Skip to content
Tube Amp Questions
 
Notifications
Clear all

Tube Amp Questions

25 Posts
14 Users
0 Likes
7,368 Views
Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

I have some questions about tube amps. I think my teacher had one. I'm not sure, all I could gather is that it said "Peavey Classic" on it. If it's not a tube amp........people that swear by them have a lot to answer for, because it sounded awesome. Anyway, here are my questions:

1) Do they have distortion channels like solid states? I hear people say the turn the volume up to get distortion, but I can't do that. So I want to know if they have a distortion channel with the gain knob and all.

2) Do they respond well when a distortion pedal is put infront of them?

3) Are any of them footswitchable?

4) What does 'transtube' mean?

5) Would hotter pickups mean more distortion with less gain?


   
Quote
Dagwood
(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1024
 

OWA:

I can only answer errr rather Address your original question.

Of course they have a DIRTY CHANNEL... Silly Child.... :oops: :oops:

The ORIGINAL Distortion tone comes from Tube Amps....way, way, way back in the day when the kids used to crank up there amps they'd force the tubes into that Magical, Mysterious place that gives us those wonderful tones that have since, become part of our genetic makeup. :) :) :)

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


   
ReplyQuote
sdolsay
(@sdolsay)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 206
 

Others could prob answer better than me, but I'll give it a shot.

1. My tube amp has a gain knob as do many, it also has a master volume and built in effects, delay, flanger, chorus, reverb so yes many tube amps are set up like that.
I can turn up my gain or master volume and use my guitar volume knob to adjust overall volume and still get distortion at lower levels, which is what your asking I think.

2. I actualy like to set my amp to a clean tone and use a pedal for overdrive and distortion at lower volumes, if I'm home alone, I just crank the amp for it's natrual overdrive, I like it when no one is home :)

3. yep foot switches are availible, check model, mine has one for the onboard effects, I wish it was on anything else but that, but thats not why I bought this amp so no prob.

4. I beleive transtube is Peaveys tube emulator setup on some of thier solid state amps...not totally sure on this though.

OWA, I looked online and it seems that the peavey classic series of amps are tube amps, so if thats what your teacher had you now know why people swear by tubes :)

If any of this is wrong someone please correct or add to it.

I hope this helped,

Scott

I havn't found my tone yet, and I have no mojo....but I'm working on it :)


   
ReplyQuote
slejhamer
(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

I have some questions about tube amps. I think my teacher had one. I'm not sure, all I could gather is that it said "Peavey Classic" on it. If it's not a tube amp........people that swear by them have a lot to answer for, because it sounded awesome.

Yes and possibly no. I've seen an old Peavey Classic "112" which I believe is solid state or a hybrid, but generally the Classic line (Classic 20, Classic 30, Classic 50 and Delta Blues) are tube amps. I recently got a used Classic 20 (15-watts, all tube) and I am amazed at the sound. The Classic line is considered more of a vintage or bluesy amp, whereas other Peavey tube amps like the XXX are better suited to more aggressive styles.
1) Do they have distortion channels like solid states? I hear people say the turn the volume up to get distortion, but I can't do that. So I want to know if they have a distortion channel with the gain knob and all.

Some have multiple channels, yes. Mine does not, but I can get a fairly heavy overdriven tone from it, especially with a pedal in front.
2) Do they respond well when a distortion pedal is put infront of them?

Yes!!! Well, mine seems to. Tubes seem to take pedals much better than solid state amps, IMHO.
3) Are any of them footswitchable?

Some are.
4) What does 'transtube' mean?

Peavey's brand of solid-state "tube emulation." Similar to Marshall's "Valvestate." They are not tube amps though, AFAIK.
5) Would hotter pickups mean more distortion with less gain?

Not sure what you mean. All else being equal, hotter pickups should drive the preamp harder than low-output pickups. Driving the preamp harder means more gain without turning up the preamp gain (volume) knob. Whether or not that translates into more distortion depends on a number of things. But the possibility is certainly there.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
ReplyQuote
Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Just to add a little to what Mitch (slejhamer) said;

Originally, tube amps had just one channel which played clean at low volumes. Guitarists found by cranking the amp up, the amp would go into saturation which is an awesome sounding, but mellow type of distortion. It does not sound like modern Metal type distortions. If you can listen to some old recordings from the 60's you will hear lots of this type of overdrive or distortion.

There are not too many one channel tube amps anymore, but there are a few. Marshall has a reissue that is one channel.

Most tube amps today have a "clean" channel and an "overdrive" channel. The overdrive channel will usually have a Gain control that allows you to dial in distortion. My Marshall amp will get very distorted (modern type distortion) if I turn Gain up. In addition, my amp has an extra boost on the overdrive channel that boosts the volume 20 decibels and adds some more distortion as well. This is so you can play a great rhythm guitar with distortion, and then step on the boost to play a solo. Many tube amps operate like this today.

The overdrive channels on tube amps can be very different. The overdrive channel on my Fender is rather mellow to today's standards. But it is great to get a classic Blues type overdrive. My Marshall will get very heavy distortion. The Peavey 5150 is a monster tube amp with 5 gain stages. This amp gets so much gain people describe it with terms like "insane" and "I thought it was gonna blow up". So, some tube amps can get as heavy as you'd ever want.

The problem with super high gain amps like the Peavey 5150 is that they are usually only good for Metal type distortion. They usually (not always) have pretty lousy clean sounds.

And while a Fender usually does not have good distortion, they have about the best clean channel around in most people's opinion. So many guitarists use Fender to get a great clean, and then use a good distortion pedal to make up for the poor overdrive channel. Most just run their pedals into the clean channel and do not use the overdrive channel at all. So in a way, they are using it like the old one channel amps.

Super-hot pickups are great if you play with distortion all the time. The problem with many of these pickups is they distort all the time at any volume. So you can't get a good clean tone with them. So if you like to play both clean and distorted tones, super-hot pickups can be a problem.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
djdubb
(@djdubb)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 222
 

Wes when you are playing looking for a blues overdrive do you use the drive or more drive setting on your fender amp?

"Failure is the key to success" Lee Wen; Champ vs Champ


   
ReplyQuote
Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

djdubb

I bought my Fender HRD about 5 years ago. Since that time I have been in 4 groups. The first group I was in played very modern down-tuned hard rock. For this group I always used distortion pedals into the clean channel. But then I was in 2 groups that played more Classic Rock type music. For this music the HRD's overdrive channels worked very well and I used them for a long time. Now the group I am in plays Classic and modern Rock, but most of it is very heavy, even the old stuff. We play Black Sabbath, Cream, Robin Trower.... So I am now using distortion pedals in front of the amp again.

Our last gig, Lane's amp broke down. So I let him use my multi-efx into the PA and played through my HRD straight all night. And really, the overdrive channels sounded very good, and in some ways better than my pedals. My HRD may not have heavy distortion, but the overdrive channels will really cut through on a solo. So it worked fine and sounded plenty good.

But people wanting really heavy distortion would not like the overdrive channels on my Fender. They probably wouldn't even be satisfied with my Marshall's distortion. But I really don't like super-duper, mega, hyper, super-sonic distortion. Sounds like air, or someone tearing paper. :D

Edit: I really didn't answer your question. I like the Drive channel more than the More Drive. But I will step on the More Drive for a solo. But I like the "crunch" of the Drive channel. I like to hear each string in a chord. Too much distortion sounds like mush to me.

But who cares what I like? It's all personal taste.

You can have your modern distortion, I will take the old sounds any day. Here is the kind of guitar tone I like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxxdUo4Y6O8

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

I think I'm looking for the opposite of what you are looking for. Though I'm not 100% what the difference between modern and classic is, other than modern seems to be heavier.

I'm looking for something more like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E_8bk_t5Rs

Think I asked what amps would do that, I'll search for the thread.


   
ReplyQuote
Flashback
(@flashback)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 266
 

Distrubed uses Randall amplifiers.

Honestly, I do it all from Drop A flat tunings to Open G slide. I play alot of different things and my JCM800 can nail me in the ball park of everything except surf... which I am about to sell some more gear for a Fender Dual Showman. ANYWAY my point is. Versatility is not a bad thing AT ALL. And this amplifier right here from Randall nails EVERYTHING. Seriously everything. Of course it doesnt capture the essence of a real marshall or a fender but it sure as heck can get close!

http://www.randallamplifiers.com/products/amplifiers/tube/index.asp

A guy I jam with very often uses one of these and a few distortion boxes and me and him use to play together in a Pinch Harmonic Crazy Industriall Band. I am talking fuzz boxes, mini synths, drop tuned to A flat. Yea... thats heavier than Disturbed!

http://www.randallamplifiers.com/products/amplifiers/tube/index.asp

He uses the head version with 2 4x10 cabs from avatar.

If your gonna buy a tube amp then I would definitly buy this one!

You will definitly have some big dog equipment then.

But if you want even more big dog I can show you more. But its gonna cost you!

*cough* Bogner, ENGL, Soldano, Mesa Boogie, Hughes and Kettnar and Krank to name a few companies *cough*

But in all honesty if you know a tone that you are locked in on and absolutely must have then by all means dont settle for an imitation. But I think that RG50 will nail that chunk and grind you like. But your gonna need a dummy load to handle the volume it creates!

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.


   
ReplyQuote
leear
(@leear)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 392
 

Look into MESA BOOGIE amps

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


   
ReplyQuote
djdubb
(@djdubb)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 222
 

OneWingedAngel

What type of distortion pedals do you own?

"Failure is the key to success" Lee Wen; Champ vs Champ


   
ReplyQuote
Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

I have a Digitech Grunge pedal.


   
ReplyQuote
leear
(@leear)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 392
 

ok i looked into it for ya....yes they are on the $$$$$ high side but if you want a tube amp to play Metal and Alternative rock type music, you should look into these.....

Awesome tube amps I have a friend who plays nothing but Prog. Rock and Hard Hard $*#(* i'm talking hard.... he plays through a Mesa Rectifier 2 12" combo and that thing rocks I mean from the cleanist tone to blues to in ur face distortion this amp kicks it...... Like i siad they are expensive but I think its what you are looking for.....

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


   
ReplyQuote
dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I think I'm looking for the opposite of what you are looking for. Though I'm not 100% what the difference between modern and classic is, other than modern seems to be heavier.

I'm looking for something more like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E_8bk_t5Rs

Think I asked what amps would do that, I'll search for the thread.

with the video im mind..Im surprised you are/were looking at strats?
I would think humbuckers on an SG would be more appropriate .

Hiiwatt has insane amounts of gain. perhaps you should look there.

a good sized Marshall or Fender tube amp with the right pedal could work however.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
ReplyQuote
Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

I ended up with a Randall RG50. It was a LOT more expensive than what I was expecting but it's awesome. Not bad clean but the overdrive channel is where it shines. Plus it has two overdrive channels. It came with a footswitch too.

I hope it's loud enough for playing in bands and stuff. Loud enough to drive the neighbours crazy though. They tapped on the wall. Which is amazing when you consider my house isn't attached to any other house. Tapping outside on a brick wall...........


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2