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paul, the

Valve amps vs Solid State

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[quote name='paulflan0151' post='1149399' date='Mar 4 2011, 01:44 PM']Looked at them, wish I didn't, want one now!
I got a price off matamp, I like that you can custom the amp too.
What are the cabs like? Is it cool to use other cabs, barefaced or bergs for example?
Gonna have to save up!![/quote]

I'm only over in Manchester and have just got myself a Matamp GT200 and 6x10, and also have a Barefaced Compact, so if you ever wanna pop over and have a play before you pay out your dosh on any of it, feel free!

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If you want the best of both, why not use a decent pedal? I may be completely wrong and I haven't fully tested this theory but I think that using a decent solid state amp for clean sounds then using a pedal for vintage sounds would be the ideal: valve amps are typically heavy as f**k, S.S. amps are usually quite light, as are pedals. something like the EBS valvedrive, EHX hot tubes or even the Ibanez TS9B.

anyone tried this?

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The peals with a valve in don't do the same thing, because it is the power valves that do the valve amp thing. However a pedal designed to emulate the valve thing, such as the VT Bass will do it.

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I have several amps. Most are solid state. One is the Alembic F-1X. They are relatively cheap. Industrial spec. Very shallow depth. IU. Incredible sound. Just 1 tube. Strongly recommend! I like boogie but was v disappointed by a 400+ though I'm sure some love! We all have different tastes! That's a good thing

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[quote name='paulflan0151' timestamp='1299070440' post='1147029']
Hi,
Has anybody had any experience with matamp? I'm thinking of getting a valve amp and these look pritty good.
[/quote]

I had 2 off Matamp power amps fed by a Roland pre-amp back in the 80's. Ran a custom Celestion powered 2x10 and 1x15 reflex cab. Whow what a sound. Although one of the power amps failed during a gig and had smoke billowing from it. Roadie went to unplug and got a belt from it. Luckily enough i was ok either because the Roland pre-amp or the WAL bass i was using protected me from the fault. ?
That was back when valve amps were not so reliable and safe. The sound was unbelievable though and well worth a look IMO.

Cheers
Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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Ahhhh - Valve envy

It was once explained to me thus.

1) That "Valve Tone" that is so, so useful to guitarists is far less useful to Bass Players. (Likewise - Class D Power Amps are so good for low frequencies - hence we are getting smaller and smaller gear - you wouldn't dream of building a Guitar Amp around one, because it would probably sound s**t.)

2) A head with 6x6550's (running at 50w per valve - which is pretty close to tolerance) would be better off on the floor, not bouncing around on top of a 2x18 or whatever it's plugged into. Vibration like that and Tubes don't mix!

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Totally agree that valves are more suited to guitar amps. With all the amps I've tried you just can't get the same sharp attack and clarity that you can with a really good solid state amp. When I want a dirty, warmer valvey tone I just use a pedal :) You'd never tell the difference and it's a lot cheaper and more versatile!

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I am very much a solid state fan. Main reasons...

1. Reliability
2. Portability
3. Price

Reliability - When a tube goes it's always when you least want it to. 9/10 in the last 5mins of a soundcheck or second song into the set!
Portability - Have you ever picked up an Ampeg SVT-2 head and carried it up a flight of stairs? Try that and then do the same with a Markbass LMIII.
Price - The D-class market is very good value for money and the quality of the products out there is getting better and better every year. Companies like Genz Benz and Markbass are developing very nice D-class/Tube hybrid amps that sound great.

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[quote name='shizznit' timestamp='1325673220' post='1485821']
I am very much a solid state fan. Main reasons...

1. Reliability
2. Portability
3. Price

Reliability - When a tube goes it's always when you least want it to. 9/10 in the last 5mins of a soundcheck or second song into the set!
Portability - Have you ever picked up an Ampeg SVT-2 head and carried it up a flight of stairs? Try that and then do the same with a Markbass LMIII.
Price - The D-class market is very good value for money and the quality of the products out there is getting better and better every year. Companies like Genz Benz and Markbass are developing very nice D-class/Tube hybrid amps that sound great.
[/quote]

Fair comments, but why wouldn't you carry a spare tube? we all go out with spare leads/straps/picks etc.., even if most of the time it's for the amnesiac guitarist to scav off us.
Portability is where the trad. valve heads fall down. Mine is close to a two-roadie-job, the SVT2 quoted weighing not far off 5stone (or so I'm told).

Even taking this into account the decision should really be made by your ears, so despite the weight, price, maintenance etc... issues, I'd still have [i] at least[/i] one valve in my rig - that way you can tweak the overall sound of the amp to your own specs by swapping out tubes for different ones, especially in the first couple of preamp tubes.

Ultimately it's all down to taste. Yes, the world would be better if we all drove small, efficient, easy to maintain eco-cars, but occasionally we all need a bit of 'Mustang'... ;)

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[quote name='paul_5' timestamp='1325675571' post='1485864']
Fair comments, but why wouldn't you carry a spare tube?
[/quote]

Absolutely...I know guitar players that do the same for their A-class amps and I had a couple spare when I had my Warwick Tubepath heads 8yrs ago. It's a very sensible thing to do, but when a 12AX7 pops it's not a quick thing to replace and certainly nothing that can be resolved during a performance. That's why you see a lot of touring pro's using a back up amp so that they can switch to it quickly with little disruption, carry on happy as Larry, keep the punters happy and then worry about the broken amp later.

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[quote name='shizznit' timestamp='1325673220' post='1485821']
I am very much a solid state fan. Main reasons...

1. Reliability
2. Portability
3. Price

Reliability - When a tube goes it's always when you least want it to. 9/10 in the last 5mins of a soundcheck or second song into the set!
Portability - Have you ever picked up an Ampeg SVT-2 head and carried it up a flight of stairs? Try that and then do the same with a Markbass LMIII.
Price - The D-class market is very good value for money and the quality of the products out there is getting better and better every year. Companies like Genz Benz and Markbass are developing very nice D-class/Tube hybrid amps that sound great.
[/quote]

if your solidstate amp goes wrong you have to bin it! much worse in my eyes

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[quote name='shizznit' timestamp='1325673220' post='1485821']
I am very much a solid state fan. Main reasons...

1. Reliability
2. Portability
3. Price

Reliability - When a tube goes it's always when you least want it to. 9/10 in the last 5mins of a soundcheck or second song into the set!
Portability - Have you ever picked up an Ampeg SVT-2 head and carried it up a flight of stairs? Try that and then do the same with a Markbass LMIII.
Price - The D-class market is very good value for money and the quality of the products out there is getting better and better every year. Companies like Genz Benz and Markbass are developing very nice D-class/Tube hybrid amps that sound great.
[/quote]

Reliability - OK, valves go, but they are a running repair. Class D goes down it's gone. (at least my Yamaha was)
Portability - My Peavey power and pre-amp racked is still a one hand lift. Only 120 watts but way more than enough for me.
Price - Pretty sure I couldn't match my rig for less than twice what I paid for it going the MarkBass/Genz route.

Ok, so I may be being a bit economical with the truth on the portability, but something like a Traynor YBA200 weighs in at less than 20 Kilos, well under the legal one man lift weight.

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Tubes are perishable items, granted, but tube amps are just as prone to the same write off problems as D-class amps such as cooked poweramps, circuit board failures etc... Neither tube or solid state is bullet proof. I have owned both, but in my personal experience using top end amps I have got my screwdriver out for a tube amp a heck of a lot more than a solid state amp. Everyones experiences and needs are different. Some have better luck than others!

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I'm a "Metalman" , and to me , nothing is like Ampeg SVT Classic on "bonecrusher" volume. But , when that being said: My Gallien Krueger 1001 RB II sounds amazing with my Aguilar cabs. Also on high volume.

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If the upcoming audition goes OK I expect to be playing through a Selmer Treble'n'Bass 50 and a 15" bin, in small venues. I also have a passive DI box for between the bass & the amplifier in bigger venues. I hope I'm not being naive in thinking it'll be loud enough.

I've skimmed previous posts but not noticed anything on the subject of how the o/p stage drives the speaker (sorry if it was there and I missed it): at low frequencies are we not concerned with how much current the amplifier can shove through the speaker, and is it not true that solid state devices are current amplifiers whereas valves are voltage amplifiers requiring an o/p transformer to match the low impedance of a speaker to the high impedance requirement of the o/p stage? In other words one might expect solid state amplifiers to work better with bass. In the Hi Fi world the solid state amplifier is usually reckoned to have more "slam" in the bass dept. This isn't an attempt to put valves down, I love them - for Hi Fi, for guitars, and for bass, but I am suggesting that if it's "slam" you want, then you're more likely to get it from a solid state circuit unless you can afford the very best Ampegs.

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[quote name='musophilr' timestamp='1327104655' post='1506633']
unless you can afford the very best Ampegs.
[/quote]

This bit kind of gives away that the rest isn't right. Ampegs are not very good amplifiers, but they are very valvey with all the distortion, compression and limitations that valves do. The brand mean nothing but excessive price. You can get much more hifi valve amps that are much harder to tell from solid state by listening, but usually the value of the valves is in the limitations and errors. Also it is all about voltage, because it is voltage that makes speakers accelerate.

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1327106762' post='1506654']
it is all about voltage, because it is voltage that makes speakers accelerate.
[/quote]

I agree the latter. However, consider the oscilloscope trace of a LF signal compared with that of a HF signal. In the area under the curve, that's where the o/p stage is delivering current, and it spends longer doing so during the cycle of a LF signal. So I'd suggest its not [i]just[/i] or [i]all[/i] about voltage.

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I don't think the requirements are any different. I just think it's easier to shovel current from a transistor than from a valve via a transformer.

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i used to own an old selmer valve pa amp i used for rehearsals years ago didnt think much of it, but when i listened back to some tapes of the rehearsals it sounded awesome! since then the only amp that i still really like is my old trace elliot ah300smx

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1327174050' post='1507503']
But it is easier to get valve like compression and harmonic distortion from valves. Which is the important thing.
[/quote]

Most definitely, Sir!

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