Since the introduction of solid state amplifiers, a debate has always erupted over which one is better for bass players. For many bass players, they would rather drink poison than use a tube amplifier. Still, there are some bassists that can swear that a tube amp will deliver more than a solid state amp. But since a good number of bass players will go with solid state amplifier. So the question is why do they prefer a solid state amp over tube amplifiers? Below are some of the main reasons why bassists choose solid state amplifiers over tube amps.
Main reasons why bass players prefer solid state amplifiers over tube amplifiers:
Solid state amps have been around since the 1970s. They are referred as Solid State Amplifiers because of the electricity that moves through the solid metal, unlike a vacuum found in tube amps. Since those early days, the amps are associated with bass players because of a number of reasons. For instance, using a solid state amplifier is not controversial in the bass community like in the guitar industry. Bass player's choice is more about the sound and not the quality of the signal. A good number of bassists love that clean and smooth tone of the solid state amps, the lighter weight and the greater power provided by the solid state amplifiers. Even though some bass players are switching to tube amps, solid state amplifier is and will remain the king in bass players industry.
In addition, solid state amps are not only lighter but not expensive compared to tube amps. They also require little maintenance and are very reliable. Most bass players believe that since a solid state amp can produce more watts that a tube amp of similar size, it is better to stick to it. Even though there are numerous state tube emulators, for bass players none of them can replace the lovely and warm natural tone of a solid state amplifier. Solid state amps always clip more sharply than tube amps which can be a very harsh sound to many people.
On the other hand, tube amplifiers are heavier, less reliable and are very expensive compared their counterparts. Even though most musicians use them because of the warm, and the natural sound produced, there are several drawbacks associated with them. They can also blow out or break, something that is not common with solid state amplifiers. They can also get very hot. Tube amplifiers were introduced in the 1900s and conquered the market until the arrival of solid state amplifiers in 1970s. Solid state amps become very popular because they were cheap, lighter and more reliable. There was a huge decline on tube amps, and solid state amplifiers become a favorite choice for many bass players.
The most important thing to note is that if you are choosing an amplifier, make sure you consider several factors, and not because your favorite bass player uses a certain amp. Actually, some bassists have used both solid state amplifiers and tube amplifiers for different situations.
What type of amplifier do you use?