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#15867 by Paleopete
Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:31 pm
Actually from my reading the Marshall is based on the fender amp. So Fender technically is the grandfather of valve amps.


Yep. The 1959 Bassman to be exact. The original Marshall was a 59 Bassman circuit Jim Marshall modified.

I'm a tube guy all the way, no matter what sound I want, I use tubes to get it. After trying to get "the" sound for years out of solid state amps, mostly Kustoms and Peaveys, I sat in one night with a band whose guitar player used a Peavey Butcher full stack, and found out the difference in his sound and mine was tubes. I've never even looked at solid state again. I currently play a 45 watt silverface Fender Super Reverb for raunch n roll and a 120 watt Peavey MX for clean. No matter how loud I crank it the MX stays clean, even at 7, which is the loudest I ever had to crank it, and believe me you don't want to be in the room with that beast cranked to 7. But I was still playing clean leads on top of a rhythm player with a 100 watt Marshall full stack and he couldn't turn it up any more...I was wishing I had some earplugs...but I got a nice clean sound even at 7 or 7 1/2 and I've never seen another tube amp do that...my Super Reverb certainly won't.

So to respond to the original question, I always advise going with tube amps, you can get the sound you're after with any tube amp, brand doesn't matter, the main difference is more gain or less. Some are more reliable than others, some have more gain or less, but blindfold me and I can get the sound I'm after from any tube amp, no matter whose logo is on the front of it...Combo and stack have their own advantages and drawbacks, I'm using one of each. The main requirement for me is it must have tubes or I don't even look at it twice.

So I say look for a good tube amp.
#15872 by fisherman bob
Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:18 pm
guitarists over the years (I'm a bass player) and I've heard this argument before, tube vs. solid state. I think it all depends on the way each person plays his (or her) guitar and their own perception of what they sound like. Everyone plays differently and hears differently. Also what guitar you play has a bearing on what your amp sounds like. There's a lot of variables. It comes down to being a matter of personal preference, sort of like some people prefer Ford over Chevy or vice-versa. A number of years ago I went to buy a new bass amp. I don't hav any brand preferences and it didn't matter what the amp cost. I wanted to HEAR what I thought was the BEST TONE. I brought my Fender Precision Bass into four different music stores and asked the sales person there to plug me into every amp he could with my back turned so I couldn't see which amp I was plugged into. I played a minute or two through each one. This was kind of a blind taste test. The amp that sounded the best every time was a Peavey TNT 115, even the sales rep agreed at each store. I've hosted a few blues jams, and some of the bass players that play my bass and amp SOUND TERRIBLE. The way they play is different than I do. The quality of the sound they get is diiferent, same exact bass and amp that I sound great on. I've seen some well known players who I thought were using crappy equipment but sounded awesome. To me this is one of the most interesting aspects of music, what people use which equipment, and how do they get the sounds they get. There's no right and wrong answer to this, it's all individual perception that counts. Later...Happy Thanksgiving

#15873 by JJW III
Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:35 pm
I just replaced valves in my Marshall and did alot of reading on the topic. I learned more then I ever care to know actually. Allow me to elaborate on the topic from a very rudimentary perpective.

There is a reason why valve amps are superior to solid state and the difference is the valves themselves. Valves add a tonal quality that can not be replicated by solid state. The solid state amps have come a long way and are getting very close compared to there contemporaries, but they are not quite there yet. I read a whole write up on why this is and if I can find it I will post it.

Edit:

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting. ... n320-2.pdf

http://www.tone-lizard.com/Marshall_Myths.htm

http://thetubestore.com/inonmaram.html

The main reason a guitarist with a valve amp is not getting the tone he wants is because he is not using the right valves for the tonal quality he is trying to achieve. Tonal and gain quality from valve to valve will differ even in the same models and lots slightly. Tone and gain quality from manufacturer to manufacturer will differ greatly. In addition we hear many times that guitarists play so loud to get tone. This also has to do with the scientific qualities of valves. The harder they are pushed, the more responsivie the valve becomes, and thus the gain and tone follow suit. The valve also adds harmonic overtones that give the sound a more musical quality. A solid state simply can not achieve these qualities.

Another thing I never knew. Most of us probably do not change our valves nearly often enough. Under average home volumes and moderate use 3 years is about the max before replacement of the output valves. If your gigging and practicing on a regular basis and cranking the amp, cut that time in half. The pre amp valves will last roughly twice as long but that is not a given.

The pre-amp valves are what give the guitarist his tone and gain, however they work in concert with the output valves. So for the discerning guitarist and his precious tone he will hand pick pre-amp valves and power valves that sound the best to him when used together He may choose Svetlana pre valves and Mullard output valves or whatever. Eddie Van Halen back in the day actually bought pallets of I believe Mullard valves because they gave him his signature tone and he was burning them up on a weekly basis. They are stored in a warhehouse some where and he has cornered the market on these vintage valves from what I read.

As Bob said it is to the guitarist to trust his ears, and the guitar makes a big difference but from everything I have read a properly biased, and carefully choosen valve in a valve amp simply can't be beat for it's musical qualities.

I have played both over the years and I will never give up my all valve Marshall.

#16705 by Capt Rick
Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:50 am
8) hi i am new here !!but what i think is missing is the term dynamics i own a full stack jcm 2000 that collects more dust than anything else most guitar players don't have a 20,000 sq ft building to practice in . so wouldnt it be more fruitful to play live with what you practice with it's not only the amp that makes the sound i found for me that learning the amp and it's possiblities is 70% of the battle. i have found that there are only 3 reasons you need a 100wt stack 1# ego 2# arena gigs . 3# a collectors item . currently i am playing a victotia regal 30 wt open end, only one word to discribe it Majestic . for blend i also use a mesa mk 2c+ with a ext cab with 1 -15 in it for a little more bottom running at 50 wts this lets me have all the vol & dynamics i need to project about 200ft into the crowed anything else let the pa handle it

Capt Rick

#16718 by Jon Nilsen
Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:56 pm
I love reading a thread like this. Lot's of good advive here.

My take...
Pods = Teh suck
SS = Teh suck but I have heard 'em sound good here and there.
Tubes = Greatness

Also a tube amp generally sounds best when cranked. I play my amp on 10 frequently. Granted my two main amps are 15 and 30 watts but that's the point. If I can't turn my amp to 10 I've brought too much amp with me. If the 30w can only get turned halfway before it's loud enoough I bring the 15. The 30 has never let me down volume-wise. (Peavey Classic 30)

I have owned and played many tube amps and I can get my sound out of any of them but the Peavey C30 is a great workingmans amp. You would need a pedal for heavier sounds but it's a steal at 300-400 used.

#16760 by Paleopete
Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:32 pm
I've hosted a few blues jams, and some of the bass players that play my bass and amp SOUND TERRIBLE. The way they play is different than I do. The quality of the sound they get is different, same exact bass and amp that I sound great on.


That's what many people don't understand, I've seen it too. (By the way I've heard the TNT series and played a couple, good sounding bass amps for solid state...not crazy about the guitar versions though.)

I've brought my Peavey MX to open mic jam sessions at clubs and listened to people play it. Half of them sound good, half suck and one now and then sounds great, whether on my guitars or theirs. I still would actually let people touch them in clubs in those days, now I don't. Bring your own guitar or you don't play.

David Gilmour said in an interview he could walk into any music store and with a good tube amp and a couple of pedals he could sound like David Gilmour. He uses mainly Hiwatt 100 watt heads (3 of them) onstage and small Fender amps, Mesa and Galien Kruger in the studio. He's used Marshall and Soldano a bit too but mostly Fender for studio and Hiwatt onstage. He also used a Les Paul for songs you would swear were the black strat. Another Brick in the Wall II is one of them. Ancient gold top Les Paul on that one.

I use the MX and a Fender Super Reverb onstage, one super clean and one raunch n' roll, but can get a good sound out of any tube amp, I don't care whose name is on the logo. Probably my favorite is my Fender Champ, cranked to 10 it's the ultimate practice amp and I've used it onstage before.

The thing is, the players fingers make a big difference in sound too, which FB noticed. The way you press the strings down, the way you bend them, the way you let them slide as you move up the neck or don't, teh way you pick, fingerpick, mute and so on. I can pick up a good acoustic and sound like me. I do it all the time. I even made a small plastic kid's toy guitar sound good in a wal mart years ago when a friend told me I couldn't. By the time I got it tuned and played a quick song several people were standing there and wanted to hear me do it again.

Guitar and amp are only half the equation.

#16761 by Crip2Nite
Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:56 pm
oops...
Last edited by Crip2Nite on Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

#16762 by Crip2Nite
Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:58 pm
Jon Nilsen wrote:I love reading a thread like this. Lot's of good advive here.

My take...
Pods = Teh suck
SS = Teh suck but I have heard 'em sound good here and there.
Tubes = Greatness

Also a tube amp generally sounds best when cranked. I play my amp on 10 frequently. Granted my two main amps are 15 and 30 watts but that's the point. If I can't turn my amp to 10 I've brought too much amp with me. If the 30w can only get turned halfway before it's loud enoough I bring the 15. The 30 has never let me down volume-wise. (Peavey Classic 30)


I have owned and played many tube amps and I can get my sound out of any of them but the Peavey C30 is a great workingmans amp. You would need a pedal for heavier sounds but it's a steal at 300-400 used.


Yeah...but...look at the type of music you play... you can get away with that.. When I was doin' jazz, I could use yourstyle amp...but when I'm playing large venues or outside conerts and playing some intricate, screaming, hardcore metal leads, your 30 watt tube would definitely not be in competition with one of my 100 or 150 watt amps with stacks of Celestions!

#16764 by oysterconserve
Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:55 am
I have Mesa Single rec combo as an easy carry option (haha yeah right, she's small but weighty... but feckin loud mind too), a POD xt pro rig thats ok too but my baby is my Trace Elliot Speed twin, 50 watt head+matching cab and over run the pre....mmmmmm happy valve sound.....
She ALWAYS get's a " Nice sound fella" from the engineer's at any gig we've/I've played.Extremely versatile, copes with any style and just beautiful tone all the way.
Had a Matchless and a Bruno, a Cornell and so forth but they all pale (and breakdown) before my Speedtwin. NEVER gonna sell her......

#16874 by jw123
Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:43 pm
Funny I revisited this thread after a few weeks.

Ive noticed that no matter what I play on Tube or Solid State, that I have a certain sound in mind. Call it a brown sound, call it a black sound, call it whatever. When I play on someone elses gear or gear in a store I basically strive to get the same sound out of whatever Im using.

I was in guitar center last week and played on a little solid state Marshall, I linked a distortion pedal in front of it and got a close proximation of what I get with my Mesa. This past weekend I dug thru all my old pedals and found this old distortion pedal Ive had for ages, I put it in front of my old Sunn amp and was able to get a great tone out of it at a moderate volume level, again it was real close to my Mesa sound that I like.

Ive got a little solid state Fender amp, when I use it I stack a couple of pedals on it and ussually wind up at the same sound.

Ive talked recently to some club guitarist and all of them do the same thing, it doesnt matter whether they are using amp simulators or real amps, they all are on a quest for the same sound out of whatever equipment they are using.

#16963 by FastFret
Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:49 pm
Thanks I feel like an idiot for buying that Line6 SpiderIII HD150

Not about ego... I wanted something that sounded full, and loud, and good at high volumes.

I wish I wouldve purchased the Spider Valve though.

#16969 by Crip2Nite
Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:15 pm
FastFret wrote:Thanks I feel like an idiot for buying that Line6 SpiderIII HD150

Not about ego... I wanted something that sounded full, and loud, and good at high volumes.

I wish I wouldve purchased the Spider Valve though.


Why do you feel like an idiot?? Huh?? That's what I use at all my gigs and A LIne6 Stereo Cabinet with 4 12" Celestions... People love the way this sounds.... You just gotta personalize the programming just right to your personal sound...If it's done right, with a lot of experimening, I can get it to sound just like a tube amp.... I get nothing but positive feedback on my gigs with the Line6 SpiderIII HD150!

#16970 by jw123
Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:24 pm
Fast Fret,

Let your ears be your guide. Keep in mind something that fits your gig. If you are playing in a heavy metal band you probably dont want a Roland Jazz Chorus unless you plan on stacking a few distirtion pedals in front of it, likewise if you are playing in a lounge act with low volume levels, dont bring a Marshall stack to the party.

These days there are a lot of good sounding amps out there both tube and solid state and hybrids. Most of us older guys lean toward tubes cause thats where we come from. On the other hand for recording purposes I have amp simulators that are digital. Other than the occasional pops you get when you overload these simulators, listening back it would be hard to tell the difference unless you were there and saw what I did. Sometimes I forget and realize I didnt use an amp for some recording.

Its a really good time to be a guitarist cause there are so many options that sound good.

If I was playing in a cover band and looking to cover a lot of different styles, some sort of digital preamp would be the way to go. That way you could store a setting for each song if you wanted too. On the other hand if you are an original player try to develop your own sound. There is something about the way a tube amp interacts with the players touch on the strings.

Good Luck

#16977 by FastFret
Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:36 pm
Ohh I like my amp... There's just alot of people that believe that a half-stack or anything over 40w is over-kill... which is probably true.

I really prefer the fullness you get with a half-stack compared to a combo amp though.

#17002 by JJW III
Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:22 am
There is another side to amps I have not heard mentioned and that is how they "handle". What I mean by that is what all is involved with me getting my tone, gain, distortion etc.

You can get the sound your after as stated out of almost any amp but what is involved with getting there? I find that with some amps to get "my" sound they feed back to much, or are to freaking loud, or then I trade attack for tone, or tone for clarity and on and on. I want an amp to sound and behave the way I want it to. Or should I say I want to have control over it rather then the other way around.

This why I am so partial to my Marshall. I am not partial to Marshall as an amp vendor, but I am very partial to my Marshall amp.

Hey there's a great tune title: Partial to my Marshall. :D

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