Tube amps, volume, and tone

Talk about guitars, amps and other gear.

Re: Tube amps, volume, and tone

Postby Wes Southerland » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:16 pm

by the way I got the black one with the creme cloth...... not the paisley ;)
Wes Southerland
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Re: Tube amps, volume, and tone

Postby MBL » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:32 pm

I have learned a lot about amps over the years messing with them, and I just love tube technology. There are so many subtle effects you can get by experimenting with different capacitor values and tubes with different gain characteristics. I haven't messed with any solid state stuff...but I'd guess it is not as tinkerer friendly.

I have found that everyone gets "their" tone differently. Many folks arrive at the same place by using different ingredients. To me, the marriage of the amp and guitar is all important. A really great sounding amp may not always sound that great if a different guitar is pluged into it. The output and frequency of a given pickup when presented to one amp will create a totally different result if a different guitar is used.

Nothing inspires like great tone from an amp. If you haven't found "your" tone yet...go out and get it... for me, it makes all the difference in the world.
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Re: Tube amps, volume, and tone

Postby tyguy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:10 pm

rsjean wrote:Really fast slew rate and the tendency of SS devices to go into hard clipping readily really makes them harsh in my opinion. They wreak havok with odd order harmonics which are the ones that really contribuite to listener fatigue. Having said that I also believe tube amplification is more colored in it's reproduction which is why various models and brands (even brands of tubes!) tend to have more of their own sound than do SS devices.

But I am a tube fan. Not only in guitar amps but in audio amplification as well. The big thing about tube amps(guitar)is "clean sounding distortion"(10% minimum)and that's why to most peoples ears they sound twice as loud(and twice as good)as solid state amps due to "sounding" clean when they're not.You wouldn't want to hear a solid state amp with 10% distortion(yuk!).Speaking of harmonics(tube amps pink noise is much more pleasurable to the ear than the solid state produced white noise).The reason,I don't care for most jazz git players tone(Chet had the perfect tone)is due to the fact that all harmonics are removed by rolling back on the tone knob so much(too much fundamental). The Best, Ty M.

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Re: Tube amps, volume, and tone

Postby Mike Forbis » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:33 pm

I agree with the higher volume levels. Does anyone here use an attenuator?
Mike Forbis
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Re: Tube amps, volume, and tone

Postby Mike Nye » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:14 am

I've dealt in vintage audio signal processing gear for well over 30-years. The so-called 'Warmth' of the sound of vacuum-tube audio gear is somewhat influenced by a 'Psycho-acoustic' phenomenon where our sensory faculties, in this case ears and brain, process vacuum-tube gear's Audible Phase Distortion as a kind of filler in the audio signal that fills in the voids between the 'on/off' switching process that creates the audio program (sound). Transisters switch on and off so FAST and CLEAN, that they're not as pleasing to our ears as the FUZZY-LOGIC produced by vacuum-tube amp's much slower and less accurate switching and associated rectifier sag. My solid-state playback amps in my personal audio system (2xSAE A-501"s - push/pull - Class A/AB operation) are so well compensated through their design that they're often mistaken for tube equipment, until I crank 'em up well beyond the output volume level of any vacuum-tube gear (600WPC @ 4ohms).

Also, the 'Psycho-visual' effect of 'glowing/heated' vacuum-tubes heavily factors into the so-called 'Warmth' associated with vacuum-tube gear's sound. There's some really great vacuum-tube gear out there, but don't discount all solid-state gear as second rate. Unfortunately guitar amps haven't been the greatest example of what solid-state gear has to offer, such as solid-state Fender, Standel and Vox amps from the late 60's. Anyone lucky enough to get their hands on a Bob Rissi design Rickenbacker Transonic 200 solid-state amp from the mid-late 60's, has probably one of the best and most powerful 'Tube Sounding' solid-state amps ever made. You could get them with 4x12, 2x15 or a single 30" Electrovoice speaker. They had the kinda ballz for Led Zepplin to tour with massive stacks of 'em in the late 60's ! ! !
If BRUTE-FORCE isn't working, you're just not applying enough of it ! ! !
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