Are valve amps with simple circuits / few components more likely to sound good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 5F6-A, Jul 19, 2019.

?

  1. Yes, I think that it is difficult to mess up with few components

    50 vote(s)
    53.8%
  2. Not sure as many simple designs do sound bad

    14 vote(s)
    15.1%
  3. No, the more sophisticated the better

    3 vote(s)
    3.2%
  4. Other. Please explain

    26 vote(s)
    28.0%
  1. DeadLazy

    DeadLazy Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    They certainly feel more immoderate to me and that’s the feel I want.
     
    Bluesidae likes this.
  2. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,697
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    This the same logic that says ptp is better. The reason people say this is twofold, they have based their view on history, and they have no electronics experience so anything more complicated is confusing. Would you rather have a biplane or F35 if involved in air combat?

    Having an amp that tries to do 10 things might be a compromise, but having an amp that only does one thing is also a compromise.
     
  3. truckin

    truckin Supporting Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    I’m not sure if simplicity necessarily translates to better tone but imo simple circuits are definitely more sensitive to what’s being played through them. They are a lot more dynamic to play.
     
    Sp8ctre, BADHAK and H. Mac like this.
  4. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Fender Champs from the mid to late 50s only had about a couple dozen caps and resistors (prob less)... does not get much simpler than that!
     
    Sp8ctre likes this.
  5. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

    Messages:
    3,793
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Location:
    Edgewood NM
    There is no magic formula for amp design. I stopped worrying about stuff like that after having my mind blown countless times by so called "inferior" gear and being disappointed in so called "superior" gear. To each his/her own but I dont even care any more if something is tube, solid state, digital or run by Keebler Elves. All I care is that it moves me in some positive way and if it doesn't it either gets returned or sold/traded.

    It feels good. On any given day or gig my entire rig might have cost me North of 5k or South of 1k. Whatever I fancy that day. It's fun. I love trying out different tones, textures, and feel.
     
    rooibos99 and DV52 like this.
  6. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,903
    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I voted "Other".

    What you're looking for tonally makes all the difference in the world.

    Simple amps can be wonderful for vintage tones. Channel switchers are great for modern music and cover bands.

    I don't play Blues or Classic Rock and need headroom at volume so an amp like a tweed Deluxe, which is a wonderful amp, has no appeal for me.

    It really depends on the individual player.
     
  7. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 Member

    Messages:
    2,013
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    I only play amps with 4 components. Any more than that and my wine goes bad.
     
  8. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

    Messages:
    3,793
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Location:
    Edgewood NM
    Very well said. Nailed it.
     
  9. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
  10. easyed

    easyed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    Location:
    Seattle
    IMO: It's not the number of components, but the simplicity of the signal path that yields the truest tone.

    If channel switching is something you need, then it is what it is.
     
    5F6-A likes this.
  11. eoengineer

    eoengineer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Location:
    Winchester VA
    Great players are more likely to sound good. The complexity of the amp circuit has little to do with tone quality. The DESIGN of the circuit is a factor, and there are great and poor examples of both simple and complex circuits.

    It would be nice if it was that binary though.
     
    5F6-A likes this.
  12. phoghat

    phoghat Member

    Messages:
    861
    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Location:
    Darkened Lair
    Tough to generalize, but over the years I've found that simpler amps with fewer knobs work best.

    Of course, this may be related to the fact that I'm a deeply lazy man who can't be bothered to mess with a zillion amp controls.
     
    DV52 likes this.
  13. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,848
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Western, MA.
    Old, simple, vintage, amps are it for me. They always sound good and do the job. Less is more in that respect.
     
    BADHAK likes this.
  14. GT100

    GT100 Member

    Messages:
    3,239
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Stygia
    I buy amps on how they sound and not the component count...

    Lloyd
     
  15. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

    Messages:
    3,758
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Scandinavian as in 'dynamite'
    Fewer components obviously equals less things that can go wrong. But as with all things music really: the attention to detail is really what matters at the end of the day. We'd be fooling ourselves to think otherwise, I would say. Then it's easier to put your attention to fewer parts, but then simpler amps also tends to come at a lower price.
     
  16. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

    Messages:
    7,878
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    I love the tone and dynamics of my 2203's and 4104. I guess they are considered simple amps but I don't think they lack versatility at all.
     
  17. C-4

    C-4 Member

    Messages:
    11,223
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    I love Red Bank, NJ! Florida now Europe later
    Jim Marshall always said that the more simple the circuit, the purer the sound.

    I found out that he was correct, and my setup tries desperately to reflect his words, as best I can.
     
    Sp8ctre likes this.
  18. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    All things being equal (they aren't) the more you add to an amp, the harder it becomes to retain the tone. It doesn't mean it can't sound great, it just requires more work.
     
    Sp8ctre likes this.
  19. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,096
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree. I play blues and classic rock and don't typically use amps with a lot of headroom and prefer a tweed Deluxe, Budda Twinmaster, Princeton Reverb, Dr. Z Cure, tweed Champ...

    Though I believe that a simple circuit makes a more expressive, touch sensitive amp, it's usually because it's a lower gain amp that's been cranked to the point that it's dirty and cleaned up from the guitar. Amps with more gain stages and filtering tend to not respond as well to that.

    You can still make a lousy amp with a very small number of components, though.
     
    DV52 and stratzrus like this.
  20. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    8,858
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    I've only ever played one tube amp in my life that was completely irredeemably awful. It was handmade in the USA, PTP wiring (not turret or eyelet, true PTP wiring), Mercury Magnetics transformers, Weber speaker, and a custom handmade cabinet. Components don't make the amp.
     
    DV52 and reaiken like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice