SS amps; anything I'm missing out on?

MadAsAHatter

Member
Messages
161
Once I made the jump over to tube amps some 20+ years ago I never really gave Solid State a second look. No prejudice, just preference. I like the way tubes respond to my playing dynamics; I can hear and feel when I play lighter or really dig in. I’ll window shop every now and again and generally gloss over if not ignore completely the SS amps. With all the technological advances since the early ’00 I’ve recently wondered if I’ve been missing out on anything. Not that I plan on buying a bunch of SS amps, mainly curious about new developments, if SS can replicate the feel of tubes better, or anything else worth paying attention to.
 

Neptical

Member
Messages
1,273
I have a good batch of 80s SS amps ( Marshall and Fender) that sound absolutely fantastic. Some of them run through the same cabs as my Mark Series Boogies and JCM amps and it's often that I will run these amps before turning on the tube amps. A few of your favorite pedals (OD/Dist/EQ) and it's a close call. I have special place reserved for SS amps.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,752
I have a good batch of 80s SS amps ( Marshall and Fender) that sound absolutely fantastic. Some of them run through the same cabs as my Mark Series Boogies and JCM amps and it's often that I will run these amps before turning on the tube amps. A few of your favorite pedals (OD/Dist/EQ) and it's a close call. I have special place reserved for SS amps.
The 80s SS Pearce amps were really good, I'm not entirely sure they have been bettered yet... :)
 

GerryJ

Member
Messages
5,416
Once I made the jump over to tube amps some 20+ years ago....

Well, 20-25 yrs ago I could bop into my local music store & try new SS amps
firsthand. Easy way to see what I'm missing.
Nowadays, I'd have to buy them online after listening to You tube videos and ship them back if dissatisfied. Not so easy.
So I'm keeping it tubed & simple for now. (just my 2c).
 

MadAsAHatter

Member
Messages
161
Here we go...

Yep the tech has moved on. You just have to try it to see if it fits. Plenty of Choice Roland, Fender, Orange, Quilter.

???? I don't understand your comment ????

Well, 20-25 yrs ago I could bop into my local music store & try new SS amps
firsthand. Easy way to see what I'm missing.
Nowadays, I'd have to buy them online after listening to You tube videos and ship them back if dissatisfied. Not so easy.
So I'm keeping it tubed & simple for now. (just my 2c).

Yeah, that's the flipside of online shopping. Everything at your fingertips to buy, but no easy way to test it out yourself. I miss the days of stopping at the local shop trying out some of their new inventory & chatting with the owners.
 

Russ73

Member
Messages
1,512
I've been using a couple of the Wuilter offerings as of late with great results for clean and with pedals....for the Garnier stuff some are gigging in my area with Orange Crush stuff....sounds good under a mic to my ears....my 3 tube amps are currently in storage as I live in a NY apt so I play the quilter with pedals 100 percent of the time now and I'm satisfied at low volume...check em out...
 

Jim234

Member
Messages
1,479
???? I don't understand your comment ????

It's because these tend to end up as tube Vs SS debates.

I love tube amps but gig a Roland Blues Cube every other weekend. It's consistent tone at any volume is what does it for me. This matters to me because we play in such varied venues. With the Marshall some nights you would have great sweet spots but at smaller venues you could not get there because the volume was too low.

SS can be cheap and so can tube amps these days but manufacturers seem to have decided to shift the SS market by producing better appointed products. Check out the price of quilters for instance. If these products were unsatisfactory in the tone and feel department why would people buy them? The manufacturer would have long gone out of business.

So if your happy with tubes then the likelihood is your missing nothing. But yeah there is some SS stuff worth checking out. The Blues Cube for me was a happy accident one night when I was fed up after a gig rather than something I thought too hard about. I would like to take a long hard look at an Orange Super Crush in the future.
 

MagusFaerox

Member
Messages
980
It definitely is possible for them to sound good. There are a handful of solid state things that react at least semi-correctly compared to tube amps, some of them including the warts and all. There have been amp-like drive pedals for a long time. I honestly have questions about people who get all their compression from them and then play into a pure clean tube amp...it seems wasteful or counterproductive or something.

The DSM Simplifier Classic/DLX is awesome once you figure out how to set it up right...but it's not an amp, per se. It's made to go into FRFR/FOH/Console, and it really shines run into an FRFR or 2 placed where you would physically place an amp (it kind of sucks into stereo monitors or headphones, but so does basically everything else IMO).

Unfortunately, I don't have a specific amp to recommend. I haven't found one I really liked (and I still have local shops). The Nextone was reasonably close, but I feel like it needed a different cabinet and I wasn't willing to put that much into it.
 

Mark L

Member
Messages
244
Depends on your objectives, perhaps. I have more tube amps than solid state (prefer Fender blackface), but I do think the gap has narrowed if you're looking for clean tone. For jazz playing outside the house I use a Clarus/Acoustic Image 2R (not current model). It can handle a large auditorium without any problem. It's light, compact, reliable, low-maintenance... but it doesn't replicate the feeling of tubes, nor is it the appliance of choice for rocking out.

It appears the recently departed master was playing through a Clarus/AI on these links:





 
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lbpesq

Member
Messages
196
People who play quality SS amps, like Quilters, usually swear by them. People who play tube amps and have never spent time with a Quilter or other quality SS amp will often tell you that all SS amps suck and that only a tube amp will sound good. People who have spent a bit of time with both will often tell you that there are good sounding amps in both technologies. Once you get into your forties, fifties, sixties, etc., your back will thank you for SS.

Examples: my Blackface Pro Reverb with JBL D120s and my Quilter Micropro 200 both sound great, but the Fender weighs about 50 lbs. more! Also, SS amps tend to be a bit more reliable and you never have to replace tubes.

Another option is to pair a tube preamp with a class D power amp.

Bill, tgo
 




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