Hybrid amplifiers are formed by a combination of tube and solid-state amplification. Most likely they will contain a tube power amplifier that is fed by a solid-state preamplifier circuit. In other cases, the tube preamplifier will be fed by a solid-state output stage. Most original MusicMan amplifiers are categorized under the first type we described. Kustom, Hartke, SWR and Vox models conform the second type.
There are ideal combinations of hybrid amplifiers, but the Kustom, Hartke, SWR and Vox models are able to avoid the need for an output transformer. These models are also able to manage modern output levels. It’s up to you to determine the best combination, but, before deciding, it’s important for you to consider that you can get basic tube distortion through the preamplifier and avoid high costs and heavyweight of a heavy-duty tube power transporter. It’s essential you have in mind that this also means that the amplifier would have a classic solid-state and high-frequency response. Think back and travel in time. In the ’80s and ’90s, this was a popular sound among heavy metal famous guitarists.
Hybrid amplifiers need standard adjustments and effects; some models have distinctive settings as part of their brand. Each manufacturer has its own unique design and plays around a different setting. These adjustments involve tone and gain controls to be able to regulate the performance of the preamplifier tubes.
We might be able to compare hybrid amplifiers to hybrid cars. As a general rule, hybrid cars have characteristics of their own. Hybrid cars are suitable for some people, but some others prefer an electric or a gasoline car. There is definitely something for everyone. In the guitar universe, we can see the same thing happen. Some guitarists might prefer a hybrid amplifier, but most of them don’t. The same preferences don’t apply to all; most guitarists would rather choose a classic tube amplifier or a modelling amplifier.
All said and done, most pick a hybrid amplifier, since you will be able to get a unique tone of tubes with the control and polish of a solid-state power section.