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Old 12th May 2014, 02:12 PM   #21
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Originally Posted by Charles Darwin View Post
Klippel has an online test for that:Listening Test

Using my speakers I passed -45dB (0.56%) but failed at -48dB (0.398%).
I use SS gear exclusively for reproduction.
Did you burn to a disc and then used it in your system ..?

I have tried both SOTA SS and tube amps over the decades and keep going back to SS . I have enjoyed the sound of tubes on many occasions and my choice or for most really will fall mostly to speaker type and load. In my situation over the years is that SS Works for me , better sonics and reliability. On live recordings they deliver and ohhh , there is no twang from good tooobs...

Now, when it comes to Pre-amps all bets are off , a good toob pre is hard to beat, they do lack convenience thou ...
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Old 12th May 2014, 02:50 PM   #22
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Has anyone gone from loving tube sound, to "what was I thinking?"

No never, I love the sound of tubes.

Also when I play guitar through tubes I love the overdriven sound at full power.
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Old 12th May 2014, 03:06 PM   #23
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No, it didn't seem necessary with a 30Mbps connection and I haven't got a cd player anyway.

I too love valve instrument amps like the ones in my Hammond/Leslie combo or my guitar amp but what makes them irreplaceable there also makes them nearly unusable in my replay system. As for clipping SS amps: I think the police would be knocking on my door long before I get close since I run my speakers active with a total of just over 900W per channel. The drivers do between 91 and 107dB 1W/1m.
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Old 12th May 2014, 05:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by murphythecat8 View Post
can someone even hear 1% of distortion?
Depends on the order. Single number THD numbers are meaningless.

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Old 12th May 2014, 07:13 PM   #25
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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If you are aiming for uncolored reproduction then the choice shouldn't really matter, assuming the systems (whether tube or solid-state) are good enough.

If you aim for colored sound then it's likely entirely up to preference and that "coloring" will vary from one amp design to another.

I play guitar and I have heard both great and bad sounding tube and solid-state amps in that application. Yes, I have encountered tube guitar amps that made me wonder why such horrible sounding things were even made. But that doesn't apply to all tube amps, like it doesn't apply to all solid-state amps. Especially in the realm of instrument amplification you bump into fact that amps can be widely different from each other.

Thus, personally I don't see any point of discussing this issue from the basis of mere generalisations. Comparisons make sense only in case-by-case basis and overall tend to fall to realm of great subjectivity.

What I do fell about "colored" reproduction in general is this: The effect can usually be very exciting for a while, but after you start to hear it everywhere you probably get tired to it pretty fast. Take for example some of these tube amps that are deliberately designed to have high levels of distortion, narrow bandwidth and very uneven response. They probably sound nice and unique for a moment but soon you start missing that natural sound which wasn't as heavily "effected". Probably applies more to listening stereos and entire musical context than to applications such as playing instruments where all kinds of effectation and filtering is usually essential "spicing up".

Last edited by teemuk; 12th May 2014 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:24 PM   #26
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@Planet10 I would disagree. It is just that even order are substantially less unpleasant because they are harmonically (speaking in a musical sense rather than technical) related to the 1st harmonic.
For example and expressed in musical notation here are the even order harmonics of G2 (98Hz): 2nd harmonic is G3 (196Hz), 4th is G4 (392Hz).
Odd order are: 3rd D4 (294Hz) and 5th is between B4 and B4 flat.

Point is none of them are part of the original signal and should be inaudible but no doubt 2nd and 4th order harmonics would make things sound fuller. I'd be kinda happy as long as ANY harmonics are -60dB (0.1%) or lower at all times.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:31 PM   #27
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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Yep, but that theory holds ONLY when you do not want to listen to distortion. If you prefer distortion then it's an entirely subjective matter which kinds of harmonics and which kind of distortion is "pleasant" or "unpleasant", or even "musical".

For instance in guitar amplifiers, whether tube or solid-state, it is common to introduce ludicrous amounts of distortion to the signal as an effect. The theory about "musical" and "less musical" harmonics or whatever can be thrown out the window right at that moment. What you see in the output of these effect devices will not comply with any of that theory.

We could just as well state that for good production of sound we want a system that reproduces the sound at full audible bandwidth (if not beyond) without any excessive attenuation or enhancement at specific frequencies. Sounds solid, right? Then take a typical overdriven guitar amp where the effective bandwidth ranges from 1 kHz to 5 kHz at best and is totally uneven across the spectrum which huge notches and bumps. Suddenly it's just the right kind of design in that application.

Theories of what make the best ideal reproduction devices do not apply to what make good effect devices.

Last edited by teemuk; 12th May 2014 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:42 PM   #28
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I'm speaking strictly in the replay chain.
A guitar amp is de facto part of the instrument and so anything goes as it then becomes an artistic/creative decision rather than one of accuracy.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:46 PM   #29
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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But there are people who like to hear effects in the replay chain.

But as I said, for me personally, hearing them gets boring and disturbing pretty quickly when I hear them everywhere, in everything I listen.

Then again, some other people might feel different.

Entirely subjective issue in the end.

But if someone even throws around a term like "tube sound" then we definitely are talking about effects.

Last edited by teemuk; 12th May 2014 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 12th May 2014, 11:22 PM   #30
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I have no problems with a statement "I like the sound of tube amps."

However a statement like "I like tube amps because they are more accurate/realistic/etc." would appear a lot more contentious to me.

I do agree that pieces of kit which have much of a sound of their own in the replay chain get boring and annoying quickly. Particularly amps & speakers which are satisfying in the long run tend to be rather unimpressive at first listening and vice versa.
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