SS amps; anything I'm missing out on?

tonedover

This Is Fine.
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7,385
If i wasnt into the synergy module system, id totally be game for that yamaha thr100hd in the emporium. Yamaha ss amp models are GREAT in my opinion. (No affiliation with the guy selling)

i prev ownd a couple of those thr10 practice amps
 

RayBarbeeMusic

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5,271
I don’t know how anyone can blanket statement SS behavior or sound.
Super blanket statement.

After having played and owned a bunch of them, I stand by what I said. If you can't feel the difference, have fun with the SS stuff. It isn't the TONE that's lacking. It's 100% the feel and response. The best solid state cannot come close to a good tube amp for that. Period.
 
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2,202
After having played and owned a bunch of them, I stand by what I said. If you can't feel the difference, have fun with the SS stuff. It isn't the TONE that's lacking. It's 100% the feel and response. The best solid state cannot come close to a good tube amp for that. Period.
Name your lists of each

Obviously it’s subjective opinion, but I’m curious.
 

MadAsAHatter

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161
The problem with SS isn't the tone (at least not the overdriven tone) and hasn't been since the 80s. It's the feel and response. Those continue to be a problem to this day.
I don’t know how anyone can blanket statement SS behavior or sound.

Most of the best SS amps never even get mentioned.

Sound and feel of my AMT Stonehead, Pearce G2r, and even the Marshall 3210 Lead 100 Mosfet are great.

Ive played some bad SS before, and bad modeling amps, but there are a few true analog SS amps that feel great playing them and sound great at gig volumes.
To which user do you speak of?
Super blanket statement.
I have a batch of 3210s a 3315 as well as some 80s SS Fenders. Throw them through the EVs and you might be thoroughly surprised my friend. They can hang with my old Boogie Mark IIIs and JCMs that sit right beside them.

I'm not saying I agree with Ray, but I think I know what he may be referring to. I'm guessing he referring to the feel of tube sag or pushing a tube right up to the limit when digging in playing to get that slight amount of breakup. That's definitely a feel thing which is more associated with tube amps.

This is where my initial question/post stems from. There's been technological advances all over the place. Being out of the loop so long on solid state amp technology I was curious where it stood. Has there been more more progress trying to make SS feel and sound like tube and if so what? Or have developers mostly abandoned that idea and went the other direction; developing SS to be the best it can as it's own unique beast?
 

teemuk

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3,670
Has there been more more progress trying to make SS feel and sound like tube and if so what?

Yes. There has been more progress in tube emulation and progress has, for example, concentrated on replicating various dynamic characteristics, such as sag, DC shift effects and so on.
Personally I think many manufacturers nailed the dynamics already before the early millennia and the level of detail at the moment starts to be virtually inaudible or unperceivable. (Already in the mid 1990's a lot of people didn't notice these dynamic effects even when amps had them, which is something to think about. Bias against SS is just so strong).

Or have developers mostly abandoned that idea and went the other direction; developing SS to be the best it can as it's own unique beast?
Classic tube amp tones are popular and probably will not go out of fashion. Modern advanced modeling units, however, can extend to what many tube amps can not do and the user can e.g. "build" an entire virtual amp from stage to stage, with every little parameter tweakable. Then we have systems such as Kemper that can "record" the profile of virtually any amp. Along all this stuff there is naturally development of those traditionally more "solid-state" tones, as well as progress in "impulse response" modeling.
 

Jim234

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1,479
I'm not saying I agree with Ray, but I think I know what he may be referring to. I'm guessing he referring to the feel of tube sag or pushing a tube right up to the limit when digging in playing to get that slight amount of breakup. That's definitely a feel thing which is more associated with tube amps.

This is where my initial question/post stems from. There's been technological advances all over the place. Being out of the loop so long on solid state amp technology I was curious where it stood. Has there been more more progress trying to make SS feel and sound like tube and if so what? Or have developers mostly abandoned that idea and went the other direction; developing SS to be the best it can as it's own unique beast?

I understand this as well, sometimes you can push a cooking tube amp with a pedal and suddenly a little bit of magic happens... hard to explain though.

Edge of break up on Roland Blues Cubes is just fine, SS used to be a bit stiff in that regard. Not so now.
 

RayBarbeeMusic

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5,271
I'm guessing he referring to the feel of tube sag or pushing a tube right up to the limit when digging in playing to get that slight amount of breakup


No. With a good tube amp, notes jump off the fingerboard and response to touch dynamics is easy and detailed. With solid state, the feel is stiff and more effort is required, the sensitivity isn't there.

Part of it has to do with filtering. Look at the filter cap values in a solid state amp. Now look at the values in a tube amp. You can over filter the hell out of a tube amp and ruin it's feel, making it respond like a solid state device, and some designers are dumb enough to do it.

There is a reason some people prefer 32uf caps in a Marshall style amp as opposed to 50uf or 100uf. Now multiply that out. SS requires very stiff filtering.

There's more to it than that technically. No ss device can replicate the way a tube works exactly. It's an unreasonable facsimile at best.
 

teemuk

Member
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3,670
Part of it has to do with filtering. Look at the filter cap values in a solid state amp. Now look at the values in a tube amp.

...and then remember that the related impedances are on entirely different levels, which means filtering capacitance has to be scaled accordingly. So if you try to imply there is no power supply sag in SS amps you are incorrect.

You can over filter the hell out of a tube amp and ruin it's feel, making it respond like a solid state device, and some designers are dumb enough to do it.

Well, obviously people still buy and use those stiff amps. Maybe not all are fond of overly "squishy" response, at least not for every application.

And regarding all these dynamic effects such as "sag" (sort of envelope controlled clipping threshold in practice) and DC bias shifts (dynamic shifts in clipping symmetry), several popular SS amps have been featuring such things since the 1990's or even longer. It's fascinating that people obsessing about all this feel and touch sensitivity of tube amps hardly notice such characteristics at all when they try a SS amp that actually features them.
 

RayBarbeeMusic

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5,271
It's fascinating that people obsessing about all this feel and touch sensitivity of tube amps hardly notice such characteristics at all when they try a SS amp that actually features them.


I have yet to play one of those "no really, THIS TIME we got it right and its like a tube amp" solid state devices that responded like a good tube amp.

Sound? Sure, if I'm across the room and you're holding the guitar. Feel if I'm holding the guitar? F no.
 

MagusFaerox

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Messages
980
And regarding all these dynamic effects such as "sag" (sort of envelope controlled clipping threshold in practice) and DC bias shifts (dynamic shifts in clipping symmetry), several popular SS amps have been featuring such things since the 1990's or even longer. It's fascinating that people obsessing about all this feel and touch sensitivity of tube amps hardly notice such characteristics at all when they try a SS amp that actually features them.

Do you have any suggestions for a relatively common SS amp that that has these features?

The Simplifier appears to...that's part of what the resonance knob does, at least as far as damping factor between the "output transformer" and the "load", which also appears to affect the squishiness of the feel as well as some of the transients under distortion (as long as the master is all the way up).

It seems like the new Orange Super Crush does it as well, based on some comments. But, what can you really tell?
 

RGB

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6,387
I'm down to two amps now...My '81 Mark IIB and a Quilter 101R.

Both are fine amps and both give me what I want in feel and tone. The 101R is used a pedal platform, while the Boogie can gig without pedals, but both do the job very well for me. The Quilter excels at the lower volume gigs that have now become the norm in most clubs around here, but still has plenty of volume if needed.

The Boogie can stun small animals at 50 feet so it gets the outdoor shows in most cases. :)
 

Al Rose

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Messages
3,005
I'm down to two amps now...My '81 Mark IIB and a Quilter 101R.

Both are fine amps and both give me what I want in feel and tone. The 101R is used a pedal platform, while the Boogie can gig without pedals, but both do the job very well for me. The Quilter excels at the lower volume gigs that have now become the norm in most clubs around here, but still has plenty of volume if needed.

The Boogie can stun small animals at 50 feet so it gets the outdoor shows in most cases. :)

ROTFLMAO.....indeed it can stun small animals at 50 feet! I needed a Friday afternoon laugh, thanks! I'm down to my Boogie (Express) and Quilter as well. Right now the Quilter gets the call. Even my old bandmates couldn't tell it was a SS amp until I told them (It was sitting on top of the Express and the Express was on standby most of the afternoon). And my back thanks me!

Al
 

Neptical

Member
Messages
1,273
Coming from a punk/rock background, this is shenanigans. Use what you use, like what you like and stop bagging or comparing. SS has it's own place and we're not trying to say it's a tube amp. I love ALL my old tube amps ( Boogie Marks and JCMs ) but I really dig my SS amps. They have an immediate warmth and tightness to them that my tube amps just don't respond to the same - unless you push them. I don't agree with this whole FEEL thing as this is totally divided by each individual amp.

I did many shows with my Boogie Mark IIIs in Class A ( 15 watts) using EL34s because trying to push the 6L6 power section is WAY too much. I actually get a better FEEL driving a boosted MOSFET Lead 100 (3210). It's WAY more controllable as well. So, seriously - take what you want on your "touchy dynamics, filtering, cap values, etc" - it just ends up like a lopsided butt hurt opinion on SS amps.
 

drbob1

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29,918
...and then remember that the related impedances are on entirely different levels, which means filtering capacitance has to be scaled accordingly. So if you try to imply there is no power supply sag in SS amps you are incorrect.



Well, obviously people still buy and use those stiff amps. Maybe not all are fond of overly "squishy" response, at least not for every application.

And regarding all these dynamic effects such as "sag" (sort of envelope controlled clipping threshold in practice) and DC bias shifts (dynamic shifts in clipping symmetry), several popular SS amps have been featuring such things since the 1990's or even longer. It's fascinating that people obsessing about all this feel and touch sensitivity of tube amps hardly notice such characteristics at all when they try a SS amp that actually features them.
No fair having the guy who literally wrote the book on SS amp engineering argue with us amateurs...
 

teemuk

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3,670
Do you have any suggestions for a relatively common SS amp that that has these features?

I'm not too familiar with very new products since many are highly based on DSP (and without knowing proprietary IP performance can only be estimated from patent documents or feature lists). However, it's not far off to guess that there's probably more modeling units that emulate various "tube circuit" dynamics than modeling amps that don't. After all, it's one of the key characteristics modeling is about.

Computer Music Journal article "A Review of Digital Techniques for Modeling Vacuum-Tube Guitar Amplifiers" from 2009, written by Pakarinen and Yeh, (you can find it with google search) is getting more or less outdated now but it's a very good glimpse to what dynamic aspects of tube emulation were considered and featured already in the earliest modeling amps from likes of Line 6 and Yamaha. Even these were much more "dynamic" than what people claim or initially might expect.

Of older analog or hybrid amps, and some DSP units, I can give few examples (these are by no means all amps featuring dynamic tube emulation methods):

- Old Roland Blues Cube amps (analog TubeLogic): Emulate DC shifts in clipping points of preamp stages "naturally" by using AC coupled discrete "tube like" gain stages. "Rectifex" feature for emulating sag that dynamically controls clipping threshold.

- Peavey TransTube technology: Emulate same DC shifts, again with discrete "tube like" stages. "T-Dynamics" power amp emulates low damping & DC shifts and clipping of class-AB tube power amps.

-Roland GC-405: Exploits emulation ideas similar to analog Blues Cube amps (but no Rectifex feature). Emulations of push-pull power amp DC shifts.

- Various Line 6 amps (the more "professional" models): Analog tube power amp emulation that behaves similarly to Peavey's T-Dynamics, also emulates sag with dynamically varying clipping threshold. DSP preamp emulates dynamic DC shifts of the preamp.

- New Quilter amps: power amp emulation of damping, DC shifts and sag

- Pritchard amps: emulations of preamp and power amp DC shifts, sag, screen compression, rail voltage modulation ("ghost notes")

- Ampeg SVT-7Pro (bass amp): power amp emulation of DC shifts and sag

- Line 6 amps in general: DSP emulation of DC shifts of preamp stages (at least).

- Yamaha DG series: DSP emulation of at least dynamic DC shifts in preamps and push-pull power amps.

- Vox Valvereactor series: DSP emulation of DC shifts in preamp, analog "hybrid" power amp emulation of push-pull power amps configurable to emulate DC shift differences of class-A and class-AB biasing.

- Hughes & Kettner amps: "emulates" DC shifts of preamps with AC coupled cascaded asymmetrically clipping stages

- Crate FlexWave & Ampeg Harmonics: Same as above, different technique

- Hughes&Kettner Quantum (bass amp): Same as above plus power amp emulation with variable clipping threshold

- Axe FX II: entirely user tweakable parameters for modeling e.g. preamp stage sag, power amp stage sag, sag time constant, power amp stage bias and DC shifts, PI bias shift, OT saturation dynamics and its loss and leakage inductance effects, feedback dynamics during overdrive etc.
 
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MagusFaerox

Member
Messages
980
I'm not too familiar with very new products since many are highly based on DSP (and without knowing proprietary IP performance can only be estimated from patent documents or feature lists). However, it's not far off to guess that there's probably more modeling units that emulate various "tube circuit" dynamics than modeling amps that don't. After all, it's one of the key characteristics modeling is about.

Computer Music Journal article "A Review of Digital Techniques for Modeling Vacuum-Tube Guitar Amplifiers" from 2009, written by Pakarinen and Yeh, (you can find it with google search) is getting more or less outdated now but it's a very good glimpse to what dynamic aspects of tube emulation were considered and featured already in the earliest modeling amps from likes of Line 6 and Yamaha. Even these were much more "dynamic" than what people claim or initially might expect.

Of older analog or hybrid amps, and some DSP units, I can give few examples (these are by no means all amps featuring dynamic tube emulation methods):

- Old Roland Blues Cube amps (analog TubeLogic): Emulate DC shifts in clipping points of preamp stages "naturally" by using AC coupled discrete "tube like" gain stages. "Rectifex" feature for emulating sag that dynamically controls clipping threshold.

- Peavey TransTube technology: Emulate same DC shifts, again with discrete "tube like" stages. "T-Dynamics" power amp emulates low damping & DC shifts and clipping of class-AB tube power amps.

-Roland GC-405: Exploits emulation ideas similar to analog Blues Cube amps (but no Rectifex feature). Emulations of push-pull power amp DC shifts.

- Various Line 6 amps (the more "professional" models): Analog tube power amp emulation that behaves similarly to Peavey's T-Dynamics, also emulates sag with dynamically varying clipping threshold. DSP preamp emulates dynamic DC shifts of the preamp.

- New Quilter amps: power amp emulation of damping, DC shifts and sag

- Pritchard amps: emulations of preamp and power amp DC shifts, sag, screen compression, rail voltage modulation ("ghost notes")

- Ampeg SVT-7Pro (bass amp): power amp emulation of DC shifts and sag

- Line 6 amps in general: DSP emulation of DC shifts of preamp stages (at least).

- Yamaha DG series: DSP emulation of at least dynamic DC shifts in preamps and push-pull power amps.

- Vox Valvereactor series: DSP emulation of DC shifts in preamp, analog "hybrid" power amp emulation of push-pull power amps configurable to emulate DC shift differences of class-A and class-AB biasing.

- Hughes & Kettner amps: "emulates" DC shifts of preamps with AC coupled cascaded asymmetrically clipping stages

- Crate FlexWave & Ampeg Harmonics: Same as above, different technique

- Hughes&Kettner Quantum (bass amp): Same as above plus power amp emulation with variable clipping threshold

- Axe FX II: entirely user tweakable parameters for modeling e.g. preamp stage sag, power amp stage sag, sag time constant, power amp stage bias and DC shifts, PI bias shift, OT saturation dynamics and its loss and leakage inductance effects, feedback dynamics during overdrive etc.

Awesome. Thank you.

I've played some of those amps...and I've liked/hated different ones. For example...on paper, there are a couple Quilters that should be perfect for what I want right now...but I can't stand them.

I think that leads more support to the idea that people, in general and myself included, don't really know what's responsible for the things they like or don't like about an amplifier. It seems like someone might play a few amps they like that use one technology and a few they don't like of another technology and draw a conclusion that the obvious difference in technology (tube vs. SS, but also 6L6 vs EL84 or any other possibly false dichotomy you can think of) is responsible rather than the totality of each specific amplifier.

And, that's before you consider cabinets. A lot of people in the modeling world have said that picking the right IR (which still doesn't capture everything a cab does) is the key to being happy with modeling. And Rick Beato stated that, with variety of tone in mind, he'd rather have a room full of cabs than a room full of amps if forced to choose.

Which all begs the question....is there a "better way" than keeping your mind open and just trying stuff?
 




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