tube or ss....wats the diff

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dustklose, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. dustklose


    Feb 5, 2005
    North Dakota
    what is the difference between a tube and a ss head??? i see 700w ss for the same price of like 100 watt tube...what is the the tube louder so it needs less watts??
  2. They're totally different animals. Yes, in a way a tube watt is louder than a ss watt. in my ears anyway. Tube amps are inherently more expensive to manufacture too.
  3. dustklose


    Feb 5, 2005
    North Dakota
    so what would u recomend getting a tube or a ss...what sounds better??? i'm in a metal band!!
  4. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    What we reccommend is not important.

    The best thing for you to do is to go to your local music store and try out every bass amp, tube and SS, and figure out what sounds good to you. Use your bass, if they will let you, and play as close to your normal level as possible.

    In general, tube amps have a warmer sound that most people desire over the "dryness" of a SS amp. This is all a matter of opinion.

    Also, you rarely see a pure tube amp over 300 watts, as the limitations of tube technology make more wattage somewhat prohibitively expensive.
  5. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I recommend something with a tube pre amp & solid state power. It really depends on your budget and what you consider loud. Plus your choice of cabs will also make a big difference in sound and volume. But start with the amp . I think its the most important. I play in a metal band and use a Trace Elliot gp7sm AH250 watt tube/solid state head. It is awesome, dont be fooled by the low wattage this amp is a monster, its very loud and can hang with plenty of 600-800 watt amps out there. You can find them used occasionally.

    If I were buying new I would check out the SWR 750x. A very nice amp, not cheap, but has everything I would want in a head.
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I'd have to say that the 700 watt SS amp is probabally a bit louder than the 100 watt tube amp, and thats from a guy who uses only tube heads. A 100 watt tube head can keep up with about a 500 watt SS head, but thats its max (given that they are running through the same cabs). Try both tube and SS and see which you like better. Also try to keep in mind which would cut through in a band better. Its pretty much personal prefrence, but I can tell you from experience that my old tube pre with SS power rack doesn't sound the same as my Trace Elliot V4 all tube amp.
  7. dustklose


    Feb 5, 2005
    North Dakota
    thanks everyone...i will have to go and try out all the amps i can....thanks
  8. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    Here is an oversimplified version of the differences (many of which have been noted above). Within their standard operating range a solids state amp is (in theory) more accurate than a tube amp. It will produce a less distorted version of the imput signal than a tube. (Note: that's not necessarily a good thing. You may like the subtle distortions of the tube - usually described as a "warmer" sound. You may like the "cleaner, purer" sound of the ss) Now when you hit the maximum of the operating range, the big difference hits. The tube amp hits its max smoothly and cleanly, creating an "overdriven" sound that people like. The ss amp clips abruptly and jaggedly creating a distortion that most people dislike. Final big difference - tubes are more expensive to produce.

    Now, as I said, that's a big oversimplification. Amp makers have figured out all sorts of tricks to minimize the disadvantages and maximixe the advantages of each type of amp. As noted above, the only real way to judge the difference is with your ears.