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Old 10th November 2010, 04:45 PM   #1
yoaudio is offline yoaudio  United States
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Default Simple PP vs. Tubelab SE

Has anyone compared the sound quality between the two?
I'm looking to build my first tube amp to drive my 90.5 dB
speakers I built from here-
N3 - N3

I'm leaning toward the Simple PP.
I will be using my Harmon Kardon HK-3490 for a sub woofer and as a pre amp, my room is 12'x42' w/hard wood floor. Any recommendations
would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10th November 2010, 05:42 PM   #2
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Those are two different type of amps. One is push-pull and the other is single ended triode. Latter may require higher efficiency speaker due to their low-ish output but 90.5 dB speaker may be ok for SE if you don't crank it up. I personally prefer the sound of single ended triode (mated with high efficiency speakers) so that's what I would recommend. SE preserves more of even order harmonics than push-pull thus giving more natural like sound than p-p which strips away even order harmonics through its differential circuit operation.

Last edited by Evenharmonics; 10th November 2010 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 11th November 2010, 01:29 AM   #3
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I have built the Tubelab SSE and the SP-P. They are indeed different sounding, but the major differences will have much to do with the speakers you use.

My SSE is currently set up running KT88's as triodes. It performs very well with even 87db speakers. To me it sounds a bit on the "soft" side. One day I may replace the budget Hammond OPTs with something better.

On the other hand my SP-P is all about dynamics. The sound is very detailed but not fatiguing. The bass (Edcor OPT's) is incredibly good. I have no idea of the actual wpc, but it will fill my average-sized room with plenty of music, again feeding 87db speakers. I'm very happy with it.

Which to choose? I'm glad I built both of them. I'd say you can't go wrong with either.
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Old 11th November 2010, 05:54 PM   #4
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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As Even said, they are two very different amps. As Neon said, how they sound also depends on how you build them and what they are driving. If you are accustomed to solid state gear, you might feel more at home with the Simple PP. I have both and I don't prefer one over the other. But with my 98dB speakers, I listen to the Simple SE the most. It has large OPTs and the combo kicks it pretty well. The Simple PP is currently residing in my shop where it has less efficient speakers to drive and it drives them very easily.
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenharmonics View Post
SE preserves more of even order harmonics than push-pull thus giving more natural like sound than p-p which strips away even order harmonics through its differential circuit operation.
This is flat out INCORRECT. P-P cancels even order harmonics generated WITHIN the amp - it DOES NOT affect the music's harmonics, second or otherwise.

OK?

Regards, Allen
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:39 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Wright View Post
This is flat out INCORRECT. P-P cancels even order harmonics generated WITHIN the amp - it DOES NOT affect the music's harmonics, second or otherwise.

OK?

Regards, Allen

As the designer of

http://www.vacuumstate.com/fileuploa...ure_lo_rez.pdf


Click the image to open in full size.

which I've heard - Mr Wright certainly knows a thing or 3 about building a gorgeously musical amp.
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
P-P cancels even order harmonics generated WITHIN the amp
To be more technically correct only the even harmonics generated within the portion of the amp that is fully differential and perfectly balanced are cancelled. That may be all or most of the circuitry in some of Allen's amps, but applies only to the output stage in the Simple P-P. All even harmonics that are present at the amps input and those generated in the input stages are present in the output. Some second harmonics are generated in the output stage due to imperfect tube and OPT matching.

A good SE amp will have the second harmonic as its primary THD component.

A good P-P amp will add some second harmonic, and the primary THD component will be a mix of third and some second harmonic. Some higher order harmonics will be added on strong signals.

A well balanced fully differential P-P amp will add nearly no second harmonic and its primary THD component is third harmonic.
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:54 PM   #8
yoaudio is offline yoaudio  United States
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Thanks for the input.
I'll build one of them, then wait for the universal P-P Driver board.
What is considered high efficient speakers?
I've noticed a lot of DYI speaker kits are inefficient except for the Fostek Full range speaker, the FE166En doesn't look to bad at 94dB. I could build a pair
of those horn cabinets cheap, I all ready have the wood.
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Old 11th November 2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoaudio View Post
What is considered high efficient speakers?
That is a bit subjective. The amount of sensitivity you need depends not only on the output capability of the amp but also the space you are listening in. There is also the speaker impedance curve to consider and how that plays with an amp's dampening factor and so forth, but we are talking rules-of-thumb here.

So how big is the space? My room that I have my setup in is about 20ft by 36ft. The system is at one end. The Simple SE at full tilt (KT88 in UL mode) with my 98dB speakers (Klipsch KLF-10) can rattle the walls with bass and drive you out of the room. Driving my Boston Acoustics A70s (about 90dB, IIRC) it can be plenty loud but does not shake the room.

I also have a Tubelab SE and with 45s it can barely make 2 watts. I use this mainly when I am sitting right in front of the speakers trying to get immersed. For this, 2W is plenty to drive the KLFs to comfortable levels with good range but it struggles to drive less sensitive speakers.
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Old 11th November 2010, 09:20 PM   #10
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Originally Posted by rknize View Post
That is a bit subjective. The amount of sensitivity you need depends not only on the output capability of the amp but also the space you are listening in. There is also the speaker impedance curve to consider and how that plays with an amp's dampening factor and so forth, but we are talking rules-of-thumb here.

So how big is the space? My room that I have my setup in is about 20ft by 36ft. The system is at one end. The Simple SE at full tilt (KT88 in UL mode) with my 98dB speakers (Klipsch KLF-10) can rattle the walls with bass and drive you out of the room. Driving my Boston Acoustics A70s (about 90dB, IIRC) it can be plenty loud but does not shake the room.

I also have a Tubelab SE and with 45s it can barely make 2 watts. I use this mainly when I am sitting right in front of the speakers trying to get immersed. For this, 2W is plenty to drive the KLFs to comfortable levels with good range but it struggles to drive less sensitive speakers.

Russ, out of curiosity, how many watts do you get from the S SE with KT88/UL, and with which OPT?

I have a custom built ( Eddie Vaughn) EL34 triode SE amp that is probably not much more power than Bottlehead 2A3 Paramours, and definitely less than George Wright Mono7 (300B), but it's certainly more musically engaging and "feels" more dynamic than either of those. I'm listening mostly to speakers ranging from Fostex126/127/167 to Mark Audio CHR / EL70 / Alpair7, at SPL well below 90dB, 3-4 meters listening distance in 2 rooms of approx 2500ft^3 and 4000ft^ .
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Last edited by chrisb; 11th November 2010 at 09:29 PM.
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