Originally Posted by nedorama
Not sure where you got solid state champ - the poster said he has a SF Champ, which is a Silverface, or post 1968 amp. The Champ, Princeton, Princeton Reverb and Deluxe Reverb were all nearly identical amps post CBS buyout and are a great deal. They are full tube, hardwired, and nothing solid state about it.
We all know your prejudice against small amps, which is fine. If you haven't actually played the 57 champ or the new EC VibroChamp in an environment other than a Guitar Center or Sam Ash, I'd suggest you try vs. just going off on them.
Having played the EC Vibrochamp in a studio for over an hour, it sounds a hell of a lot bigger than its 1x8 Weber -- a big part of that is the power tube distortion, which with a big stack you'll never get unless you live on a farm. No pedals needed.
Whatever, I did not spend a lot of time rereading the thread. It was said it was cheap so the assumption was cheap. Those reissue or vintage amps are not cheap in cost. What you consider a good buy might be way over my idea of cost. I do not like little amps so the thought of something old does not ring my bell anyway. I also like new custom guitars not old vintage. Again, if someone wants to pay 5-6 grand or more for a guitar, more power to you. A waste of money for me unless you put it in a glass case for a historical piece. Nice place for that '65 amp. If everyone thinks everything made 50 years is so much better and sounds so much better, then we should all just give up.
I have no doubt that amp cranks and sounds good, what's the next tone sound like? You can visit all sorts of professional studios and see not everyone likes or uses little amps in recording. Do you think SRV would have gotten the same depth and tone out of a little cranked amp going after his version of power tube gain?
Sure you can get a killer tone on one of those puppies but it is not my thing. To each his own. I like the wattage headroom and really full and deep tones not just distortion all the time.
It is 2012 and the thought of using something from 50 years ago is really not my thing. Nor do I suffer the imagination to think all that sounded so much better. A lot of it of it was rather a noisy bunch of crap that broke down all the time. As I have said before there is a matter of physics over one's opinion and what they hear. Do you EQ your studio by ear? Ever use a frequency analyzer?
There are other ways to get power tube push which are rather easy to do. One could argue easy enough that different power amp tubes have different tonal aspects. But I have been playing for 35 years so I have learned a few things. The notion one has to 10 out an amp to get tone is not a universe I live in.
Sure, if that is the sound you want all the time, get a little watt tube amp and fry it out. I have this thing about not sounding the same all the time. As I mentioned before there is more to tubes than distortion.
You are welcome to your little amps and little speakers. Distortion isn't everything to tone and watts have a use. I can easily attenuate my head down if I want to crank it that much but I do not have the need. Getting power tube tone is not a matter of just cranking the amp, again the more versatile ability of a decent amp head. Frying out an amp does not lend itself to a lot of different tones or cool pedal usage.
To each is own. One could argue sound physics all day and get no where because so many people think everything is opinion and equal merit. A 15" speaker produces more low range frequency than an 8" just physics. Pink noise them on an analyzer and see. It is not always a matter of what sounds good to you but a matter of science. There is a reason we set PAs and Studio's to Pink noise and not ears.
A cranked up little low wattage amp can be extremely loud, loudness is not a matter of wattage. Wattage is headroom and dynamic range, frequency bandwidth capability much less it takes wattage to push low frequency, just physics. Ever see a tube audiophile record stereo system? 4 high power tubes (100 watts min) and distortion kept to a min, killer sound, would someone sit there and use a single EL84 power tube with it distorting? Again a reason for wattage, it is not merely loudness.
Bottom line use what you like and what sounds good to you. Just because one gets a little recording gear does not make them a real engineer. Little amps are what they are. Love them, great, use them. As I build up my recording rig I still will not use them, just not my thing. I know how to get a half stack to do all sorts of tones.