Valve/Tube Amplifiers vs. Virtual/Profiling Amplifiers?



Asked by: Emily Martin

What is the difference between a valve amp and tube?





If you hear somebody talk about valve amps, they’re the same as tube amps. “Valve” is an English term, while “Tube” is an American term. They both refer to the vacuum tubes/valves in the amp. Compared to the other types of guitar amps covered later, tube amps use ancient technology.

Are valve amplifiers better?

People who like their music loud or their bass very deep will prefer the transistor over the valve for their amplifier. Transistors are also considerably more durable and resistant than a valve. Valve amplifiers are somewhat fragile, and any significant bumps, knocks and shocks can result in a cracked or broken valve.

Are tube amps better than digital?

Heins believes that the tube sound tends to come to life when the volume is above 3, whereas digital amps “should sound good from the bottom up.” This means that if you’re looking to rehearse at home or play in your bedroom with headphones, solid-state amps may have the edge there.

Are tube amplifiers better?

But even with the rise of incredible digital effects and tube-like transistors almost all guitar players still agree that tubes sound better. In fact, most professional guitar players, and the serious amateur ones, choose tube amps over solid-state just about every time.

Are valve amps louder than solid state?





A valve amp will be naturally louder than its solid-state counterpart due to compression. Solid state amps may will require twice as many watts to be perceived on the same level.

Are valve amps better than solid state?

Answer: Tube amps are generally better than solid-state amps in terms of sound quality, but solid-state amps are usually cheaper and more sturdy than tube amps.

Why are valve amps good?

Harmonic Results
In addition, valve amps give musicians more options – thanks to the physics of how valves work. If you overdrive push a little, only the top of the sound wave is flattened. If you push it harder, however, it also flattens the bottom of the wave.

Do tube amps sound better with age?

YES! A tube amp always sounds better over time.

How long can tube amps be left on?

How long can you leave a tube amp on? A tube amp is designed to be on for long periods of time. This, however, is not a recommendation. Most manufacturers will recommend no more than 6 to 8 hours of continuous play with at least a 30-minute cool-down break.



Why solid-state amps are better?

1. Solid-state amps are great for players who want maximum headroom (a.k.a a loud, clean, undistorted signal). But without a bit of natural distortion, an electric guitar can sound a bit brittle. As such, solid-state amps are more popular with bassist and keyboard players than with guitarists.

Are tube amps still made?

There are only two factories in the world that make vacuum tubes for guitar amps. None of them are in America — but that may be about to change. Cobi Boykin works at Western Electric, a factory near the Tennessee-Georgia border.

Why do tube amps have lower watts?

Speaker impedence, which is the amount of resistance that a speaker offers to the current that flows through it, actually depends largely on the nature of the frequencies that the speakers are reproducing, and the hard clipped signals produced by solid state amps strongly reduce the available power, giving them higher



Can you gig with a 20 watt tube amp?

For home use your amp should be around 20W. For most gigs and live performances in venues that hold around 100 people, you should have either a 20W tube amp, or a 40W solid state amp if you’re playing without a band. If you’re playing with a drummer, you’ll likely need a 100W solid state amp, or a 50W valve amp.

Do valve amps need to warm up?

It is important, too, that the warmup that you give your tube amp is very thorough. If they are not warmed up properly, the tone of your playing will not be as good as it ought to be. As a rule of thumb, your tube amp needs to be warmed up for 20 to 30 minutes at least before you can start playing your guitar.

Can you gig with a 15 watt tube amp?

Small 15 and 20-watt guitars amps can be used for playing gigs in certain situations. Whether they are the best choice for you depends on what kind of band you are in, how your band manages sound reinforcement, and how much effort you are willing to put into helping your little amp get the job done.

How loud is a 15watt amp?

15 watts is probably loud enough to be heard over most drummers, but it will be too quiet in a full band. 25W ad up will get you loud enough while still having some headroom for cleaner tones. As previously stated 15-20 works but not much cleans. I’d say go for the V32 and have the additional headroom on tap.



How can I make my tube amp louder?

How to Make your Amp Sound Louder

  1. Change the position.
  2. Use a booster pedal.
  3. Swap out the speakers.
  4. Add a microphone.