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Heads SS or Tube...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AngryHammer, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. AngryHammer

    AngryHammer Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2017
    Eureka CA
    Hi, I'm new here, figured I'd just ask if anyone wants to recommend a good economic solid state head?

    I play metal and punk, I used to use an ampeg b2 combo but found it not quite loud enough, it might have been the stock speaker. I upgraded to a Peavy Tour 700 but blew out a bunch of speakers in some old Carvin cabs and potentially even in my ampeg 8x10 fridge which was also old, (might have been that Kosmos low octave button) but I read that square waves from ss heads can damage speakers especially at high wattage. So I upgraded again to a discontinued Peavy vb2 225 watt tube head, I always liked the awesome warm tones guitar players get with tube heads. The vb2 sounds great with a black widow 15" speaker, but gross and undefined and over driven in a bad way with a cheaper peavy 4x10 headliner cab.

    At this point I am wondering if I like the sound because of black widow speaker and the Music Man Sting Ray I am using or if it is the tube head. Its a really nice head but its like a 110 pounds and I honestly don't want to move it out of my practice space for a show, I have tendonitis and I don't want to lift it up on top of a full stack.

    Any thoughts?
    Sartori likes this.
  2. Good + Economic = Carvin.
    But maybe not an option if you have a bad taste about their cabs.

    Good - Economic = A lot of brands.

    Did you like how the Ampeg sounded in spite of it not being loud enough?
    Or is that out also due to blown speakers.

    It's hard to imagine blowing out an Ampeg or even a Fender 8x10.

    It's the shape of the wave that is problematic more than it being tube it solid state.
    Whatever happens that is blowing speakers can happen regardless of the type of amp used.

    A "square" wave really means you are overdriving the amp well beyond design considerations.
    This increases the peak to average ratio of the signal. Which tends to force the cones to their maximum excursion.
    You are literally beating speakers to death speakers by basically the same process as if you dropped it from great heights. It also means you are heating the coils more.

    The power rating of a speaker/cab only tells you how much power it will take and not damage the voice coil due to heating. (Most of the power you put into a speaker causes voice coil heating and a very precious little of it gets converted to sound.) That power rating tells you nothing about how much physical abuse it will take.

    I'd suggest you find out what gear the successful bands use in your genre and emulate that, while remembering, you're favorite bands can probably afford to blow stuff up.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Or they can afford to throw giant blow-proofable rigs together.

    Your heads have way more wattage available to them past what you get cleanly. When you hit peaks, they can hit almost twice as much wattage as your RMS wattage. So you are not underpowering your cabs...you are overpowering them. There's no such thing as underpowering. Speakers only blow when they've been overpowered. If there was such a thing as underpowering, then you could take a 25w amp and turn it up all the way and it would blow an 810. But I have plugged a 25w amp into an 810 and cranked it up all the way many times in my life, and not only did the speakers not blow, but it sounded awesome.

    Bottom line...don't rely on the numbers to save your bacon when you know in your heart you're about to blow your gear up. Use your ears and your common sense.
    BassmanPaul and AstroSonic like this.
  4. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    as far as the sound difference between the black widow 15 and the 410 not sure, if the 410 doesnt sound good it doesnt sound good, otherwise unless your running on the wrong speaker tap or switch setting on the head. or likewise you could be getting more speaker distortion with just a single 15 and you like the speaker overdrive compared to the head overdrive. likewise the head is designed to have preamp distortion and of course depending on how hard you push the output section will have output overdrive. so if your volume and gain settings are different with the 15 and the 410 you might just be hearing more preamp gain with one or the other, or hearing more output gain with one or the other. i dont know which settings your using for either application. without putting in to much personal bias i really cant stand EL34 distortion and dont care for 12ax7 preamp distortion either. and comparing both i always will prefer output distortion, so maybe try to keep the preamp gain/distortion minimal and just push the output tubes. and its odd the 410 doesnt work well cause the headliner 410 i thought was a sealed cabinet and sealed cabinets usually are pretty friendly to tube amps. ive been pushing the hell out of sealed peg cabinets for years with tubers and always go back. there is still a midrange magic to 15" speaker distortion too, and often the mix of amp and speaker overdrive is cool too. if you like the 15 black widow sound then just hunt down another matching 1x15 peavey speaker. pay attention to your ohms settings and change the tap or switch to whatever load your using. likewise if you have a 810 why waste time with the 410 if you damaged the speakers on the 810 ampeg cabinet i would recone or replace them instead of blowing money on other cabs. i havent complained or needed to find a bass cabinet for years, its pretty much been a done deal with a peg 810, and i find moving a 410 more annoying than a heavier 810, tilt slide...roll
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017

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