Do tubes sound better than solid state at low volumes

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Do tube amps sound better at low volumes than ss

Hi And thanks for reading this thread.

Have been reading articles about soild state versus tube amps, and the usual results some people love tubes some love ss. But what caught my attention is the claim that tubes work better at low volumes than ss.

This is a problem i am having in that i have always used ss and have had to have the volume quite high, ss does seem to sound poor at low volumes. But have never owned a tube amp so don't know what i am talking about and have never done a comparison.

I would love it if it was true i can finally give my neighbours a much needed break. Do you have any opinions have you listened to ss vs tubes yourself, is this claim true. How does tubes sound at low volumes, with ss i have to raise the volume before the real sound quality starts to come through
 
This is a personal preference i think. Many will say yes (i do), but many will say no also. And the implementation is often way more important than the amplifing device.

But if i have the choice, low power tube amps and hig efficient speakers are the way to go. SE over PP, and tubes over transistors. And i don't like class D or chipamps in general.

But like said, a lot if subjective and personal preference on this choice.
 
Valve amplifiers have a logarithmic response, due to the compression effect at higher levels and SS tend to be linear, with little compression at higher levels. Example; Overdrive a valve and the anode heats up, reducing the collection of electrons until it cools a little and returns to normal emission. Human ears respond to logarithmic sound, (high and low, peaks and troughs) as a smoother sound. SS amplifiers, (using large amounts of negative feedback), try to faithfully reproduce an amplified copy, of the input signal and tend to be, in my opinion very bright, almost rough in sound quality but perfectly acceptable for most listeners, after all, the human brain learns to adjust very quickly.

Hence the false idea of "burning valves in" before they produce a full sound. That is actually the listeners brain learning to adjust after spending/wasting a vast amount of cash on over rated valves, whilst trying to justify the cost by learning to believe they are better, even though this is not actually true. Sorry if the reader has just spent a fortune on cryogenic valves, ( ... sucker).
 
I've done quite a lot of double blind listening tests between tube (both se and pp direct heated triodes) and decently designed solid state amps, with various Loudspeakers (Full range and multi way). The audible difference is not there, unless the tubeapms produce large amounts of distortion.
 
All these descriptions of what tube amps and solid state amps sound like are bonkers. The only thing you could attach to these two categories of amplifiers is probably that it is a lot easier to design and build a bad sounding tube amplifier.

There is a mounstrous range of what "a tube amp sound like" as is of "what a solid state amp sounds like" and the least of it has to do with the active parts used being NOS this and that and burned in for 600 hours.

I would love it if it was true i can finally give my neighbours a much needed break. Do you have any opinions have you listened to ss vs tubes yourself, is this claim true. How does tubes sound at low volumes, with ss i have to raise the volume before the real sound quality starts to come through
You need different speakers.
 
Tubes vs. SS

Anyone have a clue?
 

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Have been reading articles about soild state versus tube amps, and the usual results some people love tubes some love ss. But what caught my attention is the claim that tubes work better at low volumes than ss.
The title says "Do tube amps sound better at low volumes than ss" but then your description said "work better". Besides the lack of definition on what sound better and work better are when it comes to amp, you brought up 2 different subjects. Was that by design or was it a slip? If latter, can you please narrow it down to one and define what the meaning of it is? Thanks.

Only double blind ABX testing would reveal any audible differences - like that's ever going to happen! The HiFi world is collectively terrified of proper testing, preferring to rely on reputation, snake oil, and expectation bias...
Did you mean audiophile world?
 
Did you mean audiophile world?

Showing my age here - I was using the term 'HiFi' long before 'audiophile' became the synonym for those who employ pretty £20000.00 cables and spectacular self-delusion. However, HiFi or audiophile, they mostly avoid scientific aural testing and comparison of equipment like the plague.
I would invite anybody reading this who has actually performed double-blind ABX testing to come forward and publish the results, since they are as rare as hen's teeth!
 
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