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.

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

    51 vote(s)
    52.0%
  2. Not sure as many simple designs do sound bad

    14 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. No, the more sophisticated the better

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  4. Other. Please explain

    29 vote(s)
    29.6%
  1. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    So , you are a plug and play guy that does not introduce signal changing circuits(pedals) into the equation ?
     
  2. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    You quoted yourself in your reply.
     
  3. Ghast

    Ghast Member

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    A lot of members here seem borderline obsessed with "less is more" type stuff.

    Vintage guitars (usually Teles) + simple, single channel amps + basic pentatonic blues = "my sound"
     
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  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Member

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    One of the best amps I’ve ever played is an Alessandro Beagle. 2xEL84s, and not a whole lot going on inside. But it sounds spectacular... even when I play it.
     
  5. handyman

    handyman Member

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    A Fender 5e3 sounds incredible and is simple as possible.

    A Mesa Mark V sounds incredible and is absurdly complex.

    Complexity is totally unrelated to how good an amp it.

    Now I'd sure as heck rather be the guy repairing the 5e3. :p
     
  6. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't think you can reduce "sounding good" to a question of how "simple" the circuit is or how many components are in it. This kind of "over simplification" appeals to people who don't really want to understand things.

    I've played all kinds of amps with pretty simple circuits that I just loved in some musical contexts that just didn't work as well in others. Same goes for "really complex" amps with lots of components.

    It's always a question of what do you think sounds good in a particular musical setting.
     
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  7. Aslan

    Aslan Silver Supporting Member

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    Less is more, especially when playing electric blues.
     
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  8. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Gold Supporting Member

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    Meh, sometimes less is just.....less.
    I’ve never shied from complexity, I’ve been pulled to it, by the desire for many sounds at a variety of volume levels. Takes some stuff, no big deal.
     
  9. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Gold Supporting Member

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    I voted other. The reason is, not all circuit designs are good. I've heard simple circuits I love, and some I hate. The Crate vc5, I didn't like at all. A Fender 5e3 - stellar. It's all about design...and good choices in components doesn't hurt, either...although I've heard that Dumble used Radio Shack parts in his amps. I just let my ears decide anymore.
     
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  10. d'djembe mutombo

    d'djembe mutombo Member

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    The idea comes from electrical current how components alter it. If you've ever built a circuit and simulated that same circuit you will understand the approach. A simulated circuit is going to be absolute like the answer to an equation. However, in the analog world, the more components found in the path of the current will increase the variance of the output. So even something as simple as a switch brings variance to the circuit. In the early days of amp design, I think the simpler the better was true. Take the early JCM 800 2205's for instance. They had all sort of issues due to the circuit complexity. However, I think modern designs have solved the problem. Now it is "do you like the tone of the amp?". It doesn't matter if it is complex or not. There are incredible sounding amps that have all the bells and whistles. There are also simple circuit amps that sound like ass.

    One thing I will say, when diversity is the key element of an amp design, it can often sound vanilla. I think most of that comes from the intended use of the amp. That amp isn't designed to produce one incredible sound you didn't know you wanted. Instead, it was designed to produce a plethora of sounds you thought you needed.
     
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  11. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Member

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    Could you expound?
     
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  12. TaoInMotion

    TaoInMotion Member

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    Simple does not sound "better" ...

    Is a Soldano SLO "simple"?
    Is a Mesa Mark IV "simple"?
    Is a Bogner Helios 50 "simple"?
    Is a Dumble ODS "simple"?

    These are all fantastic sounding amps.
     
  13. belcebu69

    belcebu69 Member

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    pretty much yes, just an overdrive with a mix knob not to compress the sound excessively,
     
  14. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    OK . So you do add stuff to the signal . Nothing wrong with that. But its kinda like the demo guy that says "No effects were used in this demo . Reverb, chorus and delay added by pro tools" .
     
  15. aynirar27

    aynirar27 Notable Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I much prefer simple amps, but I enjoy having a full TMB stack
     
  16. easyed

    easyed Silver Supporting Member

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    IMO (and Dr. Z's) it's the simplicity of the signal path, not the number of components that matters. I don't own a channel switcher.
     
  17. belcebu69

    belcebu69 Member

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    well, not really, it's just a bit of overdrive,,
     
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  18. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Haven’t read the whole thread but one aspect is, the fewer the components the more each components quality and values matters.

    The more components, it evens out a little bit and some values matter less.

    I think.
     
  19. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I agree. Especially on high gain amps often the mid gain sounds are just average. They may have world class high gain metal tones but when you go to that mid-gain channel it's always just "meh". Not bad but not blowing your mind. In the same sense if you take an amp built for low/mid gain and goose it up to high gain usually means it goes "flump" instead of "chug" when you palm mute those strings. Too much sag - which is what you may want for those low gain tones though.

    This isn't really an issue with complexity itself but what was the focus of the amp as that can be at odds with some other tones it does.
     
  20. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    I find that tubes deteriorate the signal purity fairly quickly. More than three preamp gain stages and too much fidelity is lost.

    This is probably why a SS pedal and a simple 3 gain stage preamp became the norm.

    That said .. I prefer more compkex channel switchers because I HATE stage clutter and cables. If all I played was cou try and classic rock - a Plexi would be all I'd use.

    I mostly use a Heartbreaker and I am sure if I bypass the effects and reverb circuits the amp would be at a 20% higher tonal level. My simple Reinhardt Plexi is perfect.
     

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