Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 118
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    178

    Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    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.
    == Joe ==

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Joe.......What specific disadvantages do tube amplifiers present that you might consider too great to own one?
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SE Pa
    Posts
    1,698

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

    simple answer Joe, it depends ...........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    178

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Joe.......What specific disadvantages do tube amplifiers present that you might consider too great to own one?
    Just simple ones, like tube degradation, low power, limited ability to handle less than 8 ohm loads, bass overhang, rolled off high frequencies, quality tube availability, high cost of power tubes, need for a vacuum tube tester, tube biasing, tube matching, sound variability dependent on tube brand or date of manufacture, total tube failure, high heat and overall reliability.

    I understand that all of these rarely apply. But every one can be a possibility and therefore a trade off. Oh, and I forgot that sometimes the tubes needed go out of production. The stock pile of NOS is not going to last forever.
    == Joe ==

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Just simple ones, like tube degradation, low power, limited ability to handle less than 8 ohm loads, bass overhang, rolled off high frequencies, quality tube availability, high cost of power tubes, need for a vacuum tube tester, tube biasing, tube matching, sound variability dependent on tube brand or date of manufacture, total tube failure, high heat and overall reliability.

    I understand that all of these rarely apply. But every one can be a possibility and therefore a trade off. Oh, and I forgot that sometimes the tubes needed go out of production. The stock pile of NOS is not going to last forever.
    Joe.......That's some serious tube phobia. .
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    178

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Joe.......That's some serious tube phobia. .
    Dan: You kinda get the feeling I’ve lived with them for quite some time ?
    == Joe ==

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Dan: You kinda get the feeling I’ve lived with them for quite some time ?
    Joe.......I understand where you are coming from. I have been a tube amp aficionado for over five decades. Yes, I am certifiably old! My very first tube mono amplifiers were a pair of McIntosh MC30 mono tube amps that I bought in 1968. Since then I have owned tube based tuners, preamplifiers, and power amplifier. I can't say they have all been trouble free, but most of the issues were minor, nothing a schematic, a few parts and a soldering iron couldn't repair. Things have improved dramatically with modern tube amplifiers, now sporting protection circuits that shut down an amp in the event of a short at the terminals or a power tube failure. Manual biasing has been made simple with the advent of meters installed on power amplifiers. Some manufacturers have developed sophisticated auto bias circuits that allow you to replace or roll tubes without concern for bias settings.

    Power isn't really an issue any longer, either. If you want high power in a tube amplifier, there are quite a few prestigious manufacturers offering some amazingly powerful tube amps, ARC, McIntosh, and VAC to name just a few. The SET crowd will always be shackled to esoteric tubes, low power, and mediocre specification, but they will be quick to point out how wonderful the midrange is. Personally, I prefer full range amplifiers.

    Tube availability is not an issue to be worried about. There are quite a few tube manufacturers around the globe making excellent vacuum tubes of all varieties. If NOS is your thing then be prepared to spend some cash for tubes that have taken on transcendental reputations with corresponding prices. Yes, the sources for exotics are drying up, but there are still stashes to be found if one knows where to search and willing to pay.

    Yes, test equipment is an essential element to being a tube enthusiast. Modern well designed tube testers are available and should be considered a requirement for those who enjoy tube amplifiers. I have two that get used annually to check the state of the tubes in a preamp and four tube power amps. Knowing the state of your tubes helps avoid future problems, helps to identify problem tubes when an issue comes up, and offers owners peace of mind. Knowledge is power.

    Sound variability is not a shortcoming of tubes, it's an asset that can be capitalized on. If an amplifier is the main dish, consider tubes as the spice that brings it all together. Tube rolling is great fun, but it can become addicting and expensive if not held in check by some common sense. Unfortunately, common sense doesn't seem to be so common these days.

    You mentioned heat. Yes, tube amplifiers radiate heat, some more than others. Heck, light bulbs radiate heat, sun coming through the window, and your body radiates heat, typically between 250 and 400 BTU's. We are walking furnaces. A room full of people can raise the temperature quickly unless air conditioned. Ventilation is important for tube amps and must be factored in if you wish to play in that world.

    And finally, reliability. Tubes are still made by hand. Even with highly skilled assemblers using the finest parts available the occasional tube failure will occur. The same can be said about everything made by the hand of man. Damn near everything fails eventually. Fortunately the overall quality of the more established tube manufacturers is quite good. It is not uncommon to get 4,000 to 5,000 hours from premium power tubes, and between 8,000 to 10,000 hours from small tubes. Think about it. If you listen to music 4 hours a day 7 days a week, you can expect to get approximately 3.4 years of service from power tubes before replacement becomes necessary. Small tubes can last over 5.5 years listening 4 hours a day 7 days a week. That's a lot of listening for a home sound system. When you own tube based audio gear it is always wise to have spare tubes on hand. Buy some each year as the years go by and you will always be prepared when it is time to re-tube your gear. I have about 60 tubes standing by. It makes sense to be prepared. Buying them over time spreads the cost out to where it isn't a big deal.

    Then, of course, there's the sound, that glorious tube sound that creates such accurate and believable musical timbre, fully fleshed male and female voices, strings and brass reproduction to die for. There is much to enjoy from tube amplification. Yes, it is a bit more involved and eccentric than simply placing a solid state integrated amp on the shelf and calling it a day. Only you can decide if the commitment to the sublime musical experience of tube gear is worth it. I'm in, but don't misunderstand, I also enjoy solid state amplifiers. I have owned and enjoyed my fair share of them, too.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    178

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

    Dan: I can appreciate your love of tubes. I have also lived with tubes for many years. My first being a Bogan PA head amplifier and a 25 watt Lafayette guitar amplifier. My first hifi piece was a McIntosh 240 stereo power amplifier. Every single disadvantage I’ve mentioned, I have experienced first hand. Like solid state amplifiers, I have heard great tube gear and not so great tube gear. But like omnidirectional speakers, I am ready to holler “uncle”. I think of all the distortion I have experienced, not even realizing it was slow tube degradation. Not to mention all the power fuses I have blown due to deteriorating rectifier tubes. So unlike you, I am not sure it is all worth it. As my components grow old, I am replacing them with solid state gear. I am not ready to go quite as far as an integrated amplifier, but I love the consistent sound of high quality solid state. When I flick the switch, I know I will hear exactly what I have worked so hard to achieve.
    == Joe ==

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southeast Iowa
    Posts
    972

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

    I've never owned a (home audio) tube amp so I can't speak with any authority on them. However, I have owned many hand made (boutique) tube guitar amps. I would not own a ss guitar amp, but that's just me and my ears. The only ss guitar amp I owned was a Thomas Organ era Vox Royal Guardsman (2x12" speakers and a midrange horn). It actually sounded OK as long as you kept things clean, tone wise. As you might expect from an early ss amp the distorted tones were terrible.

    I know we're talking guitar amps and not home audio. Distortion is often a very desirable thing to have with a guitar amp...not so with a home audio amp. But I can say I never had to replace a tube in any of my guitar amps except when I wanted to. It was usually because I wanted to experiment (roll) with tubes for a different tone.

    However, I would still be hesitant to own an all tube home audio amp for reasons already stated by others above. Ironically, it's still mostly a reliability issue with me. Even though I've had pretty good experiences with tubes. NOS tubes are continuing to age and they are gradually becoming picked over, making finding high quality NOS tubes a challenge. In ten more years there will be far fewer to pick from. Not to mention the cost, especially for power tubes. The last set of RCA NOS power tubes cost me $200 for two. That was almost ten years ago. When you're dealing with four to eight power tubes and the same number of preamp tubes reliability can become an issue. JMHO, but, there are currently just too many far more reliable, ss amps with outstanding sonic performance to make me want to go back to tubes. Something's wrong if we can't find a great sounding ss amp at a reasonable cost. Especially these days.

    Now that I've said all that, I'll be auditioning several amps to go with my Harbeth speakers next month. One of those amps will be a VAC integrated, if it's available at the time. I'll try to keep an open mind regarding sonic quality. Who knows? I could end up with tubes...again.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
    Posts
    4,857

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

    I've owned both tubes and SS. I've had issues with both, but like anything made, it will break one day and depending on the maker and their customer service repairs are usually painless and supported. I say, enjoy what you have got, Also this subject reminds me of the subject Digital vs LP's, there is never a winner in opinion. One thing about this great hobby, its personal. I don't buy gear based on what someones likes or dislikes. , I buy what I like.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  11. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Just simple ones, like tube degradation, low power, limited ability to handle less than 8 ohm loads, bass overhang, rolled off high frequencies, quality tube availability, high cost of power tubes, need for a vacuum tube tester, tube biasing, tube matching, sound variability dependent on tube brand or date of manufacture, total tube failure, high heat and overall reliability.

    I understand that all of these rarely apply. But every one can be a possibility and therefore a trade off. Oh, and I forgot that sometimes the tubes needed go out of production. The stock pile of NOS is not going to last forever.
    Yeah, but why not start a thread bashing tube gear anyway?
    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

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    1,148

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

    Dan, what a great answer. The only issue you did not address what what happens when a transistor fails in your SS amp. I have seen SS amps fail and when they do they get thrown away at times. Other times they can not be brought back to original spec so they sound different after repair. What do you think is going to happen to your First Watt amp when those not in production parts are gone. I bet, don't know for sure, but I bet tube amps are found to last a lot longer than SS amps. They may require upkeep and maintenance, but there are a lot of tube amps from the 50s still doing just fine.
    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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Dan, what a great answer. The only issue you did not address what what happens when a transistor fails in your SS amp. I have seen SS amps fail and when they do they get thrown away at times. Other times they can not be brought back to original spec so they sound different after repair. What do you think is going to happen to your First Watt amp when those not in production parts are gone. I bet, don't know for sure, but I bet tube amps are found to last a lot longer than SS amps. They may require upkeep and maintenance, but there are a lot of tube amps from the 50s still doing just fine.
    Kingrex.......Thank you for the compliment. I thought about digging into solid state amplification in last night's post but it was 12:30 AM, I was getting tired, and the post was getting lengthy. You bring up a good point about solid state failures. They are not as uncommon as people tend to believe, and often can result in catastrophic damage to the output stage and power supply. Like you said, matching critical parts like outdated output transistors can be a challenge when repairs are made, with some repairs ultimately altering the sonic signature integrity. I have owned many solid state amplifiers, Hafler, Dynaco, Adcom, Kenwood, and at least 10 McIntosh solid state power amps, as well as 10 McIntosh tube power amplifiers. I have been fortunate that only a couple components caused repair issues. The majority have been reliable performers.

    There is no guarantee that audio equipment will not fail at some point. Being a solid state component doesn't make it immune to failure. If it were a given that all audio components would last a half century there would be no such thing as a factory warranty. Who would need one. Then again, there is no reason not to believe well designed and built audio gear can't last an indefinite period of time. I have a 50+ year old McIntosh MA230 integrated amplifier (solid state preamp/tube power amp) that still sounds marvelous. Listening to it, you would not have any thought of its age. I had the power supply rebuilt with new caps, but beyond that the MA230 integrated amp is still making sweet music after all these years. This is my YouTube video of the McIntosh MA230 playing in the studio.


    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    178

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    I don't buy gear based on what someones likes or dislikes. , I buy what I like.
    Like you Chris, I do too. When I go to audio shows like RMAF, Axpona and now the Florida Expo, I am amazed at how many power amplifiers are super impressive. Soulution, Constellation, Roland, Pass, Nagra, VAC, Quicksilver and Van Alstine, to name a few. Some are SS, some are tube. There is so much quality gear out there, I wonder if those little glass bottles are buying anything ? One disadvantage I forgot to mention is the tubes that don’t work straight out of the box. I have retuned a good number of tubes.
    == Joe ==

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    New York, New York
    Posts
    657

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

    Dan, Your amp is beautiful. In the unlikely event you decide to sell it, let me know. Thanks, Jim
    T+A MP3100HV, T+A PA3100HV. Custom made Furutech cables with ETP-609 distributor with NCF outlets, Harbeth 40.2 Anniversaries.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,526

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

    I've read this thread with interest, and Dan has provided some really exceptional background, information and context.

    Here's my perspective, having used tube power and preamps now for 10 years, since getting back into high-end audio: today's tube components are excellent quality, provide superb performance across the audio spectrum, and per some of Joe's concerns, are both reliable and durable (which are different quality attributes). Tubes today have excellent spec to spec consistency and little to no unit-to-unit variabilty. and excellent tube durability.

    Last, and this point may be a bit controversial, but in my personal view, you have to spend considerably more on a SS amp to obtain or match the performance of a well-designed and manufactured tube amp.

    So, while I am in agreement with the points of concern Joe raised in his first post, from any practical (that is, real-world rather than hypothetical) perspective, the concerns or problems raised are non-issues.

    Just my 2¢. Cheers,

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    I bet tube amps are found to last a lot longer than SS amps
    Worldwide space programs long abandoned solid state hardware for audiophile tube technology, especially in deep space probes. Believe me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

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

    Tube versus solid state really is a personal preference. I have gone through the gamut since getting back into this hobby a few years back.

    I have had tube amps; ARC, Quick Silver, Audio Mirror; and solid state; McIntosh, First Watt, Wyred 4 Sound, PS Audio, Job, SST, and T+A. I might have forgotten one of two ...

    I had tube pre-amps; ARC, Dennis Had; and solid state; W4S STP-SE, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, McIntosh, Benchmark (DAC pre), NuPrime (DAC pre), T+A (DAC pre), etc.

    I have had a tube go bad... startled the crap out of me, and had to bias with built in meter and even bias using a multi-meter. I have had a tube amp that acted very flaky, had SET mono-blocks, etc. None of that would stop me from getting a tube amp again. The ones I had sounded great and were satisfying. Tube rolling is the devil . I constantly thought maybe this other tube would sound better. I bought NOS tubes, Sylvania Bad Boys, CBS Brown Base, Black Treasures, Golden Lions, etc. I dealt with a lot of heat... ALOT OF HEAT... that still didn't turn me off to tubes, and at some point, depending on what comes along I might try another.

    However, I found that I never felt settled... always feeling like a need to try a different tube, every time I heard a little noise I would think, is another tube going bad. I finally felt that the tubes were stopping me from really getting into the music... I keep worrying too much about the gear, about tube rolling, heat, looks... etc. I never would listen to my tuner because I always felt I was wearing out tubes listening to background music.

    And then I found the Wyred 4 Sound Stage 2 pre-amp and the T+A amplifier. They sound as good as any tube I have ever heard, but most importantly, I felt like I no longer worried about the gear and could just listen to the music. I could just turn on the equipment and listen to music. I didn't worry about the gear any more. The convenience and ease won out. Music won out for me.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

    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.
    AJ you crack me up, but sometimes you are just weird... I love it!
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Wesley Chapel, FL
    Posts
    703

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

    Joseph, I guess I don't truly understand the basis for the thread. It is kind of like starting another Cable Thread.
    Anyone that has been around or owned tube equipment clearly understands the possibilities of amazing sound and catastrophe of failed tubes and taking out resistors and capacitors. Not to mention the cost of new tubes.
    When one purchases tube equipment you come to grips with in a not to extend period whether they are for you.

    Just my .02 and personal feelings burning aprox. 50 tubes at any listening moment.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, DIY PCOCC interconnects, speaker cables and power cords with Furutech terminations. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

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

    I like hearing other opinions on stuff like this. Zero chance of going out and listening to and playing with all this gear where I live. I like reading about other peoples experiences.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  22. #22

    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.
    You do realize that satellites use microwave tubes which share something in common with audio tubes? They are both vacuum tubes.
    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

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    1,148

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

    Well I learned something new today. I thought only the Russians were still using tubes. Hahaha

    To bad the space program is not demanding some incredible 12AX7 OR 6922. I'm sure that would make a lot of us happy.

    I'm burning 14 tubes now listening to music.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    I'm burning 14 tubes now listening to music.
    Kingrex.......Same here, 14 tubes for the living room sound system, and 20 tubes for the studio sound system. Love every minute of it.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  25. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Well I learned something new today. I thought only the Russians were still using tubes. Hahaha

    To bad the space program is not demanding some incredible 12AX7 OR 6922. I'm sure that would make a lot of us happy.

    I'm burning 14 tubes now listening to music.
    Do you know that your microwave oven uses a vacuum tube?
    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

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,964

    Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Kingrex.......Thank you for the compliment. I thought about digging into solid state amplification in last night's post but it was 12:30 AM, I was getting tired, and the post was getting lengthy. You bring up a good point about solid state failures. They are not as uncommon as people tend to believe, and often can result in catastrophic damage to the output stage and power supply. Like you said, matching critical parts like outdated output transistors can be a challenge when repairs are made, with some repairs ultimately altering the sonic signature integrity. I have owned many solid state amplifiers, Hafler, Dynaco, Adcom, Kenwood, and at least 10 McIntosh solid state power amps, as well as 10 McIntosh tube power amplifiers. I have been fortunate that only a couple components caused repair issues. The majority have been reliable performers.

    There is no guarantee that audio equipment will not fail at some point. Being a solid state component doesn't make it immune to failure. If it were a given that all audio components would last a half century there would be no such thing as a factory warranty. Who would need one. Then again, there is no reason not to believe well designed and built audio gear can't last an indefinite period of time. I have a 50+ year old McIntosh MA230 integrated amplifier (solid state preamp/tube power amp) that still sounds marvelous. Listening to it, you would not have any thought of its age. I had the power supply rebuilt with new caps, but beyond that the MA230 integrated amp is still making sweet music after all these years. This is my YouTube video of the McIntosh MA230 playing in the studio.


    Funny, as I read your posts, now I get to hear your voice.

    Good score, sounds nice!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R w/4point 11 arm | Kuzma 50 Cartridge
    Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
    Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum HD and M400’s | Boulder 508
    Speakers: Wilson Alexias
    Cabling: Nordost Leif, Norse, V2 and Odin
    Power and Isolation: Audio-Ultra Home & Room Power Foundation Performance Package with StromTank S1000 | HRS









  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
    Posts
    4,857

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Do you know that your microwave oven uses a vacuum tube?
    Correct, and some FYI https://blog.oureducation.in/microwa...ices-prologue/
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    You do realize that satellites use microwave tubes which share something in common with audio tubes? They are both vacuum tubes.
    Unfortunately I only worked in the RF industry for a few years, so I lack that kind on intricate audiophile knowledge you possess Mark. I had no idea what a TWT is, thanks for sharing. Guess my jest/joke was on me.
    Could you explain the correlation between that and for example, audion reliability vs ss ?

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southeast Iowa
    Posts
    972

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Do you know that your microwave oven uses a vacuum tube?

    I knew there was a reason for the great tone!

  30. #30

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Unfortunately I only worked in the RF industry for a few years, so I lack that kind on intricate audiophile knowledge you possess Mark. I had no idea what a TWT is, thanks for sharing. Guess my jest/joke was on me.
    Could you explain the correlation between that and for example, audion reliability vs ss ?
    It was this comment from you:

    "Worldwide space programs long abandoned solid state hardware for audiophile tube technology, especially in deep space probes. Believe me."

    I just wanted you to know that tubes are being used in space because I didn't think you knew that.
    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

  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    "Worldwide space programs long abandoned solid state hardware for audiophile tube technology, especially in deep space probes. Believe me."

    I just wanted you to know that tubes are being used in space because I didn't think you knew that.
    Despite saying exactly that in my quote, with some jest thrown in to the joke. Mkay.
    And again, this relates to Joes theme of reliability being one of the reasons he chose SS vs tube audio ampliciation...how?

  32. #32

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Despite saying exactly that in my quote, with some jest thrown in to the joke. Mkay.
    And again, this relates to Joes theme of reliability being one of the reasons he chose SS vs tube audio ampliciation...how?
    AJ-You were making fun of tubes for not being reliable for space use and I was trying to make sure you're aware that we indeed have tubes flying in space. That's it. Nothing else. As for Joe's issues with tube amps, that's another kettle of fish. He has bad mojo with tubes and it's smart for him to avoid them forever.
    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

  33. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southeast Iowa
    Posts
    972

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Kingrex.......Same here, 14 tubes for the living room sound system, and 20 tubes for the studio sound system. Love every minute of it.

    Isn't there some kind of law regarding using that many tubes all at once? Unconstitutional or something like that?

  34. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    1,148

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

    So we don't use tubes in space? I need my tall black milking boots. Seeing there is some protection from emf burst with tube vs SS, I could see tubes in space as there is no atmosphere to dissipate solar flares. Owe well.

    I guess I'm gonna have to buy a SS amp now. To bad Boulder is balanced only.

  35. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    AJ-You were making fun of tubes for not being reliable for space use
    No. I know exactly what a TWT is. You missed the jest/joke entirely. Much like the use of "Quantum" and "NASA" bandied about in "Audiophile cutting edge Tech" ads. There is no correlation to audio/audiophile applications whatsoever. Thats the joke.
    Nevermind. I'd say "whoosh", but there's no such sounds in space...

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    As for Joe's issues with tube amps, that's another kettle of fish. He has bad mojo with tubes and it's smart for him to avoid them forever.
    Whatever "mojo", his poition that reliability is a factor, certainly has merit. On earth.

  36. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

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

    Hey AJ,

    I rather enjoy your jokes... some are on the cutting edge of strange (which makes me chuckle even more).
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  37. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    1,148

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

    Darn you guys. Now I had to text my friends at Blue Origin to see if Jeff buddy is using tubes in his rockets.

    Of course, a rocket is a lot different than a satellite. But, we shall see if the laugh at me.

  38. #38

    Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

    Tube technology in space: it is true. But I don't think that they use the same kind of tubes used in audio equipment. I have read about nano-sized tubes being used.

  39. #39
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    You use tube amps in your home audio system Nicoff?
    If not, there is very good reason to do so. Tubes are used in deeps space probes.
    No idea what Joe R is on about disadvantages.
    Carry on.

  40. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Seattle Washington USA
    Posts
    1,148

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

    Here is an interesting thought. I have a tube phono preamp. 3 times the power supply exploded upon powering up. It was the solid state circuit board that was failing. The tubes have never been an issue.

  41. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    That's pretty overwhelming statistical evidence right there. Between that and its used in space too, I mean, c'mon Joe. What disadvantage??

  42. #42

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    You use tube amps in your home audio system Nicoff?
    If not, there is very good reason to do so. Tubes are used in deeps space probes.
    No idea what Joe R is on about disadvantages.
    Carry on.
    No tubes here. I like the simplicity of SS. Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

  43. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Darn you guys. Now I had to text my friends at Blue Origin to see if Jeff buddy is using tubes in his rockets.

    Of course, a rocket is a lot different than a satellite. But, we shall see if the laugh at me.
    I don't think any of the rockets we launched at Vandenberg when I was writing software to assist in the launches had tubes... then again, I could be wrong . (very secretive you know)

    Hey, Migs used to use tubes... so that is pretty much proof positive right there!
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  44. #44

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I don't think any of the rockets we launched at Vandenberg when I was writing software to assist in the launches had tubes... then again, I could be wrong . (very secretive you know)

    Hey, Migs used to use tubes... so that is pretty much proof positive right there!
    Of what?

    http://www.military-today.com/aircraft/mig_21.htm
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    Zellaton Plural Evo speakers, Goldmund Telos 440 mono amplifiers, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostages, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy/vdH Colibri Master Signature, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Mk. 2 Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  45. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    5,797

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

    Of tubes being used in aircraft... it was a joke
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  46. #46
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Myles B. Astor View Post
    Of what?
    EMP immunity. Critical to audio amplification.

  47. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,764

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    it was a joke
    There'll be none of that around here

  48. #48

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Of tubes being used in aircraft... it was a joke
    Oh now I get the joke. Funny. You found the emoji symbol.
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    Zellaton Plural Evo speakers, Goldmund Telos 440 mono amplifiers, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostages, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy/vdH Colibri Master Signature, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Mk. 2 Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  49. #49

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph R. View Post
    Just simple ones, like tube degradation, low power, limited ability to handle less than 8 ohm loads, bass overhang, rolled off high frequencies, quality tube availability, high cost of power tubes, need for a vacuum tube tester, tube biasing, tube matching, sound variability dependent on tube brand or date of manufacture, total tube failure, high heat and overall reliability.

    I understand that all of these rarely apply. But every one can be a possibility and therefore a trade off. Oh, and I forgot that sometimes the tubes needed go out of production. The stock pile of NOS is not going to last forever.
    This seems a rather one sided, slanted, biased view of the two technologies. It sure sounds like you came in with preconceptions rather than asking a question. Solid-state products have had just as many issues as tubes over the years too.

    It also seems that most of your “issues” with tube electronics refer to gear from 30+ years ago. No one today complains about tube biasing. Generally two or three times while breaking in and then the tubes stay pretty stable. Same goes with tube matching. High price? Bass overhang? Rolled off upper octaves? Low power? Can’t drive less than 8 ohm? Seriously? Where are you getting that from? My ART300s are quite happy driving my Magico S5 Mk. 2s as were the original ART amps were driving ML Summit-X stats.

    Shall we talk biasing for a moment? Jadis, VAC and a few others employ automatic biasing. cj’s is so simple a three year old could do it. IIRC, all you need to do is look at a simple meter with ARC amps. VTL even lets you know when a tube needs to be replaced.

    For the record (appropriate for an analog lover), I’ve had exactly three issues with cj amplifiers in 35 years. One was a blown resistor in a seven year old MV75A1 (even Krell KSA 50s or 100 were known to blow an output transistor then), an issue with the power transformer in an MV125 and a small issue with my ART300s.

    Like all the original Marantz solid-State gear blowing up.

    Or the reliability issues ss manufacturers ran into with the early generation of surface mount components and wave soldering.

    Or that solid-state amplifiers can drive all speakers? I know cases where just the opposite was true and the speaker caused a two highly regarded solid-State amps to shut down while the tube amps kept pumping out the music quite happily.

    Or wide bandwidth solid-state electronics picking up TV stations.

    Or that many solid-state parts go out of production very quickly. Hence, long term repairs of ss gear can be dodgy unlike tube components.

    I think that whatever small conveniences exist are more than made up by the sound quality.

    Perhaps this thread would be better served by focusing on customer service and repair records of all companies because things happen beyond their control.
    Myles B. Astor, Senior Editor, PF, www.positive-feedback.com
    Zellaton Plural Evo speakers, Goldmund Telos 440 mono amplifiers, Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier, Doshi Audio EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostages, VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable/VPI 12-inch gimbal Fatboy/vdH Colibri Master Signature, SAT LM-12 tonearms/Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Sumiko Songbird, Mutech Hayabusa and Fuuga Mk. 2 Cartridges, Technics RS1506 with low inductance Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tapestage, Transparent Gen. 5, AudioQuest Dragon Zero, Audience, Ensemble, Skogrand, MG Audio, Kubala-Sosna, Audience cables, SRA Craz rack/platforms, Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC.

  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,484

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

    Myles.......Thanks for bringing your point of view to the discussion, and refocusing on the original topic. The clowning around gets old quick.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

Tubed Power Amplifiers. Are the disadvantages too great ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •