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Author Topic: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.  (Read 21856 times)

Memory Lane Jr

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Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« on: January 16, 2012, 05:16:54 AM »
Ok I know this one has been done to death but it seems to pop up a lot on the net.
"Looking for a great low volume tube amp for bedroom playing." Hands up how many times you have seen that one posted.
I have to admit to being guilty of the above, but as most people will agree great low volume tone from a tube amp does not always happen, they like to be cranked up loud for best performance. Well I own a tube amp (Tweaker15) & a modeling amp (Vox Valvetronix VT20+) & this afternoon I knocked off work early heavy rain out, so I decided to have a comparo 'tween the two, maybe a little unfair some will say as the Vox has an 8" speaker & Tweaker 12." But to be honest at low volumes IMHO I think the Vox wins, to my ears it has a real sweet tone at lower outputs, I was using the US Blues amp model on the Vox with all other FX off & my TC Delay & reverb into the amp, same on the Tweaker. But as I brought both amps up to higher volumes the Tweaker started to take on that lovely tube breakup tone & the Vox started farting. But for low volume tones I think the modeling amp is the better bet especially when you start looking at prices the Vox cost me $190 new but shop soiled & the Tweaker Combo cost me $650 new. I wish the Vox had an ext speaker output as I reckon it would perform a lot better into my 12" Cab. So what opinions do you guys & girls have on the subject of low volume tone Tube Vs Modeling any thoughts to fuel the fires?      ::)  :P  :-\

DetroitBlues

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 08:12:03 AM »
There are rare exceptions, but when it comes to low volume or headphone use, solid state modeling amps win every time.  Its when those amps are cranked do they not perform as well as we hoped.  Tube amps are great for playing live with a band or on stage, but when it comes to playing at home, modeling amps are the way to go.  Some would argue this, but I think the Line 6 Spider and Fender Mustang series are perfect for this.  Vox is pretty good too, but I've had better luck with Line 6.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 02:35:49 PM by DetroitBlues »

diaper head

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 10:22:30 AM »
the roland cube was the best TRUE bedroom amp i ever played.   i tested it against the marshall fx and the fender g-dec.  it blew both of them away.  however,  for me, i seem to really prefer a 12" speaker.
that means more volume than i need.  but the tonal difference to my ear is impossible to ignore.
marshall just debuted a new series of 1 watt tube amps they are making at the winter namm show.
they power scale down to 1/10th of a watt, and they are all tube, both combo and head/cab.
finally someone has realized there is a market for this kinda thing.  i can't wait to try one out.
if there are any to try out.  marshall says they are making them limited run

zagatron1

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 10:36:10 AM »
Sounds like those Marshalls you mentioned are worth checkin' out DH. My personal experience with decent "bedroom" amps are Fenders' Vibro Champ XD and my current amp, the Swart SpaceTone Atomic Jr. which both use 6V6 tubes. Of course the Fender has the DSP, SS pre-amp and the Swart is all tube.

DetroitBlues

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 02:37:23 PM »
Vibro Champ XD is rather good.  I never tried a Cube, but many speak rather highly of them.  I think in the UK, Rob Chappers loves his... Of course, most of his gear is free, so if I had free gear, I'd be inclined to favor them too....

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 03:56:11 PM »
I have heard a lot of good things about the Super Champ XD, I think you did your Opus on one of those DB?
Any thoughts on the Fender Blues Jr? I have spotted one on ebay that could go for the right price I think it is eight yrs old.
And those 1 watt Marshall's sound interesting, a lot of people rave about the Blackstar HT-1 but I have never tried one, I just missed a good one on ebay that sold for $120, someone got a bargain. 8)

zagatron1

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 06:30:19 PM »
Catch a glimpse here of the Marshall Golden Jubilee Amp 1 watt Limited Editions.
http://rowbinet.co.uk/tag/marshall-golden-jubilee/
I guess the details will be coming eventually.

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 06:48:11 PM »
Catch a glimpse here of the Marshall Golden Jubilee Amp 1 watt Limited Editions.
http://rowbinet.co.uk/tag/marshall-golden-jubilee/
I guess the details will be coming eventually.

They look terrific probably expensive too.

DetroitBlues

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 08:55:19 PM »
Think that is expensive?  Take a look at Fractal Audio Axe-FX II and its control board!.

http://www.fractalaudio.com/p-axe-fx-ii-preamp-fx-processor.php

$2500....

zagatron1

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 09:09:42 PM »
Think that is expensive?  Take a look at Fractal Audio Axe-FX II and its control board!.

http://www.fractalaudio.com/p-axe-fx-ii-preamp-fx-processor.php

$2500....

These jokers don't even cut you no slack when it comes to shipping either. I mean $30.37 for UPS ground! Well, to where I'm at anyway. They can keep it, nobody's paying me to play in my bedroom.

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 12:37:42 AM »
Think that is expensive?  Take a look at Fractal Audio Axe-FX II and its control board!.

http://www.fractalaudio.com/p-axe-fx-ii-preamp-fx-processor.php

$2500....

Yeh that is crazy, I just read a good review on them in Guitarist mag. They will have to start making them in Korea or China to get the price down to an acceptable level for the masses you would think.

IM4Tone

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 12:07:48 PM »
Gotta agree: for lower volumes SS shine, but for higher volumes it's tubes. I also have a modeling amp (a Vypyr 75 watt) with good sounds...decent at lower volumes, but better at more volume.

Regarding the Fender Blues jr., I've had one for a number of years and don't be fooled by the 15 watts, It's loud and sounds best @loud volume. Not so great @ low volumes IMO.

Also I like my Ibanez TSA15H; it's a very good sounding smaller tube amp...respectable at lower vol. but best turned up using the full 15 watt mode. It has a feature that allows switching to 5 watts and sounds great at lower volumes. They also make it in a combo version now.

Also have a Blackstar HT20H (20 watt tube head) and again, sounds it's best @ higher volumes and it can get very loud! There are great reviews on the smaller Blackstars (both the 1 watt and the 5 watt). I love the HT20H, but not at bedroom volumes.

So if it's tone at low volumes you're looking for, I'd recommend test driving the Ibanez TSA15, or the HT1 or HT5 Blackstar. And that's my 2 cents worth :)

DetroitBlues

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 01:04:01 PM »
The vyper is a tube amp with modeling over top isn't it?

But you have a great collection of amps.  Got all your bases covered it looks...

IM4Tone

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 09:25:43 PM »
The vyper is a tube amp with modeling over top isn't it?

But you have a great collection of amps.  Got all your bases covered it looks...
The Vypyr series includes both total SS and hybrids w/ tubes, all w/ modeling. My Vypyr, the 75, is total SS.
And I didn't mention my Fender BDRI w/ matching extension cab. because it didn't seem to fit into the discussion, being 40 all tube watts. Talk about LOUD! And, I don't talk much about my Bugera V22 which is quite a disappointment :(
But in my amp-fickle mind, I never seem to have all bases covered :-\ It's a bad (and expensive) disease :(
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 09:29:40 PM by IM4Tone »

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: Tube, Solid State, Modeling.
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 02:09:47 AM »
Gotta agree: for lower volumes SS shine, but for higher volumes it's tubes. I also have a modeling amp (a Vypyr 75 watt) with good sounds...decent at lower volumes, but better at more volume.

Regarding the Fender Blues jr., I've had one for a number of years and don't be fooled by the 15 watts, It's loud and sounds best @loud volume. Not so great @ low volumes IMO.

Also I like my Ibanez TSA15H; it's a very good sounding smaller tube amp...respectable at lower vol. but best turned up using the full 15 watt mode. It has a feature that allows switching to 5 watts and sounds great at lower volumes. They also make it in a combo version now.


Also have a Blackstar HT20H (20 watt tube head) and again, sounds it's best @ higher volumes and it can get very loud! There are great reviews on the smaller Blackstars (both the 1 watt and the 5 watt). I love the HT20H, but not at bedroom volumes.

So if it's tone at low volumes you're looking for, I'd recommend test driving the Ibanez TSA15, or the HT1 or HT5 Blackstar. And that's my 2 cents worth :)
Yeh it is a bummer not being able to crank up a tube amp but I am still very happy with my Tweaker15 at moderate volumes.
I have tried out a Blackstar HT-20 Studio & they are a very good amp but as you say not really a bedroom amp.
Have not had chance to try HT-1R as yet, it will be interesting to see the new 1 watt Marshall's to be shown at NAMM.

http://rowbinet.co.uk/tag/marshall-golden-jubilee/