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Old 12th July 2012, 02:32 PM   #11
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Originally Posted by Evenharmonics View Post
No, it's the opposite. What the listeners commonly characterize as "tube" sound is the dominance of second order harmonics followed by much weaker third order harmonics and then diminishing harmonics beyond those. It's the typical traits of SE design.

The other "tube" sound that listeners describe is the high frequency roll-off of some tube amps. You can make class AB transistor amp to sound like this by using equalizer.
I understand now. I was considering a push-pull amp and those distortion components should be inaudible if the amp is working correctly.

SE amps produce much more distortion which is audible, which I guess is the "tube sound".
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Old 12th July 2012, 02:44 PM   #12
disco is offline disco  Netherlands
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No, you're wrong. Second harmonics up to 1% are not noticeable by ear. Half that value in 5H or 7H is, that's why most listeners to quality gear appreciate good tube amps over good SS amps.
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Old 12th July 2012, 02:51 PM   #13
disco is offline disco  Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
SE amps produce much more distortion which is audible, which I guess is the "tube sound".
Sorry, there's no tube sound. Tubes only produce sound under bad conditions like dropping on the floor, disconnecting a loudspeaker or using outside their optimal operation area (for effects or musical instrument amplifiers). To some this statement is outside their comfort zone it seems
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Old 12th July 2012, 02:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenharmonics View Post
No, it's the opposite. What the listeners commonly characterize as "tube" sound is the dominance of second order harmonics followed by much weaker third order harmonics and then diminishing harmonics beyond those. It's the typical traits of SE design.
I agree with you based on my experiences and Pete Millett's article
as follows:

the Sound of Distortion

I like the sonic of my 211SET.
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Old 12th July 2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by disco View Post
No, you're wrong. Second harmonics up to 1% are not noticeable by ear.
How did you find that out?

Quote:
Half that value in 5H or 7H is, that's why most listeners to quality gear appreciate good tube amps over good SS amps.
Strong even harmonic (second order) masks odd harmonics that follow which is the typical traits of SE amp. That's what people notice when listening to SE amp and PP amp at equal volume.

Here are the measurements of 3 different amps at same output under 8 Ohm load. 2 are PP design and 1 is SE. Second harmonic from SE amp is about twice as high as third harmonic that follows. The other 2 amps don't have the benefit of even harmonic masking.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12th July 2012, 04:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by disco View Post
Sorry, there's no tube sound. Tubes only produce sound under bad conditions like dropping on the floor, disconnecting a loudspeaker or using outside their optimal operation area (for effects or musical instrument amplifiers). To some this statement is outside their comfort zone it seems
Quote:
Originally Posted by disco View Post
Half that value in 5H or 7H is, that's why most listeners to quality gear appreciate good tube amps over good SS amps.
I'm not sure how the two contrasting posts can be made by one person.
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Old 12th July 2012, 04:27 PM   #17
Bigun is online now Bigun  Canada
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I've engineered 2nd harmonics into solid state amps before - they didn't sound like tube amplifiers though and only one of them sounded nice, when not pushed too hard. I have a single ended tube amp to compare them with.

I suspect that if you want tube sound, you need a tube amp. Putting a pre-amp in place for tube sound might work if the SS amp is so clean it just gets out of the way, but tube amps are also about how they interact with the reactive load of a speaker.

I came to the conclusion that putting a tube in front of a SS amp hoping for that old tube sound is like putting a Weber carb on a Ferrari engine hoping it would drive and sound like a 1964 Mustang.
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Old 13th July 2012, 07:31 AM   #18
disco is offline disco  Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Evenharmonics View Post
I'm not sure how the two contrasting posts can be made by one person.
Have a test to distinguish a 1% 2KHz sinus (that's -40dB) from a 1KHz sinus. Hold that level and turn up the frequency. What's your conclusion?

There's simply more to a tube amplifier than THD only, that's my point.
Please don't play word games, you're better than that. I won't place my words on a scale before posting, it's robbing the fun from a forum.
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Old 13th July 2012, 03:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by disco View Post
Have a test to distinguish a 1% 2KHz sinus (that's -40dB) from a 1KHz sinus. Hold that level and turn up the frequency. What's your conclusion?
You quoted my post pointing out your contradiction of your own post and your reply is about playing sine wave?
"there's no tube sound."
"that's why most listeners to quality gear appreciate good tube amps over good SS amps"
Did those listeners listen to music instead?
Quote:
There's simply more to a tube amplifier than THD only, that's my point.
I don't remember saying there isn't. Anyway, can you name some of them?
Quote:
Please don't play word games, you're better than that.
I've already explained to you on the importance of wording on internet forums (link) and yet those words seem to have hit the brick wall!

Quote:
I won't place my words on a scale before posting, it's robbing the fun from a forum.
To you, it's ok to post misleading info online as long as you are having your own fun?
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Old 13th July 2012, 03:32 PM   #20
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigun View Post
I've engineered 2nd harmonics into solid state amps before - they didn't sound like tube amplifiers though and only one of them sounded nice, when not pushed too hard. I have a single ended tube amp to compare them with.

I suspect that if you want tube sound, you need a tube amp. Putting a pre-amp in place for tube sound might work if the SS amp is so clean it just gets out of the way, but tube amps are also about how they interact with the reactive load of a speaker.

I came to the conclusion that putting a tube in front of a SS amp hoping for that old tube sound is like putting a Weber carb on a Ferrari engine hoping it would drive and sound like a 1964 Mustang.
I think you nailed it. It is all about driving the reactive load and the difference between a current drive amplifier (tube) and a voltage drive amplifier (solid state).

A tube preamp driving a solid state amp will not inject magic into the system. Any sound difference noticed will have to do with the quality differences between the two preamps.

I think the analogy you actually meant was putting Weber carburetors on a 1964 Mustang and thinking it will perform like a Ferrari 308.
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