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  1. #101
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dlb2 View Post
    Yes, if it sounds good to you then it is good. There's nothing wrong with having a curiosity towards the technical side. Like any hobby perhaps the more you know and understand, the more you appreciate it. At the end of the day it's all about whether or not you're happy with what you have. Who really gives a shit what other people think? Besides, I have a feeling that many of these know-it-alls are just armchair internet experts.
    Sales guys irritate me when they say I have to have such and such. Especially speakers. I like my open baffle and Magnepans. Plus tubes. One guy keeps telling me I don't know what I like and need a boxed speaker with a SS amp. I haven't bought anything from him in a long time.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp. Audion Black Shadow 845 SET Monoblocks. Mojo Audio Deja Vu Server. Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC. Linear Solution Ethernet Switch. Gigafoil with LPS. STST Motus II TT with Vertere SG1 arm, Hana ML Cartridge, Allnic H1201 phono pre. Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn speakers with Mundord Supreme oil caps. Power via 10 awg Oyaide cable from panel to custom distribution strip feeding front end. Oyaide dedicated10 AWG branch circuits from panel to each amp. Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.
    Kingrexelectric.com Lyncole certified grounding specialist.

  2. #102
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dlb2 View Post
    Yes, if it sounds good to you then it is good. There's nothing wrong with having a curiosity towards the technical side. Like any hobby perhaps the more you know and understand, the more you appreciate it. At the end of the day it's all about whether or not you're happy with what you have. Who really gives a shit what other people think? Besides, I have a feeling that many of these know-it-alls are just armchair internet experts.
    Sales guys irritate me when they say I have to have such and such. Especially speakers. I like my open baffle and Magnepans. Plus tubes. One guy keeps telling me I don't know what I like and need a boxed speaker with a SS amp. I haven't bought anything from him in a long time.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp. Audion Black Shadow 845 SET Monoblocks. Mojo Audio Deja Vu Server. Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC. Linear Solution Ethernet Switch. Gigafoil with LPS. STST Motus II TT with Vertere SG1 arm, Hana ML Cartridge, Allnic H1201 phono pre. Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn speakers with Mundord Supreme oil caps. Power via 10 awg Oyaide cable from panel to custom distribution strip feeding front end. Oyaide dedicated10 AWG branch circuits from panel to each amp. Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.
    Kingrexelectric.com Lyncole certified grounding specialist.

  3. #103
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    You don't know what you like! LOL! He probably trying to sell you what makes him the most money. He doesn't care what it is. Maybe he's working on a plan to pay off the new car he has on order.
    Doug



  4. #104
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I have had some type of tube gear in my system since the early nineties. I have had several tube preamps and about a half dozen amps and they have been incredibly reliable. I owe this I believe to using quality tubes and not tube rolling. I have had a few bad tubes, a couple blown resistors but over all, the tube gear I have had has never really let me down.

    My preamp, amps and DAC use tubes and they are as quiet or quieter than some of the SS gear I have had. Specifically my Zesto Leto preamp. The most silent, darkest , blackest background I have ever experienced. It's S/N, crosstalk , and FR are pretty impressive for a tube pre. My Quicksilvers have been super reliable and sound great.

    My most recent toy is a Toolshed Amps 300b. I will receive it in a week or two. Check out Toolshed Amps website and Instagram and FB to see some amazing music machines.

  5. #105

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I purchased a Pass XA25 last year as I sold two tube amps that I had. This XA25 does everything technically correct but it just doesn't have the "organic" sound of tubes. So as of now I am looking for a 20 - 30 wpc tube amp, possibly a Prima Luna. The only thing holding me back is it took me quite a bit of time to get the bass right in my small room. The Pass has a high damping factor and a tube amp will be quite low. Maybe even a Atma-Sphere S30? Speakers are Volti Razz.

  6. #106
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Had a thought yesterday about tubed power amps. I have many friends who will never consider a solid state power amplifier. I am not one of them. I certainly understand the fluidity and “beauty” of tube gear. Nevertheless, considering the great solid state amps out there, the question stands.
    For me the question is, Are the advantages of tuba amps to few?

    Folks like tube amps because of the sort of distortion the produce -- not that there's anything wrong with that. OTOH other folks like high resolution, articulate bass, and crisp dynamics more than the softer, fuller tube sound.
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  7. #107

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    You are stereotyping ( no pun intended ) tube amps in funny way. Folks like tube amps because, many times, they just sound more musical. A lot of folks don't break down highs, mids and lows when listening. We just sit back and close our eyes and it is either more musical or it's not.

  8. #108

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I've run big tube amps (8 - 12 power tubes, and 6 - 8 small tubes each) for 12 years now. Tubes turned out to be much more reliable and low-maintenance than the impressions I got from reading about tube concerns / issues / fears online. My main main problem is the impulse to buy lots of different variants for rolling. The sonic debate tubes vs. SS is always going to be there. The stereotypes are true to a degree, but if your tube amp has egregiously tubby bass and HF rolloff then something is seriously wrong of mismatched. But I'd much rather have a tube die than a transistor, in any piece of high-end gear. Good luck finding some long-OOP silicon (especially high voltage audio transistors) if something goes wrong.

  9. #109

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I only need about 15wpc so I called Mike the other day and was going to order a Luxman MQ-88uC. The trouble is they are many months away for delivery, I still might order one in the next week or so anyway. In the meantime I ordered a Carver Black Magic, it's an EL34 amp with 25wpc. I seriously don't have real high hopes for this amp but for $1995 and a full return policy I won't have much to lose. But then again I didn't high hopes for the little VTL EL34 amp I bought many years ago either and that thing was a very sweet little amp.

  10. #110
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    I only need about 15wpc so I called Mike the other day and was going to order a Luxman MQ-88uC. The trouble is they are many months away for delivery, I still might order one in the next week or so anyway. In the meantime I ordered a Carver Black Magic, it's an EL34 amp with 25wpc. I seriously don't have real high hopes for this amp but for $1995 and a full return policy I won't have much to lose. But then again I didn't high hopes for the little VTL EL34 amp I bought many years ago either and that thing was a very sweet little amp.
    Hope you find what you're looking for.

    Gotta chuckle though: Luxman and Carver tube amps have both received atrocious reviews recently at ASR.

    ASR review: Luxman SQ-N150

    ASR review: Carver Crimson 275

    ASR review: VTL
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  11. #111

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Hope you find what you're looking for.

    Gotta chuckle though: Luxman and Carver tube amps have both received atrocious reviews recently at ASR.

    ASR review: Luxman SQ-N150

    ASR review: Carver Crimson 275

    ASR review: VTL
    So you place stock in what ASR says about gear?
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  12. #112
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    So you place stock in what ASR says about gear?
    So well yes, I do: their testing is valid. However one has to interpret their findings in terms of one's own preferences.
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  13. #113

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    So well yes, I do: their testing is valid. However one has to interpret their findings in terms of one's own preferences.
    That's hilarious.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  14. #114
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    That's hilarious.
    are you saying there's no validity ? if so who's testing do you consider valid ?
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  15. #115

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    are you saying there's no validity ? if so who's testing do you consider valid ?
    Amir/ASR's measurements have been discussed on the net including this forum. The best we have for taking measurements of audio gear in the U.S. is John Atkinson of Stereophile. JA is well respected/trusted in the audio industry.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  16. #116

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I have been involved in hobby since about 1969 or so and I don't care how anything tests. If you can't tell a good piece of gear by listening save your money and purchase Bose. BTW, I do agree that Atkinson is the best tester because he explains his findings. BTW #2, My speakers ( Volti Razz ) test horrible but sound excellent and get rave reviews. How is this possible if they test so poorly?

  17. #117

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek;351031[B
    ]I have been involved in hobby since about 1969 or so and I don't care how anything tests. If you can't tell a good piece of[/B] gear by listening save your money and purchase Bose. BTW, I do agree that Atkinson is the best tester because he explains his findings. BTW #2, My speakers ( Volti Razz ) test horrible but sound excellent and get rave reviews. How is this possible if they test so poorly?
    That sounds good to say, but the reality is you should care about speaker measurements to ensure you match them with an amp that can drive them correctly.

    If you have a pair of speakers that are 87dB sensitive at 1w/1m and they are nominally a 4 ohm speaker with 2 ohm dips, you probably aren't going to try and drive them with a 7 watt SE tube amp.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  18. #118

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I 100% agree with you on matching the amp and speaker. But choosing a component on measurements alone, no thanks.

  19. #119
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Amir/ASR's measurements have been discussed on the net including this forum. The best we have for taking measurements of audio gear in the U.S. is John Atkinson of Stereophile. JA is well respected/trusted in the audio industry.
    Agreed on JA, been a subscriber to JGH's rag since the seventies. While I have not read everything AMIR and ASR have tested/measured I've read enough to know there is a measure of validity in his work.

    As for Stereogeek's thoughts on not caring about measurements and since this thread is about amplifiers , I tend to disagree
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  20. #120

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    I'm sure the cheap tube amp I just bought tests nothing close to my XA25. But this EL34 amp is sounding very musical with a very deep sound stage. You can't measure musical, that's where listening comes in. To each his own, cheers!

  21. #121
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Worldwide space programs long abandoned solid state hardware for audiophile tube technology, especially in deep space probes. Believe me.
    Surprisingly, there are still tubes being launched in satellites, of the traveling wave tube type. For any frequency, there is a power level above which tubes are best, and for any power level, there is a frequency above which tubes work best.

    It's always about finding the right tool for a particular job. I wouldn't want to make a cell phone with tubes, and I wouldn't want to make a preamp, compressor, etc., without them. Your mileage may vary; whatever you have is serving you well as long as you're enjoying the music!
    Kevin Hayes
    VAC
    When Music Matters

  22. #122
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    I have been involved in hobby since about 1969 or so and I don't care how anything tests. If you can't tell a good piece of gear by listening save your money and purchase Bose. BTW, I do agree that Atkinson is the best tester because he explains his findings. BTW #2, My speakers ( Volti Razz ) test horrible but sound excellent and get rave reviews. How is this possible if they test so poorly?
    The human ear/brain is a non-linear system, works completely differently than our test instruments. As a result, there are things that are easy to measure and hard to hear, and things that are easy to hear and hard to measure. This makes good audio engineering both a science and an art. My take is that a component must measure sufficiently well that you are confident you are not hearing an objective aberration, and then must also subjectively sound quite lifelike. Of course, this is easier with electronics than with speaker design!
    Kevin Hayes
    VAC
    When Music Matters

  23. #123

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Yes sir, that makes perfectly good sense.

  24. #124
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by VAC View Post
    The human ear/brain is a non-linear system, works completely differently than our test instruments. As a result, there are things that are easy to measure and hard to hear, and things that are easy to hear and hard to measure. This makes good audio engineering both a science and an art. My take is that a component must measure sufficiently well that you are confident you are not hearing an objective aberration, and then must also subjectively sound quite lifelike. Of course, this is easier with electronics than with speaker design!
    well said !!
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  25. #125
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    20220807-163610.jpg

    Toolshed Amps 300b

  26. #126
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Sure it only makes 7 watts, but they are 7 REALLY good watts.....

  27. #127

    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    That's a bad @$$ piece of gear fo sho. My Bottlehead 300b amps are just quite not enough power for my speakers. They do look awesome, congrats. Need a full write up though.

  28. #128
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    Re: Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddiofyl View Post
    Sure it only makes 7 watts, but they are 7 REALLY good watts.....
    With any zero feedback SET, if you want to get the best out of it, you need a speaker that is efficient enough that you never exceed 20% of full power. If more power is required, the amp will start to sound 'dynamic' as higher ordered harmonics start to show up on transients. It is that distortion that is responsible for the false sense of 'dynamics' because of how they interact with the ear. So saying its a nice 7 Watts isn't exactly true. I bet its got a nice first Watt though.

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Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

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