Guitar Amplifier Reviews - Tube and Solid State Amplifier Kit
Advances have been dramatic in the last few years
Music is an extremely important part of my life. I often sit in my sound room
listening to any number of musical albums and genres just for the fun of it.
There are many of us that have been bitten by this bug.
It’s a disease really… Because when you have heard really good music that was
recorded well and played back over a state of the art music system –there’s just
nothing else quite like it.
For musicians the addiction is even more intoxicating. There is so much exciting
gear to play on. So many amplifier, preamplifier, and effects combinations that
a person can truly get wrapped up for days at a time.
Writing Guitar amplifier reviews
is especially fun -but also very troublesome.
Why? Because when playing with ‘the new toy’ you may forget all about what you
were supposed to be doing.
After several hours of playing your favorite memorized songs you may not realize
what has happened until you ran out of songs or realized it was 2:30 in the
morning. So much for time management!
But this brings up an interesting point. The best Guitar Amplifiers will do just
that; Make you forget about everything but the music and the incredibly liquid
sound flowing from the amp. It’s like pure heaven – (almost).
Enough descriptors already, what about the Best Guitar Amplifier?
Which Amp is
best for me?
Let’s get a bit more Technical
Yes, it’s all good news except for one thing; you still have to shop smart and
know what you are buying. There are many ways that manufacturers measure and
record their specs. So when you compare a tube or a solid state guitar amplifier
make sure you know fully the product that your hard earned cash is purchasing.
Another problem that may have occurred to you is that the best deals when buying
a guitar amp is that they are USUALLY FOUND ONLINE.
Also, an unfortunate fact when buying any type of audio equipment is; you get
what you pay for. I realize that there are a few exceptions to that rule but
more often than not if it’s cheap –there’s a reason! And these guitar amplifier
reviews will only prove that point all too well.
Now that we’ve got that important tidbit out of the way lets get down to
Types of Guitar Amplifiers:
This sounds just like what it is. It is a tube input and tube output guitar
amplifier. These may not be the most readily available guitar amplifier but they
do have a cult like following.
Tube amps will sound more powerful than their power rating would indicate. If
you compare a 35 watt tube amp to a 35 watt solid state amp the tube unit is
likely to sound quite a bit louder. No one is quite sure why this happens but it
is a known fact.
Tube amps are used by most professional guitarists and preferred for their
crunchy, warm, and bloomy sound. Solid state and modeling amps cannot emulate a
full tube version as yet.
The input and output tubes in these models will deteriorate over time so tube
changes could be in your future if you choose to go all ‘tube’. I happen to
agree with most pros, that a tube unit is the best decision you can make about
guitar amplifier kits -if it fits within your budget.
Solid state is certainly the most trouble free and reliable type of guitar
amplifier. These models use transistors in the input and output stages. The
audio amplifier circuits will vary wildly from one design to the next and some
of these amps sound drastically better than others.
Output distortion is typically lower than a tube amp of the same quality and
price. These also offer you the most options if you decide to build a guitar
amplifier using solids state circuitry. There are simply more of these guitar
amp DIY kits available than tube amps.
Solid State often comes with a distortion setting as well to emulate the dirty
sound of a tube amp. Solid state amps often have a cleaner sound than tube while
tube tends to sound more organic.
These are digital amplifiers or also known as switching amps. These use software
to ‘model’ the sound of a tube amp or other amp settings. These often have many
sounds available for the guitar player to choose from.
These models can be very affordable but -be warned some of these amps can sound
really bad and harsh to the ears.
Hybrid Guitar Amplifiers:
A hybrid amp uses a tube input stage or preamp stage and a solid state output
stage. This is a good idea because it can utilize a tube to make the sound
natural while offering the power of a solid state amp.
Solid state watts are much cheaper than tube watts to build. A 50 watt solid
state amp will cost a fraction of what a 50 watt tube amp will demand in parts
– Guitar Amplifier Reviews:
The cabinet type is another way to personalize your guitar rig. You can opt for
a combined unit or combo where the speaker, amp, and processing are all in one
box or you can purchase higher quality separates.
Going with separates allows you more flexibility in tuning the sound to your
exact liking. But the cost of doing this will often rise considerably over an
all in one combo model. (Depending on the models you choose.)
Speaker cabinet quality is also important. Find a heavy box. The light boxes
will use lightweight materials and thin woods in their construction. A heavy box
will most often offer superior sound over a thin light box.
Corner protection is also important as the amp boxes can get pretty banged up
from moving them around from gig to gig. Choose a box with heavy corner
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