New trend of headphone amps on HF?
Oct 28, 2008 at 8:21 PM Post #32 of 38

digger945

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Solid state is OK, as long as it's driven by tubes
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I think that tubes do something that isn't possible with a transistor.
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For me it's the space and soundstage, way way more convincing.
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Nov 1, 2008 at 5:21 AM Post #34 of 38

Gollie

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I heard the GS-1 at the Houston meet. I think I will have to own at least one SS amp. I would not sell a Tube amp for a SS but I might buy an extra to add to the collection.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 5:55 AM Post #35 of 38

ericj

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gollie /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I got into the hobby a year ago and I never received one recommendation for a SS amp. I went to my first meet on Saturday and heard a Millet Max and it was my first SS headphone amp experience. While I did like the sound of the Millet, I love the warmth of tubes.



The millet is a tube/SS hybrid.

The tube selection leaves something to be desired, though. Car radio tubes will give you a taste, but, it's only just a taste. I haven't bothered with my millets since completing my Bijou amp.


Quote:

Originally Posted by digger945 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think that tubes do something that isn't possible with a transistor.
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Yes and no. you can actually get them sounding pretty close to each-other.

Once you approach the truly high end of both, it's been demonstrated that most audiophiles can't tell the difference with any kind of accuracy.

without question, a mid-grade tube amp will usually have a more pleasing, if less accurate sound than a mid-grade SS amp.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM Post #36 of 38

Spareribs

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I read an article from the Penta Labs website stating that there are people who love tubes because they simply look cool as well. I think there is truth to it for the gadget lovers who love things that are a bit wacky.
An amp with tubes exposed does look a little wacky and for mainstream people, it can be an eye sore (in a curious good way).

There is also a chicness factor too for some IMO. I read an editorial letter in Stereophile magazine about a guy who was intrigued with these new kinds of cool looking tube amps that are in style and he seemed kinda bored with his plain looking black box solid state amp. These new kinds of tube amps, from a marketing perspective look attractive, perhaps in retro a sci-fi way and call the attention of the consumer.

Technology works in weird ways. Not everything that is new is the best. There are componants of older gear that do have it's advantages and can rival modern ways. Tubes and vinyl are examples brotha!

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Nov 1, 2008 at 2:20 PM Post #37 of 38
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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have noticed the same thing.
Its probably lots of reason for this, including these:
* Reasonable priced chinese amplifiers.
* A change of mind among Head-Fi'ers. Some switching to tubes, write positive reviews, and others follow.
* ...



I think it's the Chinese amps as well. LittleDot's offerings are mostly tube, with, until recently, their best amp being solid state.

I think I'll only go the way of tubes when I set a STAX SRS-4040 set, something I've put off until the exchange rates have improved. I like the idea that they don't stick out of the box as I have a daughter who I'm sure will love to grab the pretty glowing things if they did. Also, I missed out by a day on an old Luxman tube amp, dammit! I guess it'll be a while.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 4:23 PM Post #38 of 38

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Spareribs /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I read an article from the Penta Labs website stating that there are people who love tubes because they simply look cool as well. I think there is truth to it for the gadget lovers who love things that are a bit wacky.


Oh yeah, totally. Solid state doesn't light up and is just another box with little visual appeal. Unfair to solid state, but eye-catching designs sell. Even non-audiophiles stop and stare at tube gear. They want to know what it is, they want to know if it works, they want to hear it. You never know. Tubes might go somewhat mainstream again.

Look at the watch market. Until about 1959, everything was mechanical. The Hamilton Electric was flawed and didn't take off, but the Bulova Accutron did. From there, a number of electronic versions took off and dominated until a few years ago. Now, all the high-end watches are mechanical again. Mechanical watches are creeping into the mid-end, too. There's no reason tubes won't do the same. Might take a few years, but a ticking balance wheel and a tube have a similar appeal.

Maybe there's a trend towards gear you can actually understand. Tube gear tends to be minimalist and straightforward. If you put in some time, you can understand them without a degree in Electrical Engineering. While solid state works well and can sound terrific, for me, there's a lot of appeal in using the fewest parts possible to get great sound.
 

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