Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Explain the use and benefits of tube amps?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Explain the use and benefits of tube amps? - Page 6

post #76 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

 

Yeah, there is a big disjoint between what people claim they can hear and what they actually do, isnt there?    And also between what they claim and what published specs say - my favorite is the guys who claim that one amp is warmer than another when both are 20-20k @ 0,1%.   Yeah, good luck hearing that.

 

I have to admit, i do not know enough about the science of audio perception to say which measurement/spec corresponds to perception.    I had rebuilt a Dynaco ST-70 with Ned @ Triode Electrics's mod, and it sounded fairly neutral and not at all lush/mid-heavy.   With my 2A3, I did find it more lush - you are right, it could be the harmonics giving it that extra body.  I never measured the FR.

 

I have a Systems Engineering degree, although i've never used it - so know just about enough to be dangerous to myself  :).    I do think that the audio world could do with the removal of a few naked emperors, though.


I think a lot of people can't describe what they hear and either misuse terms or use some of the popular nonsense terms. And then once in a while you read a description that makes sense and that is refreshing. IMO far too many repeat the "magic words" they hear in the forums and things begin to take on a life of its own.. The year is 2014 and the truth is that there's a great deal of excellent equipment available at very reasonable prices, some that are overpriced and maybe add some value due to styling and construction. There's also some big bucks stuff that if you ask me is made for the benefit of lab tests not human pleasure because they measure to values we cannot hear, but some folks must have it because of ......

Whatever happened to enjoying some music, sometimes I wonder.

I think that to find a tube amp that has great benefits without excessive noise or distortion means opening one's wallet a little more than for SS and looking carefully.


Edited by StanD - 3/4/14 at 10:03pm
post #77 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 


I think a lot of people can't describe what they hear and either misuse terms or use some of the popular nonsense terms. And then once in a while you read a description that makes sense and that is refreshing. IMO far too many repeat the "magic words" they hear in the forums and things begin to take on a life of its own.. The year is 2014 and the truth is that there's a great deal of excellent equipment available at very reasonable prices, some that are overpriced and maybe add some value due to styling and construction. There's also some big bucks stuff that if you ask me is made for the benefit of lab tests not human pleasure because they measure to values we cannot hear, but some folks must have it because of ......

Whatever happened to enjoying some music, sometimes I wonder.

I think that to find a tube amp that has great benefits without excessive noise or distortion means opening one's wallet a little more than for SS and looking carefully.


That is true, I think a lot of people have forgotten about enjoying the music, I personally want to be absorbed into the music when I listen to it. I realized after hearing tubes I couldn't go back to SS amps, especially with my main two headphones. I agree there is plenty of good gear for reasonable prices if you are willing to look around and sometimes it's a matter of taking a chance.

post #78 of 98

Well I recently just decommissioned my XcanV3 and reassembled my Gennari HV-11 Hybrid (rebadged Vincent KHV111) hybrid.  I was getting desperate for a more true to tube experience and am broke and the Aussie Gennari had more of that SET with big bass sound whereas the Vcan was lean and more faster (rolled off) bass.  The Gennari goes for 235 bucks brand new.

 

I'm sure they both measure flat 20 to 20...so I'm not really sure whats going on with that.

post #79 of 98
Stan: "I think that to find a tube amp that has great benefits without excessive noise or distortion means opening one's wallet a little more than for SS and looking carefully."

^^ Spot on.
post #80 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post
 

Well I recently just decommissioned my XcanV3 and reassembled my Gennari HV-11 Hybrid (rebadged Vincent KHV111) hybrid.  I was getting desperate for a more true to tube experience and am broke and the Aussie Gennari had more of that SET with big bass sound whereas the Vcan was lean and more faster (rolled off) bass.  The Gennari goes for 235 bucks brand new.

 

I'm sure they both measure flat 20 to 20...so I'm not really sure whats going on with that.

Only Dr. Evil knows.

Which cans and what's the impedance curve like? The impedance at the bass end would have to drop like a stone, I've never seen that.

post #81 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Only Dr. Evil knows.

Which cans and what's the impedance curve like? The impedance at the bass end would have to drop like a stone, I've never seen that.

 

That's the thing, all my cans exhibit the same behavior with bass perception regardless of impedance, even on the planars which are a less prone to impedance factors.  Besides both amps are hybrids and the solid state output would have a reasonable low out z.  May well be this 2nd order harmonics thing.  Either way I still believe an amp doesn't change the overall character of a headphone.

post #82 of 98
Thread Starter 

Follow-up from OP: After much soul-searching, I went with the Aune T1 as my primary amp. I've been extremely happy with it so far; I don't have great ears by any stretch, but things do seem warmer and more enjoyable with my HD 600's with a tube in the mix.

post #83 of 98
There is an old trick called "Synthetic Bass." It is done by using harmonics to give the illusion of having more of the fundamental frequency or even if the fundamental is missing make you feel that it is present. It is considered "not to constitute fidelity." Several decades ago inexpensive audio systems had amps and speakers systems that faked bass this way. I had one of these when I was a teenager and was always trying to figure out why the bass sounded like crap. I was cured when I upgraded my system. Below is a reference from an ancient text that I just looked up, this is old school.

F. Langford-Smith, Radiotron Designer's Handbook (RCA. 1953), chap. 14 Page 616 viii "Synthetic Bass" (B)

 

So I wonder if some amps or cans that are rich in the second harmonic for bass notes give the illusion of being richer in bass but under close examination do not sound quite right.


Edited by StanD - 3/5/14 at 6:01pm
post #84 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

F. Langford-Smith, Radiotron Designer's Handbook (RCA. 1953), chap. 14 Page 616 viii "Synthetic Bass" (B)

 

So I wonder if some amps or cans that are rich in the second harmonic for bass notes give the illusion of being richer in bass but under close examination do not sound quite right.

 

Certainly worthy of consideration.

post #85 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

The implication is that everyone should expect to hear ringing when they purchase a tube amplifier.

That is manifestly untrue.

As for your specifics, there is nothing in that reference that implies every single tube has audible microphonics.  To the contrary, it's research intending to minimize the possibility.  If you're going to take the tack that every tube can show measureable ring - no matter how minute - because it depends on physical structure to produce current, you might as well include solid-state in that criteria (but you haven't).

Why would microphonics matter in a headphone amplifier?

There is not a large soundfield volume to make them vibrate, hence no microphonics?

If you are powering speakers at volume, definitely a concern.

Listening on headphones? Non-issue.
post #86 of 98

In my experience if you knock on a vacuum tube you will hear it, but that's like saying if you knock a turn table your needle is going to skip. Why do people perceive that as being an issue?

 

Personally i try to avoid knocking my audio equipment around as much as possible.

post #87 of 98

Im gonna throw my hat here into the rink and say that this conversation has become completely off topic. I believe the initial request was suggestions for cheap (~200$) tube amps that would sound good and be a good fit for beginners. I actually came here for the same reason, so lets get over microphonics and if SS sounds better than tube and lets get down to business please. I am looking for a beginner tube amp. I would like something that not only sounds good (at the price range) and looks good as well (exposed tubes?). I have looks at several amps the Muse TU-20, Indeed G3, Maverick tubemagic D1and Little Dok Mk2&3. Now yalls past experience, which of those would be a good fit for DT 770 (80ohm) and as a pre amp for some speakers. I actually would also prefer suggestions as well, if there is something I can get cheaper that sounds nicer that would be lovely. I am pretty tight on money so sticking to the budget would kind of matter. Another question, I am interested in the ability to swap out tubes for different sounds, but I dont know what it takes to do that. An amp with swapable tubes would be perfect, even better if no other internals needed adjustment after the swap (and if it needs adjustment, something not too complicated). Once again, I am new to this and any help would be appreciated. 

post #88 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by diphaloraptor View Post
 

Im gonna throw my hat here into the rink and say that this conversation has become completely off topic. I believe the initial request was suggestions for cheap (~200$) tube amps that would sound good and be a good fit for beginners. I actually came here for the same reason, so lets get over microphonics and if SS sounds better than tube and lets get down to business please. I am looking for a beginner tube amp. I would like something that not only sounds good (at the price range) and looks good as well (exposed tubes?). I have looks at several amps the Muse TU-20, Indeed G3, Maverick tubemagic D1and Little Dok Mk2&3. Now yalls past experience, which of those would be a good fit for DT 770 (80ohm) and as a pre amp for some speakers. I actually would also prefer suggestions as well, if there is something I can get cheaper that sounds nicer that would be lovely. I am pretty tight on money so sticking to the budget would kind of matter. Another question, I am interested in the ability to swap out tubes for different sounds, but I dont know what it takes to do that. An amp with swapable tubes would be perfect, even better if no other internals needed adjustment after the swap (and if it needs adjustment, something not too complicated). Once again, I am new to this and any help would be appreciated. 

 

Dont agree.   The topic says "explain the benefit and use of tube amps" and the discussion is certainly relevant to that.

 

Also, more pertinently to your subsequent questions, the discussion useless b/c it gives context to both asking for and receiving advice.   You cannot really have a recommendation for an amp without:

1/ Defining "better" in terms of expectations

2/ Understanding the pros and cons of tube amps, especially inexpensive ones

 

As is, I for one to do not have enough info to really give a meaningful answer to your question.  If you want a tube amp for the sake of a tube amp, buy whichever one you get.  If you want it for a specific reason, what is that?  That will affect what your recommendations are.  The bulk of this thread covers that in enough detail.


Edited by vkalia - 4/11/14 at 9:47am
post #89 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by diphaloraptor View Post
 

Im gonna throw my hat here into the rink and say that this conversation has become completely off topic. I believe the initial request was suggestions for cheap (~200$) tube amps that would sound good and be a good fit for beginners. I actually came here for the same reason, so lets get over microphonics and if SS sounds better than tube and lets get down to business please. I am looking for a beginner tube amp. I would like something that not only sounds good (at the price range) and looks good as well (exposed tubes?). I have looks at several amps the Muse TU-20, Indeed G3, Maverick tubemagic D1and Little Dok Mk2&3. Now yalls past experience, which of those would be a good fit for DT 770 (80ohm) and as a pre amp for some speakers. I actually would also prefer suggestions as well, if there is something I can get cheaper that sounds nicer that would be lovely. I am pretty tight on money so sticking to the budget would kind of matter. Another question, I am interested in the ability to swap out tubes for different sounds, but I dont know what it takes to do that. An amp with swapable tubes would be perfect, even better if no other internals needed adjustment after the swap (and if it needs adjustment, something not too complicated). Once again, I am new to this and any help would be appreciated. 

 

find a darkvoice336se.( in the resale mkt? ) ...i found one for less then 200..my luck.

it works well with the dt770. ( and almost all the cans i have...cept the HE6  :P )  

u can swap in all flavors of cheaptubes to your fancy...plug in n pull out...nothing to tweak. v easy.

 

If i can give a very general feel to the sound...errmmm BEEFY..ORGANIC..LUSH.. 

( of cos it is dependent on the tubes...plus minus.. humpfff :P )

 

 

( edit : i have not read thru the whole thread...just suggesting an amp that i am so very fond of right now.best bang for my $$..ok i am leaving this thread :P)


Edited by Lorspeaker - 4/11/14 at 9:57am
post #90 of 98

I liked reading this thread. Even though it did wander slightly from it's original purpose, it's cool to see the same issues are alive today just as they were 30 years ago.

 

I purchased a mid 1960s H.H. Scott amp around 1998 and used it for years. H.H. Scott and Fisher were really the main HI/Fi builders in the mid 1960s along with McIntosh. Most of these companies started in the late 1940s.

 

Thinking back many tube amps do have a slight warmth/distortion over solid state. It is entertaining to realize that there was very little solid state amps in 1965. So listening to solid-state must have had a big impact and sounded clearer in a way. McIntosh started building stuff in the late 1940s but then started offering solid-state in the mid 1960s.

 

I can only really comment on the equipment I have heard or owned here. I have heard both clear and cold sounding tube equipment and lush sounding tube equipment.

 

 

For a beginner here some aspects of tube equipment could be more of a hassle. Buying old 1960s tube equipment can end up being expensive if you need to take it in for new caps or need to buy a tube tester to change out failing tubes. That is the great part about the tube amps being sold on around Head-Fi now, rarely do you see more than six tubes being used in an amp, most times it's three or even one.

 

The other downfall for a new member would be purchasing a low power tube amp that would get too warm sounding at high volume, where the member would have been happy with the more clinical sounding op-amp equipment.

 

When I purchased my Woo 5LE I was hoping to get more of that warm distortion I was used to with the Woo 3 or H.H. Scott. To my surprise there was none. No distortion no warmth or coldness at all. Just simple clear sound. It does not sound like tubes at all.

 

I'm sure that well done solid-state sounds the same way. Just clear music.

 

The trick in this hobby is to find something in your budget that entertains and allows you to listen for hours without fatigue if you so choose to go that long in a listening session.


Edited by Redcarmoose - 4/11/14 at 9:58am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Explain the use and benefits of tube amps?