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Old 14th September 2005, 06:29 AM   #1
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Default tube suround sound

Hi, I am new to the audio tube world, I started out with guitar amps and found out that there are still people who use tube amps for audio systems, wow! Since then I have been working out a way to make my own tube audio system and I began to wonder is there a way to make a tube surround sound system using tube mono blocks to power the channels?
Is there a surround sound processor out there that I can do this with? And is it possible to do this without spending $ 18,000? I am looking at spending $ 300 - 400 per component and DIY-ing as much as possible (tube amp kits and speaker kits ) I have been looking at the Arizona tube amp kits and using high efficiency speakers. I’m one of those people who sees no reason for more than 50 watts per channel anything over that is overkill. Also I am in a small apt. so more than 50 watts might get me kicked out. Any direction in this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 14th September 2005, 07:34 AM   #2
beamnet is offline beamnet  Netherlands
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Is it only for surround? Or for stereo hifi too?

I'm not that familiar with surround, but my guess is that it doesn't need the extreme hifi quality stereo needs.

So a pair of nice el84 or even ecl86 amps for rear, a pair of beefy beam tetrode or penthode amps for front and a triode amp for center looks like a good idea, for as far as i've understood, the center speaker makes the "hifi" sound , the front do the volume pumping and the rear are only for effects.

To top it off, you could concider a hefty sub amp too.

Want cheap? I've had very good experiances with russian tubes. try the GUxx series of tubes (I use GU50). They cost about $1 a tube and can produce 70 watts.

Your real issue is going to be the iron. find a supplier thet gives quantum discounts
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Old 14th September 2005, 07:50 AM   #3
beamnet is offline beamnet  Netherlands
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Oh, and do some search for surround processor. Some good threads on that. Hope you know your hacking
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Old 14th September 2005, 08:23 AM   #4
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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In terms of getting just a prebuilt surround sound processor, you might want to look at Creative Lab's DDTS-100 decoder

Click the image to open in full size.

You should be able to get it from a computer store or order online... Think its about $120 based on prices here....

Quote:
Creative Decoder DDTS-100 adds superbly dramatic audio quality to your home entertainment. Designed with DTS®-ES and Dolby® Digital EX processing, Decoder DDTS-100 is capable of decoding up to 6.1-channel audio to deliver a superior digital surround sound theater experience. Decoder DDTS-100 supports connectivity up to a 7.1 speaker configuration1- simply hook up to any 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 speaker system to enjoy spectacular playback in your DVD movies, music and gaming.

This contemporary decoder also features Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS NEO:6 processing to up-mix any 2-channel source for a simulated 5.1 or 6.1 surround soundstage. With multiple audio input, you can also enjoy an expansive connectivity to a host of digital and analogue entertainment devices like DVD and CD players. To top it all off, Creative Decoder DDTS-100 comes with an individual output channel level adjust for you to fine tune the output channel levels relative to your listening position to your preference.

Supports speakers up to 7.1 configuration
Advanced Digital Technology Decodes up to 6.1-channel Audio Format
Dolby® Digital EX
DTS®-ES (Matrix and Discrete)
Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music modes)
DTS NEO:6 (Cinema and Music modes)
Maximum Versatility and Connectivity
3 Optical inputs
1 Coaxial input
3 Analogue stereo inputs
7.1 Analogue input/output (via Switch Box)
2 Headphones outputs
Feature-rich wireless remote
Connects up to 8 audio devices simultaneously - 4 digital and 4 analog

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Old 14th September 2005, 08:26 AM   #5
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Something like this maybe? Not actually tried one yet but I'm planning along the same lines as yourself and this one seemed like a good deal at the price.
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Old 14th September 2005, 11:45 AM   #6
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Hey djy met die zol! ja jy Nordic, gee vir my 'n trekkie seblief man!
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Old 15th September 2005, 06:40 AM   #7
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Thank you very much guys, this gives me something to look in to for sure. as for what I want it to do I am thinking of a movie/music combo I have been reading about dolby pro logic II and am wondering if that might be a way to go but this creative labs thing may be a good jumping off point. Thank you for the input.
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Old 15th September 2005, 10:02 AM   #8
amperex is offline amperex  United States
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Default Sure.......

My Denon HT gets blown away in 2-channel stereo mode by my tube amps. Surround sound with tube amps would be very interesting.
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Old 15th September 2005, 01:00 PM   #9
wa4swj is offline wa4swj  United States
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Hi txtubenoob,

Look at the pictures here:

http://community.webshots.com/album/354063825LZnHlO

One of the pictures in the middle of the page shows my home theater (with a crappy TV) with tube amps. I use a Sony DVD/SACD/CD player with a built-in Dolby AC-3 decoder. Not audiophile but it sounds good. I also have an outboard Yamaha AC-3 decoder I bought new in-box from that auction site for about $100. I think the model number is DDP-1. I drive it with the optical output from the DVD player and it sounds better than the DVD player itself.

Anyway, these amps sound very good. They are the amps available at:

http://www.diytube.com

I have 3 eiclones for F-C-R and one stereo-35 for the rears. You can see them in the other pictures. I'm driving Klipsch speakers. The whole thing sounds very good and I am quite pleased. The only problem is switching all the cables around when I go from DVD to SACD to CD since the Yamaha decoder will not work with anything other than AC-3. But I am more than willing to live with that. I don't have a front-end switcher or control pre-amp. When playing CD's I usually use my Denon DCD-1560 which also sounds very good indeed. More cable switching!

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Regards,
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Old 15th September 2005, 07:55 PM   #10
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You can indeed operate a HT system with Tube Surround Sound! I have a 5-channel system with home-built 20W amplifiers running from a Denon AV receiver for the control circuitry and it rocks!

Phil Collins First of the Last Farewell Tours features an excellent drum track at the beginning of the DVD, and I usually turn this up to "feel the rhythm". The tube amplifiers handle it like a dream, whereas a certain well known Japanese-sourced HT system goes into protection at an even lower volume level, in spite of being rated about 4-5 times the power output of the tube amplifiers I am using.

But then I guess I am slightly biased...

Go ahead and enjoy it! Look for a second-hand AVR unit to provide the pre-amp and control facilities, these are obtainable at realistic prices. Ensure that it has Pre-Amp outputs to drive your tube amps.

-Eric
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