While tube amplifiers are the preferred type of amplifier for most musicians, their price, weight, and maintenance needed usually deter many of us.
The solid-state or transistor amplifiers are often very light (as low as 4 lbs) and inexpensive. There are some significant benefits to solid-state amplifiers too.
- They turn on immediately,
- They are usually very dependable,
- They will not fail if there is no speaker load on the outputs.
- Most can handle speaker impedance loads down to 2 and 4 ohms,
- Solid-state amplifiers can develop very high power (i.e. 1KW and more).
Below is a nice solid-state amplifier of mine, the Peavey Delta Bass head amplifier.
This amplifier provides 160 watts of power at a 4-ohm load. The front-end circuitry of this amp is similar to the Session and Nitro amp heads, which is an all-transistor pre-amp section. For a solid-state amplifier, this amp has a very good sound.
Below is a Carvin DCM-1000 stereo power amplifier. This is a 100% transistor (solid-state) amplifier.
The nice thing about solid-state amps is that they are very flat over the frequency spectrum, and they do not color the sound as tubes do.
So if you have a nice-sounding tube amplifier, but it only puts out 50 watts, you can connect it to a big solid-state amplifier like the one above, and you have a real workhorse of an amplifier.
Check the Resources page for locations to purchase solid-state amplifiers.