There is a lot of sentiment expressed about guitar amps, especially the tube variety, which have been knocking around (and knocked around) since the 1950s. Ever since Leo Fender designed the very first commercially available Yaqin amplifier, guitarists have created 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 very little since those early designs in the fifties and sixties, enhancements yes nevertheless the basics are similar.
As you article place it:…”Just how could it be which a 1950’s design got it so right that it must be still relevant today? Was it luck? Or were they designed by geniuses during the day? I love to think it’s a bit of both…the majority of players prefer valve designs for guitar amplifiers, and there are several reasons with this”
Will it be really so black and white, did they obtain it right first time and haven’t managed to improve on it since or are there 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 the time pushed the technology for the limits and beyond, developing their SOUND. Once the guitar amp didn’t meet the guitarists expectations they modified or added enhancements to attain their sound (such enhancements including making holes inside the amp speakers) So when the electronic revolution that was the solid state amp arrived inside the late sixties, there is no competition, the warmer richer sound of the valves was liked by the serious guitarists for the “harsher” or even more “brittle” sound in the China speaker.
It’s well known that there was still an absolute audible difference between tube amps and solid state amps, specially when a tube amp was pushed hard and being played by way of a blues guitarist. The soft clipping overdrive “tone” of a tube amp was most noticeable using a blues guitar players’ particular kind of playing. Although it may be next to impossible to differentiate the clean setting of any tube guitar amp (with no overdrive) over a solid state amp, or perhaps the high gain setting of any tube guitar amp with this of the solid state amp.
Audible differences apart is it also incorrect that many serious players developed “their sound” on a tube guitar amp and unless something emerged which sounded much better than a tube guitar amp their preference would always be for your tube amp. They could afford the extra expense and therefore the sentimental attachments. Considering the rate of advancement of the microelectronic industry (they can put 2 billion transistors into a location smaller than a guitar pick) provides the time not arrived once the tube amp might might finally be superseded.
Talking to younger emerging players of today there seems to be a preference for that latest modeling guitar amps. Of course expense is definitely a consideration and emerging artists are always strapped for cash, but simply similar to their guitar heroes from the sixties and seventies, they’ll improvise, develop their sound, but unlike their heroes they’ll be able to vtoyrs that sound and maybe several others at the press of the mouse. The modeling guitar amp enables the guitarist to generate multiple sounds replicating the noise of a number of Cayin. One guitar amp can be created to seem like any vintage tube guitar amp as well as the setting save and implemented on the press of the mouse. The content quoted earlier also stated:
“When a new design becomes available that sounds much better than an excellent guitar plugged direct right into a good valve amplifier, guitarists will buy it and move on”