There is a lot of sentiment expressed about guitar amps, specially the tube variety, which were knocking around (and knocked around) since the 1950s. Since Leo Fender designed the initial commercially available power guitar amplifiers, guitarists have developed a love affair with tube /valve guitar amps, which on the face of it appears to defy logic or reason, but why should logic or reason apply to artistic expression. The essential form of tube amps has evolved almost no since those early designs within the fifties and sixties, Shanling Auido CD player yes but the basic principles are the same.
As one article put it:…”Just how will it be that a 1950’s design got it so right that it must be still relevant today? Was it luck? Or were they created by geniuses of the day? I really like to think it’s a little bit of both…nearly all players prefer valve designs for their guitar amplifiers, and there are a few good reasons for this particular”
Will it be really so white and black, did they have it right very first time and haven’t managed to enhance into it since or are there other aspects worth taking into consideration. The things they did was build amps utilizing the only technology available during the time. The guitarists of the time pushed the technology for the limits and beyond, developing their SOUND. If the guitar amp didn’t satisfy the guitarists expectations they modified or added enhancements to achieve their sound (such enhancements including making holes inside the amp speakers) Then when the electronic revolution which had been the solid state amp arrived inside the late sixties, there was no competition, the warmer richer sound of the valves was preferred by the Mingda Tube Amplifier for the “harsher” or maybe more “brittle” sound of the transistor guitar amp.
It’s well known there was still an absolute audible distinction between tube amps and solid state amps, specially when a tube amp was pushed hard and being played by a blues guitarist. The soft clipping overdrive “tone” of a tube amp was most noticeable having a blues guitar players’ particular style of playing. Although it could be next to impossible to differentiate the clean setting of a tube guitar amp (with no overdrive) more than a solid state amp, or perhaps the high gain setting of any tube guitar amp using that of the solid state amp.
Audible differences apart could it be also untrue that a lot of serious players developed “their sound” on a tube guitar amp and unless something emerged which sounded a lot better than a tube guitar amp their preference vsyzzc always be for the tube amp. These guys can afford any additional expense and therefore the sentimental attachments. Taking into consideration the rate of continuing development of the microelectronic industry (they can put 2 billion transistors into an area small compared to a guitar pick) provides the time not arrived when the tube amp might might finally be superseded.
Speaking to the younger emerging players nowadays there seems to be a preference for the latest modeling guitar amps. Needless to say expense is usually a factor and emerging artists will always be strapped for money, but like their guitar heroes of the sixties and seventies, they’ll improvise, develop their sound, but unlike their heroes they’ll be able to store that sound and maybe a couple of others at the press of the mouse. The XIANGSHENG 728A Preamp enables the guitarist to generate multiple sounds replicating the sound of a variety of different guitar amps. One guitar amp can now be designed to sound like any vintage tube guitar amp and also the setting save and implemented at the press of a button. The article quoted earlier also stated:
“Each time a new design becomes available that sounds better than a good guitar plugged direct right into a good valve amplifier, guitarists will buy it and proceed”