Will we lose the sound of traditional amps or what they used to sound like.

What?

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I think the fundamental amp sounds of modelers are still pretty far away from the sound of good tube amps. Maybe they can fool people in recordings, but that is a whole other issue.

What I think is happening here is that the bar for quality of sound is being gradually lowered via lower cost and versatility of modeler products. A kid today has the choice of say a Katana with the promise of an everything under the sun range of sounds for ~$200 or a bottom line tube amp with a much more limited range of sound (albeit higher quality) for around double that or more. Throw other things into the equation such as the marketing aspect including product 'influencers', inexperienced and tin ears, the rise of recording at home, the trend of lower volume venues, throwaway culture, environmental issues, the declining quality of mass produced tube amps over the decades, the lack of any real music industry today like what existed in the past to drive excellence in music and sound, and so forth.
 

junk notes

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In a few decades at the rate we are going there will be more records made using non Marshal sounds. What will be touted as and associated with the Marshall sound may end up being some third party pedal manufacturer such as Menatone, Friedman, or any number of pedal manufacturer.

I just read an article of how one cannot really examine whether an FET Transistor can make a device sound like a tube amp. The article stated it was impossible using a comparison of tube amps against digital amps because of the involvement of the speakers, wiring and tone stack of each amp. There were too many variables.

I just bought a Menatone TBIAC and can send the guitar sound through an Effectrode SR71 or a Simplifier 0 amp, or even a Two Notes CAB M the choice being my on the pedal board. theTBIAC sound authentic to me and I have a Vox CCH. Eventually I will do a better comparison.

The point is that I feel the sond of an old Marshall JTM45 is going to be lost to history and a Vicotry amp or TWO Rock or some pedal with FETs in them will become the new Marshall sound if some group or lead player makes it popular. The Marshall Sound may be actually coopted by a Keeley or Wampler or Freidman. The name will remain but the sound associated with it will be much diferent, just like a reproduction of any classic differs. Like and old Shelby Cobra vs a replica cobra builder.

There is one thing I have not heard mentioned much if at all, how much does age affect the sound of an amp. Even oxidized wires and stiffer speaker baffles would seem to have an effect.

Rick Herron
americanrockrevival.com
Dumble has an FET input.....
 

tallcoolone

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In your dreams

Not dreams, experience. With both tube amps and the top line modelers. I wouldn't ever judge something I didn't have experience with.

I would happily throw a pile of money down and host a blind test.
 

Matthews Guitars

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"I would never stockpile tubes unless they are proven to be premium quality"....that's like saying that you would only buy new tires for your Model A Ford if the new tires are utterly exactly like they made them in 1928.

Nobody has ever proven that the best of current production tubes are inferior to the "golden age" produced tubes that were readily available when our 50 year old Marshalls were made.

When the supply is limited, or will be, is NOT the time to become ultra picky.

I'll buy the highest grade tested new tubes for my own stockpile, and then performance test them when they arrive. And I'll resell the low grade ones to some poor schmoe who only has a Peavey amp to stick them into. :facepalm: The best stay in my stockpile.

As an example, I've read multiple reviews of the Shuguang made KT66 tubes and all the reviews are positive. They're not quite exactly the same sounding tube as a GEC original, being more "Billy Gibbons" than "Santana" in their tonality, but I'm running a set of them now in my '69 Plexi and it sounds VERY good indeed.

What you CAN say about most current production tubes is that their range of quality and performance will be broader than that of the golden age tubes when they were new and the lines were still cranking them out by the truckload. Back then they not only COULD, but NEEDED to weed out the under performers and sell only superior quality tubes or lose business to a competitor. But today, you KNOW that the Russians and Chinese will be shipping any tube that meets a defined minimum specification, or better, and will thus ship a tube that would never make it out of the Mullard, GE, or Telefunken factory if one of their tubes had that minimal level of performance.
 

StingRay85

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Not dreams, experience. With both tube amps and the top line modelers. I wouldn't ever judge something I didn't have experience with.

I would happily throw a pile of money down and host a blind test.

Ok I'll try to be open minded. Do you think it can do something like this?



 
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giblesp

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Well, we lost the sound of traditional amps once they started being distorted.

More studios and players are using Kemper or equivalent, because of the time and money saved.

I won't stop using Les Paul and Marshall personally, what other people use is up to them.
 

tallcoolone

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Ok I'll try to be open minded. Do you think it can do something like this?




I have spent time with the Helix and the AxeII and of course they can—from the quick listen I just gave it there is nothing special about that tone. Try the stuff out—just be prepared to spend a few weeks learning the tech. If there is a ‘down side’ that would be it. Running through a PA, near fields or a stage monitor the tones are fantastic. Some use them with power amps and guitar cabs but I have plenty of tube amps for that. Maybe that’s why I’m such a believer; ‘amp in the room’ isn’t really a modeler issue, it’s a monitoring issue.

If you are not afraid to spend time with this stuff the capabilities are endless really.
 

GregM

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Are you sure they ever sounded that good?
Unless you yourself recorded in well defined parameters, how do you know what it sounded like recorded?
And everyone's hearing deteriorates over time in different ranges so maybe you think your hearing is great but it's less at certain frequencies.
Will we ever know?
 

dannylerch

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My old band once played Gooski's in Pittsburgh while on tour. I cranked my 100w plexi and the other guitarist cranked his 100w JCM 800. We are now known as the loudest band to ever play Gooski's. You don't get an accolade like that by playing through a modeler or clone(well maybe a clone). Nothing beats the real deal, nothing beats a Marshall Roar.
 

BatmansMarshall

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I just read an article of how one cannot really examine whether an FET Transistor can make a device sound like a tube amp. The article stated it was impossible using a comparison of tube amps against digital amps because of the involvement of the speakers, wiring and tone stack of each amp. There were too many variables.

Rick Herron
americanrockrevival.com

The more you experience tube amps the more you realize how inconsistent they are even between the same models. You must adjust them separately to bring them into line with each other. Marshall doesn't sell a JCM800 exact tone or a Plexi 1959 exact tone. It sells a series of amps that sound similar but each has subtle differences. Hand-wired amps are notorious for this which is why vintage gear sounds so much different compared to the assembly line modern version. Custom gear is a whole other level of variation again.

These amps specifically won't last forever but that series tone can be maintained through future releases. If you want the exact tone from an exact amp then you have a few choices. You get that exact amp. You get a version of that amp from the same series and accept you need to find your own sweet spots with it. You digitally profile the exact amp you want that tone from and it is retained. A Kemper can do this. The best modeling amp software and hardware use specific amps and cabs found in studios around the world that happen to have that really special one from a selection they have used through the years.

What is very interesting is the whole world of Impulse Responses using microphones some costing thousands on cabs and speakers of all ages, types, combinations, distances and environmental considerations. IRs in a load box with a head of your choice sound amazing.
 

noxover

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I'm an old guy, 59, been playing since I was 14. Tube amps all the way, I had Ampegs mainly with a few Marshalls along the way. Gigging through the 80s, now I just play in the house. Never was a fan of pedals but last year I decide to give the Tone City Model M a try thinking that it's been 40+ years and technology surely should have improved. Unfortunately, I was not impressed, preferring the sound of a 5watt Monoprice tube amp to the Model M. It's not that the pedal sounded "bad" it just sounded like a pedal even to my old blown out ears. I've tried a couple modeling amps at a shop when one of my sons was taking guitar lessons and felt the same way, close, but not there.
Incidentally with the ability to work from home, more time with no commute, I picked up a Hammond M-3 organ, the B-3's little brother, great shape for a 1956 model. If you think tube guitar amp technology is dying google the prices of a Hammond B-3,C-3 or A100. The newest possible models are 47 years old.
The organ boards have the same discussion, new keyboards get really close to the sound and don't weight 400 lbs, plus the Leslie. But they're not quite there, yet. Dannylerch the loudest band I ever heard was Black Flag at Pittsburgh's old Electric Banana, Zara's Restaurant now, when we opened for them back in 82.
 

tallcoolone

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Nothing beats the real deal, nothing beats a Marshall Roar.

I'm an old guy, 59, been playing since I was 14. Tube amps all the way

I do not understand why guitar players feel so strongly about things they have little to no experience with. These aren’t ‘teams’. It isn’t ‘either/or’. I love my Helix, loved the AXE, love all of my tube amps. Use the right/most enjoyable tool for the job.

And 59 isn’t old, dammit!
 

tallcoolone

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My old band once played Gooski's in Pittsburgh while on tour. I cranked my 100w plexi and the other guitarist cranked his 100w JCM 800. We are now known as the loudest band to ever play Gooski's. You don't get an accolade like that by playing through a modeler or clone(well maybe a clone). Nothing beats the real deal, nothing beats a Marshall Roar.
I’d rather be the best band myself?
 

NotSure

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We are now known as the loudest band to ever play Gooski's.
I’d rather be the best band myself?
Spinal Tap would disagree:
eleven.jpg
 

StingRay85

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I have spent time with the Helix and the AxeII and of course they can—from the quick listen I just gave it there is nothing special about that tone. Try the stuff out—just be prepared to spend a few weeks learning the tech. If there is a ‘down side’ that would be it. Running through a PA, near fields or a stage monitor the tones are fantastic. Some use them with power amps and guitar cabs but I have plenty of tube amps for that. Maybe that’s why I’m such a believer; ‘amp in the room’ isn’t really a modeler issue, it’s a monitoring issue.

If you are not afraid to spend time with this stuff the capabilities are endless really.

Calling it nothing special simply tells us that you have no clue what you're talking about. Tube amps survived the solid state revolution, and surely will also survive the modelling devolution. It cannot be replaced, just like a singer will also never be replaced by a simulated voice. You can see some things in the future that guitar playing is not longer needed, you just use a program to give you the input signal to the model to create you the guitar track. But will it ever reach the same quality? I don't think so...

Use the right tool for the job, that I agree on. Use the expensive amps for recording. When the sound doesn't matter so much, use the digital.
 
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Mike J

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As others have said, the sound is most important thing, regardless of how it was produced. I've heard tracks recorded with moderm modelers that sound great. I also remember a time in a "professional" studio. We had an awesome tone dialed in on a DSL but a noob engineer dropped a 57 right in the center of the dust cap AND slapped a high pass filter on the track. Talk about low end floating off into the ether. Jeez. It sounded like it was done on a cassette recorder from the 70's with a built in mic. When all is said and done, if you're happy with the end result, regardless if it was done with a 1959, a 2203 or an Axe-FX, it was a success. It really doesn't matter how you get there.
 

tallcoolone

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@StingRay85 I’ve owned over a hundred tube amps and played hundreds of gigs using both amps and modelers. I’ll put my experience up there with anyone’s.

What exactly are you basing your opinions on?
 

Justin Whitstine

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I'm using a Neural DSP plugin on my computer and it's very very close sounding. Close enough where I couldn't tell in a recording. It's not as fun to play as a real amp blastin full throttle, but that's mainly because of the lower volume. If I was stuck in a camper or travelling, the plugin route with a laptop & no amp is a great convenience.

Any way I babbled on about that just to say the Marshall sound will always be here in some way or the other. May have a different form factor, appearance, or a different name on the front. But the tone will live on. And there will always be purists and guys cloning old plexi amps.

I have a tube Marshall & a small solid state Marshall with an 8" speaker. If you run the tiny solid state Marshall through a big cab ala Johan Sedgeborn, it sounds REALLY good. Not as good as the tubes of course, but really close. In any format LONG LIVE MARSHALL!
 
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Derek S

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Depends on just where the OP believes their sound will be forgotten/unfamiliar, LIVE/BAND settings or studio/recordings/radio/phones/youtube, social media, etc. Live, probably not, not fully anyway, but in every other way, probably, in fact, I personally believe the technology and application is already there. So in the end you have to ask yourself what is paramount for you when it comes to guitar sounds, both as a fan or player...the live, raw feel of a tube amp or the tone you're hearing. As a lifelong player and several decades worth or studio recording/session work, etc...I like and plan to use both because for me, tone is paramount, feel comes shortly after that.
 


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