

But in general, a cheap solidstate will be eaten by a budget tube amp.
Ex. Ss Marshall MG10 vs. Vox  AC4TV

Modelling preamps are not amps, so you still need tubes to make them sound better for a live rig, unless you hook straight to PA. Kempers and AxeFx as examples.

Pero to answer your question: science has proven tubes have more 'cut' because of more harmonic distortion. A band setting always requires cut. So, tube amps are better in that case, unless you go for really loud SS amps. The SS Tech21 Trademark 300 can rival a 100w tube amp.

Tonewise, subjective na yan.








Online Bolt Thrower

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 04:19:40 PM »
unless you go for really loud SS amps. The SS Tech21 Trademark 300 can rival a 100w tube amp.

Hahaha Randall has some 420-500 watt amps. The ISP Theta Amp can go 400w modded. Really Loud and has a loooooot of headroom.

Offline fender101

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 04:21:17 PM »
Depende talaga sa guitar player yun hahaha
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Offline shoegaze geezer

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 04:41:10 PM »
mostly, tube amps sound superior than solid states. but depends on the brand and model.
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Online firemodel55

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 04:44:47 PM »
For guitar music, a definite Yes.  We can argue what ifs and all things being equal... etc. or subjective vs. objective... I have an array of guitar tube amps that NOBODY IN THIS COUNTRY can beat with their equal array of solid state guitar amps.

Even the so called paradigm that a  jazz guitar amp should be solid state is disproven by the Bruno Super 100 which has a jazz setting.

Offline teleleng

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 04:47:08 PM »
If it is just the perception of the listener if one has to determine the sound "goodness" of a tube amp vs a solid state, then we can say that tube amp being better in sound quality is just a myth cause there has to be a consensus of everybody and not the mere perception of each listener..

For example:

A new Mercedes Benz definitely drives better than a new Kia Pride..

agree?

Offline teleleng

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2013, 04:51:10 PM »
mostly, tube amps sound superior than solid states. but depends on the brand and model.

If that is the case, then some SS amp will definitely sound better than some tube amp depending on the make....So do you think now that the tube amp thing is just a myth?

Offline teleleng

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 04:54:50 PM »
Depende talaga sa guitar player yun hahaha

If it depends on just a guitarist, then a tube amp goodness is a myth cause if one good guitarist uses a ss amp and one bad guitarist uses a tube amp, then during a blind test the perception of the listeners will be that the ss amp sounds better because of the guitarist using it....

Online Bolt Thrower

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2013, 04:58:49 PM »
A cranked Randall V2 or Warhead sounds better to me than a ENGL Fireball. But then, that's just me.

Offline tonwins11

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2013, 05:24:44 PM »
If it depends on just a guitarist, then a tube amp goodness is a myth cause if one good guitarist uses a ss amp and one bad guitarist uses a tube amp, then during a blind test the perception of the listeners will be that the ss amp sounds better because of the guitarist using it....

I think that makes the premise unfair since you're comparing just both the equipment, thus, let's make the guitar technique or the player constant.

But then again, "better" is subjective. What sounds good to one, might not sound go to others.
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Offline shoegaze geezer

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2013, 05:41:13 PM »
If it is just the perception of the listener if one has to determine the sound "goodness" of a tube amp vs a solid state, then we can say that tube amp being better in sound quality is just a myth cause there has to be a consensus of everybody and not the mere perception of each listener..

For example:

A new Mercedes Benz definitely drives better than a new Kia Pride..

agree?

yes. a new mercedes benz drives better than a kia pride. pardon, but i did not get your point in relation to the topic.

regarding tube amps, as i have stated...not all tube amps are superior to some solid states. depends on the brand and model.

example. a roland jc 120 is superior in sound quality than some all tube amps. if you call some tube amps being superior than solid states as a myth, then it is up to you. i have no right to judge anyone. i am just stating through personal experience.
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Offline teleleng

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 07:40:42 PM »
So to sum it all, it is therefore not true that tube amps sound better than solid state cause there are lots of gray areas to be considered....It boils down to a listener's perception about the sound quality of each....So if this is the case, do you think that tube amp is just a marketing ploy? Tube amps are a tad more expensive than ss amp and require periodic tube change which requires emptying some of those lose change in your pocket, so why insist on a tube amp?

Offline tonwins11

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 07:51:15 PM »
So to sum it all, it is therefore not true that tube amps sound better than solid state cause there are lots of gray areas to be considered....It boils down to a listener's perception about the sound quality of each....So if this is the case, do you think that tube amp is just a marketing ploy? Tube amps are a tad more expensive than ss amp and require periodic tube change which requires emptying some of those lose change in your pocket, so why insist on a tube amp?

I don't think so especially if we're talking about mid to high end level amp. The low end ones though might par up or even be exceeded with a good solid state. But still to me, tube amps sing better to my ears. Tried only a few though but I can hear what's lacking with solid states.

Everything in this world has it's disadvantage. Like, a Mercedez Benz might look classy but gulps up a lot of gas than a Kia pride. It's up to you if you'd leave with that consequence or if it's worth the extra maintenance.
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Offline fretzburner

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2013, 08:02:44 PM »
Based from my own experience, tube amps really sounds good than my solidstate amps.
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Offline teleleng

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2013, 08:08:45 PM »
I don't think so especially if we're talking about mid to high end level amp. The low end ones though might par up or even be exceeded with a good solid state. But still to me, tube amps sing better to my ears. Tried only a few though but I can hear what's lacking with solid states.

Everything in this world has it's disadvantage. Like, a Mercedez Benz might look classy but gulps up a lot of gas than a Kia pride. It's up to you if you'd leave with that consequence or if it's worth the extra maintenance.

I don't know bro cause I am a youtube freak...There was a vid comparing a solid state Tech 21 to a peavey and a fender tweed on clean setting and I thought the cheap tech 21 raped the 2 tube amps on all direction....Why is that?

Offline alvinratsim

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2013, 08:10:55 PM »
Solidstate ftw! Its betterer
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Offline tonwins11

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2013, 08:17:39 PM »
I don't know bro cause I am a youtube freak...There was a vid comparing a solid state Tech 21 to a peavey and a fender tweed on clean setting and I thought the cheap tech 21 raped the 2 tube amps on all direction....Why is that?

I think that tech21, especially the trademark series, can match with tube amps though but not all (I'm just basing this on reviews though; never tried one) . However, basing your findings over youtube might not be that accurate for comparison. I've uploaded video covers through youtube and there's really a difference between the unuploaded video and the one streamed on youtube.

Do-it-yourself tirada!

Offline dtmateo

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Re: Do tube amps really sound better than solid state?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2013, 08:22:06 PM »
I would bet that none of us here can identify a good solid state amp vs a good tube amp in a blind test :)
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