Another SS vs Tube (With Carry Audio "unbiased" linky) debate

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by winders, Jun 16, 2018.

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  1. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    Sure. First, tube amps and preamps can be neutral sounding or they can add color. Tube choice is the big factor there. Yes, there is more distortion inherent with tubes, but usually less than is audible in solid designs. The old notion that tubes are rolled off at the top and weak on the bottom and have tons of distortion is just not right. I have read as much here from folks supporting tube-based headphone amps. Tube designs are inherently different than solid state designs. This is helpful:

    https://www.caryaudio.com/2018/06/04/vacuum-tube-vs-solid-state/

    People that really like tube preamps and amps don't like them just because tubes add color. Some people, like me, don't want added color. The other characteristics are what is important to them.

    I want natural sounding music. I don't like tubes because they add color. In fact, with my preamp, I picked tubes that sounded the most neutral and natural, not those that added the most color. My goal is to get my digital music closer to the analog sound you get with vinyl. Tube-based setups, to my ear, do that better than solid state.

    I have a friend with a Harmon Kardon Citation II amp. I took my Pioneer M-22 over to his house and listened to a bunch of digital tracks using his 2 channel setup with his amp and then with mine. The M-22 sounded fantastic but the Citation sounded more natural. The bass was a tad better with the M-22. But the mid-range was incredible with the Citation and top end was present but had less of an edge to it. It was less harsh. I am not a young man so the top end may be a bit rolled off with the Citation. But I didn't notice that it was. It was after hearing that amp that I decided to try a quality tube amp in my setup. It is being built now.

    Look, each design, solid stated and tube, can sound great or sound terrible. They both try to get to the same place but do so quite differently. I am not going to say that tubes are always better than solid state or that solid state is always better than tubes. Each person and system has different needs and preferences. For me, based on my experiences, I always want an active preamp...and I prefer tubes. Others may have other experiences and preferences.
     
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  2. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Winders you've not only posted nothing educational (merely repeated memes we've heard ad nauseam), but now you're changing the topic. This started as a preamp vs no preamp discussion based on bixby's findings that you've now turned in to a tube vs solid state discussion. The Cary article, while not even on topic, describes the general tube colors we're all familiar with:

    Greater bloom = color.
    More texture = color.
    Richer midrange = color.
    Slower than solid state = color.
    Less detail than solid state = color.

    Most of the iconic guitar amps were tube amps. Why? Because tubes are used to achieve a particular sound by controlling tone, color, and distortion. It's no different in audio. Audiophiles like tube gear not for its transparency and accuracy, but because they find it pleasing to the ear. Pick a "neutral sounding" tube for your preamp, and you're still getting colorations which simply will not be there when no preamp is in the chain. You are mistaken if you actually think a tube (or solid state) preamp is uncolored.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  3. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    Oh, bazelio, you just keep telling yourself how great you are and how right you are and how much you know. I'll keep enjoying my music......
     
  4. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    Are you arguing that tubes dont add color? That tubes are more neutral?

    Yes "neutral tubes" still add distortion to the origional signal. Take a tubed phono, add tubed pre amp, a tube amp, and you will end up with a colored sound. Now many prefer that colored sound, but it wont be as true to the origional source material. As Baz said added stage, added tone, decay, added anything is color.
     
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  5. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    That's an interesting point, Josh. I can see that "artificially" extending the intended soundstage being a point to colouration, but adding decay is colouration? I'm not sure I follow this...

    Tubes add colour one way or another, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing, but is still a "thing." I'm back in the tube power amp camp and very happy. Now that said, I highly doubt any recording studio is using tube gear because they want to mix in as neutral conditions as possible, and even then not all studio monitors are "neutral." Fuck not even all of the same instruments sound the same, which should be the reference point to being "neutral." Which then begs the question, what is a "neutral-sounding" guitar, piano, trumpet and so on?

    In the end I can't be bothered to stress about these details because I'm not OCD and frankly too lazy to delve into it.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  6. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    @JoshMorr

    At this point he's not arguing anything; he is just going directly at the poster instead of the content of the post. Maybe that wouldn't be necessary if he knew what he was talking about?
     
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  7. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    Just because you don't like what I have to say or disagree with it in no way means I don't know what I am talking about. But you go right ahead and think that I don't know anything if that is what you need to be happy.
     
  8. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    I neither like nor dislike what you've said. A lot of what you've said has just been soapbox diarrhea, irrelevant, or simply incorrect. Your random videos and articles from manufacturers selling gear have made you look kind of stupid, too. But now that you mention it, you are probably pretty lucky the dislike button is gone.
     
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  9. MrTeaRex

    MrTeaRex His head's not fat, he's my brother!

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    A low electrical damping factor (resulting from higher output impedance, such as a transformer coupled tube amp) can artificially extend decay due to the longer time it takes the system to damp itself. This is less of an issue with 300 ohm headphones than with 4 to 8 ohm speakers. It's true that you also don't need damping factors in the hundreds or thousands, but less than 20 is notable.
     
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  10. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    @winders two weeks off for poor SNR + another two weeks for making me have to log in on Father's Day. Making it an even month for good measure.
     
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  11. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Is the ban really for the reasons stated, or is it more because the guy is just a condescending asshole in general?
     
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  12. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    Seems like it was because he's colorblind.
     
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  13. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    That, too. Forgot that.
     
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  14. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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