New era for solid state amps

kamisama

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With the recent shortage of tubes, I've been wondering if this could perhaps spur amp companies to get more innovative with solid state amps? I don't know if there's a lot of purists in these companies regarding tubes, but considering the lack of sheer quantity regarding tubes, I think it would be a great time for more companies to start experimenting and manufacturing solid states. There's quite a few in-stock at Sweetwater, but even then, it's still as dry as the in-stock tube amps. Would be cool to see entirely new lines of high-quality, innovative solid states. At this rate, I don't think the investment into them can be any more of a risk than going out of business via lack of tubes. Get creative and go wild, amp companies.

...

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the tube situation. I don't know enough about amp internals to know whether or not this is a viable solution, but I think a lot of players would be willing to spend money on solid states made by bigger companies (Peavey, Mesa, EVH, etc..) if they go absolutely balls-to-the-wall crazy with their quality and sound, and in general it would just be really cool to see them existing. Dimebag's entire legacy was built on solid states, so I don't think it's that insane of an idea.
 
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laxu

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Solid-state amps already probably outsell tube amps by a significant margin. They just happen to be entry level digital modeling units like your Boss Katanas, Orange Crush and whatnot. Then Fender has come in the higher price scale with their Tonemaster series.

Quilter and BluGuitar amps are probably the only truly high end non-digital fully solid-state or hybrid amps on the market.

JJ still makes tubes in Slovakia so the current situation will only cause more demand for them, probably meaning tubes are going to just be more expensive and harder to get.

I only have one tube amp and I'm pretty much covered for preamp tubes at least.
 

MASS DEFECT

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They just need to bring back solid state amps with transformers like the Peavey XXL. Those SS amps have some warmth and speaker-amp interaction that sounded closer to how OTs in tube amps give you that in the room resonance.

Or probably do high headroom (minimum 500 watts) poweramps + modeling preamp in one head package that is PRO LEVEL. Sort of a Kemper Toaster Amp but more affordable but still good for pro gigging.

If BluGuitar makes an amp head with bigger (and warmer sounding) power amp, I'd be all for it.
 

bostjan

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This is a total guess, but I think a lot of why guitarists are crazy about tube amps is because of two inter-related things a) guitar players tend to resist change unless one of their heroes not only used a piece of gear, but advertised it and b) manufacturers tend to resist change and even when they do change something, are far more likely to alter an existing design than to start from the ground up, spending a lot less money on R&D for new tech.

So, everybody wants a tube amp, because EVH used a tube amp, but also everybody wants a tube screamer, which is essentially a solid state preamp, in front of their tube amp. :shrug:

That aside, though, think about all of the players who used Roland JC-120s or Rockman or those old Kustoms. Dimebag seems to polarize people over his tone, but he used solid state heads. ZZ Top used solid state amps, at least live, and there are countless others who kept fairly hush-hush about using the cheaper SS heads. I've used both SS and Tube heads. Cheap SS amps are better than cheap tube amps :2c: and really nice SS amps are just more difficult to come by. But even some of the shit that gets a bad reputation is probably way better than most people in general think - a lot of the perception is due to noob players plugging them in, diming the bass and treble, nuking the mids, diming the gain, and then doing their bad impersonation of EVH playing something that sounds only vaguely like Eruption.
 

kamisama

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Solid-state amps already probably outsell tube amps by a significant margin. They just happen to be entry level digital modeling units like your Boss Katanas, Orange Crush and whatnot. Then Fender has come in the higher price scale with their Tonemaster series.

Quilter and BluGuitar amps are probably the only truly high end non-digital fully solid-state or hybrid amps on the market.

JJ still makes tubes in Slovakia so the current situation will only cause more demand for them, probably meaning tubes are going to just be more expensive and harder to get.
Or probably do high headroom (minimum 500 watts) poweramps + modeling preamp in one head package that is PRO LEVEL. Sort of a Kemper Toaster Amp but more affordable but still good for pro gigging.
So would it even matter for other companies to make new high quality solid state amps when Kemper, Axe FXIII, and BluGuitar exist? But at the same time, it looks like the Badlander's one of the only high-gain tube amps selling well right now (not sure about the 5150's, but maybe them as well). The Dual Rectifier is still in production, but none are to be found. Same for various EVH models: nine 5150III 50 watts and four 100 watt's in stock at Sweetwater at the time of typing this out, though the new Iconics are doing well on stock.

It doesn't look like the shortage will end any time soon. Even Marshall's DSL20HR is going out of stock fast, and that's supposedly one of the best entry-level high-gain tube amps. Options are going fast. We can even expect Iconics and Badlanders to run dry eventually.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Both solid states and tube amps are limited in variety right now. It would be cool to see something other than the Kemper toaster, Badlander, and 5150 Iconic, but I suppose it is what it is.
 
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MASS DEFECT

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This is a total guess, but I think a lot of why guitarists are crazy about tube amps is because of two inter-related things a) guitar players tend to resist change unless one of their heroes not only used a piece of gear, but advertised it and b) manufacturers tend to resist change and even when they do change something, are far more likely to alter an existing design than to start from the ground up, spending a lot less money on R&D for new tech.

So, everybody wants a tube amp, because EVH used a tube amp, but also everybody wants a tube screamer, which is essentially a solid state preamp, in front of their tube amp. :shrug:

That aside, though, think about all of the players who used Roland JC-120s or Rockman or those old Kustoms. Dimebag seems to polarize people over his tone, but he used solid state heads. ZZ Top used solid state amps, at least live, and there are countless others who kept fairly hush-hush about using the cheaper SS heads. I've used both SS and Tube heads. Cheap SS amps are better than cheap tube amps :2c: and really nice SS amps are just more difficult to come by. But even some of the shit that gets a bad reputation is probably way better than most people in general think - a lot of the perception is due to noob players plugging them in, diming the bass and treble, nuking the mids, diming the gain, and then doing their bad impersonation of EVH playing something that sounds only vaguely like Eruption.


^Truth. The last innovative SS Head was the ISP Theta Head. It had all the features and it sounded great. But people are not comfortable with spending a lot of money for SS Heads when during that time, they can buy a 6505 for $500. Completely disregarding the Theta's massive clean headroom, twin ISP decimators and completely independent channels. Then came out the Boss WAZA Amp, which was completely out of the market-price range.

Guitar players are a superstitious and conservative lot.
 

LostTheTone

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Who needs SS when you have plugins? #jba5150

This is effectively the truth.

Like most complex solid state things, there quickly comes a time where there is no reason not to just implement them in software. There's a very few examples where you need extreme reliability where you'd rather have circuits but there is very little reason not to just push software modelling. It's not even clear what "innovation" in solid state amps would mean when we already have VSTs.
 

kamisama

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This is effectively the truth.

Like most complex solid state things, there quickly comes a time where there is no reason not to just implement them in software. There's a very few examples where you need extreme reliability where you'd rather have circuits but there is very little reason not to just push software modelling. It's not even clear what "innovation" in solid state amps would mean when we already have VSTs.
yes but aren't high quality solid states considered the best for plugins, or is that a myth?
 

LostTheTone

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yes but aren't high quality solid states considered the best for plugins, or is that a myth?

Nah.

The amps they make models of are generally the sexy and expensive valve amps. And if you're running a VST then any transparent power section will work fine to get you into a speaker, you don't need anything in particular and you can get plenty of "just a power section" amps that are build for the job without needing to be a head.
 

kamisama

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Nah.

The amps they make models of are generally the sexy and expensive valve amps. And if you're running a VST then any transparent power section will work fine to get you into a speaker, you don't need anything in particular and you can get plenty of "just a power section" amps that are build for the job without needing to be a head.
sounds cool, i'm really technologically illiterate even when it comes to amps so i appreciate the advice. have been trying to figure out the difference between plugins/solid states/solid states into plugins/modeling amps into plugins etc but couldn't type out the keywords on a search engine to figure it out. So the Axe FX III is basically just a preamp and you plug a power section into it, I assume. So all plugins are basically just preamps for a power section? Seems really useful, I only have a modelling amp rn and have been wanting to upgrade, but all of my optimal tube amp choices are out of stock for now (JP2C, 5150 EL34 100 watt, even the entry-level DSL20HR I've been looking forward to). Something like Axe-FX III looks like it would be great, but maybe I could wait a bit longer for the valve amps to return to stock. Maybe the Iconic will do
 

Tree

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sounds cool, i'm really technologically illiterate even when it comes to amps so i appreciate the advice. have been trying to figure out the difference between plugins/solid states/solid states into plugins/modeling amps into plugins etc but couldn't type out the keywords on a search engine to figure it out. So the Axe FX III is basically just a preamp and you plug a power section into it, I assume. So all plugins are basically just preamps for a power section? Seems really useful, I only have a modelling amp rn and have been wanting to upgrade, but all of my optimal tube amp choices are out of stock for now (JP2C, 5150 EL34 100 watt, even the entry-level DSL20HR I've been looking forward to). Something like Axe-FX III looks like it would be great, but maybe I could wait a bit longer for the valve amps to return to stock
Are you against going used?

Also, if you’re wanting to dip your toes in the world of modeling and using a power amp before taking the leap to an Axe III there are plenty of affordable options nowadays.
 

LostTheTone

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sounds cool, i'm really technologically illiterate even when it comes to amps so i appreciate the advice. have been trying to figure out the difference between plugins/solid states/solid states into plugins/modeling amps into plugins etc but couldn't type out the keywords on a search engine to figure it out. So the Axe FX III is basically just a preamp and you plug a power section into it, I assume. So all plugins are basically just preamps for a power section? Seems really useful, I only have a modelling amp rn and have been wanting to upgrade, but all of my optimal tube amp choices are out of stock for now (JP2C, 5150 EL34 100 watt, even the entry-level DSL20HR I've been looking forward to). Something like Axe-FX III looks like it would be great, but maybe I could wait a bit longer for the valve amps to return to stock

Depends on the plugin whether they model a power section or not - Some do, some don't. The fancy ones I believe do include power amp modelling at least to some degree. Some cab sims (including my little Mooer Radar) has power amp sim built in too, presumably because they predicted cheap people would use them with cheap models.

Thing is - Either the power amp is a big deal in terms of colouring the sound, or it's not. If it is a big part of the sound, then it's normally included in plugin/model versions because people want to get the classic sound. If it isn't a big part of the sound, then you don't need it anyway. Either way, when you spit out the signal from your AxeFx or your PC or whatever, you want the most transparent power amp possible to spit that into the cabinet, because the less that colours the sound the better it will play with anything else.
 

kamisama

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Are you against going used?

Also, if you’re wanting to dip your toes in the world of modeling and using a power amp before taking the leap to an Axe III there are plenty of affordable options nowadays.
I don't know if I'd trust Reverb or GC online, I've honestly never purchased a used product in my life. I'd be fine with modeling if it meant buying new over used, I'm a bit too fearful. I forgot to mention but the Iconics are also a cheaper option for me, but I haven't checked out their tones yet. Still, I definitely want a high-quality high-gain upgrade (not boss Katana).
 

budda

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I don't know if I'd trust Reverb or GC online, I've honestly never purchased a used product in my life. I'd be fine with modeling if it meant buying new over used, I'm a bit too fearful. I forgot to mention but the Iconics are also a cheaper option for me, but I haven't checked out their tones yet. Still, I definitely want a high-quality high-gain upgrade (not boss Katana).
Music stores and reverb means you can actually return what you bought :2c:
 

kamisama

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Music stores and reverb means you can actually return what you bought :2c:
Regardless of whether I buy it physically from a music store or online (I definitely don't trust GC Online, even for new), I'd still rather buy new. Just something not appealing to me about playing a used anything. Only one I'd be interested in is a IIC+ or a Mark IV, otherwise I'll take something new. Don't even have the money for those amps. There's still quite a few options between a 5150 Iconic, 53 Stealth (50 watt), and a cheap plugin. Was gunning for a DSL20HR at first, but none are in-stock right now.
 

budda

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Regardless of whether I buy it physically from a music store or online (I definitely don't trust GC Online, even for new), I'd still rather buy new. Just something not appealing to me about playing a used anything. Only one I'd be interested in is a IIC+ or a Mark IV, otherwise I'll take something new. Don't even have the money for those amps. There's still quite a few options between a 5150 Iconic, 53 Stealth (50 watt), and a cheap plugin. Was gunning for a DSL20HR at first, but none are in-stock right now.
Some people insist on new and thats entirely your call. Im enjoying my thousands saved to spend on more toys :yesway:
 

kamisama

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Some people insist on new and thats entirely your call. Im enjoying my thousands saved to spend on more toys :yesway:
it's just that i've never really done it before, habits really stick with you + i'm sorta a germaphobe, combination of those factors. but yeah there's a lot of cool used stuff on Reverb that i really like such as Roadsters/Road Kings, Recto-Verbs, Engl Fireballs etc. and you can't get any of them today so if I ever get more $$$ I'll possibly buy some
 

budda

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it's just that i've never really done it before, habits really stick with you + i'm sorta a germaphobe, combination of those factors. but yeah there's a lot of cool used stuff on Reverb that i really like such as Roadsters/Road Kings, Recto-Verbs, Engl Fireballs etc. and you can't get any of them today so if I ever get more $$$ I'll possibly buy some
Then wipe it down when it arrives or isolate it until anything there will have died off :yesway:
 

c7spheres

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I'd like to see those Mosfet's make a comeback. I bet if they updated and R&D'd that tech a little more it might possibly beat out tubes over time as the new standard because they just feel and sound more dynamic than solid state and are very tube like in the general aspect, imo.
 


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