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View Poll Results: Which do you think is 'tube tone'?
Clip 1 27 56.25%
Clip 2 16 33.33%
Both 5 10.42%
Neither 0 0%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 07-10-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Will the real tube tone please stand up?

I'm presenting two 20-second clips of the same song, recorded by two different guitarists, each with their own sound.
Now, a friend and I both agree that one sounds like a real tube amp, the other doesn't... The thing is, we disagree on which is which!
Apparently the concept of 'tube tone' means something different to different people.
Now I'd like your input on this poll... I'd like to see if the majority thinks that one clip is the true 'tube tone'... Or maybe you think we're both wrong, and they're both real 'tube tone'... or maybe neither?

Anyway, here are the clips:
http://bohemiq.scali.eu.org/Sample1.mp3
http://bohemiq.scali.eu.org/Sample2.mp3
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Unread 07-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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2nd one sounds tubier to me, but it's tough to say when I'm listening to a clip through laptop speakers.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
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It's definitely the first one. Depending on the settings of course one can sound like the other, but the first is smoother, and the second has a bitey pick attack.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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It's hard to tell with these clips and these speakers. If one is tubes and one is modeling, I'm going to guess that the second one is more likely to be real. I thought it might be the first clip at first since the second clip sounds harsher, but then I noticed the background guitar on the first clip. I can barely hear it, but what little of it I can hear has a stiffness that I generally associate with modelers. I think the settings are making a much bigger difference than the actual gear that was used, though.

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Unread 07-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Well, I should say that the focus of the debate is the lead tone, not the backing. The backing is a Total Guitar backingtrack, if I'm not mistaken.

At any rate, the posts so far seem to illustrate that 'tube tone' indeed means different things to different people. I wonder if there will be some kind of consensus as the topic progresses.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerAndSickle View Post
It's definitely the first one. Depending on the settings of course one can sound like the other, but the first is smoother, and the second has a bitey pick attack.
I'm wit da Hammer on this one.

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Unread 07-10-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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Forced to pick one over the other, I'd have to choose Clip 2. And I can't tell you why.

No, it's just that it sounds... thicker, somehow? In my store, the tube amps all share a... well, hell, how do you describe it? Warmth? Organic-ness? It's hard to say, but when I hear a Peavey Vypyr, then hear a Vox VT30, I can tell the difference, even though the modeling sounds very very similar (the Vox has a tube power section). The tube amps generally have less clarity, but more blendedness, than the solid state amps we have.

I agree with Tom, though, that the settings and outboard gear make such a difference that it can be very very hard to differentiate.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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I think that Clip 1 is the real thing. Just sounds like it to me.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 10:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerAndSickle View Post
It's definitely the first one. Depending on the settings of course one can sound like the other, but the first is smoother, and the second has a bitey pick attack.

My exact thoughts, though I'm no expert on tube tone.
They both sound excellent though, very Satch-esque.



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Unread 07-10-2009, 11:20 PM   #10
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I went with the first option. It sounds warmer.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 05:00 AM   #11
 
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to me they sound both tubby. the first one though sounds much more like a traditional one though.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 05:22 AM   #12
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yep, my vote goes with #1.

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 06:45 AM   #13
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Are we going to eventually get a reveal for what each is, or were you just bringing us in on the discussion between you and your friend?

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Unread 07-11-2009, 07:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomAwesome View Post
Are we going to eventually get a reveal for what each is, or were you just bringing us in on the discussion between you and your friend?
My primary goal for the poll was just to see if there is a common idea of what 'tube tone' sounds like. If most people pick the same clip because it sounds more like 'tube tone' to them, then apparently whoever picked the other clip has a rather unique idea of 'tube tone'... because that's what I thought of him when he brought up his ideas of why one sounded like 'tube tone' and the other didn't. And he probably thought the same of me. Maybe we just call it 'tube tone' whenever we think it sounds better, and it doesn't really have anything to do with tubes at all. Maybe we just can't really tell anymore.

I think it's interesting to see people mention the aspects that make it sound 'tube' to them, like 'smooth', 'warmth', 'thickness', 'traditional' etc.
And on the opposite you have 'bitey', 'stiffness', 'clarity'...

I know how one clip is recorded, and maybe I can find out how the other was recorded aswell, so then I can reveal them.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 07:35 AM   #15
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The first few licks on the first one have that "Glassy" sound to it....so I would think it clip one! It could possibly be clip two.....but do to the great feel of both players....that makes it even tougher!!!! You can never under estimate the power of the almighty fingers!!!!! Great players can make just about anything sound anyway they want!!!!

LOL...I just had to add.....players vibrato on clip 2 is facking incredible!!!!!! That first bend is like woo woo woo woo!!!!! HUGE sweeping motion!!!!!!

Last edited by flexkill; 07-11-2009 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 07-11-2009, 02:50 PM   #16
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I also think the first one has more of a tube feel to it. It could obviously just be the production but it seems like the second clip has a slight harshness to it. Like some EQ spike that adds a kind of digital layer over the whole sound. Obviously this is subjective to me but thats what my ears are telling me haha.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #17
 
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Thumbs down

This is a really bad comparison. Were they both recorded direct? Were they both mic'd? Was one mic'd and the other direct?

You also need to get rid of all the reverb and effects.

Also, are we talking preamp or power amp tubes? Solid state pre with tube power section?

Finally, these clips don't address the area where tubes really excel--the brown sound, so to speak. Varying the amount of saturation by pick attack and volume control alone. Always cranking the gain and playing with absolutely no dynamics kinda defeats the purpose.

Anyway, I think 2 sounds like Sansamp. 1 sounds a little more like a real amp, or Line6 recorded exceptionally well. Either way, whoever recorded 1 did a much better job on his tone. And that's really the point--if you know what you're doing, you can get tube, solid state, or digital to sound great.
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Unread 07-11-2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 03:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenstringj View Post
And that's really the point--if you know what you're doing, you can get tube, solid state, or digital to sound great.
Yea, I agree.
I guess the question is which SOUNDS like 'tube tone'. It doesn't necessarily have to be actual tubes.
If that happens to be a modeler, even though the other recording may be a real tube amp... that just means that whoever used the modeler knew what he was doing and was able to capture those 'tube tone' qualities... while the guy with the tube amp messed up.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 04:44 AM   #20
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i don't really think I could tell from those clips, they sound like totally different mixes
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Unread 07-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #21
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hmm IMO i think clip 1 is tube.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 05:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenstringj View Post
Finally, these clips don't address the area where tubes really excel--the brown sound, so to speak. Varying the amount of saturation by pick attack and volume control alone. Always cranking the gain and playing with absolutely no dynamics kinda defeats the purpose.
+1 neither of these clips is within a tonal range that a good modeler paired with a good ear for mixing/mastering couldn't get. Modelers tend to do the extremes very well - crystal clean, or super-saturated gain. It's the in-between that I haven't heard one capture well yet, though I have yet to play around with an Axe-Fx. I'm pretty I could get either of these tones with my Line-6 UX-1.

There are bits of both clips that I associate with some modelers, but then, a number of the same weaknesses I see in most modelers can be found in some tube amps, too. There's a harmonic in the descending run of the 2nd mp3 right near the end of the clip that sounds very 'Line-6' to me, but I've heard some tube amps (such as the Bogner Alchemist & Ibanez Thermion) have that same weird, nasally harmonic tone, too.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 02:16 AM   #23
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It's the in-between that I haven't heard one capture well yet, though I have yet to play around with an Axe-Fx.
Have you ever tried a Zoom G9.2tt?
I don't know what you think, but I have one, and I'm quite happy with how it responds to changes in volume, and how the lo-gain crunchy sounds respond to pick dynamics...
For example:
SoundClick artist: Scali - page with MP3 music downloads
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Not perfect, perhaps, but close enough, I think

Okay, I think most people have voted already. I'll reveal the results below. If you haven't voted yet, don't cheat and read the spoiler before you've voted


Clip 1 is a Les Paul through a Marshall all-tube amp, recorded with a dynamic microphone. Not that surprising that someone called it 'traditional' I guess.

Clip 2 is a Carvin DC through a Digitech GSP2101 preamp, recorded directly through the XLR outputs. While it has tubes in the preamp, it's not quite a traditional tube rig. One person actually remarked that it sounded like a SansAmp, so apparently he heard that speaker simulation was going on, rather than a real mic'ed setup.

Last edited by Scali; 07-13-2009 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 07-13-2009, 09:59 AM   #24
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On and on with no reveal. Your poll priviledges are revoked.

FAILPOST

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Unread 07-13-2009, 10:48 AM   #25
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On and on with no reveal. Your poll priviledges are revoked.
You may want to read the post directly above yours and edit your post.
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