High End Solid State Amps

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High End Solid State Amps

Postby ifallalot » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:35 pm

I'm seeing a huge amount of buzz (no pun intended) on the Quilter amps on SG101 and the Roland Blues Cubes and Boss Katanas on TGP. The Boss Katana seems like it might be honeymoon phase, but the Rolands and Quilters have been around long enough that there must be some truth to the hype

From the demos I've see all the amps sound just as good as their tube counterparts, but I can't get it past my head that they are not tube. Since they are all solid state, they pack some really handy features such as multiple voicing and the ability to sound like "themselves" at home volumes as opposed to stage volumes.

For what I'm doing right now and the kind of place my house is, I don't need big glass and big iron, but for the price of the Roland or Quilter I could buy a proper Fender, Vox, Marshall, or even Supro amp.

I know I gotta go play them all in person but a dad with two young kids doesn't get a lot of free time.

Any of you guys have experience?
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Chippertheripper » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:56 pm

No, but I've been following along and intrigued as well.
I do have a mustang 2, and it sounds pretty damn good. The "natural" OD is pretty fizzy so I use a pedal with it.
We all just got them for the headphone outs for silent band practice.

I've been watching tons of toob demos too. They all sound fairly sterile, for lack of a better term.
Some gear nerds I know just use them as effects platforms. They try and get all the touch and feel of a tube amp with pedals. That's too slippery a slope for me, way outside my comfort zone.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby mackerelmint » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:45 pm

I play a tech 21 leeds pedal as a preamp, into a SS power amp. Sounds fantastic. SS done well is incredibly practical.
Please, talk more about how you hate Europe and bicycles.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Racing » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:28 am

I bet some will be opinions and..very little of it will be facts.

What many fail to take into account is the receiver. The human ear.
A fact is that the composition between odd and even number harmonics differ when we amplify with silicon vs tubes. It´s that simple,which is the main reason why we normally don´t want silicion running balls to the wall as the odd No harmonics increase at a rapid rate at that state,which the human ear feels is less pleasurable.
As tubes mix odd and even harmonics,there we have the reason why tube distortion feels more pleasurable than silicon ditto.

In my OPINION in turn the whole silicon vs tube debate,which has gone on like forever,a whole lotta people seem to lose sight of the real culprit. Does it sound good,yes or no.
One might think i´m some sort of tube taliban being the guy that spends days at end building tube amps,and this is not the case. Not even by a longshot,which again comes down to my own personal opinions. Nothing else-

I guess very few really "need" a tube amp at home and TBH that makes for that a modeling amp or along those lines makes for a lot of sense. Hand on heart tho i indeed got a twin 6V6 amp here at home,then again..i build them.

OTOH then there´s the "kemper crowd" trying to tell everyone in sight that the Kemper (or Helix..or Axe or...)is THE thing and that tubes are obsolete. Well,i´ve played around with them all and...at live volumes they´ve still got a long way to go.
Not only that but one often overlooked aspect of tube amps is their simplicity. I to this day can overhaul a tube amp made in the 30s and even go gig with it.
Try that with a Kemper that´s gone bad,as it´s for instance 8yrs old.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby jorri » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:13 am

Is this not more of a discussion on DIGITAL vs. tubes. (ok technically solid state but we are in a different ballpark, we still have the same solid state transistors doing the actual amplification, but you COULD use tubes if you wanted to and then stick digital modelling on it-its just no one wants to i guess?)
Because the Solid States of old had plenty of that live headroom, and often contained 'Suzz' and 'Sustain' circuits that to me sound pretty good at introducing odd harmonics, just that its in their own way and not a tube emulation.
The thing that used to bug me with digital amps, is the headroom using properly gain staged pedals, that didn't allow for much amplification before clipping and things got mushy even more than valve amps, so it had none of the characteristic SS quality that should be an advantage. However I've NOT tried these new ones, but I'd think this must be where they should be tested. Not in their controlled recording environment but at loud volumes with a loud fuzz infront!
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Jaguar018 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:28 am

I just got a Line6 Amplifi 75 amp, mostly for Bluetooth, headphones, and the aux input. It's pretty cool, and you can get it to sound like just about any amp and add a pile of effects on top.

It's fun. A nice amp for noodling, messing around, and more practical family music applications too. I recognize and won't quibble with any and all of the 'sound purist' arguments made about handling pedals, even and odd waves, and whatever else. It doesn't sound 'better' to me, but it does offer a wealth of amps copies and effects I'd never be able to afford in a convenient size. It also gives me a chance to scoff at all the stupid presets. "Indie clean tone??!" ""Shoegaze??!?" :derp: :-X And all of the legendary classic rock tones that we tend to dismiss as we make a stab at playing them. :-[ "Back in Black," "Ironman,""Master of Puppets,""Ain't Talkin Bout Love," etc. .

I am alse a dad with two small kids. I don't get to crank amps much these days. I don't go into solid state amps thinking "I'm going to replace tube amps;" I go into it thinking, "I'm gonna enjoy goofing around with this in ways that I can't get anywhere close to with a tube amp."

And for the record, I also have a Princeton Silverface at home and that's still my main home guitar amp.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby ifallalot » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:03 am

Jaguar018 wrote:
And for the record, I also have a Princeton Silverface at home and that's still my main home guitar amp.

This is probably what I'll end up getting. I figure if I start messing around with a band I'll get an extension cabinet or something
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Jaguar018 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:34 am

ifallalot wrote:
Jaguar018 wrote:
And for the record, I also have a Princeton Silverface at home and that's still my main home guitar amp.

This is probably what I'll end up getting. I figure if I start messing around with a band I'll get an extension cabinet or something


:D

Well, I got the solid-state digital wingding after I got a trusty ol' Princeton. Outside of suddenly finding yourself gigging in massive stadiums (and even then...) I don't think a person can go wrong getting a Princeton. :ph34r:
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Chippertheripper » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:53 pm

Aye...the second bit about the sterile thing was I'm reference to a live/loud setting. I'll play whatever at home.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Racing » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:00 am

Chippertheripper wrote:Aye...the second bit about the sterile thing was I'm reference to a live/loud setting. I'll play whatever at home.


...which IMO is the wise take on this.
The whole DSP deal is here to stay (digital sound processing). No doubt. One of my friends is an Italian guy named Marco who´s the chief of R&D for LAB here in Sweden. Maybe you guys know of LAB...highend PA systems.
Anyways.
He´s all ballistic about what i do seing that many of the amps i mod are old Italian Gelosos and..the fact that it´s tubes. Ergo we´ve on occasion been down that road as far as DSP and..switched PSU´s (ie;lacking powertransformer) and DSP is simply stated where it´s at ATM. All across the line in short and very much of the development work takes place on the PA side of things,and in turn dribbles over to the instrument side.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby jorri » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:26 am

Chippertheripper wrote:Aye...the second bit about the sterile thing was I'm reference to a live/loud setting. I'll play whatever at home.


Which is why its good to make a distinction between DSP and Solid State. All the 'analogue' effects are solid state, and because there's very little tube effects people then make the distinction between analogue/DSP/digital. A plain analogue solid state is a great live tool, better than a lot of valve amps for certain situations where headroom and a clean slab is needed. From a heavy effect user, my AC30 is now at home (or rather studio) and my carlsboro is a live tool, ideally i'd have both but its not going to happen. As for DSP i have an eventide pedal, top range, yet it doesn't take drives as well as even non-dsp digital and i'd never run it in DSP bypass.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Jaguar018 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:06 pm

There are people that can do all DSP all the time. Amp emulators connected to the classic effect emulators-- directly into the PA or whatever.

I don't ever envision I'll need to do that as my band doesn't play shows anywhere near the point where that kind of thing would be helpful. Beyond that, I like pedals too much to get rid of them for some all-in-one digital unit.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby duncanjames » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:12 am

I picked up a Quilter 101 Mini head about a year ago, simply as a backup for my tube amps. It ended up being one of the best gear purchases I've made in the last couple years. I can't really describe what's going on in there, but it feels more like a tube amp than any other SS amp I've played. Not only that, but it feels more like a loud tube amp at bedroom volumes than my actual tube amps do. Most of the time I'd rather play unplugged than use an amp at low volume, but I've been happily playing quietly with this amp.

I've had more than one gig where I swapped out my tube amp for the Quilter. Not because the tube amp failed, but because that sound just worked much better in the particular band mix I was in. I'm sure people will know what I'm talking about when I say a Princeton type amp can get kind of ratty when you're pushing it. By comparison the Quilter had more body and less fizz. It's darker than your usual SS amp, but not in a muddy way.

Prior to getting the Quilter, I felt I could never bear playing life without a tube amp. I'm still very much into tube amps and I'm not saying the Quilter can do all that they do, but if I ever had to sell all my tube amps and just keep this solid state amp, it no longer sounds like the end of the world.
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby Subgenius » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:03 am

As said solid state vs. Tube is like apples and oranges. Even many of the guitarists in a lot of cases.
I don't know of any boutique solid state but there are good ones pending on the style of music.
For the general rock I tend to like the Orange Crush PiX. I have a 35watt for a beater amp and it's pretty cool. Built in reverb , delay and tremolo models to play with . The Vox Valvetronics is another decent.
Line6 makes some great ones for the money mostly designed for the heavy stuff but I've gotten them to play very clean. Many of those have modelling effects that come in handy. The Yamaha THR100 is supposed to be killer but I've never played one.A guitarist for the Smashing Pumpkins uses one..
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Re: High End Solid State Amps

Postby sears » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:16 am

My brother loves his Yamaha THR. For boutique, there's Pritchard who has an avid following.
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