Ever foregone or sold a tube amp due to it overheating the room?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Strat-Mangler, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm considering my first integrated tube amp but am cautious because of heat concerns. There's no A/C in my listening room, in the basement. Already, in the summer, it can, over time, be a bit of a struggle with my Arcam AVR350 which does get quite hot. I'm also no stranger to tube gear as I own many tube guitar amps which get very hot.

    Has it ever been intolerable to the point you sold the tube gear in favor of SS? Or just stuck with SS due to heat concerns? Or went all-out and had A/C installed because of tube gear?
     
  2. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Only if you plan to leave it one continuously, which wouldn't be a great idea anyway. I had a Marantz 8b that definitely doubled as a space heater. But I don't think a tube amp is worth installing A/C.
     
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    My listening sessions can last a couple of hours which is plenty of time for a "space heater" type to warm up the room, especially in the summer. Maybe the Marantz you had was outputting an unreasonable amount of heat, I don't know.

    I know how guitars amps generate a lot of heat but what about something like the Rogue Sphinx V2?
     
  4. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Also had a Mcintosh MA230 that could warm the room but not like that Marantz. I did have A/C in that basement, but would usually turn it off for listening sessions. Made for some hot Atlanta nights sometimes, but better than an A/C buzzing in your ears when trying to listen.

    Don't know on the Rogue. I've moved on from tube gear for reasons unrelated to the heat.
     
  5. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    Location:
    Savage
    Nope.
    My room is in the lower level. All the vents are closed in our lower level pretty much year round. In the winter it helps heat the listening room. Playing now.
    In the summer I open a window if the AC isn't on, most of the time. Heat rises so the lower level is usually cooler in the summer even if the vents are closed.
     
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  6. Seafinch

    Seafinch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    The Sphinx just has two 12au7's. I had one and it doesn't create much heat at all. In my experience the heat only starts becoming an issue when you start running power tubes.
     
  7. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    My mistake. I meant to type Cronus Magnum II. Had seen the Sphinx listed on another website and I guess some wires got crossed in my head. Sorry about that.
     
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  8. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Do you have a fan? Do you have windows? In summer, it can get hot. I use a fan and open the windows.
     
  9. No, but sadly my tube amp has been inactive for a few years because it just didn't work in my new home environment. While I thought it was too warm to put on an equipment rack and was cool with it sitting on the floor in my apartment, my new living room layout doesn't really accommodate that arrangement. So maybe I should sell it, but I don't wanna, but I'm not using it . . .

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Happy Audiophile

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yes! I have a similar issue -- basement media room. I have A/C but it really isn't up to handling the extraordinary load from tube power amps. In fact, it couldn't keep up with Class A solid state monoblocks (Mark Levinson Ref 20s). I have excellent tubed pre- and phono-preamps, but I am using Halcro solid state monobocks in part because of their low power usage/heat production.
     
  11. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    We have humid summers here so opening the windows doesn't accomplish much. A fan would add lots of noise but maybe a silent small fan blowing onto the tubes would help matters? No idea if it'd just redistribute the heat or actually cool the tubes.
     
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  12. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    I do have a media closet I could theoretically stick it in but I'm worried about the accumulated effects of the trapped heat might damage the amp and/or tubes.
     
    Dave likes this.
  13. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    Location:
    Ohio
    Kind of depends on the amp and the tubes. I was looking at Line magnetic SET amp and I read the tubes get crazy hot, something like 1,800 degrees. I know that probably isn't correct but it was just far too hot to be practical in any space I would want to have it. By comparison the two Fishers I have get hot but it isn't enough to worry about. Give it some air and keep the hands away from the back and it's fine. The tubes in my phono stage and preamp are a complete non issue.

    I would be concerned about some KT88's or 120's in a rack or out in the open for kids or dogs to brush up against. Living in Canada I wouldn't be too concerned about heating up a room. I live in Ohio and there are only about three months of the year where that heat wouldn't be an improvement to the comfort of the room.
     
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  14. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Using the Fahrenheit scale, in the summer, the temps regularly go 85-100. Granted, the basement is a few degrees colder but that won't matter much if I'm running the equivalent of a "space heater". Kids and dogs won't factor in as the equipment is far out of reach.

    For fun, I looked into your claim. It's even worse than you thought! It was 3140 degrees! However, here's what one Stereophile user posted in the comments section (FWIW) ;

    "the filaments get to 3140°F, not the glass itself. I could be wrong. I have one of these and it puts out some heat, but I don't feel it until I'm flipping a record."
     
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  15. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    My basement ducts don't work very well and I'm having to run two space heaters simultaneously just to be in my computer room, as the single pane casement windows leak like sieves. Maybe I should keep the tube amp on as well!
     
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  16. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    A circulating fan pulling the hot air out and the night air in should certainly help things.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    Yeah, I have that problem living in AZ and the hottest part of my home (because of poor HVAC design) is where my audio system is setup but it's too perfect a space to move elsewhere. I had a NAD M3 that got pretty hot, as do most high power Class AB amps, in fact despite unimpeded airflow it had a melt down when I pushed it too hard one very hot summer day. I switched to a Rogue Pharaoh and it runs as cool as a cucumber and sounds awesome IMO with a very tube like sound as Class Ds are noted for and with the addition of 2 tubes in the preamp section it sounds excellent - with my speakers Revel Ultimas.
     
  18. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Some of the older designs are far worse than their newer designs. My first Rogue tube amps were older M-120 monoblocks with four KT-88 in each monoblock.

    These amps were cathode bias, meaning that they have one average setting from the factory and the bias is not individually adjustable for each tube. Cathode biasing runs tubes hard and HOT!

    I bet that you could easily cook an egg, it you set a pan directly on top of the tube cage and left it there for a while. You definitely don't want these monoblocks in a small room without adequate ventilation.

    I later upgraded to the M-150's and these have four KT-88's in each amp also, but they are biased individually and the amps run much cooler and the power tubes last longer.

    Figure, that in ultralinear mode, a 150-watt amplifier with four power tubes is using two tubes for 75-Watts of power.

    I have a PrimaLuna Prologue Five, with two KT-88's per channel and it will do 36-WPC, about half what Rogue is pushing these tubes, so they run cooler and I have not had to replace and of its power tubes yet.

    I have their CM I, which has the KT-120 tubes, which use more power each, but there is still only four KT-120 tubes in the power amp section, which runs only in ultralinear mode, so it does not run as hot as the monoblocks and the KT-88's are individually biased, so the amp runs cooler.
     
  19. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Or, there is another option.

    There is no A/C in my listening room either. I simply don't use my tube gear in the hot months, and use SS instead. I have a great sounding vintage receiver that I use.

    Here's something else - the Exposure 2010S integrated amp runs so cool it doesn't even have vents on top.
     
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  20. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Which is not a tube amp.
     
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  21. amgradmd

    amgradmd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    While not exactly your situation, I did have a bit of an issue with my SS McIntosh MC205 amp heating up my listening room so that if the door is closed (which I often have to resort to since I like it, shall we say, a little voluminous). It would get 80+ degrees F making it somewhat uncomfortable. I ultimately ended up switching out the Mac for a set of 3 PS Audio Stellar M700 monoblocks to power the front three speakers and a stereo pair Stellar S300 for the rears. The net result is a much more comfortable room, even with the door closed and the whole HT system going full tilt! Now I rarely get about 75 degrees with the door closed. Before I'd often use more than 700 watts continuously. Now I rarely use more than 300, according to my PSA P10! These monoblocks are class D and are simply wonderful. They are a significant step up from the McIntosh and are without the usual glaring/brittle mids and upper frequencies associated with Class D. Just detailed, neutral, and smooth with micro and macrodynamics galore. And you can leave these on 24/7 with minimal expense. I would check these out if I were you!
     
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  22. dadbar

    dadbar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    Get a tube amp with a solid state rectifier and get it properly biased.. These amps put out a lot less BTU. My Fisher 400 receiver puts out less heat than some of my SS stuff.
     
    Dave likes this.
  23. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    @Dennis0675 might disagree with you on that count.
     
  24. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Toronto in the summer is quite frequently a humid mess. Without A/C, addiing a serious tube integrated amp is gonig to drive you nuts in the summer. However, do what other Torontonian do who don’t use A/C - run the furnace fan only on low speed. Keeps the air moving, low speed means less background noise intrusion, and you can at least exert some control over the listening room temperature.

    If you’ve got a somewhat older furnace with a single speed fan, drop in a denser filter - the densest one recommended for your furnace - to slow the air speed in the ducts and reduce noise but still move enough air to offset some of the effect of the tube integrated.

    I mothballed a Unison S6 during late summer and early autumn. My listening room couldn’t shed the excess heat. Replaced for the season(s) with a Supernait 2. But the S6 is back now though, and doing just fine because (like last week and the week before in Toronto) it’s going down to -17C tonight with a high of only -14C on Thrusday and Friday.

    I guess I’m suggesting that a great tube integrated (there are many) can work seasonally in any listening room.
     
  25. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    I specifically closed the listening room off because otherwise, the sound would travel through the ducts throughout the rest of the house and the purpose of having this room to begin with was so my wife would not be bothered by the sound. We've accomplished the goal but now, it looks like a ductless A/C unit is in my near future. Last summer was dreadful and I've had enough... and this was with SS gear.
     

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