Can tube sound be replicated via plugins?
Jul 11, 2017 at 4:01 AM Post #61 of 179

pinnahertz

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Really.... actually I don't realise this at all. Just like solid state digital amplifiers there are tube amplifiers that distort the sound quality in some way and there are those that don't. This statement is an utter load of nonsense. You might prefer solid state digital amplifiers over tube/valve amplifiers but again this does not make the statement held above true.
No, the statement, though highly generalized, is accurate with respect to the popular perception of what "tube sound" is.
Either way if you design a solid state amplifier and its topology correctly and a tube amp and its topology correctly both systems will be capable of achieving sound without any colouration and without an perceptible distortion all things considered and provided its operating within its capabilities and headroom.
I completely agree, you can design amps using either SS or tube devices that are capable of uncolored sound. But that's not the point of the "tube sound", is it? Why use tubes if they sound uncolored when you can get that at far less cost and trouble from SS devices?
The idea that valves distort comes from the wanted harmonic distortion from musical instrument amplifiers. This is not the reality of all valve amps. Some people just like to make sweeping generalisations without ever having used a valve amplifier in their life.
Partially true that the tube sound=distortion comes from instrument amps, and is not true of all valve amps, but if the sound quality associated with valves is what is desired, it comes from increased harmonic distortion, increased IMD, increased noise, and non-flat frequency response. Otherwise it wouldn't sound tube-ish.

If one is to make a proper comparison of valve vs. digital one must use both systems first. Lots of people like to say things without trying something first. Despite popular opinion neither option is expensive or wrong. There are a lot of vintage valve amplifiers one can have for less than $1000 even less than $500 that will stack up well even today. Price comparison is not the issue here either.
I think it's rather presumptuous to state that someone who doesn't share your opinion couldn't possibly have ever used a tube amp.

When it comes to high power amps there are significant cost inhibitions in using tubes as the active devices, and a big part of that is the output transformer. Show me a 500W tube amp, I'll show you a very, very expensive cost per watt amp, and quite an inefficient one at that requiring some serious cooling considerations.
If we're going to talk about just my personal setup, not preferences or whatever, I have a pentode amplifier in push pull configuration using four 6BM8 and three 12AX7s it sounds nothing like the sweeping generalisations most people have of tube amps and to be fair. I listen to my amp for music reproduction not music distortion. I've heard both, I've got a Marshall JMP stack sitting in my dads living room the thing is, that has a purpose. My valve amp has a completely different purpose.

We're not listening to music to be rock stars here (or at least I'm not) so I really wish the cliche of harmonic distortion and "warmness" would go away.
Hmmm...that sounds like a pair of 6BM8s per channel, in other words, you have a 10W per channel stereo amp, and thats with 10W at something like 5% THD, assuming a decent output transformer with a relatively high output impedance creating a non-flat frequency response as it interacts with your speaker load. That would be the high distortion and FR issues being referred to as the "tube sound".

You don't think that would sound tube-ish up against a SS amp at 200WPC at .1% THD and an output Z around a fraction of an ohm?

Now, if you'd said KT88s so you were around 100WPC at 2.5% THD, then you might have a point to make.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 7:50 AM Post #62 of 179

Orestes1984

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No, you've simply created a big loaded argument out of this. People may like the sound of distortion, but this is not inherently what a tube amp is. People see, oh yeah great there's Led Zeppelin on stage, tube amp, it must all sound like that. This is both a sweeping generalisation and complete misnomer at the same time. I don't know where to begin to tell you what's wrong with this statement. It may be "popular belief" but that does not make it any way true of what is actually going on when you listen to a tube amp.

Now, A simple triode amp when pushed to the point of distortion on purpose by turning up the gain pot to full extension will exhibit this behavior, this is what a guitarist does to get that sound, its not what you do, or should be doing in your living room. The noise created by turning up your gain like that is not an inherent behavior of a properly constructed tube stereo amp at all, it is something that a guitarist does, or at least used to do before pedals were released to replicate distortion. Me thinks you need to go back to understanding tube topology and stop wasting my time. I don't have a triode amp, I have a pentode amplifier which inherently has much lower feedback anyway. Not mentioning the inherent efficiency benefits of power production anyhow due to the design, and also the lower gain you get meaning a much sweeter sounding amp.

And besides which point, the reality? Most people don't need 50watts let alone 500watts, a far better speaker/amp package lets say a 98 to 102/db/watt/metre speaker connected to even a modest (11 to 15watt a side depending on how healthy the valves are in it) in my case, or a 50watt amp in exemplar would actually produce enough noise to fill a modestly sized house with music and be deafeningly loud in the listening space. Misnomer number 2 is that you actually NEED 500watts, you don't. I'd say I need all of about 5 or 6 watts with a 98db or 102db efficient speaker to create a listening space that is unsafe for human ears to be listening to.

The perception that some kid needs a 500watt amp when they might be using lets say less than 20 and wasting the rest of that in heat output really makes my mind boggle. The race that occurred for more power in the tail end of the 1970s and into the 1980s onwards is ridiculous. The average person doesn't need a PA system for their home. The average person even with modestly efficient speakers could make do with about 30watts per side, but it depends on how you use those watts, or don't use them. Let me see a Technics SU-8600 uses 700watts just to produce 75watts of power. So no solid state is not inherently more efficient either.

Back to the modern stuff though, am I some modern day idjut that needs something that draws as much power per hour as a small house heater or am I actually going to build something that is plenty loud out of components that compliment my amp? I'll leave you to play with the 500watt stereo kids... I'll stick to actually constructing something that is both power and energy efficient and sounds better than what most kids spend there pocket money on at the same time these days.

Rather than being bullish and spouting nonsense I'll give you the actual topology of my amp to look at. I don't know where else to start with explaining something that is embarrassing if you think all tube designs inherently distort then you need to really listen to a lot more valve amplifiers actually. The THD is less than 1% try again seems like you need more experience sunshine... This thing is about the least valve sounding valve amplifier I could care to hear and I have a 50watt 1970s vintage Marshall JMP stack to compare it to in the living room. It makes no noise what so ever unless I want it to of course.

Meanwhile if I put on a go to audiophile LP such as Melody Gardot - My only Thrill this thing is so clear and whisper quiet I can hear every whisper of her voice. Her producer and not to mento her voice makes someone like Adele sound like crap by comparison. It's not even funny why small children like the alternatives.

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Jul 11, 2017 at 11:44 AM Post #63 of 179

pinnahertz

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No, you've simply created a big loaded argument out of this. People may like the sound of distortion, but this is not inherently what a tube amp is.
People see, oh yeah great there's Led Zeppelin on stage, tube amp, it must all sound like that. This is both a sweeping generalisation and complete misnomer at the same time. I don't know where to begin to tell you what's wrong with this statement. It may be "popular belief" but that does not make it any way true of what is actually going on when you listen to a tube amp.
So far you're the only one I've ever heard make the connection between hifi tube sound and but Led Zep amps on stage. They are entirely different purposes, and no audiophile would ever want that amp on stage in his home system. I'm not making that argument. However, you haven't defined what the "tube sound" in hifi is either.
Now, A simple triode amp when pushed to the point of distortion on purpose by turning up the gain pot to full extension will exhibit this behavior, this is what a guitarist does to get that sound, its not what you do, or should be doing in your living room. The noise created by turning up your gain like that is not an inherent behavior of a properly constructed tube stereo amp at all, it is something that a guitarist does, or at least used to do before pedals were released to replicate distortion.
Agreed. But you have not defined what the "tube sound" is in home hifi.
Me thinks you need to go back to understanding tube topology and stop wasting my time. I don't have a triode amp, I have a pentode amplifier which inherently has much lower feedback anyway. Not mentioning the inherent efficiency benefits of power production anyhow due to the design, and also the lower gain you get meaning a much sweeter sounding amp.
Insults aside, I didn't say you had a triode amp, and I don't disagree with the benefits of a power pentode.
And besides which point, the reality? Most people don't need 50watts let alone 500watts, a far better speaker/amp package lets say a 98 to 102/db/watt/metre speaker connected to even a modest (11 to 15watt a side depending on how healthy the valves are in it) in my case, or a 50watt amp in exemplar would actually produce enough noise to fill a modestly sized house with music and be deafeningly loud in the listening space. Misnomer number 2 is that you actually NEED 500watts, you don't. I'd say I need all of about 5 or 6 watts with a 98db or 102db efficient speaker to create a listening space that is unsafe for human ears to be listening to.
What you're quoting in your power figures is average power required. You're ignoring the 10-15dB crest factor of music. If you think your speakers/room are typical of everyone else, you are sadly mistaken. Average home speakers are 10dB less efficient than that. A 10 watt amp would be fine for background music, but be totally inadequate for anything above that.
The perception that some kid needs a 500watt amp when they might be using lets say less than 20 and wasting the rest of that in heat output really makes my mind boggle. The race that occurred for more power in the tail end of the 1970s and into the 1980s onwards is ridiculous. The average person doesn't need a PA system for their home. The average person even with modestly efficient speakers could make do with about 30watts per side, but it depends on how you use those watts, or don't use them. Let me see a Technics SU-8600 uses 700watts just to produce 75watts of power. So no solid state is not inherently more efficient either.
Yes, we typically run at an average of under 20W, and 500 was used only as an example for comparison. However, 100-120 is definitely required for the home with typical speakers. Modern solid state is shockingly efficient, though. For one thing, there's no filament, but there are many other reasons. But don't think that modern SS amps are at all like those of the 1970s and 80s. You are now citing exaggerated examples. Perhaps we could stay within the bounds of reality?
Back to the modern stuff though, am I some modern day idjut that needs something that draws as much power per hour as a small house heater or am I actually going to build something that is plenty loud out of components that compliment my amp? I'll leave you to play with the 500watt stereo kids... I'll stick to actually constructing something that is both power and energy efficient and sounds better than what most kids spend there pocket money on at the same time these days.
You still have not defined what sounds better. I'll just pass on the efficiency issue, just too far out of reality to comment on.
Rather than being bullish and spouting nonsense I'll give you the actual topology of my amp to look at. I don't know where else to start with explaining something that is embarrassing if you think all tube designs inherently distort then you need to really listen to a lot more valve amplifiers actually. The THD is less than 1% try again seems like you need more experience sunshine... This thing is about the least valve sounding valve amplifier I could care to hear and I have a 50watt 1970s vintage Marshall JMP stack to compare it to in the living room. It makes no noise what so ever unless I want it to of course.
Ah, well clearly you don't measure anything then! Try your Pioneer amp at rated power at 50Hz. You won't likely find it at 1%. As far as "no noise what so ever"…physics doesn't support your hypothesis, not at all. There's noise, and for any given amp capability tubes will be noisier.

So far you've tried to state why my statements about noise, distortion, response, and impedance are wrong. But measurements completely disagree with your assertions. You also have not defined what makes tubes sound "better" in your opinion. I'm not sure who is wasting whose time here.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 12:36 PM Post #64 of 179

bigshot

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Ha! Schematics and a gazillion line by line responses! I'll wait for someone to do a readers digest version of the past few posts. I'll jump back before the obfuscation began...

Either way if you design a solid state amplifier and its topology correctly and a tube amp and its topology correctly both systems will be capable of achieving sound without any colouration and without an perceptible distortion all things considered and provided its operating within its capabilities and headroom.

Exactly. There are very high quality tube amps that are audibly identical to typical solid state amps. It's possible for a tube amp to achieve transparency, it's just a lot more common for a solid state amp to be audibly transparent.
 
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Jul 11, 2017 at 12:50 PM Post #65 of 179

castleofargh

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it's a matter of reference. some tube amps sound audibly transparent so in that respect, tube amps aren't just noisy distorted gears, and I personally see no issue with using them for audio purposes.
but when looking at noise and THD, it's simply unrealistic to expect tube amps to be at the top compared to what can be achieves with solid state designs. tubes have other strengths, just not those 2.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 1:16 PM Post #67 of 179

100VoltTube

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Thanks, @bigshot, @Strangelove424 and @castleofargh. I think that most people are missing the point. It's not about whether SS amps are better than tube amps, is about whether you can get stereotypical "tube sound," not the sound of a transparent tube amp, from a plugin.

I would like to point out that tubes are not inherently less efficient than transistors, excluding heaters. Tubes are often (but not always) used in class A arrangements that can't exceed 50% efficiency, as opposed to class AB, B, and D SS amps that can be far more efficient.

I don't have a triode amp, I have a pentode amplifier which inherently has much lower feedback anyway
Why do pentodes have lower feedback? Methinks you don't understand amplifier design, or at least NFB.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 2:39 PM Post #68 of 179

castleofargh

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I thought this thread was about software emulation. It keeps turning into an amplification argument. Four years on, and not a single mention of a tube plugin.
because there is an unlimited number of distortion plugins from basic stuff with input, output and gain, to funky "grab the lasers" like this
but they are distortion plugins. not "my audiophile tube amp simulator 3000". in practice what's attractive for tube amps is how they distort, the transparent behavior isn't as special as some want to believe it is. so you will find VSTs doing distortions, simulating overdrive in all the imaginable ways. mostly for guitar amps as that's where it's cool and what people want to play with. but that's not what you want to try. TBH would you actually think there is a market for that? those who live by the tube are oh so unlikely to give them up for solid state gear and a digital plugin. and more likely than not even if a plugin was to do exactly the sound of a given amp, you'd have the Lavorgna kind of guys listening with heir eyes and telling you all about how it's totally different and doesn't work.

when I used viper4windows, it had a "tube simulator" setting within a lot of much more interesting stuff. but let me tell you right away, that's not the sound you're dreaming to get.
P_20150304_103001.jpg

how could a simple ON/OFF option capture the essence of what you imagine tube sound to be? impossibru.
and the alternative is to go do the sound you want yourself with advanced stuff. maybe even go and use convolution to capture some of the sound characteristics of a specific amp. but then you have to consider the real causes for the sound differences. in many instances as was suggested before, the interaction with the headphone is part of the sound changes. stuff like impedance but not only. so now while you're looking for a tube simulator, the sound you actually expect to get is a specific amp into a specific headphone. not a tube amp simulator anymore.
we would need to record the output of the headphone with the tube amp, then with the "transparent" amp, and do some vodoo convolution. not impossible at all, but mighty specific to a group of devices. but more than anything, why would a guy who loves tubes, give them up?
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 5:40 PM Post #70 of 179

Strangelove424

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because there is an unlimited number of distortion plugins from basic stuff with input, output and gain, to funky "grab the lasers" like this
but they are distortion plugins. not "my audiophile tube amp simulator 3000". in practice what's attractive for tube amps is how they distort, the transparent behavior isn't as special as some want to believe it is. so you will find VSTs doing distortions, simulating overdrive in all the imaginable ways. mostly for guitar amps as that's where it's cool and what people want to play with. but that's not what you want to try. TBH would you actually think there is a market for that? those who live by the tube are oh so unlikely to give them up for solid state gear and a digital plugin. and more likely than not even if a plugin was to do exactly the sound of a given amp, you'd have the Lavorgna kind of guys listening with heir eyes and telling you all about how it's totally different and doesn't work.

when I used viper4windows, it had a "tube simulator" setting within a lot of much more interesting stuff. but let me tell you right away, that's not the sound you're dreaming to get.

how could a simple ON/OFF option capture the essence of what you imagine tube sound to be? impossibru.
and the alternative is to go do the sound you want yourself with advanced stuff. maybe even go and use convolution to capture some of the sound characteristics of a specific amp. but then you have to consider the real causes for the sound differences. in many instances as was suggested before, the interaction with the headphone is part of the sound changes. stuff like impedance but not only. so now while you're looking for a tube simulator, the sound you actually expect to get is a specific amp into a specific headphone. not a tube amp simulator anymore.
we would need to record the output of the headphone with the tube amp, then with the "transparent" amp, and do some vodoo convolution. not impossible at all, but mighty specific to a group of devices. but more than anything, why would a guy who loves tubes, give them up?

I'm already aware of tube amp simulators used in production, but I need a plugin within Foobar or some media player, not Pro Tools. I don't want to apply filters to and render additional files. With some slider controls that can simulate second order distortion within certain frequency bands, IM distortion, and perhaps some reverb with ADSR parameters with fully linear controls that go down to 0db (perhaps linked to second order distortion too), and some EQ, I'm pretty confident I can match the subtle lushness I expect without getting the over-driven tube sound they go for in production. I keep hearing about Viper, does that conflict with WASAPI at all? I'm looking for a slightly more euphonic way to enjoy Enya in the 3 or 4 minutes I can remain conscious while listening to her. Maybe add some extra bloom to Neil Young on an electric guitar. Are these trifles? Of course they're trifles. I'm free to enjoy them, though.

I have no idea what it would take for tube guys to give up their tube amps, but I do know I like SS 90% of the time, and don't want to turn amps on/off, plug/unplug. I also don't want to spend money experimenting to get a certain sound either. Some of these people spend so much money on tubes to alter the sound, paying out the wazoo for vintage tubes, and still having no idea what the effect will be. Would they not appreciate instant adjustability? Software is powerful enough nowadays that I can do it all from my chair, with more accuracy and less cost. Ultimately, I have no idea what would sell or not sell to audiophiles, but if that question even for a moment entered by matrix of consideration for personal listening, I would be a sheep following sheep.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 6:09 PM Post #71 of 179

pinnahertz

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I'm already aware of tube amp simulators used in production, but I need a plugin within Foobar or some media player, not Pro Tools. I don't want to apply filters to and render additional files. With some slider controls that can simulate second order distortion within certain frequency bands, IM distortion, and perhaps some reverb with ADSR parameters with fully linear controls that go down to 0db (perhaps linked to second order distortion too), and some EQ, I'm pretty confident I can match the subtle lushness I expect without getting the over-driven tube sound they go for in production. I keep hearing about Viper, does that conflict with WASAPI at all? I'm looking for a slightly more euphonic way to enjoy Enya in the 3 or 4 minutes I can remain conscious while listening to her. Maybe add some extra bloom to Neil Young on an electric guitar. Are these trifles? Of course they're trifles. I'm free to enjoy them, though.
If you're going to ask for all of that, you might as well ask for something realistic. Reverb algorithms don't use ADSR envelopes, and you'd hate linear controls (they should be log). They'd be scaled with 0dB at the top at a reference level (there's no absolute 0dB). Perhaps a bit of second order distortion might be interesting, but I cannot imagine why anyone would want to add IMD, it's the worst of the worst. All the rest is subjective/artistic terminology, you're asking for things that are not defined, but need to be if they are to be included in simulations. You may not like someone else's definition, and turning up the "Lushness" slider might not lushen up things the way you'd like. This whole idea seems like someone buying an original fine work of art then trying on different kinds of glasses and sunglasses to see if they like how it looks that way.

I grew up with tubes, listened to lots of amps, designed some, built some, tested lots. Some have surprised me at how good they sound, but only in the context of how lousy others sound, and never were they particularly impressive in terms of absolute performance. There was a period of time when some tube amps sounded much better than some very early SS amps, but then SS designers figured things out and never looked back. I can see no advantages to using tubes as an active gain device now other than the powerful psychological ones, and those are quite powerful and frankly can be a bit of fun. I don't think you can use a DSP to simulate those, though, you have to be in the physical presence of your tubes for that to work.

I do own a pair of 10W tube amps, they are fun to run with the tubes exposed in a dark room driving a pair of near-fields. Fun, but not transparent, and the novelty wears off quickly for me.

I also strongly doubt that a tube-sound-simulator would ever be an audiophile product.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 6:42 PM Post #72 of 179

Orestes1984

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Ah, well clearly you don't measure anything then! Try your Pioneer amp at rated power at 50Hz. You won't likely find it at 1%. As far as "no noise what so ever"…physics doesn't support your hypothesis, not at all. There's noise, and for any given amp capability tubes will be noisier.

Not sure where this churlish statement is coming from, its a baseless assertion that all tubes are noisy. At this point there is no point in further discussion with you about this matter because you're clearly out of your depth. 100-120watt of power is definitely not required, if you want to disagree with whats know about producing power in terms of actual measurements and come up with your own measurement about how to calculate power I can't help you any further either. FWIW I have a set of speakers here from the 1960s anyway that are 92db efficient, its really not that hard to find a pair of efficient speakers. Not saying they're the worlds best speakers, just saying they exist.

I do accept its more common for a solid state amp to be more transparent, and for it to be more efficient taking into account the law of averages. But I don't accept the baseless nonsense that "all tubes are noisy" this is also a matter that doesn't need qualification, if we're talking about a 12AX7 or 6BM8 in my amp, they are actually quite quiet, whether you want to agree with the information I have provided above or not. That again is above my level of helping you out. If we're talking about cheap Chinese amplification stages and Chinese valves in these modern contraptions then you might have an inherent issue here.

But we are not talking about cheap Chinese amplifiers here, we are a consumer that has gone out of their way to source a specific 1960s era valve amplifier for the specific purpose that it has a low THD rating and a very specific amplification design that keeps it as so. Even at three quarters volume there is no buzz, no pop, no crackle, no exaggerated nonsense about gain issues that are deliberately achieved by musicians, on purpose, or whatever blanket statement you want to throw on top of me because I own a "valve" amplifier. In this configuration my amp has no colour what so ever, it imparts nothing that a valve amplifier would in your statements be suggestive it was a valve amplifier at all. And for further reference there is no inherent, specific, or tangible colour that all valve amplifiers have, this is another misnomer.

I also don't accept that inherently we all need overly exaggerated amplification stages for a nominal output in terms of decibels. Maybe if you're still living in the 1980s your average speaker will be putting out 87db or whatever. The thing is we've come a long way since then, if your speakers can't put out over 90db/watt/metre then you might want to look at fixing that problem first and then get back to me... Or you might just instead continue to use an amplifier that uses as much juice as a small personal heater... each way is fine really its your electricity bill not mine.

As to specific listening spaces, I don't care for noise really for the sake of noise, yes I've had a 500watt amp in my car before, yes, I've made lots of SPL in the past, what I care about now is SQ. What I can tell you is that my speakers in my listening space fill the room just fine. If you've gotten to being somewhat old (lets say 30) and all you still care about is party rock speakers such as Jamos or whatever then maybe you should reconsider your wisdom. I can tell you in terms of clarity, I've run a lot of things including vintage class A and modern switching amplifiers, and this is among the most transparent amplifiers I have actually had on my desk.

Sweeping generalisations aside of course. I'll be back later, just trying to isolate a hum and where its coming from in terms of my speakers.

Why do pentodes have lower feedback? Methinks you don't understand amplifier design, or at least NFB.

Pentode amps will be inclined towards having significantly less feedback capacitance and this is because of the screening effect that occurs because of the second grid. In a pentode amp this is also known as a suppressor grid. That suppressor grid has the responsibility of containing and directing stray electrons towards the plate and away from the screen grid. This leads to a marked improvement in the tubes overall performance. In comparison triode amps do not have a suppressor grid therefore stray electrons can bounce back onto the grid. This is not wanted. What makes the triode so common and popular by comparison is the fact that it is inherently simple and easy to design as compared to a good triode amp such as in the schematic above. Perhaps a cutaway will help here with visualising things.

dixey44.jpg
 
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Jul 12, 2017 at 2:39 AM Post #73 of 179

pinnahertz

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Not sure where this churlish statement is coming from, its a baseless assertion that all tubes are noisy. At this point there is no point in further discussion with you about this matter because you're clearly out of your depth. 100-120watt of power is definitely not required, if you want to disagree with whats know about producing power in terms of actual measurements and come up with your own measurement about how to calculate power I can't help you any further either. FWIW I have a set of speakers here from the 1960s anyway that are 92db efficient, its really not that hard to find a pair of efficient speakers. Not saying they're the worlds best speakers, just saying they exist.
Ok, run your calculations on this: I have a speaker at 92dB/W/m, I sit 10 feet away. What's the maximum SPL I'll get at my LP if that speaker is driven by a 15 watt amplifier that will do that power without horrible distortion?

Ok, got it? Now back away from that maximum by 10dB to allow for the crest factor in music. What do you get for SPL now? Seem a tad low does it? Now up the power until you hit, say, 100dB. How much power did that take to get there?

And, if you don't mind, quote your THD measurements of your Pioneer amp running at rated power at 50Hz. I see it's noise is 80dB with the aux jack, though no weighting curve is specified. Assuming you're not going to clip your amp and will listen 10dB below that (the crest factor again), that would be noise at 70dB below signal. Now tell me how that's good enough, or not noisier than just about any SS amp made today.


I do accept its more common for a solid state amp to be more transparent, and for it to be more efficient taking into account the law of averages. But I don't accept the baseless nonsense that "all tubes are noisy" this is also a matter that doesn't need qualification, if we're talking about a 12AX7 or 6BM8 in my amp, they are actually quite quiet, whether you want to agree with the information I have provided above or not.
What noise level do you call "quite quiet"? Sorry, I have to deal in actual numbers, bandwidth, and weighting if any. Otherwise your arbitrary "quite quiet" is meaningless.
That again is above my level of helping you out. If we're talking about cheap Chinese amplification stages and Chinese valves in these modern contraptions then you might have an inherent issue here.
No, I'm talking about the limitations in physics. Perhaps a review of Johnson noise would be in order, noting in particular how it relates to temperature and resistance. Short story: noise goes up with higher temperature, and up with higher resistances. Know where you find high temperatures and resistances?
But we are not talking about cheap Chinese amplifiers here, we are a consumer that has gone out of their way to source a specific 1960s era valve amplifier for the specific purpose that it has a low THD rating and a very specific amplification design that keeps it as so. Even at three quarters volume there is no buzz, no pop, no crackle, no exaggerated nonsense about gain issues that are deliberately achieved by musicians, on purpose, or whatever blanket statement you want to throw on top of me because I own a "valve" amplifier. In this configuration my amp has no colour what so ever, it imparts nothing that a valve amplifier would in your statements be suggestive it was a valve amplifier at all. And for further reference there is no inherent, specific, or tangible colour that all valve amplifiers have, this is another misnomer.
Numbers, man, or your arguments hold no water. What is "a low THD rating"? What is "three quarters volume" in terms of gain? Every amp on earth and those in space too have measureable noise, none have no noise at all, so it's a question of degree.
I also don't accept that inherently we all need overly exaggerated amplification stages for a nominal output in terms of decibels. Maybe if you're still living in the 1980s your average speaker will be putting out 87db or whatever. The thing is we've come a long way since then, if your speakers can't put out over 90db/watt/metre then you might want to look at fixing that problem first and then get back to me... Or you might just instead continue to use an amplifier that uses as much juice as a small personal heater... each way is fine really its your electricity bill not mine.
So you haven't surveyed current speaker efficiencies yet? You should. The entire home audio industry, now focussed squarely at home theater and surround, targets at least 100dB SPL max, and they do it with speakers in the upper 80s and amps around 100WPC. Sorry, but that's fact. And the good stuff targets 105dB SPL max with 85dB SPL average (reference) with 20dB of peak headroom above that. Yes, those are industry standard figures. The problem with high efficiency speakers is getting them to also sound good and be affordable. It's a vector problem with all three going in opposite directions. Most high eff stuff is either very expensive or sounds terrible.
As to specific listening spaces, I don't care for noise really for the sake of noise, yes I've had a 500watt amp in my car before, yes, I've made lots of SPL in the past, what I care about now is SQ. What I can tell you is that my speakers in my listening space fill the room just fine. If you've gotten to being somewhat old (lets say 30) and all you still care about is party rock speakers such as Jamos or whatever then maybe you should reconsider your wisdom. I can tell you in terms of clarity, I've run a lot of things including vintage class A and modern switching amplifiers, and this is among the most transparent amplifiers I have actually had on my desk.

Sweeping generalisations aside of course. I'll be back later, just trying to isolate a hum and where its coming from in terms of my speakers.
I'd check the tube amp first :wink:.
 
Jul 12, 2017 at 4:29 AM Post #74 of 179

Orestes1984

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The actual THD of the amp is 1% we've established that whether you like the price of cheese on Tuesday, or Friday its irrelevant. 1% at 15watts per channel rated, In other terms inaudible mate, unless you would like to dispute those facts with Pioneer and ask them to get out an spectrum analyser and retest a 50 year old amp just for your listening pleasure? You're being obtuse. Since I don't have a a spectrum analyser with me at the moment in my bag of magic tricks, you're gonna be disappointed. I would suggest that even if I did have a spectrum analyser on hand you wouldn't be happy either way. But the burden of proof is not on me to prove that it is 1% the burden of proof is for you to prove otherwise as you are making the claim.

I really could not care less if you want to not believe me... Now, Rather than talking in abstracts lets look at the reality. At 92b/watt/metre we need 1 watt at 1metre to produce 92db of noise. Then lets step back 10 feet SPL loss over this distance is 9.7 dB. Meaning from 30watts calculating the amps maximum headroom I'm still getting 96db at 10feet. Even if I turn that back down to 11watts that's 93db at 10feet... I didn't say anything about the quality of the sound, I was just saying a nominal 92db. Pioneer even put out some 98db stuff around that time such as the CS-77/CS-99 and around those models. There is also the Wharfedale W70 and Wharfedale W90 if you want to look at vintage stuff.


I'm not interested in having movie theater volumes in my living room, by this age of sensibility I barely listen to anything over 80db due to the possibility of ear fatigue and later life damage, I listened to enough stuff at 100-110db in my late teenage years and early 20s. I've gotten to this point in my life in my 30s now, honestly? I could not give a hoot about SPL anymore, been there, done that, got the shirt, and ringing ears also. Tell you what mate... A friend of mine accidentally turned his car stereo at eardrum bursting levels and went deaf for a good couple of weeks. He was lucky, he got his hearing back, but what kind of silly idiot wants to do that constantly their entire life? Not me.

You should really check whether it is indeed safe to play with 100db in a room, you might find after a couple of hours you're actually doing yourself some long term hearing damage which is not good. To me SPL is wank. Not even remotely interested in SPL anymore. It's still not that difficult anyway. Most car audio speakers are over 90db these days, which will fit in a nicely sealed enclosure. There is some more interesting stuff such as the Zu Cube, however it is also represented by its hefty price new. It's designed for home audio, but it rolls off at 80hz so one will have to employ a woofer with this also.

http://www.zuaudio.com/loudspeakers/cube-1a

There is the Klipsch RF-52 @ 98db, the Tekton M-Lore @ 98db, Infinity Primus P363 @93db, also and none of these would cost you more than $500 or so a set. Just off the top of my head, you don't have to spend a lot of money to go loud. In reality, I'm actually using this for near field listening so I don't have to stand 10feet away anyway, and its not hooked up to a home theater either, pity about all the irrelevant nonsense in your argument.... Pretty soon I'm going to be throwing the Pioneers in the bin and replacing them with a set of Rogers LS3/5As for nearfield duties. I could not give a hoot if its not particularly loud in the next room, it's not the point of what I'm doing.
 
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Jul 12, 2017 at 11:33 AM Post #75 of 179

bigshot

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I'm already aware of tube amp simulators used in production, but I need a plugin within Foobar or some media player, not Pro Tools.

iOS too please.
 

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