Tube amps are on borrowed time

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by Mr Insane, Aug 13, 2017.

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  1. Stevie 202

    Stevie 202 Senior Member

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    ^^ I hear ya man and I don't disagree.
    Wuz just trying to be a wise-guy. Can't seem to help myself...

    Truth be told I think this shit is great and I see the same evolution here that I did with digital photogaraphy, albeit somewehat slower.
     
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  2. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell Premium Member

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    True, SS tech has come a long way, I own a DIME D100, a copy of Dimebags old Randalls, great amp despite all the hate it gets because it uses the DIME name. Mentioning old Randalls, those are great as well and so is the Orange CR120. Modeling has exploded as well the last few years and is way better than yer olde Line 6 Spider.

    But there is a saying in german "totgesagte leben länger", you could probably translate it to "the reputed to be dead live longer".
    So I'll believe it when I see it, I think there is going to be a coexistence of technologies for quite some time.
     
  3. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    ^This^ I own an old car that I can barely buy any parts that don't need to be custom made. Every year it goes up in value. When I drive it, people drool over it. That doesn't happen with my Prius. Tube amps are going to be around longer than any of us are. I'm glad for that. People get emotional over old technology. That's a good thing.
     
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  4. AmpedUp

    AmpedUp Senior Member

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    I'm seeing less and less folks sentimental about "stuff" these days with the younger generations coming up today. Most of the older generations understand where we came from.

    I've inherited an old full analog tube type Curtis Mathis console AM/FM Stereo with a turntable on a slide out drawer. It's made with solid woods, a glass smooth top, and few pieces of hand carved decorative trim on it. The front of the unit has doors that slide open sideways/horizontally like a roll top desk does and retract into the unit out of site. Pretty cool. It was purchased by my Pop around the year I was born in 64 or so. It's a piece of history for sure. I know my brother won't do anything with it and it means something to me to keep it up for my Pop. I'm gonna try to get it re-capped and use it some more. I remember playing records on it as way into the 90's. That's one emotional piece of furniture for me.
     
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  5. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I repurposed my dad's TV console. It holds a stereo system and CD's now, but no TV. I know what you mean.
     
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  6. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

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    Tubes sound great, but for a person like me there's too many money pits to get caught up in: lusting after an amp I don't have, rolling tubes, NOS tubes, speaker swaps, different cabs, pedals. I'm way better off biting the bullet with one big purchase and getting a Kemper, then I can fiddle around and switch things to my hearts content, and it won't cost me a thing other than some amp packs. I don't think tube amps are going anywhere, a lot of the oldtimers will stick with them, and once digital goes mainstream the hipster crowd will wanna use tubes. But I do think tube amps have seen their high water mark, digital is gonna eat into the market more and more every year.
     
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  7. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    tubes aren't going away... there will always be those that choose one or the other, and there will always be those that choose both.

    it's not like tube amps aren't evolving either...

    look at the grandmeister from H&K... all tube, but built in effects, midi controls, DI out, power soak down to 1 watt, presets, etc... about the same price as a decent modeller.
    stone deaf also has a tube amp with presets and amazing digital controls..

    hell, my little peavey has a lot of those great features that you would never have seen in a tube amp... USB Out, DI out, power soak, built in tube tester, 3 channels and the size of a lunch pail. well under $1000 (if you go used, you can get all 3 of the little heads for under $1000) ... if you took something like that back in time just 25 years... it would have blown people away... absolutely stunning what has happened in the last decade or 2 of guitar technology

    we live in amazing, exciting times... if you can't create a great guitar tone, it's on you, not your gear...

    (and I really mean me, because I am fully aware that I suck, and I spend too much time turning knobs and seeking tone, when I should be practicing and learning my craft)
     
  8. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    As they (tube amps) become more and more digital in nature they bascially sign their own death warrant. Why bother with all that when you can simple buy a high end modeler and have 1000 times more ability?

    All you are seeing with tube amp makers adding all that extra stuff to a once pure circuit like a JCM 800, is simply an attempt to ward off the inevitable.

    They won't always be around because tube makers will be pushed out of business. The only tube amps you will see are collector pieces that are never turned on. There simply is no point to them anymore. Sure they sound great for the one or two things they do.. but modelers have copied that and more. So again. Why bother.

    I write this as I look at my Nikon F3HP. I loved that camera.. Now it sits on a shelf as a reminder of all the shoots i did with it.

    This very thing already has happened a few times. Film went away with purists kicking and screaming and so did CRT TVs. Whats funny is how the guitar playing community refuses to believe that it will indeed happen to their beloved tube amps.. And happen sooner then they think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  9. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    And eventually, when tube prices go up (and they will as they become less and less produced), and the people able to service them dwindles, I think the only guitarists/musicians you see using them are purists, and old timers. That number will be a small minority.

    As Frank said, as the amps get more and more digital, and expensive, WHILE top sounding modelers drop in price, well.......................
     
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  10. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    when I bought my first tube amp, getting tubes was quite difficult. it became easier in the later 90s and now there are more mfg than ever... since they are made in china... while I see your points... I just don't see tube amps disappearing in my lifetime. their demise was rumored in the 70s and 80s too... when solid state was more en vogue, but the tubes have resurged again and again.. now, they make much more friendly tube packages, with smaller amps, more accessible to people...

    granted I think more people for home will move to digital, but there will always be those who keep tubes alive
     
  11. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Never!!! Never!!!! I will go kicking and screaming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


     
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  12. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    You are OK brother. You have enough of "my old tube amps" to keep you covered. hahahahaha
     
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  13. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Damn right I do,frank ole buddy!! So glad y'all get my humor,brother!
     
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  14. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Actually there isn't more. There are 3 factories. One in Russia, one in Slovakia (that only makes JJs), and one in China that produces quite a few labels, but it's still just one factory.
     
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  15. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    ok, well it's certainly MUCH easier to get tubes now than it was 20+ years ago...
     
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  16. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    My only bone of contention is that people think just because an amp has tubes, it is somehow good sounding. Most tube amps > $1000 that you can buy a Guitar Center sound like s$!t. I don't care how many tubes they have.

    Now, some boutique-y stuff, and some high end stuff, and certainly a lot of vintage stuff do sound truly glorious. But that is a different category altogether.

    *********

    Regarding audio-phile stuff: I worked in a high end store for awhile. The only tube amps worth a sh!t were 60's Macintoshes. All of the modern stuff sounded just as crisp and sterile as the solid state stuff. So much Emperor's New Clothes.

    **********

    I've got a killer old Marshall (and have played many more). While most people love the tone of my old Marshall, most prefer to play something more modern with more gain. People used to turn down the chance to play my low gain 2204 and opt for my JCM 800 2205 (channel switching, reverb :eek2: :facepalm: :eek: - on a Marshall?!?!?!?!? ) instead. Comparatively, the 2205 tone was absolute crap. But it had a ton of gain. :rolleyes:

    *********

    So, basically, unless you are playing old plexis or faithful clones, or old Fenders or their boutique repros, (does anyone even play old Voxes? They should), your "tube tone" sucks. :lol::lol::lol:

    your friend,

    mdubya. :hippie:
     
  17. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    There was a time when this was very true,brother....I can remember the first time I plugged into an old Kent tube amp. I had been banging away on a SS Crate(one of the very first wood ones),wow,what a difference.
    That being said,my go-to amp for almost 4 years(until deemed " too much " by some pissy bandmates)was a SS Kustom 200.

    So,here I was,sounding like crap on that Crate and then plugging into the Kent. Holy Sheet,man.....so,theres always a bit of truth in them thar myths. Guitar players for the most part gravitate towards the gear their favorite players use,and it used to be primarily tube amps. I myself as young player hanging out with guys who were older and already in bands praised the almighty tube amps.

    I grew up with that,man. So did most of the other guys in here. Its only been recently that things have picked up with the digital/modeling thing. If that tech had been around back then,well,by all means many would have different opinions. Things have come a long way since I began in '78.Give it time.....like it was said in another thread,theres room enough for everything. It doesnt have to be all or nothing. :hippie:
     
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  18. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    it also depends on what you play... I'd say this is the first generation of modelling amps that really sounded and felt like tube amps for the high-gain crowd. but there are high gain tube amps that sound great. I own one, and like it.. it's a one trick pony, but it's a nice trick. and it wasn't even expensive.
     
  19. AmpedUp

    AmpedUp Senior Member

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    Does the Marshall 2061X reissue count? :thumb: Non master mini-Plexi.:)
     
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  20. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I haven't played one, but Paul Gilbert played one a few years ago as the main amp in his touring rig and it sounded good. He was using it as a pedal platform, though. :shock:

    If it were my money, I would buy a clone before I would buy a Marshall RI. You will notice the 2061X doesn't fit in the mass produced > $1000 on the Guitar Center floor category, though.

    I would buy a Vintage Modern. But they aren't very popular. They sound too good. :lol:

    There are great tube amps out there, for less than $1000, though.

    I was kind of mocking that what is considered "great" tube tone isn't really what the average guitar player wants.

    Most would pick a Marshall Class 5 or DSL 5/15/whatever before they would buy a used silver face Champ or Silvertone 1481.

    Tweed Champ is considered one of the great tube tones. Most modern guitar players wouldn't be able to stand Tweed Champ tone.

    That was the case with my old Marshall that I gigged with in the 90's. Other players would rave about my tone. When I would ask them if they wanted to play my rig, they weren't interested. Not enough gain. :dunno:
     
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