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Old 28th March 2013, 06:12 PM   #1
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Default Tubes in a Home Theater?

Hey guys, I am a little confused.

I was reading about the 6 Million Dollar theater the other day and noticed that he is using all tube amplifiers in his system.

I was under the impression that tube amplifiers are not good to use in a home theater? Not because of the lower amounts of power they tend to put out, but because someone told me when I first started to get into audio that they cannot handle the dynamic swings that occur in movies....

Is this completely wrong?

I have built some bottlehead gear and really enjoy that tube sound but have never thought of using tubes in my main system for the reasons above.

My wife also likes the looks of tube gear as she really enjoys the "steampunky" look about them with the glow of the tubes and such...she even says "now that is a piece I would want to display"
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Old 28th March 2013, 06:26 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I thought movie sound was so compressed that it has very little dynamic range?

In any case, a competent amplifier (whatever technology) will do the job. Note that 'eye candy' valve amplifiers are not necessarily competently designed: some are, some aren't. Remember, everything spent on appearance was not spent on sound.
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Old 28th March 2013, 06:38 PM   #3
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Tube MCintosh's amps are pretty common choice for hi grade HomeTheater. Dimmable halogen chandeliers also must have.
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Old 28th March 2013, 07:11 PM   #4
rmyauck is offline rmyauck  Canada
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I agree a tube amp can give the same dynamic range as SS.

Maybe some movie's are compressed soundwise, but I find from my Sat. Rec. it's pretty good. I does vary of course. Some of the std. def. movies can have pretty good sound though.

Don't source your audio from the TV and use the component RCA connections if using analog stereo. On my 2008 22" TV I also found the 3 RCA video component connections from the Sat. Rec. gave a much better picture than using the HDMI cable. Maybe newer TV's are better that way?

The Sat. Rec. has 3 audio settings to set the sound for TV, HiFi , and No Compression. There is a Huge Difference on No Compression and blows away any CD. If you have a cable box also check for those settings.

Last edited by rmyauck; 28th March 2013 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 28th March 2013, 07:27 PM   #5
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I thought movie sound was so compressed that it has very little dynamic range?

In any case, a competent amplifier (whatever technology) will do the job. Note that 'eye candy' valve amplifiers are not necessarily competently designed: some are, some aren't. Remember, everything spent on appearance was not spent on sound.
I was mainly thinking about explosions, but I guess that really doesnt matter much due to the fact that a subwoofer is usually handling those duties.

What she likes about the looks is only the glowing of the tubes....so the majority of tube amps will fit that bill.

After I posted this I came across the decware zen ultra.

Those look very interesting. The only downside I can think of with something like that is the lack of EQ. However, you can always run a bluray player into a receiver for EQ and then run the pre-outs to the Zen Ultra.
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Old 28th March 2013, 07:37 PM   #6
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Originally Posted by suntechnik View Post
Tube MCintosh's amps are pretty common choice for hi grade HomeTheater. Dimmable halogen chandeliers also must have.
I did not know that either,

If I were going to be spending big money on amps without listening to the them it would be on McIntosh cause their resale value is so good.

never heard one though, Must change that
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Old 28th March 2013, 08:38 PM   #7
lexx21 is offline lexx21  United States
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Well if you think about it, tube amps were the only amps in theaters for a long time. I think the movie "Midway" pretty much qualifies as an explosion rich movie and the theater I saw it in at as a kid used tube amps. The sound was awesome.
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Old 28th March 2013, 09:53 PM   #8
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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That is a very good point Lexx. I guess what I thought I knew in the past is null and void. The main area I should focus on is probably the sensitivity of speakers then compared to anything else.
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Old 28th March 2013, 10:10 PM   #9
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While technically not off-topic......Why not all-tube for your viewing & listening pleasure? A vintage McIntosh for the sound & a Top-of-the-line CRT TUBE for your eyes. I really cannot stand Plasmas, LEDs, projectors, at. al.
Our set is a 32' Sony (4:3) 12 yrs old or so. There is a power up surge that has to be heard to be believed! "Once upon a time" Sony made a CRT at about 36" in a 16:9 ratio for a few short years quite the giant thing .....I will be searching for this vintage set when our current one goes POW!

__________________________________________________ ________Rick.....
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Old 28th March 2013, 11:22 PM   #10
jjman is offline jjman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexx21 View Post
Well if you think about it, tube amps were the only amps in theaters for a long time. I think the movie "Midway" pretty much qualifies as an explosion rich movie and the theater I saw it in at as a kid used tube amps. The sound was awesome.

"Midway" was the 2nd movie in "Sensurround ". "Earthquake" and "Roller Coaster" being the other 2 that I saw in the theater when they came out in the mid 1970s. I noticed there were colossal speaker cabs in the front. I doubt tube amps were used to create the Sensurround effect which was a low frequency rumble that you literally could feel. Very cool and weird.
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