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Vintage Solid State

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by skinnypete, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. skinnypete


    Oct 7, 2004
    New York, NY
    I have read volumes on the subject of the all tube heads and their virtues. I have, likewise, read the same thing regarding solid state.

    I understand why some people prefer one over the other but what I do not fully understand is the growing debate over old “vintage” and today’s models. And this is particularly true in the solid state camp.

    I have heard numerous explanations from the tube enthusiasts as to why today’s SVTs don’t sound the same as their predecessors.

    However, the solid state cognoscenti don’t seem to be as vocal on the subject of, for instance, why an Acoustic 360 head sounds superior to a modern equivalent like EBS or Eden.

    One would assume that with the advances in technology since the early 1970s the electronics in the preamp section would be more responsive and versatile and that the power section would be more stable and reliable.

    So why do so many people seem to covet these old models?

    I have heard some tube-ists swear that today’s environmental laws prohibit the manufacture of a “good old fashioned tube” which affects the sound.

    Did the solid states of the 60s and 70s use some special kind of rare transistor made by Japanese monks?

    Anyone have any knowledge on this subject?
  2. No, I think it's just the mystique of the old stuff..."hey Jaco played THIS, therefore if I get THIS I'll sound just like Jaco"

    In home stereo (audio) circles, there's generally a great disdain for the old 70's solid-state stuff. (Of course the true audio snobs have contempt for anything that's not a $3000 single ended 8 watt tube monobloc amp).

    In the late 60's/early 70's, high-power transistor amps were just coming on to the market--after all, the transistor wasn't perfected until the late 1950's/early 60's-- and the circuits weren't very well developed. MOSFETS hadn't hit the scene, a lot of amps used the newly developed 2N3055 output transistor. The Kustom K250 and Sunn Concert bass, both popular amps, had four 2N3055's for output transistors and they were capable of about 130 watts RMS.

    Part of the early "tone" also came from the speaker cabs, 2x15's became the hot ticket for big bottom and high volumes with these solid-state amps.
  3. skinnypete


    Oct 7, 2004
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the information

    Do you know the difference between the early tranistors and a MOSFET?
  4. joetheragman


    Oct 4, 2004
    The other thing was that we just imprinted on them. They came out when we were at that age were gear was just so cool, and those big ole Acoustics and Sunns and Kustoms were just so cool looking. Nothing had sounded anywhere near the Acoustics before that. So it is just a nostalgia think if you ask me. Having said that, if I run across one and I have the jack, I probably will buy it, but it will be a truly irrational purchase.
  5. The early transistors were called BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor). Later, Field Effect Transistors (FET's) were developed. See this site for more info: