A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

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A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (weemac) » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:53 am

I have unusual Peavey love story here so stop reading now if you can't hack story's about good solid state amps.
Only today I was at a vintage and rare guitar show at a music store that I have purchased many things from over the years...
Now I use a Peavey Audition 20 amp at the folk club so I can gently caress my Sg and mix in with several heavy handed dreadnought players..
In the quest for tone I have become interested in small valve amps. I took my peavey amp to the store so I could test it against a new Vox AC4tv (I was impressed with the you tube demos).
I plugged the Vox in with a new Les Paul Junior (my SGs were in the guitar show bit along with my Rickenbackers) and toyed around with the volumes and tones on both the amp and guitar. I thought it was pretty cool, and hellishly loud for its wattage.
I plugged the peavey in and gave it some volume to match the vox.
I played the first chord and then a couple of riffs and then fiddled the guitar..
I paused and then stared at my nephew (who was present). I then tested the Vox and then the Peavey again and then looked at my nephew again..
"It's not meant to be like this is it!" I said to him..
"No...." He replied..
The Vox was good for what it was (I'm a fan of the AC30 after all) but the Peavey murdered it in every department including that difficult "half cooked" sound that SS amps often kind of suck at.
The peavey was more responsive to volume changes as well, not to mention smaller and lighter..
We sought out the shops resident amp hound and asked him to find a favourite guitar and try both of the amps. He grabbed a nice strat and tried the Vox first.. Yep a good sound, he then tried the peavey, bashed one chord than looked at me...
He then put the strat through its paces and then stopped for another pregnant pause...
" Well that happens from time to time" he mused..
We then discussed how on earth this $25 old Peavey kicked a Vox's bum and that it shouldn't really be possible...

The moral of the story is:
Use your ears not your prejudice....

I went home feeling that I just purchased a great little amp for free..

Eden.
I confused Faraday's cage, with Schrodinger's cat box....
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (Grey) » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:06 am

Well the AC4tv has kind of a notorious reputation for not being that great, and you didn't mention the model of the second amp. Both of them were Vox so it's entirely possible you just don't like the Vox sound.

Some people prefer the super clean tone that solid state amps provide, neither technology is objectively "better" than the other concerning tone.
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (weemac) » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:11 am

My peavey amp is an audition 20 amp and it is about 12 watts. The only Vox tested was the AC4tv, but I went back and forwards between both a few times...
I'm sure the vox could go louder than the peavey so it's not about volume as such, but the peavey had a far better blend of tone and gain options and the vox seemed either boxy or barky..
The peavey had a nicer compression too.
If someone blindfolded me and said. "Which one is the valve amp" I hate to say it but I would have got it wrong.
The peavey has a Fenderish sound with a touch of Roland high mids and the vox sounded closer to a pig nose amp..
To be fair I'm sure the Vox will sound a lot better once it is run in a bit..

This is not an anti tube post (I have amps with bottles that I love) and I like Voxys too the AC30 is my second favourite amp..

It's just that although I own and love my cheap old Peaveys, it seems I still looked at them as an inferior amp, when you put prejudice aside, they are very well designed, voiced and built and should not be considered second class..

Eden.
I confused Faraday's cage, with Schrodinger's cat box....
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (cjj) » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:53 pm

There's actually no reason a solid state amp can't be designed to sound just as good as any valve amp. (OMG! What heresy! Did he actually say that????). Solid state amps got a bad name back when they first came out, the main design criteria being a low cost amp. So, a lot of poor designs came out, and that, coupled with relatively poor performing transistors of the day, left an indelible stain on the reputation of solid state amps. Oddly enough, as things often go in the electronics business, those cheap/poor designs tended to get carried onwards even as better transistors, etc. became available.

There is one place where valves have a real advantage over most solid state devices. This is when you push them into distortion. Valves tend to have a nice, smooth curve as they hit their limits while transistors clip quite sharply. There are ways to get the smooth clipping behavior with transistors, especially MOSFET types, but it takes a lot more care in the design than just sticking a valve in which does this automatically...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (rictified) » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:45 pm

I don't know how much the Vox cost but a good equivalent tube amp is going to be much more expensive than a good SS amp, in other words for equivalent quality and sound you're going to pay more for a tube amp. Compare an equivalently equipped tube amp to a tube amp and usually the tube amp will sound better.
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (Folkie) » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:49 pm

I own a solid state Fender Princeton Chorus, and it's a true workhorse. It sounds great with all my guitars, including my Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster, PRS SE Tremonti, Guild X-170 hollowbody, and two Rickenbacker 12-strings. And it does better with effects pedals than my Vox AC15C1. The PC really sings with my Boss GT-100 multi-effects unit, Cry Baby wah, and JangleBox JB2. The onboard stereo chorus is the best I've ever heard, very lush and beautiful. A few of my guitars sound great plugged directly into the amp: my Guild X-170 archtop is a perfect example. The amp is 65 watts, and is plenty loud enough for gigging. It cost me less than $400 in 1997, and the used ones sell for around $150! It's very lightweight and easy to transport (especially without having to worry about damaging tubes). 8)
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (weemac) » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:50 pm

I have one of those Princeton Chorus amps and I agree with you!

Eden.
I confused Faraday's cage, with Schrodinger's cat box....
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (Folkie) » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:33 am

You're not going to believe this, Eden. About fifteen years ago, I tried out a '58 Fender Bassman reissue, thought it sounded great in the store, and then took it home. (I was a big Buddy Guy fan at the time.) I did an A/B comparison, and the sound of the Bassman was very midrangey and boxey, with none of the punch and sparkle of my Princeton Chorus. Hard to believe, considering the hype that surrounds the Bassman amps, and the fact that (at that time at least) they cost three times as much as their solid state Fender counterparts. :shock:
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (jps) » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:45 am

Folkie wrote:...I tried out a '58 Fender Bassman reissue, thought it sounded great in the store, and then took it home. (I was a big Buddy Guy fan at the time.) I did an A/B comparison, and the sound of the Bassman was very midrangey and boxey, with none of the punch and sparkle of my Princeton Chorus. Hard to believe, considering the hype that surrounds the Bassman amps, and the fact that (at that time at least) they cost three times as much as their solid state Fender counterparts. :shock:

I don't recall, what were the solid state counterparts to the RI '59 Bassman amp? I know of the RI '65 Super Reverb and the Hot Rod Deville 410 amps but those are tube models; what are the 410 solid state amp you are referring to?
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (Folkie) » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:36 pm

I'm referring to the solid state modeling amps, like the Cyber Twin and Cyber Deluxe, which supposedly emulated the '59 Bassman reissue and an assortment of other classic Fender tube amps. Now there's a new line of Fender modeling amps which cost a fraction of the tube reissues. My point is just that you can get some really cool (and authentic) vintage sounds from solid state amps. They may not be a status symbol to own, but they offer great bang (and tone) for the buck. 8)
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (jps) » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:45 pm

I know a couple of guys who have Cyber Twins. I have not had the opportunity to try one, myself, yet.

Did I ever tell you about these twins I knew in high school........... :wink:
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Re: A slightly disturbing amplifier tale....

Postby (Folkie) » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:57 pm

Apparently Jason Mendelson used a Cyber Twin for his beautiful series of Christmas carols played on his 366/12V64. In fact, he used the Fender Bassman patch for my favorite song: "I Saw Three Ships." Jangle heaven! 8)
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