Tubes or not Tubes... that's the question.

It’s the age old question… which is better?  Tubes or Solid State?  Since the invention of solid state amplifiers the debate has been hashed out by many.  But with today’s technology, it’s really hard to argue for either side of the argument.  

Amps claiming to be better than tubes are nothing new.  They are a dime a dozen it seems, but none of them truly held a candle to REAL tubes, especially to the big die-hard tube guys.   UNTIL NOW!

OK…I admit myself that I’m a tube snob.  Nothing has the warmth, dynamics and most importantly FEEL of a tube amp, no matter what the circuit.  I personally gigged blackfaced fender amps for years.  ProReverb, Deluxe Reverb, Vibroverb, Super… you name it.  Finally one gig…2 hours away… I blew a tube and had no spares.  Granted, that’s on me, but it was then that I had had enough and realized the big picture.  Nobody in the audience can tell or cares if I’m playing a 200lb tube amp or not.  The problem was that there was really no good comparison worth having.  Then along came Quilter!  Finally a 200 watt solid state, lightweight combo that actually sounded great!  Once I got the word out on the streets, LOTS of local guitar and bass slingers went to the  dark side.  And we have been there ever since.

With luck our company (Backwoods Guitar) finally scored a Fender dealership.  Of course part of the stocking requirements were these new “Tone Master” amps that were getting a LOT of traction.  Heck, big time pro players were touring with them.  So one day I finally told myself I need to sit down and see what all the hype is.  There is no way that it can be even close to a real tube amp right?  WRONG.

Peavey TransTube

So I picked up my trusty tele and went to work, ready to tear this thing apart.  After 30 mins and countless knob tweaking, I gave in.  This thing REALLY DID sound and more importantly FEEL like a tube amp, and only weighed 23 lbs!  You mean I can set this blackface amp to the sweet spot (5.5 on the vol) and keep it there at any volume thanks to the attenuator?  SIGN ME UP!

Whether it’s the Deluxe Reverb, Princeton, Twin, Super, or even the holy grail Pro, any of the Tone Master solutions have really stepped up to the plate in not only performance but also the sheer decrease in weight.  Easier to understand controls, easy to load in/out of a backseat, and with a XLR Line Out with adjustable signal level and selectable cab simulators?  Honestly folks, these amps are worth giving them a shot.  Lots of people are picking them up and loving the decision.