anyone else here prejudiced against SS amps?

JPummil

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Had a friend that played in a local metal band back in the '80's....he was handy and purchased a beat up old Peavey Renown (130w I think?) combo...built a head enclosure for the amp itself, then 3ea 2x12 cabs (can't remember what speakers he used), and it was one of the best sounding amps I'd ever heard! I love my valve amps, but that thing was amazing!
 

CB91710

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Boom go da dynamite! My elusive but somewhat deranged point upstream a bit....Attach files

Any amp is a modeler.....just a singular model. If you (speaking generally, not pointing at you specifically) make a copy of the knob layout in the manual, do a spreadsheet of different combinations of knobbery, punch those in the fields of spreadsheet, you have a modeler with multiple models... Just because you have to manually change settings makes not a damn bit of difference....
Yep... I don't think you'd find many who would not agree that the Fender Tonemaster amps are modelers, but they indeed only do one model... that of their original Blackface namesake.
And they do a damned good job of it, with most experts being unable to tell the difference in a blind test, and in some cases, preferring the Tonemaster.

Of course, were SS amps ever really THAT bad?
SS amps picked up their bad reputation with the early Fender and Kustom SS amps. Kustom maintains some "mojo" with the cool tuck and roll cabinet coverings, but the old Fender SS amps were just horrible in every way, and they were not produced for very long.

fender68p41.jpg
 

pondcaster

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To the OP, I'm not really prejudiced but just prefer valves.

At home in the music room just playing, solid state is more than fine. Sometimes even better for purposes but in an actual live band mix, or even jam night with two or three pals, it just doesn't cut it for me.

Personal preference, sure. But I've not played a SS amp that can properly "replicate" that sound, feeling, etc. I'm sure they're out there, I've just never played one that is really even close.
 

ehb

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Meh... just a simple inverter unless you bias it right.
Yep. It -----> SEEMS <----- to output a decision based on what it sees at the input.
Computer.

The 4004 MPU was simply 12 chips to be a calculator and off we go to the races... They decided to try to put it in one package...

Every chip consists of transistors and related components..... Ain't magic....
 

ehb

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There are some great SS amps out there... Lots of em have dirt that ain't the best but many folks set amps pretty clean and use pedals for dirt, warp, wet....

JC120 was the finest clean amp that was ever built...

Bear in mind, as damn much as it hurts to even consider, many set their jugs pretty clean.......and then put a solid state pedal in front of it...through another solid state pedal.....and sometimes even more solid state pedals....

All that solid state pedal goodness... generating all them sweet solid state pedal tonez and.... Wait....
I'll be sumbitch... Something don't be addin' up here....

:cool2:
 

CB91710

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Yep. It -----> SEEMS <----- to output a decision based on what it sees at the input.
Computer.

The 4004 MPU was simply 12 chips to be a calculator and off we go to the races... They decided to try to put it in one package...

Every chip consists of transistors and related components..... Ain't magic....
This was sure as hell magic!

Apollo_1024_bit_core_memory_module.jpg
 
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cybermgk

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Of course, were SS amps ever really THAT bad?
SS amps picked up their bad reputation with the early Fender and Kustom SS amps.
Yes, and no, as to whether they were ever THAT bad. I also think they got a bad reputation from all those cheap, crappy sounding practice amps. It wasn't relatively recently that we saw lower priced pt and practice tube amps.
 

ac/dcfan87

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I am lol. I haven't really played one that comes close. I don't think SS amps are bad, I just prefer tube amps. I have heard some that come close, yet is not quite the same thing.
 

Ian R. Taylor

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Tube amps are in general very repairable and my Silverface amp very well might be around in 100 years. I consider them "forever" amps. Solid state amps not so much. Buying a new mother board for something old ain't always that easy or sensible. Tube amps have a similar repairableness ($2) to old pre-computer cars.

You can make a junk solid state amp real cheap so most are garbage. There's few solid state amps that I've bonded with and seem to have a soul, not guitar amps but I have a heavy 80's Harmon Kardon stereo amp that was a $10 Goodwill pick that has that fuzzy stoned college dorm sound.
 

cybermgk

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Tube amps are in general very repairable and my Silverface amp very well might be around in 100 years. I consider them "forever" amps. Solid state amps not so much. Buying a new mother board for something old ain't always that easy or sensible. Tube amps have a similar repairableness ($2) to old pre-computer cars.

You can make a junk solid state amp real cheap so most are garbage. There's few solid state amps that I've bonded with and seem to have a soul, not guitar amps but I have a heavy 80's Harmon Kardon stereo amp that was a $10 Goodwill pick that has that fuzzy stoned college dorm sound.
Hmm 1st post on a brand new account. Hmmm

Have to call it out, because the post is full of misinformation.

Modern tube amps are built with cheap boards, and are rarely hand wired. Those that are cost a premium. Additionally, most lower cost tube amps, built with a PCB, use most of the same things that make amp technicians not want to work on modern SS amps, i.e. surface mounted components,and surface mounted devices. Many are even micro sized. Everything coming out of Asia, tube amp wise is built this way.

And oh so many modern tube amps, to cut costs have PCB mounted Tubes, instead of chassis mounts, which guarantees not if, but when there will be a heat induced failure, on other components.

And as tube amps get more and more complex, with 3 and 4 channels, multiple wattages, built-in load boxes, emulated speaker outs etc, they are adding more and more digital components, from switches to DSPs. And unlike when the same is used in a SS amp or Modeller, they are in a much hotter environment.

Heck even vintage , hand wired, or PTP wired tube amps need overhauls, At a minimum, they will need a capacitor job at some point in their lifespan.

And there are SS amps built substantially better than, or as good any PCB based Tube amp.
 

CB91710

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Bingo.
You can't compare any modern *production line* amp to a Fender from the 70s or before.
RoHS solder is a big part of the problem, but mitigation can be taken.. it just isn't.
Sticking with Fender, since they are a prime example of poorly built tube amps... capacitors that leak after 4 or 5 years, diodes and resistors on the ragged edge of spec... then they combine this with extremely hot bias that ensures there's going to be a ton of heat soaking those boards and components.

So RoHS is a necessary evil in the current environment, but every other issue is created by the accounting department.

If anything, from a durability viewpoint, modern solid state amps are better than modern tube amps simply because the modern construction is able to hold up better with the lower voltage and heat levels.

Fender still makes a few hand-wired models, and despite the use of RoHS solder, they will certainly be as serviceable as a vintage amp... but there are only a few models, and they cost 2-3x as much as the production models.
And if the component selection on these hand-wired models is as bad as the PCB models, then serviceability is important to the amp being able to last.
 

lunchbox

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Against most SS amps, yes. But vintage Sunn Beta Leads and new Orange CR120 variants are awesome.
 

Soul Tramp

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Yep. It -----> SEEMS <----- to output a decision based on what it sees at the input.
Computer.

The 4004 MPU was simply 12 chips to be a calculator and off we go to the races... They decided to try to put it in one package...

Every chip consists of transistors and related components..... Ain't magic....


I'll never forget attending an IBM session where they used an electron microscope to demonstrate their experiments using atom as memory. Talk about voodoo! Fun R&D, but never went anywhere.
 

ehb

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I'll never forget attending an IBM session where they used an electron microscope to demonstrate their experiments using atom as memory. Talk about voodoo! Fun R&D, but never went anywhere.

I remember when Big Blue figured out how to use a 1cm^3 crystal with capability to store the equivalent of Lib of Con.... Different λ lasers to R/W.... Only problem was the size of the lasers....no way to make em small.... but it worked.... 3D memory. One λ laser would change refractive properties of a microscopic pinpoint. A different wavelength would restore it back (erase)... Same spot could be different data from a different angle. Mind blowing... Just not feasible... Back then, Big Blue (IBM) R&D was off the chain badass....
 

Soul Tramp

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I remember when Big Blue figured out how to use a 1cm^3 crystal with capability to store the equivalent of Lib of Con.... Different λ lasers to R/W.... Only problem was the size of the lasers....no way to make em small.... but it worked.... 3D memory. One λ laser would change refractive properties of a microscopic pinpoint. A different wavelength would restore it back (erase)... Same spot could be different data from a different angle. Mind blowing... Just not feasible... Back then, Big Blue (IBM) R&D was off the chain badass....


There's so much crap I know that pretty much useless now. Are we geezers or what?! :rofl::rofl:



mean old man.jpg
 

ehb

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There's so much crap I know that pretty much useless now. Are we geezers or what?! :rofl::rofl:



View attachment 626640

Yep... I know that way back learning how to operate a paper tape reader is gonna pay off any freaking day now.... Yep. I'm gonna be important to somebody one day with that knowledge....

Only thing missing for us is a park bench and a lot of pigeons to yell at for shitting all over everything....


:)
 

KillingTone

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I'd love to have a SS amp, but I have no real use for one. Coolest looing amp ever made, but they sound like crap.


View attachment 620532

Good description! Got A Kustom 200 as a teenager, everyone thought it was the coolest but none of us really knew better about the sound since it was L O U D with 2x15 JBL D-130F speakers. Somehow it stayed with me for many years until I sold it in 2020. I’m definitely not prejudiced against SS, but I have several other amps, both SS and tube, and they all sound way better than the Kustom. Here’s a look outside and inside.
2A583FDD-E7A8-44F4-A138-99D7D7BAFF3C.jpeg
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42FD5D6B-C04C-422E-A06E-A6E7762C2B25.jpeg
 

Soul Tramp

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Good description! Got A Kustom 200 as a teenager, everyone thought it was the coolest but none of us really knew better about the sound since it was L O U D with 2x15 JBL D-130F speakers. Somehow it stayed with me for many years until I sold it in 2020. I’m definitely not prejudiced against SS, but I have several other amps, both SS and tube, and they all sound way better than the Kustom. Here’s a look outside and inside.
View attachment 626645 View attachment 626647 View attachment 626646


Ah, I LOVE that thing! I wish it were sitting here beside me. I'd never stop smiling!
 

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