Tube guitar amps work in a similar way as those made from transistors. These are considerably older, and are often called outdated. Despite this, they can operate with the same amount of quality that newer amplifiers can. Did you know that essentially all cheap or used guitar amps are made with solid-state construction? This is because vacuum tube guitar amps are collectors items; furthermore, they are the most expensive on the market, and the ones that serious musicians want.
The distortion that they produce is unique in that it can be intertwined into the melody of a song. This appeals to musicians who use classic guitar models, most notably from Marshall and Fender. There are many classical bass guitar amps that are known to contain vacuum tube construction to achieve the correct sound.
Why Vacuum Tube Guitar Amps?
Because it is simply what many musicians who take their music seriously prefer to have. There is not much more to it than that. When it comes to tube guitar amplifiers, they stand alone at blending the loudspeaker and amplifier into their sound to essentially incorporate them as part of the instrument.
There is one other particular amplifier that does this by default, the acoustic guitar amps, which you can learn about in other sections. There are some unique things here though. Pick any tube guitar amp and it is also likely to have characteristics that dampen the speakers in such a way to create a unique tone that hitherto has not been replicated in solid-state devices. Couple this with the output transformer contained in vacuum tube amps, which blend harmoniously with the loudspeaker load to create melodic grace.
Vacuum tubes are proven and stand alone as an expensive but gorgeous-sounding component.
How Vacuum Tube Guitar Amps Work
Vacuum tubes themselves utilize thermionic emissions from electrons, which emerge from a filament known as a cathode. These electrons move toward a plate, which is also referred to as an anode. Anodes have a more positive charge than cathodes do. It is at this point that other electrodes become mediated amongst the filament and the plate, which alters the electrical current and enables the tube to be used as a device for tube guitar amps and amplification. This is the shortest explanation about the technical goings-on inside of a tube guitar amplifier.