Don't sell your tube amps

Although this was an article in a guitar Magazine, I thought it might interest those who own stereo tube equipment:


No it is called a hybrid. I am listening to one right now. It was real easy to go from my i4 back to the M8. Could not charge 2 electric cars at once so one had to go. Like I said still have a long, long way to go. Also what about conflict minerals? 

  a Good Class D amp with a good Tubed preamp is like going from a gas engine to an Electric car......It's hard to go back!

As a long time pro guitarist I can say for certain that class D will not be replacing tube guitar amps for those who care about tone. I’ve tried various modeling amps and others including those with tube front ends, and the necessary distortion characteristics from a tube output stage aren’t ever likely to be replaced by class D.

@wolf_garcia If you play guitar then you know how heavy a Fender Twin is when loading out of a club at 2:AM.

Class D was not ready for prime time when all those junky ’modelling’ amplifiers appeared some years back. But there are class D modules available now that are quite musical. For those guitarists that don’t rely on overdriving the output section of their amp to get their ’sound’, the idea of a 100 Watt amplifier that allows the sound they have/want that only weighs 15 pounds is attractive!

I play in a band and when I meet guitarists from touring bands, if they find out who I am this is something they ask for. Since I’ve heard class D amps that sound for all the world like an excellent tube amp, I see class D in the guitar world as inevitable- its only a matter of time at this point.


I dragged JBL festooned Twins around (anvil case included, insanely heavy) for most of the 70s, and use small all tube amps exclusively now, including a brilliant little 5/15 watt Reverend Goblin I recently loaned to John Pizzarelli for a live show. Most guitar players I know and like now use much smaller amps...Jim Campilongo, Princeton (fender actually made a special model for him)...Julian Lage, either tiny 50’s tweeds or Magic "Deluxe" size...Frizell, Deluxe Reverbs...Duke Levine, toured with Bonny Raitt recently with an AC 30 or something (he owns a lot of amps)...few guitar players want or need 100 watts of any style amp, and prefer the snap and color of a tube output stage. Sure, that could change, but only when Class D really can seriously replicate the harmonic content and feel of tubes. Is anybody going to bother to make a 15 watt Class D amp? Note I have a Class D 350 watt bass amp that sounds great...for bass anyway.

Sure, that could change, but only when Class D really can seriously replicate the harmonic content and feel of tubes.

@wolf_garcia Class D can do that now. I've measured a class D that has harmonics such that you would think you were looking at a tube amp, except that overall the distortion is lower. It sounds like one too, except owing to less distortion, its easier to hear into the rear of the soundstage.

There are lots of 15 Watt class D amps. If you give them a decent power supply some of them sound pretty good too.

Its not a matter of 'if' its when, at this point.

Glad I hung onto my Mid Monos ... they are perfectly suited to drive my new Omega Super Alnico Monitors that I will receive in a few months.