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Author Topic: 5w boutique solid state amp?  (Read 20069 times)

JayFett

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2011, 12:02:44 AM »
*Maybe*, why not?, although I guess the 2/3 price would not be the deciding factor.
Boutique amps are not sold on price but on perceived quality, exclusivity, snobishness, you name it.
I find lower price a problem, not an asset (in this particular case).


Yes... there is always that 'product pricing' problem... how much to charge for the item... finding the optimal price point.

Retro Channel is charging $975 for a RR1 (100W head) though a dealer. It sounds like a tube amp, it behaves like a tube amp, with improvements. I think they are doing it right. They have some room to move the price lower to adjust to demand and supply fluctuations.


J M Fahey

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2011, 06:02:52 AM »
Yes, that's the way to do it.
Marshall fell from the sky when they started offering cheap amps, including 10W "free with your first guitar" types and "2W" 9V battery powered ones, Mesa Boogie never will.

joecool85

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 04:21:15 PM »
Yes, that's the way to do it.
Marshall fell from the sky when they started offering cheap amps, including 10W "free with your first guitar" types and "2W" 9V battery powered ones, Mesa Boogie never will.

Yeah, it's no longer an elusive/exclusive club to own a Marshall - anyone can afford them now.  Also, their solid state offerings don't seem to have much in the way of quality or tone in my experience.  Better to just get a Fender if you are in that price range.  I still think Fender cancelling the Frontman 65R was a dumb move btw.
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JayFett

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2011, 09:11:02 PM »
Yes, that's the way to do it.
Marshall fell from the sky when they started offering cheap amps, including 10W "free with your first guitar" types and "2W" 9V battery powered ones, Mesa Boogie never will.

Yeah, it's no longer an elusive/exclusive club to own a Marshall - anyone can afford them now.  Also, their solid state offerings don't seem to have much in the way of quality or tone in my experience.  Better to just get a Fender if you are in that price range.  I still think Fender cancelling the Frontman 65R was a dumb move btw.

Regarding the Fender 65R, did it sound and behave like a tube amp? (I have not heard one)
.

joecool85

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2011, 06:25:45 AM »
Regarding the Fender 65R, did it sound and behave like a tube amp? (I have not heard one)
.

I wouldn't say they sounded like a tube amp, but they were a cheap and reliable solid state amp with excellent clean section and a real spring reverb.  65w RMS with a 12" speaker.  Some people liked the OD channel others didn't, but regardless you could always use just the clean section and run the pedals in front of it.
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JayFett

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2011, 02:28:21 PM »
Regarding the Fender 65R, did it sound and behave like a tube amp? (I have not heard one)
.

I wouldn't say they sounded like a tube amp, but they were a cheap and reliable solid state amp with excellent clean section and a real spring reverb.  65w RMS with a 12" speaker.  Some people liked the OD channel others didn't, but regardless you could always use just the clean section and run the pedals in front of it.

That's what I suspected. Fender has shifted it's SS amp focus to all DSP driven (Mustang series, G-DEC) chip amps to approximate the tube amp sound. Fender has even put DSP into real tube amps (Vintage Modified Amp series) to try and make them sound like different tube amps. I don't know if these amps actually inspire anyone other than amateurs (vs. professionals). But it is a huge market, and it makes money.

To me, DSP SS amps are like online sex... something is missing. I think it's the 'feel'.

phatt

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2011, 09:05:18 AM »
Regarding the Fender 65R, did it sound and behave like a tube amp? (I have not heard one)
.

I wouldn't say they sounded like a tube amp, but they were a cheap and reliable solid state amp with excellent clean section and a real spring reverb.  65w RMS with a 12" speaker.  Some people liked the OD channel others didn't, but regardless you could always use just the clean section and run the pedals in front of it.

That's what I suspected. Fender has shifted it's SS amp focus to all DSP driven (Mustang series, G-DEC) chip amps to approximate the tube amp sound. Fender has even put DSP into real tube amps (Vintage Modified Amp series) to try and make them sound like different tube amps. I don't know if these amps actually inspire anyone other than amateurs (vs. professionals). But it is a huge market, and it makes money.

To me, DSP SS amps are like online sex... something is missing. I think it's the 'feel'.

Very good :tu: Thanks I needed a good laugh ;D

This may have been said already,,,but heck what is a good tube amp supposed to sound like anyway????
Some folks ideas on great sound has little to do with tone. :o
Phil.

JayFett

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2011, 03:51:39 PM »
Regarding the Fender 65R, did it sound and behave like a tube amp? (I have not heard one)
.

I wouldn't say they sounded like a tube amp, but they were a cheap and reliable solid state amp with excellent clean section and a real spring reverb.  65w RMS with a 12" speaker.  Some people liked the OD channel others didn't, but regardless you could always use just the clean section and run the pedals in front of it.

That's what I suspected. Fender has shifted it's SS amp focus to all DSP driven (Mustang series, G-DEC) chip amps to approximate the tube amp sound. Fender has even put DSP into real tube amps (Vintage Modified Amp series) to try and make them sound like different tube amps. I don't know if these amps actually inspire anyone other than amateurs (vs. professionals). But it is a huge market, and it makes money.

To me, DSP SS amps are like online sex... something is missing. I think it's the 'feel'.

Very good :tu: Thanks I needed a good laugh ;D

This may have been said already,,,but heck what is a good tube amp supposed to sound like anyway????
Some folks ideas on great sound has little to do with tone. :o
Phil.

Exactly...! What is 'tone'?  Using words to describe tone, is like using dance to describe architecture. Something is lost in the translation.

Moby

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2011, 10:50:18 AM »
How about an aggressive marketing campaign that exposes some tube myths?

I could see the add copy; "Experts in a double blind test couldn't tell the difference between the Retrostein 20 and a 1966 Vibro Champ."

How about this for a segment on Penn and Tellers BS? Build a quality amp with a chassis design that prominently displays its tubes. The secret is that only the heaters are hooked up and the tubes aren't part of the actual amp circuit at all.  It's all SS. Have folks test it and let them eloquently rave on about the tube warmth.

J M Fahey

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2011, 02:19:59 AM »
Quote
Build a quality amp with a chassis design that prominently displays its tubes. The secret is that only the heaters are hooked up and the tubes aren't part of the actual amp circuit at all.  It's all SS. Have folks test it and let them eloquently rave on about the tube warmth.
Weeeelllll .... er ..... I did just that. ::)
I'm still being praised about their killer sound. ;)
Fact is, sound *is* killer, but would have never been publicly recognized were it not for the orange glow inside the heads.
Filaments are in series and if you pull one tube, the sound dies, "proving" the tubes are there for something and are not just props.
Best part, some musicians have replaced original tubes with expensive NOS types and reported improved sound.
Oh well.

Moby

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2011, 06:09:29 PM »
Quote
Build a quality amp with a chassis design that prominently displays its tubes. The secret is that only the heaters are hooked up and the tubes aren't part of the actual amp circuit at all.  It's all SS. Have folks test it and let them eloquently rave on about the tube warmth.
Weeeelllll .... er ..... I did just that. ::)
I'm still being praised about their killer sound. ;)
Fact is, sound *is* killer, but would have never been publicly recognized were it not for the orange glow inside the heads.
Filaments are in series and if you pull one tube, the sound dies, "proving" the tubes are there for something and are not just props.
Best part, some musicians have replaced original tubes with expensive NOS types and reported improved sound.
Oh well.

Wait!  Let me get this straight.  You actually built an amp with tube filaments in the signal chain?  And then marketed it as a tube amp (which technically is true but...).   :lmao:

Did you also throw in massive power and output transformers?  If so you should put brass covers on the transformers and charge an additional $500 for the "limited edition model".

J M Fahey

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2011, 06:32:23 PM »
Yes.
Actually the current through the filaments was rectified and charged a capacitor; after some 20 seconds that triggered a relay in series with the speaker output, so it did not have turn-on thump.
Very realistic.
It had an output (auto) transformer too, with actual working 2/4/8 impedance taps.
It was built half as a prank, half to set up a dispute.
I won  ;)
I let them play for about 3 months, until one fateful night I pulled the tubes and replaced them with a piece of wire shorting the filament pins.
Their jaws dropped so much they cracked the floor :lmao:

Moby

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2011, 07:19:21 PM »
Yes.
Actually the current through the filaments was rectified and charged a capacitor; after some 20 seconds that triggered a relay in series with the speaker output, so it did not have turn-on thump.
Very realistic.
It had an output (auto) transformer too, with actual working 2/4/8 impedance taps.
It was built half as a prank, half to set up a dispute.
I won  ;)
I let them play for about 3 months, until one fateful night I pulled the tubes and replaced them with a piece of wire shorting the filament pins.
Their jaws dropped so much they cracked the floor :lmao:

That's beautiful!   :tu:

Before giving away the secret you should've swapped out several brands of tubes and asked their opinion on the various tonal characteristics.  Gives a whole new meaning to double blind test.

joecool85

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2011, 11:35:19 AM »
Juan, somehow this doesn't surprise me.  But it's still good to hear.  Was this one of your "normal" amp circuits just rigged with the "tubes"?
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J M Fahey

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Re: 5w boutique solid state amp?
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2011, 02:02:03 PM »
It was the regular SS poweramp and a FET version of a Soldano/Mesa preamp, similar to Dr Boogey or Mensur's.
You already know that it sounds *good*.
Problem is, it was acknowledged only after seeing the orange glow inside.
Some guys who know that I'm a firm SS believer, pulled one tube saying "these are Juan's gimmicks .... pulling any of these will have no effect whatsoever " .... and the amp produced no sound at all he he.
Best of all: when plugging the tube back, the sound appeared after around 20 seconds.
he he squared.