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  • Do "hybrid" tube amps sound like ....

    a "real" tube amp? I'm thinking of amps like the Kustom the Contender that have a tube in the preamp.

    Just wondering how close they come to the sound of a real tube amp, especially in terms of responsiveness.

    Does anyone have any experience with them?

  • #2
    I don't know that one. My Vox Valvetronix is pretty convincing. So is the Fender Superchamp.

    EG
    We're not in Kansas anymore.

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    • #3
      You can get a bit of "squashiness" or compression out of valve pre-amps - I have in the Zoom 92tt - but a lot also comes from power stage tube characteristics.
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      Originally Posted by aenemated
      doc always has been and always will be. He behaves as if he is 18 years old with worlds of wisdom



      6 senses, 5 cables, 4 different coloured guitars, 3 amps, 2 pedals, 1 footswitch.
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      • #4
        I don't know that one. My Vox Valvetronix is pretty convincing.


        +100
        LeftyTom

        It is not what you play, but THAT you play.

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        • #5
          Not very similar. The characteristic sound of a rube amp comes from overdriven power tubes. If that's the sound you are looking for, some of the amps mentioned here, the Super Champ XD and the Vox Valvetronix, would be better. The Valvetronix uses a tube which is normally a preamp tube, but they use it in a power amp circuit and then further amplify it, so it sounds much different from a tube preamp hybrid.
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          • #6
            Not very similar. The characteristic sound of a rube amp comes from overdriven power tubes. If that's the sound you are looking for, some of the amps mentioned here, the Super Champ XD and the Vox Valvetronix, would be better. The Valvetronix uses a tube which is normally a preamp tube, but they use it in a power amp circuit and then further amplify it, so it sounds much different from a tube preamp hybrid.


            Thanks for that answer; it's helpful.

            Can you help me understand what the purpose is, or what effect is achieved, by putting a tube in the preamp (ala the Kustom) versus putting a tube in the power amp circuit (ala the Valvetronix)? I'm not really looking for overdive so much as I am for sparkling (or shimmering, or Fender-like, however you describe it) cleans. Which configuration would come closer for that?

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            • #7
              IMO, none of the hybrids I have tried sounded like the real deal.

              If they were that good, we'd be all buying them. We like nice gear, but we like a bargain 1st, don't we?

              Some hybrids are better than others, but it's still not the real thing.
              Ant the Les Paul Lover!

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              • #8
                Thanks for that answer; it's helpful.

                Can you help me understand what the purpose is, or what effect is achieved, by putting a tube in the preamp (ala the Kustom) versus putting a tube in the power amp circuit (ala the Valvetronix)? I'm not really looking for overdive so much as I am for sparkling (or shimmering, or Fender-like, however you describe it) cleans. Which configuration would come closer for that?


                From what I'm reading on Kustom's site, The Contender is actually a tube driven preamp, meaning that the 12AX7 in the preamp section is actually the gain producing circuit and is analog in design. IOW, the tube IS the preamp.

                In the Valvetronix stuff the preamp is actually digital and the power amp is solid state, with a 12AX7 tube between the two to produce some of the "sag" and warmth of pure analog tube circuitry. Whether this is really achieved or not is subject to opinion.
                Originally Posted by axuality
                What does the quality of Harvard have to do with this? You don't want to make the common mistake of Liberalism by thinking that education makes one smarter.

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                • #9
                  What is your criteria for the sound of a tube amp? Do you mean Mesa Boogie Dual Recto? Maybe a Marshall JCM800? Perhaps a Fender Bassman? Vox AC30?

                  Each of these classic tube amps sound completely and radically different than each other. Why? The circuit design largely dictates the amp's tones. There is no reason why a great circuit, regardless of the technology used to create it, won't sound great. Don't waste time considering if an amp sounds exactly like another amp and judge it on its own merits. If it sounds good it is good...
                  Will Chen Trio | FrugalGuitarist.com | FG on Facebook | Forum

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                  • #10
                    What is your criteria for the sound of a tube amp? Do you mean Mesa Boogie Dual Recto? Maybe a Marshall JCM800? Perhaps a Fender Bassman? Vox AC30?

                    Each of these classic tube amps sound completely and radically different than each other. Why? The circuit design largely dictates the amp's tones. There is no reason why a great circuit, regardless of the technology used to create it, won't sound great. Don't waste time considering if an amp sounds exactly like another amp and judge it on its own merits. If it sounds good it is good...


                    That's been my criteria about all equipment for a while. I haven't played enough of these classic amps for any period of time to be able to say whether the modeling sims sound anything like the originals but I definitely find some very nice sounds out of modeling amps. That's good enough for me.
                    Originally Posted by axuality
                    What does the quality of Harvard have to do with this? You don't want to make the common mistake of Liberalism by thinking that education makes one smarter.

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                    • #11
                      What Will said.

                      I'm pretty impressed with my Vibro Champ XD, and it does quite decent models of some amps, but not all the models are real exciting.
                      No sig.

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                      • #12

                        If they were that good, we'd be all buying them.


                        It doesn't work that way, especially with guitarists.

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                        • #13
                          What is your criteria for the sound of a tube amp? Do you mean Mesa Boogie Dual Recto? Maybe a Marshall JCM800? Perhaps a Fender Bassman? Vox AC30?

                          Each of these classic tube amps sound completely and radically different than each other. Why? The circuit design largely dictates the amp's tones. There is no reason why a great circuit, regardless of the technology used to create it, won't sound great. Don't waste time considering if an amp sounds exactly like another amp and judge it on its own merits. If it sounds good it is good...


                          No argument from me. But is hard to know whether it sounds good when you don't have one, the local stores don't have one, and you can't find a demo on youtube. Just asking for opinions from anybody who has had experience with them.

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                          • #14
                            No argument from me. But is hard to know whether it sounds good when you don't have one, the local stores don't have one, and you can't find a demo on youtube. Just asking for opinions from anybody who has had experience with them.


                            One of the UK mags gave them a favorable review a while back If I recall correctly. If for some reason you have to have that amp then you take the gamble and make sure you put up the vids and reviews so others can leverage your opinion. Otherwise, pass on them.
                            Will Chen Trio | FrugalGuitarist.com | FG on Facebook | Forum

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                            • #15
                              IMHO, the SCXD is freakin' amazing. I recommend it highly.

                              Now, if money wasn't an issue I'd have a pre-CBS Princeton or Deluxe, but for 15% - 20% of what that'd cost me I'm damn close w/ the Super Champ.

                              Or course it depends on which tube amp you're going for though. It does a great Fender clean, and a pretty good vintage Vox too. But if you're looking for an '80s super high gain metal sound then it's definitely not for you.
                              .
                              .
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                              My guitars

                              Stock PRS SE Single Cut
                              Epi G-400 1966 Limited Edit. w/ split Burstbuckers
                              Epi LP Std w/ GFS P-90s


                              My amps

                              Bugera V22 w/ NOS glass. Very,very sweet.
                              Super Champ XD.
                              Raven 20 (Which I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually like.)

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