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    The Audio Saints

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    denny9167

    Posts : 152
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    The Audio Saints

    Post by denny9167 on Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:12 pm

    I am putting forth a hypothetical that I would hope would make all of of us think a little differently about Hi-End Audio as it exists today, every one of us knows about those who paved the way in the high-fidelity audio industry! Names such as Marantz, HH Scott, Dynaco, Harmon-Kardon. I would mention Mr. William Z. Johnson of Audio Research, but they have given up on all tube productions,  I don't think Mr. Johnson would be happy now!!,all they do do is use  couple of 6H30's and the rest being solid state!! Give me a break ,they make enough money they could develop a tube that could be used in an MC phono stage that could be totally quiet enough to surpass any FET on the market!!  Anyone else agree, that solid state is the only answer to low noise in any audio topology?

    MontanaWay

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    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by MontanaWay on Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:04 pm

    perhaps so, but the amps and preamps we build are close to dead quiet.
    Realistically, as long as there is no noise during normal listening levels, it is accepted by 99% of owners of tube audio gear.
    It is the nature of tubes that they generate some kind of 'noise', but this can be kept to an absolute minimum, by careful circuit design, careful power supply design, layout and wiring and choosing good tubes.
    There is no doubt that tubes do tend to deliver a more 'natural' and 'pleasant' sound, thats why tube audio gear has made such a comeback.
    I am not knocking solid state at all, I've owned and heard some pretty amazing gear over the years, my preference, for my ears, is tube, and so is for all us here and others out there who own and continue to buy tube audio gear.

    audiobill

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    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by audiobill on Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:55 am

    Well said, Holger.

    MontanaWay

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    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Brookings, Oregon

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:40 pm

    here is a brilliant article about tube amps, solid state amps, myths etc., it is not long, so well worth while reading, and might even open up some eyes...and ears! :-)

    http://education.lenardaudio.com/en/14_valve_amps.html

    I REALY like the summation at the end of the article!!!!


    one last edit!!

    Then there is this article by the same author/same web site.....http://education.lenardaudio.com/en/14_valve_amps_7.html

    denny9167

    Posts : 152
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by denny9167 on Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:29 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:perhaps so, but the amps and preamps we build are close to dead quiet.
    Realistically, as long as there is no noise during normal listening levels, it is accepted by 99% of owners of tube audio gear.
    It is the nature of tubes that they generate some kind of 'noise', but this can be kept to an absolute minimum, by careful circuit design, careful power supply design, layout and wiring and choosing good tubes.
    There is no doubt that tubes do tend to deliver a more 'natural' and 'pleasant' sound, thats why tube audio gear has made such a comeback.
    I am not knocking solid state at all, I've owned and heard some pretty amazing gear over the years, my preference, for my ears, is tube, and so is for all us here and others out there who own and continue to buy tube audio gear.

    I too have listened a lot of high end solid state gear over the last 30 years or so, but I only had one chance back in the early 80's to listen to tube gear, which was an Audio Research and Magnapan setup, at Audio Concepts in Dallas. I was mesmerized by the sound!! In those days most high end stores only carried Levinson, Krell, Classe' and a few others. So I had just assumed solid state was the thing!! It wasn't until I started restoring Dynaco gear several years ago,that I realized what I was missing!

    Getting back to low noise in tube curcuits, I've been doing quite a bit of experimenting with different topologies using high transconductance, low anode resistance tubes to arrive at a reasonably low noise floor, specifically MC cartridge amplification.


    Last edited by denny9167 on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

    j beede

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    Location : California

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by j beede on Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:17 pm

    I suppose Ken Shindo has spent as much time as anyone developing tube circuits for phono stages. I think he has decided that high quality transformers are the way to go for low output MC cartridge preamplification. Ostensibly for noise management.

    As for tubes versus solid state... To me that's like saying which is better: Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. They both have plenty of room for improvement.

    The other night I decided to see what my antique speakers (a difficult load) sounded like being driven by a circa 1970s Ampzilla (of all things). I ended up sitting for two hours listening to music, forgetting all about the experiment I thought I was running. Perfect sound? No way. But plenty good enough to keep the equipment from getting in the way of the music. Very pleasant yet extremely solid state.

    denny9167

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    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by denny9167 on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:32 pm

    j beede wrote:I suppose Ken Shindo has spent as much time as anyone developing tube circuits for phono stages. I think he has decided that high quality transformers are the way to go for low output MC cartridge preamplification. Ostensibly for noise management.

    As for tubes versus solid state... To me that's like saying which is better: Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. They both have plenty of room for improvement.

    The other night I decided to see what my antique speakers (a difficult load) sounded like being driven by a circa 1970s Ampzilla (of all things). I ended up sitting for two hours listening to music, forgetting all about the experiment I thought I was running. Perfect sound? No way. But plenty good enough to keep the equipment from getting in the way of the music. Very pleasant yet extremely solid state.

    You also hear from those who simply hate SUT's, FET's may still be the answer to low noise in the micro-volt realm!!! Maybe we should just abandon tube's all-together when it comes to Hi-Fidelity???

    j beede

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    Join date : 2011-02-07
    Location : California

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by j beede on Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:22 pm

    I suppose audiophiles--including manufacturers like QUAD, Dynaco, and Audio Research --have abandoned tubes several times in the past.

    Quad dropped the 22 preamp and 6L6 monoblocks for the 33, 34, 303, 405, etc. only to reintroduce the 6L6 monoblocks a few years back. Maybe that was just nostalgia at work.

    McIntosh reintroduced the 275. Nostalgia or performance? I vote for nostalgia in that case.

    Did Marantz bring back the Model 9?

    ARC dropped the SP-3 for the solid state SP-4/5 and then back to tubes for the SP-6.

    (Classic) tubes circuits are easy to work on and repair. They are somewhat better suited to hobbyists for this reason--though Nelson Pass and his disciples will no doubt dispute that.

    I find vinyl hobbyists tend not to "hate" anything including step up transformers. That's not to say they don't have preferences.

    I built a dual mono battery operated MC pre-preamp years ago using 2n2222 from my junk box. Maybe from M. Leach's design. That was pretty amazing with a Denon 103S.

    Abandon tubes for high fidelity? What problem would that solve?

    I think you overestimate ARC's revenue. I am amazed that they can make their rent and payroll... actually I suppose they couldn't hence their acquisition by Fine Sounds.

    MontanaWay

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    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by MontanaWay on Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:46 pm

    don't really quite get the gist of this post. If one does not like tube audio gear, fine, buy solid state and be forever happy...its really quite as simple as that.
    Pretty much all members here like tube audio gear, thats why we're here, and I am sure a lot like, have and use solid state gear.
    So perhaps we ought to stick with discussing what this forum is all about, tube audio gear, and perhaps not get into Boeing V Airbus, Ford V GMC and the like.

    denny9167

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    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by denny9167 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:22 am

    I know the points I try to make sometimes, just lead to more confusion, I often re-read mine, and wonder!"what was that all about?" And do some editing. My over all point is that since tubes have seen such a resurgence in the market, would it be a worth while effort to research and develop lower noise tubes, instead of using existing stock, or resorting to hybrid designs?


    baddog1946

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    Location : Costa Rica

    Audio saints

    Post by baddog1946 on Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:59 am

    A lot has been said in this thread about tubes vs. solid state one more time and a lot of it is a rehash of what we all know already and doesn't really further the point past the limit of well known pros and cons.
    I think a point has been often missed on this theme.
    Many of our members have shown a lot of interest in posts about DAC's over the years.
    Many members have also mentioned they collect and archive their music collections on digital servers or hard drives.
    All this digital info has to be processed into analog format before it can be put through our tube amps.

    99% of the DACs out there are solid state and many comments seem to ignore the point that there is a solid state component in the chain of many tube amps systems which affects the signal.
    It would be interesting to see an experiment which uses the tried and true A-B blind test that takes into account the signal itself and which the source format and the DAC effects are  considered in more detail.

    rustybutt

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    Location : Alameda, California

    Re: The Audio Saints

    Post by rustybutt on Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:22 pm

    j beede wrote:
    Did Marantz bring back the Model 9?

    I believe that Marantz did bring back a revival model 9 power amp for a short time, along with a model 7 preamp. Waaaaaay expensive too.

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