What is tube preamp/solid state power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Coleman, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. Coleman


    Oct 13, 2001
    What is tube preamp/solid state power amp?

    what is the different from tube amp and SS amp?
  2. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett Commercial User

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    IMO tube preamp/solid state power amp is the only way to go!

    Solid state give you a lot more power and cleaner power with out the weight and distortion a tube amp does. Don't get me wrong, tubes are cool, but not extremely loud or big shows and if you don't have the money to pay someone else to carry it then its not worth it :)

    With the New Solid state designed amps that weigh in under 30 Lbs and pushing 1000-3000 watts, there not high maintenance and much cheaper to run and heck their cheaper :) Take for example the crest LT series amp. WOW, it stomps and the LT1000 which pushed 1200 watts at 4 ohms weighs 27Lbs and I sell for $550. I now LA Bass Exchange use to sell these like crazy as well. They’re awesome amps!

    Like I said, tubes are cool, but they cost, their heavy and their not loud like a solid state can be. Plus they are continues distortion the harder you drive them verse a solid state that has a clip point which means its clean to that point.

    Good luck,
  3. This is a amp head that has a tube or two in the pre-amp section. This is the section of the amp that controls the tone and volume. The power section uses transistors as output devices. Years ago amps used tubes throughout. Tubes work fine but are limited in how much (watt lb. and $) they can produce. SS amps can produce a lot more undistorted power per lb and $ than tube amps. But many musicians think the sound tubes produce is of a higher quality than SS. To satisfy this amp manufactures have been adding some tubes to the pre-amp circuit. This makes a SS amp sound more like a tube amp.

    what is the different from tube amp and SS amp?
    Like I already said, one employees Transistors (SS) and the other employees vacuum tubes (tubes) as the VALVE devices in the circuit. When tube and SS amps are being operated below distortion they sound very similar. There is a difference (SS tighter, tube sweeter) but it isn't huge like some would tell you. The real difference is when you drive a tube amp past its rated power. Then the sound starts getting fuller and richer (to a point). Try doing this with a SS amp and it will produce a bad (farting for lack of a better word) sound. It is this (fuller richer) that comes from a tube amp being driven into distortion that everybody is chasing. When you overdrive a tube pre-amp into a SS power-amp you get a bit of this sound but it just isn't quite the same. But that hasn't stopped people from chasing it. "interstellar overdrive, tube simulation, 1,2,3,4, and 5 tube pre-amp designs. They all sound good and none of them sound like a tube amp with the power tubes being overdriven. That is also the reason a 300 watt tube amp will play as loud as a 1000 watt SS. The SS amp needs the extra headroom to keep it out of distortion (farting). The tube amp sounds better (to a point) operates at between 5-7% distortion.

    And that is, in my humble opinion, the difference between SS and tube amps.

    I'll shut up now......:D
  4. kennyhoe

    kennyhoe Guest

    Jun 5, 2003
    Toronto, Ontario
    uh...yea, what greybeard said :D
  5. Coleman


    Oct 13, 2001
    i see SWR SM-500 is tube preamp + solid power amp, what mean?
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I doubt that I'll ever have an all tube amp, but I now have a SWR Bass 350 that has a tube in the preamp section. I believe the tube warms the sound of the guitar. I'm afraid to go all SS even with my RBI. Unless I can hear the iamp 800 and it sounds good!