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elmoe

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Certainly but the audible difference is present and not a slight one to my ears, unlike what some suggest. Specs aside (I've found that more often than not, to my ears, audible quality is not representative of numbers), I still very much think that for many people, the sound of tubes is irreplaceable in their audio chain. On paper, solid state amps seemingly appear to "sound" better at a relatively cheaper price, but even a quick listen will show that isn't necessarily true depending on what the listener is after: the best possible reproduction of the recording, or a sound they can enjoy.
 
When you consider that a big majority of recordings made pre-1980s are of pretty awful quality (so we're talking about a VAST majority of the music available and enjoyed today), it becomes undeniable that tubes help enjoy them on extremely revealing hi-fidelity equipment where the neutrality of solid state amplification only deters the listener from enjoying poor recordings due to them revealing too much of the poor recording techniques used at the time.
 
Now indeed, if the goal of the listener is simply to hear every last detail exactly as the recording was, then tubes do not belong in the signal chain, but I would think people on these forums are here primarily to enjoy their music more, not to have clinical listening sessions and set aside never to be heard again recordings of poor quality.
 
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proton007

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  Certainly but the audible difference is present and not a slight one to my ears, unlike what some suggest. Specs aside (I've found that more often than not, to my ears, audible quality is not representative of numbers), I still very much think that for many people, the sound of tubes is irreplaceable in their audio chain. On paper, solid state amps seemingly appear to "sound" better at a relatively cheaper price, but even a quick listen will show that isn't necessarily true depending on what the listener is after: the best possible reproduction of the recording, or a sound they can enjoy.
 
When you consider that a big majority of recordings made pre-1980s are of pretty awful quality (so we're talking about a VAST majority of the music available and enjoyed today), it becomes undeniable that tubes help enjoy them on extremely revealing hi-fidelity equipment where the neutrality of solid state amplification only deters the listener from enjoying poor recordings due to them revealing too much of the poor recording techniques used at the time.
 
Now indeed, if the goal of the listener is simply to hear every last detail exactly as the recording was, then tubes do not belong in the signal chain, but I would think people on these forums are here primarily to enjoy their music more, not to have clinical listening sessions and set aside never to be heard again recordings of poor quality.
 
I don't see why the best possible reproduction can't be enjoyable. Just because some recordings are poor doesn't mean amps should be designed to hide those flaws.
What if you're playing a modern recording? Would you use a separate amp for each case?
 
It would be similar to saying that we shouldn't make HD/4K screens anymore because VHS has a terrible resolution and quality, and that older movies weren't recorded on 4K.
 
There are ways in both software and hardware to make your music sound pleasing (EQs). I'd rather have the freedom to tune a transparent setup than using a tube amp with a 'permanent' EQ.
Or as it's often said,  buy a different, more forgiving headphone (like the HD650), because it's cheaper than buying many amps.
 
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elmoe

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I don't see why the best possible reproduction can't be enjoyable. Just because some recordings are poor doesn't mean amps should be designed to hide those flaws.
What if you're playing a modern recording? Would you use a separate amp for each case?
 
It would be similar to saying that we shouldn't make HD/4K screens anymore because VHS has a terrible resolution and quality, and that older movies weren't recorded on 4K.
 
There are ways in both software and hardware to make the music sound pleasing (EQs). I'd rather have the freedom to tune a transparent setup than using a tube amp with a 'permanent' EQ.
 
But unlike most do about tube amps, I never implied SS amps are useless - just a different flavor, nor did I imply they shouldn't be made. The best possible reproduction can't be enjoyable on old records - the noise floor is way too high. Should amps be designed to hide flaws? No, but should we dismiss amps that do because they're not the best possible reproduction? Not if you like music. It seems rather disturbing how when anyone mentions tube amps some people are quick to put words into their mouths, as if I said anything pejorative about SS amps.
 
And yes, I would indeed use a seperate amp for each case if I had enough money to warrant owning both types - why not?
 
As for EQs, it astonishes me how people on these forums compare EQing to tubes as if they could get the same type of tube distortion and bloom from EQing. That is simply not true. A high noise floor on a recording can't be EQ'd out that easily, but tubes can and do smooth it over so that the record is much more enjoyable.
 
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proton007

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But unlike most do about tube amps, I never implied SS amps are useless - just a different flavor, nor did I imply they shouldn't be made. The best possible reproduction can't be enjoyable on old records - the noise floor is way too high. Should amps be designed to hide flaws? No, but should we dismiss amps that do because they're not the best possible reproduction? Not if you like music. It seems rather disturbing how when anyone mentions tube amps some people are quick to put words into their mouths, as if I said anything pejorative about SS amps.

And yes, I would indeed use a seperate amp for each case if I had enough money to warrant owning both types - why not?

As for EQs, it astonishes me how people on these forums compare EQing to tubes as if they could get the same type of tube distortion and bloom from EQing. That is simply not true. A high noise floor on a recording can't be EQ'd out that easily, but tubes can and do smooth it over so that the record is much more enjoyable.


No one dismissed tube amps. I merely said its a matter of preference, but in scientific and technological terms SS is better.

If you want to hear distorted sound be my guest, but remember that not everyone has old recordings and not everyone has that kind of money to spend.
If someone just wants a good amp that performs well and is good value for money, tubes don't even meet the criteria.
That's why I'll never recommend a tube amp to anyone.
 
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elmoe

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No one dismissed tube amps. I merely said its a matter of preference, but in scientific and technological terms SS is better.

If you want to hear distorted sound be my guest, but remember that not everyone has old recordings and not everyone has that kind of money to spend.
If someone just wants a good amp that performs well and is good value for money, tubes don't even meet the criteria.
That's why I'll never recommend a tube amp to anyone.
 
Considering that anything before 1980 is pretty much an "old" recording, anyone who likes music has some. You hear distortion in pretty much every single piece of music you listen to, save maybe for classical. You say that like it's a bad word. :)
 
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Considering that anything before 1980 is pretty much an "old" recording, anyone who likes music has some. You hear distortion in pretty much every single piece of music you listen to, save maybe for classical. You say that like it's a bad word. :)

There are better, remastered copies available for old recordings. Unless one is going for nostalgia, well then there's no alternative.
Distortion *is* bad unless explicitly intended as an audio effect, and there's no reason to add more than is already there.
 
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elmoe

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remastered copies are rarely all that much better than the originals. As for distortion being bad, I guess you must not like blues, rock, metal, funk, soul, rnb, jazz, and the countless other music genres where almost every musician makes use of distortion for their instruments 
 Or is it only OK strictly when the musicians themselves use it? Because as a musician for 20 years I can tell you one thing: musicians rarely care if it "sounds clean", in fact a great many of them (including every single musician in the rock n roll hall of fame for that matter) far prefer things as dirty as they can get.
 
So no, distortion is NOT bad, in fact it is what most musicians (save perhaps the classical ones) PREFER to use, not only as "effects" but for listening purposes.
 
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  remastered copies are rarely all that much better than the originals. As for distortion being bad, I guess you must not like blues, rock, metal, funk, soul, rnb, jazz, and the countless other music genres where almost every musician makes use of distortion for their instruments 
 Or is it only OK strictly when the musicians themselves use it? Because as a musician for 20 years I can tell you one thing: musicians rarely care if it "sounds clean", in fact a great many of them (including every single musician in the rock n roll hall of fame for that matter) far prefer things as dirty as they can get.
 
So no, distortion is NOT bad, in fact it is what most musicians (save perhaps the classical ones) PREFER to use, not only as "effects" but for listening purposes.
 
As I said, unless intended as an 'audio effect'.
Musicians may not care if it sounds clean, but then I want to listen to the musician, not the amp. Hence the need for a transparent setup.
 
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elmoe

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And I (as a musician) am extremely glad to see that most listeners do not agree with you at all on that point.
 
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And I (as a musician) am extremely glad to see that most listeners do not agree with you at all on that point.

So I should care about what "most" listeners think rather than caring about objective facts?
Not interested.

And as a musician you'd want your listeners to listen to the amp than you. What a joke.
 
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elmoe

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Considering you seem to be giving "advice" to people, I would say caring makes sense.
 
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proton007

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Considering you seem to be giving "advice" to people, I would say caring makes sense.

I'm not charging anyone for advice, it's their choice if they want to take it.
 
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elmoe

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I'm curious, have you ever heard a tube amp before?
 
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Gentlemen, please. I respect you both. Let's keep this informative and friendly. 
 
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proton007

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I'm curious, have you ever heard a tube amp before?

I know where this is going, and I will not comment on questions such as this.
End of discussion.
:)
 
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