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tube fanatic

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Posts posted by tube fanatic

  1. With tube amps, due to the relatively high output impedance, you need to use short connections to the speakers or you will notice definite frequency response differences. Given the 30 foot run from the amps to your source components in the studio, be sure to use very heavily shielded cables to avoid hum and noise pickup.

  2. Well, if you really want one, definitely follow the advice above from dbspl and get a Hickok. But, be absolutely sure you can get hold of the calibration info for it to verify its accuracy. If it isn't properly set you may think that the tubes you are testing are great when in fact they aren't.

  3. A tube tester will only drive you nuts! If your output tubes bias correctly, and sound wonderful, do you care if the tube tester says that they aren't good? Triodes like the 12AX7 are capable of delivering fine sound over such a wide range of operating conditions that testing them is a moot point if they sound good. A better approach for the triodes is to use the eraser end of a pencil to gently tap the tube while in operation to check for microphonics (the sound of your tapping being audible in the speakers). Choosing different 12AX7s based on doing that simple test is more valuable and can result in noticeable improvements in the sound.

  4. There's absolutely no need to spend much money on fancy cables. Differences in sound between cables is directly related to slight differences in the cable capacitance. If you're fairly handy with a soldering iron you can make fabulous cables with inexpensive coaxial cable such as RG-58, RG-8X, etc, and cheap RCA plugs. They will rival the performance of cables which cost thousands of dollars!

  5. Between the two, I'd go for the NAD over the Scott. But, that said, is there any way you can audition both with your speakers before you purchase? That's the only way to know for sure as there can be quite a difference in the sound. If you don't need the receiver section, look for a nice tube amp and you'll be much happier!

  6. Near field listening can be a truly amazing experience! By playing around with the speaker placement, and listening position, you can literally create a 180 degree soundstage with amazing depth. The literal immersion in your music is something to experience. In addition, given the Cornwalls' efficiency, you don't need any power at all to create substantial sound pressure levels (if you are into breaking your ear drums!). In a 13 X 11 room, a half watt into each speaker would probably be intolerable. If you get the chance to try a very low power SET with them you'll be amazed. Look at my system profile to read about what I use.

  7. Is this amp tube or solid state? Removing the safety ground (third prong) is not a good idea. It affords protection in case of a powerline short to the chassis, and also provides a ground reference for the amp. Please post what amp it is, what is connected to it, etc.

    This is entirely wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    First of all it does not matter whether the component is a tube or transistor product.

    Second, you will increase the potential shock hazzard by having multiple ground connections. The ground should be allowed to seek its own level and this can only be done by allowing a single path to ground.

    In the case of a powerline short there should be other more prodigiuous measures in place such as fuse or circuit breakers. Simply leaving the ground connected is not necessarily going to protect you from this.

    Actually, it can make a difference regarding tube vs. solid state in the context of my reply. Many vintage tube amps ran a capacitor from each side of the AC line to the chassis to filter RF and other "nasties" from the power transformer primary. Those caps were notorious for leakage, especially if they took a number of power line surges. In that case hum often resulted which was not present when using an amp not affected by that problem. Further, if the cap connected to the "hot" side of the AC line showed enough leakage, or shorted, the chassis could now have 120 VAC on it. Having the third prong connnected to the chassis would/should cause the breaker in the entrance panel to trip................

  8. You didn't state if your amp is solid state or tubes. If the former, it probably isn't critical, as most solid state amps are meant to operate over a wide impedance range (but with less output at 16 ohms than 8, for example). If it's a tube amp, you absolutely must use the 16 ohm taps for the tubes to "see" a proper load impedance. Failure to do that results in markedly increased distortion. It also will greatly affect the power output.

  9. I am trying to gain an understanding of pros/cons of tube, versus solid state, what make the stuff high end versus mid/low end. What are the measureable performance parameters?

    Here is a pretty good discussion of this subject. A little technical in some areas, but readable. I'd say that most of what people like about tube amps has to do with three things:

    1) the glow (i.e., the novelty and camaraderie of ownership)

    2) high slew rate (e.g., SET amplifiers)

    3) they introduce "their own sound"

    Bad things about tube amps:

    a) they heat the room (...as do all other Class "A" amplifers...).

    B) the tubes must be replaced on something like a yearly cycle (this varies by how much you listen to your system - but I really don't like that part).

    c) they take a very long time to fully warm up.

    d) they introduce "their own sound"

    Back to your first question at the start of this thread: I think that these articles are very good.

    Chris

    I am trying to gain an understanding of pros/cons of tube, versus solid state, what make the stuff high end versus mid/low end. What are the measureable performance parameters?

    Here is a pretty good discussion of this subject. A little technical in some areas, but readable. I'd say that most of what people like about tube amps has to do with three things:

    1) the glow (i.e., the novelty and camaraderie of ownership)

    2) high slew rate (e.g., SET amplifiers)

    3) they introduce "their own sound"

    Bad things about tube amps:

    a) they heat the room (...as do all other Class "A" amplifers...).

    B) the tubes must be replaced on something like a yearly cycle (this varies by how much you listen to your system - but I really don't like that part).

    c) they take a very long time to fully warm up.

    d) they introduce "their own sound"

    Back to your first question at the start of this thread: I think that these articles are very good.

    Chris

    Regarding the comment above about tubes needing replacement on a roughly yearly cycle, I totally disagree! In a properly designed amp, which runs the tubes within safe operating parameters, and which receives proper ventilation, operating life often exceeds 10,000 hours which equates to more than a year if the amp if left on 24/7!!! Given a more typical use cycle of maybe an hour or two/day, the tubes may never need replacement.

  10. I will be the proud owner of '84 Klipschorns this month. I primarily play 24/96 vinyl rips (DVDA) using a Panasonic RP91. Some folks state tubes are the way to audio enlightenment; I read and interview article with Jim Hunter (I think it was the name, I know it was a senior Engineer at Klipsch, I cannot relocate the interview) that he is using solid state to power his rosewood horns.

    I am trying to gain an understanding of pros/cons of tube, versus solid state, what make the stuff high end versus mid/low end. What are the measureable performance parameters? Trying to understand the choices before purchasing. Budget currently unknown yey, I do not understand what the price breakpoints are?

    The pros/cons of tube vs. solid state will come from your own ears (that controversy has been raging for decades). Measurable performance parameters will tell you very little about the ultimate sound of the system; and just because an amp or preamp costs 10 grand doesn't mean that it will sound any better to you than equipment at 1/10 that price. The best thing is to find a dealer who will allow you to audition equipment in your home before purchasing (some mail order companies like Audio Advisor may still offer a 30 day money back guarantee). That's the only way to be sure of what you will hear.

  11. My buddy is looking for new speakers for his HT/2channel room. Unlike me, he is forced to get something based on size. He saw my KLF20's and said they were WAY too big. What's a good speaker that would suite a dude who's wife won't let him get something big like the 20's?

    I'm trying to convince him to go something klipsch, but he is hesitant.

    Tell him to check out the RF-15's which are still around (check Ebay, Craig's List, etc.). They're much skinnier than the KLF-20's, and a bit less tall and deep as well. They are capable of amazing sound for their size.

  12. Well, now that you have seen the "light" (i.e. the wonderful, heart warming glow of the vacuum tube!!!), why not consider building your own amp? With most Klipsch speakers, a couple of watts is more than enough for most listening, and such an amp can be built for very modest cost. In my experience, single ended amps (whether triode or pentode) are an incredible match for everything from K-horns to RF-15's!

  13. A good preamp shouldn't have any sonic signature of its own

    Well, that's no fun. Huh?

    You are a "tube fanatic" and you think a pre-amp has no sonic signature? Sorry but you'll have to turn in your tube rolling card. After you finish playing with passive pre-amps and buy a good pre-amp you will see how important a good pre-amp is. Don't leave home without one! YMMV.

    Nah! The sonic signature is more a function of cable capacitance,
    impedance mismatches, etc. It's easy to get a tube preamp to be ruler
    flat from 20-20kHz and, basically, "not be there." Same with the
    passsive line stages. Sure, any preamp can introduce some noise (even
    a stepped attenuator in a passive line stage can do that), but what the
    heck! Isn't arguing about this stuff fun?????[quote
    user=russ69]
  14. If your source component has a high output voltage (such as some of the cd players with a tube output stage), or if your amp requires very low drive for high output, consider using a passive line stage. It will simply act as a gate between the source and your amplifier without exerting any sonic signature other than that created by the interconnect cables. A good preamp shouldn't have any sonic signature of its own and can be chosen based on the number of inputs and other needed features for your particular installation. In the final analysis, your ears will still be the best judge of what you are looking for...............

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