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  • Best solid state amp?

    Ok, I know tube amps have a great reputation, but I'm told that some non-tube amps sound really good too. I'm not knowledgeable enough about that. Please name the ones you have particularly liked, and possibly the genre they'be best for. Thanks

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  • #2

    mschafft wrote:

    Ok, I know tube amps have a great reputation, but I'm told that some non-tube amps sound really good too. I'm not knowledgeable enough about that. Please name the ones you have particularly liked, and possibly the genre they'be best for. Thanks


    I love my brother's Line6 Flextone III XL. It's loud, toneful, and versatile. I believe a BIG, BIG, BIG part of the equation is that the speakers are specifically chosen/designed for digital modeling, so they don't emphasize anything that shouldn't be, like a standard guitar speakers HUGE midrange emphasis.

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    • Special J
      Special J commented
      Editing a comment

      The Roland JC120, and it's variants have been heard on many many albums and live performances. It's an industry standard for clean tones. The name would imply that it's made for jazz (JC stands for Jazz Chorus) but it's been James Hetfield's clean tone on many albums. I used one for clean tones for a while in the 90's in an indie/alternative rock band. Not a fan of the on-board distortion, but you can get some good tones with a pedal out front.

      Randall's made some great solid state amps for metal. I forget the model number, but I had to borrow one for an extended period of time once when my amp was in repair. It did some monster high-gain tones.

      You can get some good tones out of some of those Fender solid state amps like the Princeton Chorus. Again, you're best off using them for cleans with a pedal out front.

       

       

       

       

       


  • #3
    Tech 21 trademark series amps. Set up well they can sound great (set up badly they sound like a Marshall MG15).

    Polytone amps. Sold originally to the jazz community, they are much more versatile, though won't do serious overdrive sounds.

    Roland JC120 - THE classic clean solid state amp.
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    • #4

      Roland's JC's are probably the most well known.

      Really, really nice bell-tone clean sounds and one of the best 2 speaker chorus' anywhere. They also take pedals like nobody's business.

      Otherwise, to my knowledge solid state amps are mostly used for hard rock and heavy metal.

      Ampeg made a lot of great solid state amps in the early 90's.

      Randall, as well, and believe it or not, Marshall's solid state series is fairly well regarded in the heavy metal community.

      Gallien Krueger made an amp; 250M I think it was called (?) that Iron Maiden and Chuck Schuldiner both used.

      I currently own an Ampeg VH-140c. I owned three tube amps before the Ampeg-- a Peavy Ultra Plus with a Marshall 4x12 cab, a Fender Hot Rod 4x10 combo, and an Ashdown 1x12 combo.

      I'm in love with the Ampeg. So simple, so nice sounding. I feel like I could drop it down a staircase and it would be fine. The tubers--especially the Ashdown--were very temperamental and inconsistent. I got fed up with the maintenance.

      I'm really, really curious to see what Roland's GA series sounds like. I haven't even seen one, let alone heard one, in real life yet. 

      I'm sure there are other great solid states out there.

      Anyhow...

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      • Special J
        Special J commented
        Editing a comment

        VTEC_Dreams wrote:

        ...

        I currently own an Ampeg VH-140c. I owned three tube amps before the Ampeg-- a Peavy Ultra Plus with a Marshall 4x12 cab, a Fender Hot Rod 4x10 combo, and an Ashdown 1x12 combo.

        I'm in love with the Ampeg. So simple, so nice sounding. I feel like I could drop it down a staircase and it would be fine. The tubers--especially the Ashdown--were very temperamental and inconsistent. I got fed up with the maintenance.

        I'm really, really curious to see what Roland's GA series sounds like. I haven't even seen one, let alone heard one, in real life yet. 

        I'm sure there are other great solid states out there.


        There's been a VH140 for sale on my local Craigslist for a while. I've been tempted. They seem like really cool amps.


    • #5

      The new Blackstar ID series amps seem quite impressive based off the videos I've seen.

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      • k_strat
        k_strat commented
        Editing a comment

        I have the 60 watt head paired with a Peavey Classic 4 x 10 cabinet. I'm very happy with it so far.  The base tone of the 6 preamp voicings is quite good.  Between the EQ, ISF voicing control anf the TVP power tube emulation I can get just about any tone I like.   While it's digitally based it's not being marketed as a modeling amp.  Tthe built in effects are decent in my opinion. However, it should of had an effects loop built in.  Also the dedicated footswitch should have been bundled with it. I really haven't done much with the GIU editing software though.

         

         

        \_IGP0389.jpg

        Attached Files

    • #6

      Marshall 'Lead 12.'  Good enough for Billy Gibbons!

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      • Lonnie99
        Lonnie99 commented
        Editing a comment
        I've got an 83 Fender London Reverb that get lots of compliments. People that play it swear its tube.

    • #7
      Vox Pathfinder, without a doubt. Roland Blues Cubes are a close second, and there's a Peavey amp that a friend had that is excellent, but I forget what it's called.
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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      • #8

        The best amp I have ever had - tube or SS - is the Yamaha DG80-112.

        It has some nice features but the main thing is it responds to the player. There is no magic bitton that is going to make you sound like Eric Johnson but it delivers what you put into it in the same way as a well maintained tube amp would.

        DG80

        Attached Files


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        • #9
          I once played this great SS amp that... oh wait - never mind.

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          • #10
            On the higher end of the cost spectrum. Although still very reasonable IMO, you have Quilter and Retro Channel

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            • nothingstock
              nothingstock commented
              Editing a comment

              I used Yamaha solid state amps for years playing in clubs back in the day. You could run an extension cab without cutting out the internal speaker! They sounded good and were very dependable. With the pull-boosts and the parametric EQ the sounds were pretty much unlimited. Buy one if you can find it. I used the G50 -112, model 1 and 2 over the years, usually with an extension cabinet under it.


          • #11
            It never gets any love but I used a fender 2x12 stage 100 for years and I loved it, actually had a head into a 4x12 cab version a few years before that. The clean sound ain't nothing to write home about but really did have a great overdrive sound..anything, up to rip your face off. I still got it sitting around as a practice amp or a back up, but I eventually went tube.
            -"Who is John Galt?"-

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            • #12

              Do you mean pure SS, as in non-digital, or are you including digital modeling amps?  There are some great and affordable digital modeling amps like the Fender Mustang series.  Great for classic Fender sound and feel if adjusted properly and does a decent job at some other types of voicings as well.  Great for blues, country, jazz, rockabilly, classic rock and pop.  

              I personally like the Mustang IV 212.  But, the M III 112 gets much love for it's portability and versatility.

              I don't give a d.a.m.n about hypes, fanclubs or tonal religions. All I care about is what works for me."...it's not religion that's the problem, but any system of thought that insists that one group of people are inviolably in the right, whereas the others are in the wrong and must somehow be punished." ~ Rod LiddleJROCKBRIDGE MUSIC

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              • #13
                Ty Tabor was noted for using Lab Series L5 amps, which he has said in interviews are terrible. However, he sure makes them sound good!
                Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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                • BryanMichael
                  BryanMichael commented
                  Editing a comment

                  One I liked a lot was the 80's Fender Princeton Chorus.  Fantastic and warm clean sounds.  Drive sounds were okay, but the fact that it had a stereo FX loop made it a great amp if you had a processor for a front end.  It had a nice "Fender cleans" character to it and wasn't as "sterile" as a JC-120.  The second one I had, someone had replaced the short spring reverb tank with a longer one - it was nice.

                   

                  Another was the Tech 21 Trademark 60.  Aside from modeling amps, those were the best solid state combos I've tired.  The VOX Valvetronix modeling amps sound pretty good to me though...


                • benzem
                  benzem commented
                  Editing a comment




              • #14

                The best product is the one that fits what you like to do best. If you're looking for metal, Line 6's Spider series is excellent an excellent choice. I played through a Flextone III for a while, and it sounded great. The beauty of Line 6 is that you can integrate everything from the pedals to the amp and guitar, and the whole rig can be controlled at your feet. Switch from banjo to alternate tuned acoustic to bone crushing metal without switching guitars or amps.

                Fender's Mustang series is excellent, and whether you want a small, reasonably priced amp for practice or one that can handle a small room and DI to the board, they come in very handy. Whether you're controlling it from a foot controller or a computer through USB, they are also versatile all around amps.

                There are so many options, it's like shoes, do you want to run, walk, play tennis or wrestle? The answer to that informs the information that you receive.

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                • Scott Abene
                  Scott Abene commented
                  Editing a comment

                  That little Retro Wreck sounds absolutely killer!


              • #15

                Vox Pathfinder is awesome. I had an older Valvetronix that was nice, just got a Marshall Lead 20 that I'm taking on a jam for the 1st time this weekend. I like it in the bedroom, we'll see......I have gigged with the Pathfinder and it was just fine. Best 99 bucks I ever spent!

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                • Scott Abene
                  Scott Abene commented
                  Editing a comment

                  My GK250RL through most likely my old Fender 2x12 cab. A long long time ago at Kenny's Castaways in NYC

                   



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