HT-40 LOVE

General Discussion Forum - Voice The Sound In Your Head
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thephantum
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Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:03 pm

There is some diode clipping on the OD channels of them, which is done to knock the preamp tubes into distortion. That's one of the ways they get such high levels of gain out of them.

To me though, it sounds much better to use as little front end/preamp gain as possible and simply push the power tubes into OD. That's not just with Blackstars...with any tube amp. ;)

ray101!
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Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:32 pm

Actually it's all tube distortion, reverb is the only thing digital.

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thephantum
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Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Nope. There are definitely diodes and opamps in the OD circuit which do some clipping and shaping before it hits the V2 tube. The only thing that is all tube is the clean channel...even that's debatable since the PI and EQ are both solid state., ;)

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Classicplayer
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Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:21 pm

I hesitate to get into debate over tube vs. solid state. Many amps today are not 100% tube, although companies do advertise that their amp is "tube sound". As long as the amp sounds good and exhibits tube tone, albeit with some chips in the circuit, It would interest me. If I were in a "playing out" mode the HT line would interest me?(HT-40 or HT-60).

Classicplayer

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thephantum
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Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:33 am

Classicplayer wrote:I hesitate to get into debate over tube vs. solid state. Many amps today are not 100% tube, although companies do advertise that their amp is "tube sound". As long as the amp sounds good and exhibits tube tone, albeit with some chips in the circuit, It would interest me. If I were in a "playing out" mode the HT line would interest me?(HT-40 or HT-60).

Classicplayer
Exactly. A true "all tube amp" has at least 5 preamp tubes...one for each channel, one (at least) for the tone stack, one for reverb, one for PI, etc. Tubes vs. solid state in the preamp isn't as important as having a tube driven output stage... at least for me.

I've slaved tube amps to fully digital preamps and it can sound absolutely fantastic...although I do prefer at least one tube in the preamp stage to give some warmth and swirl to the signal. :)

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Classicplayer
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Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:37 am

I've played guitar for over 60 years, although I dislike strongly dislike the fact that I have to admit it. Throughout this period of time I have heard all the players that started in the age of tubes, then onto the advent of solid state and into the digital age with the impressive modeling products on the market currently. Still, throughout the stupendous advance and changes it still comes down to the individual player and the human element in the ability to to take ordinary equipment and produce "magical" sounds which result in a rush by admiring guitar players to search out the tools that their heroes use. One reason that I gravitated in the direction of Blackstar was that their amps have a bit of their own sound going on and somewhat different than Blackstar's current competition. Someday, sooner than later, the age of tubes will go the route of the proverbial "buggy whip" ( have you heard the sound?). Until that day I will choose the Blackstar for their ease of getting a really authentic and identifiable tone.

Classicplayer

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Dynochrome
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Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:20 am

A little diode clipping here and there doesn't bother me even from a tube snob perspective. I mean the Silver Jubilees did as well as 900s (exept SLX) and Jubilees were touted by some as great Marshalls.

I don't really think of my Solo 60 as real super high gain (like my ENGL for example). Could be stock tubes but..
But for me it has the perfect amount of gain. With gain at 11:00 I get a great cranked JCM 800 ish thing and at 2:00
is has enough for harmonics, sweep picking, pinch squeels etc. any more I turn the gain up from there really doesn't help anything (kinda like my 800 any gain past 7:30 on it just muddies it up). Never really super saturates/compresses but that's often a complaint of high gain amp users. Sounds like that just don't cut through the mix when they are so gainy that the dynamics are gone.

But being a mid gain amp gives it it's TONE and CLARITY. When you get a sound like My blackstar you don't need a pedal or more gain, it sounds great the way it is!!

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thephantum
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Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:34 pm

Ultimately it comes down to making the amp sound good. If you take a 1965 Vox AC50 and put a set of current production, Russian made, Mullard tubes in, it's not going to sound nearly as good as it would with a set of 1965, British made, Mullard tubes. I'm not knocking the Russian Mullards, they are good tubes...but they can't compare to the tubes of yesteryear.

Today's tube amp designers have to factor that into the equation of "how is this amp going to sound?"...so they compensate with a few diodes here and a couple of opamps there. The so called "purist" might not agree, but there is nothing wrong with that as it's about the sound that comes out of that speaker...not how many bottles are inside.
Classicplayer wrote:Someday, sooner than later, the age of tubes will go the route of the proverbial "buggy whip"
I agree. When modeling amps can truly capture the sound of tubes compressing, clipping and swirling....that will be the death knell. Hell, I'll be one of the first to buy one...true tube sound and response without having to change and bias tubes? Sign me up. :mrgreen:

The fact is, while close, they are not there yet. That's the main reason I don't have an ID series. Although, once it's available in the US, I will be buying a BEAM....but that's more for the bass and acoustic voicings then the electric ones.

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