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Thread: Why do some people like low powered tube amps???

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by richluvsound View Post
    I love the sound of tubes and Pass Class A on horns . I have owned both ,but now with Pass and very happy . Vocals and more delicate details sparkle with both types of amp . I would not rule out using tubes again should the right thing come along . If I wanted uber power, then I'd bi-amp with SS on the LF just because of the work load ,not because they would sound better .

    Rich
    Yes, exactly. Also did the SS/tubes on bass/mids for a number of years (tube pre as well). Those complex systems are pain to keep operating at full potential - something always degrading. Not sure it's worth it for a home rig. I think your current solution is an excellent idea.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    But a very valued friend had one, and said every couple of years his need some kind of expensive repair,
    and after a couple of those expenses, he bit the bullet and sold it off, and he recommended against that route.
    Right, the multi-cap can is the weak point. That's why one of the nice upgrades is to completely eliminate it and go with an unobtrusive bank of modern caps that fit inside the chassis. This allows you to increase the amount of available capacitance as well as increasing the voltage rating of the capacitors. And it's an inexpensive mod, to boot. Other simple mods can significantly increase the life of the rectifier tube, the only other even mildly expensive part on one of them. The input board upgrades are for sonic improvement, the ability to run a greater variety of driver tubes, and little conveniences like being able to individually bias each output tube.

    I think many people would agree that in their stock form they are lacking.

  3. #33
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffW View Post
    Right, the multi-cap can is the weak point. That's why one of the nice upgrades is to completely eliminate it and go with an unobtrusive bank of modern caps that fit inside the chassis. This allows you to increase the amount of available capacitance as well as increasing the voltage rating of the capacitors. And it's an inexpensive mod, to boot. Other simple mods can significantly increase the life of the rectifier tube, the only other even mildly expensive part on one of them. The input board upgrades are for sonic improvement, the ability to run a greater variety of driver tubes, and little conveniences like being able to individually bias each output tube.

    I think many people would agree that in their stock form they are lacking.
    yeah - his first expensive full refresh, recap update should have done it, but stuff still went wrong.
    Don't know much more except after multiple expensive rebuilds he got out from under and was happy
    I don't know much more than that - I don't have have a fish in that fight and I didn't go that way.
    My first tube amp purchase was actually a rebuilt/refreshed Stromberg Carlson around Thanksgiving.
    New caps, new resistors, nice wood trimmed chassis and all of that stuff.
    It was a pretty thing - but it didn't quite sound quite right - apparently one of the solder joints came apart during shipment to me.
    I shipped it back and decided I didn't want to own someone else's refresh job, and was lucky he gave me a full refund (nice guy!!)
    I documented the whole darned thing in a thread that's here - http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...ubes-and-horns

    Just after I shipped it back, it my friend loaned me his Jolida 102, we liked it a lot and it was worry free,
    so I did some checking, found Jolida importers were local, I found I could get a new Jolida with 40w/ch and
    remote volume control for less than a fully refreshed bespoke Dynaco of uncertain reliability, and so I did.

    I have no wish to argue back and forth further - glad you like your gear -
    some folks like old tube gear and thats a cool thing.
    All I can say is I made the right choice for us, we like the way it sounds, and I am happy with what I have now.
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  4. #34
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    When I want 'Sound' ...

    ... I switch in my dbx boom box or my Behringer Ultrabass Pro (a dbx clone), and my dbx 3bx dynamic range enhancer or mx Pioneer EX-9000. I am still looking for a 'harmonizer' (which adds nothing but distortion).

    And when I want to listen to plain music, I turn that stuff off, and listen to my Yamaha CX-1 (with those un-musical 5532-OpAmps in it

    Ruediger

  5. #35
    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudy sesztak View Post
    Stereophile just tested a $10k 10watt tube amp.They claim it sounds so musical and great. It has 4% distortion at 10 watts( bad).How can a tube amp with a lot of distortion sound like the real thing?? A good Solid-State amp with less than .1% distortion and better transient response sounds much more like live sound, than a (piece of crap) tube amp.If you don't like the sound of a good Solid-Stateamp, then you don't like something closer to real live sound. Also a good jazz cd will sound much better then a typical distorted vinyl system!! Tubes and vinyl SUCK compared to a good cd and S.S. amps. If you don't agree with me ,tell me why-RUDY

    So I guess I'll beat the tube processor drum. I have not heard tubes amps much and even when I have not on my gear in my home. But I have used the tube processor and as it has already been stated about tubes amps, results are a bit mixed. Do they make dance music better? No. But when it comes to guitar and vocal pieces I think it's an improvement. I agree with those that say music can sound too sterile with SS amps. A tube processor in front of an SS amp can offer some of the benefits of both types, richer sound with all the power.

    I find myself listening to music at lower to mid volumes with the tube processor since that's where it sounds best. I think that suggests some distortion involved but I'm not 100% sold on distortion-less sound. I was listening to rock on FM the other day on a pair of Missions, it was very enjoyable. I also like old rock music on AM radio, there's just something about that AM rock sound.

    My nephew likes my L100T3's better than my new PS Stacks. I hooked up the processor for the first time in awhile and my nephew came over. I told him I hooked it up and asked what he thought of it and surprised he asked if it was the Stacks playing, he was shocked when he learned it was, he thought it was the T3's. I guess some kinds of distortion sound good. I still love my T3's for example even though they can wear on you, many here still like their old L100's. I think this is testament that good sound is to an unknown degree what sounds good to you.


    Edit: To clarify, I think that digital music with an SS tube sounds sterile. Digital music may be for some what is appealing about tubes.

  6. #36
    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    In my opinion this discussion is missing the point. You can make superb low AND high power amplifiers using both tubes, normal SS and Class D/H ++. It is the way each product is designed that makes the difference, not necessarrily the concept of the active component.

    When it comes to low power amplifiers (both Tube and SS), it is easier to make a low noise, superlinear amplifier at 10W than 100W (or higher). This means that if you use high sensitivity speakers, like horns with active filters, it can be beneficial to have a low-power amplifier (and yes, you can make tubes with very low distortion).

    -Tim
    2213 + 2435HPL w/aquaplas + H9800 (Matsj edition)

  7. #37
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    Nicely done Tim

  8. #38
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Yes, very nicely done. A point I am much in favor of is that it is not only easier but gains better results if high efficiency transducers are used, be it speakers or headphones with lighter, more responsive diaphragms and powerful motors. Stax electrostatic headphones are a great example. There are other headphone systems that yield high dB/watt, but the moving element in Stax headphones has a tiny fraction of the mass of the other approaches. Tight as a drum and almost zero mass. Sound is produced with a lot of voltage and a wild capacitance demand, but almost no power at all.

    So not only does high efficiency allow for better sounding amplification because of lower power requirements (that goes for solid state as well as tubes, ask Nelson Pass), but the high efficiency transducers have more potential to provide high fidelity. I can hear the chorus of nay saying about that, but I will stand by it.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

  9. #39
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    To reduce the piles of electronics in the LR I put the Halo woofer amp, the White passive equalizers, the Bryston crossover and DAC and the Conrad preamp in a rack case and draped a cloth over it to hide some of the hardware. The Audio Research tube amp would not fit, so my horn amp right now is a Crown PL One which did. It's playing through a bypassed protection cap and a fixed L pad into the TAD's and is probably operating in Class A almost all of the time, and it is not objectionable at all. The tube preamp is probably warming things up a little. It all makes quite a nice balance.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

  10. #40
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudy sesztak View Post
    Stereophile just tested a $10k 10watt tube amp . . . .
    It's axiomatic in sales that it's the sizzle you're selling, not the steak. Audio lends itself to that idea more than any other I can think of, especially with the help of magazine writers who can make you think you know what a piece of audio gear sounds like by reading about.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

  11. #41
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Allanvh5150;333507
    A pair of 5CX1500's can doddle along at 3000W
    [/QUOTE]

    appears to be a ham or FM transmitter tube

    [QUOTE=Allanvh5150;333507
    A pair of 813's will run 500 watts without issues.[/QUOTE]

    The 813 beam power tube was very popular with amateur radio operators following WW II. The tube remained a staple of amateur radio until single sideband became a popular operating mode in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allanvh5150 View Post

    A pair of 5CX3000's will go past 10,000w
    appears to be a ham or FM transmitter tube again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allanvh5150 View Post
    The humble 4CX1000 will quite happily tootle along at 3000w +

    A pair of 4CX300Y's will be good for a smaller amp at around 900 watts

    For some serious power, grab a pair of 4CM500s. Good for 550Kw!

    And if you cant be bothered with puny 500Kw circuits get yourself a couple of 8974's: 2,000,000 watts +

    Although tube data books were fine as a guide 40 years ago, tube have changed a lot over the years and their ratings far exceed those stated in the RCA tube manual and others.

    All bogus to you I guess, I think not.

    Allan.

    P.S. Would you want to build any of these?

    you prolly hadn't noticed, but this is a home audio forum , not a commercial FM transmitter forum. If that's what you have to dredge up to prove a point, then things seem rather sad. 2 million watts + ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Allanvh5150 View Post
    This assumption is only made because most audio people have not heard and never will hear any tube amp of more than a few hundred watts. There are many to be had at well over 500 watts. Pretty much though, it is all personal preference.
    Allan.
    seems answering home audio questions with "There are many to be had at well over 500 watts." then reference to non-home audio gear is really very bogus.
    Idealism is what precedes experience, and cynicism is what follows


  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    appears to be a ham or FM transmitter tube



    The 813 beam power tube was very popular with amateur radio operators following WW II. The tube remained a staple of amateur radio until single sideband became a popular operating mode in the late 1950's and early 1960's.



    appears to be a ham or FM transmitter tube again.




    you prolly hadn't noticed, but this is a home audio forum , not a commercial FM transmitter forum. If that's what you have to dredge up to prove a point, then things seem rather sad. 2 million watts + ??



    seems answering home audio questions with "There are many to be had at well over 500 watts." then reference to non-home audio gear is really very bogus.
    Oh give it up. All the tubes I listed are rated at AF at the powers stated.

    Most tubes that are used for audio were designed for RF. Not sure I would use an 813 for FM though.

    Here is a link for a 1000 watt audio amp using 813's

    http://www.chambonino.com/construct/const9.html

    807's were used for RF and have found there way into audio use and are used by many.

    I am not really sure what "your" problem is but I will quite happily stand behind any of my comments as accurate.

    Quite obviously you are using google to find pages from very old tube manuals. You will also find that these manuals will spec a pair of EL34's at only a few dozen watts but they will run 100 per pair at their rated plate voltage.

    And please, if you use quotes, please use quotation marks.

    Allan.

    prolly?

  13. #43
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    Some into about the 845:

    "The 845 power triode is a radiotransmittingvacuum tube which can also be used as an audio amplifier and modulation tube. Typically, the plate is machined from solid graphite in order to accommodate high currentdissipation (up to 100 watts) and voltage. Some current production 845 tubes have metal plates.The 845 tube has a bayonet mount and thoriated filaments which glow like lightbulbs when powered up. The glass envelope is about 2-5/16" in diameter and 6 inches tall, with the a total tube height of about 7-7/8 inches. It was first released by RCA in 1931. It saw extensive use in RCA AM radio transmitters"

    So I guess all those high end amp guys should give up on audio and go over to hi frequency. DOH!

    Allan.

  14. #44
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Agreed. I had to get a Transmitting Tube Manual to keep up with what some of my friends are talking about. And to refresh my memory of the 811A, a tube I used for something a long, long time ago. When I could drive to Allied Radio and buy one.

    I also remember Steve Schell mentioning that his cohorts were into using DHT transmitting tubes for their audio amplifiers. To be more precise, his "fellow solder sniffers."

    "Prolly." I have taken it to be semi shorthand for "probably" and haven't bothered to look it up. I was surprised to see its use in these forums expanding. It seems to me to belong in the class of RU and B4; usage I expect from forums populated by those too young to be able to drop out of high school, the eventual fate of many such users. Then again, I am almost certainly Old School. I still wince when "impact" is used as a verb. I know English is a vital language by virtue of its ability to evolve and adapt (unlike Latin, for instance), but that was an ignorant mistake by one person in the media and should have died rather than have been parroted until it caught on. Journalists and politicians should know the difference between effect and affect. Not knowing said difference causes a discomfort that most likely spawned the misuse of the innocent "impact" as a verb.

    Even if Prolly were a legitimate word in Esperanto, and I do not believe it is, Esperanto in an artificially developed universal language. It does not therefore qualify as a foreign language, as it is foreign to nowhere. Well, some would say to everywhere. So inclusion as a foreign word would not have been valid anyway.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

  15. #45
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    Prolly is lzy shrthnd for Probably.

    The 811 was another directly heated triode and although designed for RF is quite capable at audio. 15 watts or so in single ended class A mode.

    There are many boutique tube companies out the making tubes for audio but most started life in transmitters because no one had the use for anything more than a few watts of audio. Times have changed somewhat. Tubes have no equal in power output, they are easy to make, generally do not need heat sinking, additional circuitry is minimal and very easy for the novice constructor to build from scratch.

    However, slip ups in the power supply sections can be somewhat more deadly than the bite from a 100v rail on a solid state amp. Many high powered audio amps using RF tubes can run well over 1000 volts plate voltage!!

    Allan.

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