Tube Amp VS Solid State amp difference audible??

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by LuisEcho, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. LuisEcho Enthusiast

    LuisEcho
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    Hi Guys,

    Ive learned so much by reading many of the comments and post by all the experienced members in this forums and greatly appreciate all the input provided by the excellent members in this community. Having that said many people prefer tube amplifiers over Solid state amplifiers but i dont understand why. Ive heard both and they both sound pretty similar to me maybe a bit more richer on the tube amp but unfortunately i have not been able to hear a comparison of a tube and solid state on the same pair of speakers and i would like to hear the opinion of some of the other members in this community if you have heard both amps on the same pair of speakers and what was the result.

    I would also like some opinions on sources for amps I have a Maranz SR6011 that allows music streaming i dont have any CD's or records anymore and although its not the best source i love the convenience of streaming music. Is DTS play fi a much better source for decoding MP3's over streaming?
  2. TheWarrior Audioholic Field Marshall

    TheWarrior
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    Like vinyl, tubes provide a warm feeling that many gravitate towards. They look cool too, but are also a product that requires maintenance.

    Since you mention only digital music, you would see no advantage to tubes. The reliability of solid state and higher bit rates of modern encoding are sonically superior to vinyl and tubes. But there is no shortage of followers who swear by their setup and for good reason, it is a wonderful experience to hear records played on a tube stereo.

    But with your choice of listening, it would be a costly endeavor that would not yield any appreciable benefits.

    DTS Play fi is just one of several new wireless streaming options for whole house audio. The bitrate of the mp3 is what is most important, despite several different types of software claiming to pull '1's and 0's' out of thin air to improve low res mp3 files just create new problems, or do nothing at all.
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  3. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Some tube amps have high output impedance, much higher than and SS amp. This would cause the frequency response of that amp to follow the FR of the speaker. If the speaker has increased output in that warm band, that is what people seem to gravitate to, some do anyhow.
    SS on the other had is not affected by the speaker FR.
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  4. LuisEcho Enthusiast

    LuisEcho
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    Have either of you listened to both out of the same speaker?
  5. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    Well I have and I still do .........

    speakers - Revel Studio II's

    tube amp(s) - Rogue Audio M-180 monoblocks

    SS amp - Plinius SA-102

    The 'richer' sound that you mentioned is apparent with respect to the bloom of the midrange (euphoric distortion I believe some call it), depending on speakers the bass may not appear as tight and the upper freq somewhat rolled off. It all comes down to the synergy (amp design specs vs. that of the speakers)

    In my case I just can't part with either, I love em both and for obvious reasons the M-180's get used more in the colder months.

    As for the maint. issues with tube amps it's way overblown. Yes, tubes will not last forever, but 6-10,000 hrs for signal tubes and half of that or better for power tubes is a lot of musical enjoyment. As for biasing the power tubes, it's a piece of cake on the Rogue's. After the initial 50 hrs they required a small adj and have been rock steady ever since.
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  6. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Not me. No need or desire.
  7. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    A free benefit. LOL :D
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  8. ski2xblack Audioholic General

    ski2xblack
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    Yes. Differences can go from fairly negligible (e.g. a tube amp with sufficient power and reasonably low distortion such as Mikaudio's Rogues), to rather striking and obvious (e.g. the single ended jobs with relative gobs of distortion and woefully low power). The general consensus in these parts is that the amps should fall closer to the "negligible audible differences" side of things, and simply amplify. As the design deviates further from the reservation of established engineering orthodoxy, which is manifest in a multitude of ways, but usually by relying on simpler circuits that result in higher distortion and higher output impedance, then audible differences crop up. As others mentioned, such amps play differently with each and every speaker, so speaker pairing becomes part of the tube amp headache, er, fun and challenging piece of the puzzle.

    Uncolored tube amps are by necessity complex and thus expensive affairs. The simpler, "tube amp as processor" thingies are such a crap shoot, you're better off using them to practice your guitar than to play your music collection.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  9. speakerman39 Audioholic Warlord

    speakerman39
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    I think that this is especially true when it comes to the hybrid designs. That is, only the input stage is tube. Therefore, the bulbs will last much longer as the output stage is SS. Kind of the best of both worlds if you will. Not to mention, hybrids are also much more affordable when compared to tubes.


    Cheers,

    Phil
  10. lovinthehd Audioholic Spartan

    lovinthehd
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    Maybe in your book, that's not a lot of time before I'd be replacing....SS for the win IMO.
  11. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    lovin, I'm talking a 2 channel audio system. One which I 'listen' to music, not background noise.

    Example......if you listened 4 hrs per day for 300 days a year you would easily get 3-4 years out of your power tubes. Now realistically (assuming one has a life and not just a fat ass sitting in a chair) those numbers are unrealistic. I won't reach those hours for 6 years.

    regardless, both flavors SS and tubes can do wonders to any given system.
  12. Pogre Audioholic Samurai

    Pogre
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    I listen to music about 4-6 hours every day. How long would tubes last me and how much do they cost?
  13. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    LOL.........do you have a life !
  14. Pogre Audioholic Samurai

    Pogre
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    Um, yes? I'd rather listen to music than watch tv. I have a great system and I use it.

    You know some would say that you have no life posting on a forum...
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  15. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    Are you implying that watching TV constitutes having a life ? .... LOL !!

    are you a hermit ?

    have you already gone to hell in your hand basket ?

    I do understand your comment on people living on internet forums, sad ...........

    as for the 4-6 hours of listening 'every' day .........yeah right !
  16. ski2xblack Audioholic General

    ski2xblack
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    Hey now! Pogre is not the only one. We have music playing pretty much all waking hours over here too, but then again we're festivarians who live for the music, so there's that.
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  17. Pogre Audioholic Samurai

    Pogre
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    Yup. You got me. I live to make stuff up like how often I listen to music because I have no life.

    Now, does that change anything about my question to you? You haven't answered me. I'm genuinely curious.

    And I'm implying that if you watch no tv you have more time to listen to music, Not a hard concept to grasp, is it?
  18. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    I do too, for the record having music playing and 'listening' to music are two very different things !
  19. Pogre Audioholic Samurai

    Pogre
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    That's where we hit a little confusion. Generally speaking when I play music I listen to it. Even if not critically, I'm still putting hours on my amps aren't I?
  20. Mikado463 Audioholic

    Mikado463
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    LOL ........gotcha !!

    true, but I live in an area of the country with decent weather so getting out and doing something is high on my list. Hey, I really don't give a rats rear end how many hours a day you listen to music, enjoy it !

    As for the tube vs SS thing, that too is on the individual.

    to the Op (if you're still looking), sorry for getting your thread hijacked here.

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