Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › How tubey is tubey?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How tubey is tubey?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok all this talk about tube amps is getting my credit card fingers itchy again (and Xmas bonus season is right around the corner). My main headphone system is a MicroMega transport attached to a CAL alpha DAC. I use a cosmic/Base-station-1 ss amp. Since the Alpha output stage uses tubes, my question is: is the output of this DAC similar to the sound of the tubed amps under discussion in this section (Earmax pro, MG Head, Microzotl, etc.) and would using one of these amps with the Alpha DAC be "tube overkill"? Anyone heard both this DAC and any of the tube amps?
post #2 of 5
In my opinion you can never be too tubey. That's a code I live by.
post #3 of 5
You tell 'im, Acid!

Actually, one can never have too much tube gear, or too many tubes, but it is possible to get too tubey.

My current reference for headphone listening is: Pioneer PD-65 (transport - no tubes), Audio Note DAC 1.1x (6922's), Audio Note M-2 Line Stage (6SN7, tube rectifier, tube regulator), Bottlehead Paramours (12AT7, 2A3) and AKG K-1000's. This combo is not at all tubey! It is, however, very Carnegie Hall - relaxed, natural, with great pace, definition, inner detail, timbre.

One of the least tubey amps I've ever heard is the Berning Micro ZOTL. (I bought Acid's, after foolishly selling my first one.) Deadly accurate, yet very musical, with the right tubes on board.

The MG Head on it's own can be rather "tubey", depending on the tubes you select. I'd guess it's more the OPT's fault, though. The "tubiest" sounding CAL DAC I've heard is the Gamma, which has no tubes in it, but sounds overly smooth, with the details run together in the process.

I'm basing these descriptions on what people typically think of as "tubey". I think it's a generalization that doesn't hold much water, really.
post #4 of 5
An all tube signal path is the way to go.When I run the signal from my AH! Njoe Tjoe 4000 through my NAD 317 integrated and then from the tape outs to my MG head I can hear and feel the difference,that warmth is diluted some.When I run the signal staight to the headphone amp all is right in the world.There is no solid state interference in the signal.We all like tubes because of the soft distortion they provide which is the warm sound we all crave,even though this distortion looks hideous when measured.When the sound can be described as "tubey" especially by a gifted ear, then as Goldilocks said,"it's juuuust right".
post #5 of 5
The Tuberoller does not listen to tubes but watches it with Barney.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › How tubey is tubey?