Observations of amplifier sound - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Amplifiers > Tubes / Valves
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Tubes / Valves All about our sweet vacuum tubes :) Threads about Musical Instrument Amps of all kinds should be in the Instruments & Amps forum

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th December 2008, 04:22 PM   #1
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Default Observations of amplifier sound

This is how I've perceived the following types of amplifiers, I'm wondering if anyone hears the same thing as me...

High FB Class-AB solid state amplifiers:

Sound fine at first, you wonder why you bother with valve amps. Things sound as they should, nothing sounds distorted. Then you hit some sibilance from a singer or loud cymbals and your ears burn off.

Sibilance sounds like harsh, bright white noise. Things with less extreme white noise content such as a singers breathing have a strange "edge"

Treble extension seems to be good

Bass is tight but slightly lean depending on the speaker, obviously due to the high damping

High FB tube amps:

Sound good, but try to minimize clipping. Sibilance is much less unpleasant than the SS amp. Sibilance is rendered nowhere near as harshly, but it still seems to briefly drown everything else out with a darker "ssss". The amp is still enjoyable to listen to.

Bass good but not quite as damped as with the SS amp, but is pleasing.

No FB tube amps:

Treble actually sounds rolled off at first, but this is easy to adjust to. It's just different. Things like reverb and echo suddenly become apparent in recordings you've heard hundreds of times, it's somewhat unnerving, you can actually hear further "down"

Sibilance is much improved, doesn't seem to send the amp into a strange "overload" condition (I know it's not literally like any kind of overload but it's the best I can articulate it)

Bass will be less damped but this can be overcome with speakers with this in mind
  Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2008, 05:46 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Michael Koster's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eureka, CA
--- Things like reverb and echo suddenly become apparent in recordings you've heard hundreds of times, it's somewhat unnerving, you can actually hear further "down" ---

This is the main reason I'm switching to a tube amp + high eff speaker
system for my recording studio monitor system. It's sometimes called
"resolving power" as if it's some kind of microscope, which it does
seem to be relative to my current SS Haflers and 86db speakers.

I'm convinced that this can be measured as follows, with music as
a test signal, using some subtractive techniques. Take 2 identical
amps and combine the outputs in opposite polarity. Null these using
sine waves and a notch filter. Music program should also null out.

Now do the same with 2 different amps you want to compare. On the
music signal, any differences in response will appear at the "A minus B"


  Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2008, 06:48 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Italy
I like your "observations" bigwill, very intersting!

I tend to agree at all. This is the reason because I think multiamp
can be the "solution"
Very radical but it works IMO

  Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2008, 07:30 PM   #4
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
diyAudio Member
rdf's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: big smoke
Don't disagree with the general observations but it's still odd considering that, in light of the rising high frequency impedance of most speakers, NoFB tube amps should sound brightest due to the high Zout.
Ears aren't microphones.
  Reply With Quote
Old 29th December 2008, 08:00 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
analog_sa's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Cascais
These observations are really stereotypes and simplifications. If all three amps are built to an equally poor standard and very limited music samples are used i would agree with the conclusions.

Sibilance and harshness with NFB SS amps? The good ones have been free of these afflictions for many years. As far as ambience, microdynamics, image palpability and tone go, yes, NFB free tube amps really rule. But it's not all peaches and cream. How many of that breed can take a full orchestra and not fall apart in the crescendos?
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2008, 12:18 PM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Italy
analog_sa ,

please can you post some "names" ( commercial brands) of overall feedback solid state amps that ,in your experience, sound extremelly good ?

Cheers ,
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Observations of FE127 VS. FE126 VS. FE103 and different enclosures Harderror Full Range 16 3rd January 2017 06:27 PM
Transistor HFE observations. Zero Cool Solid State 35 26th December 2006 10:10 AM
Fostex 103e Observations kaybee Full Range 10 10th November 2006 11:36 AM
TDA1543 DAC issues and observations. IpsilonSound Digital Source 16 2nd July 2004 03:38 AM
TT cartridge observations bart_dood Analogue Source 6 10th December 2003 02:06 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:07 PM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2