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Solid State or Tube or Good Amp Tech?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Aquila0507, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. This thread is looong over due. Which amp should bass players use? SS or Tube. For me, I'll choose tube every time because I think they sit in a live band situation best for me and my tastes. Right in the middle and not up front. I also enjoy the slight compression and slower attack they offer. I'm not a great player and an SS is too clean and fast for me. I think people are afraid of tube amps because they are heavy and most believe the amount of money you pay for one doesn't stop with the sales receipt. Well I'm here to say that having a good tube amp tech is the best way to get the most out of your tube amp. I bought a 73' SVT from a TB'er in Buffalo. He told me he took it to the fliptops owner for a repair. Its been awhile so the story may be lost but either he lied or the fliptop man is not very good with amps. When I received it, it clearly had a problem with the preamp section. I was getting intermittent cutting of the sound and even some static sounds. I took it to Dyno Mike (he sucks, don't take your tube amp to him) here in Albuquerque and he told me i needed to replace the preamp tube sockets. At this point I was tried of all the BS and i knew johnK_10 could give me a real answer. Well he tightened the tube preamp sockets and did a cap job on her and its never failed me since. This was back in September of 2009. I gig and practice all the time. I've put at least 300 hours of playing on it since then. I have taken it to New York and back on one tour, through the sonoran desert on another. I have shuttled it through the chihuahuan desert a few times, and its still loud as hell. So get a tube amp and find a good amp tech and you'll never sound better.
  2. Had tube amps for decades. Don't now, well no tube output on one. Your opinion yes, not THE best for everyone. I add to the vocal dynamic as well as the overall dynamics of the band I play in. Sitting quietly in the middle makes the guys I play/have played with unhappy.
  3. Who said anything about quietly? Upfront bass is annoying to me. I love the sound of a well balanced band.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Buy an old ______
    Find a tech that knows how to fix it, pay them to fix it which will likely be putting in modern parts.
    Be happy for a year, therefore expect everyone else would have the same experience.

    Take the amp regularly to the tech, otherwise they may run out of work to do and have to move on.
    Trade schools don't teach this old technology. Good luck with the next generation.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Who gives a rat's ass who teaches it except potential amp builders?

    Anyway, tube for me because that's what I like and because Seamonkey's post is grossly inaccurate all the way around, but the truth is it does not matter even a little bit. If you can play, you will sound great on any amp. If not, you will sound bad on any amp.
  6. WingKL


    May 12, 2007
    My feeling is, it's more than likely that any tech with good knowledge of electronics would have an easier time understanding and fixing tube amps than say modern machine assembled SMD class D, SMPS amps. If push came to shove, I could probably fix a tube amp myself where I would probably junk a broken micro amp because it would not be cost effective to get it repaired and it would be too much pain in the ass to troubleshoot complicated high frequency circuits and manipulate rice grained sized components, desolder, align and solder chip packages with a gazillion tiny pins.

    Trade schools don't teach this new technology. Good luck with the next generation. :p
  7. Good players can sound bad.
    Not anyone can fix any type of amp.
    Leave the high frequencies to the guitar players.
  8. Vanilla!
    --no, Chocolate!!

    no, Vanilla I say!!
    --no, Chocolate! You're an idiot!!

    And so these tubes-vs SS threads go.

    It winds up being a matter of preferences, perhaps also of preconceived notions, or of money, or of other tangible and intangible factors, but ultimately...it's a matter of personal preference.

    Some tube amps sound good, others not so good.
    Some tube amps are fairly reliable, others not so reliable.
    Some SS amps sound good, others not so good.
    Some SS amps are fairly reliable, others not so reliable.
    I can make one generalization:
    Most tube amps are very heavy.
    Some SS amps are lightweight, others are fairly heavy (but still not as heavy as a tube amp).
  9. /endthread.
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    US would be a joke country if trade schools taught out of date impractical technologies.

    Go take a look. Industry drives what trade schools teach. Industry wants people coming out of schools to be able to work the new technologies. People going to trade school expect to get jobs across many industries. Tubes are only a small niche market.

  11. A: No........this thread was not long overdue. Infact, the Tube vs SS debate is brought up all too frequently.

    B: What works for you does not work for everyone else.
  12. Personally i prefer a Hybrid. Tube Pre and SS power, as it means i don't have the hefty weight and price tag of an all tube amp, but still retain some of the tube tone, i only like tubes for the overdrive anyway, which sounds fine (to me) on hybrid amps and does what i want. Atm i'm running an all SS amp as i can't afford the hybrid i want yet.

  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    funny, i never saw this thread so much as a tube VS SS thread, but rather how pleased the OP was to be playing thru a perfectly operating and now, extremely reliable vintage SVT. of course it's just his opinion, but i also agree with it.

    as far as tube amps being a niche market, maybe so, but so is restoring and/or racing vintage cars, or even playing bass guitar for that matter.

    i might add that unless you really know what you're doing and have some experience working on high voltage tube amps (especially SVT's or Fender 400PS's), i wouldn't recommend working on one yourself, since you can often do them (and you) more harm than good. my suggestion is to find a good tech that's very familiar with your specific model of amp (be it tube or solid state), and have it repaired back to spec correctly (using OEM parts) the first time. that way it'll be reliable and end up costing you far less headaches and $ in the long run.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Much ado about nothing.
  15. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Solid State...

    and paragraphs.

  16. You should use what sounds better to you.
  17. Really, I guess you missed these parts below

  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    he was just stating his opinion (as in 'i like' and 'my tastes'), not bashing SS amps. sorry you got so offended.