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Tube vs Solid State Amps - Page 4

post #46 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

The magic of tubes to my ears that all the detail, frequency extension, speed and impact of music is preserved with less annoying hardness, shrillness, scratchiness, or ringing that mars inferior systems

that have not been muffled by over equalization to hide these things.

 

In short, I hear truth without pain. So with tubes, lots of times you can have your cake and eat it too.

 

This is possible more or less with solid state, but at much higher prices (like Pass or Dartzeel amps in the speaker world).

Fine tube sound can be fairly inexpensive.

 

(I have a B52 amp.)



It is quite interesting this echoes the core of my sentiments toward Tube Amps in general. I recently sold my big one, a highly ranked (by Skylab) ELEKIT TU-882AS Single Ended affair with dual triode tubes that sounded marvelous with the Western Electric WE396A tubes installed, thourougly musical. I needed to divert some assets for the time being and I'm not sure If I want to stay Single Ended, so... I'm Pondering... but am crutching on a Bravo Audio tube amp. There's nothing like tubes... I've had an iBasso D10 that I just moved to save up for a D12 to pair with my iRiver H140, and... no comparison there is Romance in the tubes and MOAR BASS.

 

Oh, and furthermore, most educational and intriguing thread on Head-Fi in over a year!!!


Edited by AnAnalogSpirit - 12/8/10 at 4:28pm
post #47 of 77

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post

Think of tubes like the tires on your car.  You have to stick with the right size, but you can choose between brands in order to get the characteristics you want.  In some cases you could go a little lower and wider, but you have to know exactly what you're doing in order not to foul the brakes or the suspension members.  Same with tubes.  99% of the time you swap like for like, but you really need to be careful about swapping types.


Great Advice!!! But to 2ND what (Frank I), said about "finding the right tube and sticking with it" is also great advice for the new dudes in tube town....Also Try to find out in the area you live, or around, if there are ever any "Ham Fest" swap meets....they are a great place to find Tubes, old amps, Power supplies,etc.etc.   Dayton, Area Ham Fest each yr. brings in the gear/ tube stuff by the truck loads...so check your area out???JMO.. 
 

post #48 of 77


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post

Think of tubes like the tires on your car.  You have to stick with the right size, but you can choose between brands in order to get the characteristics you want.  In some cases you could go a little lower and wider, but you have to know exactly what you're doing in order not to foul the brakes or the suspension members.  Same with tubes.  99% of the time you swap like for like, but you really need to be careful about swapping types.


Great Advice!!! But to 2ND what (Frank I), said about "finding the right tube and sticking with it" is also great advice for the new dudes in tube town....Also Try to find out in the area you live, or around, if there are ever any "Ham Fest" swap meets....they are a great place to find Tubes, old amps, Power supplies,etc.etc.   Dayton, Area Ham Fest each yr. brings in the gear/ tube stuff by the truck loads...so check your area out???JMO.. 
 


Let me know when that show is. I'd like to go.

post #49 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post



 


GREAT ADVICE Skylab, maybe the younger guy's will listen to you!!!......Rolling Tubes does change the "sound" many times for the better, but don't you agree , Skylab, that guy's shouldn't really change tube types......without checking with the amps manufacture???Tell them again, I'd hate to see some guy's burn-up or cause a melt down to their TUBE GEAR, because THEY think Changing Tubes will get them to the "Holy Grail" of sound!!!!  duke
 





Yes, agree totally - the first step in tube rolling should absolutely be just 100% direct replacements - like replacing one 6SN7 for another 6SN7. That's it, until and unless pen wants to really learn what can and can't safely be done.

I speak from experience. I pushed the envelope of tube rolling when I was still learning - and blew up the coupling caps in the amp I was experimenting with. Fortunately there were no headphones connected, and there was no actual fire, just a lot of smoke. I knew I was pushing the envelope, but still didn't think it would result in dead amp.

After that I bought a book, and taught myself the basics of tube electronics, so I could actually read and understand tube data sheets, and could then judge what would and would not be an acceptable substitute, most of the time. And the fact is, I hear of people using tubes they shouldn't be all the time. Maybe not in such a way that they will have an "incident" like I did, but in a way that they will shorten either tube or amp life.

There are plenty of tube rolling options where you take zero risks. That's the way to go.
post #50 of 77

You Bet Happy Camper, Next Year! I want to say It's in March......and It's out at the old Hara Arena........They fill the inside with new Gadgets and Cb's and ham radio stuff,  BUT The whole frickin outside parking and lot area is full of tents with Guys from all over....... Like I said Tubes out the Ying-Yang, Tube transformers,ETC.ETC. even a dude who comes each yr and sets up a tent for Just Rare LP's (I got some great Chet Adkins Lp's)  so you bet, David, we'll get, Tom(Bubu1) to go with Chris, You and me along with anyone else next year..... Just remember to bring rain gear (every yr I've gone It's rained or has been kinda cool) and a good pair of walking shoes.............................................NOW, Skylab.........Do you think we need to advise some of the "Tube Newbies" about Capacitors (CAPS) and how many can and DO HOLD their CHARGE (ELECTRIC) for sometime.......I know of more then one Tube guy to get knocked off his chair reaching into an Amp right after the "Thing" has been turned off and unplugged.........so Watch where you stick your fingers Kids!

post #51 of 77

Quote:Originally Posted by Frank I 

"X2 on Rob advice. Use on the tube types the manufacture recommends which will be in the manual. Also there is guides on what can be swapped on some dealers sites. I always ask the manufacture when i am not sure or my dealer. build a relationship with a reputable tube dealer. the tow I use most are Jim McShane and Tube Depot. I have been using those two for the last 15 years with zero problems. I had a friend who wanted to put little dot tubes into a Millett starving student. he asked me and I told him no way. But for newbies read and learn as much as a you can about tube technology. The audio asylum has a great tube thread and Joe's tube lore is a must read on that site. I like swapping but once I find the right combo I live with them for a long while. Ask questions here between Skylab and many others you will always get the best answers."


Yep that was me. I'm still a tube nube. Frank always discusses tubes with me and I learn much from his experience. He even helped me with some great Mullards for the Little Dot I had. I highly suggest not messing with tube rolling unless you know what you're doing or know someone that does. Even reading through the informative threads. Isn't always reassuring. Just take caution.


Even though I'm ultimately a SS guy, I've learned much, and still have much to learn, from other's experience. Only you can prevent amp meltdown. LoL

post #52 of 77

H.C.(David) just looked this up..... sorry guy's for going off topic for a minute...... duke, d

Dayton Hamvention® 2011
May 20-22 2011

Global Friendship,dukeL3000.gif

post #53 of 77
Thread Starter 

Anyone knows whether a DT990 has better synergy with tube amps compared to the D2000s, particularly with the Darkvoice line of tube amps? Tried asking this in another thread but to no avail :(

post #54 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoohao View Post

Anyone knows whether a DT990 has better synergy with tube amps compared to the D2000s, particularly with the Darkvoice line of tube amps? Tried asking this in another thread but to no avail :(



I find that all 600 ohm beyers pair ideally with tube amps. I did own the D7000s, and preferred them with SS amps (by a good margin). Sorry, no one size fits all here IMO.

post #55 of 77

DT990's tend to overly bright, so a tube amp with rolled of highs would naturally smooth things out for these headphones.  I think it's a good pairing.

 

Jack

post #56 of 77
Thread Starter 

alrite thanks! I'm gonna be auditioning out the darkvoice amp tomorrow, really really excited hahaha :) Should I ask the person to switch on the amp for a certain period of time, to let the tubes "warm up", if there's such a thing - will it affect the sound of the amp?

post #57 of 77
Thread Starter 

yep I've sprung for the darkvoice 337 and from the sound I'm getting from it it's worth every penny :)   Bass is noticeably tighter when using the DT990s while the level of detail in many songs is greatly increased when I'm using either of my headphones. Will be testing out the amp with a friend's HD 650 when he brings it over, as from what I've read the Darkvoice and HD650 combos is one of the best

post #58 of 77

What Jack-Micca said is exactly what I was thinking of, when comparing my freshly built solid state headphone amp with the La Figare 339 of my friend.

I was measuring my prototype quite thoroughly in regard of THD and output impedance, where I managed to reach 0.0003% of THD and levels of 0.05ohm.

It gave me a lot of to think when actually we were listening to both with HifiMAN HE500. Although both sounded nicely (we admitted that thanks to class A, my solid state amp sounded much like a tube amp) tube single-ended amplifier sounded a bit more pleasing to me after all, as contours of each of the instrument were easier to hear. Still they were very comparable.

 

The answer may lie in the fact (just my theory) that tube amps add a bit of 2nd harmonic to the output, and this is the result the conditions the tube is working is not quite linear, strong signals are less amplified then weak details. There is also a rolloff effect for low end of frequency bandwidth.

This makes strong signals mask less details in the mid-range. Therefore mid-range is a bit more exposed, instruments seems to be more full-bodied and usually more appealing to the listener.

 

Just to conclude (and this is also inline with Jack's opinion) that these two types of amp are not easily comparable. Some people prefer faithfullness, others would prefer the sher pleasure of listening to the music. It's like with glasses. Some glasses may have lenses finished with subatomic precision, others would have used colored glass or maybe polarised filters to enhance colors. Each type with find each own customers.

 

Now I am asking myself, should I continue the work on creating as faithful amplifier as possible or this is not the way to go, and the direction I should follow is to go for the most pleasing but still naturally sounding one. Other question is how would an ideal amplifier sound like in this company (by ideal I mean 0 distortion, 0 noise, 0 cross-talk, 0 output impedance and so on).

 

Radek

post #59 of 77

The 2nd harmonic is one octave higher and it will be no difference from the fundamental tone with respect to musical theory.

Does this excuse tube amp for their relatively bad THD, which might not impact the SQ for a listner ?

 

What if we can define mTHD ( musical THD)?

Musical THD: usual well defined THD less every odd  even harmonics.wink_face.gif

Because the even harmonics might not deteriorate SQ according to mathematically defined music theory IMO.

In this way usual metrics like THD does not fool us.

 

We have usually been perplexed with very very very good THD of some SS amp, but in reality it deviates frequently our expectation.


Edited by Joong - 3/23/13 at 7:49am
post #60 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joong View Post

The 2nd harmonic is one octave higher and it will be no difference from the fundamental tone with respect to musical theory.

Does this excuse tube amp for their relatively bad THD, which might not impact the SQ for a listner ?

 

What if we can define mTHD ( musical THD)?

Musical THD: usual well defined THD less every odd  even harmonics.wink_face.gif

Because the even harmonics might not deteriorate SQ according to mathematically defined music theory IMO.

In this way usual metrics like THD does not fool us.

 

We have usually been perplexed with very very very good THD of some SS amp, but in reality it deviates frequently our expectation.

This is a very good and interesting point.  We "weight" many of the important measurements of an amplifier - S/N, Dynamic Range, etc.  Yet, harmonic and intermodulation distortion are accepted as absolute measurements.  I suspect that this is the case because amplifier manufacturers with solid state designs (the predominate configuration for the mass markets) are able to very easily compete with low levels of THD and IM.  Yet, the deviations that they produce are very often odd-order results.  This may easily explain why tube amps with THD and IMD of several magnitudes higher than comparable SS are easy to listen to, whereas the SS with magnitudes lower THD and IMD may be objectionable.

 

I would love to see the THD and IMD results weighted.  They'll probably never do it, though, because in the mass markets, tubes don't exist. 

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