Tube Rectifier vs. SS rectifier.

Zim

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What are the pro's and cons of both?

Any advantages of one over the other?
 

Frank Speak

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There are no pros and cons, nor advantages, IMO; just differences. Typically, a tube rectified amp will have a bit more sag about it, meaning the notes tend to compress and then blossom. The amount of sag varies depending on the design of the amp and the specific tube used, from my experience. I had a Dr. Z Rt. 66 that had too much sag for my liking so I changed out the rectifier tube based on a recommendation from Mike at KCA and it tightened the amp up. I currently have a Germino Club 40 that is switchable (has both SS and Tube rectifiers). Frankly, I can't tell that much difference on this amp.

SS rectifiers tend to produce a real quick attack/response with no sag to speak of.
 

jboyjams

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I agree with the above - in comparing my JTM45 (tube rectified) vs. 1987x (SS) - the 1987x is tighter (not just because of the greater wattage).
 

Gris

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Big diff for me - IMHO it really depends on the circuit and particularly the wattage. I LIKE SS rectos in certain amps up to about 35 watts, but then after that they seem constipated to me. It also depends on how much built-in compression the amp has (usually kinda/sorta a function of output transformer size), but ya know you can always throw a compressor in front of a SS recto amp... Anyway, I like the SS rectos in smaller amps cause they usually translate into a tad more headroom and less mush as the night wears on and the amp gets hot, on account of the increased voltage...
 

orogeny

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Big diff for me - IMHO it really depends on the circuit and particularly the wattage. I LIKE SS rectos in certain amps up to about 35 watts, but then after that they seem constipated to me. It also depends on how much built-in compression the amp has (usually kinda/sorta a function of output transformer size), but ya know you can always throw a compressor in front of a SS recto amp... Anyway, I like the SS rectos in smaller amps cause they usually translate into a tad more headroom and less mush as the night wears on and the amp gets hot, on account of the increased voltage...
well done. my main amp has a SS rect and it is running under 35 watts. excellent, TIGHT bass is the result. had a deluxe reverb before this (tube rect) and i could NEVER get along with the bottom end on that amp. farty, flubby. . . call it what you will. i could never turn past two or three on the bass control. . . .
 

riffmeister

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To defy conventional wisdom, I've owned tube and SS rectified amps that were fast/stiff and slow/squishy, respectively. This tells me it really depends on the entire circuit as to what you will get.
 

StratStringSlinger

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3,290
Amps with solid state rectifiers can be set up to have more or less sag too. There two negative feedback switches on the Two Rock Classic Reverb that allow you to adjust the feel of the amp.
 

Frank Speak

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1,356
I think this is one of the few threads I've read where I agree with every post. lol

I'll add that, as was the case with my Rt. 66, you can make a real saggy (word?) tube amp tighter. I notice a couple of you mentioned the Deluxe Reverb. Sag complaints are fairly common with that amp, especially from guys that are used to playing amps with a real quick response. The description I see most often is "bottom end is farting out". That's not usually the case, at least not in the way I define the term. Farting out, to me, is generally a product of the speaker. More often than not, that fartiness folks refer to in the Deluxe is just the amp's natural sag. A good way to solve that issue with the Deluxe is to run a SS rectifier plug. I think you can get them from most parts/tube suppliers. Another way is to do as I did with my Z and simply replace the rectifier tube with one that will tighten up the amp. Now, I wouldn't no what that tube is from Adam. I simply called up Mike at KCA, explained what I was trying to get out of my amp and he made a recommendation. Fortunately, $40 later my amp was perfect. Before that, I was contemplating selling it.
 

FuzzyAce

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2,485
I also agree with everyone here. For me, the big difference is when you run the amp full out or close to full. SS will keep it tighter/stiffer/more headroom but still have good compression, tube will be looser with more breakup and compression. Both sound great, really depends on how you play and what you want to feel or hear. Of course I'm speaking from a Princeton and a Deluxe point of view.
 

Franktone

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I heard that a tube rectifier that goes bad can take out your power transformer with it.
 

tele_jas

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I think it depends if the amp was designed to run tube or SS rectifier? For an amp designed to run a tube rectifier, a SS (copper cap) would change it.

I had a couple Dr Z amps and tried a Weber Copper cap in them... I noticed a brighter tone and a stiffer, tighter feel. I also noticed more headroom. After all was said and done, I went back to tube rectifiers in those amps because I like that "spongy" feel and bit of warmth you get from a tube rectifier. I did have a 1974x clone that just didnt 'have enough clean head room, so I tried a copper cap and it added just enough head room (and brightened it up some) to get over my drummer.

Also in Mesa Boogie Rectifiers, it tells you to use the SS rectifier setting for a tighter feel.

It has it's place... but I like the pure tube signal path, especially if the amp was designed that way. If the amp was designed without a tube rectifier, I can be happy with out all tubes.

FWIW.. I carry a weber copper cap in my gig box as a backup... I hope I never need it, but I'll have it if I do. I also have a full set of power tubes and fuses. I did have a rectifier tube fail once and it fried all the power tubes and fuses.
 

Frank Speak

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1,356
I don't really have a preference now days. Actually, I have found an appreciation for tube rectified amps as I used to not care for them much. Interesting how and in what direction we grow as musicians over the years.
 




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