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Old 14th April 2006, 11:28 PM   #1
A'af is offline A'af  Indonesia
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Default tubes sound

is it myth or truth, tubes sound come from tube rectifier?
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Old 14th April 2006, 11:37 PM   #2
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It's probably a myth.

"There are a ton of misconceptions about tubes including the belief that they sound 'warm.' Tube circuits have about as many sounds as there are circuits. It is more about the topologies used and aims of the designer as to how a circuit will sound. In fact, it is usually the transformers that are typically used in tube-based products that create the illusion of 'warmth.' There is a lot of vintage solid-state gear that used transformers and is commonly described as 'warm.' A typical transformer adds some odd-order distortion at the lowest frequencies and tends to restrict the ultrasonic frequencies, which we subtly perceive because of the phase shift. Part of this effect also seems to smooth transients. Tubes probably tend to offset some of that effect, because a little THD tends to exaggerate transients." -- Hutch Hutchison of Manley Labs.
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Old 14th April 2006, 11:39 PM   #3
Rocky is offline Rocky  Norway
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Undoubtly, tube rectified supply leaves a sonic footprint in tube circuits, as does a regulated SS supply. Who like what and what betters the other? I think that's like asking wich wine is the best, peoples opinions will differ vastly, but most tend to prefer valve supply over regulated SS, and that is my personal experience as well. I use SLA batteries and like it better than SS or tube rectified supply. Charging can be a hustle though.

So myth or truth? I'd say both.
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Old 15th April 2006, 03:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by phn
There is a lot of vintage solid-state gear that used transformers and is commonly described as 'warm.'
I was quite pleased with the sound of a transformer output SS Electra i recently hooked up.

dave
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Old 15th April 2006, 03:35 AM   #5
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They sound different, but there's no one best method.

Search this category a bit, we beat this horse a few times
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Old 15th April 2006, 08:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
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On my salary he couldn't!

Part of the character imposed on an amplifier's sound by a vacuum rectifier is due to sag, when the current demand increases causing the B+ voltage to drop. You can simulate this, to some extent at least, with an SS rectifier and some added series resistance.

Probably the best property of vacuum rectifiers, though, is the lack of "hash", which can cause noise with some SS rectifiers - not with Schottky diodes, though.
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Old 15th April 2006, 12:23 PM   #7
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I must agree with posts 2 and 6.

Whatever is subjectively heard (and there could be hidden reasons for experiences, even as slight as someone entering the room or a slightly changed listening position), there is no scientific reason for the source of d.c. being able to make a difference. (And I hope that on a site the level of DIY-Audio we have moved away from snake oil.)

That is not to say that effects are not experienced subjectively. My measurements (scope on the h.t. rail) mostly support Ray_Moth's explanation, although this was more evident with older directly heated rectifiers and low filter capacitor values. There can also be an almost unperceivable effect with ss rectifier switching noise, especially at high voltage supplies, but cures for that are easy. I would certainly not opt for a tube rectifier with the associated heat and filament supply effects (and cost!) in preference to ss, then with a small serie resistor if you want to be pedantic. As for the initial voltage surge with the latter, that can also be taken care of.

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Old 15th April 2006, 12:54 PM   #8
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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I should have added that I personally know nothing about these things. But I do like the quote. Especially because it supports what I LIKE to think. And I LIKE to think it's about engineering and not technology. Because if it is the latter, then what hope do we have? What use is there for engineering, for competence, if all it takes is a tube?

I too think "hash" could be a problem. But isn't that something mostly associated with early/ier ss? I will not force this point. It's just a thought.
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Old 15th April 2006, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johan Potgieter

, even as slight as someone entering the room or a slightly changed listening position), there is no scientific reason for the source of d.c. being able to make a difference. (And I hope that on a site the level of DIY-Audio we have moved away from snake oil.)

Regards

It suddenly dawns on me that every time i replace the vacuum rectifiers with mercury my cat enters the room. All i hear must be due to the additional absorption.

I also wonder if wearing some headgear tuned to cuttoff everything above 7khz will help me with my delusions.
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Old 15th April 2006, 09:15 PM   #10
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johan Potgieter
Whatever is subjectively heard (and there could be hidden reasons for experiences, even as slight as someone entering the room or a slightly changed listening position), there is no scientific reason for the source of d.c. being able to make a difference.
I must agreeably disagree with Post 7. I wish I could remember which project it was, probably the single stage SE headphone amp based on a 6C45 driving a 5K OPT and a 6X-something rectifier, but I was more than a bit surprised to see the PS ripple looked like two superimposed sine waves instead of the ubiquitous triangle typical of SS supplies. Almost all common circuits have at least one SE stage, typically the most sensitive front end, it's not that adventurous to suggest wide band harmonics on the PS could contribute to a device's sonic signature.

So many variables intervene: RC or CLCLC or LCLC? Power amp or pre? High drop tube rectifiers or damper diodes like the 6D22S? SE or PP? Is the system in a high RF industrial area or out on the farm? It's hard to see how a single technique could be the best solution for them all. That said, some vere highly respected 'tweak' firms go exclusively SS, like Manley.
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