There is a lot of sentiment expressed about guitar amps, particularly the tube variety, that have been knocking around (and knocked around) since the 1950s. Ever since Leo Fender designed the first commercially available Yaqin, guitarists have designed a love affair with tube /valve guitar amps, which on the face of it seems to defy logic or reason, but why should logic or reason affect artistic expression. The basic design of tube amps has evolved very little since those early designs within the fifties and sixties, enhancements yes nevertheless the basic principles are the same.
As one article put it:…”So, just how could it be that a 1950’s design got it so right that it must be still relevant today? Was it luck? Or were they developed by geniuses of the day? I like to think it’s a bit of both…the vast majority of players prefer valve designs for their guitar amplifiers, and there are several good reasons for this particular”
Could it be really so monochrome, did they have it right very first time and haven’t been able to enhance into it since or exist other aspects worth taking into consideration. What they did was build amps making use of the only technology available at that time. The guitarists of times pushed the technology towards the limits and beyond, developing their SOUND. When the guitar amp didn’t fulfill the guitarists expectations they modified or added enhancements to attain their sound (such enhancements including making holes in the amp speakers) Then when the electronic revolution which was the solid state amp arrived within the late sixties, there was no competition, the warmer richer sound of the valves was desirable to the serious guitarists towards the “harsher” or more “brittle” sound of the China speaker.
It’s well recognized there was still an absolute audible difference between tube amps and solid state amps, especially when a tube amp was pushed hard and being played by a blues guitarist. The soft clipping overdrive “tone” of any tube amp was most noticeable using a blues guitar players’ particular type of playing. Although it can be difficult to differentiate the clean setting of any tube guitar amp (without any overdrive) more than a solid state amp, or even the high gain setting of the tube guitar amp with this of a solid state amp.
Audible differences apart could it be also not the case that most serious players developed “their sound” over a tube guitar amp and unless something emerged which sounded much better than a tube guitar amp their preference would continually be for the tube amp. These people could afford the extra expense and thus the sentimental attachments. Taking into consideration the rate of continuing development of the microelectronic industry (they can put 2 billion transistors into a location smaller than a guitar pick) has the time not arrived if the tube amp might might finally be superseded.
Speaking to the younger emerging players nowadays there is apparently a preference for that latest modeling guitar amps. Of course expense is definitely a factor and emerging artists are usually strapped for cash, but just similar to their guitar heroes in the sixties and seventies, they’ll improvise, develop their sound, but unlike their heroes they’ll have the ability to vtoyrs that sound and possibly a couple of others at the press of a button. The modeling guitar amp enables the guitarist to generate multiple sounds replicating the sound of a variety of Cayin tube amp. One guitar amp can now be created to appear to be any vintage tube guitar amp and also the setting save and implemented in the press of a button. The content quoted earlier also stated:
“Each time a new design becomes available that sounds much better than a great guitar plugged direct right into a good valve amplifier, guitarists will buy it and move on”