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    Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

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    Roy

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    Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:52 am

    Wanted to send a friend this article I read some time ago and   I've searched the forum here for reference to it - was nearly sure it was mentioned here also someplace -
    it is this pretty funny article written out there somewhere that made references to  the fad of SET amps being fuelled by coked out of their heads stockbrokers in the 80's and liking them to bicycles with a single pedal, cult like followers etc..

    Anyone have it bookmarked by chance or remember the name of the author(s) ?
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    Roy

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:03 am

    http://education.lenardaudio.com/en/14_valve_amps.html found it finally

    magic google words - set amp cocaine cult stock Laughing
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    CletusB

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by CletusB on Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:41 am

    Good read Laughing
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    Roy

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:09 am

    ^_^


    Good link at the bottom of the page too http://sound.whsites.net/valves/index.html
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    PeterCapo

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by PeterCapo on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:33 am

    Interesting article, but too skeptical for me.
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    Roy

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:42 am

    These gents both earned their stripes in the industry - engineers, not marketeers ^^
    With all the reverend expressions of doubtless fandom out there a little irreverance is a good thing.


    I have not picked up a hifi magazine in 20 years.. I remember when those doing reviews had some engineering background and actually included measurements etc in the reviews and not just superlatives and interesting sounding verbs and nouns.



    To me the tube amp in general is something to quench some sentimentality.
    To build one a challenge, and to understand the working principles and in the end enjoying listening to music using one a pleasure =]


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    CletusB

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by CletusB on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:54 am

    Roy wrote:These gents both earned their stripes in the industry - engineers, not marketeers ^^
    With all the reverend expressions of doubtless fandom out there a little irreverance is a good thing.


    I have not picked up a hifi magazine in 20 years.. I remember when those doing reviews had some engineering background and actually included measurements etc in the reviews and not just superlatives and interesting sounding verbs and nouns.
    .....same here!
    We had a pretty cool group back in the day (70's) four of us were engineers, a lawyer and a businessman   ....we were avid "sound-men" and were always visiting each other, comparing notes and a hell of a lot of tweaking. Mostly Dynaco, McIntosh and home-brew stuff.
    I did a lot of work maintaining audio equipment, then moved on to marine radar and communications, then the industrial side and now medical electronics.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Peter W. on Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:27 am

    PeterCapo wrote:Interesting article, but too skeptical for me.

    Well, perhaps. But, let's jump to basic physics, ignoring audio for just a moment.

    a) Sound is vibrating air (or water or any other semi-solid medium (something with mass).
    b) Making air move takes energy. And the amount of energy required is directly proportional to the amount of air to be moved, and to what extent.
    c) Lower frequencies require more energy and a larger vibrating surface to create.
    d) The Saint-Saens Organ Symphony is a perfect example and test case.

    So, moving the equivalent amount of air as a 30' bombard pipe at natural levels will take some amount of energy,
    So, moving the equivalent amount of air as the rest of the orchestra in the mix of frequencies required at natural levels will take some amount of energy.

    Now.

    The amount of air any given speaker is able to vibrate will be a function of area and excursion. How large is the surface area, and how much can it move, and how fast can it be moved in a controlled manner.

    So, the actual performance of any given speaker is a function of the size of the vibrating area, the amount of energy applied to it, and, thereby, how much air it will vibrate.

    Yes, I am skeptical of SET devices, FFSD horn speakers, and the cults built around such. The physics simply does not make sense.
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by PeterCapo on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am

    The equipment is one thing.  Cults are a different matter, even if they opportunistically arise.  I don't want to find fault with certain kinds of equipment due to a cult following.

    As far as the physics are concerned, I've considered that science needs to explain how it knows when it became omniscient.

    It's the same old debate.  Disclaimer: I don't own any SET amps and such, cult-like or otherwise.


    Last edited by PeterCapo on Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarification.)
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Peter W. on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:42 am

    PeterCapo wrote:The equipment is one thing.  Cults are a different matter, even if they opportunistically arise.  I'd like to avoid guilt by association.

    As far as the physics are concerned, I've considered that science needs to explain how it knows when it became omniscient.

    It's the same old debate.  Disclaimer: I don't own any SET amps and such, cult-like or otherwise.

    I would refer you to Clarke's Laws & Isaac Asimov's short story 'Not Final' on the question of "settled science".

    https://www.e-reading.club/chapter.php/81917/36/Azimov_-_The_Early_Asimov._Volume_1.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws

    But the nice thing about Newtonian Physics is that it fits the-world-as-experienced quite nicely such that attempting to thwart it *in that world* borders on madness.

    Then, of course: It is the first duty of every citizen to question authority. Benjamin Franklin
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    Roy

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:16 am

    Can of worms lol  sorry  


    I was just looking for this article for a friend who seemed dead set on building a set amp for a fair amount of money and in my memory this article stood out as a nice humorous poke at SET which I thought he could use for a dose of reality.
    Building these things was something he remembered assisting his father with when he was a kid and the expectations surrounding it  and all the allowances he would have to undertake speaker building wise  it seemed like a large money pit to me with limited returns.


    He read this little article by now, and some tube amp engineering handbooks excerpts I sent him and    let me know he has put the tubes4hifi page in his bookmarks ^^
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by CletusB on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:24 am

    Hahahaha .....my brain hurts! What a Face
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by CletusB on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:31 am

    Roy wrote:Can of worms lol  sorry  


    I was just looking for this article for a friend who seemed dead set on building a set amp for a fair amount of money and in my memory this article stood out as a nice humorous poke at SET which I thought he could use for a dose of reality.
    Building these things was something he remembered assisting his father with when he was a kid and the expectations surrounding it  and all the allowances he would have to undertake speaker building wise  it seemed like a large money pit to me with limited returns.


    He read this little article by now, and some tube amp engineering handbooks excerpts I sent him and    let me know he has put the tubes4hifi page in his bookmarks ^^
    Also sent it to my son in the US. He read with interest, gave hims a better appreciation of the design philosophy of a tube amp.  We will be building him an ST-120 later this year. We're at the stage trying to figure the best bet for him in terms of speaker system.

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Bennyhaha812 on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:26 pm

    Have any of you had an opportunity to listen to a SET amp with a pair of high efficiency speakers be it DIY, kit or retail?  I haven't but have to admit that I am curious and have been researching in preparation for building an amp as well as HE speaker pair.  The gentleman at tubelab.com has a lot of good physics and engineering based information that is free.  He is not ashamed to use transistors or PCB boards or improve on things in a SET amp which by many of the purists is considered sacrilegious.  He is also one who states it is best to build to a budget, not encouraging obscene amounts of money be thrown at having the best boutique parts and recommends great performing value priced parts. One can get schematics, BOM, and information to build their own from the site. Sounds like a fun project to me!
        I intend to try it out and let my ears be the judge and refuse to knock it until I try it.  There are many who have gone down their audio listening journey starting out with transistor amps then moved to PP tube amps only to end up swearing by SET amps!  Many of these people still have a good PP amp for when they want to crank it up!  I love my custom SP-14 with the ST-120 but feel I would be cutting myself short if I didn't take on another project and see what SET really has to offer.
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by PeterCapo on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:34 pm

    A few years ago I heard some obscure SET amp at a hi-fi store. Don't remember what kind of tubes it used, but we were told it was a SET amp. I thought it sounded kind of "different" but could still see it being enjoyable. My wife really liked it.

    Second occasion was just a few weeks ago. We listened to the current production Luxman MQ-300 300B amp and it was really very good. Silky.

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Bennyhaha812 on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:58 pm

    Roy, Thanks for the link. I read the article you are referring to and while informative and entertaining, I feel it contains some hypocrisy in it. I am in no way knocking you so please don't take my responses personally. Just my thoughts and opinions. Many know that how an amplifier "tests" and looks on paper regarding distortion etc. is not representative of how our ears and brains perceive the sound of music we hear coming from our speakers. If this were not true, solid state amps with ultra linearity and no distortion would best our VTA tube amps every time! I think most of us agree that we prefer tubes to transistors on this site. I am also willing to bet most of us love our music and are all looking to find or create a system that best reproduces this music in the most detailed, accurate, and lifelike manner. We all would like to be moved to tears by what we hear and want to be able to close our eyes and hear what sounds like the artists playing live right there in our living rooms. I know that's what I want at any rate. Going to my SP-14 and ST-120 was a step in the right direction. I want to see if a SET amp system can bring me another step closer!

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Bennyhaha812 on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:05 pm

    Is your friend a fan of SET that's getting this article as a joke? Good times!
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by CletusB on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:06 pm

    Music is for MY enjoyment, NOT for the entertainment of my test instrumentation, I therefore trust my ears as the final adjudicators.  That said, I am absolutely blown away with the way my system sounds now! ....and certainly have to thank Bob, Jim and the rest of you misfits in this group for that! Very Happy
    However, I too am a sucker for a project and new experience, so a SET amp is not entirely off the table down the road. Laughing Laughing


    Last edited by CletusB on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:07 pm

    PeterCapo wrote:A few years ago I heard some obscure SET amp at a hi-fi store.  Don't remember what kind of tubes it used, but we were told it was a SET amp.  I thought it sounded kind of "different" but could still see it being enjoyable.  My wife really liked it.

    Second occasion was just a few weeks ago.  We listened to the current production Luxman MQ-300 300B amp and it was really very good.  Silky.

    I will be the first to state that an SET amp with the right speakers in the right venue with the right signal can sound ethereal. Solo female voice comes to mind.

    But, my test-pieces are:

    Mozart - Kiri TeKanawa: Exultate Jubilate
    Saint-Saens - Philadelphia Orchestra: Organ Symphony
    Handel - Battle & Marsalis: Let the Bright Seraphim
    Springsteen - Emmylou Harris: Tougher than the Rest

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ2rSyPckTU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDxGQ5t4lvI&t=33s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GImxiaeXr9Q
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrfMRsFcp7A

    Not exactly "set" pieces, pun intended.
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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by PeterCapo on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:19 pm

    Bennyhaha812 wrote:     Roy, Thanks for the link.  ... I am in no way knocking you so please don't take my responses personally.  Just my thoughts and opinions.  ...

    Ditto.
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    Roy

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    Re: Looking for "that fun editorial" on the sillyness of SET amps..

    Post by Roy on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:34 am

    Its all good Benny, PeterC  ^^

    I see it as a matter of taste - personally   drawing an analogy with say  a television  I prefer one I can set, can calibrate  to one where say  the color red reAlly pops out at you and there are some moire effects around some edges or patterns though ^^

    I totally understand the draw of that  'pop' of vocals and the added harmonics and fussing over putting together a system that works with it - switching a push pull to triode mode on any of the vta models would do pretty much the same thing though - well almost as the tube used is not a 300b or T1610 and there is much more power in the 6550/88/120's in the vta amps even in triode mode -     but   in short      
    to each their own - and its all good fun  !

    ( as long as your meaningful other does not smother you in your sleep over the bills =)


    Last edited by Roy on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling, punctuations =})

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