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SWL

Solid State Amps That Sound Tube-Like....

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For years now I've been reading about how certain solid state amps have a tube-like sound quality to them. I've never experienced this.....until now.

 

I recently bought a very good condition....almost perfect Marantz Model 140 amp that was already restored. These low powered Marantz units sound great in my system but none have this type of sound quality.

 

I really wasn't expecting much from this amp. I mean I figured it would compare to some of my other Marantz gear from the same era.

 

This amp sounds so similar to my HH Scott 222c but with a Marantz influence to the sound. It's got that warm, rich, musicality that is just so smooth to listen to.

 

I recall reading that when tube gear was fizzling out and solid state was the new thing, engineers were attempting to keep the tube sound consistent in the solid state gear. How were they able to achieve that?

 

None of my Marantz gear sounds tube-like. It sounds like Marantz. Warm, rich and musical. The restorations did wonders let me tell ya......

 

.....but this Model 140, whatever this guy did to it he succeeded. What would a guy do to this type of gear to accomplish getting it to sound tube-like?

 

I already have a tube amp. I didn't buy this for tube sound. I bought it for the Marantz solid state sound. Now I have both and I'm pretty darn impressed!

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

 

 

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It is a coincidence you started this thread.  Yesterday I put new power tubes in my amp a went on to listen to music.  Things were sounding great but, I realized the tube amp was on but, I did not change the switcher from the SS gear.  I will attribute the sound to the Pioneer SC 99 which, has a filter to reproduce a tube like sound.  The SC 99 function as preamp that goes to an Acurus amp. There are a lot of good amps out there and this is why everyone is not in the tube amp camp.

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A little further into detail, this Marantz has solid state bass. It's the rolled off highs and buttery mids that give me the impression of tube sound. The soundstage has a 'gel' and a 'fullness' to it like only my tubes have. Until now.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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My Bel Canto REF500m's (class d) are said to sound tube like by the reviewers when it first came out... frankly, I don't think so and certainly they don't sound like my PP VRD's or any single ended I've had... but they do sound damn good, just different.

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McIntosh MC250

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Nelson pass amps  - Pass Labs models or First Watt models 

Currently I use daily a First Watt M2 

 

Some photos of the final stages of the M2 build 

 

post-106429-0-90647000-1467682258.jpg

 

post-106429-0-46327900-1467682265.jpg

 

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I tried my Firstwatt F6 with my new speakers... AMAZING combo. This has replaced my MA2275 for a bit. I didn't miss it either and thats saying something. 

IMG_0616.jpg

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This Marantz Model 140, as far as I know is not a real sought after amplifier. It gets respect but I have to believe that whether it was the certain types of caps or whatever this guy put in it just took it to another level.

 

I don't think I've ever had an amp sound this good. I'm liking it more than my 222c.

 

So, still wondering.....what, under the hood makes a solid state amp sound tube-like?16b458892487e34089c7d71e01ea1c31.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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On ‎5‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 8:22 AM, SWL said:

 

So, still wondering.....what, under the hood makes a solid state amp sound tube-like?

 

Distortion.

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Distortion.
Ok.......so what has the distortion? Are the cap values tweaked? Does it have anything to do with the caps at all?

There's obviously no tubes.....so what is it?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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13 minutes ago, SWL said:

Ok.......so what has the distortion? Are the cap values tweaked? Does it have anything to do with the caps at all?

There's obviously no tubes.....so what is it?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Bob carver talks about it around the 14 min mark.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, SWL said:

Ok.......so what has the distortion? Are the cap values tweaked? Does it have anything to do with the caps at all?

There's obviously no tubes.....so what is it?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

 

--- mind you, I'm only guessing but that might well be a tongue-in-cheek comment meaning that tube amps produce natural distortion and for a SS amp to sound "like tubes" it too would need to produce distortion. Since many SS amp distortion levels are carried to a third and fourth decimal point -- distortion rating .0001. Again,  just guessing as reading Carls mind can be a dangerous thing ---. 

Now without having to guess I have a couple of Nelson Pass designed amps that are very "tube like" and their distortion levels are extremely low. It's the circuit, some being single ended, HQ parts and power transistors not normally used for audio. I've pretty much given up on tubes as these amps are so good as not to miss tubes in any way -- all the good, none of the bad. 

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Just watched part of that video. Very interesting. Thanks for that.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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10 minutes ago, richieb said:

 

--- mind you, I'm only guessing but that might well be a tongue-in-cheek comment meaning that tube amps produce natural distortion and for a SS amp to sound "like tubes" it too would need to produce distortion. Since many SS amp distortion levels are carried to a third and fourth decimal point -- distortion rating .0001. Again,  just guessing as reading Carls mind can be a dangerous thing ---. 

Now without having to guess I have a couple of Nelson Pass designed amps that are very "tube like" and their distortion levels are extremely low. It's the circuit, some being single ended, HQ parts and power transistors not normally used for audio. I've pretty much given up on tubes as these amps are so good as not to miss tubes in any way -- all the good, none of the bad. 

No tongue in cheek, tubes have more second order distortion.

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1 minute ago, CECAA850 said:

No tongue in cheek, tubes have more second order distortion.

 

Understood --- and so do the NP SS amps mentioned above. 

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2 minutes ago, richieb said:

 

Understood --- and so do the NP SS amps mentioned above. 

There you go. 

I can't however tell you exactly what they do to induce it though.

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Any chance you can find out who did the restoration, and what was done?

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