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Why I Love Tube Amps

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  • Why I Love Tube Amps

    Post "that classic tube sound"




  • #2
    That's the fuzz in Garnet amps that the GW use back in the day.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jtr654 View Post
      That's the fuzz in Garnet amps that the GW use back in the day.
      Just roll back the volume and crank up the gain.

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      • #4
        I'm now using an older Digitech 2112 rack processor with two 12ax7 tubes in it. But I also added a VHT (now called Fryette) Valvulator line buffer / with a 12ax7 tube, as the first thing I plug into from my guitar before going into a Digitech RP-12, RP-1 and then another VHT Valvulator.
        I retired my 1986 Carvin X-100B, Marshall JCM 800, VHT Pittbull and Mesa-Boogie Mark IV from practice, road or gig use.
        They are some solid states out there that are getting close to the tube sound. but nothing beats the sound of primitive carbons burning in a tube to get that organic tone that is sacredly classic !!!!
        Last edited by AJ6stringsting; 08-19-2014, 12:30 AM.
        Guns don't kill people .... Fathers with beautiful Daughters do !!!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AJ6stringsting View Post
          I'm now using an older Digitech 2112 rack processor with two 12ax7 tubes in it. But I also added a VHT (now called Fryette) Valvulator line buffer / with a 12ax7 tube, as the first thing I plug into from my guitar before going into a Digitech RP-12, RP-1 and then another VHT Valvulator.
          I retired my 1986 Carvin X-100B, Marshall JCM 800, VHT Pittbull and Mesa-Boogie Mark IV from practice, road or gig use.
          They are some solid states out there that are getting close to the tube sound. but nothing beats the sound of primitive carbons burning in a tube to get that organic tone that is sacredly classic !!!!
          That's all too hi-tech for me but I do know what 12ax7 means

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          • #6
            ^ I agree with everything except the part about retiring the Mark IV.
            The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen --Duke Ellington

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jtr654 View Post
              That's the fuzz in Garnet amps that the GW use back in the day.

              I knew some guys back then that would take the output of a 6 Watt Fender Champ and run it into the front end of a 100 Watt Traynor or Garnet tube amp.

              Randy Bachman was doing this and Gar Gillies of Garnet amps told him it wasn't safe. Gillies built the Herzog - which is based on a Champ type of circuit but with a ten Watt resistor acting as a power soak replacing the speaker - for Bachman to be able to get the same effect safely.

              Last edited by onelife; 08-20-2014, 02:21 AM.


              you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

              contentment is true wealth

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              • #8
                For me, it's all about the music.

                For many years I used an EVM loaded Twin because it allowed the music from my guitar to come through in just about any situation.

                Later I heard a very good guitar player friend of mine playing a Yamaha DG80 and it allowed his playing to come though with astonishing depth and clarity. I sold my Twin (also stopped lugging it) and bought a DG80 which I used for 15 years.

                Recently I have become much more of a fingerstyle electric player inspired by some acoustic players such as Don Alder. I just picked up a used Fender Mustang IV and it seems to be a wonderful amplifier for this style of playing. The emulations really seem to work in a musical way, like the DG80 does and the notes come out clear and harmonically rich. Some subtle use of the built in effects such as compression can add a nice warmth and the modulations and delays are very musical.

                I certainly do not miss the inconsistencies I experienced with the Twin (the very thing that makes tube amps great is also their weakness), the expense of re-tubing every year or two or the lug but from time to time I do miss the big fat girth of a sound that would fill the space between the 335 on my chest and the Twin on a box behind me.

                I remember David Gilmour saying something about having the guitar sound so powerful behind you that you could lean back on it and it would hold you up. I think we still need valves to do that.




                you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

                contentment is true wealth

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                • #9
                  SS amps with Mosfets in the power amp section have the best tube like sound out there. Three out of my 5 main guitar amps have Mosfets and two are straight tubes. When run side by side they both have their positives and negatives. The SS stuff still needs to have double the wattage to match levels of the Tube gear well. This makes sense because RMS values are based on clean tones and tube amps may only produce clean tones at half total volume.

                  You can debate tonal differences all day long. That's going to all over the board depending on the amp type on both. For me the biggest difference is string touch and dynamics. Tubes are usually more sensitive to the touch and you have wider dynamic range going from playing soft to hard. If you have it cranked the change over from hitting the strings soft and getting a clean tone and gradually hitting them harder and getting saturation is very different as well.

                  SS usually tends to have a narrow range between clean and saturated as you increase pick dynamics. This isn't necessarily bad, its just different when you're clipping transistors or diodes to get that saturation. Its fine if you want only clean or only saturation, but in between the two, that grey area where you use dynamics to go from clean to driven based on pick dynamics, SS tends to be weaker in that range. 1/2 saturation can often sound ugly.

                  Tubes on the other hand tend to have a linear dynamic curve with a non linear saturation curve. An example might be, you can pick strings lightly and have 100% clean tones, Dig into the strings with say half the dynamics available and maybe only get a 10% breakup. From there, the increases in dynamics causes the saturation rises quickly. At 3/4 you may be at 50% saturation and within that last 25% of maximum string dynamics the amp moves nearly straight up from there to max saturation and the ceiling is soft, not a solid brick wall.

                  Of course allot of this has to do with settings and how you saturate your amp, playing styles and all of that stuff, but Most people who have both notice the softer curves going from clean to saturated using tubes. You can adapt to either with your playing style of course. I just find tubes are more forgiving with slight changes in dynamics. Tubes have sag which causes compression and that compression can smooth out minor pick strength variations.

                  With SS you either have to use too much saturation, use additional compression, or your picking has to be super accurate to avoid dropouts. The cleaner you dial up SS the more difficult it is to pick consistently and the harder you have to pick to have even notes. With tubes, its not nearly as hard to get even notes, plus yopu don't have to dial down the gain, it occurs naturally just picking lighter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by onelife View Post


                    I knew some guys back then that would take the output of a 6 Watt Fender Champ and run it into the front end of a 100 Watt Traynor or Garnet tube amp.

                    Randy Bachman was doing this and Gar Gillies of Garnet amps told him it wasn't safe. Gillies built the Herzog - which is based on a Champ type of circuit but with a ten Watt resistor acting as a power soak replacing the speaker - for Bachman to be able to get the same effect safely.

                    I've heard the term Herzog before but never really knew what it was . Thanks for explaining.
                    I also remember experimenting around one evening using one amp to overdrive the other. On one hand it sounded cool but on the other I just had a feeling that something bad was going to happen so i went out and bought a pedal .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting that you would post American Woman (Garnet amps) as an example of great tube amp sound. Just last week a friend of mine called me up, said he was cleaning out his basement and had this old amp that used to work... mine if I wanted it. It turned out to be a '75 Garnet Revolution II (2-6V6 into 1x12"). One of the preamp tubes need replacing, but now sounds good as new! Dime it and control clean to growl with your guitar volume. Wow!
                      Last edited by stormin1155; 08-20-2014, 09:27 PM.
                      Please visit my website www.treeguitarworks.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stormin1155 View Post
                        Interesting that you would post American Woman (Garnet amps) as an example of great tube amp sound. Just last week a friend of mine called me up, said he was cleaning out his basement and had this old amp that used to work... mine if I wanted it. It turned out to be a '75 Garnet Revolution II (2-6V6 into 1x12"). One of the preamp tubes need replacing, but now sounds good as new! Dime it and control clean to growl with your guitar volume. Wow!
                        Are you serious ? That amp looks like new.. Wow is right.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gardo View Post
                          Are you serious ? That amp looks like new.. Wow is right.
                          ^ What he said. Seriously nice looking amp.
                          Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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