Yes indeed, that pretty much answers my question.
Hey guys, got an odd one here.
Got my Bravo Ocean amp, and a Mullard ECC82 tube. There is sound, and it is great, but the tube doesn't glow at all.
Where as another Mullard tube I have glows very nicely.
Very stange, any ideas?
Bad tube (sounds great though)
That isn't true. From the very beginning of "hi-fi" (read: high fidelity) sound, the goal was always *fidelity*, meaning flat response, inaudible levels of distortion and a noise floor below the level of audibility at the loudest normal listening volumes. In the days when there was no solid state, the best tube amps were the ones that came closest to achieving that goal.
Today, even midrange solid state amps achieve perfect sound and reach the goal of hi-fi for amps which is being basically "a wire with gain".
Audiophiles are the ones that claimed that they wanted something other than audio fidelity. They chose deliberately imbalanced response to create "warm analog sound" or "highly detailed". They also chose to use tubes so they could slather on dollops of "euphonious" distortion. Every audiophile's system sounds different, depending on what flavor of deviation from true fidelity they happened to choose.
Without a baseline like there was in the hi-fi days, sloppy engineers decided to throw all standards out the window and mix and EQ to their own flavor of deviation. This has resulted in music with bass that is hideously overdriven, distortion due to clipping caused by hot mastering, and sound stages that sound like completely muddled mush. The same music sounds different on every stereo that it is played on... and I guarantee you that musicians don't like that. They want it to sound to the audience at home the way they intend it to sound.
This is the principle division between hi-fi nuts and audiophools. Hi-fi nuts have a baseline they calibrate to. Audiophools go slopping around distortions and imbalances as the whim suits them. Actually manipulating frequency imbalances and distortion was what phonograph manufacturers did back in the days of the wind up Victrola to get around the limitations of horn based acoustic recording techniques. We may be devolving.
Yes I have. The best ones I've heard sound almost as good as solid state. But they can get very funky if they get old or run hot, and the good ones aren't cheap. Too much expense and work for me to maintain just for the nice glowing Christmas lights.
Is that right, and what kind of music is that?
In my musical career I've seen plenty of proof of the opposite. Tube amps are profusely used in the studio by musicians of all kind, from keyboards to guitars. Maybe for acoustic music they aren't, but for a large majority of music recorded from the 60s on, tube amps are dominant in every professional studio.
There's distortion and distortion though. If you want distortion as a guitarist you buy a distortion pedal, that's an effect. If you want a sweeter, fuller sound you buy a tube amp, that's not an effect. Certainly both are distortion, but the way you put things it's as if a tube amplifier for hi-fi is like a distortion pedal. That's just simply not true, and to say that musicians would rather you not use tube hifi gear to listen to their music is just plain wrong. Matter of fact I know of quite a few professional musicians who own tube hifi gear, and a great deal more who absolutely love my preamp whenever they get the chance to hear it. This anti-tube crusade is a little tiring, and honestly the stubbornness of some about tube gear is as ridiculous as the blind audiophiles who pay to get their cables 'burned in'.
As for 'musicians want the recording to sound as they intend it', that's also a pretty ridiculous concept to anything pre-1980, which is the vast majority of music. Tubes help a lot to compensate for bad recordings, and I've yet to hear EQing that does this half as well.
Actually now that I think of it, I do think some of the studios I worked in had mike pre's that had a combination of tubes and solid state. I think the Avalon has that. Never saw one used on the mixing board for playback though.
A mixing board isn't made for listening pleasure but for accuracy so it helps engineers mix/master (read: add effects the way they want so it sounds different/colored/better from straight up live listening, something which a musician rarely knows anything about). Unfortunately for the musicians, it's pretty rare to find a truly neutral sound in the studio as well, however much engineers would like to sell that, not to mention that decent mastering/mixing made by engineers who really know how to work a recording are not very common, as exemplified by the many poor recordings you can find out there. Thank god they don't have tubes in the mixer, honestly.
While something may sound good (enough anyway) to the musician in the studio after the engineer is done throwing VST effects on ProTools at a recording, it's a different story when they hear it on their nephew's 50 bucks stereo, and that's not even speaking for pre-1980 recordings, the vast majority of which have a high noise floor and poor recording techniques (most often none at all in fact). All this to say that 'the way the musician wants you to hear it' is far from being exact, considering that a great deal of studio engineers don't do a very good job in the first place and the musicians more often than not settle on what doesn't sound terrible as opposed to what sounds perfect, so I'm quite happy to have tools like tube amps to help the music sound better and bring me more enjoyment, especially as a musician myself who has seen and heard how engineers can wreck a good song.
As far as home listening goes, it's another story. It's the same reason why in the studio you'd rather go for nearfield monitors rather than hi-fi speakers, whereas at home you'd usually prefer the extra depth a nice pair of speakers can bring you, regardless of however much it "colors" the sound. If I wanted clinical listening at home I'd own a home studio ;)
Whenever I worked in the studio, we tracked on near field monitors and mixed on the main calibrated speakers. Here in LA I guess we are lucky. Lots of great studios to work in with top notch engineers and equipment.
Not only have I heard a tube amp, I own several :
Old Fender Princeton Reverb with 6v6's
Old Marshall 50 watt top with EL34's and 4x12 cab with Celestion speakers
Marshal 25/50 combo with EL34's
Old Vox AC30 TB with EL84's
Yes, I LOVE them for their overdrive/distortion ..
Guess what I DO NOT OWN ??
A tube-amp for playing back recorded music
Because : At that point, adding distortion is epic failure .
As you can see, I don't mind spending cash on amps that distort 5% or more when pushed a bit hard
but I don't want tubes in the playback-chain .
I have heard very good clean-sounding Hi-Fi tube amps, McIntosh fex, but the price-tag is simply insane when compared to
a Solid State power-amp .
Besides, I know plenty of bass-players who swear by Solid-State amps, because they want a clean undistorted sound .
When they want distortion, they just stomp on a box or something ..