Has anyone gone from loving tube sound, to "what was I thinking?" - diyAudio
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:35 PM   #1
ag8908 is offline ag8908  United States
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Default Has anyone gone from loving tube sound, to "what was I thinking?"

So after discovering tube sound a few months ago, I loved it. I like that twang sound it adds to everything, especially guitar type instruments. I remember asking a top notch audio installer in my area and he said he absolutely never installs tube items in people's homes because they're undoubtedly inferior. I disagreed with him as I liked the distortion. But after about two months, I liked it less and less and eventually found it to be annoying and completely inferior to equivalent solid state products. I feel like if you took a good solid state amp back in time and let tube users (who did not have a choice) listen to it, their jaws would have dropped.
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:41 PM   #2
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Maybe you bought the wrong tubes.

jeff
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:49 PM   #3
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I your amp "adds twang sounds" to everything you listen to the the tubes are not at fault, a poorly designed amp is.

Tube amplifiers that are properly designed neither add nor subtract anything from the input; they simply amplify.

Don't forget, a triode is one of the MOST linear amplifying devices know to man.
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:57 PM   #4
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

The tube amp is not powerful enough, that is when it gets annoying.

I recall my Rogers Cadet III, nice enough until you crank it up,
and then it gets slaughtered by 50W of decent solid state.

At low / medium volumes it was great, but would not do
loud, at least with typical average sensitivity speakers.

rgds, sreten.

FWIW many moons ago I built a good system for a friend.
I let him try the Cadet III, he was very unimpressed at the
level it simply gave up the ghost, especially in the bass.
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:58 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Some 30+ years ago I occasionally doubted my judgment and went back to solid state, only to return quickly to tubes. In the past couple of decades I have had little reason to doubt the decision I made, and in the course of designing tube electronics I have gotten better at it.

Choosing appropriate speakers for use with tube amplifiers is an important part of the equation and there are also plenty of amplifiers using tubes or transistors that sound terrible, design incompetence is not limited to one technology or other..

So tell us a little about the speakers and amplifier used... (Comments about "twang" sound suspiciously like the device discussed was intended to add a little "color" to the sound - rather than attempting to reproduce it accurately.)
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Old 11th May 2014, 08:02 PM   #6
Jaimo is offline Jaimo  Canada
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you can't generalize - there are good and bad amps in both camps...

For me, a good tube amp betters the good SS amps I have owned but, YMMV.

System matching is also a key factor - your other components may or may not well work well with the amp you pick.
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Old 11th May 2014, 08:08 PM   #7
ag8908 is offline ag8908  United States
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This was a cheapish tube amp designed to create a tiny but perceptible bit of tube distortion. I haven't heard a tube amp that didn't create any distortion (I thought that was the whole point of tube sound? are you saying a tube amp could actually be clearer and less distortive than a solid state?) of course there's also the issue that each tube and tube amp has a different sound so it's hard to generalize.
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Old 11th May 2014, 08:09 PM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
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I use both and mixtures of them with the idea of offending everyone.
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Old 11th May 2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
are you saying a tube amp could actually be clearer and less distortive than a solid state?) of course there's also the issue that each tube and tube amp has a different sound so it's hard to generalize.

Yes, with caveats.

And again a properly designed tube amp should not have a "sound".

Does every different transistor have a different sound?
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Old 11th May 2014, 09:10 PM   #10
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Some years ago,

I stopped doing audio and got rid of my tube stuff and bought an all in one system midfi yes it sound OK it did the job...then I built a tube HP amp because...well it seemed like a good idea. Then I went and listened at a local dealer to a £16,000 system..yes it was good but...something was not moving me. So I built a tube preamp and a chip amp for fun..the saga continues.
(what has happened to audio? where are the magazines etc)I walk into the "New audio shops and listen..then cringe." What can you do but build another one..
Old habits die hard I was building audio amps when I was at school...yes what was I thinking..

Regards
M. Gregg
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