why solid state?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kilgoja, May 29, 2005.

  1. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    why do people use solid state amps....i've never played through one that sounded anywhere near as good as a tube amp....i'm not putting down anyone for using them ...i just never understood why people use them....is it the weight thing...is that the only reason and replacing tubes....tubes can last several years so i don't see why that's a big deal for the amount of tone you get out of them....as far as weight goes just set your tube amp head on top of something with wheels and roll it like a bass cabinet with casters or a flight case or something....or even your guitar players half stack...stairs?...just get someone to help you...it's really not a big deal to me....it just seems better than buying a ss amp and then having to buy all these preamps, pedals, and what not to try to get a good sound.....i don't know...just my opinion...maybe it's the money thing.....well i can understand using a ss amp until you can afford a tube amp.....it's just once i heard a tube amp i've never even considered going back to solid state
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I have a Thunderfunk solid state amp and I don't need any preamps, pedals etc to get a good warm sound out of it.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of a great tube amp but I don't feel the Thunderfunk is a compromise in any way - it's an amazing tone.
    Also, for me, transporting a heavy tube amp head round the subways of NYC is a non-starter no matter how good the tone.
  3. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    My solid state amp + sansamp bass driver = pretty darn good tone and a lot lighter
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I may be in the minority, but I prefer the sound of an entirely solid state system with zero distortion and minimal tone shaping. Of course this is not to disagree with anybody who prefers tube sound.

    In addition, portability is definitely an issue. Transporting big and heavy gear is no problem under ideal conditions. Maybe I am particularly unlucky, but my gigs always seem to involve some combination of tight schedules, traffic delays, urban parking, flights of stairs, rotten weather, small cars, and so forth. I am often on my own to load in and out, and it's with a different band each time, so I can't count on anything.
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Some people like a harsh and lifeless bass sound. I mean look at Fieldy. :rolleyes:

    (by the way, if anybody says "use a hybrid, tube tone with solid state reliability", my head will explode!!!)


    some of you want that, don't you? :bawl:
  6. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I'm in that minority too.

    I used tubes back in the 60's when they were the dominant technology and don't miss them a bit.
  7. They are different amps, i like them both for their own reasons, and hey, just to point out, maybe not everyone wants to invest that much money into a hobby to get a better tone, price is a big consideration
  8. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Same here. I've owned a few all tube bass heads but their tone at high volume was too distorted for my style. When I can afford it, I'm going to buy a vintage SVT head. My main gigging rig is a tube preamp/solid state power amp.

    This is my basic philosophy on the subject:

    For a slightly distorted tone: All Tube
    For a super clean tone: Solid State
    For a bit of tube warmth: Tube preamp/Solid State power amp.

    - Art
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Well Ox, since your head already exploded....I am a Tube pre/SS main power guy. I'm not kidding myself into thinking that I am getting all that tube warmth, but the tube pre's I like tend to round things out a bit, especially from a "DI out to the board" standpoint. The key for me is running with lot's o headroom, when approaching max levels tubes tubes "squash" the sound, which is very musical, Solid State clips, not very musical. What I want people to hear is my bass and as long as I have good cabs and enough power a solid state amplifier is able to get my tone across quite accurately. I am not looking for my amp to "add" any personality to my sound.
  10. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Because what sounds good is so completely subjective. Look how easily your post can be altered:

    This statement makes just as much sense. Which is to say not very much unless you assume what sounds better to you simply is better. I've heard lots of what some folks think to be the killer bass tone that to me just sounds like .........

    even partially maksed profanity isnt cool.......ivanmike
  11. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    to my ears, solid state produces a tighter sub,
    and has more consistent frequency response, with less coloration.
    i prefer solid state(power amps) for my 5 string eub(41" low b)
    tube amps are much more rich in harmonics and respond
    in a way that can color the sound to extremes
    i prefer tube power amps for my '65 hagstrom short-scale.
    imo,ime, etc.,ad nauseam....
  12. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    This is analagous to saying "why would someone use a P-Bass when they could play a J." :eyebrow: Because I like the way it sounds. :D
  13. I don't feel that tubes are necessary to achieve a good bass tone. If that were true a lot of people would be in trouble running a DI to the house.

    I also don't think it is accurate to imply that solid state is a sacrifice in any way. I like the tone of my bass and I feel that a ss rig more accurately reproduces the tone of that bass.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oh, gee, let's see.

    Lighter weight
    Lower maintenance
    Nice, clean tone, with tons of fundamental
    Crisp, clear overtones

    I am sure that there are more reasons.

    I like the sound of tube amps, but only for certain songs and styles of music.

    The songs that I need a tube amp sound for comprise about 5% of what I play.

    So, I will use my lightweight, clean, powerful, maintenance free solid state amp for 95% of what I play, and use a good pedal to get that tube sound when I need it.
  15. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999

    I use to feel the same way until I bought another tube amp after using Solid State heads for years. Now i'll never go back to solid state again and I certainly don't miss them.

  16. There are two types of amps. Good ones and bad ones. There are all-SS, all-tube and hybrids that fall into both categories.

    I do notice that gross generalizations about both kinds of amps abound on ye olde internet though.... Like the maintenance thing (way overstated) or that tube amps are inherently dirty sounding or that all solid state amps are sterile sounding... I have experienced tube amplifiers that are every bit as clean as any solid state amp, etc...
  17. Personally, I tend to favour tube amps for my personal tone, there's something about the way a tube amp sits in the mix which pleases me that solid-state amps just don't duplicate

    Believe me, when they create 10lb solid state amp that sounds like my old SVT, I'll be first in line to get one. And no, the modelling amps or the Sansamp don't do an adequate job. ;)
  18. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    For my own pleasure, I carry around a large, very heavy box, filled with pressurized glass tubes. Not only is it difficult to move, it's also delicate and can't take much bumping, and has to remain pretty level. When I set it up, I have to make sure I've got the speakers plugged in before powering up. I also have to carry an extra fan to keep those glass tubes cool, or my tone disappears. I have a standby switch which I don't flip until I've given the amp time to warm up a bit. I also carry an emergency kit with tools, fuses and extra glass...in case of.

    Hmmmmm. Why do people use solid state?

    Seems like a silly question.
  20. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    LOL....actually i used to play a fender jazz bass....so that's funny....what do people mean when they say a tube amp gives you a more distorted sound...mine doesn't distort at all...it sounds cleaner than any ss amp....it sounds natural...a ss amp sounds electric....kindof like a piano compared to a keyboard....you just can't get that natural deep bass sound out of a ss amp...like a ss amp with a sansamp....that's just wires in a box...it's not natural sounding like tubes....it's tube "emulation" circuitry....why not just use tubes instead of emulating them.....anyway i understand the guy that goes on the subway a lot...that makes sense...what's up with di problems...i've never had any di problems out of my tube amp...

    sorry your head blew up dude

    i know tube amps require more care but isn't it worth it :bag: