1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

solid-state amps that can produce the truest tube tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DeepDeath, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. what solid state amp can make a bass aficiando believe it's a warm tube amp?
  2. There isn't one. Wait, let me qualify that a bit: At lower volumes (i.e. not overdriving the power amp) there probably wouldn't be much difference because transistors and tubes do sound pretty much the same when not overdriven. The magic of tube amps is the sound produced when tubes are overdriven. Maybe some of the SS amps with tube pres can emulate a tube amp with the preamp overdriven, but that's where it ends. There isn't a transistor amp on earth that can reproduce the sound of an overdriven tube power amp. That natural compression sound is unique to tubes. Some people dig it, some don't. My opinion of course, but I haven't met a solid state amp that could ever convince me that it was a tube amp.
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i think the closest you can get is an SWR interstellar overdrive preamp with a good poweramp.

    i used to own a 1976 ampeg b-15, and this sounds even more tube if i want it to, or exactly like an swr bass 350, or an SVT...whatever.

    the secret is in the powertubes inside the IOD! i don't think you can get any closer without getting an actual tube poweramp.

  4. Spacegoat, I believe there's more to a tube amp than the way it distorts at clipping point. Tube amps have an output transformer, which:

    a. has a high output impedance compared to SS, and because of that the speaker's resonance will be more pronounced. The amp has less control over the speaker, IOW has a lower damping factor.

    b. tech talk: adds harmonics to the sound because of (among others) the magnetic hysteresis of the transformer core, and magnetic saturation.

    In other words: there's no way a solid state will sound like a tube amp. Period. Simulations can come close, but will never be accurate.
  5. Joris,
    I agree with you about the output transformers, I just kinda forgot about that :D. All transformers have a "sound" that's for sure. The non-linearities and idiosyncrasies of output transformers do have a noticeable impact on sound. This is well documented in tube amp literature. As well as what you said (interesting points, BTW) they say that there is some HF loss in them. I forget why.... Better go do some reading :D.
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Ha, ha, ha! Good one. SS amps that sound like tube amps. Right.

  7. There will be some VERY rich stockholders/C.E.O.`s when that happens!!! :D ;)
  8. Yup. That'd be the day!

    The genius who can make a SS amp that sounds like a tube amp could easily get almost as rich as Bill Gates... ALMOST!

    :sharpens pencil:

    Now, where's my drawing table??

  9. :D

    Old Joris just may end up doing it....if nothing else to show it CAN`T be done!:p ;)
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The closest thing you'll find is something like the high-range Warwick amps:

    A tube preamp section consisting of tube preamp and a small tube poweramp with a transformer.
  11. stevekim


    Feb 11, 2000
    los angeles, ca
    let me ask a similar question. what, in your opinion, solid state/hybrid amplifier comes the *closest* to emulating an all tube amp?
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Closest to WHAT tube amp?
    There's so many different designs out there...
  13. i bet the new tech 21 head could fool a lot of people. it uses the sansamp tube emulation circuitry.
  14. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    the interstellar overdrive has the same deal. never played a quadruplet, i bet it's one bad motha.

  15. Yeah, I agree... The SansAmp Landmark head looks fun but if it's anything like the BDDI it's bound to get a good warm tone. I've yet to try it... Has any one tried one yet?
  16. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I've heard of dealers sending them back to the factory because they sounded so bad there was no way they could sell them. I think there's one in local store here; I'll give it a try if I get the chance.
  17. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    solid-state amps that can produce the truest tube tone

    Why would you want to do THAT to a perfectly good solid state amp? :D
  18. Just to increase the weight,price,and maintenance!
  19. The Pro Tube IX is one realbad mutha...talk about growl...
  20. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    :D :D

Share This Page