Will tube amps ever become obsolete?

Outlier22

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Here's the guys from that pedal show comparing Fenders new Tone Master Deluxe Reverb modelling amp compared to the tube Deluxe Reverb. I have found I can tell the difference between a nice 1x12 tube amp and a cheap modelling amp, but i always suspected that it was the difference in the smaller cabinet and smaller / cheaper speaker I was hearing more than anything. So I thought this Tone Master Deluxe would be a much closer representation of it's tube amp cousin. In some cases it's close enough (for me) but in others, it just isn't quite there yet.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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But products like the ox top box, waza tube amp expander and the two notes products are actually making the concept of valve amps more viable again.
If we're taking the conversation seriously for a moment (spidey senses muted) then THIS! The more people complain about "must be loud to sound good" the more these type devices will flourish and provide ways to use them in lower volume environments... which in turn won't FORCE people to use digital just because they can't play loud.

The End - Spidey senses are now turned back on.
 
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DreamTheaterRules

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I think it depends upon the genre. Copying clean seems more difficult for modelers to capture the nuances of tubes.

I think that the more complex the clean tone is, the worse job the modelers do of copying it. The squeaky clean stuff they do OK, but start to add your juicy fat cleans with some harmonic complexity, and the modelers don't seem to get those tones. in my experience... I haven't tried an newer Axe or Kemper.
 

CandidPicker

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I think it depends upon the genre. Copying clean seems more difficult for modelers to capture the nuances of tubes.


This may depend on what amp model or cab IR one chooses for cleans. My HeadRush Gigboard clean tone is relatively phat yet clean, with some reverb/delay added in for space. I use a Black Lux (Blackface Deluxe) Norm amp model, and a Choptones Fender George Benson cab IR. It's actually pretty good, and I daresay that it works nicely for any clean tones I might need. Regards nuances, I'm not sure if there are significant harmonic overtones or complexities with a clean tone. Let it be known that you can still dial in a good tone with a warm analog clean boost and tone knob, tone from both onboard and from your guitar.

Granted, it won't sound like air being pushed from a tube amp, but the clean tones are adequate for gigging or practice. Studio use remains to be seen.
 
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Rhythmisking

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I think the question itself is a bit of a fallacy because from an electrical engineering and construction standpoint, yes, they are obsolete technologically. But that isn't the reason people use them.

For an electric guitarist, the amp is part of the instrument. You learn it's idiosyncrasies and how it responds to your touch and it becomes part of your sound. JC-120's give a beautiful clean sound, and if you like it, you like it, regardless of the technology inside.

I really like my Blues Jr. which is a cheap no big deal tube amp but for what it does (small, light, low power) I really like it and it works for me in some situations. I also really like my Allen Accomplice (HW Deluxe clone) for other situations.

As long as amps themselves are part of the instrument itself -and for electric instruments they are essential- their technological newness or "obsolescence" will not be a meaningful marker for their usefulness.
 

PRSfanboy46

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I don't think valve amps are going to become obsolete for a little while. They may become a bit more niche. But products like the ox top box, waza tube amp expander and the two notes products are actually making the concept of valve amps more viable again.
I think the main limiting point will be when you can no longer buy replacement valves (if that happens).
Well Ox boxes and things like that are attenuators and let you crank a tube amp at bedroom volumes. I think that a tube amp, even though loud is just worth it personally.
 

PRSfanboy46

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Starting to become a blog with every thought having to be posted. :confused:
Twice.
Or more.
Paul made a joke once at event I went to when someone was trying to heckle him about tone wood and he said "It's most likely some 30 year old sitting in his moms basement in his underwear posting on guitar forums, and most of the time he doesn't have his underwear on!" That applies to this greatly.
 

jxe

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Paul made a joke once at event I went to when someone was trying to heckle him about tone wood and he said "It's most likely some 30 year old sitting in his moms basement in his underwear posting on guitar forums, and most of the time he doesn't have his underwear on!" That applies to this greatly.

how was the heckler at the event and in his mom’s basement? was one of them the grandfather?
 

DISTORT6

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Paul made a joke once at event I went to when someone was trying to heckle him about tone wood and he said "It's most likely some 30 year old sitting in his moms basement in his underwear posting on guitar forums, and most of the time he doesn't have his underwear on!" That applies to this greatly.
No arguing with children.
 

InTooDeep

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Tube is obsolete to me. Still cool though. I am enjoying my Fractal FM3 immensely. It sounds amazing, and my boogie MK IV sounded pretty awesome, but the Fractal nails it and 280 other amps too! Plus it plugs straight into my computer for recording. I don't regret selling the Boogie, and I don't miss the weight!
 

Tahlee

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In our age of digital modelling, you can get a fender twin reverb on your computer, but I feel like a tube amp will always be needed for some reason. Yes modellers like the Helix and the Axe fx and the Kemper blow tube amps out of the water, but nothing will beat the warm glow of tubes and the raw sound of it. What are your feelings on this?

“Blow tube amps out of the water”? hahahahahaha

Many of us would disagree with that bold statement.
 

PRSfanboy46

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I think it’s a standard line he uses. Pretty sure he said something similar when we saw him at CME.
He's definitely crazy tbh. At that event he threw out all 5 of his credit cards into the crowd.
 
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