why the fad with tube amplifiers?

jol50

Member
2007-11-08 2:14 am
When I drive a plain car amp into distortion I get a sharp static sound that is nasty. An example of tube sounding distortion is an electric guitar...and people love that sound. Someone into amps and scopes can better explain valve amplifiers. Playing clean they tend to have more bass/midbass I guess, something that can mostly be emulated with a new amp if desired. Since I never have seen a cheap one, I would not IMO waste the money to try one in a car though I have bid on a couple for fun; have too many other fun places to spend on my toys/house/etc. And I don't spend that much time in a car. In the car I just like some good loud, clean music once in a while when nobody is bothering me....;) That is what tube amps tend to be the way I see it; for people that happen to want them, like the sound, or just have money to spend to experiment with them. A real tube amp takes a pile of power all the time, is prone to damage from movement, and is limited in power output.
 
Tube amps have a sound....some say is more natural and like real life. They are more delicate and are not efficient and this makes them not practical for automotive environments. To be honest, when driving with road, engine and wind noise I cant really tell much difference between most decent amps of like power. You might be able to tell a difference between amps if the car is not moving. I have never seen a in car install of a tube amp.....could be waaay off base by saying this.

Basically, if you plan on driving your car don’t spend the money…..just my suggestion. Tube amps are great…and I aspire to build/ own one but it will be in my house where I can justify having one. In an automotive enviroment I would think that a Mcintosh, old school A/D/S/ PQ or PH, or any high end solid state amp will be better for real world use.

Just my 2 cents.

-JH
 
If anybody asks "why" about using real (not hybrid tube/transistor) tube amps in the car, you obviously never heard of Earl Zausmer's BMW 540.

That guy rocked the car stereo world and brought home a lot of trophies. Look it up!

Of course, assuming one doesn't have "tin ears." :)

Actually, using a +300V tube amp in the car is my next project.
 

jol50

Member
2007-11-08 2:14 am
Yeah a friend of mine has a large room, maybe 16'x20'. He has I think a 120wx5, two 200x2 for subs, and another 5.1 but not sure it was running. He hammers it and it is about as loud as one wants. Last time he had two BP dual 12 boxes and 6 dual 12 sealed boxes all from cars running for subs, just for fun. He has a full cerwin vega surround set (5pcs) and two of the old huge 15" cerwins for main speakers. Well, he has a 61" big screen there too and now bought another set of the huge cerwin 15s. I bought him one of those power centers and he said that helps now it goes louder. I told him he might as well get a DJ rack full of amps and processors.
 
"300 volts? how many amperages does that take up in the car?"

On the output side of the power supply, if you're using say 100W at a given moment:

-About 0.33 Amperes

On the input (+12V) side to the power supply:
-About 8.33+ A


The same amount of power is dissipated as another type of amp, but if the voltages are much higher, as in this case, the current used will be lower (for the equivalent amount of power).

Good 'ole Power = V x A
 

XxGoKoUxX

Member
2008-02-14 4:17 am
MartyM said:
"300 volts? how many amperages does that take up in the car?"

On the output side of the power supply, if you're using say 100W at a given moment:

-About 0.33 Amperes

On the input (+12V) side to the power supply:
-About 8.33+ A


The same amount of power is dissipated as another type of amp, but if the voltages are much higher, as in this case, the current used will be lower (for the equivalent amount of power).

Good 'ole Power = V x A


oo maaaaaaan hahaha... i've got a lot to learn about this stuff if i ever plan on modding my own amp n stuff... :confused: when you said 300 volts... i thought it was some huge *** number like an equilvilence to 3000 watts or something in power..... which most likely needs.... an alternator needing to handle about 240 amperes+the car
 
"i've got a lot to learn about this stuff if i ever plan on modding my own amp n stuff"

Yeah, but you can do it!

You are certainly in the right place to begin learning. I grew up being told I'd never amount to anything, and now I'm building my own high-quality custom car amplifier (and I have an engineering degree also finally).

Definitely pick up some books, cruise the internet, or better yet, tinker with some electronics.

When you get an electronics project working for the first time the feeling is awesome.

The mathematics for power, voltage, current, etc. is not that bad for most electronics and once you learn that the rest tends to fall into place. :)
 
To get a tube like sound from solid state, u need to use components that increase harmonic distortion, the reason why the sound seems good.
If u use vactrol or LDR at it's max harmonic generating area, u will induce second harmonics. May be u start thinking it is tube like with the reliability of a SS.

Clipping behaviour will not change. Your solid state amp never needs to be overdriven since high power amps are available to satisfy every need.

Gajanan Phadte