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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Three questions:

    1. what is an LJ?
    2. How can you put EL84s in a Mk III?
    3. Do you mean EL34s?
    LJ is Little Jazz.

    I stand corrected. I wasn't sure about the EL84. Apparently, it was the EL34.
    I got the idea from a discussion with the Mesa Customer Service guy and bought the tubes from Mesa.
    I can no longer remember what I was concerned about, but, even though I'm not a cork sniffer, those tubes didn't sound anything alike.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    LJ is Little Jazz.

    I stand corrected. I wasn't sure about the EL84. Apparently, it was the EL34.
    I got the idea from a discussion with the Mesa Customer Service guy and bought the tubes from Mesa.
    I can no longer remember what I was concerned about, but, even though I'm not a cork sniffer, those tubes didn't sound anything alike.
    i don't think mesa uses particularly good tubes. The reason to buy from them though is that their tubes don't require amp biasing because they only sell tubes that match the fixed bias in their amps. if you buy better quality tubes (for example, the tung-sol reissues are way better) you might have to bias your amp unless you buy from a dealer who sells tubes that are pre-selected for mesas (and many do)

    my morgan can take any 6V6, 5881, 6L6, EL34, KT66, KT77, etc. I have tried many of the brands out there including the chinese ones, tube doctor, JJ, sovtek and tung-sol reissues. The tung sol reissues are noticably better than any of them for clean jazz tones IMO...

  4. #53

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    It's strange how difficult it is to emulate
    the behaviour and sound of a good tube amp
    with SS designs and modelling ....

    apparently it still hasn't been nailed ...
    which is weird if you think about it

    but then again , even apparently simple things
    are sometimes way complex when you really study them up close

  5. #54
    i don't believe it's a technical issue any longer. It's a marketing one. If a company like axefx ever decided to simply model a clean fender and get that as good as they could possibly get it I think we'd have a winner. The problem is that there is little market for a clean fender sound. The young kids buying the tech are metal players for the most part and you see that in the forums so that is what they cater to.



    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    It's strange how difficult it is to emulate
    the behaviour and sound of a good tube amp
    with SS designs and modelling ....

    apparently it still hasn't been nailed ...
    which is weird if you think about it

    but then again , even apparently simple things
    are sometimes way complex when you really study them up close

  6. #55

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    You want the real story? Tube amps sound more organic, or real if you prefer that word. By comparison, SS sound artificial, or imitation. Great SS lessen the gap for many users, and some users would have much difficulty differentiating between the two in a blind test.

    Which SS are very affordable AND very well engineered? Vox. My two Vox amps have an actual reverb tank inside.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    I would consider what I can hear rather than worrying about what they can hear. And I would not claim they cannot hear something because I can't hear it.
    It's like drum gels, drums sound real good to the person playing the drums but out in the audience drums that have gels sound like wet cardboard boxes. If you don't put any dampening on your drums they sound very ringing and weirdly boingy to the drummer but out in the audience they sound perfect.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    Yeah my Deluxe Reverb died way before my mini brute ever did. But now my mini is down too and I just can I find anybody that can do a reliable fix ... but there are tube kits out there that might be worth a look.

    The funny part is theyre probably very easy repairs.

    perhaps learn to do it yourself?

  9. #58
    anyone try the bluguitar amp 1?


    it's a 100w class d amp but with a nanotube preamp but about the size of a large pedal. seems like it's aimed more at the rocker crowd but has a fender style clean channel.


    unfortunately, there are only 2 or 3 clips of it playing clean stuff. this is probably the best of them. it doesn't sound particularly great here but perhaps a bit more dynamic than a straight class d amp.





  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
    The funny part is theyre probably very easy repairs.

    perhaps learn to do it yourself?
    not if they are filter caps which is likely the case.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    i don't believe it's a technical issue any longer. It's a marketing one. If a company like axefx ever decided to simply model a clean fender and get that as good as they could possibly get it I think we'd have a winner. The problem is that there is little market for a clean fender sound. The young kids buying the tech are metal players for the most part and you see that in the forums so that is what they cater to.
    I've played through amp plugins that nail clean Fender tones, at least on playback. While actually playing, the feel is not quite there, but I think that's more a function of playing at relatively low volumes through studio monitors. I've done recording sessions with really good sounding tube amps, but playing through monitors in a separate room or through headphones kills most of the amp's feel for me.

    I've only played through an Axefx very briefly through studio monitors, so I can't really judge that. But I've played through a bunch of lower-end modeling combos. I guy I know has a Fender Mustang I and I have a Champion 20, and I've played with bands through both. They're the same models, but the Mustang is more programmable and has a closed back cab, whereas the C20 doesn't store presets and has an open back.

    IMO, the C20 sounds much better, and closer to the real thing; I suspect the cabinet is the reason. Though, it sounds good enough to be very usable, I will say that my real Fender PR sounds a lot better. But this also harkens back to what I said about playback vs live feel. My Fender PR mic'ed and recorded does not sound better than a plug-in, at least not in the conditions I've recorded it.

    Bottom line, I think it's a complicated subject. As far as tube vs SS is concerned, there are usually so many other differences between a given tube and SS amp besides power stage design that you're rarely comparing tubes to transistors.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 06-11-2019 at 10:44 AM.

  12. #61
    The reason I started this thread is the discussion of the differences between the tube vs similar quality non-tube amps almost always about the overdriven sounds in the guitar world. In fact some seems to only care about the power amp distortion, nevermind the clean or light crunch sounds.
    Internet dudes, even during supposedly clean demos, cannot stay clean for more than 4 seconds, they are completely lost in clean sounds.
    Since this thread is about the clean sounds, I wonder if the preferences of the hi-fi audio world is more relevant to this discussion. I know there is also a general tendency to prefer tube amps by audiophiles. But they seem to be a bit more split than in the guitar world. I don't know too much out audio tube amps (or mics), are the insights in the audio world regarding tube vs SS transferible to the guitar world?

  13. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    The reason I started this thread is the discussion of the differences between the tube vs similar quality non-tube amps almost always about the overdriven sounds in the guitar world. In fact some seems to only care about the power amp distortion, nevermind the clean or light crunch sounds.
    Internet dudes, even during supposedly clean demos, cannot stay clean for more than 4 seconds, they are completely lost in clean sounds.
    Since this thread is about the clean sounds, I wonder if the preferences of the hi-fi audio world is more relevant to this discussion. I know there is also a general tendency to prefer tube amps by audiophiles. But they seem to be a bit more split than in the guitar world. I don't know too much out audio tube amps (or mics), are the insights in the audio world regarding tube vs SS transferible to the guitar world?
    if you go to my youtube channel (Jack Zucker
    - YouTube
    ) there are tons of demos of the axefx stuff and kemper with jazz clean tones. The axefx is great but doesn't really sound like a real tube amp

  14. #63

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    The combo of the bluguitar amp 1 and the Streibel archtop sounds fantastic!

    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    anyone try the bluguitar amp 1?


    it's a 100w class d amp but with a nanotube preamp but about the size of a large pedal. seems like it's aimed more at the rocker crowd but has a fender style clean channel.


    unfortunately, there are only 2 or 3 clips of it playing clean stuff. this is probably the best of them. it doesn't sound particularly great here but perhaps a bit more dynamic than a straight class d amp.





  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    The reason I started this thread is the discussion of the differences between the tube vs similar quality non-tube amps almost always about the overdriven sounds in the guitar world. In fact some seems to only care about the power amp distortion, nevermind the clean or light crunch sounds.
    Internet dudes, even during supposedly clean demos, cannot stay clean for more than 4 seconds, they are completely lost in clean sounds.
    Since this thread is about the clean sounds, I wonder if the preferences of the hi-fi audio world is more relevant to this discussion. I know there is also a general tendency to prefer tube amps by audiophiles. But they seem to be a bit more split than in the guitar world. I don't know too much out audio tube amps (or mics), are the insights in the audio world regarding tube vs SS transferible to the guitar world?
    - I don't think the audiophile world has much to offer in the guitar-related SS vs tube discussion. First, there is definitely NOT an overall preference for tubes in that world. There are SS and tube camps there as well, and there's plenty of cray-cray expensive SS stuff. Second "clean" for a guitar player is typically a lot more colored and distorted than "clean" for an audiophile. If you really dig into the differences between SS and tube guitar amps, it comes down to the characteristics of distortion and compression at all volume levels (guitar amps are never truly clean), how each handles loud sounds that approach overdrive thresholds, and the contributions of output transformers to the sound. Audiophiles are looking for different things, over much wider frequency responses and dynamic ranges. TL;DR: if you plug your guitar into a high-end audiophile tube preamp and power amp, you're unlikely to find yourself wanting to abandon your guitar amps. Mics are another world altogether -- that's about the very subtle process of matching a mic's characteristics to a sound source's.

    TL;DR: I'm afraid we're stuck with bad youtube amp reviews.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 06-12-2019 at 12:05 PM.

  16. #65

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    I really don't care one way or the other - either one makes my guitar louder which is the point and they both have some sort of EQ built in to alter the tone. Nowadays, it all boils down to whether or not I can lift it into the car. I sound like me, regardless of the equipment I use so I'm easy to please.

  17. #66

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    I find the traditional approach to guitar amplification very primitive. A relatively inexpensive hifi or AVR system can be made to sound fantastic in any normal room, not so a $ 3000 traditional guitar amp. Merely copying recipes from the 60s, ignoring the findings of audio scientists in the past three decades, makes no sense to me, e.g. the primary roles of room correction (EQ) and speakers in sound quality. No reason why those wouldn't apply to guitar amps, too.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d View Post
    I find the traditional approach to guitar amplification very primitive. A relatively inexpensive hifi or AVR system can be made to sound fantastic in any normal room, not so a $ 3000 traditional guitar amp. Merely copying recipes from the 60s, ignoring the findings of audio scientists in the past three decades, makes no sense to me, e.g. the primary roles of room correction (EQ) and speakers in sound quality. No reason why those wouldn't apply to guitar amps, too.
    Look at the frequency response of an electric guitar pickup and you'll see why older designs are so applicable to the kinds of guitars we're discussing. The $3K to a boutique builder is somewhat for build quality but also the tone. The best of them are like a warm embrace.

    When you get into small PA's and powered speakers amplification is different. Also for rigs designed for acoustic guitar though many of those are cost constrained. However, you still can't compare home systems to music performance gear because the latter has to be quite durable and flexible in terms of dispersion.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    I really don't care one way or the other - either one makes my guitar louder which is the point and they both have some sort of EQ built in to alter the tone. Nowadays, it all boils down to whether or not I can lift it into the car. I sound like me, regardless of the equipment I use so I'm easy to please.
    Yea.. I may like my Fender Concert best at home but it's the 35 pound Roland Blues Cube Artist when I play out. And I may go lighter than that soon.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    Look at the frequency response of an electric guitar pickup and you'll see why older designs are so applicable to the kinds of guitars we're discussing. The $3K to a boutique builder is somewhat for build quality but also the tone. The best of them are like a warm embrace.

    When you get into small PA's and powered speakers amplification is different. Also for rigs designed for acoustic guitar though many of those are cost constrained. However, you still can't compare home systems to music performance gear because the latter has to be quite durable and flexible in terms of dispersion.
    Yet, put it in the wrong room, at the wrong volume, outside the so-called "sweet spot" and it will sound awful. Many people, including pros, like to play and record at home. The cost doesn't bother me, so much as the very low utility to cost of the average traditional amp, unless you have the perfect setting to use them. Or you need several of them of different sizes and power to accomodate different rooms, which seems absurdly inefficient.

  21. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by AKA View Post
    The combo of the bluguitar amp 1 and the Streibel archtop sounds fantastic!
    I heard back from several folks on my modern guitar forum and through PM's that it's not a good jazz amp - that it's got a middy nasallyness to the clean tone that can't be dialed out.

    The DV Eric Gales would be perfect if they'd add a gain control to it. It actually sounds great but the preamp distorts too easily. (it's also got a micro tube)

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d View Post
    Yet, put it in the wrong room, at the wrong volume, outside the so-called "sweet spot" and it will sound awful. Many people, including pros, like to play and record at home. The cost doesn't bother me, so much as the very low utility to cost of the average traditional amp, unless you have the perfect setting to use them. Or you need several of them of different sizes and power to accomodate different rooms, which seems absurdly inefficient.
    An interesting view and you have a point. For me, flexibility is secondary. I use different setups for acoustic and electric and the electric rig only has to do a few things well. Maybe since I've always played saxophone along side guitar, I come at flexibility in tone a bit differently than many modern guitar players.

    What's good is that there are full range speakers and Axe-Fx sorts of things that will drive you nuts with flexibility.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    I really don't care one way or the other - either one makes my guitar louder which is the point and they both have some sort of EQ built in to alter the tone. Nowadays, it all boils down to whether or not I can lift it into the car. I sound like me, regardless of the equipment I use so I'm easy to please.
    I also have a rather pragmatic approach to amps – mostly I plug into what is there and try to make it work or rather work with what what is capable of. I think the discriminating line is more between good and bad then it is between tubes and solid state. As a player and inadmissibly generalising I think that tube amps have more compression – which can make you feel good as you play – while solid state often has a more direct and immediate feel – which can be a good thing, too. I also found out that tube amps often have a kind of enhancing effect (making your tone "shine" more) while solid state amps are often more flat (correct) sounding. If there's enough wattage they feel punchier in the bass quite often – but that may have been just the amps I stumbled upon. Whatever you like better and what inspires you ...

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    if you go to my youtube channel (Jack Zucker
    - YouTube
    ) there are tons of demos of the axefx stuff and kemper with jazz clean tones. The axefx is great but doesn't really sound like a real tube amp
    from a year ago:

    " I love my fractal AX8. I'd never go back to tubes. I can play at *ANY* volume level, utilize FOH if it's there or crank up louder than a 2x4x12 marshall 100 if there's no FOH or I can use a 23lb alto 800w cabinet. It's like having a princeton that can get up to cranked marshall levels and sounds pretty much the same at any volume level other than the typical fletcher-munson thing.

    Plus, with modelers, you're never stuck with just the eq in the amp. If you *DO* run loud enough to experience fletcher-munson, you have many eq options available. "

    Danny W.

  25. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W. View Post
    from a year ago:

    " I love my fractal AX8. I'd never go back to tubes. I can play at *ANY* volume level, utilize FOH if it's there or crank up louder than a 2x4x12 marshall 100 if there's no FOH or I can use a 23lb alto 800w cabinet. It's like having a princeton that can get up to cranked marshall levels and sounds pretty much the same at any volume level other than the typical fletcher-munson thing.

    Plus, with modelers, you're never stuck with just the eq in the amp. If you *DO* run loud enough to experience fletcher-munson, you have many eq options available. "

    Danny W.
    What - Is this politics ? Are you accusing me of flip-flopping? lol. I wrote about this transition back to analog months ago. Eight months ago, I went over to Frankie Starr's house and played through a bunch of his fender amps next to my axefx and I was blown away. I had been convincing and fooling myself for 2 years. There was NO COMPARISON. The axefx sounded and felt *NOTHING* like his fender amps. I couldn't sell it fast enough after that! Before I got a couple tube amps, I bought a quilter OD200 and honestly, it's clean tone blew away anything that the axefx could do. One thing that is very apparent and noticeable when you A/B them is the latency from the axefx. The analog amps have a punchy/immediateness to them that at this point is yet to be replicated with modelers - and with the main audience for modelers being heavy metal guys - I doubt they'll sway me anytime soon.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    i don't think mesa uses particularly good tubes. The reason to buy from them though is that their tubes don't require amp biasing because they only sell tubes that match the fixed bias in their amps. if you buy better quality tubes (for example, the tung-sol reissues are way better) you might have to bias your amp unless you buy from a dealer who sells tubes that are pre-selected for mesas (and many do)

    my morgan can take any 6V6, 5881, 6L6, EL34, KT66, KT77, etc. I have tried many of the brands out there including the chinese ones, tube doctor, JJ, sovtek and tung-sol reissues. The tung sol reissues are noticably better than any of them for clean jazz tones IMO...
    FWIW the comparison was between Mesa 6L6s and Mesa EL34's. The difference in sound was dramatic.

    On the general subject of SS vs tube, I have liked both. Here are two experiences.

    1) Mesa Boogie Mark III played through a old Yamaha FX box to simulate (badly) Pat Metheny's tone. A guitarist came out of the audience and offered to buy my entire rig.

    2) Crate GFX15 (12 watt SS practice amp that sold new for under $100) on a shelf behind the bandstand and mic'ed with the house PA (no idea of what that was). I think that was the best sound I ever got on a gig.

    Mostly, I just want to get close enough to "my sound" that I can forget about the gear. That can happen with any kind of amp, but not every specific amp. I've used Line6's and the original Lunchbox without being able to get a sound I could stand.

    I'm also aware that there's some psychoacoustics, if I'm using that term correctly. For example, I plug in at the beginning of a gig and absolutely hate my sound -- in the same room as last week, with the same gear. Then, with no real changes it sounds okay to me for the second set. I think it's just a matter of getting accustomed to it.

    So, I end up all over the map with this stuff.

  27. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    FWIW the comparison was between Mesa 6L6s and Mesa EL34's. The difference in sound was dramatic.
    Yes, I know. Sorry for being slightly off topic. Just pointing out that it might be worth trying some "better" tubes although for my tastes, the Mk series amps were over filtered and had huge transformers - making them great at concert volumes but sterile at most jazz gig volumes.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    What - Is this politics ? Are you accusing me of flip-flopping?
    “To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.” —Winston Churchill
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  29. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post

    For example, I plug in at the beginning of a gig and absolutely hate my sound -- in the same room as last week, with the same gear. Then, with no real changes it sounds okay to me for the second set.
    Don't you mean the guitar opened up and the speaker and transformers broke in? Just kidding. I'm not a believer in the voodoo of speaker break in and such. IMO, if a speaker sounds terrible out of the box, it will always sound terrible. I have recorded speakers right out of the box and then again 50-100 hours later and can't hear any difference - but then again, I also can't hear the difference in cable polarity or alkaline vs lead acid batteries either.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Yes, I know. Sorry for being slightly off topic. Just pointing out that it might be worth trying some "better" tubes although for my tastes, the Mk series amps were over filtered and had huge transformers - making them great at concert volumes but sterile at most jazz gig volumes.
    I liked the sound fine. What I didn't like was the weight. If I take it out to a gig I'm afraid my house might float away.
    And, then, in my practice room, somebody complained about the fan noise (not a joke), which is no louder than the day I bought it. Rather, everything else is quieter. Oh, I also didn't like the way the controls interacted. Need a bit more treble? Be prepared to adjust every knob on the amp. Dialed in, it was a chorus of angels, but it could be a slog to get to that point.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Don't you mean the guitar opened up and the speaker and transformers broke in? Just kidding. I'm not a believer in the voodoo of speaker break in and such. IMO, if a speaker sounds terrible out of the box, it will always sound terrible. I have recorded speakers right out of the box and then again 50-100 hours later and can't hear any difference - but then again, I also can't hear the difference in cable polarity or alkaline vs lead acid batteries either.
    I never bought the boutique power cable with all the electrons standing at attention.

    My point was that the same gear in the same place could sound different to me with no actual change whatsoever. Or, stated another way, my perceptual process has a major influence on how I experience the gear.

    Beyond that, the room and the stage plot are all major sound variables that are also external to the amp itself. The room, especially. I am especially wary of playing near large amounts of glass. Apparently, it's too reflective and everything sounds awful every time no matter how I tweak. Not necessarily to the audience -- but to me, which makes it harder to play.

  32. #81
    Does yours have an EV? Mind did. I once did a gig and had to carry that and my guitar 2 blocks because the hotel wouldn't let me pull up in front. That was before I had a cart. It was also when I was in my '20s!

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I never bought the boutique power cable with all the electrons standing at attention.

    My point was that the same gear in the same place could sound different to me with no actual change whatsoever. Or, stated another way, my perceptual process has a major influence on how I experience the gear.

    Beyond that, the room and the stage plot are all major sound variables that are also external to the amp itself. The room, especially. I am especially wary of playing near large amounts of glass. Apparently, it's too reflective and everything sounds awful every time no matter how I tweak. Not necessarily to the audience -- but to me, which makes it harder to play.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Does yours have an EV? Mind did. I once did a gig and had to carry that and my guitar 2 blocks because the hotel wouldn't let me pull up in front. That was before I had a cart. It was also when I was in my '20s!
    Black Shadow.

    I bought it at the factory (I live nearby) and got separate head and cab because even in my 30s I couldn't imagine carrying the combo unit. It felt like it was bolted to a steel plate on the other side of the Earth. The cab isn't so bad, but the head is very unpleasant to carry. It's the long head. I wanted all the controls on the front, for some reason.

  34. #83

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    So I'm thinking a Fender SuperChamp X2 might be a decent compromise between tube amp simplicity and SS light weight and effects. It has a line out in case 15 (tube) Watts through a 10" speaker isn't enough. 24 lbs! (I'm old.) Price seems good, too ($400 new). I was looking at a Katana KTN-100, but it just sounds so... lifeless and mechanical to my ears. The Pro Jr IV sounds good, but no line out and it's $100 more than the SCX2. Any thoughts?

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    not if they are filter caps which is likely the case.
    In tube equipment even filter caps are a easy fix. If you have to have exact new old stock replacements then not so much.

  36. #85
    In my experience if a tube amp dies by far the most likely culprit is a blown fuse or tube. Afterall they are not meant to last. If the fuse(s) gets blown frequently then there is a bigger problem.

  37. #86
    Fuse problems are easy to diagnose with a voltmeter. For tubes I'd check if all the filaments are glowing. If not, you found your problem. If the are all glowing, it can still be tube problem. Tube swapping is necessary. In some cases you don't even need extra tubes. But you usually do.

  38. #87
    That's one plus for the tube amps. If you're SS amp dies, it goes to landfill.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Black Shadow.

    I bought it at the factory (I live nearby) and got separate head and cab because even in my 30s I couldn't imagine carrying the combo unit. It felt like it was bolted to a steel plate on the other side of the Earth. The cab isn't so bad, but the head is very unpleasant to carry. It's the long head. I wanted all the controls on the front, for some reason.
    Rick,

    Black Shadow is the name Mesa puts on their speakers from all sources. In the era of the Mark III, that would have been an English made Celestion unless you paid the upgrade for the EV, but both speakers were labeled Black Shadow.

    I had a 1991 Mark IV with the EV Black Shadow speaker that sounded great for jazz at all volumes with 6L6 tubes. I tried to lighten my load with the Black Shadow Celestion, but could not dial in a good jazz tone at any volume so the EV went back in. By my mid 50's, the 65 pound amp was too heavy and got sold. Today I have a 1988 50 Calibur that has the Black Shadow Celestion and sounds great for jazz at all volumes with its stock EL 84 (yes the first generation 50 Caliburs used the little EL84 tubes) tubes. At 45 pounds, it is manageable and with 50 watts of tube power, it will play louder than I will ever need.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  40. #89

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    Regarding flip-flopping, I think it's a sign of intelligence to change one's mind in light of new facts. Those so inflexible as to never change their minds are not a source of intelligent conversation, nor are they especially worthy of political positions in Government :-)

    Now SS, Vs. tube for CLEAN (staying on OP topic sorry)

    So the OP question. "A good SS amp and a tube amp using the same cabinet played clean. Is there really identifiable difference between the tube paradigm vs SS paradigm design" and "differences between the tube vs similar quality non-tube amps almost always about the overdriven sounds"

    The operative words are "GOOD SS AMP" and "similar quality".

    IMO it's possible, identifiable? side by side? Maybe, maybe not but onstage or in the studio we don't do that.

    There's a scad of great SS mini heads, and combo oldsters like the Polytones that have lots of range and beautiful tone, but to squeeze more out of an SS amp (I haven't found one without modeling) I'd have to say if it's not configurable the likelihood of coming close to a tube amp is not gonna happen.

    Nobody debates that a new Twin Reverb (at $1300-$1500 up) will fill the bill for many players, but in keeping with the OP's statement: "similar quality" that leaves the stable rather sparsely populated.

    So the three bands that come to mind are Kemper, Positive Grid, and and Quilter. There may be more but I don't care about them, (see flip flopping below) IMO looking into those three brands will likely yield the best results.

    Back to flip flopping...

    I played a number of "cheap modelers" none came near my expectations and I was rather closed minded about them.

    When I played the Positive Grid I flip-flopped, and I'm happily ignorant of others so sue me :-)

    PS, regarding SS failures... Many commercial active parts today are of similar quality to military stuff of recent history. A well designed and assembled amp that's taken care of should have a long service life. PCB's in all amps today (even tubes unless hand wired) ALL have that common failure point, drop it and it goes pffffttt.
    Regards,

    Gary

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    That's one plus for the tube amps. If you're SS amp dies, it goes to landfill.
    Not at all.

    When my Fishman quit it was replaced out of warranty for $50 + shipping. Less than replacing a full set of tubes.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Rick,

    Black Shadow is the name Mesa puts on their speakers from all sources. In the era of the Mark III, that would have been an English made Celestion unless you paid the upgrade for the EV, but both speakers were labeled Black Shadow.

    I had a 1991 Mark IV with the EV Black Shadow speaker that sounded great for jazz at all volumes with 6L6 tubes. I tried to lighten my load with the Black Shadow Celestion, but could not dial in a good jazz tone at any volume so the EV went back in. By my mid 50's, the 65 pound amp was too heavy and got sold. Today I have a 1988 50 Calibur that has the Black Shadow Celestion and sounds great for jazz at all volumes with its stock EL 84 (yes the first generation 50 Caliburs used the little EL84 tubes) tubes. At 45 pounds, it is manageable and with 50 watts of tube power, it will play louder than I will ever need.
    Marc,

    Thanks for that info. Is there any well to tell, by looking, which one it is?

    I don't recall being offered a choice of speaker, but it was a long time ago. Interesting that it made such a dramatic difference.

    My experience was that it sounded great at all volumes. It may be relevant that I don't play archtops or with what might be considered a classic jazz tone.

  43. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by BBGuitar View Post
    Not at all.

    When my Fishman quit it was replaced out of warranty for $50 + shipping. Less than replacing a full set of tubes.
    Exactly, "replaced" not fixed. But that's not really related to my point. My point is repairability of SS amps vs tube, which is important as warranties expire. There is usually warranty on tubes when you get a new tube amp too and if they do blow during that period, fixing the issue doesn't require shipment to the manufacturer.
    Even PCB tube amps are easier to repair than solid state amps I believe. Many tube amp problems can be repaired by a savvy owner with the help of google and youtube. SS amps not so much.

  44. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Marc,

    Thanks for that info. Is there any well to tell, by looking, which one it is?

    I don't recall being offered a choice of speaker, but it was a long time ago. Interesting that it made such a dramatic difference.

    My experience was that it sounded great at all volumes. It may be relevant that I don't play archtops or with what might be considered a classic jazz tone.
    post a picture. The ev will have a giant gold magnet

  45. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Exactly, "replaced" not fixed. But that's not really related to my point. My point is repairability of SS amps vs tube, which is important as warranties expire. There is usually warranty on tubes when you get a new tube amp too and if they do blow during that period, fixing the issue doesn't require shipment to the manufacturer.
    Even PCB tube amps are easier to repair than solid state amps I believe. Many tube amp problems can be repaired by a savvy owner with the help of google and youtube. SS amps not so much.
    still not true. I had my clarus repaired several times by AI

  46. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    still not true. I had my clarus repaired several times by AI
    True, I was actually gonna say, it's feasible to get expensive SS amps repaired. I know people who got their polytones and Henriksen's repaired. The cheaper ones would be more expensive to repair then to replace. The problem is when they break, I don't think you can just bring them to your local guitar tech/store for repairs like you would with a tube amp. Also again many tube amp problems can be at least diagnosed much more easily by a non specialist.

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Marc,

    Thanks for that info. Is there any well to tell, by looking, which one it is?

    I don't recall being offered a choice of speaker, but it was a long time ago. Interesting that it made such a dramatic difference.

    My experience was that it sounded great at all volumes. It may be relevant that I don't play archtops or with what might be considered a classic jazz tone.
    it should say somewhere on the speaker. The EV has a seriously big magnet. If you look at a picture online of an EV guitar speaker, you will know if yours is an EV.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  48. #97

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    My Clarus Series 1 has a lifetime transferable warranty, and cost me ~$300. I used the warranty once, to fix a minor noise problem. If you're talking about ~$50 amps, then I agree they're disposable. But they don't have to cost >$1000 to be fixable. Now ink-jet printers are disposable. You can buy a new printer for less than the cost of a set of ink cartridges. That has been the case for 20 years or more. Printer manufacturers use the Gillette business model. Give the razor away and make money selling blades once the customer is locked in.

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    it should say somewhere on the speaker. The EV has a seriously big magnet. If you look at a picture online of an EV guitar speaker, you will know if yours is an EV.
    Right. It says Electrovoice.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI View Post
    Regarding flip-flopping, I think it's a sign of intelligence to change one's mind in light of new facts. Those so inflexible as to never change their minds are not a source of intelligent conversation, nor are they especially worthy of political positions in Government :-)
    “If something strikes me as probable, I say it; and that is how, unlike everyone else, I remain a free agent.” - Cicero
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat View Post
    So I'm thinking a Fender SuperChamp X2 might be a decent compromise between tube amp simplicity and SS light weight and effects. It has a line out in case 15 (tube) Watts through a 10" speaker isn't enough. 24 lbs! (I'm old.) Price seems good, too ($400 new). I was looking at a Katana KTN-100, but it just sounds so... lifeless and mechanical to my ears. The Pro Jr IV sounds good, but no line out and it's $100 more than the SCX2. Any thoughts?
    I have an X2 HEAD. I . think the speaker in the combo is limiting what this amp can deliver. Alternating between different cabs, it's impossible not to get some excellent sounds out of it. I use it with an Eminence Wizard (loud !), Eminence Lil Buddy (medium loudness and hemp cone smoothness for jazzy applications) and ZT cab (to play quieter at home while getting power tube distortion).
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall