Tubes and Solid State Overview - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Amplifiers > Tubes / Valves

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
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 19th July 2002, 08:52 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Send a message via AIM to EternaLightWith Send a message via Yahoo to EternaLightWith
Unhappy Tubes and Solid State Overview

Hi all,

I'm just starting to get into the audio world. My experience is basic stuff, HS electronics course, hands on with computer hardware, circuit repair, with lots of reading

The books I own at the moment are:
Dickerson's Loudspeaker cookbook
Rosenblit's Tube Audio Design
Some of my dad's old electronic books like:
Navair Volume 1 Electronic Circuit analysis (Airforce tech manual)
Navair Volume 2 ELectronic Circuit analysis (Airforce tech manual)
Basic Electronics by Paul Zbar (McGraw-Hill)
Industrial Electronics by Paul Zbar (McGraw-Hill)
Basic Electricity by Paul Zbar (McGraw-Hill)
Eletronic Instruments and Measurements by Paul Zbar (McGraw-Hill)
Ordered books that are on the way:
Morgans Valve Amp. Ed. 2
Active filter crossover cookbook
Tube preamp cookbook

Yes, that's it. I typed all that out to give you some backround and show you I'm serious about this.

So, I've been reading this board for months now and I feel I'm ready to start designing a schematic for a preamp.

If I may outline my thoughts of tubes vs solid state:

Tubes
+untouchable detail
+low DF(debatable)
-High voltage
+soft clipping & "pseudo-Loudness" (due to 2nd/3rd Harmonic distortion)
+lower Current
-extra heat
-initial finacial outlay
-replacement of parts more frequent

Solid State
+Lower Voltage
+Less expensive in initial outlay and maintanence
+High DF (debatable)
-higher current capacity of transistors
-Hard clipping
-Live stage effect not there (detail)

What I want to do is have a preamp with 8 output channels
(2front, center, 2 rear, two side, and a sub)
Sorry Audiophiles, I like my AC3 and DTS

So this thing would be a monster.

I want to go the tube route, just because of detail and pure sexiness. But, it would be more expensive.

1. I guess my question is, what are the pros and cons of tubes vs. Solid.

Is my reasoning sound or not?

When reading Bruce Rozenblit's book I found it funny that one could make a UL or Cascode amp and have it so pure that one did away with the tubes main salvation; that of detail or presence.

2. Ignoring heater elements, do tube give the same amount of power per watt that solid state does?

3. And giving the Voltage to Amp ratios between tube and solid state, does one eat more energy?

I apologize for the long post and the extraneous material. I want you to know where I'm coming from. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks and can't seem to put straight in my head to, what I've been reading.

Quite truefully, the initial expense of tubes and their subsequent maintanance, along with those impressive voltages, scare me just a tad.

So what say ye?

Sincerely,

Eternalightwithin

P.S. I hope I haven't stirred up hornets nest too much?
  Reply With Quote
Old 20th July 2002, 07:18 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
Neutron Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: San Clemente, CA
Send a message via Yahoo to Neutron Bob
Years ago, in high school, I watched my friends build basic electronic projects using transistors and circuit boards. I helped quite a few of them remedy damaged boards, cold solder joints, and damaged components.

I found the old chassis punches, terminal strips, tube sockets, and genuine braided-cover wire deep in the workshop catacombs. I never attempted a project that didn't involve valves and transformers, and point-to-point wiring.

I will never forget the satisfaction of the warm smell of tubes and power resistors...or the sweet music that resulted.

You can achieve excellent results with either transistors or tubes, but my heart lies with the latter. Over twenty years later, I still fondly remember the smell, the sound, of the venerable valves.

In the early days of transistors, the real serious power handling applications were the domain of tubes. The advent of power transistors, devices capable of handling progressively larger currents, changed all that.

You specify an interesting application requiring eight channels. Though the requisite circuitry would require some real estate for tubes, it is definitely possible. I'd suggest looking at your required gain, and lay out the alternatives.
  Reply With Quote
Old 20th July 2002, 12:59 PM   #3
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
diyAudio Member
 
SHiFTY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: New Zealand
If I was starting from scratch, I would go for a hybrid design, use small dual triode tubes for preamp and use a transistor (bigass mosfets) for power amp. This cuts down on the cost for valves, you dont need much in the way of transformers for small signal triodes, they dont run very hot at all and they can last for ~10 000 hours before replacement.

You would get the benefit of a valve "influence" on the sound, along with high power and reliability. It would also look great!! Transistors don't glow (much!)

That is going to be my next project one of these days.
  Reply With Quote
Old 20th July 2002, 01:19 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
Thatch_Ear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Dallas,Tx
I believe that for the wattage input that tubes are less efficient, that heat you feel is a lot of energy. Once you get it on and warmed up the difference shouldn't cause as much difference on your bill as the soldering will when you build. As far as building an 8 channel preamp the cost of the tubes is going to be way down on the list compared to RCA plugs, potentiometers and switches. As a beginner advising a beginner getting the layout is just as difficult as the schematic. Use a large chassis so alterations and additions are easy to do and use good solid wire to build with. Do a to scale layout on graph paper before you begin, it will really help with the building.
One BIG + you left out is tube rolling. The differences you can make by changing out your tubes is something you can't do with SS and I think is a big part of the fun.
__________________
Thatch
  Reply With Quote
Old 21st July 2002, 04:04 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Send a message via AIM to EternaLightWith Send a message via Yahoo to EternaLightWith
Default Thanks

All of you who replied. You've been a big help. My thoughts are a little less random now. You've given me a lot to thing about. I think the hybrid system is the way to go. I'm going to start designing one soon. That idea about the chasis and graph paper will save me a lot of frustration later.

I appreciate your responses

Eternalightwithin
  Reply With Quote

Reply


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
SRPP (something like in the world of vacuum tubes) in solid state audio aplications Bojan Hajdinjak Solid State 31 6th December 2009 03:32 AM
ESL amp: tubes vs solid state: where is the winner? Milo Tubes / Valves 43 28th April 2003 09:51 AM
Solid state guy found some tubes... OliverD Tubes / Valves 9 31st December 2002 03:03 PM
Discussion of Solid State vs. Tubes EternaLightWith Solid State 34 30th August 2002 05:33 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:08 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2