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SOLID STATE goodness...yeah, you heard me!

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
I have an old Yamaha solid state amp that just won't die. Despite being gigged for years, playing at seedy bars and being thrown into cabs/vans, and being ridden atop a skateboard to shows (no, I'm not joking), my trusty Yamaha G100-115 shows no sign of giving up the ghost.

I eventually replaced the stock speaker, which was frankly so-so, despite the nice overall tone of the amp, with an Eminence Legend 151. Nice speaker, but too clean/neutral to make it compete with my tube amps. So I threw an Emi B15 into it and used it for bass...this speaker also warmed it up for guitars, it turned out.

Fast foward to this winter. I decided to try out an expensive but promising Weber alnico Chicago 15". Only an 80-watt speaker, but given the fact that Ted rates it speakers conservatively, and the fact that I have no intention of diming a SS amp, I figured what-the-hell. I also had the pleasure of playing through a ceramic Chicago, and fell in love with it's punchy, warm tone...perfect for a solid state amp?

Dayyyummm! :dude This is one of the best tones I have ever gotten with ANY amp before. I can't get the power tube breakup I love in my tweed machines, but this rig LOVES my Barber Direct Drive OD with a Java Boost in front of it. That Chicago eats up everything I have to throw at it!

Warm (clean OR dirty), powerful, chest-thumping, sparkling tones galore. Yeah, you heard me...solid state rocks my world.

:)
 

rwe333

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,431
Those original Yamaha G-series (before the parametric EQs) amps are indeed great. Jack Pearson still plays a G50.
 

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
The AMP I've had for ages. Great amp, but it was the SPEAKER that made it such a joy to play. It sounded great through a 1x12 housing a Blue Dog ceramic too, but that Chicago is a match made in heaven.

The Chicago is turning into one of my all time favorite speakers!
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,976
I recently added a g100 to my SS stable (got a deal) and it IS a good one.
SS is perfectly fine below full distortion, usually, barring the bad ones...and tube amps can be bad ones, too.... the the remaining 1-2% of tonal goodness (odour) is personal choice far more than just seeking good tone, IMO. How good does 'tone' get?
I'm 100% with using good speakers for all amps.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,037
I had a Yamaha G100 2x12 combo with the parametric eq maybe 20 years ago ...I remember liking it then. Great amp, SS or not. Funny thing is I remember thinking how heavy that thing was ...and now I own tube amps :)

Edward
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
I had a Yamaha G100 2x12 combo with the parametric eq maybe 20 years ago ...I remember liking it then. Great amp, SS or not. Funny thing is I remember thinking how heavy that thing was ...
Build quality and tone are related, often.

Take a basically good-sounding SS circuit, build it like a tank, put it in a heavy cab with decent speakers and it will sound good, at least for clean sounds (you can add pedals later).

Unfortunately, most people's impressions of solid-state are colored by cheap, flimsy, under-spec'ed amps with crappy speakers... because solid-state amps are expected to be cheap in price, too. There's nothing wrong with the technology, it's the implementation which is the problem usually.

When you find one that isn't done like that, it shows.
 

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
Funny thing is I remember thinking how heavy that thing was ...
Believe me. This G100-115 is heavy as hell. When I bought it, though, I had been using my buddy's Twin to gig with, so I had already learned to accept heavy amps. It's actually one of the "parametric EQ" ones as well, a G100-115 "2". Must've bought it in '85.

The 12" I thought sounded best with the G100 was the ceramic Blue Dog. I couldn't stop playing the damn thing after I hooked it up to that cab! If I had a 212 version, I would definitely try 2 Blue Dogs in there...really sweet. As it stands, I'm obviously over the moon about the Chicago 15 alnico. :)
 

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
Build quality and tone are related, often.

Take a basically good-sounding SS circuit, build it like a tank, put it in a heavy cab with decent speakers and it will sound good, at least for clean sounds (you can add pedals later).

Unfortunately, most people's impressions of solid-state are colored by cheap, flimsy, under-spec'ed amps with crappy speakers... because solid-state amps are expected to be cheap in price, too. There's nothing wrong with the technology, it's the implementation which is the problem usually.

When you find one that isn't done like that, it shows.
That makes sense.

What makes even more sense is having someone build a pine cab to re-house this thing. I hurt myself yesterday picking up the beast!
 

Mrjoelv

Member
Messages
361
I had a G100-12 that was a great amp. I used to plug it into a 2-12 Music Man cabinet to get a bigger sound. When I got tired of it I sold it to my friend for cheap but he has since stopped playing and is going to give it back to me when I see him next month. Should be nostalgic.
 

lspaulsp

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,890
I had a great expirence one time with a Carvin SX but reading here I get the opinion they have issues??????
Anyone know?
 

GP_Hawk

Member
Messages
570
I decided to try out an expensive but promising Weber alnico Chicago 15". Only an 80-watt speaker, but given the fact that Ted rates it speakers conservatively, and the fact that I have no intention of diming a SS amp, I figured what-the-hell. I also had the pleasure of playing through a ceramic Chicago, and fell in love with it's punchy, warm tone...perfect for a solid state amp?

Dayyyummm! :dude This is one of the best tones I have ever gotten with ANY amp before. I can't get the power tube breakup I love in my tweed machines, but this rig LOVES my Barber Direct Drive OD with a Java Boost in front of it. That Chicago eats up everything I have to throw at it!

Warm (clean OR dirty), powerful, chest-thumping, sparkling tones galore. Yeah, you heard me...solid state rocks my world.

:)
Now you got me wondering if the Chicago 15" would sound good in my Lab Series L9. It doesn't have the original EV in it which sounded killer. It has a JBL k130. I've actually used the amp for recording bass but other than that she's been "sitting it out" for a while now.
 

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
Now you got me wondering if the Chicago 15" would sound good in my Lab Series L9. It doesn't have the original EV in it which sounded killer. It has a JBL k130. I've actually used the amp for recording bass but other than that she's been "sitting it out" for a while now.
Recording bass is mostly what my Yammie did for years, as well. Shame, as these are nice SS amps...I know the Lab is well regarded, at least by BB!

Based on how nice the Chicago 15 alnico sounds with all my guitars, and that good solid state amps are likely a little closer together than two tube amps would usually be, I would think that it would probably be a real revelation. It's just so PERFECT for warming up my Yamaha, adds so much character and soul. If your Lab has good EQ, I almost can't imagine it not being sweet.

The pity is that it is such an expensive experiment at $215 but, again, I think it's worth it considering the rewards I've experienced.
 

JimH

Member
Messages
1,571
Anyone ever play a bluetone - they were supposed to be a vintage marshall type rocker in a 50W 1x12" format - high quality solid state supposedly.
 

Tuberattler

Member
Messages
2,411
I played a Carvin SX 100 for years as a grab & go amp to save the herd, it had great tone & reliability and we punished that thing..shouldn't have sold it, neve let me down. In fact, I wore out the first speaker to shreds and put a Mesa EV clone in there and then it really sounded awesome.
 




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