Will tube amps ever become obsolete?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PRSfanboy46, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 Don't lick doorknobs and stay in school

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    Well there are things a digital modeller offer that an amp doesn't, but in the end, the amp will sound better. I feel like one day I will get a fractal or a kemper or a helix or an axe FX 8 for giggles just to see what I like. I could find what type of sound I want and then buy the amp.
     
  2. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    So much of it is in the speaker/cab.
     
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  3. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized Bunny

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    Thanks, Dave.

    At the moment (in between writing checks) I'd been perusing YT for channels that suggest cab IRs for various platforms. Gotta say, when you do the research you can find plenty of websites that offer cab IRs or bundled packages thereof that won't add significant debt to you. Once you've paid for and downloaded the IRs, they reside permanently on your device or computer until you deem it necessary to clear the device of HD space.

    It's really not that difficult. Most people want to get paid for what they sell. If their product has value, more people will buy it. Conversely, if that they're selling is lip service and worthless, why buy? You won't need pay something. Only thing you need to pay for is what you've already put on credit.
     
  4. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    But they are more than just attenuators. We've had those for years. The new products these days essentially convert your old analogue tube amp into a digital solution allowing you to record silently, add IR cabinets etc. They allow the flexibility of the modelling amps with the tone and response of the tube amp.
     
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  5. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

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  6. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    With the added benefit of additional weight!
    ...
    ...
    Oh weight...

    Just kidding. I hear nothing but great things about OX. Had I not gone Kemper I'd likely have one for my tube amps.
     
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  7. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    Yeah they still don't address a lot of the short comings of tube amps. Size, weight, temperamental and expensive valves etc. But they do allow for amps that would otherwise just end up in storage to become viable again for many people
     
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  8. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    what about tube mic preamps? total garbage?
     
  9. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    No, if they do things you like on the way into whatever medium you lay your tracks down on. People will probably use 'em until the last one dies. Which is true of an awful lot of technology, really.
     
  10. Outlier22

    Outlier22 New Member

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    Right, it’s difficult to seriously say digital modelers blow tube amps out of the water when they are trying to mimic said tube amps. ...unless of course you are saying they are so close that they are indistinguishable yet lighter, more portable, and easier to use. In that case I can see your point.
     
  11. Bolt-on

    Bolt-on New Member

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    I guess it's all kinda relative as once upon a time the tube amp was cutting edge but I feel the tube amp keeps things feeling like art
     
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  12. Nice F Holes

    Nice F Holes New Member

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    Real tube magic will never be truly replicated by an IC.
     
  13. Injam

    Injam New Member

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  14. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized Bunny

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    You may be correct, yet take it with a grain of salt that digital I/O's and A/D/A converters compromise tone simply because converting analog to digital and back again causes loss of tone quality. True analog devices are for the most part unhindered regards carrying signal or producing sound waves.

    What about digital effects? These, too, have A/D/A converters built in, but because many choose buffered bypass, some of the lost signal tone is recovered. What actually is occurring? Is guitar signal "strengthened", as some might perceive, or are certain tone frequencies being restored?

    My point is, digital devices may have advantages regards compact size and weight constraints. Yet regards how they sound may be less lifelike and, as some have said, "more digital." Tubes, by default and definition, have a warmer tone quality because they are analog.

    My feeling is as the bit resolution quality of digital devices increases over time, so will the tone quality of digital devices. The integral frequency curve will be smoother in relationship so as to improve tone and sound quality.

    P.S. My previous paragraph may be in error. Hopefully, what I meant to say was the quality of tone and sound would improve because of the increased bit resolution. I realize what I've written "doesn't read well." Take it with a grain of salt that they're words to be taken at face value, not with some deeper meaning.
     
    #54 CandidPicker, Nov 5, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  15. Rockabilly69

    Rockabilly69 New Member

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    I never thought tubes could be replaced, but in the last few months, I've been using my Origin Effects Revival Drive Custom Pedal, and it's been turning all of my amps into fire breathers at the lowest volume levels. The way it brings the tones of vintage tweed Fenders, and all variants of Marshalls to whatever I'm plugging it into, is just amazing. So as preamps go, I can say tubes have been replaced for me. I'm sure somebody will build a power amp with these kind of tones soon. I still love amps and the Revival Drive makes them sound great at lower volumes that I've ever recorded at before!
     
    #55 Rockabilly69, Nov 5, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  16. 68reissue

    68reissue New Member

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    I think it will happen, but part of the fun of playing for me is having a Marshall with tubes. I came of age in the 70s, and its cool to have (in my case) a living room friendly version of the amp my heroes used.

    I do think tube amps may become a specialty/nostalgia item in the future, like vinyl records are now. Something for aficionados. They're definitely getting very close to getting the tube magic without glass. I'm personally impressed by the NuTube technology that Vox uses.
     
  17. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    Well...$HIT!!! I went from my Roland JC-77 to a bunch of really nice Tube amps...
    But than again, I still use a flip phone...and CDs...and toilet paper...


    Just kiddin' about the flip phone...


    and TP...;):p:D:D:D
     
  18. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    Quit giving away the secrets, Dave. It’s tough to be a heretic when the truth is being revealed constantly! o_O;)
     
  19. mr_spoons

    mr_spoons New Member

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    I've seen many blind test videos such as this one where the guinea pig can't tell the difference, or even prefers the modeller/profiler.



    Can anyone point me to a recent-ish video where the opposite is true?
     
    #59 mr_spoons, Nov 5, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  20. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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    Tube amps will become obsolete when there are no longer vacuum tubes being made. This may be a while off and due to the economy of scale, but a tube has a finite life and eventually need to be replaced.

    There ain't nothing like a hot glowing tube though. As a kid I'd buy old radios and take the chassis apart so when I listened to the radio at night I could watch the tubes.
     

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