Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi,
    I've been rehearsing with some new guys, and the drummer set up a gig for last night at a local cafe to get us out there. At our rehearsals, I typically bring my small-yet-powerful solid state amp, with which I'm quite happy (see other posts on that). For most gigs, though, I bring out my Luker tube combo (20W, 6V6's).

    After I set up at the gig, I turned the Luker on, and literally strummed two chords, then played an arpeggio just to check my sound. The trumpet player was walking past as I played that, and he stopped in his tracks and said, "Whoa! Why don't you sound like that at rehearsals?!" The bass player looked over, looked at the gear, and said, "Tube amp."



    Just an anecdote.

    Marc

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    of course!!! tube amp tone!

    they can be a pain to take care of..heavy to lug around...etc etc..but a good one sounds like nothing else!!

    all tube all the time!!!

    haha

    cheers

    ps- why ss amp makers have always gone for "remarkably tube like" in their ads!!!..

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I don't know atomic man, it's gotta be more complex than that. It has to have something to do with the type of pick-up you use the type of guitar you use (solid body, hollow body), maybe even the type of strings you use.
    The example I always use is when I was doing gigs for a well-known singer, and they provided Black Face pre CBS Fender Twins for me every gig. With my Borys B-120, with a SD/SL pickup on it and TI Bebops, it should sound great, right?
    NO! They dug it, but i didn't like the sound at all. So I brought my Borys for the paid rehearsal in the afternoon, and it sounded like schlitz again. I was ready to give up, when I remembered I brought my Parker P-44 along, just in case. I did the concert at night with the P-44,with the standard alnico humbucker(and piezo for acoustic sound) and I felt like I entered heaven!
    Just perfect, resonant sound for the type of music we were playing, but not a jazz sound. The conductor actually walked over to me during the bows and shook my hand in front of the crowd.

    So then I got a KA pickup that was designed for the Borys (supposedly), and just like the SD/SL, it sounded great with my AI Corus, but shite with my Fender SF Twin.

    So I use this equation to explain this phenomena:

    Solid Body= Tube amp
    Hollow Body= Solid State

    Now I've got KA's equivalent of a Dearmond single coil RC-1100, and it sounds great on SS or tube.
    So we've got:
    KA SC RC1100 on chambered body Borys= Tube and SS

    Now I'm doing Mama Mia next week, and I use my Transtube Peavey, and it sounds fine, but lousy with the piezo, so I've gotta bring my Acoustikat for the piezo, just like I did when I played "The Who's Tommy".

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    s- i'm talking strictly magnetic pickup.electric guitar string sound....once you get into piezo or low impedence pickups..its a different game!!!..that sound is more dependent on impedence input matching than whatever the amp is made of!!!..not speaking to that...i wouldnt plug a piezo acoustic into a fender twin and expect great results...but with a tele/strat neck pup or a paf..yeah man


    cheers

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    s- i'm talking strictly magnetic pickup.electric guitar string sound....once you get into piezo or low impedence pickups..its a different game!!!..that sound is more dependent on impedence input matching than whatever the amp is made of!!!..not speaking to that...i wouldnt plug a piezo acoustic into a fender twin and expect great results...but with a tele/strat neck pup or a paf..yeah man


    cheers
    Surprisingly, the piezo works well with the Fender Twin, but not with the Transtube Peavey. Which pickups are low impedance pickups, I'm not an atomic scientist like you, so I don't understand terms like that...
    All I know is that the two humbuckers I've tried Seymour Duncan/ Seth Lover, and Kent Armstrong, sound like crap through my Fender SF Twin, circa 1971.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I'm sure your tube amp sounds great. Certainly love my old Fender Concert. However, another possibility is that your small/powerful SS amp doesn't sound as good as you think?

    In my modest group the regular guitar player uses a Fender Deluxe and sounds good. When I play guitar (usually play saxophone) it's through a Roland Artist and my rig (solid state) sounds as good or better. Variables other than SS vs Tube hold sway much of the time.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    It's not (only) the tubes... it's mainly the output transformer that transistor amps lack!

    Here's some nice reading:

    https://award-session.com/pdfs/Const...nt_Drive_1.pdf

    https://award-session.com/pdfs/Are_t...really_bad.pdf

    https://award-session.com/pdfs/Amp%2...0Effects_1.pdf


    (whenever I can I take one of my tube amps to the gig, btw...)
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    Variables other than SS vs Tube hold sway much of the time.
    Different room acoustics, size and shape, furnishings, wall and floor materials, ceiling height, proportions of windowed areas, number of bodies in audience, audience chatter level, background bar equipment noise, changes in amp positioning, relative volume of gig v rehearsals etc etc are all culprits. I know some also think they perceive a difference in sound between high and low pressure weather conditions, or relative humidity.

    Maybe try what the tube amp sounds like at rehearsals as a control test.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Maybe it was just louder?

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Maybe it was just louder?
    Tube amps seem (are?) louder than transistor amps of the same (or even more) wattage, because the output transformer 'under-dampens' the speaker, allowing it to 'overshoot', resulting in more volume.Our ear perceives more volume usually as better sounding indeed.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Since we're on the topic, and for what it's worth....there was an amusing discussion about the new (?) solid state/digital modelling Tone Master Deluxe Reverb amp on Rick Beato's youtube channel, posted yesterday. Sitting in front of Rick's $20,000 wall of tube-amp stacks, Rick & co. couldn't find much to criticize in the Tone Master.

    Fast forward to the 33:00 mark here:


    I can't recommend the entire video from start to finish, but skimming through it, I found a few other interesting comments (mostly about vintage guitars).

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Speaker type/size, cabinet, amp EQ/voice, the room are more likely reasons if the differences are that dramatic. SS and tube amps have their differences but it's not like all SS amps are just meh and all tube amps turn heads and instantly grab you with their magic tones.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    ...why ss amp makers have always gone for "remarkably tube like" in their ads!!!..
    I own various amps of both type, and personally, I prefer the SS amps for tone and ease of use.
    But I've yet to see a tube amp maker say "this amp emulates a SS amp!"

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    It's not (only) the tubes... it's mainly the output transformer that transistor amps lack!
    So, the vaunted tubes sound is actually the sound of a lump of iron?
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    In a music class some time back, most of the guitarists had small amps of one kind or another. Different guitars. One guy came in with a Fender Twin and a Fender archtop from the D'Aquisto era. His sound was dramatically better than everybody else's. It may have been the guitar, more than the amp, but I really don't know.

    On the other hand, my DV Mark Little Jazz sounds so much like my '64 Ampeg Reverberocket that I don't think many people could reliably identify which was which under playing conditions -- meaning adding some reverb with a pedal and adjusting EQ. Adjustments in EQ make more difference than switching amps.

    Then, there's the frequent experience where I hate my sound before the first tune and love it by the second set.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    So, the vaunted tubes sound is actually the sound of a lump of iron?
    From what I read about the subject I conclude yes! Actually tubes and transistors work pretty much the same. The difference is that tubes need heat to do their work, hence the need for a filament/heater.

    But I am no real expert, just a fool with just enough knowledge to be dangerous, so don’t take my word for it, there might be more to it.

    But from what I read it’s mostly the output trafo.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by dickbanks View Post
    I own various amps of both type, and personally, I prefer the SS amps for tone and ease of use.
    But I've yet to see a tube amp maker say "this amp emulates a SS amp!"
    There are some who claim to emulate or equal the sound of a Polytone. Either in their literature or in the word of mouth that they foster.

    I think it's also simply that tube amps came first. Whatever comes first, if it works well, sets a standard. Our heroes all played them. The Charlie Christian Pickup and tube amps... when the first "solution" works well and gets used by an incredibly talented and inspiring person, it becomes the thing people want to sound like. If solid state had come first, and tubes invented later, I imagine we'd hear "sounds just like solid state, only warmer and more vibrant!"
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    My take on it is very simplistic - I don't really mind if the amp is tube or SS but as long as it sounds good I'm happy. That said, a lot of SS amps do lack that damping factor of a tube amp, making them sound a lot more direct and perhaps cold sounding. Not all SS amps are like that though, some have a very musical sound.

    I'm really fond of the Peavey Session 400, they're a big 1x15'' amp designed for pedal steel, but they use discrete circuitry and I think that makes them sound more musical than other SS amps. They kind of get lumped with Bandits and such but they're in a different league. I rarely gig with mine- too big and heavy , but it does sound wonderful.

    New SS amps have blurred the lines in a big way -the Quilter amps sound very tube like, my Aviator actually sounds a lot more tube like than many actual tube amps I've used. Those new Fender Tonemaster amps have impressed me too, in fact when I've been watching the demos comparing the "real" tube Deluxe/Twin to the Tonemaster version, I've preferred the Tonemaster.

    That said, there's a magic particularly with vintage tube amps, old speakers etc. that new amps don't have. What that is exactly is hard to define.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Here’s my opinion. When i hear someone playing I really can’t tell if they are playing a tube amp or not.However if I’m playing I can feel the difference. The tube amp just feels better to play. I really can’t express it other to say it feels and sounds warmer. I think tube amps satisfy the player, I don’t think the audience can tell the difference. I have tube amps, solid state and modeling amps. I like all of them but I have to admit when I play my tube amps it gives me a special feeling.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Lovin' all the theories, guys!

    Just to clarify, this is no way was meant to be a scientific, studio-level, "A-B" comparison of gear. Sometimes with my students and guitar buddies, we'll get all the gear out and run numerous comparisons between guitars, amps, cabs, cables, effects, and yes, even picks -- it's fun and interesting to experience what sounds and/or "feels" good (as @fasteddie mentioned), or not.

    My account above was simply interesting to me, as well: that a non-guitarist, non-amp guy noticed "something" different in my sound after only seconds of playing, and it was something that we (obviously) like to discuss/debate.

    M

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    One thing that's interesting is the comments we see now versus what we would have seen 5 years ago. Amps have come a long way.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy View Post

    Lovin' all the theories, guys!
    My account above was simply interesting to me, as well: that a non-guitarist, non-amp guy noticed "something" different in my sound after only seconds of playing...
    theories to some perhaps..but your fellow band members/musicians (innocently) pointed out something to you!!! pay heed!!...they are the ones who are playing along with you!!



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 11-07-2019 at 09:59 PM. Reason: bela

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    The room makes a difference in the sound. And having a bass player say something doesn't make it so.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Jazz guitar can be quite idiosyncratic live, with all these big archtops, especially as the volume gets higher. You pay for all these expensive hand carved superb sounding instruments, and you end up with a laminate or a semi hollow working better at the gig! At least it's easier than amplifying an acoustic or classical! That's the basic reason I prefer 10' over 12' speakers for jazz guitars, smaller speakers with less bass often work better.

    I generally pay attention both to fellow musicians and audience remarks about my sound, at least when the person doesn't seem fanatic. And I've always felt like, if you find something that works for you and sounds and feels great, stick with it no matter what that rig might be.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    My experience is that not every tube amp sounds like a ''good'' tube amp. I played a GLS, a Rivera Jazz Suprema, and a 1964 Fender Deluxe (non-Reverb), and RI Princeton Reverb with my own archtop (1948 L-7 with DA model 1000) and i wasn't blown away at all. My sf Princeton non-Reverb I can't get right no matter what I try...tubes...speaker swap. Even at bed room volume. Moreover, above vol 5, I could not control the amp as it did his own thing, including feedback. Not a good tone, to say the least.

    Some time ago, I aquired a blackfaced 76/77 Vibroux Reverb, and it took me a lot of effort to find the right tubes and speakers to get the sound that I wanted. Now it is very good and holds up no problem in medium venues with keyboard and drummer. Volume seldomly goes higher than 3 as I find the tone deteriorates for jazz (but not when playing rock/blues with my telecaster (!!!), but that's another story). This is a very good amp and not too heavy. Almost Twin-like sound. I think I like overpowered, clean amps the best for jazz...

    I played around with my DV Mark micro 50, and while a good ss amp, it couldn't match the Vibrolux, especially on band volume. Many jazz guitarists I hear playing are using Polytones or DV Mark amps, and while light weight and OK sounding, there was something sterile and not lively to it IMO. Still a very good and practical choice if you're not too picky about tone.

    So, I guess that getting your right tone out of a tube amp requires a lot more than "it's a tube amp so it must be good", but YMMV

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    The room makes a difference in the sound. And having a bass player say something doesn't make it so.
    Poor bassists .... good joke though ;-)

    The last time I've used a Twin was a couple of moths ago at a club gig where I didn't have to bring my own amp. It was a reissue Blackface model and it gave me grief ! The stage volume was not unusually high so the sheer volume was not the problem but the amp simply put out way too much bass, even with the dial turned all the way to zero. I had to roll it way back to the side of the stage to keep my Super-400 from feeding back constantly which it normally - with my own amps - almost never does, being a heavily overbuilt electric archtop, designed for louder playing. I couldn't hear myself like I would have wanted and cursed myself for not bringing my Evans RE200 or my Bud - both would have been loud enough and flexible enough on that stage, in that room. Generally I find that open back cabs are not the best choice when it comes to a "classic" electric archtop tone - in concert that is. At home, in the studio etc. it might be different since volume and amp placement is not an issue - you can play as soft or loud as you like i.e. dial it in for optimal performance in a controlled environment, for sound pickup by microphone.
    Another thought : this experience once again hammered home the fact how important it is that you can hear yourself well on stage, that you have a minimum of control over the sound you're producing and that it sounds at least "good" to your ears, since "great" and /or "wonderful" are ideals that very rarely can be reached.... when I have to struggle with my gear I cannot concentrate on the music, on my fellow musicians or on the paying guests, bad. So from now on I will bring my own amp, spend the extra time for a thorough sound check and try to get a floor plan of the venue ahead of time so I can decide whether to bring my bigger or my smaller rig.
    On open air stages I always bring my 200 Watt Evans since the smaller Bud cannot deliver the extra punch needed when there are no walls around to reflect the sound.
    YMMV

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    Poor bassists .... good joke though ;-)

    The last time I've used a Twin was a couple of moths ago at a club gig where I didn't have to bring my own amp. It was a reissue Blackface model and it gave me grief ! The stage volume was not unusually high so the sheer volume was not the problem but the amp simply put out way too much bass, even with the dial turned all the way to zero. I had to roll it way back to the side of the stage to keep my Super-400 from feeding back constantly which it normally - with my own amps - almost never does, being a heavily overbuilt electric archtop, designed for louder playing. I couldn't hear myself like I would have wanted and cursed myself for not bringing my Evans RE200 or my Bud - both would have been loud enough and flexible enough on that stage, in that room. Generally I find that open back cabs are not the best choice when it comes to a "classic" electric archtop tone - in concert that is. At home, in the studio etc. it might be different since volume and amp placement is not an issue - you can play as soft or loud as you like i.e. dial it in for optimal performance in a controlled environment, for sound pickup by microphone.
    Another thought : this experience once again hammered home the fact how important it is that you can hear yourself well on stage, that you have a minimum of control over the sound you're producing and that it sounds at least "good" to your ears, since "great" and /or "wonderful" are ideals that very rarely can be reached.... when I have to struggle with my gear I cannot concentrate on the music, on my fellow musicians or on the paying guests, bad. So from now on I will bring my own amp, spend the extra time for a thorough sound check and try to get a floor plan of the venue ahead of time so I can decide whether to bring my bigger or my smaller rig.
    On open air stages I always bring my 200 Watt Evans since the smaller Bud cannot deliver the extra punch needed when there are no walls around to reflect the sound.
    YMMV
    Next time you have to use the house amp and it puts out too much bass that can’t be dialed out, bring a small screwdriver and lower the pickup on the bass-side.... ;-)

    I really get your point about hearing yourself on stage, so true!
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    Poor bassists .... good joke though ;-)

    The last time I've used a Twin was a couple of moths ago at a club gig where I didn't have to bring my own amp. It was a reissue Blackface model and it gave me grief ! The stage volume was not unusually high so the sheer volume was not the problem but the amp simply put out way too much bass, even with the dial turned all the way to zero. I had to roll it way back to the side of the stage to keep my Super-400 from feeding back constantly which it normally - with my own amps - almost never does, being a heavily overbuilt electric archtop, designed for louder playing. I couldn't hear myself like I would have wanted and cursed myself for not bringing my Evans RE200 or my Bud - both would have been loud enough and flexible enough on that stage, in that room. Generally I find that open back cabs are not the best choice when it comes to a "classic" electric archtop tone - in concert that is. At home, in the studio etc. it might be different since volume and amp placement is not an issue - you can play as soft or loud as you like i.e. dial it in for optimal performance in a controlled environment, for sound pickup by microphone.
    Another thought : this experience once again hammered home the fact how important it is that you can hear yourself well on stage, that you have a minimum of control over the sound you're producing and that it sounds at least "good" to your ears, since "great" and /or "wonderful" are ideals that very rarely can be reached.... when I have to struggle with my gear I cannot concentrate on the music, on my fellow musicians or on the paying guests, bad. So from now on I will bring my own amp, spend the extra time for a thorough sound check and try to get a floor plan of the venue ahead of time so I can decide whether to bring my bigger or my smaller rig.
    On open air stages I always bring my 200 Watt Evans since the smaller Bud cannot deliver the extra punch needed when there are no walls around to reflect the sound.
    YMMV
    I played a situation in which every few months I'd be on the stage for 4 songs or so. There were acts before and after, so the venue provided a Twin (don't know which one). It had that problem. At low volume there was some bass, but the first time I turned up for a solo, the bass blew up like a hurricane at sea. Completely unusable. No way to control it. After that, I made sure there was some, any, other amp.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    In a music class some time back, most of the guitarists had small amps of one kind or another. Different guitars. One guy came in with a Fender Twin and a Fender archtop from the D'Aquisto era. His sound was dramatically better than everybody else's. It may have been the guitar, more than the amp, but I really don't know.

    On the other hand, my DV Mark Little Jazz sounds so much like my '64 Ampeg Reverberocket that I don't think many people could reliably identify which was which under playing conditions -- meaning adding some reverb with a pedal and adjusting EQ. Adjustments in EQ make more difference than switching amps.

    Then, there's the frequent experience where I hate my sound before the first tune and love it by the second set.
    I have very fond memories of my (now long gone) Reverbrocket. Sounds like I should check out the DVMLJ. Hmmmn....
    Best regards, k