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  1. #1

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    Hi, I'm relatively new to this forum. I'm inquiring to see if you feel SS amps have finally caught up with high end, high quality, tube amps as far as tone is concerned? For example, is a Quilter or Hendrickson going to sound as good as Victoria, Louis Electric, or other high end boutique tube amps? I'm primarily talking about amps for straight ahead swing and bop jazz performed with an archtop guitar. I've been waiting decades for this to occur and I don't honestly know if it's happened yet? I know it's bound to happen sooner or later. I'm just curious if you feel it's already happened?

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  3. #2

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    The only tube amp I really like that I have tried is the basic Fender Twin reverb. They sound great but weight a ton and since I play a carved top they feedback at any volume. I would not the spend for any boutique tube amp. I have a Clarus R2 with Twin 8 raezors edge. The Acoustic Image actually amplifies the guitar sound naturally better. All my carved tops sound different through it. On a Fender Twin they all tend to be very similar not picking up the differences in each guitar.

    i am would like a Henrickson Bud too and based on what Sringswinger (SS) says I am going believe they are pretty well the best. Solid State amps are the only way to go I am lugging around anything heavy.

  4. #3

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    Good tone is entirely, completely subjective. It's different for everyone. For me, solid-state amps give better tone than tube amps, and have for some time. There are certainly good tube amps and crappy solid-state amps, but I'm speaking in generalities. I certainly believe you can find good solid-state amps that rival or beat the tone of any tube amp, but that's my subjective opinion. More objectively, I don't think it's always possible to tell one from the other in a blindfold test. Lots of people claim they can, every time, but they've never actually undergone such a test. One thing I am sure of, I can't do it.

  5. #4

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    I go back and forth on this.

    Rudy's in NYC was demo'ing his vintage D'Angelico's with a Bud (SS).

    Probably the best sound I ever got from an amp was a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, but, who knows, maybe I was in a receptive mood that day.

    My long time beloved vintage Ampeg Reverberocket is the best tube amp I've ever owned (and I had a Twin at one point) but, when I A/B'ed it with my Little Jazz, I was surprised to find that they didn't sound all that different, and the LJ sounded a little better/cleaner on chords. The EQ settings made more difference than which amp I was plugged into. I have posted the other details before about how I did the comparison.

    OTOH, last summer I heard a guy play a Fender D'Aquisto archtop into a Twin and sound incredible.

    If you forced me to pick one today, I'd pick tubes for sound quality. But, I'd buy SS because everything sounds bad when my back hurts.

  6. #5

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    Players like Jim Hall, J Pass, G Benson were playing through SS amps 50 years ago, and sounding great. I can't see the point in valves for clean jazz tones, specially if you've got to carry your gear about. With the advances in modelling these days, I think most valve amps are pretty much museum pieces - doubt if I'll buy one in the future.

  7. #6

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    I have a couple of vintage tube amps that I keep for overdriven/ distorted sounds in the rock/blues/fusion genres. I have never heard a solid state amp that I have liked as well for those applications, but I admit, I have not tried the new Tone Master Fenders.

    For Clean jazz tones, solid state wins. The new class D Henriksen amps are amazing for jazz guitar.

  8. #7

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    So really dependent on Guitar used type of music, venue,and many other factors.
    I've owned way too many amps including Dumbles, Boogies,Marshalls, Fenders,etc. But they were used for loud gigs mostly!

    The good news is Quilter and some others are definitely capturing the Fender Clean we all tend to like as a main tone. And with the improvement in pedals it's so much for better for the player nowadays

    If you are looking for distortion from your amp then maybe tubes are still for you.
    But it's still the same issues heavy, reliability of tubes, voltage dependent, and being able to get power tube saturation at a moderate level?

    So really a no-brainer if you're a pro and haul your own gear QUILTER!

  9. #8

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    I play absolutely dead clean and will not practice, rehearse, perform, or record in the studio using solid state amps, only tube amps (I have seven of them, three Twins, two Supers, a Deluxe, and a Princeton, all reverbs).

    When using my big hollow-body jazz box, all the amps sound great at "jazz volume", but on a crowded stage under louder circumstances the Princeton is the one I typically choose - its single smaller speaker moves less air and does not feed back - sometimes the Deluxe will work in that situation. For quieter performances (majority of mine), I match the amp to the venue (size, acoustics) for clean clarity... about half the time I take a Twin Reverb.

    As far as the weight issue, it just means you have to use a dolly or luggage cart to move the amp. Getting it out is pretty easy without bending over, but you need to learn a way to lift it up high enough to place in back into your vehicle. Here's the way I do that, might give it a try if your balance, knees, rotator cuff, and grip strength are in good order:

    - stand next to the amp with it on your fretting hand side
    - bend your knees, not your back
    - use your fretting hand to grab the handle (greater grip strength)
    - straighten your legs, lifting the amp from the ground
    - take a big vigorous step forward leading with your leg opposite your gripping hand
    - swing the amp firmly forward and pull hard up and back as you step forward
    - as you finish your step, lean slightly back as the amp swings up in front of you
    - put your other hand under the amp and hold it to your chest
    - don't bend over as you lower it into the vehicle

  10. #9

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    Lugging amps around are top
    on my list of frustration and pain. I have plenty of cardio capacity years of running and bike riding. But i have zero muscles and aging makes any weird movement possible to upset balance. I want an amp that is as light as my breviary.

    That weighs about 1.5 pounds and fits under the front seat of my car.

    I am sure you are thinking the deacon has lost his mind. However image for a moment an amp that size that had the power. Still think I am crazy.......well they now are thinking about a manned trip to mars.

    i would pay a hefty price for an amp I just described.

  11. #10

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    I went through my Polytone phase in the 80s, but got that outta my system when I played through a Twin again.
    instead of a one trick pony that sounded dull and w/no character, all of a sudden the beautiful glassy shimmering sound was back, been only using blackface Fenders since, usually Twins but sometimes Vibrolux's for smaller hits.

    pauln's right, if you have a good cart it's only a matter of in and out of the trunk and that's pretty easy for me.
    I'll likely be hauling tube amps for the rest of my playing days and happy to do so....

  12. #11

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    A couple thoughts:

    Good tube amps excel at adding a euphonic EQ and warmth to clean tones but this comes at the expense of size and weight relative to their solid state peers in terms of clean headroom. They also rein supreme in terms of euphonic overdriven tones, bloom and sustain. 30-40 lb. minimally and the need to change out tubes and biasing in some cases.

    Good solid state amps can create pleasing euphonic EQ and some warmth like tube amps. They over high power in compact 12-30 lb. configurations with models with 6”, 8”, 10” or 12” speakers with usable integrated reverb. Some are two channel amps as well. I would suggest looking at options from Acoustic Image, Evans and Henriksen. For small gigs like you are describing its hard to beat the 12 lb.Henriksen Blue SIX or two channel The Bud SIX (great little amps).

    For myself, I still have a 32 lb., 40 watt, 1 x 12” combo tube amp (Redplate RP 40) for playing rock and blues, but when playing jazz, I use one of my two solid state amps. I find my Evans RE 200, @ 26 lb. 100w, 1 x 10” combo creates a warm, musical tone with a power EQ and descent reverb. When I use my archtop with a magnetic pickup and piezo transducer, I use my 5 lb. two channel Acoustic Image Clarus 2R Series III head together my 23 lb.1 x 8” two way Buscarino Chameleon speaker. This is a bit less warm in its tone but musical with a more of a high fidelity clean sound.

    Many club playing jazz guitarists are using these lightweight, powerful solid state amps successfully for years now. I can’t see anyone lugging a tube amp to a gig any longer unless a club has a stage amp to plug into.

    Quote Originally Posted by jumpnblues
    Hi, I'm relatively new to this forum. I'm inquiring to see if you feel SS amps have finally caught up with high end, high quality, tube amps as far as tone is concerned? For example, is a Quilter or Hendrickson going to sound as good as Victoria, Louis Electric, or other high end boutique tube amps? I'm primarily talking about amps for straight ahead swing and bop jazz performed with an archtop guitar. I've been waiting decades for this to occur and I don't honestly know if it's happened yet? I know it's bound to happen sooner or later. I'm just curious if you feel it's already happened?

  13. #12

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    I like both. Although the line between tube/ss sometimes gets blurred. There are some SS amps that sound and "feel" remarkably tube-like. I thinking of Quilters and the new Tonemaster Fender amps for example.

    Some SS amps can positively feel cold or sterile. I had a Roland JC-120 that was like that. Fundamentally it had a pleasing tone but it could easily become harsh sounding. There was no compression or anything like that to soften the attack. Some sound great though, I've got a Peavey Session 400 from the mid 70s, I suspect due to the use of discrete transistors vs op amps it has a very warm sound.

    That leads me to what I love about a nice tube amp, even when playing clean there's often a hint of sag or compression that smooths out some of the peaks. They can sound very flattering in that regard. It gets even better with nice vintage alnico magnet speakers...

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Lugging amps around are top
    on my list of frustration and pain. I have plenty of cardio capacity years of running and bike riding. But i have zero muscles and aging makes any weird movement possible to upset balance. I want an amp that is as light as my breviary.

    That weighs about 1.5 pounds and fits under the front seat of my car.

    I am sure you are thinking the deacon has lost his mind. However image for a moment an amp that size that had the power. Still think I am crazy.......well they now are thinking about a manned trip to mars.

    i would pay a hefty price for an amp I just described.
    try a Toob metro with a lightweight amp

    TOOB METRO 6.5" all products

    4.4 lbs

    BAM200 | Head Amplifiers | Bass | TC Electronic | Categories | Music Tribe - TC Electronic

    Approx 1 lb

    so not 1.5 lbs but maybe 6lbs all in

    fits into a shoulder bag , easy lift , sounds great ,
    loud too

  15. #14

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    So many excellent options within each category not sure how you can compare. There’s a world of difference between a blackface Twin Reverb and Fender Harvard from less than a decade earlier. I’m of the mind that you can get a serviceable clean tone from just about any halfway decent amplifier. Lab Series amps from late 70s / 80s were fantastic SS amps—no need to wait till 2020.

  16. #15

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    One thing a lot of people miss is using a boost pedal that warms up the tone of any amp. Luxury Drive pedal set to low or an Xotic Sweet Boost set low really warm up your tone like a great tube amp.
    I either use the boost in the loop or right before the input of the Quilters!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpnblues
    is a Quilter or Hendrickson going to sound as good as Victoria, Louis Electric, or other high end boutique tube amps? I'm primarily talking about amps for straight ahead swing and bop jazz performed with an archtop guitar. I've been waiting decades
    Hmm.. trick question apparently.

    The answers you're getting are 'SS amps have always been great and we like them..'

    Not what you asked which I think is: 'Are there current SS amps that sufficiently emulate what you like (Victoria, Louis Electric, et al) making them viable substitutes?' Also, you mentioned some nice boutique amps but not the model. Are you looking for blackface, tweed, or something else?

    The answer, IMHO, is no. Some SS amps do a good job especially for blackface amps. But if you want a tweed, the only one I've played is the Roland Artist. It's a nice sounding amp but set it next to a boutique tube amp and you'll hear the difference. Maybe something like the new Fender Tonemasters? Haven't played one yet.

  18. #17

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    There is a point to where some players obsess to much on the gear itself. I'm a gear junkie and always have been for 50 years. But the gear can only allow you to do what one's talent or skill set is.
    Sure great gear is fun and can be inspiring, but gear nowadays is so much better,affordable, and practical. Even Leo Fender would be impressed !

    If you can't get it done with the Quilter or equivalent, you really need to rethink your choice in being a player. If cork sniffing or just having fun at owning great expensive bespoke gear is your thing that's okay too. But it shouldn't be considered part of great playing.

  19. #18

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    I love my Roland Blues Cube Artist. It's fantastic. Sounds and feels like a tube amp. The Tone Capsule technology makes it versatile (for my own playing, I like it stock which is tweed Bassman; but the for the band I use a Tone Capsule because I need a CLEAN channel and a very dirty channel, and the Ultimate Blues capsule does that, being a Super Reverb and Marshall Super Lead, respectively)

    But I do think the code has been cracked. Face it, SS amps for jazz have been awesome for years. Acoustic too. It's the overdrive on the amps they never really figured out, because feel comes into the equation a lot more... I think they have it figured out. Roland and Fender anyway... I've read like 98% raves about the new ToneMasters.

    But I will always own at least one great tube amp.... I just like 'em, I'm a romantic. Holding onto some of the old times LOL. I'm going to be buying a Swart in the future, and am considering getting the AST Master head, because you can see the tubes glowing right through the front panel, LOL.

    And for reference, I have owned/owned: many Fenders, Dr Z, Bad Cat, Koch, currently own a couple of Fenders and a Bad Cat... and I was playing the Roland right next to all of them... it's the real deal. I don't feel it a "compromise" at all. I don't even remember I'm playing a SS amp when I'm playing it. My only complaint: in my experiences, it does not take dirt peals very well. it's ok. But I can say the same thing about many bonafide tube amps I've owned over the years as well....

  20. #19

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    As far as SS catching up to tube for tone ... for me, the answer is yes. I often go back and forth between:

    Quilter OD200 head with 1x12 ported cab
    Fender SFDR ('68) in a 1x15 cab
    Allen Encore head with 12+10 cab

    Not the same at all. But what they are, each of them, is tonally satisfactory in every way. IMO, it's best to value each amp for what it is, not for how it compares to another, or what it isn't. And to realize that "feel" is just as important as tone, if they can be separated at all.

    That Quilter manages to have both a tube like sound and feel, with a clean channel that is very flexible for getting edge of drive sounds. It's not quite like any other amp I have. Sounds and feels just as good in its own way as my tube amps. I end up plugging into it more than the tube amps, in part because of the tape echo plugged into the effects loop (which the tube amps don't have.) Whatever the case, I forget the technology once plugged in, as long as the sound is right. And it is.

  21. #20

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    In answer to the OP question, I would say yes, ss amps have effectively reached the level of boutique tube amps with regard to archtop tone production.

    The SS amps I’ve settled on are a Quilter Mini through a ported 1x8 cab with an Eminence Beta 8a... and Buscarino Chameleon 1x8 powered speaker with an ART Tube Preamp in front. Both of these produce superior archtop tone. I prefer these to my Milkman Tube Head for 17” carved top Heritage Eagle with a floater. I love the transparency and high fidelity especially with the Buscarino. The Milkman is fantastic for Tele and 335.

    However, I recently did a trade for an unmolested authentic 1964 Fender Princeton non-reverb amp that I’ve been playing for a week now. To play a Tele through this amp is quite an experience... but the 175 as well. The sensitivity of response to touch from this old tube is a whole new experience. Yes, I’m in love, I admit that. But there’s something special about this amp... it brings you into a more intimate kind of relationship of guitar, player, and amp that I just haven’t experienced with SS amps. When I play Jim Soloway’s 15” single Gosling through the Princeton there is such wonderful warmth to the tone along with an almost crystalline top end shimmer. It’s wild. But again, it may just be infatuation. Am I crazy?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by vernon
    In answer to the OP question, I would say yes, ss amps have effectively reached the level of boutique tube amps with regard to archtop tone production.

    The SS amps I’ve settled on are a Quilter Mini through a ported 1x8 cab with an Eminence Beta 8a... and Buscarino Chameleon 1x8 powered speaker with an ART Tube Preamp in front. Both of these produce superior archtop tone. I prefer these to my Milkman Tube Head for 17” carved top Heritage Eagle with a floater. I love the transparency and high fidelity especially with the Buscarino. The Milkman is fantastic for Tele and 335.

    However, I recently did a trade for an unmolested authentic 1964 Fender Princeton non-reverb amp that I’ve been playing for a week now. To play a Tele through this amp is quite an experience... but the 175 as well. The sensitivity of response to touch from this old tube is a whole new experience. Yes, I’m in love, I admit that. But there’s something special about this amp... it brings you into a more intimate kind of relationship of guitar, player, and amp that I just haven’t experienced with SS amps. When I play Jim Soloway’s 15” single Gosling through the Princeton there is such wonderful warmth to the tone along with an almost crystalline top end shimmer. It’s wild. But again, it may just be infatuation. Am I crazy?
    I have a 1964 Noverb Princeton. Yes, these are quite amazing amps. I did change the two prong chord to a three prong after getting a nasty shock on stage one time and I changed the cheap stock speaker to a Fender branded JBL D-110 (talk about a significant upgrade). For home or studio use, the old pre-CBS Princeton is great (I use a boutique reverb pedal with it). In the real world of noisy restaurants and bars (my gigging venues), the Princeton lacks sufficient clean headroom. With the JBL, my Princeton weighs 25 pounds or so. My 13 pound Henriksen Blu (they say it is a 12 pound amp, but my scale informs me that they have "rounded down") does a better job on the gig than the vintage Princeton.

  23. #22

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    I was a tube amp snob until I joined this forum and saw all the love poured out for SS amps. Bought a DVMLJ recently and now understand the beauty of SS tone. My cherished Marshall DSL201 is in storage and I haven’t been able to play it for a few years. It was my favorite distortion tone - especially with my Les Paul, but what I loved about the Marshall was that it had a great clean tone as well. I can’t wait to get home in September and have a reunion jam with my Marshall and my Eastman archtop. Really interested to compare the tone of it against the DVMLJ.

  24. #23

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    However, I recently did a trade for an unmolested authentic 1964 Fender Princeton non-reverb amp that I’ve been playing for a week now. To play a Tele through this amp is quite an experience... but the 175 as well. The sensitivity of response to touch from this old tube is a whole new experience. Yes, I’m in love, I admit that. But there’s something special about this amp... it brings you into a more intimate kind of relationship of guitar, player, and amp that I just haven’t experienced with SS amps. When I play Jim Soloway’s 15” single Gosling through the Princeton there is such wonderful warmth to the tone along with an almost crystalline top end shimmer. It’s wild. But again, it may just be infatuation. Am I crazy?
    Nah, you 're pretty much describing my experience with my 1968 princeton reverb too! These days SS amps are getting better, lighter and more efficient, but even decades ago there were very good ones, it's not really a new thing. Polytone, Aer, Roland cubes, Acoustic image, these go back for decades. I think the new thing is the D class amps, that huge power in tiny packaging that's so practical, with good heat management these days. If only it was possible to have the same development in speakers... alas physics!

    But still, to my ears, at gig volume, analog ss and tubes are two different worlds. More so if talking digital and modelling.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Nah, you 're pretty much describing my experience with my 1968 princeton reverb too! These days SS amps are getting better, lighter and more efficient, but even decades ago there were very good ones, it's not really a new thing. Polytone, Aer, Roland cubes, Acoustic image, these go back for decades. I think the new thing is the D class amps, that huge power in tiny packaging that's so practical, with good heat management these days. If only it was possible to have the same development in speakers... alas physics!

    But still, to my ears, at gig volume, analog ss and tubes are two different worlds. More so if talking digital and modelling.
    My gigging amp, in a loud rock band, is a Roland Blues Cube Artist... and I don't "miss" my Fender Super-sonics or my Bad Cat one bit. I forget I'm playing an amp that doesn't have tubes in it... that's how good they've gotten it, at least Roland has. And I've been a tube amp guy since I started playing 34 years ago.

  26. #25

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    Much of the allure of tube amps is finally available in SS technology. The elusive 5 to 10% will be solved in a couple of years probably. When the trade off of weight portability, ease of maintenance, cost factors are figured in, why would anyone invest in such arcane technology ?

    Bragging Rights?

  27. #26

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    Gosh. I like both tube and SS. I play out regularly in bars, wine tasting establishments, auditoriums, etc. I can get superb jazz tones from either a 100 watt SS combo, or from any of several tube amps.

    Can't beat a Twin Reverb for an L5 style archtop.

  28. #27

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    Sorry to disagree with above statement. Love a great Fender amp Twin,etc. But I have yet to find a better usable Clean Tone than my Quilters of 100 and 200 watts through good speakers.
    Last edited by jads57; 02-18-2020 at 12:45 PM.

  29. #28

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    IMO 90% of an amps tone is the cab and the speaker. But the remaining 10% is still noticeable if you spend some time with the amp.

  30. #29

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    The irony of all this talk comparing high end tube vs. current SS amps is that most audiences cannot tell the difference, and often, the band can't either.

    I still love my tube amps, but have come to an age when most of them are simply too heavy to schlep around. That's why I keep a Cube 80GX in the trunk of my car...and the tube amps in the music room/man cave.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by vernon
    However, I recently did a trade for an unmolested authentic 1964 Fender Princeton non-reverb amp that I’ve been playing for a week now. To play a Tele through this amp is quite an experience... but the 175 as well. The sensitivity of response to touch from this old tube is a whole new experience. Yes, I’m in love, I admit that. But there’s something special about this amp... it brings you into a more intimate kind of relationship of guitar, player, and amp that I just haven’t experienced with SS amps. When I play Jim Soloway’s 15” single Gosling through the Princeton there is such wonderful warmth to the tone along with an almost crystalline top end shimmer. It’s wild. But again, it may just be infatuation. Am I crazy?
    These are my experiences even with the modern run-of-the-mill Princeton Reissue's.

  32. #31

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    I gotta say... I have a Tone Master Twin, and a Quilter TB202, but they have not made me love may Princeton Reverb ReIssue with the 12" CR speaker any less. I love that amp passionately. The others are great, just as good, but the Princeton tone quality has something I have not yet been able to describe. I can imagine someone loving it or hating it, but not being neutral about it.

  33. #32

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    So when actually gigging in a Real World situation, a Princeton reverb just doesn't cut it. Studio situation I'll give is different and maybe a more fair comparison.
    If you had monitors and a great soundman or even perhaps the New Waza Tube Expander and another cab.

    But at that point you're not a Jazz musician gigging are you? So were back to real situation where you need to haul gear that actually covers the gig in a satisfactory way for both you and the audience.
    I'm also aware of the elusive tube compression feel especially in well designed small tube amps. But again it all becomes tradeoffs to actually work.

    If your a home enthusiast than none of this probably applies to your situation.

  34. #33

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    I think Christian77 here uses a Princeton as his main gigging amp. When I had a Princeton briefly in the past, I gigged with it a few times with a concert band (horns and everything), rooms weren't very big and I had no issues being heard.
    It will probably require micing in crowded, mid size venues. It may not stay clean with a loud rock drummer with stock speakers. But for a lot of other circumstances it might just be loud enough IMO.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    The irony of all this talk comparing high end tube vs. current SS amps is that most audiences cannot tell the difference, and often, the band can't either.
    Maybe, but I think audiences, especially listening jazz audiences, whether they know anything about the types of amplification employed or not, do hear quality and tone of sound. If I didn't hear the difference that would be one thing, but I personally do hear the difference, and based on what I hear and wanting my sound to be as good as possible for the audience, I use big tube amps even performing very quietly in a venue, because I guess I kind of feel that I have to offer the audience my best in order to play my best...

    It very well may be that nobody else discriminates a specific individual difference from how I use big tube amps, or tune my guitar in a special way, or polish my pick edges, or clean my strings, or shine the guitar (or other behind the scene things). I do these things for my own benefit and in faith, really, that their cumulative effect translates through the sound of my playing something that is heard to the benefit of my audience.

  36. #35

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    Good Luck being heard or even hearing yourself unless your doing a duo low volume gig!

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Good Luck being heard or even hearing yourself unless your doing a duo low volume gig!
    That certainly wasn't my experience. Looks like Pauln has a different experience with them as well (quote from a post above):

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln

    When using my big hollow-body jazz box, all the amps sound great at "jazz volume", but on a crowded stage under louder circumstances the Princeton is the one I typically choose - its single smaller speaker moves less air and does not feed back - sometimes the Deluxe will work in that situation. For quieter performances (majority of mine), I match the amp to the venue (size, acoustics) for clean clarity... about half the time I take a Twin Reverb.
    Princeton non-reverbs are a different story. They are very quiet. When you crank them they get to the loudness of PR at around 4.

  38. #37

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    Just upgrade the speaker and the Princeton does fine as a gigging amp. It becomes Deluxe Reverb territory volume wise.
    Here's three videos playing with different bands using the princeton. Didn't use monitors, no sound system on the first one either.



  39. #38

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    Well in fairness I'm old and DEAF from professionally gigging for over 45 years,LOL!

  40. #39

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    Well in fairness I'm old and DEAF from professionally gigging for over 45 years,LOL! And you kids play Rock so quietly!!!!

  41. #40

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    I hear ya bro! Sorta... :)

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Just upgrade the speaker and the Princeton does fine as a gigging amp. It becomes Deluxe Reverb territory volume wise.
    Here's three videos playing with different bands using the princeton. Didn't use monitors, no sound system on the first one either.


    DAMNED GOOD STUFF, ALTER!!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Well in fairness I'm old and DEAF from professionally gigging for over 45 years,LOL!
    Whether I agreed with you or not, you have so much street cred that if my PRRI seemed loud enough on a gig, I'd assume my amp had been modded without my knowing it.

  44. #43

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    FTR, I like ss amps, I have 3 polyones, 2 fenders, etc.


    If you take your little SS amp, and set it next to a good BFSR, the difference is not subtle. There is a reason TW, SR, and the like have been the kings for decades.


    Now, of course I said you set the little one next to the fender, because nobody in their right mind wants to move an old Super...


    There are good reasons for both.


    (ps, I have never found a modeling amp I could enjoy like a tube or SS amp. The feel is different)

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    FTR, I like ss amps, I have 3 polyones, 2 fenders, etc.


    If you take your little SS amp, and set it next to a good BFSR, the difference is not subtle. There is a reason TW, SR, and the like have been the kings for decades.


    Now, of course I said you set the little one next to the fender, because nobody in their right mind wants to move an old Super...


    There are good reasons for both.


    (ps, I have never found a modeling amp I could enjoy like a tube or SS amp. The feel is different)
    Big part of the difference would be the speaker and cab though not the amps. If you put the SS amp through the cab of SR (if the impedance is a reasonable match), I bet the difference would be subtle especially in lower volumes.

  46. #45

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    One 8" speaker is going to sound different from two 12" speakers regardless of the amp driving them. I have a Vibrolux Reverb from ~1980 or so, with two 10" speakers. I've played the same guitar through it, through an AI Clarus/RE Stealth 10, and the Clarus through the speakers of the VR. They all sound different. Better is entirely subjective, and my preferences aren't anyone else's, but my least favorite of these is the VR. The Clarus sounds better to me through the VR cabinet than the VR amp. The cabinet certainly makes a difference, but so does the amp, and everyone is free to vote with their pocketbook.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Good Luck being heard or even hearing yourself unless your doing a duo low volume gig!
    This is something of a recurring theme around here, with some insisting that a PR is not loud enough for real gigs, and others insisting that it is. All I know is that mine is loud enough for the duo jazz gigs (it fills a good size restaurant on 2), blues gigs with a 5-piece bands (on 4-5), and jazz jam sessions with various sized groups (including drums, keys, and multiple horns, on 3-4), in a few different rooms/venues that I do. No doubt, there are situations it's not loud enough for, but it's pretty friggin' loud. There's variability in how much power and clean headroom specific amps have, so I also have no doubt that some PR's would turn out not to be loud enough even for my uses. Mine is a '78, unmodified except that it has a Jensen C10Q in place of the original (I don't know what that was, it came to me with the C10Q); a tech who serviced it for me told me that he measured it at 16 watts. It's probably at the loud end of the spectrum for PR's. A friend of mine's stock '65 PRRI seems less loud (though we haven't put this to a rigorous test). So I think the real answer to how loud a PR is is "depends on the PR".

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 02-19-2020 at 04:37 PM.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    One 8" speaker is going to sound different from two 12" speakers regardless of the amp driving them. I have a Vibrolux Reverb from ~1980 or so, with two 10" speakers. I've played the same guitar through it, through an AI Clarus/RE Stealth 10, and the Clarus through the speakers of the VR. They all sound different. Better is entirely subjective, and my preferences aren't anyone else's, but my least favorite of these is the VR. The Clarus sounds better to me through the VR cabinet than the VR amp. The cabinet certainly makes a difference, but so does the amp, and everyone is free to vote with their pocketbook.
    Multiple speakers directly produce spatially complicated constructive and destructive interference patterns which tend to spread and smooth the various acoustic anomalies of natural reflection, refraction, and diffusion within the surrounding space, while imposing a little comb filtering. This tends to sound balanced, complex, with a little chime, more pretty and blending than aggressive. Single speakers directly produce a purer, more punchy tone that is much easier to mic for a consistent tone.

    In the studio, both single and multiple speakers have been popular for both chord and solo playing roles; on most stages the guitarists just do the best with whatever they brought or find provided.

  49. #48

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    So I have heard Princeton's modded with bigger or more efficient speakers. And also upgraded tubes,etc. Absolutely makes a huge difference!
    But compared to a Quilter Aviator 1x8 combo there's no comparison to which is capable of loud gig volumes.

    And again I agree speakers and cab choice make huge differences in both SS and tube amps as well. The 5 to 10 % elusive tube thing is real as well!
    But again on the gig I always defer not only to having enough Clean headroom. But at the end of the night when I'm tired not being a furniture mover,LOL!

  50. #49

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    Tubes or no tubes? SS or no SS? How about instead, "sounds good" or "doesn't sound good".... it doesn't matter WHAT is creating the tone, so long as it's a good tone. And it has been shown, over many years, ad infinitum, that there is no "better" at producing tone... especially the jazz tones most of you use. Hell, Johnny Smith was using a SS amp (Emrad) 50 years go...

  51. #50

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    One of the big differences the above post points it really is the player to a great extent. Another fact to consider is SS tend to have a more immediate pick attack which can be important when discussing differences.
    But I agree there does come a point that gear is only so important, and really talent is the key!