Why Use a Solid State Rectifier?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by New Angel, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. New Angel

    New Angel Guest

    It seems to me that every amp I have ever not liked had a solid state rectifier and every one I have liked have a tube rectifier.

    Does anyone know of the preferences/advantages that would make sense to have a solid state rectifier?
     
  2. monstermike

    monstermike Member

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    More power, more volume, more headroom, less compression, less space, less heat.

    I'm with you. The solid state thing doesn't work for me either.
     
  3. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    A solid state tends to tighten up airy overdrive.
     
  4. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    SS Rectifiers take less power to operate, supply more power and cost less. Most amps over about 60 watts would require 2 tube rectifiers adding to the cost.

    In addition tube rectifiers are slower to respond to changes in current requirements.... sag. Most likely it's that sag that you like, a slight delay in coming to full power when you play hard. That works great in a lot of case but for very aggressive hard hitting tones, an SS rectifier will respond quicker giving more impact to the tone.

    Today there are SS replacements for tube rectifiers that will act very similar to a tube. Weber Copper caps are one that's very good.
     
  5. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    You can swap out a GZ34 or other style rectifier with a solid state equivalent. I tried it, but really liked the tuber rectifier feel the best.
     
  6. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    Personally, I don't think there is any advantage at all to using a tube rectifier. I like a solid state rectifier with no choke. This is one rare situation where cheaper is better! :p I did the tube rectifier thing for many years, but now I'm really happy hearing the attack characteristics of my different guitars, instead of having the amp impart it's own "envelope." I don't think SS rectification damages the tone at all, while the dwindling supply of really great rectifier tubes will certainly hurt the tone of the vintage amps.
     
  7. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    I like them both for what they are.


    That said, two of my absolute favorite amps are my two Sano 160R, both diode rectified. Go figure and they're both late 60's amps too. In person, they just sound spectacular.
     
  8. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    Just checked out a schematic, Sano 160R SS rectifier, no choke.
     
  9. woof*

    woof* Member

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    i recently swapped out my tube recto for a ss in my jtm 45 on the advice of my amp guy. i had beeen thinking that i wanted the sag and touch response etc but i was wrong. with the solid state in there its not only louder but has better and tighter bass. it still has the harmonics and sustain. the touch/finger response feels the same to me. i play a strat, maybe this would be more noticeable with a les paul/humbucker..i dunno....but i like mine better with the solid state.
    rand
     
  10. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I think there's a lot of hype around tube rectifiers. Most folks are like you, they want the immediate touch responsivness of an SS rectifier. I'm not saying that there aren't lots of folks that like the sag/bloom feel of a tube, I just think a lot of it is hype.
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    tube vs SS?

    it doesn't matter for me.......I've played SS rectified amps with plenty of sag, I've played tube rectified amps that are tight as a drum.

    it really depends on the overall design of the amp.

    I do like tube rectified amps, though, because it gives you so many choices.......fast with a GZ34, slow with a 5Y3.
     
  12. JamesPeters

    JamesPeters Member

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    I agree with both those statements.

    That's an approach to sag which works well under a lot of conditions, even sounds a lot like tube rectification to a lot of people.

    There are a few more approaches to get sag without requiring a tube rectifier and they're all easy to do. I think one neat thing about not using a tube rectifier is that I can be very specific with the amount of sag I build into the circuit. Another is of course not having to worry about a tube rectifier failing. I spend enough time talking to customers about tubes which have gone noisy or failed; I don't need to spend more time discussing that subject. :)
     
  13. 1964

    1964 Member

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    A/B Marshall's Handwired 18W (tube rectifier) and 20W (solid-state) rectifier, and tell me it doesn't make a significant, discernable tonal difference.
     
  14. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    In my experience, the type of rectifier changes the feel of the amp more than anything. However, setting the tone/feel issues aside, one advantage of a tube rectifier is being able to replace it quickly at a gig if it fails. With an amp that has a failed hard wired solid state rectifier, you're dead in the water.
     
  15. mmorse

    mmorse Member

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    I'd like to give that a try. Did you use a Weber copper cap? Was it just plug and play?
     
  16. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    I am actually am thinking that I am going to have my next amp built with a switchable rectifier...So I will have both available in the same amp.
     
  17. JacksonAmpworks

    JacksonAmpworks Member

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    There is a best of both world's schenario. You can use a solid state rectifer with put a resistor after it. The resistor will drop voltage as the current demands increase. This will translate as sag to the ears and hands of the user.

    With this type of setup, you keep great reliability with a flexible ammount of sag, and a great price point. Seems like a win win to me.

    Also if you really wanted to get crazy with it, you would put a variable resistor after the diodes and adjust the ammount of sag just like any other control on your amp.

    This gives me an idea..... :D
     
  18. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I think you may just like smaller amps better.
     
  19. JamesPeters

    JamesPeters Member

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    If the SS diodes are good, they should last "forever". If you're concerned about being able to quickly replace a blown SS rectifier, you should install external sockets for just about every component in the amp while you're at it. :)

    Been done. :)
     
  20. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I don't like the sag that tube rectifiers can impart to the tone. So I like all tube amps with solid state rectifers.
     

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