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Thread: Custom 24 Tube

  1. #1
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    Custom 24 Tube

    Does anyone have any experience going from a solid state to a tube amp with their custom 24? Any improvement and if so is it big?

  2. #2
    Pincher of Harmonics Blackbird's Avatar
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    I think any guitar with passive pickups is going to sound significantly better when used with a tube amp vs. solid state. Not absolute, but most.
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    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    That's more of a "is chocolate better than vanilla?" question that's too subjective to answer. It just depends. Are we talking a Marshall Micro Stack versus a Mesa/Boogie Mark V? Or a Roland JC120 vs. a Pignose? Too many variables.
    Last edited by Boogie; 04-02-2013 at 07:17 AM.

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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    That's more of a "is chocolate better than vanilla?" question that's too subjective to answer. It just depends. Are we talking a Marshall Micro Stack versus a Mesa/Boogie Mark V? Or a Roland JC100 vs. a Pignose? Too many variables.
    +1

    I prefer my valve amp over the solid state and / or modelling amps i've owned in the past. The tone is better to my ears but is that just because it delivers what i'm after tone wise? Is it because it has vaves? Is it because it's a better quality amp? Etc... Etc...

    Each type of amp has it's advocates and they'll all swear one type is better or equal to.

    I can quite happily tell you my Laney amp sounds better than anything i've owned in the past. Not just tonally but there's a response i've never achieved with modelling, hybrid, solid state amps. I'd like to believe it's the valves that are responsible thus why i've never achieved it with other gear but truthfully.. I can't be certain.

    So... you may well go from one amp to another and find a big improvement but it might not necessarily be down to whether it uses valves or transistors or a digital model. Maybe it had a better cab, better speaker, etc..

    All you can do is audition a few amps with your C24 and see which one does it for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DenBaker View Post
    Does anyone have any experience going from a solid state to a tube amp with their custom 24? Any improvement and if so is it big?
    Yes. And YES. Well, technically it was a Custom 22 in my case but you get the idea...
    The only SS amp I've ever missed was an old Holmes Mississippi Bluesmaster.

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    I used a Roland JC120 for years with Boss multi-effect boards. A few years ago I sold that & the ME-70 I last used. For me, and like others pointed out everyone's a bit different as far as preferences, that solid state amp did much better with the digital multi-effect processors I used over the years. It just seemed to be a flatter clean that handled various effects without any coloring from the amp.

    I have a Fender HRDX that has the classic warm creamy clean tone. It didn't do so well to my ear with that ME-70, so I've slowly replaced that with various single pedals, trying to stay more analog where I can (and can afford). I also have a PRS 2Ch H combo that has a fuller clean, not quite as creamy as the Fender to my ear. I don't like what I get with the OD/Dist pedals I currently have, so still sampling different options there. My "practice" amp, used mostly during insomnia episodes since it's so quiet, is a Vox Night Train 15W. It's much flatter sounding than the other two and does pretty well with just about any pedal I throw at it.

    Depending on your location, if you can sample different amps with your guitar or one in-store that closely matches it, that would be the best method to find what you in particular like. When I sold the JC, I tried a couple different amps and returned them promptly since the guitars available in-store were nothing like my Custom 24, so once I got home and fiddled with them there I knew within a few hours I didn't like my results.

    This is just my personal tastes/experiences, others will have vastly different takes and may in fact completely disagree with me. My ears are connected to my brain, and thus all this is just my completely subjective opinion.
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    Thanks for all the responses! I'm using a Line 6 Spider III that I got when I started getting into guitar, but I don't really use the effects other than some reverb. It's probably considered entry level.

    I focus on 80's rock...Ozzy, G&R, so I was thinking a Marshall as a plain and simple setup. The Line 6 is okay, but the tone isn't very rich or dynamic which I attribute to "faking" distortion with electronics. I can swing a pretty high end model but wanted some opinions before I begin going in the direction of tubes since I know that they will require more care and upkeep.

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    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Your Custom 24 deserves a tube amp.

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    I have used Line 6 amps for years and could get nice tone. Then I tried the SE20 amp and don`t think I will go back to a non tube. I have played the newest Line 6 DT series at the store and sound ok but still something a bit sterile in the tone.

    This one thing I can do now that no solid state or modeling amp has been able to imitate is the touch sensitivity and the volume control on guitar effect on gain and tone.

    Also the solid state or modeling live for some reason don`t seem to cut as well as a tube. I went back to simplicity of a tube amp with just a couple of pedals. I love the touch sensitivity I get now and the tone change with guitat volume. I can not get the same effect with non tube amps. Maybe close but not to the extent I can with my SE20. I also have a Blackstar HT5R combo and it has the same feel. I was a big hold out on going tube( back in the late 70s early 80s I had a tube amp) but now I am sold on them. cleans are hard to beat too with a tube amp.
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  10. #10
    aaaahhhh heeemmmm.............the amp models in the AXE FX 2 are so realistic, NO ONE has ever been able to consistently tell the difference between an actual tube amp and these amp models in ANY blindfold test ever conducted. EVER. Any person who claims that they can tell, is really just blowing smoke........period. With fractal algorithms, or whatever the secret sauce, the time is now upon us where the digital has caught up to the analog. Outside of this technology I would certainly agree that tubes are the way to go. After all, tubes are what these new processors are simulating. Also, the AXE FX 2 is dead quiet, while tube amps hum. Now for the real rant.... After 35 plus years playing the guitar, one truth has become evident to me. That is no matter what rig I play through, it always ends up sounding like me. I have become aware that every guitarist has their own unique tone that they gravitate to, and aim to dial in regardless of the equipment. Also, " tone is in the bone ", meaning that ones individual sound, and musical personality are going to be communicated through the player's soul and fingers, much more than the amp. Music is a hearing art. For example, I used to get a shimmering, pristine clean tone from a Mesa dual rectifier, an amp not renown for its ambient chime, because my ears were seeking that sound. Now its a given that the Mesa is a tube amp, but my point extends beyond the classic tube vs. solid state debate. I think it touches on the first law of all music.....that is....." Whatever sounds good, IS good. " When properly understood, that statement should end any argument. Side note: My electric guitars are now a pair of Custom 24s, and that because of the wide variety of sound these tools make available. AND.....I still have the option of a Groove Tubes Trio preamp, with a Real Tube spring reverb in my signal path, and probably always will.

  11. #11
    I'm old school and like to play through tube amps. I also like recording speaker cabs with mics.

    I have nothing bad to say about the Axe Fx. I had one in my studio for a short spin and while it was extremely impressive in many ways, I didn't bond with it. Whether that was just the models I tried, or was due to the short time I worked with it, or other factors, I can't say. A few hours is probably not enough time. You need to work with an amp to get the feel of it, and I didn't have time to do that.

    However, I will also point out that both my PRS HX/DA and former Two-Rock Custom Reverb Sig amps are dead quiet; my Roccaforte Rockie was dead quiet; not all tube amps hum. The best ones don't.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-01-2013 at 10:36 PM.
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  12. #12
    deus ex machina
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    That's a question that only you can answer. I know a lot about tube amps, but I am not a tube snob. I own several tube amps, including a 2-Channel "H;" however, my main amp is a 100% analog solid-state Tech 21 Trademark 60 (TM60). The reason why I often choose my TM60 over my tube amps has to with linearity. The tone of the TM60 does not change drastically with volume; therefore, it does not need to be run at its sweet spot to sound good.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeasam View Post
    This one thing I can do now that no solid state or modeling amp has been able to imitate is the touch sensitivity and the volume control on guitar effect on gain and tone.
    The Tech 21 Trademark 60 (TM60) can do the touch sensitive/volume control thing, and it scales much more linearly than a tube amp. This guy does a great job of demonstrating the TM60 (an amp that is 100% analog solid-state).




    Touch sensitivity/volume control response is very much a function of the dynamic range of an amp's preamp. Digital modelers were notorious for having poor dynamic range up until the Axe-Fx was introduced. Now, the game is starting to skew in favor of digital modeling.

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    I have the (now discontinued) 2-12" version of the Trademark 60. Sounds terrific, especially for a solid-state amp. I'm an old Twin Reverb guy, and I haven't owned one since about 1972--they're just so darn heavy! The Tech 21 sounds darn close to a good Twin, and at 48 lbs. it's just about lift-able for me. (The 1-12", which they still make, is lighter yet, at around 30-35 lbs. That being said, I played through a PRS SE 30 112 last year and liked it a lot--I'm still trying to find out how much they weigh, though!

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    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfine View Post
    ... I played through a PRS SE 30 112 last year and liked it a lot--I'm still trying to find out how much they weigh, though!
    According to the manual, the combo weighs 56 lbs.

  16. #16
    deus ex machina
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    Weight is the major reason why I no longer own a tube combo. A fifty-six pound combo doesn't sound all that heavy until one has to hump it up and down a narrow flight of stairs without damaging the walls or the amp. Kinetic energy usually favors Murphy. A tube head is much easier to control than a combo in tight spaces.

  17. #17
    Member LindseyP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOBirds View Post
    I used a Roland JC120 for years with Boss multi-effect boards. A few years ago I sold that & the ME-70 I last used. ...
    I'm guessing carrying around an amp that was as heavy as a Toyota had something to do with that decision?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOBirds View Post
    I have a Fender HRDX that has the classic warm creamy clean tone. It didn't do so well to my ear with that ME-70, so I've slowly replaced that with various single pedals, trying to stay more analog where I can (and can afford). I also have a PRS 2Ch H combo that has a fuller clean, not quite as creamy as the Fender to my ear. I don't like what I get with the OD/Dist pedals I currently have, so still sampling different options there.
    The HRDX and all of the blackface (BF) and silverface (SF) amps have a heavily scooped tone that tends to make dirt pedals that do not have a mid-range hump sound harsh. The tweed circuits do not have the heavy mid-scoop, which is why they are more dirt pedal friendly than the BF and SF amps.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    The Tech 21 Trademark 60 (TM60) can do the touch sensitive/volume control thing, and it scales much more linearly than a tube amp. This guy does a great job of demonstrating the TM60 (an amp that is 100% analog solid-state).





    Touch sensitivity/volume control response is very much a function of the dynamic range of an amp's preamp. Digital modelers were notorious for having poor dynamic range up until the Axe-Fx was introduced. Now, the game is starting to skew in favor of digital modeling.
    while it sounded good nothing about it really showed me about the touch and volume knob of guitar how it effects amp tone. My SE 20 is very touch sensitive. I play soft less agressive and it is quite clean then attack it and be agressive and it breaks up. No need to add a pedal to get crunch. just volume control and attack. When I back off volume it does not take alot to clean up where as every solid state or modeling amp I have to roll of the volume so drasitcally to clean it up I lose actual output volume more than I like. When I am playing say a rythm and want it clean then crunch it up I can do that just by attack and volume knob. I could get much of the same attitude with my line 6 sitting right in front of it too. Yes the lead sounds good and most LEAD can sound good on anything. I am not talking about playing just lead. I also don`t have $1000s of dollars for a fractal unit and outboard gear to play live with.
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  20. #20
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeasam View Post
    while it sounded good nothing about it really showed me about the touch and volume knob of guitar how it effects amp tone. My SE 20 is very touch sensitive. I play soft less agressive and it is quite clean then attack it and be agressive and it breaks up. No need to add a pedal to get crunch. just volume control and attack. When I back off volume it does not take alot to clean up where as every solid state or modeling amp I have to roll of the volume so drasitcally to clean it up I lose actual output volume more than I like. When I am playing say a rythm and want it clean then crunch it up I can do that just by attack and volume knob. I could get much of the same attitude with my line 6 sitting right in front of it too. Yes the lead sounds good and most LEAD can sound good on anything. I am not talking about playing just lead. I also don`t have $1000s of dollars for a fractal unit and outboard gear to play live with.
    Trust me, it does the touch-sensitive thing as well as a tube amp. I am very old-school in that I tend to stick with one channel on a two channel amp, and use the volume control on my guitar as my dirt and signal compression filter. I own several nice tube amps, including the 2-Channel "H" that I used to prototype to the 2-Channel battery-less LED footswitch mod that is documented in the Amps section of the forum, and the TM60 is the amp that I use most. The TM60 doesn't do anything better than my tube amps; however, it is a heck of lot more flexible than a tube amp, and it does what it does well enough that I do not miss having a tube amp.

    The line 6 amps and the TM60 are not in the same ballpark. A Line 6 is a modeling amp; therefore, it's tones are the result of discrete approximations of continuous transfer functions. One of the things that Line 6 modeled poorly is how a true analog preamp reacts to signal amplitude reduction at the guitar. The Line 6 amp models react to signal amplitude reduction by producing lower volume versions of the "dimed" guitar tones until the signal drops below a set threshold in the clipping model. An analog circuit does not work that way. The onset of clipping is much more gradual in an analog circuit, which is why analog amps are more sensitive to touch than modeling amps. The Axe-Fx is the only modeler that I have played that comes close to modeling a true analog transfer function.

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