Why I won't buy a new Tube Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by allied333, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. Frank Bisby

    Frank Bisby Forum Resident

    A marketing ploy? Can you show me any marketing where any manufacturer is selling their products based on the strength of not having tone controls? Where do they even mention that?

    equipment at this level is sold on the strength of how it performs. If it would perform better with tone controls and therefore sell more units, it would happen. Do you honestly believe that a company making pre amps and integrateds that cost well into the five figure range are omitting tone controls as a cost saving measure? As you say, it’s a very simple design and not expensive. Do you think they sell their products by engaging in clever marketing ploys?

    you might be well served to take a trip to a brick and mortar audio store and audition some equipment. Perhaps go and listen to a modern tube amp. It seems you have some pretty staunch and immovable opinions based on using low powered vintage receivers with low efficiency moderns speakers and entry level analog source equipment. In that case I’m sure tone controls are very helpful. Go to a shop and listen to the products you are accusing of marketing ploys and cost savings.
     
    KT88 likes this.
  2. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    Some preamps started with a tone control defeat switch. There has been a lot of talk about eliminated tone controls over the years on how they distract from 'pure sound' including this new handy tone defeat switch. Then, techs started modifying units with the tone defeat switch. The public thought lack of tone controls makes for a better sounding amplifier. And, many tone controls used terrible sounding coupling capacitors such as ceramic due to small size around the potentiometer with result out of circuit defeat switch did sound better. Now, manufactures are very aware of quality coupling capacitors that can make or break an amp's sound.
    Of course manufactures pay attention to consumers and it was convenient for the manufactures to not include tone controls plus they get an image of a better amp per the public's perception. Manufactures will use any marketing 'ploy' to promote their product, but I do not think 'ploy' is the right word. Back in the 1960s any quality amp manufacture would not consider producing an amp without tone controls. Frankly, no tone controls just sucks. Using quality coupling capacitors, it does not distract from the sound no more than an additional preamp stage in an amp. In other words an amp with one vs two or even three preamp stages does not sound better than one preamp stage. The tone control is a preamp stage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  3. Although some believe in the “totally flat theory” that makes sense in a perfect playback environment, just sometimes judicious room corrective EQ can far outweigh the comparatively minor effects of signal degeneration.

    I’ve been lucky enough not to have to resort to that and have been able to satisfy myself with properly matching my driving electronics to my speakers to obtain the results I seek.

    In many cases though properly applied EQ can supply the “make or break” results in system/room performance.
     
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  4. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    I could not agree more with your statement. Only sound degeneration in a tone control is either added noise or use of poor capacitors. All the sound goes thru a tone control like any other amplification stage. If preamp stage is -90db quiet and a tone control is -90dB quiet, it does not degrade to say -85dB quiet and I suspect no one can hear anything that operates at -80dB quiet vs -90dB quiet. I think I have effectively dismissed a proper designed and simple tone control does not degrade the sound. As I prefer a tasty dessert with dinner, I prefer tone controls.
     
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  5. Neonknight1

    Neonknight1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Olympia
    Buy what you want its a hobby after all. I surely won't try to convince you my way is better or you are wrong.
     
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  6. Oddiofyl

    Oddiofyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    Some of the very best preamps in the world have no tone controls ….why is that ?
     
  7. Frank Bisby

    Frank Bisby Forum Resident

    I agree, you NEED tone controls. Just like the guy I mentioned previously needs to turn up the treble on his amp because his strings are dead. Your opinions are clearly immovable and not based on actually hearing any of the modern equipment you are talking about nor do you have any interest in exploring any of the ideas I have suggested.

    Modern tube amps and most high end equipment doesn't have tone controls, I guess the most reasonable explanation is people are fools and the designers of equipment are also fools or just perpetrating a scam.

    Here is a story you might relate to. I love vintage cars, I have rebuilt many mustangs from 1965 -1970 model years. They are a fantastic amount of fun to drive and I've upgraded many of them to make them even better. I was thinking about buying a new 2022 model year mustang but they don't have ashtrays. I love to smoke Marlboro Reds when I'm driving and new ones don't have ashtrays. If I can't smoke in that new Mustang, forget it, not for me. Some people say you can get an ashtray that fits in the cup holder but that's not for me. I want that little drawer that pulls out of the bottom of the dashboard, the one with the impossibly small tray where the ashes an butts fall out when you have to pop it out to empty it. Now some people say smoking is bad for your health but I've been doing for years and I'm not dead. In fact, whenever I don't smoke for a couple of days I feel terrible. If not smoking was good for my health why would it make me feel bad?

    new cars are not for me.
     
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  8. “Now some people say smoking is bad for your health but I've been doing for years and I'm not dead. In fact, whenever I don't smoke for a couple of days I feel terrible. If not smoking was good for my health why would it make me feel bad?”

    Agreed
    I smoke all the time. It helps relieve pain and it sure makes me feel real good!
     
    Oddiofyl likes this.
  9. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    I own like new condition 2004 Mustang convertible. It has 83K miles. I smoke cigars.
     
  10. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    I smoke cigars, do not care if it is looked down upon now.
     
  11. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I think this is the most miserable thread on the internet.
     
  12. Unfortunately I feel there’s a fair bit of misunderstanding and failure in communication.
     
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  13. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    Always a few with worthless comments. A few ******** here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
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  14. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Fine. Still, I'm sort of amazed at the number of people who are kinda scolding you for wanting tone controls. That combined with the fact that there seem to be no viable solutions. It's just a pile of garbage—nothing learned or solved.
     
    timind likes this.
  15. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    Now, your comment is not exactly worthless, why not state it first. What we have learned here is tone controls do not necessarily sound bad as many thought. It is the design. Not garbage as you state. There are a lot of audiophiles on Steve Hoffman forums, few have technical skills or knowledge in technical terms. But, they have income to buy high quality stereo gear and have good ears. In other words they purchase great technology- fair enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  16. BrentB

    BrentB Urban Angler

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    Well the thing is you asked one simple question in your OP. After 5 pages has it even come close to being answered? I can offer no answer and I am simply curious of the answer myself...
     
  17. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pisa, Italy
    Why I won't buy a new Tube Amp...[​IMG]
     
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  18. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    We had a similar thread last week concerning the lack of balance controls. In the analog world, I find this necessary to deal with R2R channel imbalance. Few modern pres offer this capability -- same as with tone controls.
    Suggest you visit the DIY site and raise the question/need among the preamp builders. They will often have useful suggestions or resources.
    As with several posts above, have tried both analog and digital EQ and, overall, find the original unaltered media signal wins out due to presence. Every additional stage you add injects new challenges.
     
    timind likes this.
  19. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Wonder how phase factors in?
     
    timind likes this.
  20. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Location:
    Cloverdale, CA
    A good set up doesn't need tone controls
     
  21. And what are the qualities of a good set up?
     
  22. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    No answer as no new SE tube amps made with tone controls. Some agree a tone control with quality components does not degrade the sound like manufactures wants you to believe.
     
  23. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    You are also saying no tuning of the speakers response is needed no matter what the room response. Few actually use instrumentation to tune the listening room. Very few audio systems would not benefit with tone controls and are a compromise without.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
    Lonson likes this.
  24. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    One that's pleasing to you. Nothing else matters.
     
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  25. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    One that have components that sound goods straight out of the box and it's been matched with other components that enhance the outcome of the combination instead of hindering it. All that must be fed with quality media.
     
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