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  1. #1
    Top Of The World solo-ed's Avatar
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    03.24.18 @ 10:43 PM
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    Default do you need a tube amp for good tone

    I was curious do you always need a tube amp for good tone. Are solid state amps that bad. If you have good technique can you make a solid state amp work for you. I was just wondering cause I see alot of kids go out and buy the 5150 amps for example and It sounds like there playin through a solid state amp. And Ive heard people play through solid states that get a nice overdriven tube sound.
    Last edited by solo-ed; 06.13.06 at 05:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    11.06.18 @ 11:48 AM
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    Go with what you can be satisfied with.

    Solid state amps are fine. Dimebag Darrell used to use solid state Randalls.

    Everyone's ears and tastes are different. I prefer tube amps in a band setting because I think they sound better than solid state amps when you
    crank them up--lots more dynamic range and just a more pleasing tone.

    As far as the kids and the 5150s--you have to look at the factors involved. 5150s inherently have buzzy and fizzy distortion channels, especially at lower volumes. Many guys have their 5150s modded to take this away--either by biasing the power tubes or changing transformers, etc.

    You may have different tastes and be more interested in a Fender-y tone or a more pure Marshall tone. If solid state works for you--hey go with YOUR ears.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  3. #3
    Don't Touch the Dog There axebrian's Avatar
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    01.28.17 @ 02:56 PM
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    Due to the Digital modeling technology out today (Line 6, Digitech and many more) Solid State Amps have never sounded so good. I recall 25 years ago trying to accurately emulate "The Tube Tone" on a solid state Amp was challanging to say the least...
    A agree with MK though on cranking the Tube Amp up...that's when they shine, that is if your neighbors or the club owner will allow it

    February 10, 1978...The day that changed the Rock N Roll guitar world!!!

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    10.09.06 @ 12:12 PM
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    All a matter of tastes. To achieve some of the greatest tones ever-EVH, Page, Santana, Satriani, Wylde-then, yes you need to start with a tube amp. But solid-state modelling has never been better, and there have been many guys that can get great tones out of solid-state amps. I have both a 5150 and Marshall MG Series amps, and I have to say, I can get great, useful tones out of both. I do run a Boss GT-6 floor processor in front of the MG, but standing alone, I've always preferred clean channels on solid-state amps. One thing is common when I play both amps, and that is I'm the one playing it. The first thing between you and the guitar is your hands. Your pick attack, legato, alternate picking, vibrato, and phrasing are more important to your tone than what you are playing your guitar through. You will still sound like yourself playing through either a Marshall JCM or a Fender Cyber Twin. I know it sounds cliche, but I think all guitarists have this revelation , often times a few thousands dollars down the line. I know I did.

  5. #5
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    For a good rock tone I'd yeah you need a good tube amp. Tube amps are organic sounding, they breathe and respond to whatever the player is putting into them.

    Dimebag's actual tone IMO sounds horrible, but it worked for what he did. I do think it would have sounded better going through a tube setup.

    Modeling amp have made things a little better though. At home, (and for effects live) I run a pod xt live. By itself a guy could believe that the pod sounds pretty good, but once I plug into my Recto and A/B them the Recto roasts a pod any day of the week.

    The biggest problem I think a lot of guys have (i.e., the dudes you talk about with the 5150s) is that they don't have a clue how to set them up. They smile their eq settings and crank the gain. That will make any amp sound like shit. Take the Recto series for example. Bands like Creed and Nickleback use rectos with the gain cranked and a smile eq setting and it sounds like shit. Everybody thinks that those tones are what a Recto sounds like. With the settings those guys use it wouldn't matter if a chimp was playing guitar, they all sound the same.

    I'm digressing into a rant but, IMO 90% of guys out there think that gain = heavy, It doesn't! Guys also think that high treble, low mids, high bass = good, it doesn't. With those types of settings you could strum lightly or strum hard and it all sounds the same. The lows give you mud, low mids suck the body out of your tone, and the highs+gain= buzzsaw tone.

    I'm not the greatest player in the world, but I've been playing long enough to know how to make a tube amp a vehicle for delivering my tone and my personality. Every time I play for other people I always get guys asking me how I got my tone or what mods I did to my amp. I play in a band that has a big retro/British vibe to it and I've played with guys that are heavier than Metallica and I use the same amp settings with just a little tweaking.

    I guess my point is that the most important things are how you set your amp up, and how you play and interact with your amp. A tube amp will provide a much broader palette for the player to use.

    p.s sorry for the rant
    My Band

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.13.18 @ 12:54 PM
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    I agree with Homeunit. There is much more to tone then the scooped mids. I used it for awhile but now when I listen to it, ughhhh...

    You can get good tone using solid state. However you get great tone from tubes.

    I use both so its not like I am a purist or anything. I have a 5150 and love it to death. I also have a PodXT Live. When I gig I like the versatility of the POD but if I had my way, nothing beats cranking that 5150 up and letting it scream. It seems to me that solid state sounds better at low volumes and tubes are better at high volumes.



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