Gone back to a tube amp

VenomousPontifex

Electromatic
May 26, 2022
11
Texas
I personally prefer tube amps, in particular the Hot Rod Deluxe IV, but since having to sell off all my gear and starting to rebuild, I’ve had surprisingly good luck with a first-gen Peavey Vypyr VIP 2. Doesn’t quite hit all the marks I’d get if I had the actual amps it emulates (6505/5150, Butcher, Classic, Budda, Trace Elliot bass amp, etc), but gets the job done, and I keep having to get onto my (abnormally strong) toddler about picking it up and trying to take it down the hall while I’m playing.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
17,026
lafayette in
Now let’s carry on with the next question:
Is a digital piano sounding like a real piano? :D:D:D
Close enough for government work.

As a keyboard player primarily, I realize that a digital solid state instrument won't sound like the "real thing". But, it's close enough that 99% of people can't tell the difference. I geel the difference in my back. I'm not going to lug a Bosendorfer concert grand or a Hammond B-3 and Leslie around in my Jeep. My Korgs are close enough to suit me, and I'm persnickety. The Boss RT-20 does as good an impersonation of a Leslie that most people couldn't tell if they were blindfolded. It sounds better than the way a lot of sound guys mistakenly mike Leslies. A digital piano sounds far better than a cheap spinet. It's not going to fool a top concert pianist, but I think they'd appreciate it for what it is.
 

J Bird

Synchromatic
Dec 2, 2016
668
Enumclaw
My friend scored a Yamaha S-80 at Goodwill, made some repairs (he's an EE) and, I have to say, it has glorious piano sounds with full weighted keys.

I'm encouraging him to take piano lessons, at a minimum to justify (to his wife) keeping it.

He has also scored a Casio VL-Tone at Goodwill for a couple of bucks. Although none of its sounds are close to real, it is what you need for Da Da Da.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,485
Tucson
Close enough for government work.

As a keyboard player primarily, I realize that a digital solid state instrument won't sound like the "real thing". But, it's close enough that 99% of people can't tell the difference. I feel the difference in my back. I'm not going to lug a Bosendorfer concert grand or a Hammond B-3 and Leslie around in my Jeep. My Korgs are close enough to suit me, and I'm persnickety. The Boss RT-20 does as good an impersonation of a Leslie that most people couldn't tell if they were blindfolded. It sounds better than the way a lot of sound guys mistakenly mike Leslies. A digital piano sounds far better than a cheap spinet. It's not going to fool a top concert pianist, but I think they'd appreciate it for what it is.
There’s a big difference between sound production and sound reinforcement. Solid state works great for sound reinforcement, because it is capable of being very faithful to the original sound it is amplifying.

I haven‘t done any keyboard playing in a long time, but I find some of the digital keyboards I was exposed to to be very impressive. It would be great to have a concert grand and a B-3, setup and ready to go, but that is unlikely to happen for most of us. As it is, I could do with a building addition for my music room, and a pair of keyboards like that would require a building addition to my building addition.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
266
Los Angeles
Not sure I have never played compared my tunes to a power amp set up like that. It isn’t that the volume fills the room but the sensation of the music swirling around me a 3D aspect that tickles my senses. My Kronos does this for me when I play through my QSC K10. It certainly isn’t a tube instrument but fills a room well as well. Perhaps it is the lower frequencies of a tube amp that I am perceiving? I can’t put a finger on it although I wish I could! this has given me an idea to try the Zen Tour fpga amp and cabs and tweak the eq on the low end and see what happens!
My normal den configuration is a pair of KRK Rokit 8's on 36" tall stands a bit over an 88-key keyboard apart. There's a subwoofer, but it's sometimes used, sometimes not. The Rockets actually do *better* at the bottom end than a tube combo amp (they'll run down to 40Hz, where most tube combo amps with normal guitar speakers are dropping off rapidly below 110Hz). The Helix goes through this setup, as does the Kronos.

The Carvin Belair is usually on the floor (so there's mechanical and acoustic coupling going on there), has a pair of Vintage 30's and about 50W of EL84 power. The other most-used amp is a Carvin X112E, also on the floor, with a single EV-L 12" speaker and 100W of EL34 power. Walls are hard and the room is about 9x12' with a single door and a single window.

I'm thinking that it might be the floor resonance and/or the bass coupling and/or the hard walls bouncing frequencies around. If you're not getting any of that with the listening system you're using for another amp, it would be reasonable to assume that it's not really the mighty tubes that are causing that swirly sound.

BTW, the power amps I use for my main amps (not the Rockets) are a 1500W solid state amp and a Carvin TS-100 (or a Marshall 9000 or a Mesa Strategy) tube power amp. The Carvin is a rack mount 50W/50W stereo EL34-based power amp, so tubes are involved in that one. Honestly, when the preamps and the speakers are the same, I don't really hear a difference between solid state and tubes.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
266
Los Angeles
My friend scored a Yamaha S-80 at Goodwill, made some repairs (he's an EE) and, I have to say, it has glorious piano sounds with full weighted keys.
I've had a relatively inexpensive M-Audio KeyStation 88 with semi-weighted keys sitting around for a while. Just recently hooked it up to a new MacBook Air running MainStage -- wanted to see what the least expensive keys setup I could put together would sound like. The answer is stunningly good!
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,122
South Dakota
My normal den configuration is a pair of KRK Rokit 8's on 36" tall stands a bit over an 88-key keyboard apart. There's a subwoofer, but it's sometimes used, sometimes not. The Rockets actually do *better* at the bottom end than a tube combo amp (they'll run down to 40Hz, where most tube combo amps with normal guitar speakers are dropping off rapidly below 110Hz). The Helix goes through this setup, as does the Kronos.

The Carvin Belair is usually on the floor (so there's mechanical and acoustic coupling going on there), has a pair of Vintage 30's and about 50W of EL84 power. The other most-used amp is a Carvin X112E, also on the floor, with a single EV-L 12" speaker and 100W of EL34 power. Walls are hard and the room is about 9x12' with a single door and a single window.

I'm thinking that it might be the floor resonance and/or the bass coupling and/or the hard walls bouncing frequencies around. If you're not getting any of that with the listening system you're using for another amp, it would be reasonable to assume that it's not really the mighty tubes that are causing that swirly sound.

BTW, the power amps I use for my main amps (not the Rockets) are a 1500W solid state amp and a Carvin TS-100 (or a Marshall 9000 or a Mesa Strategy) tube power amp. The Carvin is a rack mount 50W/50W stereo EL34-based power amp, so tubes are involved in that one. Honestly, when the preamps and the speakers are the same, I don't really hear a difference between solid state and tubes.
Ah, possibly but the only two O have compared side by side in a room were the mg50dfx and the triple xxx super 40, there was a huge difference between them. Both in tue same position on the floor same instruments tweaking with them. No joy with the ss Marshall but it could be the Marshall. My other stuff is no good compared to the xxx either but like you pointed out maybe it has something to do with the floor coupling but that won’t explain the Kronos through the QSC. And the zen goes through the QSC as well. Who knows as long as we get what we want tone wise it really doesn’t matter much in tue long run. But I would really like to know why I perceive a difference.
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,122
South Dakota
I've had a relatively inexpensive M-Audio KeyStation 88 with semi-weighted keys sitting around for a while. Just recently hooked it up to a new MacBook Air running MainStage -- wanted to see what the least expensive keys setup I could put together would sound like. The answer is stunningly good!
GB and Logic both have really good sounds!
 


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