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Solid State Amps..any takers?

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I recently bought a Roland Blues Cube Hot-Boss. (El-34 voiced) I bought it for rehearsals and jamms. But I have found myself gigging with it regularly. It has the Roland "Tube Logic" technology. It responds very much like a tube amp with touch sensitivity and reaction between guitar and amp. I play in a seven piece band and stage acreage is at a premium. This thing is small, super light and sounds great. I own several nice Rivera heads and a Mesa that have not been getting much stage time since I bought the Blues Cube. Does it sound "as good" as the tube heads? It's close but not quite. But it's a small trade off for a zero maintenance, great sounding, lightweight amp at a quarter of the price. Plus the .5w, 5w, 15w, 30w power selector makes it ideal for most gigs. (I usually use it at 5W and never above 15w)

As a long time tube disciple I have a hard time writing this. Solid state has come a long way.  lol 

  

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51 minutes ago, Gitfiddler said:

Should have played through a Marshall stack...

 

I am tempted to buy one of those cool Roland V Accordions, but at their $3000+ price tag, don't think it would be possible for this retired old coot. 

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10 hours ago, DetroitBlues said:

But artificial flavors have come a long way to keep us from tasting the difference. 

Besides Chicken Salad and Chicken Shit look about the same and probably taste the same too... 😂

Josh, what is that white stuff in chicken shit?  It's chickenshit too.  Old southern saying.  As to the taste... we were both enlisted men.  We could tell the difference. 

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6 hours ago, High Flying Bird said:

Josh, what is that white stuff in chicken shit?  It's chickenshit too.  Old southern saying.  As to the taste... we were both enlisted men.  We could tell the difference. 

Never ate Chicken salad.  Tuna Salad occasional.  Chicken Salad always looked like someone already ate it.

"They say that in the Army, the coffee mighty fine.  Looks like muddy water, tastes like turpentine"

"They say that in the Army, the pay is mighty fine.  They pay $100 and take back $99"

Back to the real point, I love my tube amps.  They are fantastic, but again, unless you have the ability to turn them up, you cannot tell the difference in tone from a solid state, analog counterpart.  There is a something to be said about a cranked tube amp that just cannot be replicated by solid state amps, but few will ever know.

 

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I find it somewhat amusing that people complain that the solid state amps don't sound like their tube amps, like there is only ONE sound out there that is correct and all others are wrong.  That's like saying a ribeye doesn't taste like a filet mignon so its not worth eating, and chicken doesn't taste like fish!

I've got 6 tube amps and none of them sounds like the other.   None is right or wrong.   Same thing for solid state amps.   Play each on their merits and don't worry about if it sounds like some other guy's Plexi cranked to 10 with NOS Mullards, 40yr old Vintage 30s,  in a beat up 1960 cabinet.   

 

As for the Hendrix on accordion post,  well,  that's just WRONG! :angry4:  Some things are sacred.  

 

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Yeah... I really dig my Quilter combo... amazing features and sound.  And as Josh recommended , it sounds great into a 4x12 cab also... really full.   But I have a bunch of awesome tube amps that I'd never get rid of  and a couple of hybrid amps that can dial in a good tone also.   

 I like the lighted face and small size of the Quilter, but it has so many different sound possibilities it takes a bit of thought to dial it in.  The master volume tube amps are just second nature to dial in to that warm overdriven tone. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 11:20 AM, TalismanRich said:

As for the Hendrix on accordion post,  well,  that's just WRONG! :angry4:  Some things are sacred.  

:rofl_mini:

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I have an old half-stack gathering dust.  Rarely do I have the reason or ambition to bust it out.

I practice, jam, and have gigged with a Tech 21 Trademark 60.  It's basically a Tech 21 SansAmp combined with a power amp section and a propriety 12" speaker.

Has two channels: Fender style and Marshall style.  The Fender side is killer and great alone or used as a pedal platform.  BRIGHT switch is available.  The Marshall side is good used with the drive all the way down and volume pushed up.  GROWL on 10.  Not as good IMO as the Fender style side but can add nice tonal changes via the supplied foot switch.

Les Paul the man used 'em.  The are under 40 lbs and can drown out even the loudest drummer.  No modeling.  Real Accutronics reverb tank, not digital reverb.  

I picked up a "Power Engine 60" to accompany it which is the same power section without the pre-amp though it does have tone controls on the rear of the amp. Makes things more loud which is (almost) always good.  Useful Line Out via XLR, effects loop (made for rack equipment, not pedals), foot-switchable boost, reverb, or boost and reverb.  WEEP button gives the amp a more Class A vibe.  Available cheaply.  Made in the USA.  

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:16 PM, rockabilly69 said:

DB you would think the problem of high volume is limited home practice, but I HATE recording loud guitar amps. It seems it's always causing something in my small project studio to rattle when the amps get cranked, so I collect little amps that aren't as loud and give up there tone at a reasonable volume. None of them are ear splitting...

 

 

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And the Regal II in this picture can be loaded with just one 6V6 tube with a 5Y3 rectifier and it's totally manageable volume wise...

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Love that reverbrerocket. Had one 20 years ago. Would love another

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My grandfather used to say, "You can't make chicken soup out of chicken poop."  It never seemed to fit with the context of the situation. At least to me, but I was young and stupid (as opposed to now: old and stupid).

I have this "crappy" solid-state Peavey Bandit 112 (Now! With! TransTube! Techonolgy!) from maybe, I don't know, at least 25 years ago. I've been through some amps and that is the only one I've kept long term. It doesn't stand a chance next to the Rob/Lyle Vibrolux I'm fortunate enough to be caretaker for. But, I wouldn't expect it to. On the other hand, the Peavey requires no care and feeding, and it does the job just fine about 90% of the time. I built an ax84.com p1x a long time ago, from a BOM and schematic. That doesn't hold a candle to the Vibrolux either, and it's tube. So <shrug>

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7 hours ago, Gitterman said:

Love that reverbrerocket. Had one 20 years ago. Would love another

Not a Reverb-rocket, it's a Mercury, no reverb:)

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Good enough for BB King        Image result for Gibson Lab Series Amp

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I once had the privilege of hearing BB King and Kenny Wayne Shepherd playing in the same concert.  BB used one of KWS's amps.  And that was no solid state amp nor was BB's tone like anything he ever recorded.  I'd prefer one of Kenny's amps.  YMMV.  Peace.

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1 hour ago, 212Mavguy said:

I once had the privilege of hearing BB King and Kenny Wayne Shepherd playing in the same concert.  BB used one of KWS's amps.  And that was no solid state amp nor was BB's tone like anything he ever recorded.  I'd prefer one of Kenny's amps.  YMMV.  Peace.

You likely will not find a greater BB King fan than me, but honestly I never loved his tone.  It was always too shrill and no thrill (is gone), especially coming from a humbucker'ed ES345.  Lab Series amps may have been reliable for his 300 plus annual touring schedule, but they did nothing for his tone.

I wish I could have heard him through Kenny's amps.

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Now here's an interesting result.  I've been playing my Jet City 20HV for the past couple of months.  Since I bought my Boss Wazacraft Tube Expander, I haven't touched my Quilter.

But... The Boss is a solid state device.  It takes the sound/tone of the Jet City head, soaks the power, adds built in digital effects (Plus my effects loop pedals), then outputs to a solid state 100W power amp into my 2x12 cabinet.  I get cranked tube amp tones through either headphones or through a solid state power amp.  

So am I really listening to a tube amp or am I listening to a solid state amp?

Hmmm????

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23 hours ago, DetroitBlues said:

So am I really listening to a tube amp or am I listening to a solid state amp?

Hmmm????

Yes.

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1 hour ago, Dick Seacup said:

Yes.

so I just have one of the worlds heaviest tube driven preamp pedals...

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I've been thinking about this very concept.  I came off dismissive about SS amplification.  I remain in that camp.  SS amplification does nothing for me; it's stale and lacks the dynamics that only tubes can give.  No SS amp can do what tubes do.  Perhaps, someday, when super-computing power fits within a head cab and artificial intelligence is applied to tube dynamics.  Then we'll be chasing the upgrades just like the personal computers we all use.  Will good tone devolve into how well you can program?  What will MS59.1 (Marshall Sound) have improved beyond the earlier release?

However, I enjoy effects which are mostly digital.  I'm split on analog VS digital reverb.  I enjoy digital delay and compression (never owned tube).  As long as the foundation rests in the saturated tube realm I find the results generally pleasing.  Not always pleasing ( I had a Crate, once - just once) but given a good circuit, I'm generally in lust!

You ask if your sound is digital.  No.  You're augmenting analog amplification with digital effects.

Edited by Steiner

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3 hours ago, Steiner said:

I've been thinking about this very concept.  I came off dismissive about SS amplification.  I remain in that camp.  SS amplification does nothing for me; it's stale and lacks the dynamics that only tubes can give.  No SS amp can do what tubes do.  Perhaps, someday, when super-computing power fits within a head cab and artificial intelligence is applied to tube dynamics.  Then we'll be chasing the upgrades just like the personal computers we all use.  Will good tone devolve into how well you can program?  What will MS59.1 (Marshall Sound) have improved beyond the earlier release?

However, I enjoy effects which are mostly digital.  I'm split on analog VS digital reverb.  I enjoy digital delay and compression (never owned tube).  As long as the foundation rests in the saturated tube realm I find the results generally pleasing.  Not always pleasing ( I had a Crate, once - just once) but given a good circuit, I'm generally in lust!

You ask if your sound is digital.  No.  You're augmenting analog amplification with digital effects.

I was of the same thought as of a few months ago. All the SS amps I had played sounded steril by comparison to my Riveras. Though I thought the LAB series were OK. I never ran across a modeling amp that I liked or thought sounded good in a live situation.  SS amps didn't have the touch sensitivity or response of a tube amp. But.... I tried a Roland Blues Cube. I dont know what kind of digital voodoo they used but that amp has the response and tone of a tube amp. I've been playing it live and have had tube snobs telling me that they think that amp sounds good. It's not a modeling amp. No menus of crappy sounding effects. I'm certainly not going to run out and sell my tube amps but I must admit the solid state market is catching up to the desired tube tone 

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On 2/20/2020 at 10:48 AM, DetroitBlues said:

Now here's an interesting result.  I've been playing my Jet City 20HV for the past couple of months.  Since I bought my Boss Wazacraft Tube Expander, I haven't touched my Quilter.

But... The Boss is a solid state device.  It takes the sound/tone of the Jet City head, soaks the power, adds built in digital effects (Plus my effects loop pedals), then outputs to a solid state 100W power amp into my 2x12 cabinet.  I get cranked tube amp tones through either headphones or through a solid state power amp.  

So am I really listening to a tube amp or am I listening to a solid state amp?

Hmmm????

I wonder? Does the ss power amp recreate the even order harmonics of a tube amp, as opposed to the odd order harmonics on ss? in the end, does it sound good. That's really all that matters.

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