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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
    The funny part is theyre probably very easy repairs.
    perhaps learn to do it yourself?
    The deluxe perhaps, in fact StewMac now sells kits for a deluxe Reverb or Tweed and it's Old School Technology and it looks pretty easy.

    As for the old Deluxe that I had, it was oxidizing at that point that was old wire coatings were dry rotting, caps were degraded...couple of other the things... it would have been an extensive rehab.

    But I did manage to sell it to a friend who has a studio and who is an electronic technician and he spent almost as much as going out on the market and getting a new one but this one was so original, as it was my Uncle Joe's who bought it in the mid-60s, that he did not have to go out and find something that had been hacked on. So it worked out.

    As for the MB, I just cannot part with it (yet) and I have asked around and I have some friends that do some PACE micro work and they have the tools needed to delve into circuits such as employed by Polytone so that's on the table, but I've cleaned it up real good and it's ready for dissection.

    In the meantime I have a little living room amp and it's a Roland Cube 30X. It's working out okay in the living room so that's cool, but the only gigging amp I really have right now for guitar is a Tech 21 trademark 60 which I can dial in a George Benson setting and it's really close to the minibrute so I use that instead, I just don't like lugging that thing around as it's a "two handed amp" perhaps I should have purchased the 30 watt option but I was thinking grandiosely and there have been festivals where it has come in very handy, plus it has all the effects loops and XLR outs that I need to interface with a managed stage and sound reinforcement.

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  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    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.
    All the techs I've dealt with fix both tube and SS gear. That's not the issue. The issue is cost of repair vs value of the item. Poorly laid out amps with components, pots, and jacks soldered directly to the weirdly arranged boards are very time consuming to fix, and more commonly found in low end SS gear. A $100 amp that can't be fixed for less than $100 is throw- away gear (did I mention I just got new MicroCube?), but that's not per se because it's SS.

    John

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by rio View Post

    (snip)

    That is all listening. Playing I think the difference is more notable. The nicest ss amps I’ve had in the past were both Henricksen, a Convertible and a Bud. Both sounded good enough that students and colleagues bought them after hearing mine and seeing how small they were. But now, of all things I’m using a Monoprice 15w amp. The Convertible was long gone and the Bud has to go due to finances but even if I still had them I’d be playing the Monoprice. I had used ss only for a long time, last tube I had was a Twin but that was at least 15-20 years ago now. The Monoprice just has a response that I had never gotten from any ss amp. The way the notes respond is something very apparent and I can tell the most difference there, but the breakup, or edge of it is another big difference. I was always looking for that by getting some device to put in front of my amp. Some things came close but never exactly there with that sound we are used to hearing on old records. The first minute of this cheap amp and there it was, before even getting to tube swapping or anything.

    (snip)
    How is the Monoprice for clean tones? I'm interested in the 5 watt version (on sale for $90) for nylon and/or acoustic and/or "regular" electric guitars.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    All the techs I've dealt with fix both tube and SS gear. That's not the issue. The issue is cost of repair vs value of the item. Poorly laid out amps with components, pots, and jacks soldered directly to the weirdly arranged boards are very time consuming to fix, and more commonly found in low end SS gear. A $100 amp that can't be fixed for less than $100 is throw- away gear (did I mention I just got new MicroCube?), but that's not per se because it's SS.

    John
    recent fender and marshall tube amps have the same issue with the boards. Repairing a new fender amp in many cases requires taking off all the chassis nuts and jack nuts and pulling the circuit board out and flipping it upside down since the solder traces are on the opposite side of the board.

    You can't differentiate tube and SS construction without taking into consideration the construction technique of the amps. If you're talking about morgan or fargen, you are talking about amps that are constructed BETTER than vintage fender but a new fender tube amp is constructed on PC Boards which extremely cheap components.

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    recent fender and marshall tube amps have the same issue with the boards. Repairing a new fender amp in many cases requires taking off all the chassis nuts and jack nuts and pulling the circuit board out and flipping it upside down since the solder traces are on the opposite side of the board.

    You can't differentiate tube and SS construction without taking into consideration the construction technique of the amps. If you're talking about morgan or fargen, you are talking about amps that are constructed BETTER than vintage fender but a new fender tube amp is constructed on PC Boards which extremely cheap components.
    I didn't say that tube amps don't have these construction issues. I said that treating an amp as disposable is is not a function of it being SS or tube per se. It's a function of the cost of repair vs cost of replacement comparison. I get that many recent tube amps have these lay-out flaws.

    John

  7. #106

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    My decision point came after set up and tubes blown. I loathed carrying extra tubes and/or extra amps. So I picked up a new (mid 1990's) Tech21 Trademark 60 and dialed in (no presets) the George Benson setting. The Santana or the Bluesbreaker and clean Fender are also nice. In retrospect I should have picked the 30 watt version instead.

    Now I'm using small cubes. But the Trademark 60 stands dutifully by if needed.
    Last edited by geogio; 06-17-2019 at 11:24 PM.

  8. #107

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    To me yeah, there is a world of difference between tubes, solid state, and digital amps, and this applies to any kind of sound. Tube vs Ss rectifier too. The more distortion you use, the less apparent the differences.

    This is not to say that solid state amps are bad, I use them a lot, and if someone is into an audiophile, acoustic type sound I can see them preferring ss. However if it wasn't for the convenience, I'd always use tubes except for acoustic and nylon string guitars. But for real world, working musician conditions.. just did a few gigs where there was traveling involved, ships (damned airplane policies ), buses, cars.. Did the whole thing with a guitar case and a really small suitcase with wheels, Zt lunchbox and couple of pedals packed inside. This alone makes me love that little amp as much as my Princeton, I'd buy one again in a second. Same with my Aer.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub View Post
    How is the Monoprice for clean tones? I'm interested in the 5 watt version (on sale for $90) for nylon and/or acoustic and/or "regular" electric guitars.
    I have no complaints. However I am not shooting for totally clean and want some hair on it. Not really into noticeable overdrive territory but pushing it with a chord solo having it break a little when I dig in is what I like, and what I couldn’t get to sound like I wanted before going tube. I was worried about the wattage but have played in some pretty loud situations including an outdoor festival and I haven’t got anywhere near the maximum output of the amp yet.

    However that’s the 15 watt. I do t know about the 5 or what it would be capable of in terms of clean volume. The 15 does have a 1 watt practice mode though which is nice if I’m just practicing in my living room. Even then I barely have the volume up at all and it gets loud quickly.


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  10. #109

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    The last SS amp I tried was one I owned briefly in the mid 70's, hated it but back then I guess they were not up to snuff. I couldn't wait to dump it and was thrilled to trade it and a crappy guitar to another kid who had a 73 Tele and no money for an amp (this was 1973 actually). I still have that Tele hence my id here.

    Sounds like SS amps have improved. I need to try some one day. Actually my son has a Micro Cube he never uses, I'll give it a whirl. Was ony $99 if memory serves.

    One thing about tube amps is the tube supply. New ones are not like the old ones. I was shopping a NOS tube sale yesterday, $100 for a 12 ax7 is hard to swallow. I will say that anyone with a tube amp needs spare tubes around.

    In a past career I did electronics work so I don't mind a tinker if I have the time.

  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender View Post
    The last SS amp I tried was one I owned briefly in the mid 70's, hated it but back then I guess they were not up to snuff. I couldn't wait to dump it and was thrilled to trade it and a crappy guitar to another kid who had a 73 Tele and no money for an amp (this was 1973 actually). I still have that Tele hence my id here.

    Sounds like SS amps have improved. I need to try some one day. Actually my son has a Micro Cube he never uses, I'll give it a whirl. Was ony $99 if memory serves.

    One thing about tube amps is the tube supply. New ones are not like the old ones. I was shopping a NOS tube sale yesterday, $100 for a 12 ax7 is hard to swallow. I will say that anyone with a tube amp needs spare tubes around.

    In a past career I did electronics work so I don't mind a tinker if I have the time.
    $100 for a NOS 12AX7 ???!!!! does it come with unicorn horn dust? P.T. Barnum would be proud.

  12. #111

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    I wonder, what would be THE amp for demonstrating the "tube sound" the best? Well.. no as the "best" even, just extreme.

  13. #112

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    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.
    I agree.. Tubes amps are FUN to work on and build/mod, I am on about my 10th one this year.
    Get the Jack Darr bock and check out Fretboard Journal's excellent podcast "The truth about vintage amps"
    hosted by Skip Simmons, you will thank me later...
    measure with micrometer... mark with chalk... cut with axe

  14. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I wonder, what would be THE amp for demonstrating the "tube sound" the best? Well.. no as the "best" even, just extreme.
    Fender Champ. It's one of the simplest tube amp designs (if not the simplest). Single channel, single ended class A, no negative feedback, no tone stack. Pure and raw tube sound.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Fender Champ. It's one of the simplest tube amp designs (if not the simplest). Single channel, single ended class A, no negative feedback, no tone stack. Pure and raw tube sound.
    I was asking for the extreme, for comparison. I don't think Champ is milking it enough

    edit: Roland JC-xx Jazz Chorus?

  16. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I was asking for the extreme, for comparison. I don't think Champ is milking it enough

    Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus?
    Depends what you mean by extreme. I took it to mean extreme tubey, not extreme loud.
    And Jazz Chorus is not an example of extreme tube sound for extremely large number of reasons.

  17. #116

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    Geez... is jc-..s even tube amps? haha

  18. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Geez... is jc-..s even tube amps? haha
    Are you having conversation with yourself

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Are you having conversation with yourself
    Yeah, sorry.. Ignore that

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBGuitar View Post
    $100 for a NOS 12AX7 ???!!!! does it come with unicorn horn dust? P.T. Barnum would be proud.
    I agree, and a 12AX7 is not even a "real" tube, it's a mini 9-pin... relatively modern .. when I go NOS (I know a guy) I get one of these... Octal baby!!Tube vs good non-tube amp for cleans (and light overdrive with pedals)-nos_octal-jpg
    measure with micrometer... mark with chalk... cut with axe

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I don't believe that anyone can tell the difference between good solid-state and tube amps in a blindfold test. And I don't believe that anyone can tell the difference between solid gold stranded speaker wire and plain copper. People want to believe there is a difference, and the more they have invested, the more they believe, but it's just religion, not science. And there is a lot of religion involved in tube amps.
    I believe that whoever designs something can eventually make decisions about teeny-weeny differences. And whoever spends a lot of time with certain set of equipment will surely tell at some point if something is bothering somehow and develop preferences because of previously missed/ignored details. A/B tests are mostly just a quick, probably unprepared quiz, often completely out of the usual environment and mindset for dealing with such "info". When we spend more time - we will notice more details. For a few very similar gear items, I could never tell why I like one better than the other but I know I do. And am completely right... for no scientific reasons whatsoever

    Oh, IMHO - "tube vs. ss" is fortunately one of the least religious topics in sound. I mean.. they actually do sound different for most people.

  22. #121

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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.
    When my Fishman quit after many years of service. Fishman replaced it out of warranty for $50 plus shipping.

  23. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by BBGuitar View Post
    When my Fishman quit after many years of service. Fishman replaced it out of warranty for $50 plus shipping.
    And what happened to the old one

  24. #123

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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.
    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.
    I think those recipes from the 60s are the lo-fi sound that is trying to be emulated. The lo-fi electric guitar sound that we like is cultured, it's what we grew up on, it's what we grew to like. (An acoustic guitar sound is a different story and I think most are looking to capture the sound accurately. This is where good condenser mics in a good room and modern audiofile technology would apply).

    Regarding recording, I just run pedals in front of a Quilter micropro 200 ss amp with a sm57 close mic'd. Unless one runs the amp at really loud levels I don't think the room is much of an issue if you close mic which is pretty traditional.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    So the 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? Well aside from the increasing sag and bloom of tube when pushed harder vs the more linear response from SS amps. Note we are allowed to use a good "tube-like" OD pedal to get the slight warm break up when digged in.
    There's certainly much less diff than there used to be. I have a few decades of classic tube amp experience along with some very bad early 70's SS. I switched about 2 years ago. Currently playing Quilter ToneBlock 202 in a Quilter Dock12. Of course I need a good warm tone, but what's sometimes more important to me is the interaction from pick to speaker....the feel that's been talked about. I'm finding I can adjust this very nicely with the gain/master relationship. I can get the 'slight warm break up when digged in' I like without a pedal and at any volume. (unlike..say a Twin). I think Mr Quilter has figured out the sag and compression characteristics very nicely.

    Previous to this amp I had Aviator 8. I needed an extension cab and Empress ParaEQ to get happy.

    I still have a '91 Mesa Studio 22+ in the room (EL84). I prefer the Quilter with the carved archtops I'm playing these days. Maybe I'd dig the Mesa more if I went back to my fusion roots with a Les Paul, but I have a feeling this Quilter can do that too.

    I'd like to add that I think psycho-acoustics is every bit as real as... the other kind of acoustics.

  26. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    I'd like to add that I think psycho-acoustics is every bit as real as... the other kind of acoustics.
    That's exactly what I was about to type. Tube vs SS difference in general is real. But also real is cognitive biases and various psychological tricks our brain does. Those who can tell the difference between SS and tube can do so in blind folded tests. Those who claim they can but fail blind folded tests are like those mediums and psychic's who fail every scientific study and shown to not be able to predict future better than random guesses but continue to have full confidence in their extraordinary abilities. They just think "science" just cannot capture their powers. They are too delusional to see their own selective perceptions of their past successes and failures.

    So those who's ability to tell whether they are playing through an SS amp or a tube amp strictly depends on their prior knowledge of which type they are playing in the first place are just full of it.

  27. #126

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    SS amps used to be quite different and easy to distinguish. Not so much now. And the room, the instrument, what is being played, and whether or not you're the one holding the guitar all matter. My Henriksen still sucks. My Fender Concert is still great. And the Roland Blues Cube Artist is somewhere in between. And sometimes I change EQ from what sounded good yesterday to make it sound good today. Whether or not that's real, marginal perception, or out-and-out fooling my ears is completely and totally irrelevant. Only the joy matters..
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw