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What if the audio critic is completely right? What would you own? - Page 2

post #16 of 103
Uncle Erik- As always you are an island of sanity. Besides tubes look really cool!
The Audio Critic is my hero.
post #17 of 103

I was influenced by him (The Audio Critic) and it shows in my system. I have a Harbeth Super HL5 speakers which are quite expensive together with a budget AMP (NAD 325 BEE), cheap generic wires and cables and a squeezebox. For headphones I have DT 990 Pro but mostly I use my speakers to listen to streamed music. 

post #18 of 103

@Uncle Eric:

The NE5532 IC opamp has been around since 1985 and is still an excellent choice today in many applications (used in Benchmark, DACMagic). It looks to be around for a while longer.

I agree that some chips will be difficult to get their hands on multiple decades later, but for popular opamps and the like it shouldn't really be much of a problem. In the same way that there are some ultra-rare tubes that are no longer manufactured (presumably?), there will inevitably be some chips you cannot get your hands on. I don't think the chip scarcity thing is a real issue though. As for reliability, surely opamps win out there? Agree with you about vinyl though.

 

As to my opinion on the Audio Critic's article, my entire system is being constructed entirely based around measurements. Almost finished now, just need to build the amp. I have complete faith in it sounding wonderful with any headphones I plug into it (within reason).

 

 


Edited by Willakan - 10/1/11 at 8:25am
post #19 of 103
Thread Starter 

i just noticed this thread was resurrected.

it was one of the first threads i ever started/posted in.

 

I have to say that as it turns out i subscribed to a lot of what the audio critic preaches.

 

I agree with uncle eric though about tubes.. ive posted my many reasons in other threads.. tubes have their place, and you dont really have to disagree with the audio critic, or make any silly un-provable claims to say that.

and the amp i have on the way is indeed a high end tube amp.


Edited by Br777 - 10/1/11 at 2:34pm
post #20 of 103
I bet I could blindfold The Audio Critic and get him to agree that a tube amp sounds just fine and he might have trouble distinguishing one from solid state.

Tubes are for people who like robust, older technology. I also shift the car myself, wind my watch by hand and use a bunch of other "obsolete" objects. They hold up, are cheap to repair, I can fix them myself, and the functionality is the same.

Maybe I'm getting old and crotchety, but I want simple things that can be repaired. All the high-tech stuff is disposable. A lot of it is good, but never worth more than a couple hundred. I'd never drop something like $3k on a CD player because, eventually, it won't be repairable. The turntable is something else. Its wear items are a motor, a belt and a bearing. New bearings are $10-$20 at a machine shop and will be available forever. Motors can be replaced with different ones or you can rewind them. Belts are cheap and you can DIY one.
post #21 of 103
Thread Starter 

here was my reasons for using tube amps post from another thread...

 

there are still good reasons to buy a tube amp over a SS amp

 

maybe i'm wrong but dont most people buy tube amps b/c they are purposely wanting to color the sound with a tube.

 

also they buy them for the convenience of being able to alter the sound very easily by simply switching the tubes.

 

then there are MANY of us who simply think tube amps are COOL!  regardless of anything else. 

 

finally there is the point some DIYers make - they can much more easily fix their tube amp if it breaks in 10 years, than their SS which they would essentially have to hope they can send back to the manufacturer if it still exists.

 

the other thing is, that i have never read a amp review where the reviewer said that a solid state amp truly captured a tube sound.  they will say it sounds a little warm and "kind of like a tube amp" but never completely.. now maybe that's b/c the amp makers simply choose not to create that sound, but i do wonder if a SS amp can REALLY reproduce a tube sound completely.

 

and as for the "tubes cause distortion" argument.. well if that's the case, and some people prefer a little tube distortion in their sound, there is nothing wrong with that...

post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

the other thing is, that i have never read a amp review where the reviewer said that a solid state amp truly captured a tube sound.  they will say it sounds a little warm and "kind of like a tube amp" but never completely.. now maybe that's b/c the amp makers simply choose not to create that sound, but i do wonder if a SS amp can REALLY reproduce a tube sound completely.


They can. It's just coloration and distortion.

 

Bob Carver altered one of his cheaper solid state amps to emulate the sound of a top tier tube amp. Nobody could tell the difference.

 

If you're getting tubes for frequency response coloration, just equalize. You'll get less distortion.

post #23 of 103
Thread Starter 

^ while i am not saying i dont believe you can make a SS amp truly sound tubey, i will say that in my own experience no amount of EQ can change a SS sound to Tube sound.  whether it really is just distortion or not, EQ'ing is not the answer, at least not for me.  its not just frequency response that changes.  Again, maybe SS amps can be made to emulate tube sound really well.  I dont deny its possibly, just never heard myself, or heard anyone comment to that effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

^ while i am not saying i dont believe you can make a SS amp truly sound tubey, i will say that in my own experience no amount of EQ can change a SS sound to Tube sound.  whether it really is just distortion or not, EQ'ing is not the answer, at least not for me.  its not just frequency response that changes.  Again, maybe SS amps can be made to emulate tube sound really well.  I dont deny its possibly, just never heard myself, or heard anyone comment to that effect.


Tube sound.

 

If it can be explained in this much detail, it can be reproduced. Equalization will solve frequency response colorations, like treble or bass roll-off. It can even solve coloration caused by high output impedance if you know how a headphone's impedance curve behaves. Distortion can be added to the amp. It can even be emulated by VSTs as far as I know.

post #25 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

^ while i am not saying i dont believe you can make a SS amp truly sound tubey, i will say that in my own experience no amount of EQ can change a SS sound to Tube sound.  whether it really is just distortion or not, EQ'ing is not the answer, at least not for me.  its not just frequency response that changes.  Again, maybe SS amps can be made to emulate tube sound really well.  I dont deny its possibly, just never heard myself, or heard anyone comment to that effect.

 

 



Here it is for you:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/carver-challenge

 

Straight from the people who are more or less religiously opposed to this sort of thing happening.  Imagine Bob doing a null test on cable...

 

Heh.

post #26 of 103
Try to find replacement chips for one of Carver's old amps.
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Try to find replacement chips for one of Carver's old amps.


I just had one of my TFM-15CBs refurbished (fixing a blown channel as well as borked meters) for a very reasonable $85 here.  I don't know if there is anything he can't repair, but Bob and his techs are still repairing his stuff, too: http://www.carverservice.com/index.html

 

I'd be willing to bet that you could source pretty much any chip you'd need, transistor or otherwise, from one of the two.

post #28 of 103

It's not the first time I'd read the Carver Challenge article - it's always worth revisiting from time to time.

 

One of the things it points up but never really pursues is that speakers are reactive loads and can themselves affect the performance of the amplifier (part of why a specific component can sound great on my system and not yours, or vice versa, and why Carver had to do more than simply edit his amps' output to match the emphasized frequencies of the reference). It would be interesting to have seen whether the two amps continued to perform identically with different sets of speakers.

post #29 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbeardBen View Post





Here it is for you:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/carver-challenge

 

Straight from the people who are more or less religiously opposed to this sort of thing happening.  Imagine Bob doing a null test on cable...

 

Heh.


 

wow thats an awesome article. thanks

 

the question is though.. does any company actually do this?  and im not saying they dont, but are there any companies that actually make SS amps intentionally sound totally like a tube amp?

 

ultimately for me, its just about getting the sound i want.  whether thats from a tube or SS amp is really of no real signifigance to me.  the fact that i just think tube amps are cool, and the fact that i know there are lots of them that deliver the sound i want is good enough for me.

 

add in all the other reasons Uncle Eric and I have been listing, and i certainly dont feel like i am doing something naive or archaic by purchasing a tube amp.  Just doing what i like.

 

 

 

 

post #30 of 103

 

Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 It would be interesting to have seen whether the two amps continued to perform identically with different sets of speakers.


The two amps did not continue to perform identically. 

 

They were revisited 6 months later by the same reviewers, but the tubes in the tube amp had "deteriorated" enough that two amps no longer sounded the same.

 

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