Modern Tubey Sounding Amps

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Barnabas Collins, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    Hmm - that was an interesting read. So I consulted my go to reference about Audio Power Amp design by Doug Self. He makes three very brief references to TIM in the 600-odd page tome, and describes it as a massively outdated concept. The criterion is actually that an amplifier slew rate should be consistent over all power levels and loads. So TIM is an ex-TIM, it has gone to the choirs eternal....
     
  2. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I agree about seeking the best accuracy from any audio component but can see the appeal of super sweet tube amplifiers that embellish the sound- but do not disrespect it.
    Best consumed in limited moderation.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  3. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    That's why two systems can be a great option. I've got the main rig that sounds phenomenal and accurate, but can really accentuate poor or average recordings. But then my Marantz 2230 and Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods sound so warm and inviting streaming Spotify, especially with that loudness button engaged. All for under a grand. Enjoy the music and don't have to obsess over the system.
     
  4. Burt

    Burt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kirkwood, MO

    I understand the most desirable power transistors, particularly FETs are not made any more and that getting really good choices is getting tougher as linear designs are replaced by devices optimized for use in switchmode supplies. Any input on that?
     
  5. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    Audio power Mosfets are an increasingly rare breed, although designs that use the new Silicon Carbide devices are showing some promise.

    It is all part of the semiconductor device fab houses policy to run down low volume product, such as specific audio devices. If it does not go in a mobile phone, a base station, a PC/laptop/tablet(etc) or a flat screen TV they lose interest fast. Low noise discrete transistors, particularly pnp are progressively obsoleted or entirely gone, so low noise moving coil phono stages are much more difficult to design now.

    At least excellent bipolar power transistors are still in manufacture.
     
  6. phred

    phred Forum Resident

    The OP could consider a Perreaux 350 amp or 750 monoblocks easy on the ears and enough power for most listening environments.

    How ever the current Mc is probably fine.
    (I have yet to hear a harsh Mc)

    By looking for a "tube" sound the OP could possibly be looking to tame the famous Focal top end squawk.
    (Many others have already commented the Focals may not deliver what the OP is seeking)
    If the OP is welded to his Focals a knowledgeable rework of the crossovers may be a more a effective step in his audio journey.

    I suspect churning amps is not the best answer to this quandary.
     
  7. westsounds

    westsounds Member

    Yes, I tend to agree with this idea.

    So on that note can anyone name some tube amps that I may be able to get in the UK. I'm looking around £400 used or $500.

    I'm looking for warm, lush, natural vocals I'm after something to really tame my Shahinian Arcs brightness and harshness. I think these are incredible speakers just I haven't found the right amp for them yet. They worked ok on my Musical Fidelity X-A2 but I really want to take them further, and they even tended to be a bit harsh on that, and I wouldn't call it a strident amp either. Forget hi-fi rawness I just want euphoric lush, warm sound call it whatever but with some realism that I don't want to stop listening to.

    Ive thought about an Audio Analogue Puccini SE, but I really wouldn't mind going the tube route if it's going to give me more of the things I'm after. And after all, you do seem to get more depth with tubes.

    Ive even considered some Chinese imports but Ive been put off on other forums by the valve gurus. I dont know the first thing about valves thats why Im asking here. Can anyone please help and give some advice, it would be very much appreciated.
     
  8. westsounds

    westsounds Member

    And I did mean to quote this before my last post :rolleyes:
     
  9. westsounds

    westsounds Member

    And sorry to butt in on the OP thread. Just thought it may be good to have some working man's contrast, the money here is way too much for me, yet I want simular results. I've found I can do it in the transistor world, and even though the more desirable gear is well, more desirable, there is a law of diminishing returns, and also enjoyment.
     

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