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Tube vs Solid state with massive distortion!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by totaltpantad, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Ok quick question. I play in a d-beat punk band and i play with LOTS of distortion. So my question is, do i want a tube amp or a solid state?
  2. I'd say a valve amp would be ideal but you're better off trying a bunch of amps out in your budget first
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Where do you get your distortion from? The amp or pedals?
  4. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass totaltpantad.

    Where does the distortion come from for You/where do You want it to come from?

    Overdriven tube power sections are what I consider to be the ultimate musical distortion on any amplified instrument.
    For that, You obviously need a tube power amp that's driven onto distortion. The problem is that the certain distortion level only happens with a certain volume, and that can be a PITA sometimes.

    If You OTOH are fine with, or even prefer, stomp-box generated or pre-amp distortion, the rest of the rig doesn't quite matter in the end.
    In fact, on most occasions players with heavy outboard effects have found their "tonal bliss" first from a straight recording, and then from a channel strip driving a transparent PA amp.

    IME anyway ;).

  5. My distortion comes from a Boss DS-1 and a MXR El grande bass fuzz. So you mean that a solid state would do the job just fine?
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    You might want to try parallel processing. One clean signal with lots of low end and a dirty signal with more mids and treble. Also with lots of distortion from your pedal a clean solid state amp would be my choice. Maybe Ampeg, GK, Hartke, SWR, or similar.
  7. Ok thanks for the answers! Will take a little detour to the musicshop and test some amps!
  8. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    If you are comfortable getting all of your distortion from pedals then you could be happy with a SS amp.

    Depending on how much tone shaping you need From an EQ, you could get by with a pretty simple system. Just need the right signal strength into a power amp.
  9. Yea i like the sound im getting right now with those two pedals likned and run to a fender bassman 100 combo. Maybe a hybrid to get a little more warmth to it?
  10. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Depends on what you mean by "warmth" I guess. I might check out a Aguilar TH pedal, and use the DI out on that to drive a power amp.
  11. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    get a solid state amp and use a pedal for distortion.
  12. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    In my experience GK amps sounds pretty good with distorted sounds. Not the case with some SS heads.

    Get a cab without tweeter if you want my advice. Matters much more than tube VS solid state for massive distortion.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Love tubes, and even if an amp has only one preamp tube, I consider it an improvement. Don't get me wrong...I'm quite happy with my little Ampeg SS amps and they sound great with distortion pedals. But for me, tubes are teh winz.
  14. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    Very good advice here. 12 and 15 inch speakers help a bit too.
  15. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    The speakers are what matters the most if you want a good distortion tone.
  16. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Fixed that for you Bobby! ;)

    Maybe we should be asking the OP what cab is is planning on using before he seals his fate on an amp?
  17. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I should qualify this advice by stating that, like JimmyM, I generally prefer tubes to solid state, sound wise. For heavily distorted sounds, there aren't a lot of amp choices, so you you're best off getting your fuzz from pedals. Whether your amp has tubes or not doesn't matter so much, but for punk venues, you want an amp that's going to survive being kicked, bumped, and had beer spilled on.
  18. I dont really know what cab id like to use right now. Yea i know how punk venues work, damn slobs! Haha
  19. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I would figure this out before your amp. That way you know what kind of power requirements you need.

    Also here is a clip of my Aguilar Tone Hammer driving a Peavey IPR 1600 into my '66.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  20. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I agree the cab matters at least as much as the head, but if you're happy with your pedal-generated distortion then I'd stick with a SS head.