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Torn between the powe and tone of a Tube and vs the portability and convenience of SS..

Jr Deluxe

Member
Messages
3,417
Im not torn in the slightest. Not ripped or even a little nicked. In fact if SS amps were declared poisonous by the CDC i wouldnt even notice anything had happed.

Tubes. Period.
 

Doomrider78

Member
Messages
4,535
I've had the same dilemma. I bought a Katana Artist a few weeks ago and like it but I was in my local guitar store and plugged into a tube amp (a Mesa Express 5:50 2×12) and I gotta say there was no revelation, no epiphany, no sudden awakening: to play, it felt exactly the same as my Katana (touch sensitivity, responsiveness etc). Sound wise, it didn't sound any better, just different (primarily due to the difference between my 1×12 speaker and the Mesa 2x12), and with a less controllable volume.

OK, I'm sure there are better tube amps out there but the point is, just because it doesn't have tubes, it doesn't mean a decent solid state isn't capable of producing great tones and feeling like a "proper" amp.

I will buy a tube amp at some point, just to say I've owned one, but for my current situation/needs, the Katana Artist suits me fine (until the next time I crave buying new gear :D).
 

bemymonkey

Member
Messages
140
Just use both - tube full stack when you have bandmates or roadies to help schlepp it all... and something tiny and light when you have to carry it all yourself :)
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,880
And it continues.....this morning the wife is gone, so I fired up the Boogie (Express 5:25+ into a Forte' 3D cabinet) and proceeded to mess with my drive pedals. Time for some volume!! Hum, just felt flat. So I bypassed the pedals and played with the different modes, watt selection, and so on (for a brief history, I've been a Boogie guy since 1990, so I am pretty good a dialing them in). Just wasn't getting there today. Swapped guitars, and still didn't feel "right". In addition, the hiss was, well, a bit too hissy for me today. So after about 90 minutes I said screw it, plugged the Quilter 101R into the Forte', and there it was. Chimey cleans, and real good drive from my pedals (MO, Timmy, and Zendrive2), and nice feel. Good controlled feedback as well.

So what's my point? As good as my tube amps can sound, my Quilter seems to be more consistent. Sounds the same every time. I have no idea why the Boogie was "off" today, but it's not the first time it's happened. Tomorrow it might sound awesome, I donno. This subject has been discussed ad-nausium here, so I'm not really asking why. Happens with my DC2 and my Rocker 15 as well. So far, the Quilter sounds the same every time. As much as I like tube amps (and as an aside, I have so many tubes my wife would have a heart attack if she found out how much I've got in them) the consistency of the Quilter (and no tubes to mess with) continues to impress. The older I get the less I want to mess with things....

Al
 

Pastafarian

Member
Messages
5,428
And it continues.....this morning the wife is gone, so I fired up the Boogie (Express 5:25+ into a Forte' 3D cabinet) and proceeded to mess with my drive pedals. Time for some volume!! Hum, just felt flat. So I bypassed the pedals and played with the different modes, watt selection, and so on (for a brief history, I've been a Boogie guy since 1990, so I am pretty good a dialing them in). Just wasn't getting there today. Swapped guitars, and still didn't feel "right". In addition, the hiss was, well, a bit too hissy for me today. So after about 90 minutes I said screw it, plugged the Quilter 101R into the Forte', and there it was. Chimey cleans, and real good drive from my pedals (MO, Timmy, and Zendrive2), and nice feel. Good controlled feedback as well.

So what's my point? As good as my tube amps can sound, my Quilter seems to be more consistent. Sounds the same every time. I have no idea why the Boogie was "off" today, but it's not the first time it's happened. Tomorrow it might sound awesome, I donno. This subject has been discussed ad-nausium here, so I'm not really asking why. Happens with my DC2 and my Rocker 15 as well. So far, the Quilter sounds the same every time. As much as I like tube amps (and as an aside, I have so many tubes my wife would have a heart attack if she found out how much I've got in them) the consistency of the Quilter (and no tubes to mess with) continues to impress. The older I get the less I want to mess with things....

Al

Really the only time I require a tube amp is when I do outdoor gigs. When I need 100w of tube power going through a full or half stack. Thats really the only advantage tube amps have for me that I can think of. I can do 90% of every gig I will ever do with a Peavey Bandit or a Boss Katana and sound/feel great doing it.
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,880
Really the only time I require a tube amp is when I do outdoor gigs. When I need 100w of tube power going through a full or half stack. Thats really the only advantage tube amps have for me that I can think of. I can do 90% of every gig I will ever do with a Peavey Bandit or a Boss Katana and sound/feel great doing it.

I suppose if I bought the new Quilter 202R and used two single 12" cabs I wouldn't need a 100 watt tube amp ever....hummmm......

Al
 

De Batz

Member
Messages
2,931
And it continues.....this morning the wife is gone, so I fired up the Boogie (Express 5:25+ into a Forte' 3D cabinet) and proceeded to mess with my drive pedals. Time for some volume!! Hum, just felt flat. So I bypassed the pedals and played with the different modes, watt selection, and so on (for a brief history, I've been a Boogie guy since 1990, so I am pretty good a dialing them in). Just wasn't getting there today. Swapped guitars, and still didn't feel "right". In addition, the hiss was, well, a bit too hissy for me today. So after about 90 minutes I said screw it, plugged the Quilter 101R into the Forte', and there it was. Chimey cleans, and real good drive from my pedals (MO, Timmy, and Zendrive2), and nice feel. Good controlled feedback as well.

So what's my point? As good as my tube amps can sound, my Quilter seems to be more consistent. Sounds the same every time. I have no idea why the Boogie was "off" today, but it's not the first time it's happened. Tomorrow it might sound awesome, I donno. This subject has been discussed ad-nausium here, so I'm not really asking why. Happens with my DC2 and my Rocker 15 as well. So far, the Quilter sounds the same every time. As much as I like tube amps (and as an aside, I have so many tubes my wife would have a heart attack if she found out how much I've got in them) the consistency of the Quilter (and no tubes to mess with) continues to impress. The older I get the less I want to mess with things....

Al

The thing I want the most is to play and stop knobbing (in all its possible senses) about with the gear. The thing I do the most is knob about with the gear, so I end up 'trying stuff out', even stuff I already own, instead of setting a sound and just playing. It's my biggest flaw as a player, that I tend to obsess over the sound out of the amp rather than the music, although I do make some good music in the end! That's usually when there's a bunch of other people there and I have to just get on with playing rather than fiddling with gear, though.
 

Blueswede

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,654
Could I recommend the Roland Blues Cube Artist? The Roland Blues Cube Artist is seriously one of the best amps I've ever owned, arguably THE best. Direct out for silent recording or silent stage use works well [with the caveat that it's bass heavy - turn the bass back to about 9 o'clock on that channel in your mixer - otherwise it sounds great and nearly identical to a mic'd cab]. Variable power section allows you to get the tone you want at ANY volume - silent, small room, small bar, club, outdoor event - it all works.

I still have several high dollar tube amps in storage [because some times a client insists you *HAVE* to use that amp to get the "right" tone... and I do want to get paid, so...]. I've also sold off several tube amps because I no longer needed them after getting the BCA.

I genuinely do not miss tubes with this amp - It's a lot lighter so no more sore back, no more worrying about cold rain hitting my hot tubes and busting them, no more worrying about some stage mongrel [i.e. stage hand sat festivals that don't work for me] yanking my amp out of his way and slamming it down hard somewhere with hot tubes in it and breaking them, no more expensive NOS tubes, no more Biasing, no more playing too loud for the venue to get my amp to the point it makes the right sound, no more fights with sound guys about how loud I do or don't need to be... I could go on and on.

The point being - complete and utter RELIEF. I'm a pedal platform into a clean amp guy now for most things, and I can thankfully now just play, have the sound I want at ANY volume, and just concentrate on the playing and putting on a good show. It's really a relief. With the capsule feature you can have an entirely new amp for the cost of a pedal too. Simply fantastic product. Highly recommended.
+100....
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,175
I have the power and tone of my pedal board into a good IR box DI'd to PA. Not missing a thing. The whole PA is my amp. A mix of digital and solid state I guess.

Do I have to bring an amp? OK. Lately I'd throw my QSC CP8 in the trunk and run my standard DI rig. But if not that maybe the Blues Cube Hot EL84 or last but not least my OTS 20. So eventually I'd get to tubes. The Blues Cube Hot definitely does get it done but I still use a assembled for amp pedal board with it.

hunter
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,339
And it continues.....this morning the wife is gone, so I fired up the Boogie (Express 5:25+ into a Forte' 3D cabinet) and proceeded to mess with my drive pedals. Time for some volume!! Hum, just felt flat. So I bypassed the pedals and played with the different modes, watt selection, and so on (for a brief history, I've been a Boogie guy since 1990, so I am pretty good a dialing them in). Just wasn't getting there today. Swapped guitars, and still didn't feel "right". In addition, the hiss was, well, a bit too hissy for me today. So after about 90 minutes I said screw it, plugged the Quilter 101R into the Forte', and there it was. Chimey cleans, and real good drive from my pedals (MO, Timmy, and Zendrive2), and nice feel. Good controlled feedback as well.

So what's my point? As good as my tube amps can sound, my Quilter seems to be more consistent. Sounds the same every time. I have no idea why the Boogie was "off" today, but it's not the first time it's happened. Tomorrow it might sound awesome, I donno. This subject has been discussed ad-nausium here, so I'm not really asking why. Happens with my DC2 and my Rocker 15 as well. So far, the Quilter sounds the same every time. As much as I like tube amps (and as an aside, I have so many tubes my wife would have a heart attack if she found out how much I've got in them) the consistency of the Quilter (and no tubes to mess with) continues to impress. The older I get the less I want to mess with things....

Al

Totally respect your decision. But I think you hit on something that maybe splits us into two camps on this.

Though my tube amps, almost all of them are simpler and have no modes, etc. and keep in mind the solid state amps I have, and have played were not like top of the line, but still...

When I plug into a solid state, Roland cube for example, and start playing, it DOES sound damned good to me at first. As you say too, it is consistent. But after literally 10-15 minutes there is kind of a feel of sameness in the tone, sound, and feel. It’s starts sounding flat to me. Does not give me joy.

Then I go and plug into a tube amp, crank it a little, and there it is...and I can play for hours and feel like all is right. There are days when nothing sounds right with either, that’s just me. But I haven’t had the opposite experience that you have.

That’s just when I am practicing. It isn’t really fair because I have never used a solid state with my band, or bands except back in the eighties for a while and when I went back to tube amps, was a marked difference, but back then the solid state amps were mostly crap, so maybe it would even out with the better ones available now. I’ve played jams where someone brought the same Roland cube and I thought they sounded great, so it also seems to be a playing/feedback/feel thing for me.

So it may just be in my head, but the comfort of knowing how much I dig my Budda SD amps, and when a bigger venue, at 62 years old and not in best fitness, I still figure ten minutes load unload of a heavier amp is worth the feel I have when I start playing. I bring the roland cube amp as backup in case the tubes go or other problems.
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,880
Totally respect your decision. But I think you hit on something that maybe splits us into two camps on this.

Though my tube amps, almost all of them are simpler and have no modes, etc. and keep in mind the solid state amps I have, and have played were not like top of the line, but still...

When I plug into a solid state, Roland cube for example, and start playing, it DOES sound damned good to me at first. As you say too, it is consistent. But after literally 10-15 minutes there is kind of a feel of sameness in the tone, sound, and feel. It’s starts sounding flat to me. Does not give me joy.

Then I go and plug into a tube amp, crank it a little, and there it is...and I can play for hours and feel like all is right. There are days when nothing sounds right with either, that’s just me. But I haven’t had the opposite experience that you have.

That’s just when I am practicing. It isn’t really fair because I have never used a solid state with my band, or bands except back in the eighties for a while and when I went back to tube amps, was a marked difference, but back then the solid state amps were mostly crap, so maybe it would even out with the better ones available now. I’ve played jams where someone brought the same Roland cube and I thought they sounded great, so it also seems to be a playing/feedback/feel thing for me.

So it may just be in my head, but the comfort of knowing how much I dig my Budda SD amps, and when a bigger venue, at 62 years old and not in best fitness, I still figure ten minutes load unload of a heavier amp is worth the feel I have when I start playing. I bring the roland cube amp as backup in case the tubes go or other problems.

Good point. I think when you are isolated in your practice space you can easily hear the nuances of the tube amp warming up and getting "cooking" which is what you might be hearing and feeling. But in a band context once the band starts playing I think some, if not all of that gets lost in the volume and the excitement of the song(s) and you keep going. When I jammed with friends a few weeks back with the Quilter it sounded good the entire 4 hours, and so much so that the bass player, who also plays guitar, said he was going to sell his Blues Jr and get a Quilter, he was so impressed. Our drummer, who is pretty much tone deaf (he thinks his off-brand stereo from 20 years ago sounds great) was blown away by the sound and volume I was getting out of the 101R and matching 10" speaker. I will admit, when my Boogies are sounding good the Quilter doesn't quite have the feel or sag the Boogie do, but for me, once we get into the song I forget about that and let the song take me away. YMMV and all that.....

Al
 

Jim234

Member
Messages
1,371
You dig what you dig but SS is damn close these days... depends on how you feel about the last mile. A good guitarist with an ear for tone can make a tin can sound good... One of my fav local guys plays a katana 100 on board fx only and sounds brilliant in the live mix.
 

Flogger59

Member
Messages
12,026
I use both, but you can play a tube amp on 10 all night, and if the speaker survives you can do it the next night, too.

A solid state amp will smell funny if you do that.

Not that I've had the chance to run a tube amp cranked on a gig all night.
 

Doomrider78

Member
Messages
4,535
I played my Katana Artist in our new practice space yesterday and it easily kept up with a drummer and the other guitarist who had a 100w Marshall with a 4x12 (the master volume was at 10 o'clock on the 50w setting): However, I'm tempted to try the KA with a 4x12 to really get the air flowing.
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,880
You dig what you dig but SS is damn close these days... depends on how you feel about the last mile. A good guitarist with an ear for tone can make a tin can sound good... One of my fav local guys plays a katana 100 on board fx only and sounds brilliant in the live mix.

Yeah, I think today, at least for me, we are only arguing about that last 3-5% of tone. I'm reaching the point that if I can't make a good sounding SS amp work I might as well hang it up. Many others don't feel that way, and like you I'm cool with that. But no tubes to mess with, no warm up and cool downs, light weight, and it's checking all my boxes. I can see someday soon having only a couple of single 12" cabinets, the Quilter Blockdock TC10, a Quilter 101R or 202R, and my Orange Rocker 15 combo. If the Orange CR60 was about 15 pounds less I'd already have that, but 45 pounds was not where I wanted it to be, so the Rocker 15 combo was the answer. We'll see....

Al
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,880
And it continues.....this morning the wife is gone, so I fired up the Boogie (Express 5:25+ into a Forte' 3D cabinet) and proceeded to mess with my drive pedals. Time for some volume!! Hum, just felt flat. So I bypassed the pedals and played with the different modes, watt selection, and so on (for a brief history, I've been a Boogie guy since 1990, so I am pretty good a dialing them in). Just wasn't getting there today. Swapped guitars, and still didn't feel "right". In addition, the hiss was, well, a bit too hissy for me today. So after about 90 minutes I said screw it, plugged the Quilter 101R into the Forte', and there it was. Chimey cleans, and real good drive from my pedals (MO, Timmy, and Zendrive2), and nice feel. Good controlled feedback as well.

So what's my point? As good as my tube amps can sound, my Quilter seems to be more consistent. Sounds the same every time. I have no idea why the Boogie was "off" today, but it's not the first time it's happened. Tomorrow it might sound awesome, I donno. This subject has been discussed ad-nausium here, so I'm not really asking why. Happens with my DC2 and my Rocker 15 as well. So far, the Quilter sounds the same every time. As much as I like tube amps (and as an aside, I have so many tubes my wife would have a heart attack if she found out how much I've got in them) the consistency of the Quilter (and no tubes to mess with) continues to impress. The older I get the less I want to mess with things....

Al

OK, another morning of "alone" time. Fired up the Quilter (as it was already plugged into the pedalboard and cabinet from last week as I was traveling all week) and sounded great. Noodled for a while, then switched the input and speaker to the Boogie, and wow, almost no hiss, and the Boogie sounded and felt great as well. Not like last weekend. Played with it for a while, then switched back to the Quilter. Sounded very, very close to the Boogie. I can easily be happy with either the way the Boogie sounded today, not accounting for the weight difference. (which is actually a great place to be) So I wonder what next week will bring....o_O

Isn't this fun....hahaha.....:)

Al
 




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