Why Some Musicians Prefer Using Vacuum Tube Amps
The modern generation has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the conveniences provided by technology. A lot of improvements over different industries have also been made possible thanks to the cumulative improvements over the years. However, one sad and unfortunate observation with the modern age is that there is less respect given to early inventions. Just because most inventions today surpass the capabilities of their predecessors makes it difficult for the new generation to appreciate the value of older technology.
It's sad that early computers, for example, are mocked for being the size of the room while having the fraction of capacity of modern day computers. But the fact that large feats of human achievements were achieved using old computers is worthy of awe in itself. The moon landing mission for one, was only powered with a computer that's only equal to the processing capability of early SMS-capable phones.
When it comes to musical applications, this comparison between analog and digital technology is also apparent. Vacuum tube amps represent the older generation of amplifiers while solid state amps are the flagships of the modern music era. However, there is merit to the arguments from people who prefer either of the two. Choice of amplifiers to be used for music isn't a clear-cut argument of who which of them has the obvious advantage. While most solid state amp users are quick to ridicule tube amp users of using vacuum tube amps for its nostalgia, this isn't the case. Not most of the time anyway.
Vacuum tube amps are preferred by numerous musicians for various reasons. One of these is that even after a century in existence; it still has a distinct sound that can't be replicated by solid state amps. The warm tones provided by tube amps are a pleasure to listen to. Just like how modern keyboard synthesizers are still unable to replicate the sound of grand pianos.
One big disadvantage of tube amplifiers though, is its price. It sounds contradicting that older technology costs more than modern ones. But this is simply because not a lot of companies manufacture it today. Supply goes down and even though demand stays the same, prices still go up.
Ultimately, it's not about what's better to use every time. In fact, it's not about building a loyalty to either. The point is to make use of available technology for whatever the situation requires. Musicians who prefer louder sound output for example are better off using tube amps. This is because when set at the same volume levels, tube amps are louder than solid state amps. This in addition to smoother transitions in pitch which is a characteristic of vacuum tube amplifiers.
There are a lot of other things to consider when choosing amplifiers. Musicians who are still starting out should consider doing a hefty amount of research before getting their first amp. Check out options at toptubeamplifier.com to see some of the best options for tube amp available in the market today.