Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Is anybody done with the Tube vs SS thread wars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Wrong-Note Rod, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Bones

    Bones Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    I like my old Fender Bronco SS amp because it's simple and it sounds good. What I don't like about modern SS/modeling amps is that they try to do too much, too many options, too complicated, slim chance of ever using them to their full capabilities. I don't want my amp connected to my PC or my phone. I like my tube amps because they are very simple and they sound good to me and suit my needs. All my amps are practice amps, all I do is practice, so my needs are simple. If I were gigging in bars playing for people who just want to hear their favorite pop songs, a nice light "all-in-one" SS amp might be attractive to me, but playing alone in my music room, I like my gear to provide a certain vintage atmosphere that inspires me to play.
    Piggy Stu and darkwaters like this.

  2. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I live with both. My old 1984 SS Fender Stage Lead 100W is a great amp, with 2 channel switching. The Dirt channel is not as robust as the tube-based 2013 Super Sonic 22W, which has dual level distortion. Surprisingly the amps are equal in loudness, despite differences in wattage.

    Both have a clean vibrolux/Deluxe reverb channel for which Fender is famous for. But the SS22W has a fat switch that is more gainy like a bassman amp, and only works on the clean channel. This is where the dynamics of this tube amp shine. Volume changes make a thicker sound and it's more tone pleasing to a single coil. I tend to use more pedals on the Stage Lead clean channel, and use the dirt channel for the thicker Bassman vibe.

    The dirt channel on the Stage Lead is lacking in comparison to the SS22W. But it is more like the Fat switch setting on the SS22W. The dual stages of distortion on the SS22W make it more useful for useful distortion tones. But I'm not a distortion hound, as I think it makes all guitars sound the same.

    SS amps work fine, and only if you are picky would one need more tonal variations, tubes might fill the bill. But the tube amp is a lot more fussy. I've had a few tube change tweaks in the preamp section. I always worry that one tube may fail prior to a performance, something a solid state amp would never do. I feel the solid state platform is more stable. My Stage Lead amp was built under supervision of Rivera when he worked at Fender, before leaving to make his own boutique line of amps.

  3. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2012
    South Louisiana
    I have some of each. I like both and for different reasons.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  4. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Hopefully, Nutubes will be able to handle the job. You have to remember, while there are a fair but small number of tube suppliers out there, there are only 3 manufacturers. 2 in Russia and one in China. Not exactly what I would call a secure and dependable supply chain.
    LBrewski likes this.

  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Mar 4, 2009

    True, but I'll be retired from it all by the time that happens.

    As I said, I'm not interested in ditching everything I have to go another way, so, I'll go out with tubes a-blazin'.
    Evil Funk likes this.

  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Bar patrons?
    Most answers will probably involve bra strap technology.

  7. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    I'm just glad someone mentioned nutubes... I wasn't aware of that technology.

    That Vox MV50 is mighty intriguing!

    That'd be way up my list if I decided to acquire a small/second amp. Sounds like it's super loud for it's size but it's so small.. just makes me wonder if it's compatible with a 1x10" or 1x12" cabinet.

  8. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Then let's not debate it. please?

    You're right. That being the case, what's the point in beating that dead horse? Unless of course you just really hate horses.

  9. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    That's not what I've seen. There was a time when compressor threads were typically a pit of intolerance. That's just one example.

  10. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    With due respect to Hershey and their Almond Joys™ vs. Mounds™ jingle: "Sometimes you play a TUBE AMP. Sometimes you DON'T."

  11. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    No debate from me.

    And I like horses.

    Perhaps you have confused me with someone else? Happens to me all the time.

    People used to think I was Billy Idol back in the 80's. Now I look like a combination of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda...

    On the plus side, I don't get asked for autographs anymore. ;)

  12. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Would that make you a green Kung Fu Panda (wink,wink)?
    JayFreddy likes this.

  13. gordon of eden

    gordon of eden TDPRI Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Portland Oregon
    I never got started, I use both. Depends on the gig.
    I try not to read those threads, too much.

  14. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I read them ONLY for their intrinsically embedded humor & pathos.
    gordon of eden likes this.

  15. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Had and enjoyed both.

    Currently more of a gigging musician so I use solid state because it doesn't break and sounds fine.

    Of COURSE a good tube amp wins every time for loud/overdriven tones.

    Great for recording and if you're rich, gig them all you want and worry not.

    For cleans though (which is 90 % of my time playing guitar during my set) the JC120 is king, without a doubt.

  16. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

    Apr 10, 2014
    Anytime I play a gig where you have to use the provided back line the amps are always SS.

  17. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Oh. That wasn't directed at you, but in general to those people who can't/don't/won't get the point you made, that I was responding to.

    Billy Idol? That's unfortunate. Sounds like things have improved since then!
    JayFreddy likes this.

  18. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    JJs are from Slovakia. So... four manufacturers. ;)

  19. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    I am waiting for that to change. I can't help but think that eventually, people in those places will cease being able to live with the chemical impact the tube making processes have on the physical world.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    Vacuum tube manufacturing in the west ceased due to the US military updating its technology. The same will eventually happen in the few countries that still utilize vacuum tube technology. Guitar players and audiophiles are the remaining holdouts, and even combined they don't create a large enough demand to make production cost effective-let alone profitable.
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

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