Are Tube Amps History?

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Doctor Turn
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:47 am

ElfDude wrote:
Doctor Turn wrote:Wow, that was one of the silliest titles for the most totally noncommittal article, that really takes no stance whatsoever


I'm yet to read anything particularly helpful in one of those articles that Carvin audio sends out.


They've come a long, sad way... down.

Speaking of, did you ever figure anything out on those old Carvin branded effects, like the chorus?
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Omsong » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:13 am

ElfDude wrote:
Doctor Turn wrote:Wow, that was one of the silliest titles for the most totally noncommittal article, that really takes no stance whatsoever


I'm yet to read anything particularly helpful in one of those articles that Carvin audio sends out.


I agree and get really annoyed whenever an advertisement is cloaked in worthless dribble.

I think the pros and cons have been beat to death a 1000 times over. As long as tubes are available at manageable prices there will be a market for tube amps. Do you notice that it's never a question of: "Do tubes sound as good as solid state amps?". Even though a few ss amps may come close, they still don't exactly duplicate the sound and feel of even many low priced tube amps. SS amps do have some advantages over tubes, mainly price, weight and reliability (debatable). But until the cost of ownership becomes prohibitive for the vast majority of players, IMO, tubes will remain in strong demand. (Most likely, government regulation and economics will ultimately determine tube amp desirability.)
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:49 am

...and of course the endless guitar "grudge matches" of say a high end LP versus a PRS.. which inevitably end with nobody in the video taking a position on the matter, and always ending it with "They're both great guitars, and it all comes down to personal taste." Which is of course true (it's always going to come down to taste when you've got the money to buy a high end PRS or Gibson.. because at that point you can pretty much afford anything on the general guitar market), but that's not why we click on those videos. We want to hear someone take a stand and say something about what they like better and why--but they almost never go there.

Solid state proponents along with modelers would almost never risk placing their amps against something truly venerable with a pure circuit like a Trainwreck, an old handwired Marshall or Fender, or something like a modern Carr. There's just no way to recreate the incidental, shifting, beautiful artifacts of tone that change with distance from the amp, interaction of different pup mags with different tubes, volume, room size (w feedback tendency) etc.

On the other hand, your generic brown sound, hi gain clobber from a decent enough crunch factory, etc, your generic modern mid-low priced Marshall/Peavey and many others.. modelers can do that 12AX7 crunch nowadays really well, and really convincing.
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby hallwayminstrel » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:59 am

ElfDude wrote:
Doctor Turn wrote:Wow, that was one of the silliest titles for the most totally noncommittal article, that really takes no stance whatsoever


I'm yet to read anything particularly helpful in one of those articles that Carvin audio sends out.


I agree. Their articles are insipid and shallow. For example this quote: "In any case, a good tech should be able to quickly isolate and rectify the problem."

Ok, once the tech can get to it, if you can find one in Utah who isn't backed-up six weeks or more.
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:42 pm

I don't feel like starting a new thread, but has anyone here had a chance to try out a Headrush Pedalboard from Eleven?

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby ElfDude » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:28 pm

Thanks to Santa Claus (aka my wife) I now have a tubeless micro-rig that sounds really good to me.

MicroBlock-45-rig_o.jpg
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:36 pm

[Completely useless content that doesn't add anything meaningful to the conversation]

All this talk of "tubes" reminds me of this George Carlin bit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPGiBzaoRAo

[/Completely useless content that doesn't add anything meaningful to the conversation]

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:46 pm

The real question I have is: is tube quality history? How do the old tubes compare to the new? Is consistency any better, or is quality control more relaxed than it was fifty years ago?

Stuff for thought.
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Koshchei » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:14 pm

Tube amps aren’t history. They are a bit anachronistic and very inefficient, but they sound great, and as long as tubes are made (if there’s demand, they will continue to be made), they’ll have a place, especially the smaller EL-84 amps that are portable, have direct outs, cab simulators, and effects loops.

I do think that high wattage tube amps are history, at least for now, but this is due to the state of the music industry rather than the rise of decent class D microamps. There just aren’t enough venues to crank them up to where they sound good anymore.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby X1Glider » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:36 pm

Koshchei wrote:Tube amps aren’t history. They are a bit anachronistic and very inefficient, but they sound great, and as long as tubes are made (if there’s demand, they will continue to be made)

Agree on all points with 1 caveat. Yes they sound great, but sometimes they sound different from day to day and place to place. The quality of power coming out of the wall can change how a tube amp sounds and reacts. Something you pretty much don't need to worry about with S.S.

Koshchei wrote:I do think that high wattage tube amps are history, at least for now, but this is due to the state of the music industry rather than the rise of decent class D microamps. There just aren’t enough venues to crank them up to where they sound good anymore.

Say what? Where would you get this info from? I know a hundred people locally with 100 watt tube amps. (they also have other amps, smaller ones, just because they can :wink: ) These people range from 22 to 65 years old. I'm 50. It's all they'll gig with. Headroom to spare on the clean channel is why. Also to make those speakers move air. That's where a lot of the character comes from...the speakers.

I use an inductive attenuator (Aracam) to push the amp (V3). My amp is set and I never touch it. I control output with the attenuator only.

But for the bedroom I also have a 5 watt Hotone Heart Attack that is loads of fun.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Doctor Doug » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:40 am

I gig with a 100 watt tube amp....
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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Koshchei » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:37 am

At least where I am, you can’t give away high wattage amps anymore. Everybody seems to be downsizing to 25ish watt heads or going to modelling amps which can get the “full soak” tone at much lower volumes. I suspect that the insane property values over the last few years and resulting gentrification has more or less killed all the big venues. There are still a few in Toronto, but in the last year or so, all the bands I’ve seen have been using Kempers, probably for the versatility and fact that they can change whole “rigs” throughout songs, to more closely approximate their recordings.

Up here, high stage volume seems to be going the way of the dodo, so clean headroom isn’t much of an issue, since the amps aren’t driving the speakers, at least directly. There's also a growing cottage industry of P2P wired boutique effect and amp builders, basing their designs on 18W Marshall, Vox, and Fender circuit topographies who seem to be catering to the retiring boomers who play bar gigs and Saturday blues jams. It's kind of cool really.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:57 pm

I've got a Grandmeister Deluxe 40, and honestly I prefer to keep it at 1 or 5 watts and just crank it. As long as my clean is clean enough, I prefer the power amp compression to the headroom.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Nombrecomun » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:16 am

[quote="Koshchei"
I do think that high wattage tube amps are history, at least for now, but this is due to the state of the music industry rather than the rise of decent class D microamps. There just aren’t enough venues to crank them up to where they sound good anymore.[/quote]

I agree. Aside from the changing musical tastes and less rock sounds, there's also the issue of weight. Let's face it: those 100w amps weigh a ton and it's a pain to transport to a gig/practice in which most likely it ain't gonna be cranked pass the midway point(much less at a typical small venue gig).

A smaller tube amp can do just as well and save your back. I bought a V3m last year. My V3 hasn't moved since.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby X1Glider » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:13 pm

Koshchei wrote:At least where I am, you can’t give away high wattage amps anymore. Everybody seems to be downsizing to 25ish watt heads or going to modelling amps which can get the “full soak” tone at much lower volumes. I suspect that the insane property values over the last few years and resulting gentrification has more or less killed all the big venues. There are still a few in Toronto, but in the last year or so, all the bands I’ve seen have been using Kempers, probably for the versatility and fact that they can change whole “rigs” throughout songs, to more closely approximate their recordings.

Up here, high stage volume seems to be going the way of the dodo, so clean headroom isn’t much of an issue, since the amps aren’t driving the speakers, at least directly. There's also a growing cottage industry of P2P wired boutique effect and amp builders, basing their designs on 18W Marshall, Vox, and Fender circuit topographies who seem to be catering to the retiring boomers who play bar gigs and Saturday blues jams. It's kind of cool really.

Maybe, just maybe, the reason high output tube amps aren't selling in Toronto is that the money is being spent elsewhere for the first time in years. You guys finally have a reason to start buying tickets for Leafs games. :lol: :stir:

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby X1Glider » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:16 pm

HarlowTheFish wrote:I've got a Grandmeister Deluxe 40, and honestly I prefer to keep it at 1 or 5 watts and just crank it. As long as my clean is clean enough, I prefer the power amp compression to the headroom.

I have have a friend that pushes H&Ks out the door very regularly at the shop he works at. He's actually sponsored by H&K himself. That particular amp is his best seller and a couple guys on the scene use it at gigs as we're all getting older and our backs are weaker. Absolutely no problem keeping up with the drums and SVT4 bass rigs.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby ioneater » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:37 pm

I'm gassing for one of those GM 40's. I've got the 36 and it sounds like they fixed what I don't like.....the big disparity between channel volumes. It's still a fun little amp and I also use it on 1 or 5 Watts as well.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby Koshchei » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:28 am

X1Glider wrote:Maybe, just maybe, the reason high output tube amps aren't selling in Toronto is that the money is being spent elsewhere for the first time in years. You guys finally have a reason to start buying tickets for Leafs games. :lol: :stir:


Nah. They're still massively overpriced thanks to TicketScalper and its bot-friendly reseller program. I'll stick to bar televisions, where I can cushion inevitable defeat over something nice and hoppy, but not too hoppy (I'm also a closet Habs fan).

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:32 pm

ioneater wrote:I'm gassing for one of those GM 40's. I've got the 36 and it sounds like they fixed what I don't like.....the big disparity between channel volumes. It's still a fun little amp and I also use it on 1 or 5 Watts as well.

I've had some playtime on the 36, and they also really enhanced the gain range on the channels and the dynamic response of the amp overall. I actually use only the Ultra channel across my clean, crunch, rhythm, and lead sounds, 'cause I like the voicing on it. Hell of a lot less fizzy at high gain too, and tighter in the Ultra channel.

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Re: Are Tube Amps History?

Postby X1Glider » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:44 am

Koshchei wrote:
X1Glider wrote:Maybe, just maybe, the reason high output tube amps aren't selling in Toronto is that the money is being spent elsewhere for the first time in years. You guys finally have a reason to start buying tickets for Leafs games. :lol: :stir:


I'll stick to bar televisions, where I can cushion inevitable defeat over something nice and hoppy, but not too hoppy

I'm a native Philadelphian, so as a Flyers fan, I'd die of alcohol poisoning as something a lot stronger is needed than beer...and in higher quantities. :(


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