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FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / How many more years before tube amps are gone?

Next 20 Messages  
littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Aug 20th, 2019 02:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ball park. I don't know of anyone younger than say mid 50s who works on them.

Just a slow day curiosity. Guys like Willie moving on makes me think about the mortality of the tube amplifier.

Mike DeTorrice
Contributing Member
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USA

Aug 20th, 2019 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

In my view, never. Regardless of undeniably improving and perfected technology and remarkable advancements that may make them generally not the normal or typically affordable choice for most guitarists in most situations, there will always be a certain cadre that will keep them around and operating, use them, and even build them in limited numbers.

It will be the undefinable magic from the past, the glowing and not-completely-quantifiable mystery involved in it's operation and the simple musical history that it forged that will keep them around in some form, I feel.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Aug 20th, 2019 05:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t believe we’ll see it in our lifetimes.

pcalu

usa Thumb area Mi

Aug 20th, 2019 06:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't know.. I mostly use amps that were built when I was between the ages of 3 and 9 (I'm 53)

Then... to the purest's dismay.. those pesky modern PCB amps of 1990-2000, if treated properly are still going strong after 20+ yrs.

Love both by the way...

Then you have the new boutiques.

What is happening and what will continue to happen is very similar to the muscle car scene of today.

Older dudes with a pocketbook, strong on nostalgia
strong on tradition buy and own the classic American muscle cars. The younger generations either without the pocketbook, no nostalgia, no tradition, go for the muscle imports.

Both camps are badass.

Gonna have the same with guitar gear. Older dudes with the pocketbook, the nostalgia, the tradition are going to use/play vintage or boutique hand-wired amps. The younger guys not having the tradition, or the nostalgia or the bias from when SS and modeling sucked... (with or without a pocketbook) are going to use/play SS and modeling amps.

Both camps are badass.


Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Aug 21st, 2019 08:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am one of those “old” guys who have acquired many vintage amps and a few guitars I could not afford or justify to buy in my youth. Is there a second wave? I sure hope so because it is probably time for me to downsize. I also have a rather large supply of vintage tubes and there is no way I can burn through them in my lifetime.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Aug 21st, 2019 09:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

When CDs came out, you couldn't give away record turntables.

How the tables have turned.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Aug 21st, 2019 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Standing on the brink of 60 I don't have too much expectation of longevity when it comes to amplifiers. It does bother me that it seems likely the new breed SS amps will ultimately be disposable like kitchen appliances with an intended or unintended obsolescence unlike the good ol' tube amp. My thought process was what seems like a diminishing breed of guys capable or willing to work on tube amps, build them and/or sell NOS tubes. When us oldsters 50+ years of age are gone or no longer in the game, it sure seems like there will be a quick shift.

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Aug 21st, 2019 10:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I owned tube amps for years and didn't know a thing about them. I just played them.
I had a few solid state amps in between.
I know a little bit of tech stuff about them now and I have kept my herd running for the last 20 years but I still have a tech who is around 50. He is a retired Navy electronics tech and is an expert on tube amps.
I think tube amps will be a hot item for at least another 40 years.

carsten
Contributing Member
*****

on the rhine

Aug 21st, 2019 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi guys!

I think they'll stick around for a bit.
One of the amp-techs I go to has just turned 30 this year ;-)

cheers - C.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Aug 21st, 2019 01:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good to hear carsten. Based on my sphere of operations I see less and less younger people working with their hands, be it skilled trades or amps and such.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Aug 21st, 2019 02:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

My 29y/o son is an ET.

The field is making a bit of a comeback.

ModernRifle

United States

Sep 1st, 2019 09:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Big tube says to the Little Tube....
We'll be around along time, but then again, I'm biased.

(This message was last edited by ModernRifle at 11:42 PM, Sep 1st, 2019)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 1st, 2019 10:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

According to Fender historians, one of the reasons Leo sold the company in 1965 was that he felt that with the advent of the transistor, tube technology was doomed. 54 years ago.

slider313

NC

Sep 4th, 2019 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

In the year 2525

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Sep 4th, 2019 01:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

That should be a song.

SoK66

USA

We had the hit but Van got the money
Sep 7th, 2019 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had a local player contact me through the grapevine to see if I'd tackle his "68" Twin Reverb that had just been worked on by a local rtec. Sure, bring it over and I'll take a look. Turned out to be a '73 MV. Ok, no worries. What I found inside was nuts, wrong tubes in the reverb circuit, modded SS rectifier, improper bias on the power tubes, some kind of Russian tone caps. Sounded deader than a post. I just took it back to stock spec, biased the tubes and voila. Problem is, I'm not a pro tech and I'm soon to be 74. Good news is, we have a young guy here with an electrical contracting company who builds fantastic clone amps, very hip to tube amps. I wouldn;t worry.

rockman627

New York

Oct 15th, 2019 04:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

I know of one young man who was mentored by a legend taking up the mantle. I was asked not to mention any names however.

Mike the marksman
Contributing Member
*****

Kansas City, MO

Oct 29th, 2019 02:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tubes are only made in China and Russia- countries with very lax (by 21st century standards) environmental regulations.

If those countries ever decide to become more "green" I could see tube production ending.

(This message was last edited by Mike the marksman at 04:17 PM, Oct 29th, 2019)

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Just assume all edits due to autocorrect
Oct 30th, 2019 07:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

According to the linked article, add the Slovak Republic to the list of countries still manufacturing tubes. Still, it seems a fragile industry.

Link to Guitarplayer.com

willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Oct 30th, 2019 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am somewhat troubled by FMIC's recent release of the Tone Master series of solid state/digital amps that use traditional amp names and appearance. A Deluxe Reverb or Twin Reverb screams tube amp to most anyone that has even an inkling of guitar amp knowledge. I am sure FMIC has market pressure from other manufacturers such as Roland/Boss and others though with those produce (Blues Cubes, Katanas, etc) there is no confusion with a progenitor product. I also hear that these new FMIC amps will have limited service/repair warranties on them as they continue to attempt to limit long term costs. I wonder if these amps are using class D output circuits and switching power supplies to keep weight and costs down while eliminating field maintenance...likely.

On tubes..I believe as long as there is sufficient demand, there will be a supply somewhere.

willie

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / How many more years before tube amps are gone?




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