Power amps vs. tube amps

jakrentschler

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Hey guys, I'm trying to decide whether to buy a power amp or tube amp to run my POD/JamUp Pro XT through. I just wanted to know what the differences and pros/cons are between both. I literally WILL NOT be using any of the amp tones at all, merely using it run digital modeling. Ive been looking into getting a Peavey Valveking head (you can get them used for $250 at Guitar Center) and was going to see if there's any power amp alternative in the same price range. any help is greatly appreciated!
 

flint757

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Are you asking solid state vs tube's? Or amp with pre's vs just a power amp? The first comes to heat, weight, space, maintenance and preference. The second would have the same questions, but just comes down to wight and price mostly. Some people like the tone they can get out of their amp's power amp versus a standalone.

I know the velocity 300 clocks in around that price and seems to be really popular.
 

jakrentschler

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No, what im basically asking is say I have an Axe-fx that i want to run through a cab. What would be the difference between going; Tube Amp (let's say peavey valveking), cab, axe-fx or Power amp (like a carvin HD1000), cab, axe-fx? weigh in as many factors as you can including price. im on a low budget so low price wins that battle here.
 

groph

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What I'll call a "dedicated power amp" is different in the sense that they colour the tone less than a guitar amp.

Something like a VHT 50/50 or the Carvin TS100 wont make as much of an impact on your POD300 or AxeFX than a Peavey 5150 or Marshall JCM2000 if you're using such amps as a poweramp. "Guitar amps" have the poweramp and preamp working in such a way that they sound good together. Dedicated poweramps are meant to be used with other equipment in a rack setup so they're more transparent in their tone. That means they won't have much of an influence on your overall tone, the preamp (AxeFX or POD) will have most of the influence.

The preamp is supposed to provide most of your tone while the poweramp provides more volume, in basic guitar tone theory. In "real" guitar amps like the Marshall JCM800 the poweramp and preamp work together in a way that gives the JCM800 its own character, same goes for every "real" guitar amp (preamp and poweramp all in one unit, like a guitar head or combo amp).

The reason you have the option to use a rackmounted setup is so you can have more flexibility in your tone, you can choose your poweramp and your preamp separately so you have more options.

EDIT: Basically if you choose to use a separate poweramp that isn't also a preamp combined (IE a Valveking) is that a dedicated poweramp will colour your tone less.
 
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Hey guys, I'm trying to decide whether to buy a power amp or tube amp to run my POD/JamUp Pro XT through. I just wanted to know what the differences and pros/cons are between both. I literally WILL NOT be using any of the amp tones at all, merely using it run digital modeling. Ive been looking into getting a Peavey Valveking head (you can get them used for $250 at Guitar Center) and was going to see if there's any power amp alternative in the same price range. any help is greatly appreciated!

A Valveking head is going to give you some flexibility and warmth in your tone however its also going to introduce noise. That said, a Valveking head is also going to drive 4x12 cabinets nicely. My vote is for the Valveking.
 

op1e

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Rack it, rack it all!!! Serious, I gig and its way more convenient. Lugging heads around sucks unless its some kind of 20w small sort. I went from a Velocity 250 to a Marshall 9005 and am pretty happy. I could run 4 cabs if I wanted.
 

Tones

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I am perfectly happy running my pod hd500 through the effects loop of my Peavey ultra head into a 4x12 cab. I actually couldn't be happier with the tone I get. My friend has a rack effect unit. Digitech 1101 into a carvin tube power amp, into a 4x12 and it doesn't sound much different to me.
 

WhiteWalls

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A dedicated power amp would be better because they are designed to color the sound as little as possible, and also they are 1-2 rack units so you could put it along with the pod in a single rack. Having a real amp instead of a poweramp gives you some backup options in case the pod fails, but that's pretty much the only clear advantage I see in your scenario
 

flint757

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Yeah generally if you are going for a separated out set up I would recommend going for a dedicated power amp. Most people using amps do so out of necessity or convenience usually when only using them as power amps.
 

WarMachine

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I agree with WhiteWalls, if you use a valveking with this and something craps out with your POD, you're not screwed. I actually prefer running my pre through my 5150 as opposed to using a dedicated power amp. It gives you that much more flexibility with the resonance and presence controls. I would like to run everything in a rack but then again im old school in the sense that i like to see a halfstack on a stage, not a 4x12 and rack case.
 

Rook

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I use a Matrix GT1000FX

It's a MOSFET based 1000W (rms bridged at 8Ohm) and I chose it because:
-It's cheaper than a tube amp
-It's made in the UK (rare for a non tube based amp in this price range)
-It weighs NOTHING
-It's full range, flat response so I can use the Power Amp modelling on the Axe to the fullest; British models sound British, American American and so on.
-No time-wearing parts; nothing to change, and nothing to get less consistent over time
-Huge headroom. People like Tube Amps breaking up at volume, but the AxeFX will take care of that, I want my tone to sound the same regardless of volume
-Stereo; but so are many power amps

So I have no maintenance costs, it takes up less space than most tube amps, certainly weighs less, and it always sounds the same. Perfect for the Axe.

Not saying you should get one, but that's how I made my decision.
 


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