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Tube or Solid-State?

Tube or Solid-State? What is the difference between the two? Which guitar amp is best for you? Depends!

Let’s start with tube. This type of technology has been around since before World War 11 and has existed in many forms outside of guitar amps. They were used in things like radios, telephones and even early televisions. Nonetheless, lets stick to their performance in guitar amps.

Generally, tube amps are more responsive than what you will get in solid-state. They react much quicker and capture all your tone in a very smooth and warm manner. Why? The route in which they generate sound is cleaner. As a result of this you will get more “sound” at a lower wattage out of a tube amp. For example, a 10watt tube amp will provide the same power as a 40watt solid state. To summarize, they spread like soft butter.

Ok. Now solid-state. This technology has improved dramatically over the years. The days of constant humming and lifeless performance are gone. The objective of these amps in my opinion is simply to replicate the sound of a tube amp, for a quarter of the price. Yes. The cost of solid-state amps is significantly less. This is a huge positive for someone on a budget. Also, they are extremely durable. Solid-state amps are much more resilient and the maintenance is close to none. Unlike Tube amps there is nothing that can burn out and turn into a costly replacement.

So there is a quick overview of both options. As you can tell they both serve their purpose depending on your needs or budget. For the poor touring musician, you might consider solid-state. As for everyone else, who has a little money and can keep up afford the maintenance, go tube.


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