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Getting the best amp tone even with solid-state power amps

From ra3035 at sps.mot.com (Mick Patterson):

>I use a Pearce solid-state amp, and I play on the edge of distortion (where picking lightly cleans it up, and playing harder brings out a nice smooth singing distortion). I could've bought most any tube amp on the market at that time, and the Pearce simply sounded better.

A cranked solid-state amp driving guitar speakers is a huge step up from pure preamp tone, if you are striving for a traditional cranked tube amp and speakers tone. Users have told me that the modelling amps sound best when played loud. If true, then a purely line-level processor such as the Line 6 POD, when used DI, could never sound as good as the equivalent processor when in a modelling amp such as the Line 6 Flextone.

Guidelines for using solid state amps to get the best tone they can produce:

The only really good sound I got out of a solid-state Peavey Backstage Plus was with the amp cranked, with an eq and compressor placed before the amp's input.

Several times I saw that when demonstrating any amp, a guitar gear saleman would turn up the amp loud, even for a solid-state amp. Power-stage clipping is essential to the classic amp tone sounds.

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