Here is an excerpt from an interview I did with Dale Krevens of Tech 21. She explains the difference between analog and digital technology and the analog vs vacuum tubes.
300guitars: Can you explain the advantages and differences between the Tech 21 analog technology and digital technology?
Dale Krevens: It’s like the difference between vinyl Lps and digital Cds. Vinyl is “dirtier” and has a more natural ambiance. Digital is squeaky clean so it doesn’t have the same feel. Analog tends to be much warmer and responsive. There’s also a latency factor, which doesn’t happen with analog. With digital, there’s a conversion process and it causes minor delays. It may or may not be audible, but somehow you can feel it, which can throw you off when you’re playing if you’re sensitive to it.
300guitars: What are the advantages of the analog technology as compared to tube amplifiers?
Dale Krevens: Basically there are none of the drawbacks I mentioned earlier regarding being temperamental, unreliable and costly to maintain. With our technology, you get consistent sound every time you plug in a SansAmp or one of our amps. You get a wide range of different amp styles in a single piece of a gear so you don’t have to lug around a bunch of amps. And you don’t have to have the level all the way up to get a good sound. We give you the sound of a cranked up stack at low volume. That keeps the spouses, kids and neighbors happy, not to mention it’s also healthier for the player! Of course, you can go direct to a PA or studio mixer and not waste time fiddling around with mics.