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Old 10th November 2014, 12:43 PM   #1
cspirou is offline cspirou  France
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Default Data for tube amp vs solid state on full range

One of the things I read is that tube amps and fullrange drivers pair up really well. When I read about amplifier measurements they are usually done on a dummy resistor load and measured directly through the electrical contacts. However actual frequency response curves driving a speaker and measuring the sound through a microphone is almost non-existent. The closest I find is this article by Nelson Pass comparing a current source vs a voltage source amp.

http://www.firstwatt.com/pdf/art_cs_amps.pdf

On review sites like 6moons I constantly read about how they test speakers on different amps but their descriptions are always subjective with no data.

Would anyone know a place that has frequency response curves(or other relevant data) comparing a tube amp and a solid state amp on a given speaker? Especially if the speaker is a Fostex full range type speaker.
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Old 10th November 2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cspirou View Post
When I read about amplifier measurements they are usually done on a dummy resistor load and measured directly through the electrical contacts. However actual frequency response curves driving a speaker and measuring the sound through a microphone is almost non-existent.
There's a reason for that. Each individual driver you attach to a given amp will produce a different plot. A manufacture cannot possibly know all of the possible drivers a DIY'r might hook up to his amp. All you are really looking at when you measure an amp through speakers and a microphone is the speakers. Not what you want.

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Old 10th November 2014, 03:43 PM   #3
cspirou is offline cspirou  France
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Originally Posted by Bob Brines View Post
There's a reason for that. Each individual driver you attach to a given amp will produce a different plot. A manufacture cannot possibly know all of the possible drivers a DIY'r might hook up to his amp. All you are really looking at when you measure an amp through speakers and a microphone is the speakers. Not what you want.

Bob
I am not looking for manufacturer figures but independent plots. While a manufacturer doesn't know what is being hooked up, people that take independent measurements do know.

I agree that I would only be hearing the speakers but that's the point. I want to know what the difference is between two amps given that they power the same set of speakers. In other words the only variable I would change are the amps. This would basically be identical to what Nelson Pass did in the link I posted previously. Are you saying his measurements are useless?
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:13 PM   #4
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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This is a good question and I see your point to make the only difference being the amp to see if there are differences that are measurable.

Seems easy enough. I have done this for class AB vs class D amps and see differences in bass extension and treble detail and sometimes with harmonic distortion.

You need to find someone with several types of amps and a good set of speakers that can resolve the differences, and a willingness for that person to put their favorite amp to a test based on quantitative data, not listening impressions. The problem is that many folks with expensive tube or class A amps won't make the measurement, and if they did, they may find that the measurements don't support the price difference so you won't see the results.

I have only seen one person with a fancy class A amp willing to listen to the difference between his beloved amp and a highly modified TPA3116D2 amp and then tell us about it.

The class D amp won the listening test btw. I recall it was done with A7.3 driver.

Last edited by xrk971; 10th November 2014 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:16 PM   #5
rutcho is offline rutcho  Bulgaria
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cspirou, what I can do for you is to measure my Fostex FE-208 Sigma in a BLH with solid-state amplifier and with SE tube amp based on 300B.
Is this the measurement you asked for?
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:27 PM   #6
adason is offline adason  United States
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"closest I find is this article by Nelson Pass comparing a current source vs a voltage source amp."

Amplifiers: Solid State amps verses Valve amps
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:27 PM   #7
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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cspirou, what I can do for you is to measure my Fostex FE-208 Sigma in a BLH with solid-state amplifier and with SE tube amp based on 300B.
Is this the measurement you asked for?
Rutcho,
Wonderful! Your measurements are fantastic - thanks for the database and we can trust your set up. Do you have a class D amp like the TPA3116D2 to test while you are at it?
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:29 PM   #8
adason is offline adason  United States
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output impedance/damping is the key
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Old 10th November 2014, 04:36 PM   #9
cspirou is offline cspirou  France
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Originally Posted by rutcho View Post
cspirou, what I can do for you is to measure my Fostex FE-208 Sigma in a BLH with solid-state amplifier and with SE tube amp based on 300B.
Is this the measurement you asked for?
That would be perfect!

A lot of my questions are derived from this article.

Amplifiers: Solid State amps verses Valve amps

He mentions that solid state amps are more voltage driven and tube amps are more current driven. Nelson Pass showed the difference with his own amps but I have never ever seen the tube vs solid state comparison in numbers.

Edit:

Looks like I got ninja'd by adason.
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Old 10th November 2014, 05:14 PM   #10
adason is offline adason  United States
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unintentionally!
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