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Are Modelling Amps And Quality FX Systems Causing a Decline in Tube Amp Sales?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Steadfastly, May 12, 2020.

  1. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    I don't know if there are any published numbers for this but it seems to me it must be having some effect. Any knowledge, facts or thoughts on this?
     
  2. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I'm sure there are numbers but it wouldn't surprise me.

    There will always be purists for whatever reason, but modeling/effects/solid state have come a long way.

    People will say it's not warm yada yada, but jazz guys have been using SS for years.

    It depends on what you're looking for.

    In the jazz world, Scofield uses Vox, Abercrombie used to use Mesa, Metheny uses a Kemper. Skynyrd used to use SS Acoustic amps, some metal guys have always used Randall SS.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  3. DeadLazy

    DeadLazy Member

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    I’d bet that it’s hurt the lower to mid range tube amps more than the high end. It seems like those markets have a big gap.

    It didn’t slow me down. I had two tube amps when I got my Kemper, and have acquired two since.

    I use both tube and digital, daily. Kept what I have. 4 tube amps and a Kemper and a battery powered Katana mini.

    **But for every ten TM Fender sale, there must be a few who’d have picked up the tube version instead.
     
  4. harvey j

    harvey j Member

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    I don't know a bout modelling amps, but Quilter is putting a dent in sales because they sound better and less maintenance.
     
  5. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    lots of ppl try modeling and then go back. seems like smaller amps are doing well. they should be doing more with built in IRs and usable DIs.
     
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  6. tonegangster

    tonegangster Silver Supporting Member

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    :spit
     
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  7. Antmax

    Antmax Member

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    I went from modeling to tube mostly thanks to my wife. One Birthday my wife asked me what I wanted, I had no clue so she suggested a tube amp to satisfy my curiosity since I had mentioned them but didn't have one. I never went back, can't put my finger on exactly why I prefer a tube amp, it seems to be a feel and physical presence thing. I only have a couple of pedals and do use a HXFX to fill any gaps in my board I might want at short notice. I did buy Helix Native, and have a lot of the BiasFX suite and Mercurial modeling plugins but I do have to be pretty desperate to use them. If I can use one of my two affordable ~ $500 tube amps I will.

    I have a Code50, SpiderV 60 and Katana 50, DSL5c and DSL20H.
     
  8. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

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    Modelers and other direct recording solutions (plugins) are definitely shrinking the market. These tools are just easier for venues and also recording studios. The other consideration for working man musicians is how many players build a nice pedalboard, and just use whatever backline is made available. A nice amp is quickly becoming a nice luxury, as oppose to something that is absolutely necessary to the working musician.

    With that said, I just sold my helix, and I've bought two tube amps in the last month.
     
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  9. captwillard

    captwillard Member

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    I'm willing to bet that a lot of "first amps" were solid state (assuming that was in the 70's, going forward). Second amps would probably be a move to tube. As far as current crop of modeling amps, those are probably being bought by folks who already have tube amps. Is it hurting sales...maybe a little. Does every modeling amp cancel out a tube amp purchase...probably not.
     
  10. Christopher Winkels

    Christopher Winkels Member

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    My first amp was a solid state Roland.
    My second amp (and this was seen as a big, big step up at the time) was a Marshall JCM800 and 4x12 cabinet. Expensive to buy relative to what I made, expensive to maintain, and a pain to move.

    Those were both 30+ years ago.

    Even though I own three tube amps, I doubt I'll buy another in my lifetime, and I'll probably sell one or more of the ones I presently have. I currently have a couple of SS amps and for me there's no going back to tube. There are too many excellent modelling and SS choices for my present needs, none of which will bust my wallet or my vertebrae.
     
  11. goddot

    goddot Supporting Member

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    If you're using a bunch of effects you should probably go solid state anyway, it makes sense.
     
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  12. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    I found my FX unit didn't sound that true when used with my tube amp. I switched it over to my solid state and wow, what a difference. I couldn't believe how much things now sounded like the real thing and the FX unit I had back then was just middle of the road or a little less than that.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  13. BigBadOrange

    BigBadOrange Supporting Member

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    I use both so certainly not in my case. For me, modelings advantage is convenience. If the venue does not have good enough state monitors to run it, I bring an amp. If they have good monitors, I am fine running on modeler only.
     
  14. ozraves

    ozraves Member

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    I think modeling did more 20 years ago to hurt amp sales than now. The bigger issue now is that guitar it not as relevant to overall music production as it was then.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  15. Guitarfool

    Guitarfool Supporting Member

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    I would guess the 100 "big iron" tube amp sales are lower

    The trend in recent years has been the smaller lower wattage amps for sure, (I would bet those sales are up for sure) the good thing is that guitarists today have MORE choices and thats a good thing IMO no matter what you prefer amp wise or play, from low wattage to modeling, etc there is much (and quality) to choose from
    .
     
  16. KevWind

    KevWind Member

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    No .........Maybe......... who cares...... there are still plenty of great tube amps around
     
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  17. howdy-doo

    howdy-doo Member

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    I think maybe amongst younger age groups, and maybe more metal players, as bands like Metallica are now known to use AxeFX. Maybe also the idea of a modeller not being good hasn't been as much of a thing for them?

    I think the more boutique stuff is always gonna have a market share, as you could argue that they are as much a luxury purchase as they are a way to amplify your guitar. So the people that buy them are still gonna want to buy them. It'll be more your mid rangers that would be affected, the 'bread and butter' of the modellers like your black faces, JTMs and MKIIC+ etc, since they all get included in every modelling amp now in one way or another.

    I don't think for a second that modelling will ever be the end of tubes, I just think they'll continue to grow for a while before finding their spot in the market share.
     
  18. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    The lack of guitar in popular music these days is putting a much bigger dent in amp (and guitar) sales than modeling is.
     
  19. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    Earlier today I suggested to someone who's on the prowl for a tube amp to grab a used interface and plug into GarageBand until she has a clearer idea of what she wants. So I'm personally contributing to the decline.

    As far as a general decline? I dunno. Probably? At least for me, guitar is going through a big resurgence. Electric guitar specifically. Lotsa eager new players, way more demographically diverse than in the past, and into a wider range of music (even if they all worship the same three guitarists). And most still seem to strongly prefer tube amps. Or at least think they do. So I imagine the tube amps dinosaurs are going to limp along for a few weeks longer. Just like they do every year.

    One noticeable difference from today vs. 10-15 years ago, however, is it is now nearly universally acknowledged that non-tube options offer more bang for your buck and generally sound pretty dang good. Even without numbers to back my opinion up, this has to be cutting into the tube market. I mean, would have never suggested GarageBand as a viable holdover while someone decides on a "real" amp in 2005 lol
     
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  20. WhiskeyWhiskers

    WhiskeyWhiskers Member

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    The fact that smaller amps with cab simulation and IRs built in are becoming more and more common tells me tube amp makers feel they need to compete with modelers.
     
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