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Is anyone racking a Tube Preamp to a SS PowerAmp?


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alembic --> crest audio ca-6

 

good tube mushiness and "warmth" amplified with crystal clean ss power. it's pretty "hi-fi" sounding and i only play clean, but i really like this setup...much better than the VHT poweramp i was previously using.

 

-jim

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I dig the Hi-Fi sound or bas s rigs but for me personally, hte PA type of power amp doesnt' flatter guitar.However, for each person it can vary.

 

I have used the Mosvalve solid state power amps and I can definitely say that they don't offer any power or tonal advantage to a good tube power amp.

 

THe good tube power amps are always warmer and more rich sounding. But if HI-Fi appeals to you, then give it a try adn then buy something permanently if you like what you hear

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When I got my first tube piece, I had an ADA MP-1, with a Crate SS stereo power amp.

 

It was the best I had at the time, and it sounded pretty good, but you'll always have the tube amp die hard tellin' you how bad it sounds. :p

 

And yes, SS amps are a bit harsh, and buzzy. NOT the same as tubes.

 

But SS amps are maintenance free, and pretty tough. You can bang 'em around pretty good.

 

I you do get a SS amp, get one that was made for guitar, and not a PA.

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It seems alot of people don't understand how power amps work. If you take a "good" solid state amp and a tube amp and run them at their normal operating levels they will sound almost identical. The difference in the amps is the way that they distort when overdriven. Solid state amps "Clip" and create a harsh tone due to the odd harmonics that are added. Tube amps "Squash" the signal and and create a smooth compressed sound because the harmonics are suppressed. To get a tube amp to overdrive you have to run it at "Ear Bleeding" levels. So unless you use a power soak {which alters the tone} or carry an Iso Booth around with you ,there really is no benifit to choosing tube amps over solid state.

Some "good" solid state amps would be : Crest,Crown,Carvin,Carver. Cheap-o solid state amps such as Crate or Marshall Valvestate sound horrible because they distort even at low levels.

 

 

 

http://artists.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/Jerry_Ronco/

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i use a mesa studio pre into a pair of mosvalves ( 982, 1500). before i heard the mosvalve stuff i was using an ab international and then went with a crown. but,it seems like the poweramps made for pa usage were too flat and tend to get more sterile the louder you turn up. theres clips of my mesa/mosvalve setup on our site .

 

www.garfight.com

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Originally posted by ocnor

It seems alot of people don't understand how power amps work. If you take a "good" solid state amp and a tube amp and run them at their normal operating levels they will sound almost identical. The difference in the amps is the way that they distort when overdriven. Solid state amps "Clip" and create a harsh tone due to the odd harmonics that are added. Tube amps "Squash" the signal and and create a smooth compressed sound because the harmonics are suppressed. To get a tube amp to overdrive you have to run it at "Ear Bleeding" levels. So unless you use a power soak {which alters the tone} or carry an Iso Booth around with you ,there really is no benifit to choosing tube amps over solid state.

Some "good" solid state amps would be : Crest,Crown,Carvin,Carver. Cheap-o solid state amps such as Crate or Marshall Valvestate sound horrible because they distort even at low levels.





 

 

I just wanted to chime in that there are some "vast" tonal differences between even a cheap tube amp and a "top notch" solid state amp.

 

Sometimes solid state can offer advantages and frankly, I don't like having to replace worn out tubes but a good tube amp will impart odd order harmonics to the guitar signal, add natural compression and more efficiently deliver power.

 

I think a good benefit is that different tube types have different personalities.EL34's sound noticably different than 6l6's. KT 88's sound noticably different than EL34's adn EL84's sound different than all the others as well.

 

THese tonal characters don't really exist among the solid state amps.BUt solid state has a strong following in the bass comunity because of the fast attack and tight low end it can offer.Being a bass player, I can say that Tube and solid state are alot closer tha nthe yare in the guitar world and if anything, in the bass world, solid state is more desired even among pro players.

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Originally posted by Pauly



I think a good benefit is that different tube types have different personalities.EL34's sound noticably different than 6l6's. KT 88's sound noticably different than EL34's adn EL84's sound different than all the others as well.


 

 

Excellent point... I'm sticking with tubes.

Thanks for all the replies

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but a good tube amp will impart odd order harmonics to the guitar signal, add natural compression and more efficiently deliver power.

 

 

Well, the even/odd harmonic issue usually has more to do with the archticture of the amplifier circuit (usuall folks say "tubes give more even harmonics")...

This can be due to a couple of different things...Some operating classes produce asymmetrical clipping, that has more even harmonics

Also, a soft clipping will have more even harmonics than a hard clip (note : pure pulse waves are all odd harmonics, so you can look at it as "deviation from pulse")

 

The compression comes from

1) clipping

2) supply sag

Both SS and tubes clip

Supply sag, while often induced by rectifier tubes, can also be accomplished by the power transformer as it is done in Rivera amps.

 

 

Tube really aren't more efficient, thee reason "30 tube watts" tends to sound louder than "30 SS watts" is a trick of measurement.

When you kmeasure the output power, you measure to a certain ammount of distortion... (usually a small % of THD)

Now, since tubes tend to have natural distortion at lower levels they 'disqualify' themselves in the measurement much earlier.

 

So...while a tube amplifier may be RATED at 10 watts (because maybe it's producing 5% THD at 10 watts)...in use, it's running at 30 watts of output power.

So it reached "disqualification" at, say 30% of it's practical power

 

meanwhile, the SS amp may not have reached the disqualifying THD level til, maybe 90% of it's practical power.

So the operting output power is more similar to its RATED output

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