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Solid state amps 'quicker'?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el_Kabong, Sep 26, 2005.


  1. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    I keep reading on TB that solid state amps are 'quicker' and I'm wondering what people mean by this. Seems to me that electricity doesn't travel any slower in a tube amp so it's probably not true in a literal sense. There's a lot of people saying it though so I'm sure they're hearing something. Personally I don't hear my svt as 'slower' or than my gk, for example. In terms of punch, which I would have thought involved transient response, I hear it as superior. Could it be that a tube amp might more often be paired with a more vintage style cab, eg a 2x15, and it's the cab choice that people are actually (and inadvertently) refering to? Thinking along the same line, maybe some tube amp users are more likely to use 'vintagey' (is that a word?) eq with lots of bottoms and few highs, that could sound 'slow'? Thoughts?
     
  2. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I think you'll find that alot more of the tube amp users (myself included) run the amps on the verge of that area where they start to break-sup, or overdrive a little bit, which "mushes", if you will, the attack (this is how I hear what you'll hear some guitar players talk about as "tube sag"). This mushiness would of course be the opposite of the crisp, concise attack of a solid state amp.
     
  3. Nope. It's the damping factor that makes em sound tighter, but a well designed tube amp can have as good or even better slew rate than a SS amp.
     
  4. On amps with a tube power section there's a separation between in initial attack and the sustain, which is a result of the bassy sustain forcing the power tubes to drawing more current than the transformer can provide....this causes the power tubes to sag which causes the bass/sustain to blossom.

    SS amps have zero separation, and zero sag, thus their quicker responce.
     
  5. On amps with a tube power section there's a separation between in initial attack and the sustain, which is a result of the bassy sustain forcing the power tubes to drawing more current than the transformer can provide....this temporary shortage of power causes the power tubes to sag which causes the bass/sustain to blossom as full power is restored to the tubes.

    SS amps have zero separation, and zero sag, thus their quicker responce.
     
  6. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I stand corrected. About some tube amps being designed better: I have noticed where some Aggie and Demeter users have commented, and I've experienced on some Aggies myself, where these amps seem to be much quicker (sorry to use that term, Kabong!) than the Ampegs, Peaveys, and Mesas I've used.
     
  7. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    I guess language has something to do with it. I can definitely hear 'tighter'. When it's pushed my svt sure is loose. So are people using 'quick' and 'tight' as synonyms?

    Also is it an objective call to say tube amps are comparitively loose or slow if the reference point is the sound at the limits of the power supply? Isn't it a bit like saying solid state sounds awful because it clips in an ugly fashion? I mean both might be true but that isn't how most people use either technology is it? (I don't run mine as hard as SoComSurfing, too loud for me!)
     
  8. Tight is referring to damping, and quick is referring to transient response. I think SS amps tend to use more negative feedback, so SS is actually slower transient response than tube amps on average. But SS has much higher damping factor, so they tend to sound "tighter" than tubes. That's what I've always been led to believe anyway.

    Randy
     
  9. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I find no sag noticeable to the human in my V8..