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Old 21st February 2011, 07:33 AM   #1
Homl is offline Homl  Canada
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Default One Tube Sound Better Than Four?

I just finished building a 4 tube Aikido pre-amp for my T-amp and chip amp. Its performance is underwhelming compare to a simple one tube plate follower. The one tube amp sound more dynamic and has better imaging. Both amps uses the same 12AU7 tubes, and I used premium parts with the Aikido.

What are your experiences with tube pre-amps? Is the simpler the better?
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Old 21st February 2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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Old 21st February 2011, 07:55 AM   #3
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Which one sounds closer to not having a tube preamp at all?
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Old 21st February 2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwenze View Post
Which one sounds closer to not having a tube preamp at all?
Exactly. My guess is that the Aikido simply outperforms the one-tube amp and that it just doesn't seem the be there; it's probably more or less fully transparent.
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Old 21st February 2011, 10:13 AM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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My hunch too. If you can hear it, then it is an effects box not a line stage. Some people prefer effects boxes, but then call them line stages.
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Old 21st February 2011, 10:58 AM   #6
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I suspect your single tube amp is producing tons of 2nd harmonic, giving the impression of a "richer" sound.

The Aikido is pretty much transparent, which kind of gives a "lean" sound on certain systems (like when using it on my very neutral Pass Design amp.)
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Old 21st February 2011, 11:39 AM   #7
316a is online now 316a  England
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I personally find the Aikido pointless , no matter how elegant the design is and whatever the blurb on the website says . Also : Who on earth needs the gain of a 6SN7/12AU7/5687 etc Aikido ?

316A
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Old 21st February 2011, 11:58 AM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Yes, most line stages are pointless, unless you either have very long cables or prefer an effects box.
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Old 21st February 2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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Imaging and dynamics are not related to 2nd harmonics. 2nd harmonics make the sound smoother or "warmer". So maybe the simple plate follower has some advantages, probably related to its simplicity.
But... the only thing that really counts is: If YOU like it more then the aikido, by all means use it.

Paul.
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Old 21st February 2011, 06:54 PM   #10
GoranB is offline GoranB  Poland
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I agree with Pauldine about imaging and dynamics are not related with 2nd harmonics.
I have tube preamp (2 tubes) first forking like a gain stage and second like power follower-lowering impedance. Adding more tubes doesnt make sence. If you are satisfied with sound of only one tube then use it. I have same experience, adding more tubes kills the sound.
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