There is a lot of sentiment expressed about guitar amps, specially the tube variety, that have been knocking around (and knocked around) since the 1950s. Ever since Leo Fender designed the very first 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 fundamental style of tube amps has changed hardly any since those early designs in the fifties and sixties, Shanling A3.2 Amplifier yes but the fundamental principles are similar.
As one article put it:…”So how is it that the 1950’s design got it so right that it must be still relevant today? Was it luck? Or were they created by geniuses throughout the day? I love to think it’s some both…the vast majority of players prefer valve designs for guitar amplifiers, and there are a few reasons for this particular”
Could it be really so black and white, did they have it right first time and haven’t been able to improve on it since or exist other aspects worth looking at. The things they did was build amps utilizing the only technology available at the time. The guitarists of the time pushed the technology towards the limits and beyond, developing their SOUND. If the guitar amp didn’t satisfy the guitarists expectations they modified or added enhancements to attain their sound (such enhancements including making holes inside the amp speakers) Then when the electronic revolution which had been the solid state amp arrived within the late sixties, there was no competition, the warmer richer sound from the valves was preferred by the MingDa MC368-B902 KT90 Tube Amp to the “harsher” or even more “brittle” sound from the transistor guitar amp.
It’s well known that there was still a definite audible difference 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 any tube amp was most noticeable using a blues guitar players’ particular style of playing. Although it can be difficult to differentiate the clean setting of the tube guitar amp (without overdrive) spanning a solid state amp, or perhaps the high gain setting of a tube guitar amp using that of the solid state amp.
Audible differences apart will it be also not the case that most serious players developed “their sound” over a tube guitar amp and unless something emerged which sounded better than a tube guitar amp their preference vsyzzc always be for the tube amp. These people could afford the additional expense and therefore the sentimental attachments. Thinking about the rate of continuing development of the microelectronic industry (they can put 2 billion transistors into a location smaller than a guitar pick) provides the time not arrived if the tube amp might might finally be superseded.
Talking to younger emerging players these days there appears to be a preference for your latest modeling guitar amps. Obviously expense is always a consideration and emerging artists will always be strapped for cash, but similar to 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 several others on the press of a button. The XIANGSHENG DA-05B DAC enables the guitarist to generate multiple sounds replicating the sound of a variety of different guitar amps. One guitar amp can be made to sound like any vintage tube guitar amp and the setting save and implemented on the press of a button. The article quoted earlier also stated:
“When a new design becomes available that sounds better than an excellent guitar plugged direct into a good valve amplifier, guitarists will purchase it and proceed”