SS amps; anything I'm missing out on?

jellodog

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They are better than they used to be, but they still suck. I bought and sold a Fender Mustang, Blackstar ID Core, and Boss Katana... then gave up and became a tube fanatic.

Those are all digital modeling practice amps. Not real analog SS amps.
Right? I was going to say pretty much the same thing, Vondragonnoggin. Also, the amps listed are hardly the cream of the SS crop.

People try the cheap-ass SS stuff (often with the $30 speaker) - and then they say it's crappy. So they never try the more expensive SS amps that are at least in a similar price range as the tube amps they buy... then they go and buy a nice tube amp that's 3 , 4 or even 5 times as expensive with a nice speaker in a decent cabinet with quality components and surprise surprise, it "sounds better".
:bonk
 
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bobcs71

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5,951
I started on SS amps in the 80s. After swapping rigs for a set with the other guitar player in a band I was quickly a tube convert. In the early 2000s I started revisiting lighter solutions. Note: My 80s Peavey amps were not light like many current SS amps. The big exception I haven't tried is Quilter but my current preference is tube amps followed by digital modeling. Amps using modeling like Yamaha & Nextone aren't complicated.
 

MagusFaerox

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980
Right? I was going to say pretty much the same thing, Vondragonnoggin. Also, the amps listed are hardly the cream of the SS crop.

People try the cheap-ass SS stuff - and then they say it's crappy. So they never try the more expensive SS amps... then they go and buy a nice tube amp that's 3 or 4 times as expensive with a nice speaker in a decent cabinet and surprise surprise, it "sounds better".
:bonk

I'm really starting to wonder if the cheap speakers and cabs that come with the vast majority of SS amps aren't the bulk of it.
 

jellodog

Silver Supporting Member
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665
The Nextone isn't modeling.
I thought it was a hybrid system, no? I read somewhere that the Nextone was a multi FET input stage + analog filters (so no digital modelling there) into a DSP stage (modelling?) and finally into a 4 different flavours of BOSS AB analog power amp circuits? Or am I mixing the Nextone architecture up with the Katana?

UPDATE:

Ahh... perhaps the DSP is just for the effects section? So the pre-amps are FET and fully analog with analog power amps. That would make sense. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the Nextone can comment.
 
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Lol yes. It was a late night purchase after a miserable gig... Everything which you should not do.

Yeah the right pedal with a cooking valve amp, difficult to beat.
Well .. In the case i mentioned, its a Roland JC and Butler Real Tube pedals .. So its SS with a pedal with an onboard 12AX7
 

MagusFaerox

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Messages
980
I thought it was a hybrid system, no? I read somewhere that the Nextone was a multi FET input stage + analog filters (so no digital modelling there) into a DSP stage (modelling?) and finally into a 4 different flavours of BOSS AB analog power amp circuits? Or am I mixing the Nextone architecture up with the Katana?

UPDATE:

Ahh... perhaps the DSP is just for the effects section? So the pre-amps are FET and fully analog with analog power amps. That would make sense. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the Nextone can comment.

That's the way I understand it, yes. The reverb and delay are digital (with analog dry through) and the trem is supposedly analog via OpAmps IIRC, though everything is digitally controlled (the knobs on it are actually encoders that get digitized, processed in software, and send control signals out to the analog hardware).

At least....that's what a Roland rep told me. He could have been full of s***. Some corporate sales goons are.

I will say that it sounded better as you turned the master up and definitely benefited from a speaker change. I kind of regret selling it as opposed to trying it into a cab that was actually made well...but it was the first thing I bought after getting back into guitar after a long hiatus, and I didn't really have the budget at the time.

The power amp also responded differently based on the power level you had set, so if you set up a sound at full power and turned it down to half a watt, you'd have to move like all of the knobs.

That's also just the amp. The different "boost" pedals you can choose in the software are modeled. But, they also all sounded worse to me than just using the pedal they were based on, at least for the ones I actually owned at the time. And despite the fact that it's completely irrational, it kind of bugged me that I never knew whether the signal was going through multiple generations of conversion despite me basically never turning on the digital stuff.

I don't really have a problem with digital anything, but I'm kind of vehement that if you're going digital, you should do exactly one generation of conversion and not go back and forth....e.g, I'd go modeling before I'd put 2 strymon pedals on my board and in a studio, I'd rather use a modeled plugin than actually looping out to the hardware it was based on.

For some reason, it just irks me to give away all the advantages of digital just for a tiny bit of mojo that amounts to less than the manufacturing tolerances between different examples of the analog gear. At least in the studio world. I still can't bring myself to try higher-end modeling guitar stuff. I really should.
 

jellodog

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665
That's the way I understand it, yes. The reverb and delay are digital (with analog dry through) and the trem is supposedly analog via OpAmps IIRC, though everything is digitally controlled (the knobs on it are actually encoders that get digitized, processed in software, and send control signals out to the analog hardware).

At least....that's what a Roland rep told me. He could have been full of s***. Some corporate sales goons are.

I will say that it sounded better as you turned the master up and definitely benefited from a speaker change. I kind of regret selling it as opposed to trying it into a cab that was actually made well...but it was the first thing I bought after getting back into guitar after a long hiatus, and I didn't really have the budget at the time.

The power amp also responded differently based on the power level you had set, so if you set up a sound at full power and turned it down to half a watt, you'd have to move like all of the knobs.

That's also just the amp. The different "boost" pedals you can choose in the software are modeled. But, they also all sounded worse to me than just using the pedal they were based on, at least for the ones I actually owned at the time. And despite the fact that it's completely irrational, it kind of bugged me that I never knew whether the signal was going through multiple generations of conversion despite me basically never turning on the digital stuff.

I don't really have a problem with digital anything, but I'm kind of vehement that if you're going digital, you should do exactly one generation of conversion and not go back and forth....e.g, I'd go modeling before I'd put 2 strymon pedals on my board and in a studio, I'd rather use a modeled plugin than actually looping out to the hardware it was based on.

For some reason, it just irks me to give away all the advantages of digital just for a tiny bit of mojo that amounts to less than the manufacturing tolerances between different examples of the analog gear. At least in the studio world. I still can't bring myself to try higher-end modeling guitar stuff. I really should.
Thanks for writing such detailed thoughts on the Nextone.

I feel the same way about number of A/D -> D/A convertions; there should be only one for the main signal path IMO. I feel too that it can be irrational given the quality of today's high end devices, but it does irk me in a mild OCD fashion, because I know it's there. So I just went fully analog SS in the end (Digital reverb and delay effects aside, ofc.).

So I'm super happy with pure analog SS for now; and yes, I have some nice speakers and cabinets. I could afford to buy any tube amp in the world (obvious vintage Dumble amps and other antiques excluded).

I have to say though... those Carr Super Bee tube amps have caught my eye - Haha! But that's just terrible GAS for an amp that's not even remotely justified in terms of expense and my guitar skill level.
 
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Tone_Terrific

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36,510
If you suspect digi processing (A/D/A conversions) strike a chord (cowboy D will do) with the amp running slight OD/clipping, and listen for the fade to nothing. If you get a grainy disintegration and/or the noise floor moves up as the sound fades, yes, there is digi going on.
If no artifacts exist then it doesn't really matter how the signal is being processed.
 

Custom50

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8,870
My favorite all time solid state amp is my old Sunn Beta. I sold that to a buddy of mine who really wanted it and bought a Hilbish which totally nails the same sound.

The solid state amp I'm enjoying now is the Orange Pedal Baby because it's so small and portable and I can plug my preamp pedals into it for a very portable good sounding rig.
 

MadAsAHatter

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Messages
161
Considering that this is TGP where tubes are king it's a nice surprise to see so much positivity towards SS amps. It appears solid state technology has come a good ways since last I looked.

About a year ago I was looking at modelers and saw where that has gotten so much better since the days of the original Line 6. before I bought my Engl Steve Morse I was highly tempted by an Axe FX3. Knowing myself I'd go too far down the rabbit hole with all the features of the Axe FX and not do any playing so ultimately I stuck with the tube.

I'm not in need of a new amp now, but I think I'll be browsing through the solid state stuff as I window shop and try to keep myself in the loop. For now I have a few other items on my list I want to get first, namely a Fryette PS100 and DeLisle amp/cab switcher
 

Alchemist XP

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9,650
Keep in mind that a LOT of tube "purists" and true believers get a lot of their overdrive from (heaven forbid!) "solid state overdrive / fuzz / boost pedals". Anyone set up with a pedal platform type clean amp isn't getting much, if any overdrive clipping from the tubes.

So, if most people are being honest that use pedalboards, their tone is a combination-hybrid of solid state overdrive + tube driven amplification

Just saying. (keeping in mind some people are using tube driven pedals like Kingsley, etc. ... but that's a tiny number compared to those using solid state drive pedals)
 

jellodog

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665
... before I bought my Engl Steve Morse I was highly tempted by an Axe FX3.
...
Oh! Well if you like something with as much gain as an Engl, then you should check out the Bluguitar Amp1 Iridium Edition. Phenomenal stuff. I love my Quilters, but the much higher gain Marshally stuff is done better by the Bluguitar amps. The recent Quilters have better Fender cleans and pushed cleans to my ear (we have both the Bluguitar Amp1 ME and various Quilters in our house).

And of course there's the Orange Super Crush 100, if you like that Orange flavour of gain (I appreciate that it's not everbody's cup of tea). Lots of really great stuff being done with JFETs these days.

... Knowing myself I'd go too far down the rabbit hole with all the features of the Axe FX and not do any playing so ultimately I stuck with the tube.
...
Yeah, that happened to me. It turns out that I like the immediacy of some knobs on the front of an amp and not enough options to pull me into fiddling about with 50 modelling parameters, which admittedly I enjoyed at first (I'm a computer programmer), but then I realised that I spent more time fiddling than playing and I wanted to get away from computers after spending all day at my job.

What modelling was really excellent for (for me), was using it to discover what my favourite amp sounds and effects were. Having the chance to be able to try everything for the price of a good modeller rather than buying and selling countless amps and effects was invaluable to me.

It turns out though, that I really only ever want 2 amp sounds, and I usually only use 1; but modelling helped me discover and confirm that. After that, it was a simple case of finding the best examples in the analog SS world.
 
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MadAsAHatter

Member
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161
Oh! Well if you like something with as much gain as an Engl,

The Steve Morse isn't super high gain like most of Engl's lineup is known for. It can do cleans and up to 80's style metal but isn't a gain monster like the Savage. I'd say it's main sweet spot is the late 70's pushed Marshall area, but with it's own flavor. And it's hard to beat the control over mids it gives you, especially on Channel 3 with Low & Hi Mid controls and a tone button to shift frequency response.
 

Tone_Terrific

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36,510
It turns out though, that I really only ever want 2 amp sounds, and I usually only use 1; but modelling helped me discover and confirm that. After that, it was a simple case of finding the best examples in the analog SS world.
I learned a similar lesson in the pre-model days of programmable preamps.
I don't need 128 sounds on 5 banks, and that the more one tweaks for one sound the less flexible the system becomes when that sound proves to be a bit off for the immediate application.
A good clean amp with an accessible pedalboard covers a wide range using preferred tones for me.
 

Serious Poo

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I'm a sucker for that overly-compressed, overly-chorused, hyper-clean, solid-state amp sound from the 80's. I should probably retake this picture to include my ADA MP1 as well...

49811495531_65d569ebf4_c.jpg
 

jellodog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
665
The Steve Morse isn't super high gain like most of Engl's lineup is known for. It can do cleans and up to 80's style metal but isn't a gain monster like the Savage. I'd say it's main sweet spot is the late 70's pushed Marshall area, but with it's own flavor. And it's hard to beat the control over mids it gives you, especially on Channel 3 with Low & Hi Mid controls and a tone button to shift frequency response.
Haha. Ahh... I didn't know that - I just saw "Engl" and filled in the blanks.

Bluguitar Amp1 ME is perfect for those 70's Marshall sounds then. Not that you need a new amp, as you've already said :)
 




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