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Are Tube Amps better than Solid State Amps? - Page 3

post #31 of 95

People like tubes more because modern day headphones are so detailed and resolving. What you hear in real life (I believe) is less detailed than what you can get from a headphone. Some people like the sound of tubes at the cost of detail retrieval, which is, in a way, to make the sound sound more natural. SS amps often have distortion of 0.001% (and lower). These amps are extremely detailed usually, and when paired with a resolving headphone the sound can be too detailed for most people.

post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymordos View Post

People like tubes more because modern day headphones are so detailed and resolving. What you hear in real life (I believe) is less detailed than what you can get from a headphone. Some people like the sound of tubes at the cost of detail retrieval, which is, in a way, to make the sound sound more natural. SS amps often have distortion of 0.001% (and lower). These amps are extremely detailed usually, and when paired with a resolving headphone the sound can be too detailed for most people.


Thats true. However I think the headphone should be the one doing all the resolving/warming of the sound, and the amp should stay invisible. Otherwise there's no end to the combinations of tubes and headphones.

post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post

You don't have to roll anything if you know your tubes. That all does take a lot of reading or experience, of which I have done both. Tube amps are only as good or bad as they are made and who is using them.

+1 on that..

 

After spending a few thousand on tubes,ranging from Ge...to Lorenze,I found my favorite tube to be an RCA,cost,about $25.00

post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post


Thats true. However I think the headphone should be the one doing all the resolving/warming of the sound, and the amp should stay invisible. Otherwise there's no end to the combinations of tubes and headphones.

 

I think that's all the fun! Although I would know, since I've only got solid states. I agree with you most of the time, I like my amp to be invisible but at the same time it's cool to have a tube amp around for the unique (even if a high end SS is technically superior) sound because more choice is never a bad thing. o2smile.gif

post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymordos View Post

People like tubes more because modern day headphones are so detailed and resolving. What you hear in real life (I believe) is less detailed than what you can get from a headphone. Some people like the sound of tubes at the cost of detail retrieval, which is, in a way, to make the sound sound more natural. SS amps often have distortion of 0.001% (and lower). These amps are extremely detailed usually, and when paired with a resolving headphone the sound can be too detailed for most people.

 

You feel modern headphones are possibly too detailed and resolving for some, but I don't think audio can ever be too detailed and resolving. However what can happen is that audio equipment can put detail out of context. An impression of great detail can come because the detailed sounds become blown out of proportion. However while this is an impression of great detail it is in fact a manifestation of not enough detail and resolution. Each part of the audio signal must remain in context and the information to keep it in context is itself something which needs to be resolved and the context is a detail in itself.

 

Often when people describe Hi Fi negatively as being "analytical" in nature they are describing this situation in which the detail is not being kept in context.

 

Very transparent Hi Fi equipment often gets unfairly judged as being "analytical" in a negative way because something before it in the chain is not transparent and is over-emphasising detail. So the solution is to have properly transparent source, transparent amplification and transparent headphones. All must be producing the maximum amount of detail and resolution and none must be putting detail out of context.

 

This is why I am very much one for a hierarchical approach to system construction. The source must be as good as possible, then the amplification is the next important and lastly the headphones. Even though most signal is lost at the headphones, signal loss at the source or amplification is amplified and can give this out of context detail which leads to an "analytical" sound.

 

Unfortunately people often don't understand this and instead what they do is use a mediocre valve ("tube" in US) amplifier to "smooth over" the out of context detail. Note that here is a misuse of the phenomenon associated with mediocre valve amplifiers of producing a great quantity of even order harmonic distortion (the warm sound). There are, of course, excellent valve amplifiers which produce very little harmonic distortion.

 

It is much better make sure that the source and amplification is not producing out of context detail, and this is done by using very good source and amplification. I will comment that "very good" does not necessarily mean expensive.

 

It is true that headphones can be extremely transparent and detailed. They have many advantages over speakers in a listening room. They require no crossover, they are not troubled by room acoustics etc. Because they have these advantages I often suspect that people do not provide them with good enough amplification and source.

 

The high quality source and amplifier will keep detail in context and it will not sound "analytical" in a negative sense.

post #36 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

My first "tube" was an EF5....
It made magic with my HE5 n hd800 none of my solid state amps could, then.
Had to roll in my first tube cos the stock tube died..tongue.gif
nah I wasn't addicted... Just a little high.
The tube path is part of the road we must walk in headfi.

Now...which balanced tube amp to snag...tats the headache.rolleyes.gif

Is the Hifiman Ef-5 a Hybrid ?

post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

Is the Hifiman Ef-5 a Hybrid ?

Yes and it is a hidden gem in my opinion with an OPA roll and a better tube.

post #38 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless1 View Post

Yes and it is a hidden gem in my opinion with an OPA roll and a better tube.

hybrid as in both solid state and tube together? that's cool :), do you know where the gain switch is at on the Ef-5? i've been looking all over for it lol! 

post #39 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

hybrid as in both solid state and tube together? that's cool :), do you know where the gain switch is at on the Ef-5? i've been looking all over for it lol! 

On top on the older ones, on the bottom on the newer model.

post #40 of 95
Thread Starter 

I did my comparison with the Ef-5 vs Jds labs O2. I much prefer tube signature with my He-500 compared to the O2. I like the Dynamic Sound of the EF-5 compared to the O2. and it sounds more open and clear. O.O. very musical sounding. Makes me wonder how the HE-6 sound with a tube amp. 


Edited by Poetic - 1/14/13 at 12:37pm
post #41 of 95
Thread Starter 

Get to test out the Lyr vs Ef-5 tomorrow. and tube is hot almost burned my paw off :(

post #42 of 95

Rolling transistors is fun too.

post #43 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Rolling transistors is fun too.
Oh you bad man.
post #44 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek200 View Post

+1 on that..

After spending a few thousand on tubes,ranging from Ge...to Lorenze,I found my favorite tube to be an RCA,cost,about $25.00

Your post is very encouraging as i really felt some of the prices of tubes were getting a little bit outrageous. I hope to gain more tube knowledge knowing that gems could be found that cheap.
post #45 of 95

I do prefer transparency and resolution over smoothed things. I believe that we should hear as much as possible from a song. Tubes do sound pleasing to the ear but they don't please me for long. Using both tubes and SS and have them on switch is the way to go.

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