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Non-tube.. Tube replacement / alternative

Silent Sound

Not much different than using a load box on your amp , then going line out to solid state power amp in racks which alot of pros do .
Or tube preamp into a solid state power amps which alot of pros prefer as well.
Most gain or overdrive distortion people like in tube amps comes from the preamp and phase inverter tubes anyways unless you like dimming your old NMV Marshall's for the old school effect .
This is true. A lot of pros also use backing tracks and many have been caught lip-syncing live shows as well. Just because someone else did it, doesn't make it a good idea.

Anyway. My point stands. If you want a tube preamp and a SS power amp, then buy a Marshall AVT or something similar. If you want a SS preamp and tube power amp, then buy a Music Man or similar. If you want a fully SS amp, then buy a fully SS amp. Buying a tube amp and then replacing the tubes with SS circuitry is kinda like buying a Corvette and installing a 4 cylinder diesel engine into it. Why waste all that money upfront when you know you wanted something different?

Solid-state amps have their place, and when executed correctly, can be amazing works of art. But if that's the direction you wanted to go, you'd end up with a much better product if you bought an amp that was designed from the ground up to be a solid-state amp, rather than using one that was retrofitted with after-market components.

Now I've never actually heard one of these SS tube replacements in action, so I can't comment directly on the sound, though I'd be surprised if they sounded anywhere near as good and down right floored if they sounded any better than even the cheapest tubes currently available. Still, how many tubes would you have to go through to save money by replacing them with a SS solution versus just buying a SS amp in the first place? Tube amps are not cheap.


Silver Supporting Member
If you want a tube preamp and a SS power amp, then buy a Marshall AVT or something similar.
One advantage of a tube amp into a load box then to a SS power amp over the Marshall AVT is you get the tube amps preamp and power section cranked to the sweet spot .
Then you can put your effects after the amp for cleaner effects like they are used in the studio but live .
After all that it really don't make that big of a difference if you use a tube power amp or SS power amp.
I've been on stage with many pros and i've seen it done both ways sounding great live on stage like they do in the studio.
But i am curious as to what SS power tube replacements would sound like driving that same amp to it's sweet spot.


If you want a tube preamp and a SS power amp, then buy a Marshall AVT or something similar. If you want a SS preamp and tube power amp, then buy a Music Man or similar. If you want a fully SS amp, then buy a fully SS amp.

This. Seems simple enough. :aok


Does anyone make something that effectively REPLACES a real power tube?

Like an analog non-glass replacement that you can plug directly into a tube socket on an amp. Something that emulates how a real tube reacts/sounds

I think JetCity makes a preamp tube replacement.. but I havent seen any powertube replacement alternatives
You'd probably get better sound from a solid state amps designed from top to bottom to operate that way vs. trying to turn your tube amp into a solid state design with aftermarket, one-side fits all circuit plug ins.

While there are many things that claim to "emulate" and "react and sound like" a tube amp driven to distortion by a guitar, none of the digital or solid state analog circuitry designed to do has proven an satisfactory, exact replacement. If it was we wouldn't still be using tube amps based on 70 year old circuits 40 years after the widespread availability of solid state substitutes.

Plenty of good solid state designs, tube designs, and hybrid designs on the market.


I've heard a few audio samples, seen some videos and read some reviews and so far, these looks super interesting! If I won't have to worry about melting tubes, rattle or any vibration/heat related issues, I'm thinking they'd be a cool way to go. Based on what I've heard, they sound really nice.

What I'm curious about though is how much they'd change an amps sound? For instance, changing a Preamp V2 tube will only offer so many levels of gain. My Peavey Classic 30 is going to sound like a Classic 30 with just a tiny bit more or less gain, depending on the tube. But if I were to pop in a Retrovalve "Blue" or "Red" will the amp achieve a much cleaner/transparent drive or with the Red, achieve a much higher level of gain than previously possible?

My thoughts are if these allow amps to reach new possibilities not generally available with standard glass tubes, sounds good and are reasonably priced...they seem like a really cool option to explore!

Heady Jam Fan

Interesting, I have to admit I am skeptical, but I would like to try them - would be great to have with you at a gig if a tube died or to save life on NOS tubes when your just home practicing. The problem is that I don't think I would buy them just to try them and I doubt I could just go to a local guitar shop and try them either - so I suspect I won't end up trying them unless I find some used ones or they have a good return policy.
I have spoke with a few people who's ears I trust ... One of them has been using the preamp tubes for over a year & said they sound as good as any of his vintage Mullards...

I have not tried them myself...


So despite post #2 about AMT SS power tube alternatives in 2013...I guess that never materialized? Nor such by anyone into production?

Just for reference, I got a Pritchard in 2003, and have mostly dropped completely off TGP in the years since from being happy with my sound...except for occasional interest in pedals.

I also have had a few Tonegrinder valve replacements that can sound excellent in V1 in many amps, but not most other spots in valve amp circuits. Had them a few years now. Haven't tried other brands of 12ax7 alternatives though.

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