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> Best Solid State Amp
Gabriel Leopardi
post May 1 2013, 10:14 PM
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Hi guys! I have been discussing with a friend who is Electronic Engineer about Tube amps and Solid State Amps. His point of view is that Tube Amps are something obsolete from the past and that newer technologies are better...

As I have never tried a top line Solid State Guitar Amp, I was wondering which you think are are the best ones for rock & metal.

I know that Tech21 is doing some of these.


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SpaseMoonkey
post May 1 2013, 11:33 PM
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I can only think of a few amps that are SS.

Oldies:
Randall Warhead - Dimebag
Line 6 Vetta

Newer:
AMT Stonehead


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Socky42
post May 1 2013, 11:37 PM
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The Peavey Vypyr is definitely up there with the best


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Todd Simpson
post May 2 2013, 01:06 AM
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"Obosolete" is a strong word. People can develop a relationship with an Amp just as they do with a guitar. Some folks just prefer tube amps. God bless em smile.gif

I don't think it's a matter of "Better" or "Worse" in this case. Just like I don't think those words work well for talking about guitars or anything that comes down to taste.

I really like SS amps personally because the gain is very linear. All I mean is that the high strings sound distorted as well as the low strings. Tube amps respond to how they are pushed so at a given setting power chords might sound great, but light lead work my sound thin.

So again, (beating a dead horse) it really does all come down to the player and whats being played.

Personally I no longer own a big pricey tube amp. In fact my live rig is a GSP1101 with generic SS power amp. I"m a big fan of modeling in general so the GSP works well for me wink.gif And the pedal board is very handy. Once big board. But just because I'm in to that doesn't mean anything. Someone else might want a big tube stack with half a dozen individual pedals on a board.

In short, folks, buy and use whatever you are drawn to. It will change over time just as you playing will change.

Todd




QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 1 2013, 05:14 PM) *
Hi guys! I have been discussing with a friend who is Electronic Engineer about Tube amps and Solid State Amps. His point of view is that Tube Amps are something obsolete from the past and that newer technologies are better...

As I have never tried a top line Solid State Guitar Amp, I was wondering which you think are are the best ones for rock & metal.

I know that Tech21 is doing some of these.


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klasaine
post May 2 2013, 04:20 AM
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There's a company called Pritchard. They make some really high end SS amps. Expensive too.
http://www.pritchardamps.com/pritchardamps.cfm

As Todd says, "obsolete - ?" ... hardly.
SS and tube characteristics are very different and both work very we'll in different applications.
Tell your buddy to design an SS amp that really does react exactly like a 1968 50 watt Marshall Plexi and he'll be rich beyond his dreams. Seriously, there's a lot of us waiting to not have haul that crap around anymore biggrin.gif


This post has been edited by klasaine: May 2 2013, 07:41 AM


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maharzan
post May 2 2013, 06:59 AM
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I think the time has come that digital amps are very close or even better than analog ones. The tube is definitely something that sounds awesome but digital processors are equally competing nowadays. I use the Axe FX II and many have moved from tubes to this amp. All those people can't be wrong. There is equal love for other digital processors that have come out. I am sure within next 5 years so so, digital technology will evolve to be much better. smile.gif


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Mudbone
post May 2 2013, 07:39 AM
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This is a replica of the legendary Trainwreck Solid State amp.



And of course, how could I not mention this one:



I have this little Crate practice amp that sounds like wet farts when played through its tiny little speaker. But when I plugg it into a 412, it sounds like a beast! Its got insane amounts of gain. Of course, its no high dollar amp, but it does the job wink.gif


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klasaine
post May 2 2013, 07:44 AM
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Here's an actual Ken Fisher 'Trainwreck' amp.



Sound the same?


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Darius Wave
post May 2 2013, 09:02 AM
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My favourite solid state amps are Randall + Hughes & Kettner. Both of those producents bring pretty descent sound for the price and solid state has some profits comparing the the tube amps:

1. They stay clean even withsome huge input boost (great for jazz) or just You don't like while You're clean tone get distorted on harder strokes

2. Much lower weight

3. Less sensitive for tour damages

4. Cheaper in explotation


Also some of those amps distortion is pretty tight and very "fast" for speed, heavy playing


I like both for some profits they give but when it comes to the dynamics range and this pleasant compression I love tubes smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post May 3 2013, 04:06 AM
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BTW those are two FINE AMPS! smile.gif IMHO. I LOVE the old Randall Warhead. I"ve been looking for one for YEARS with the original Dime Bag CRAZY cabinet configuration featuring 15 inch drivers in one cab smile.gif

Attached Image

And I used to own the VETTA!!!! It was WADS of fun.

Attached Image

Not everyone likes SS amps. Dime Bag loved em. I like em too smile.gif

Todd

QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ May 1 2013, 06:33 PM) *
I can only think of a few amps that are SS.

Oldies:
Randall Warhead - Dimebag
Line 6 Vetta

Newer:
AMT Stonehead



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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 3 2013, 04:59 AM
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Interesting answers. I will share this thread with my friend and then I'll let you know his thoughts. I also think that digital world is getting closer to what we dreamed... having everything in one device with top quality. I couldn't try an Axe yet, but I would love to do it...


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ConnorGilks
post May 3 2013, 09:12 AM
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I highly disagree when it comes to tube amps being obsolete, and that's coming from an AxeFX II owner. As much as I love tube amps, and digital processors, solid states amps can be just as rad. I looooove a lot of Fender's cheap solid state amps, they're surprisingly good amps for jazz and even rock! I plugged my $50 Tele into a $125 solid state Fender 2x12 at school and it was SPOT ON Van Halen tone!! Who would've guessed it, right? I also really like AMT's Stonehead amp. Solid State, but wicked for high gain tones, even modern progressive metal!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btttv0kSWcU

I have an AxeFX II because it does it's thing, but I have a small tube amp too because it has it's own thing as well. Solid states amps are the same way. They're all different, and they are all equally awesome to me!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 3 2013, 02:53 PM
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Cool video featuring the AMT amp. I haven't heard this one before. It sounds killer!


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klasaine
post May 3 2013, 04:35 PM
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Really clean and very high gain tones SS can do very well.
Its the middle ground - low, medium and crunch - that is ( so far) they're weak point.


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Todd Simpson
post May 3 2013, 08:35 PM
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BINGO smile.gif The "Mid/low gain" range is where tube amps really shine. Emulating that is quite processor intensive and requires replicating harmonics/overtones with fine detail that is a challenge for some modelling systems. The processors get better and algorithms get better each year, so eventually, I'm sure some SS amp/processor will do a spot on clone of a KLON On mid gain. We are getting close, but you can do it with a tube amp as mentioned for a pretty cheap price, and faking it with math doesn't come cheap yet smile.gif


Todd


QUOTE (klasaine @ May 3 2013, 11:35 AM) *
Really clean and very high gain tones SS can do very well.
Its the middle ground - low, medium and crunch - that is ( so far) they're weak point.



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klasaine
post May 3 2013, 09:10 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 3 2013, 12:35 PM) *
I'm sure some SS amp/processor will do a spot on clone of a KLON On mid gain. We are getting close, but you can do it with a tube amp as mentioned for a pretty cheap price, and faking it with math doesn't come cheap yet smile.gif


Todd


And ... and this is huge for musicians in bands on stage ... with a decent tube amp and few nice analog pedals you can easily TWEAK VERY QUICKLY to get the tone you need for that gig/venue. Most tube amps and analog pedals are by design '1(or 2)-trick ponies' but if that's the trick you need - nothing else really works.

Now, in the studio, with good converters and a good word clock - even a POD 2.0 is still very seviceable. I've had a Line 6 POD since 1999 and I haven't upgraded since the 2.0 upgrade (I just put the new processor in my original POD). I still use it on actual sessions (not just demos) for TV and movies - tons of players do. I've nailed the models that I feel 'work' (for me) and I really have no desire to fk with anything that's working.
Having said that I am thinking about an 11 Rack.

Also, I would love an SS amp that just gave me one GREAT real Marshall Plexi tone and/or Fender BF Deluxe tone (not the recorded, mixed and mastered tone - the actual tone and feel) - that's all. I can do the rest with guitars, a couple pedals and my hands.

I personally think one of the (self imposed) road blocks for SS amp builders is that 'most' of them are trying to do it all. Like, here's the entire history of high-gain amps in one $300.00 small combo. Ummm ... no, not really - sorry.
How about just three: JCM 800, AC 30, BF Deluxe ... and no fx (OK, maybe reverb?) Nail those 3 and you have a winner!
I guarantee that they'd sell MANY of those to actual professionals and that in turn would stimulate the student and amatuer markets.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 4 2013, 06:36 AM


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Todd Simpson
post May 4 2013, 05:41 AM
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Very well said. As COSMIN often points out, he can get his tone with a tube head a couple of pedals in just a few minutes. Also, a Nice tube amp has a great warmth and character that modellers are only recently coming up to snuff on IMHO. The KEMPER is a really good compromise it seems in terms of SS VS TUBE in that is sonically recreates the actual tube sound very convincingly. (Although, not enough for some).

The Kemper is the only setup I'm aware of that can pull off a Marshall, AC 30, Twin, with the flick of a switch and do so with grace. The AXE FX is a very close second in terms of mimicking other amps tones now that it can do something similar to the KEMPER. But it really seems to shine on Brutal high gain stuff more than mid gain thump which the Kemper can handle well.

Then again, the Kemper and the AXE FX are both pretty darn expensive units. Counterpoint to that of course, is that nice tube amps ain't cheap either.

The good news is that technology tends to get cheaper and better as we go so Kemper/Axe Fx quality will be well within the Pod range affordability soon enough. But of course, by then the "High End" stuff will be doing God knows what by that time smile.gif

Todd





QUOTE (klasaine @ May 3 2013, 04:10 PM) *
And ... and this is huge for musicians in bands on stage ... with a decent tube amp and few nice analog pedals you can easily TWEAK VERY QUICKLY to get the tone you need for that gig/venue. Most tube amps and analog pedals are by design '1(or 2)-trick ponies' but if that's the trick you need - nothing else really works.

Now, in the studio, with good converters and a good word clock and - a POD 2.0 is still very seviceable. I've had a Line 6 POD since 1999 and I haven't upgraded since the 2.0 upgrade (I just put the new processor in my original POD). I still use it on actual sessions (not just demos) for TV and movies - tons of players do. I've nailed the models that I feel 'work' (for me) and I really have no desire to fk with anything that's working.
Having said that I am thinking about an 11 Rack. Also, I would love an SS amp that just gave me one GREAT real Marshall Plexi tone and/or Fender BF Deluxe tone (not the recorded, mixed and mastered tone - the actual tone and feel) - that's all. I can do the rest with guitars, a couple pedals and my hands.

I personally think one of the (self imposed) road blocks for SS amp builders is that 'most' of them are trying to do it all. Like, here's the entire history of high-gain amps in one $300.00 small combo. Ummm ... no, not really - sorry.
How about just three: JCM 800, AC 30, BF Deluxe ... and no fx (OK, maybe reverb?) Nail those 3 and you have a winner!
I guarantee that they'd sell MANY of those to actual professionals and that in turn would stimulate the student and amatuer markets.



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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 4 2013, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 4 2013, 01:41 AM) *
The good news is that technology tends to get cheaper and better as we go so Kemper/Axe Fx quality will be well within the Pod range affordability soon enough. But of course, by then the "High End" stuff will be doing God knows what by that time smile.gif

Todd



This is the cool side of this! smile.gif


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Darius Wave
post May 9 2013, 10:35 AM
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My solid state Hughess & Kettner Club Reverb 60 finally (And I meant it!) has failed...was broken when we hit some road hole while driving for a gig. Why did I say finally? I have this amp for years...It has been abused sooo many times...Used buy drunk musicinas at jams, all knobs turned to 10, never been in the case, left in some rooms with no heat for a long time and...never failed. It little so when we play small gigs in the small places it's perfect....not too boomy and works fine when the room sound is not descent enough (even top notch amps can't handle some rooms)

1. Not a big deal if someone steal it
2. Don't have to care a lot...
3. Light weight
4. Small size
5. Clear and breaking through the mix middle range


Now after it has crashed on the car trailer the cost of repair is equal to a cost of few cigarettes packs...


I had different amps - tube or solid state and still own a regular halp-stack. Sometimes the 1x12" solid state combo handles things better than this full stack even though...It doesn't win while comparing in the studio or well prepared room.


But it's a simple construction...not kind of linxe 6 "PC in the amp box" one. I could never convince myself to any kind those ams with simulations. I mean...while playing live, with the real band. Has some problems with them while trying on tours and IMHO...love old, simple constructions.

Month ago I had an old Marshall Mosfet 2x12 combo. It was made somewhere in the 80's and still...all parts orignal and after celaning the pots it works like a brand new.

This post has been edited by Darius Wave: May 9 2013, 10:40 AM


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Amp360
post May 16 2013, 04:47 PM
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Best means different things to different people.

If I had to choose the 'most iconic' solid state amp I would choose the Roland JC-120. It pretty much replaced the Fender Twin as the standard combo rental amp for quite a few years and it was the first amp to have the chorus built in. The JC also has a sound all its own that some people really like.

Many solid state amps are made for lower price points but the JC-120 was the first that you saw across a lot of different styles and was widely accepted.

I suppose Polytone could be considered one of the more popular amps for jazz players, but I don't think they're as popular as they once were.

I prefer tubes which are obsolete for a lot of things. Musical amplifiers (tell your friend to look into the audiophile market) are one thing most people feel they do better then solid state.


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