Why I won't buy a new Tube Amp

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

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    or because it doesn't have a CD player?
    people have their limits i guess...
     
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  2. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    This original post is gotten too long, Let's call it a day. I made my point. Thanks all.
     
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  3. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Hah.... there you go. Player #1. This is what I been waiting for. Scarramoutsch... All we need now is @Benzion, @SandAndGlass, @McLover, and some others and lights, camera, action...:biglaugh:
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  4. Jaxjax67

    Jaxjax67 Samantha Fish @ small venue

    Location:
    Toledo Wa
    If you were to hear my system you might change your mind on what a gazzlion sand parts in the chain being a death sentence for great sound. I assure you I have a crap ton of op-amps in my system. Also active dsp/AD/DA , AES capible too. My point is SS, digital, full on tube gear can all sound good, none is superior to the other. Definitely ok to like what you like but tube gear is not superior to everything. There are all great when done nicely.
     
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  5. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    SS is usually better for bass and perhaps can equal tube gear with treble. But, I never heard SS or op-amps make the magic tube gear (no op-amps) can produce in the midrange. And, the ear is most sensitive in the midrange frequencies. I am not the only person here that mentioned the tube midrange frequency reproduction. However, you have a very serious audio system.

    Here is one member's opinion:

    Op-amps can produce very good sound in very good component designs. So can other IC types. Usually the failure is of the maker to incorporate adequate power supplies or transistors which can handle higher current levels. The Topping unit is a $199 piece of gear. It weighs in at a whopping 1 lb and is about 4.5" square. Generally the reason that makers build these is because they are cheap and they can boast features or specs which entice buyers, but you get what they actually deliver. So they minimize cost, maximize profit and make it barely worth anyone's time to complain. That isn't old school Hi-Fi for sure. It might deliver a taste of Hi-Fi sound but the compromises made also leave it far behind other options.

    Now, there are products which use Op-amps and that can deliver stunning performance levels. Those are usually much larger, heavier, and more expensive so that they can house the other needed components to do so. When you see a cheap product, they are likely employed there due to size and cost, not quality. Also many Chinese components, Op-amps included, can be counterfeit, so some products may not have performance as intended by the original designs. Just based upon your one experience, I'd not blame an entire form of amplification.

    While the tube buffer might make the sound more pleasant, it cannot improve the source. ie, it cannot make it more accurate to the original. It can only modify it, and the modifications will have losses. So what you hear as warmer is probably due to frequency response modification and compression, plus a superimposed layer of second order harmonic distortion. That will make things sound smoother, for sure. Whether you think it sounds "better" or not is certainly a personal choice, but it cannot be as true to the source, ie "Hi-er-Fi".
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  6. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Cannot really find a new good amps especially in reviews. Guys that leave positive feedbacks just got their amps 2 hours ago. After following up with his equipment the next 5 months, he already sold it and set sailed for a newer upgraded ones. What was that all about..? :-plnktn-:
     
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  7. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Location:
    Cloverdale, CA
    My ears unless you hear our set-up. Back when we used SET amps exclusively, we tailored the sound rolling tubes which get expensive very quickly.
    Today, with less sensitive speakers and amps of different kinds we shape the sound with different phono cartridges. Less expensive than many multiples of tubes in the short run. More expensive in the long run.
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  8. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    I used to say the same but not anymore, and the price of really great solid state gear has come way down the last bunch of years.

    I never limit myself to one technology when auditioning equipment.
     
  9. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    Depends upon the tube amp. A lot of vintage tube is easily beat by new SS gear. The best tube gear still wins in the sensitive midrange IMO. SS bass is tighter and treble about equal. Tube gear is a PITA with having to buy best sounding tubes. No issue with SS.
     
  10. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    What new SS gear are you talking about ?
    The vintage tube gear I owned in 40 plus years was ok and nice in many ways but had more quirks than I can mention.
     
    timind likes this.
  11. Frank Bisby

    Frank Bisby Forum Resident

    I believe sweeping conclusions and generalizations based on bias and supported by what others have posted on the internet in support of that bias is all you really need. You always need tubes, you always need tone controls and there is no point in listening to any equipment. I can’t imagine there could every been any exception to that.
     
    timind likes this.
  12. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    But seriously. Makes me sad. Hopefully i don't get so sour when im his age. Jeez.
    Long story short, he doesn't want to buy a new amp, rest all sucks, have heard it all before and knows it all already.
     
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  13. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    You don't want tone controls people.
    You want magic knobs.
    I have some laying around somewhere.
    You put the magic knobs on your speakers before playing a record.
    Then the magic happens and your $200 stereo sounds like a million bucks.
    You do not have to tune the room.
    You do not have to buy full range speakers.
    You do not have to match your components.

    All you need is magic knobs.
    Signed.
    Beelzebub.
     
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  14. n'joymusic

    n'joymusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    South East

    Hey Allied333

    Thank you for posting your views on tone controls.

    I could not have said this any better...and you are quite correct on recording deficiencies
    that tone controls can help correct...

    Ssadly there are very few preamps that offer tone controls except say McIntosh, Parasound,
    Accuphase....there may be others ...not just aware of them...wish there were more

    Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  15. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Up for another Friday night thread resurrection: Fire Away...:wantsome:
    Check this out man. I been messing around with my system a bit and completely rebuilt my 1/3 octave EQ all the way the last screw. All brand new caps.
    Then I modded my Klipsch tower speaker inside and added a trimmer. All ran on my 300b. Talk about 3D sound on horns. God I wish it was an 8 inch. :-popcorn:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have an exception to this "rule", a NEC A-710 integrated amp. This amp has pre out/main in jumpers and the bass and treble controls are NOT part of the preamp section. When I first figured this out, I had to double check and make sure I was not imagining things.

    That Manley looks really nice!
     
  17. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    FL
    How old is the NEC?
     
  18. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Good question and not easily found info. If I had to guess, 1986-89ish? When I discovered this, I was quite puzzled, and still am. Maybe I will try a separate pre with tone controls into the amp section to get "tone controls squared".
     
  19. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It's massive.

    There are times I daydream about being a mastering engineer just so I could justify having something like a Manley Massive Passive.
     
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  20. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I had a pioneer SG-9800 long ago. Some people likes it. It was a decent EQ. If I'm gonna flash that kind of money, ill put more a with a super quiet and more band EQ. Its a giant leap from 5 band to 7 band. 10 band to 15 is another game changer. But if you have a 31 band vs a super quiet 31. That's the optimum. I'm getting a grade school flashback hearing from people about EQ having white noise and hiss. My first and last EQ installation with that quality was a clarion 5 band 70's EQ to my brothers car while I was heading towards high school. Kinda looks like this.. Horrible.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2022
  21. Buck_Rogers

    Buck_Rogers Active Member

    Location:
    Midwest
    My Phenolic horns needed a little EQ on the top end as they slope down after 9K.

    So I added a 910pf Poly Carbonate cap from the top end of the volume control to the wiper.

    BAM~! Perfecto.

    Brought back the sparkle I used to have with Ring Radiators, Heils, Jantzens and Emits.

    But it's so much cleaner than the DEQ-2496 I was using.

    Next stop for the Behringer... Ebay.

    Buck
     
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  22. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I'm about to record The SRV - In Step - album. I notice the original sounds perfect on bass dynamics and midrange. However its lacking a very tiny amount of highs. I wanna copy it to my reel to reel and also connected Nakamichi zx-7 passing through my old dynamic expander and see how its gonna turn out. I wonder of I can make it sound as good as the 1993 dire straits on the night album.. Here goes nothing.:-plnktn-:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022 at 11:48 PM
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  23. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom Listen to Neil Young

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Make a dedicated thread about these MXR units, please.
     
  24. Cougar

    Cougar Active Member

    Location:
    SoCal
    I don't know if you have gotten a new Tube Intergrated amp with tone control yet, but if you haven't, I would recommend buying a nice tube integrated you like and add the Schiit Lokius or just the basic Loki to it. It's one of the best sounding EQ's out there and it's really cheap for what it does and its very quiet. I have both and it does not degrade the sound at all, but I only use a little bit to help out the bad recordings. I'm glad I got them. Also, you get a 15 day trail return policy. So if you don't like it, you can return it.
     
  25. edwyun

    edwyun Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    In addition, the more equalization you use, the greater shifts in phase response. This typically has a negative effect on timing and psychoacoustics.

    I do not know of any consumer EQ (tube or SS) that doesn't impact phase response. Maybe DSP, but I tend not to use them.
     
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