Solid state vs tube amp

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I finally got myself a tube amp. Well a hybrid tube amp the nobsound ms 10d mk ii.

I can now hear sounds coming from their distinct places like the vocal from the middle and guitar on the right. Is that what they call sound stage? I feel I am in the venue. I can feel I am surrounded by the music.
I can feel the base is much tighter like into my chest tight. Are these the characteristics of tube amp? I pair it with a set of Polk rti4.

I always have a cheap panasonic HT av receiver. It produce sounds but nothing musical. And pair with a set of kilschp rb28 precessor tower speakers. They have horn tweeters. They were never musical.

So for music, do you always use bookself over floorstanding? I heard bookself has better sound image? What does sound image means?
 

Shoog

Member
2002-08-15 10:16 pm
Eire
Most people when they compare a valve to a solid state amp are comparing apples to oranges. What I means by that is that the two classes of amps are built to different design philosophies which are imposed on the designer by the active component characteristics.
Listen to a SS amp which has been designed with the same or similar design philosophy to a valve amp (simple low feedback designs) and you will hear almost no difference in the output at the speaker. The main difference will be the damping factor which will always be higher in SSamps.

Listen to something like a JLH, Le Monstre or any of the Nelson Pass First Watts designs and I would challenge you to declare the Valve amps to be intrinsically better in any way.

Shoog
 
I can now hear sounds coming from their distinct places like the vocal from the middle and guitar on the right. Is that what they call sound stage?

Yes

I feel I am in the venue. I can feel I am surrounded by the music.
I can feel the base is much tighter like into my chest tight. Are these the characteristics of tube amp?

Well designed ones, yes.

I always have a cheap panasonic HT av receiver. It produce sounds but nothing musical. And pair with a set of kilschp rb28 precessor tower speakers. They have horn tweeters. They were never musical.

So for music, do you always use bookself over floorstanding? I heard bookself has better sound image? What does sound image means?

Solid state amps don't have to sound as horrible as the "run of the mill", Big Box amps. It's just that audio deesign doesn't get the emphasis that it used to in EE school. They barely cover the basics, let alone go into detail about sonic performance.

I have a SS design that comes very close,and sounds a helluvalot better than any commercial designs.
 
Most people when they compare a valve to a solid state amp are comparing apples to oranges.
Most people when they compare amps, don't do level matching and visual clues blocked.

What I means by that is that the two classes of amps are built to different design philosophies which are imposed on the designer by the active component characteristics.
Classes of amps, do you mean class A, class AB ...etc design?
 
Most people when they compare a valve to a solid state amp are comparing apples to oranges. What I means by that is that the two classes of amps are built to different design philosophies which are imposed on the designer by the active component characteristics.
Listen to a SS amp which has been designed with the same or similar design philosophy to a valve amp (simple low feedback designs) and you will hear almost no difference in the output at the speaker. The main difference will be the damping factor which will always be higher in SSamps.

Shoog

One can sidestep the issues of the influence of design philosophies, etc., by conducting listening tests along the lines of the Richard Clark Amplifier Challenge. For example, the typically lower damping factor of the tube amplifier can be mocked up for an SS amplifier by adding a series resistor at the output, so that the effective output impedance is increased. Likewise, any fall-off in high frequency response can be mocked up with a suitable RC filter, and so on.

I don't know how rigorous the "amplifier challenge" tests were, but the claim being made is rather a strong one, which deserves to be evaluated seriously, I think. Namely, that people simply cannot tell the difference between tube and SS amplifiers, once the "trivial" issues of output impedance, and possible non-uniform frequency response, are taken care of with simple R and C networks. And also, provided that one amplifier is not distorting excessively. (Some SET amplifiers may have enough distortion that they would be distinguishable on those grounds, I suppose.)

Chris
 

Shoog

Member
2002-08-15 10:16 pm
Eire
I don't know how rigorous the "amplifier challenge" tests were, but the claim being made is rather a strong one, which deserves to be evaluated seriously, I think. Namely, that people simply cannot tell the difference between tube and SS amplifiers, once the "trivial" issues of output impedance, and possible non-uniform frequency response, are taken care of with simple R and C networks. And also, provided that one amplifier is not distorting excessively. (Some SET amplifiers may have enough distortion that they would be distinguishable on those grounds, I suppose.)
I hardly class that as trivial.

Shoog
 
I hardly class that as trivial.

Shoog

I mean that it is a trivial matter to downgrade the low output impedance and flat frequency response of the SS amplifier to match those of the tube amplifier, by means of a few resistors and capacitors. At least, to match them sufficiently closely to those of the tube amplifier that no listeners were then able to tell them apart. That, I think, is the claim.

Chris
 
Apparently not. We have digressed into a deep philosophical discussion that ignores the OP's reality.

I don't see a digression here. The OP mentioned some qualities of the sound he was hearing, and asked if they were characteristic of a tube amplifier. The tests reported in the link given by Evenharmonics in #6 claim to demonstrate that with simple modifications achieved with a very few resistors and capacitors, the sound of an SS amplifier becomes indistinguishable from that of a tube amplifier. That seems to me to be a significant observation, and one that is very much pertinent to the OP's question.

Chris
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
The OP is using a horrendous cludge that has a chipamp fed by an EL84 via an opamp. There isn't even an HT supply in there. It may sound wonderfully euphonic but you'd need more than a series resistor to get the sound of this unit from a well designed amplifier of any other type.
 
The OP is using a horrendous cludge that has a chipamp fed by an EL84 via an opamp. There isn't even an HT supply in there. It may sound wonderfully euphonic but you'd need more than a series resistor to get the sound of this unit from a well designed amplifier of any other type.

Hah! That's pretty funny! I confess I hadn't followed the link in post #3. I have to admit that this one probably lies rather outside the scope of the Richard Clark challenge!

Chris
 
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