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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer DaveRobertsSteal's Avatar
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    08.12.10 @ 01:38 PM
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    Default Thoughts on Tubes/Solid State,Help?

    Hi, I was hoping some of you guys would give me your thoughts on this issue. I have had,for the last maybe 7 years a Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 100 watt head. I can't roll with the thing anymore. I always felt the heat from people and a good friend of mine that " you gotta stick with tubes,it's Halen,it's Hendrix!" But I've had it with the amp "breathing" and sometimes it sounds good,then it has off days. I am sure some of you know. Anywho,in my bedroom I play on one of those little MG Marshall amps and the sound is consistent and has got good bite. By the way I play on a Washburn N4 paduak colored guitar,if this helps. Bottomline,because of the success I have in my room on the amp,I am leaning towards trading the JCM for a solid state 100 watt head. What is the best solid state 100 watt head and what are your thoughts on this matter? I appreciate any info.

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    First of all, what kind of tone/sound are you going for?

    Because if you are trying to get the same "EVH Tube sound" or "ACDC Grit" or whatever you are getting now with your Marshall on a good day, you won't probably be able to replicate that tone with a solid state amp. It just won't happen. If you are looking for more consistency, but also in keeping the nice tube tone, I would suggest trying some Peaveys. They are EXTREMELY consistent day to day. Whether you like their sound or not is up to you, but they don't change much between retubes. I have also heard that Soldanos are the same way -- although I don't own one. Before you give up on tubes, I would really try some other companies because if the JCM 2000 (I am not familiar with that amp's schematic) is anything like say a 1987, 1959, 2204, etc. vintage marshall, then it is probably on the worst end of the scale of amps that 'breathe'. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but obviously it is not what you want.

    However, if you are going for a new and different tone, and you are not trying to nail a tube sound, then you might want to consider a solid state amp. The Marshalls SS's are good, older Peavey SS amps are amazing (when compared to other SS amps, not tube amps of course.)

    If I were you, I'd go try as many tube amps (and SS amps if that is what you really want) as possible over a period of a few different days.
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 09.29.08 at 03:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    I have a Soldano Slo-100 I have had since I was 18 and it sounds the same as the day I got it, even after 2 retubes. I got a 5150II and it is consistent also. Tried tons of solid states and have yet to find one that I would buy.

  4. #4
    On Fire
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    04.25.10 @ 09:16 PM
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    Default

    Every solid state amp I have ever played sounded sterile/not warm to me, especially the distortion/crunch channel. I don't think you would be happy with it long term and would be replacing it in a matter of time. Just my short opinion.

    Good luck
    Chris

  5. #5
    Little Dreamer DaveRobertsSteal's Avatar
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    08.12.10 @ 01:38 PM
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    Default

    Well it is nice to talk to someone about it! Thank you all,good thing I didn't act quick. I play a lot of classic rock but I think the leads are kinda muddy on that JCM.

  6. #6
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    11.06.14 @ 04:06 AM
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    Default

    Boobtone makes a GREAT amp!!! All hand-wired, all-tube, not a bad price.

  7. #7
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveRobertsSteal View Post
    Well it is nice to talk to someone about it! Thank you all,good thing I didn't act quick. I play a lot of classic rock but I think the leads are kinda muddy on that JCM.
    This is just my 2 cents, but if you play classic rock, DO NOT BUY A SOLID STATE AMP!

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    the one thing i like solid state amps for is the clean tone, loads of headroom because theres no tubes to overdrive, although your speaker quality then comes into the equation. but for overdrive tones then you gotta stick with tubes, you need an organic tone, something that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when it drifts into feedback and thats something you wont get with a solidstate amp.
    your live sound problems could be with your volume and gain levels at any particular gig, tube amps have a sweet spot, a point where everything is working perfectly, a cent above or below that sweet spot and it wont sound anywhere near as good, so if you get a great live sound one night and then 2 days later at a smaller venue it sounds like shit, that could be a factor, in that case consider an attenuator or smaller tube amp.
    i have used a jcm 800 and 5150 for years as my main rig and never had any complaints with either of them and for my clean tone i use a solid state amp i built myself years ago (albeit with a little chorus and stereo delay added)
    although i am considering a diezel herbert or VH4 for my next purchase.

    tom
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    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    i've always been a proponent of traditional tube amps but you know what? I'm gigging with a solid state...a crate of all things! That's saying something when you consider that at one point in my life I was about the biggest gear snob you would have ever met. But I've come to a simple realization: It's not what you play, it's what it sounds like and I get monster tone out of my solid state crate. It's perfect for my current gig, lots and lots of clean headroom...no having to adjust knobs throughout the show to compensate for tubes heating up and not having to 'baby' the amp for fear of breaking a tube. As for overdrive/distortion, never played a solid state amp that had good tone but I have a seymour duncan and a budha pedal for that.

    For me it comes down to the task at hand and choosing the right amp. For what I'm doing now, I'd never go back to tube amps. If I switched projects and went to something more gritty, almost certainly but I tell you what, this amp is just awesome...it gives me such a crisp clean palete to work with that I can create just about any kind of sound with it.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 01:00 PM
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    Default

    I play and gig with tubes but I must say, I do sometimes think of going SS as well just for the ease. After when you add bass, another guitar, drums and vocals, well my guitar is not supposed to stick out. Its supposed to blend in and having a killer tone really does not matter when you are staring at some hot chick dancing to Crazy Bitch. Sure some guitarist out there can appreciate it but he may also think that I am a bad guitarist regardless of the tone. There is a difference but sometimes I think we are really going through all the pushups just to please other guitarists when in fact to 95% of the people out there, they can't tell the difference.

  11. #11
    5150 Edson's Avatar
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    11.14.12 @ 08:49 AM
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    Default

    Basically,
    If you want to sound like ass, definitely go with solid state. But if you want to have a chance of good tone you are going to need tube. I'm not a technician or anything so I cant get into the technical aspects. Just using my ears you'll notice that solid state typically sounds thing. And most people might know what's different in solid state and tube, but I will tell you that they can notice something being different, and the tube sound being the go to sound.

    Sorry if I sound a little harsh, I just really hate solid state sound, it actually makes me mad. Not sure why!

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    hmmm, i'm not sure using a solid state amp will make you sound like an ass (ever hear of dimebag?) but sometimes for smaller venues a solid state amp will sound better than a tube amp (smaller gigs or big gigs that require a loud clean tone) plus dont discount amps like the line 6 spider range, theres some serious tone to be found in some of them (the vetta for example) plus like broken posted earlier you can build a tone using various pedals etc and having a good clean sound is massively valuable, plus its consistant.
    on the other side you dont quite get the dynamics of a tube amp, the way it responds to certain nuances of your playing style and any adjustments you make using your tone or volume pot.
    at the end of the day its up to you, its your tone so use your ears to get what you want ask others their opinions, listen to them after they have heard for themselves and then make a descission.

    another thing i thought of was your pedal chain?
    are the pedals true bypass and are the batteries new? dying batteries on pedals that are not true bypass can effect your tone, even if they are off, so dont be cheap by a shit load of batteries and change them before every gig.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  13. #13
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    I'm not going to try to offer any kind of reasons, or scientific evidence, just experience.

    When I first started gigging, I thought I had to have a half stack tube amp. It sounded good, but I could never really open it up to a volume that warmed the tubes to a respectable level. The gain was all pre-ampy, and didn't have the power tube warmth I like.

    I then got a 60W 5150 combo, swapped the stock speakers with Vintage 30s, and was pretty happy for a while. The only problem with this amp was that it was a bitch to carry, and heavy as hell.

    Never had any problems with these amps cutting through the mix during gigs. The funny thing was that I would adjust my settings on these amps during the soundcheck to get a good sound, but when I got home in my basement, my settings from the night before sounded like ass.

    I got tired of lugging the heavy ass 5150 combo around, and sick of setting up my pedal board every gig, so I thought, "Why not just get an amp with it all built in?" I tried a Flextone II at a music store, and it sounded fucking awesome! I was so stoked. I got it, and played it in my basement for a week, dialing in all my favorite settings. The amp was plenty loud, so I didn't worry about gigging with it. I couldn't wait to give it a go at a gig. So that weekend comes, and I gig with it. All night long, my soundguy is giving me dirty looks. During the first break, he says, "You need to do something with your amp, it sounds like shit." I couldn't understand it. All night long, the band is looking at me and giving me the "Turn up your amp" sign. They couldn't hear it. Between the second and third set, I made some adjustments to the eq, turned my gain down and my volume up, and finally got it sounding okay. I took it home and played it the next day on the settings I used the night before, and again, it sounded like ass.

    I took it to an outdoor gig a couple weeks later, and halfway through the second set, in the middle of Barracuda, the fucker just dies. No sound whatsoever. I shut it off, waited a few minutes, and it was fine. It was a fucking thermal shutdown to protect the solid state amplifier in the amp.

    The whole experience left me with a couple conclusions.
    1. What sounds good in your bedroom doesn't work live with a band.
    2. For dirt sound that cuts through the mix live, you have to have a tube amp.

    I got rid of my Line 6, and went out and bought a Mesa Nomad 112. All my problems were resolved.

    Here are some other things that I've figured out over time.

    You don't need a 4x12 cabinet to be in a rock band. Let's face it, you're only going to mic 1 of the 4 speakers anyway. A 112 combo with less power is going to accomplish a couple different things for you. One, you can usually warm your tubes at a lower volume, giving you a warmer distortion tone. Two, you aren't splitting your sound between 4 speakers, so all of your power is coming through the speaker you are mic-ing. You can keep your stage volume lower, and get a better sound out front through the mains.
    Three, I like the sound EL-84s produce. A combo amp using EL-84s sounds better than one using EL-34s or 5881s. Don't know why, but I really believe this is true. Four, it's better to cook the tubes on an 18 watt amp than it is to play a 120 watt amp a 3.

    In short, my answer is that tubes are great for playing live, and solid state is great for playing in your room.
    Last edited by nobozos; 09.30.08 at 01:55 PM.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  14. #14
    Little Dreamer DaveRobertsSteal's Avatar
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    08.12.10 @ 01:38 PM
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    Default

    You fucks! Hahahahahaha!!!!!! I'm kidding,I really appreciate all of you guys and your thoughts,I guess I am gonna have to stick to tubes. Fuck!!!! I see what your all saying though.........I forget who said it but,solidstate in the bedroom,tubes live. Basically I use the half stack live with a shit delay pedal,and a Digitech Whammy with the Washburn N4. Maybe my head is just tired. To think I would have done something foolish without talking to my honest Van Halen fans. Thank you all. Hey by the by,what do you think my head is worth,without telling me you have to see it? Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 100 Watt Head. Nice......

  15. #15
    Eruption ChrisTheEdHead's Avatar
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    03.11.12 @ 12:55 PM
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    Just to contribute my 1.7381 cents...

    Im strictly a bedroom & garage player (but me & some friends did do a killer garage gig for the bemused wives & children ), but TUBE, DUDE, TUBE!
    Even my tone-deaf better half could tell when I was playing through my Epi Valve Jr ("Wow, I really can hear the difference with that one..its so much more full") instead of the Vox ADVT.
    "Look, I'll pay you for it, what the f**k?!"

    "If I don't make her happy in the bedroom the wife gets bitchy for days at a time, but when I come to bed ready for action she laughs and laughs. She even laughs while I make my moves so I know I must be pleasing her as only I can do."
    The one, the only..Wengie

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