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amplification = to tube or not to tube ,that is the question

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  • #31
    Originally posted by craigk View Post

    Only if you are an EE.
    WRONG! The better EE you are the more you know why they sound different. Speaking has a EE who has hotrodded many tube and solid state amps.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post

      That's not the point of the video. Confirmation bias is.
      I confess, I didn't watch the entire video but I have to ask ...

      Was it assumed by the test subjects that the researcher was switching between two amps? Did the researcher intend to deceive the participants into thinking he was switching between amps? I agree, confirmation bias is in play, but also feel that researcher bias taints the results. He was leading the participants.

      I'm not telling anyone tubes are better than SS. They both have their merits, and I agree, SS gear trumps tubes in most every way, but they still sound sweet and look sexy.

      And I agree with chad1376 it's not always about the sound.

      Looks count too! If looks didn't count, all our audio creations would be nothing more than ugly boxes. No flawless paint jobs, exotic woods, or just plain sweet looking pieces of art.

      When we attend a concert it's more than music. It's part music, part show, and that is what we have with tubes; part music, part show.

      YMMV
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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      • #33
        If you are interested in tubes, the nice thing is some companies are making tube amps that are no hassle at all. Primaluna has very nice autobias circuitry that has no adjustments and is very gentle on tubes.

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        • #34
          The good 'ol ST-70 can be a good starting point too, if you want a project, and want to learn to sling solder. It was designed to be a kit from the git-go. Point to point soldering is very forgiving. It's more like soldering up a crossover than a PCB with IC's. Find a decent, neglected amp without a pitted chassis and with good transformers. Tear it down, and replace just about everything except the transformers with new components. 7199 tubes are getting scarce and expensive, but there's replacement driver boards that use different tubes. Again, another car analogy. It's a small-block Chevy. There's tons of internet support, hop up parts, and sources for both new and NOS components.

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          • #35
            If you have efficient speakers and want to build something this kit is pretty easy and sounds really good...

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            • #36
              Originally posted by hoxuanduc View Post
              If you have efficient speakers and want to build something this kit is pretty easy and sounds really good...
              Hmm - not that board but their SE board: I had built a SE 2A3 amp years ago, but disassembled it. I was going to rework it to get rid of a nagging 60hz hum. Parts have been sitting in a box for years. With that board and the transformers and tubes that I already have, I could bring it back to life on the cheap. "Sigh" - like I need another project

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              • #37
                [QUOTE=chad1376;n1419884] 7199 tubes are getting scarce and expensive /QUOTE]

                $59 and up for a 7199.

                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                Comment


                • #38
                  [QUOTE=Kornbread;n1419898]
                  Originally posted by chad1376 View Post
                  7199 tubes are getting scarce and expensive /QUOTE]

                  $59 and up for a 7199.
                  I replaced my board with an older version of this years ago: http://www.tubes4hifi.com/ST70.htm Cost between this and the 7199's would be a wash. 12AU7s aren't going away anytime soon.

                  Argh! - I had purchased 7199's when I first fixed up my ST-70 (when they were still affordable), and then tossed them out sometime after I installed the new board. I could have bought myself a big yacht, if I sold them now ;)

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Bob Latino's updated and improved ST-70 based amps would be my overwhelming choice over an old Dynaco. Stainless steel chassis, better quality PC boards, tube sockets.

                    I may still build one of those little Tube Depot amps. Maybe a pair of the monoblocks to sit on top of little TM speakers. Active speakers lol.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      I heard my Old Skool B9s through a 35 WPC push-pull tube amp in an outdoor setting a few weeks ago. I've never heard them sound so good, everybody was pretty amazed. Would a nice SS amp sound just as good, I don't know but a tube amp is definitely on my radar.

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                      • #41
                        In general, I confess to preferring the sound of the EL34 or 6550 tube amps I have owned over the SS amps I have owned, MOSFET and Hypex UCD180 (PWM). But I have heard brilliant tube amps and terrible tube amps, and the same in SS. Then of course one has to consider the DAC or speakers one has mated to the amps. We can argue which type of tubes people think sound better or, in SS, who are the class A aficionados (Pass Labs), high power (Boulder Amp), Class D, etc. Hey, whatever your ears like is fine with me. I heard a $100,000 set up of Boulder Amps and their pre, Focal speakers and mega buck CD and turntable at GABF several years ago and thought it sounded dry and lifeless. Andrew Jones SS powered speakers for 2K at GABF last year were brilliant. My friends old Sonic Frontiers 6550 tube amp and matching pre through a pair of old B&W Matrix 801's was one of the best systems I have ever heard. Sigfried L's LXMini with Emotiva mid level amps was one of the best systems I have ever heard at GABF. I was blown away by Audio Research Tube and Pre Amps and CD driving a pair of Wilson Watt/Puppies. I can't afford that high end stuff, but my Hypex amp through my SEAS DIY monitors sounds good. it's better with my EL34, but is in the EL34 sick bay with a dead channel. I am building a Nelson Pass designed Triode Tube buffer, but the tube is the Korg NuTube -- a mini low voltage triode that is very different. Check it out at First Watt or DIY audio or here: https://www.audioxpress.com/article/...org-nutube-6p1. Embrace the audio diversity!

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by djg View Post
                          Bob Latino's updated and improved ST-70 based amps would be my overwhelming choice over an old Dynaco. Stainless steel chassis, better quality PC boards, tube sockets.

                          I may still build one of those little Tube Depot amps. Maybe a pair of the monoblocks to sit on top of little TM speakers. Active speakers lol.
                          I just took a quick look on Ebay for original ST-70's. After seeing what current pricing is, I agree. I think I only paid about $200 when I got mine, but complete amps are hovering north of $700 now. For that price, I'd want new stuff that I know works.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by dst View Post
                            In general, I confess to preferring the sound of the EL34 or 6550 tube amps I have owned over the SS amps I have owned, MOSFET and Hypex UCD180 (PWM). But I have heard brilliant tube amps and terrible tube amps, and the same in SS. Then of course one has to consider the DAC or speakers one has mated to the amps. We can argue which type of tubes people think sound better or, in SS, who are the class A aficionados (Pass Labs), high power (Boulder Amp), Class D, etc. Hey, whatever your ears like is fine with me. I heard a $100,000 set up of Boulder Amps and their pre, Focal speakers and mega buck CD and turntable at GABF several years ago and thought it sounded dry and lifeless. Andrew Jones SS powered speakers for 2K at GABF last year were brilliant. My friends old Sonic Frontiers 6550 tube amp and matching pre through a pair of old B&W Matrix 801's was one of the best systems I have ever heard. Sigfried L's LXMini with Emotiva mid level amps was one of the best systems I have ever heard at GABF. I was blown away by Audio Research Tube and Pre Amps and CD driving a pair of Wilson Watt/Puppies. I can't afford that high end stuff, but my Hypex amp through my SEAS DIY monitors sounds good. it's better with my EL34, but is in the EL34 sick bay with a dead channel. I am building a Nelson Pass designed Triode Tube buffer, but the tube is the Korg NuTube -- a mini low voltage triode that is very different. Check it out at First Watt or DIY audio or here: https://www.audioxpress.com/article/...org-nutube-6p1. Embrace the audio diversity!
                            Reviews say microphonics are terrible and its gain is low, but it's about time the Korg NuTube started gaining ground with the diy community.
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Some of these responses is a good reminder why this a speaker forum not an amp forum. For people posting under 60, please know that tube designs have expanded over the years and tube amps now sound whatever way you prefer - 'warm', 'transparent', 'accurate', hybrid, SE, push-pull, OTL on and on - the whole spectrum is covered. B*****ng about tubes is like saying paper drivers are nostalgia-driven, distortion-prone, over-priced and just not competitive with drivers made with newer materials.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Good points, Washuliu. My experience with Korg NuTube is that, yes, microphonics can be an issue but can also be readily deat with. As to low gain, that is not correct, and you can read Nelson Pass's buffer article. 16DB of gain. A guy I know has a 1991 Ferrari. I would be hard pressed to tell him his car and its engine and transmission are outdated, inefficient and obsolete by today's standards. Looks great and drives pretty damn nicely if you ask me.

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