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Why do/don't "audiophile" cables improve sound? - Page 13

post #181 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
You don't have to own tube gear to prefer solid state. And sound might not have anything to do with it either. If you just want components that are dependable and don't heat the whole house, you might not want tubes.

<snipped>

See ya
Steve
Conversely if you want something that you can get parts for, you might be better off with tubes witnessing the manufacturer discontinuance of solid state devices (2SK389/2SJ109 dual FETs come to mind; also the output FETs used in most of Counterpoint's amps are long gone, etc.).

I just bought and auditioned an SS preamp in my system (Coda). I wound up selling it, but was surprised when I did an unscientific A/B using a switchbox with my wife how close in sound it was to my Counterpoint tube preamp... it took quite a bit of listening and going back and forth to decide a preference.

Chris
post #182 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
BTW, some studios use tube gear.
Studios that actually do production work don't use tube gear. Tubes were a thing of the past when I first started in audio back in the 80s. You'd be hard pressed to find a studio that even maintains a 24 track tape deck any more. There's an electronics parts company down the street that sets old pro grade open reel decks and mag readers on the sidewalk as novelties to draw people into their store. Driving past there is like visiting an old friend. I spent a lot of hours hunched over those old machines when I was fresh out of college.

See ya
Steve
post #183 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hankins View Post
he never said what he preferred. Only the reason he would not own tube gear. I was asking a simple question about what tube gear he owned so I might have reference as to where he is coming from.
Come on, we all know what you're doing. You're dogging him with semantics to try to get his goat. I'm happy to plow through post after post of "Lawn Gnome, what gear have you owned to base your opinion on?" from you and your pals, but don't ask me to believe that you have any particular interest in hearing what Lawn Gnome has to say. Give it a rest and make an effort to add something to the conversation yourself.

See ya
Steve
post #184 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pars View Post
I just bought and auditioned an SS preamp in my system (Coda). I wound up selling it, but was surprised when I did an unscientific A/B using a switchbox with my wife how close in sound it was to my Counterpoint tube preamp... it took quite a bit of listening and going back and forth to decide a preference.
Ideally, a preamp shouldn't have a sound. It should just act as a clean switcher with volume and tone pots. If it's transparent, it's doing its job. For home stereo use, a good preamp shouldn't cost a lot of money.

See ya
Steve
post #185 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Studios that actually do production work don't use tube gear. Tubes were a thing of the past when I first started in audio back in the 80s. You'd be hard pressed to find a studio that even maintains a 24 track tape deck any more.
Huh? That's false, in my experience... Most professional studios maintain a multi-track tape recorder, and if they don't have a multi-track, they'll at least have a two-track for printing a mix to tape. Many people print to tape straight from a ProTools mix. Some studios still have Neve, API, or SSL analog mixing desks. There's been a trend over the past few years to incorporate more analog gear into the mix.

Most studios have tube equipment. No professional microphone collection is complete without a Telefunken M47 / Neumann U47 / or Neumann M147/M149, or an AKG C12, all of which are tube microphones. I've seen many studios with gear from Universal Audio, who currently manufacture the famous Teletronix LA-2A tube compressor/limiter, and also a lot of tube microphone preamplifiers (ex. the UA 610 / 2-610 tube mic preamps, which seem to be everywhere). Avalon, Drawmer, and Manley make popular studio tube gear, too.

Summit's tube D.I. / instrument preamp boxes are my favorites.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Ideally, a preamp shouldn't have a sound. It should just act as a clean switcher with volume and tone pots. If it's transparent, it's doing its job. For home stereo use, a good preamp shouldn't cost a lot of money.
Yet, they do have different sound, which makes sense given different parts and implementations. It depends on your definition of "a lot of money" whether or not transparency is achievable on a tight budget. For example, the Mackie Big Knob ($300), a monitor and source selector, has cheap op-amps in the signal path and is well-known to degrade sound quality. Inexpensive mixers can have the same problems. So, not just any old switchbox will do...
post #186 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
Huh? That's false, in my experience... Most professional studios maintain a multi-track tape recorder, and if they don't have a multi-track, they'll at least have a two-track for printing a mix to tape.
You're right... a studio will generally have one 24 track in the back that's used for dubbing to multitrack digital, and for TV they still output comp and M&E to four track (unless they use DA88). But I can't think of any places that offer recording to 24 track any more. I remember when those machines were everywhere. It's all ProTools at the places I've worked with. You're also correct that there are mikes and mike pres that use tubes. I had forgotten about those. What about 3/4 inch video? Is there any commercial application for that any more?

See ya
Steve
post #187 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
The term sais it all: people on an endless search for sonic improvements (count me in!). That doesn't automatically imply a love for unvarnished accuracy; many audiophiles prefer at least a small dose of euphony.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
au·di·o·phile /ˈɔdiəˌfaɪl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[aw-dee-uh-fahyl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
a person who is especially interested in high-fidelity sound reproduction.

high fidelity
–noun Electronics.
sound reproduction over the full range of audible frequencies with very little distortion of the original signal.

No. A true audiophile just tries to reproduce the music as close as possible to how it sounded when it was recorded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
Yet, they do have different sound, which makes sense given different parts and implementations. It depends on your definition of "a lot of money" whether or not transparency is achievable on a tight budget. For example, the Mackie Big Knob ($300), a monitor and source selector, has cheap op-amps in the signal path and is well-known to degrade sound quality. Inexpensive mixers can have the same problems. So, not just any old switchbox will do...
MASTERS ON AUDIO AND VIDEO -- Audio Archives
post #188 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
What about 3/4 inch video? Is there any commercial application for that any more?
Hahah, probably not... Though some people are still using DAT machines. I hadn't heard about 3/4" video until you mentioned it, so I just learned a little bit about the U-matic format and its use in early digital recordings. Very interesting.
post #189 of 293
The very first digital audio recorder I used was a Sony portapack. It recorded on beta tapes. The sound mixer I worked for used it on a Barry Manilow Copacabana special instead of his Nagra. I think that may have been the first program recorded digitally on TV.

See ya
Steve
post #190 of 293
For those of you debating the use of tube equipement in recording, I direct you to the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, May 1973 Volume 23 number 24 : "Tubes Versus Transistors--Is There an Audible Difference?".

The abstract:
"Engineers and musicians have long debated the question of tube sound versus transistor sound. Previous attempts to measure this difference have always assumed linear operation for the test amplifier. This conventional method of frequency response, distortion, and noise measurement has shown that no significant difference exists. This paper, however, points out that amplifiers are often severely overloaded by signal transients (THD 30%). Under this condition there is major difference in the harmonic distortion component of the amplified signal, with tubes, transistors, and operation amplifiers separating into distinct groups"

It's an interesting read in the least, despite what your opinion might be, and I can scan a copy of the article if anyone is interested. (Please PM me if you do, and I will attach it here)
post #191 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pars View Post
Conversely if you want something that you can get parts for, you might be better off with tubes witnessing the manufacturer discontinuance of solid state devices (2SK389/2SJ109 dual FETs come to mind; also the output FETs used in most of Counterpoint's amps are long gone, etc.).

I just bought and auditioned an SS preamp in my system (Coda). I wound up selling it, but was surprised when I did an unscientific A/B using a switchbox with my wife how close in sound it was to my Counterpoint tube preamp... it took quite a bit of listening and going back and forth to decide a preference.

Chris
That is because they are being replaced with better parts.

Because IC's are constantly being improved. The same can't be said for tubes, not since the 60's.
post #192 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
You're right... a studio will generally have one 24 track in the back that's used for dubbing to multitrack digital, and for TV they still output comp and M&E to four track (unless they use DA88). But I can't think of any places that offer recording to 24 track any more. I remember when those machines were everywhere. It's all ProTools at the places I've worked with. You're also correct that there are mikes and mike pres that use tubes. I had forgotten about those.
This has been my experience as well.
post #193 of 293
...and don't forget the tube amps used for monitor speakers! .
post #194 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
There's an electronics parts company down the street that sets old pro grade open reel decks and mag readers on the sidewalk as novelties to draw people into their store. Driving past there is like visiting an old friend. I spent a lot of hours hunched over those old machines when I was fresh out of college.
That's really cool. Ever think about picking up one of those reel to reel players to mess around with? Have you looked at
the Tape Project? It is a *little* expensive, but they are releasing reel to reel tapes that are copies of the masters. If only I was rich.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
You're dogging him with semantics to try to get his goat.
Dogging him with semantics? I don't see why it is such a strange thing to want to know if he is making his opinion based off of what he has read or what he has actual experience with...
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGnome View Post
Because IC's are constantly being improved. The same can't be said for tubes, not since the 60's.
If by IC's you mean OP Amps, directly comparing them to tubes is a bit misleading. With an OP Amp, you have most of your audio circuit on the chip and you just need to make the inputs and outputs happy. With a tube, the circuit that you put it in determines the sound and characteristics for the most part.
post #195 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox View Post
f by IC's you mean OP Amps, directly comparing them to tubes is a bit misleading. With an OP Amp, you have most of your audio circuit on the chip and you just need to make the inputs and outputs happy. With a tube, the circuit that you put it in determines the sound and characteristics for the most part.
If I meant opamps particularly, I would have said opamps.

And if you think the surround circuitry for an opamp makes little SQ effect, you have been greatly mislead.
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