New tube amps on bajaoo..

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by ambush, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

  2. perseus

    perseus New Member

    Decent selection of amps over there, fair prices. I like the Line6 and Roland models.
    They need to update that site.
  3. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Is 4watts good for a (combo) tube amp? I've read that their true colors show when they're near max will this be good for jamming with a band?

    Edit - The Laney TFX1 and LV200 are also tube amps right?
  4. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    I dont think they would be too bad for jamming with a band. They do have a 10' speaker.
  5. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    can someone tell me in layman's language what all the hullabulla is bout tube amps?????
  6. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

    4W of tube power could do well in a jam situation unless your drummer is really heavy handed. But that's not enough for gigs IMHO. The advantage with them is that you can easily achieve power-tube distortion.

    In layman's terms, tubes are the grandpas of modern day transistors. The distortion produced by tubes is much richer and organic than equivalent solid state circuitry. Most SS amps try to emulate tube circuitry.
    So in most situations, a tube-amp is considered better tonewise. Ofcourse, that also depends on the player too.
  7. perseus

    perseus New Member

    "can someone tell me in layman's language what all the hullabulla is bout tube amps?????"

    Pacifist pretty much nailed it. With tubes you get a warm, rich distortion.

    Youtube audio quality here. (YEAH!)
  8. flood

    flood New Member

    the simplest way i could explain it to you, addressing the most relevant part, is - whenever you play guitar, you are creating a signal. how you play, how hard you play, etc. has a direct effect on the signal characteristics.

    you want to amplify that signal. for this,y ou need an amplifier. a solid state amplifier uses transistors. transistors distort in a very sharp manner, leading to the creation of a buzzy sound. some people, like dimebag, like this sound. tubes on the other hand, have a more gradual and rounded cut-off.

    put the first and the second facts together - a tube amplifier blows away solid state, digital and modelling amps in terms of response, dynamics and looks a lot ***ier too. valves just sing in a way that solid state amps don't come close too, even the MOSfet based ones with all the dampening circuitry. every nuance of your playing is relevant,
    suddenly, and all your mistakes will become a lot more apparent too. a tube amp forces you to become a better player! in no time, you'll be paying more attention to vintage clapton and jeff beck.

    i'd advise you not to play one, because you will find it impossible to turn back (i spent 4-5 months ampless in germany because i was broke and sold my vintage english watkins ER-15 tube amp and refused to buy another amp until i had some cash for another tube amp. go figure.).

    regarding 4W - definitely not going to cut it against a drummer with just one speaker - you might stand a chance with a 4x12. would be fine for small stages and small venues, like cafes, bars etc. the power tube distortion is certainly worth it - on my DIY amp, i crank the MV to full and roll back the guitar volume completely. it's a simple amp meant for blues playing and recording, but does a masterful job of it... that way, with or without an overdrive, i can go from clean to a nice singing searing blues solo tone...

    they are a bit pricey at 14-15k, but nonetheless a good investment to have at home. i would advise a tube and speaker upgrade when you have the cash. if you're savvy with a soldering iron, chage the coupling caps too. you'll have a real singer.
  9. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

    Flood has a point here. The tubes don't only sound good in distortion (overdrive), but even with cleans, you will be able to tell a noticeable difference.

    In a nutshell, t00bs are good !
  10. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    how much are the duncans for??????
  11. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

  12. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Ahem, increasing the size of speakers or the number of speakers is not gonna produce more volume.
    Its the wattage of the amp.

    Besides, too much importance is given to wattage figures I guess.
    an 8W amp is gonna sound only 3dB more than a 4W one.
    And a 32W amp is gonna sound 9dB louder (almost twice as loud) as your 4 watts one.

    In any case at large venue you aint gonna play your guitar into amp directly facing the crowd.
    The amp is always miced and taken in to the PA system or directly taken in to PA system.
    And as a guitarist, at a large venue, you won't be listening to your amp, but your stage monitor, which again gets its signal from PA system/mixer.

    A small wattage amp allows you to get the saturated tube distortion at much quieter levels, which is more useful generally for practice as well as otherwise, without you going deaf.
  13. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    The hullabaloo is entirely hand-me-down.
    Its just that tubes came earlier on this earth than transistors and MOSFET.
    And that tube amps were made much much earlier than SolidState amps.

    So guitar distortion produced by t00b amps has been in preference since ages in the guitar world. SS came in later, and frankly earlier SS designs were crappy sounding. (prob earlier t00b ones were also, but then when you have a precedent to follow it become tougher to survive).

    Now had it been the other way round (SS coming before tubes/valves), I am sure, ppl would have been saying that SS amps are the best etc.

    Angel, temme which distortion tone you like, and I'll tell ya whether t00b tone suits you or not.
  14. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    gnr type distortion..........
  15. flood

    flood New Member

    hmmmm... alpha1 has disapproved my submishunz. i say you'd technically be correct if you hadn`t missed out on a few real-life factors.

    i reaffirm: the number of speakers your amp is going into DOES make a difference, and not a small one at that, to the volume perceived. i've played a small amp (i think it was the peavey royal 8). through the stock speaker as well as through extension cabs, and my my, there is a BIG jump in volume.

    1. by adding speakers, you are increasing the cone surface area, ergo, the amount of air the cab is moving. SPL is bound to increase.

    2. the amp will appear to be pushing much more power for the simple reason that even 1W will be sufficient to drive some speakers, e.g. celestion V30s, to up to 96 dB (albeit at 1m!!!)

    3. speaker sensitivity is a major factor in volume - a poor speaker will need a larger amp to drive it for the same volume as a small amp would give you with a highly sensitive speaker. so 4 speakers being driven by the same amp would result in much greater sound pressure levels than a single speaker would give you. also, the increase in volume with the increase in power is more pronounced with four speakers instead of one.

    3a. i know, you're about to come up with the argument "but what about divided wattage? after all it's two/four 8 ohms in parallel/series". you would be right if and only if a speaker was a purely resistive load. a speaker is a complex inductive/capacitive/resistive load, putting speakers in series or parallel affects the frequency response, and you're more than likely to see an overall increase in sensitivity with paralleled speakers, which is done more often than not. not so important for output power of the amp, but a few more dB of sensitivity in a speaker are VERY noticeable.

    4. the cabinet itself. a 2203 on volume 3 going into an open backed cabinet is not going to do much for you, but close that back and add some stuffing (better yet, port the cab!) and see how long you can bear to stand in front of that bastard.

    second part of your statement - while you're perfectly right about the wattage to volume translation ratios, you're disregarding the necessity of higher wattage in being able to put out more clean headroom. also, the distance at which you perceive the loudness increases with the wattage.

    while it is thoroughly possible that we'd be chucking tubes into the garbage in favour of transistors and FETs if they came first, it's a bit of a misplaced and redundant statement - that's like saying it would be weird for someone to age normally if everybody aged backward (like benjamin button). i've played a number of amps now, from high-end rolands to strangers to weird chinese brands to diezel, mesa and bogner, and i can honestly and objectively say that the vibrance, dimension and life i find in even mediocre tube amps rivals and outdoes any solid state or modelling amp i've played to date.

    i think the only style where solid state stands a good chance is some shades of metal guitar (dimebag did it brilliantly), jazz (although i personally think tubes sound better here too, but that's a personal thing) and of course acoustic. basically, wherever little to no coloration is required, or extreme tonal change.

    angel_of_sin, slash plays the marshall JCM 800 2555 both in the studio as well as live - it has also been reissued as his signature amp, so tube is definitely the way to go. a full bodied guitar with humbuckers would be required - slash also like to roll back his tone knob on the neck pickup to get that clapton like lead tone. the 2555 was IIRC made in 1987 or 88 and features diode clipping after the second gain stage.

    to emulate it on a budget, i'd think a vintage voiced entry level tube amp with a decent amount of gain and an overdrive pedal would do the job well. slightly hot humbuckers (no metchulz please!) would be a good complement.
  16. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

    @angel_of_sin - If by GNR you refer to Slash, apart from what flood has already posted, Slash exclusively uses SD Alnico pros on all his guitars. They are vintage voiced pickups (not high output) with Alnico II magnets and coil windings less than 8k. It has a spongier low-end so "crisp" output pickups (most actives) are a strict no.

    @alpha1 - Regarding the "which came first" theory, I'm pretty sure if you make a guitar-history-blind person hear a tube and solid state, he/she would (and have) liked the tube-based amps. It's not all mojo. Most of it is attributed to the clipping characteristics of a tube vs SS transistors. Transistors have a sharper "cut" on the signal than tubes, which leads to the output having different harmonic content.
    There is a lot of text on the net on this topic, which provides insights into both the technical and psychacoustical aspects of it.

    Having said that, there is no "right or wrong". Dimebag, along with millions of his fans, hugged SS distortion. Slash swears by his all-tube marshalls. So on and so forth for other guitarist.
  17. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Angel of Sin - "unfortunately" your tone choice reflects more of valve flavor.
    However, I dunno if you would be really able to make out if by listening to a recording. SS and digital has come pretty close to the elusive valve sound.

    Of course while playing, you may be able to make out whether you are playing a valve or SS (because of the playing dynamics)

    Flood, I agree about the speakers stuff actually now that you mention all that - two speakers in parallel would mean half the load. That means your amp would be able to churn out double amps than what it would under single speaker load. Hence almost double wattage that can be extruded. However, doing so, when the amp is not designed for low impednaces will cause overheating and ultimately burning.

    Food & Pacifist, I think you really have to admit that all our personal preferences and exposure does induce a bias.
    Anyone who is into playing guitar, listens to guitar players, who have been using valve amps.
    Such a person already has developed a bias with regards to tone.
  18. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

    I don't think that was what flood meant. A 4X12 and 1X12 may both be impedance matched to the amplifier (at let's say 8 ohms), and there will still be a difference in SPL as well as the response.

    True, but that's not the point. The point I was trying to make is that there are fundamental reasons which differentiate the tone of a SS vs valve amplifier. Which one you like is entirely your preference.
    And there is nothing "unfortunate" that the OP is biased towards valve-amp tones, except that they are mighty expensive :-/
  19. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Agreed wholeheartedly.
    Its just like two different cuisines.
  20. flood

    flood New Member

    oh dear - not quite what i meant.

    your statement is perfectly right for solid state amps - even small impedance drops can mean that your power stage is fried with transistors.

    in tube amps, the power stage is a *bit* more forgiving with regards to a smaller impedance being attached to it. needless to say, one shouldn't exploit this for a long period of time unless you know what you're doing. tube amps have a bigger problem with larger loads than expected than with smaller ones.

    to be safe, always use the correct impedance speaker/cab with the correct output impedance on the amp.

    back to your quote - my earlier reply was under the assumption that cab and amp were matched, i.e. that we are imagining an 8 ohm 1x12" cab as well as an 8 ohm 4x12" (or 2x12") if you like. the latter will be louder with the same amp, even though the current draw is the same. this is more due to the physical reasons stated earlier than the electrical ones, .

    for my DIY amps, i specify transformers with 4, 8, and 16 ohm taps that i can switch between.

    i'm not one to be judgemental at all about who likes what tone - i'm a complete and total noise vandal myself, and love all sorts of weirdass sounds. i can'T get enough of tubes though... i played solid state for a few years when i began, and thought nothing could beat my peavey rage 158 and dreamed of a mg100cd. then i played a shitass crate tube amp and was floored. then i played a couple of better amps... and never looked back. for me, it's not just the way the amp sounds on a recording, but simply the way it plays and reacts... it makes your guitar something to fight with, caress, torture... like some sort of natural extension.

    floyd fernandes swears by his kustom cube 40's clean channel. i'm not one to argue with floyd fernandes - he's a million times the guitar player and tech i'll ever be, and he knows his effing tone! so it's all up to choice. the trend towards tube is quite hard to argue with though.

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