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Tube rolling - Page 10

post #136 of 178
No, you don't flatten out the spectrum, no one said that. You flatten an already flat spectrum. In equals out.....not wiggly in equals flat out.
post #137 of 178
Take a signal, any signal or song....whatever. Play it into an earbud, a good speaker, and a ham sandwich.....listen from 10 feet away. Which do you think sounds most true to the real thing? Not a trick question.... No amount of eq will make the response of the sandwich correct. Nor will the earbud put out enough sound to hear properly at distance. Two speakers can be equalized to sound the same though....and they can be made to sound like the original.. The way you do is calibrate the system.
Edited by GrindingThud - 3/25/14 at 6:46pm
post #138 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Take a signal, any signal or song....whatever. Play it into an earbud, a good speaker, and a ham sandwich.....listen from 10 feet away. Which do you think sounds most true to the real thing? Not a trick question.... No amount of eq will make the response of the sandwich correct. Nor will the earbud put out enough sound to hear properly at distance. Two speakers can be equalized to sound the same though....and they can be made to sound like the original.. The way you do is calibrate the system.

 

"They can be made to sound like the original" according to what? Your ears? Then that is subjective. So while to YOU it may sound like "the original", to me it may sound completely different from the original, and to both of us it may sound completely different from a "live performance sound".

 

I understand what you're saying, you calibrate your EQ to correct the "faults" in your speakers, but you do this according to what YOU hear, and we all hear differently. So while that may in fact be a "flat response" as far as the gear is concerned, when your own ears come into the equation, it's a completely different story.

 

And it doesn't strictly have to do with what you CAN hear, but also what you ENJOY hearing. That's also very subjective. Some enjoy a "bright, treble heavy" sound, others find it harsh and annoying.


Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 6:56pm
post #139 of 178

It does seem that maybe we're talking at cross purposes.

 

Consider Grados. I use a pair of 80i to listen to Bach's organ works. They're not flat at all: a very steep bass roll off and sharp spikes in the treble. Do they sound realistic? Um, no. Do I enjoy them? Oh, hell yes! I'm wondering if the same can't be said about tubes.

post #140 of 178
No, you use a white noise closed loop calibration system. Some av receivers have them built in....even cheap ones.
http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-your-av-receivers-speaker-calibration/
Edited by GrindingThud - 3/25/14 at 6:59pm
post #141 of 178
Completely agree. What I like to listen to is not flat calibrated. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

It does seem that maybe we're talking at cross purposes.

Consider Grados. I use a pair of 80i to listen to Bach's organ works. They're not flat at all: a very steep bass roll off and sharp spikes in the treble. Do they sound realistic? Um, no. Do I enjoy them? Oh, hell yes! I'm wondering if the same can't be said about tubes.
post #142 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Completely agree. What I like to listen to is not flat calibrated. smily_headphones1.gif

 

So if there's nothing wrong with enjoying Grados, what's wrong with enjoying tubes?

post #143 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

It does seem that maybe we're talking at cross purposes.

 

Consider Grados. I use a pair of 80i to listen to Bach's organ works. They're not flat at all: a very steep bass roll off and sharp spikes in the treble. Do they sound realistic? Um, no. Do I enjoy them? Oh, hell yes! I'm wondering if the same can't be said about tubes.

 

Yes, I think Grados are the best example to give as far as headphones are concerned. My SR325i are a love/hate headphone because of their treble heavy response (as are my SA5000, see a pattern developing? ;)) Personally, and I've listened to systems that are maybe 20 times the price of mine, I've yet to hear anything more enjoyable than my SR325i paired with the MPX3 + BM DAC1. Yes, they're not as detailed as some of the more expensive setups, the soundstage isn't as wide, the imaging isn't as good, but they're just incredibly fun with classic rock, and I've yet to hear any combination of headphone+amp+dac that can make me enjoy the music the way I do in my own system (and I've heard a LOT of systems in the past 10 years), which by the way took me years of trial and error so that I could match the right gear to get the sound I have now.

 

I've tried countless solid state amps, a few (not many) tube amps, and quite a few DACs and headphones. I didn't settle on a tube amp "by chance". When I put Hendrix on I want the guitar to have some "grit" (yes, another vague adjective, sue me :biggrin:) and tubes give me that kind of sound. I can EQ as much as I want with a solid state amp, I won't get that kind of sound.


Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 7:09pm
post #144 of 178
Nothing at all, I have a WA3 OTL tube amp and like it.....also like my krell clone SS amp. I swap between them depending on mood and music. I was only trying to add clarity to calibration and the meaning of flat calibration.....which clearly I failed at. smily_headphones1.gif
post #145 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Nothing at all, I have a WA3 OTL tube amp and like it.....also like my krell clone SS amp. I swap between them depending on mood and music. I was only trying to add clarity to calibration and the meaning of flat calibration.....which clearly I failed at. smily_headphones1.gif

 

You didn't fail at all, it's not such a complicated concept to grasp... Perhaps my english is not up to par to express myself the way I'd like, but my point is that while your gear may bring out a flat response, you cannot calibrate your ears, and a "flat response" might not be the sound that you enjoy most (and in my experience, rarely is). Seems to be true since you yourself own a tube amp :wink:

post #146 of 178
On this we agree..... wink.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

You didn't fail at all, it's not such a complicated concept to grasp... Perhaps my english is not up to par to express myself the way I'd like, but my point is that while your gear may bring out a flat response, you cannot calibrate your ears, and a "flat response" might not be the sound that you enjoy most (and in my experience, rarely is). Seems to be true since you yourself own a tube amp wink.gif
post #147 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

But that's my point - what is accurate to begin with? Live music is NOT a flat frequency response, that's IMPOSSIBLE.

Natural sound is not colored. It is what it is.
If you record natural sound to a recording medium with a flat response, the recording will have the same frequency response that the mikes picked up from the natural sound.
Recording engineers creatively adjust response during mixing to improve the sound as an overall balanced recording.
When the engineers creatively mix music, they listen on studio monitors calibrated to a flat response.
If you calibrate your speakers to a flat response and play back a CD mixed this way, you will hear the same thing the engineers did.

If you want realistic playback of direct recordings, you want a flat response.
If you want accurate playback of music that has been creatively mixed, you want a flat response.

You start with an accurate balanced response. Then if you feel like a ham sandwich, you fiddle with the bass and treble. But unless you start with a balanced response, you have no idea how it was intended to sound.

Very few people have heard recordings played back with a balanced response. It takes some work to accomplish.
Edited by bigshot - 3/25/14 at 8:51pm
post #148 of 178

bigshot, I never doubted that for studio work one needs flat equipment. I wasn't suggesting using Grados or tubes there. But what's the harm of using them at home for fun? 

post #149 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

bigshot, I never doubted that for studio work one needs flat equipment. I wasn't suggesting using Grados or tubes there. But what's the harm of using them at home for fun? 


There's nothing wrong at all about that; however, just because something is fun and somebody happened to have spent multi-thousands of dollars on a fun piece of equipment doesn't somehow make it more accurate, and that others should feels as if they cannot have a high-fidelity headphone system because they cannot afford $10k for an boutique tube amplifier. One can go a very, very, very long way for under $1000 start to finish, and have a very high fidelity system.

 

Tube-rolling for accurate sound is kind of like having a set of screw drivers and a bunch of nails. You can try whacking the nail with the different screw drivers in the set to see which works best at driving the nail---and you may even likely find a nice hefty screw driver that can get the job done---but the right tool for the job is still a hammer. Two things about this, 1) trying to find the best screw driver for pounding nails is stupid, 2) a nice set of screw drivers are perfect when you have a bunch of screws. A screw driver is simply not the best tool for the job when you want to drive nails, just as tubes are not the best active components to use when you want to have a highly linear, low distortion amplifier.

 

I love tube amps---I just use them where appropriate. You can certainly build a very linear, very accurate tube amp---it just costs you more to do so. If you want High Fidelity sound reproduction, you don't need a tube amp (in fact, you probably should avoid tube amps). If you want High fidelity from a retro amp design, tubes are the way to go---they're very retro indeed---it's just going to be a lot more expensive to get the same fidelity performance levels that one could get from a solid state design.

 

Now, if you need a high power, kilovolt-level power amplifier for a high impedance load, then tubes are probably a very attractive active component to start your design with. I just can't think of any dynamic headphones or speakers that would fall into that classification.

 

 

To actually address the OP's question/topic, I don't think tube rolling is pointless. I think it could be very educational if approached in the correct manner. 1) do a little background reading on amplifier design. 2) do a little background, nay, history reading  on the operation principles of different types of valves. 3) tube roll and compare the change in response/distortion between different tubes---compare their data sheets--- see if you can make sense of the changes based on the circuit design and the different tube specifications. 4) learn.

 

Nobody these days invents anything new by brute force trying N! combinations of some system parameters before something magically happens to just work. That's sort of how evolution works and it takes Millions and Millions of years to get anywhere with that approach. Don't tube roll blindly. Formulate a hypothesis based on established principles and systematically test in a controlled way.

 

Happy rollin'

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 3/25/14 at 9:59pm
post #150 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


There's nothing wrong at all about that; however, just because something is fun and somebody happened to have spent multi-thousands of dollars on a fun piece of equipment doesn't somehow make it more accurate, and that others should feels as if they cannot have a high-fidelity headphone system because they cannot afford $10k for an boutique tube amplifier. One can go a very, very, very long way for under $1000 start to finish, and have a very high fidelity system.

 

Tube-rolling for accurate sound is kind of like having a set of screw drivers and a bunch of nails. You can try whacking the nail with the different screw drivers in the set to see which works best at driving the nail---and you may even likely find a nice hefty screw driver that can get the job done---but the right tool for the job is still a hammer. Two things about this, 1) trying to find the best screw driver for pounding nails is stupid, 2) a nice set of screw drivers are perfect when you have a bunch of screws. A screw driver is simply not the best tool for the job when you want to drive nails, just as tubes are not the best active components to use when you want to have a highly linear, low distortion amplifier.

 

I never had the impression that people were tube rolling for accurate sound. I thought it was for enjoying the music. The problem is when people suppose there's only right way to do that. "Laughable! Ha ha!!" -- Jesus Quintana

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