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Toolshed Amps?


Shakeydeal

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11 minutes ago, Steve. said:

I would like a Marantz Model 8b please, with all the tube goodness in a solid state 1/2  1RU size ......  I had a Carver 1.0 , was supposed to sound like tubes....it didn't.    Wasn't bad but not a great amp by any metric.

 

 

Yeah rumor has it the clone wasn't reliable enough to put into production so the M-1.0t was basically a watered down version. I've got the tube bug myself have had a half dozen or so amps / integrateds over the years there is definitely something special and engaging about tubes-- I'd love to hear one of these ToolShed amps someday, congrats on having yours built! 

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The closest SS amplifiers that sound like tubes to me are the ones like Nelson Pass builds using mosfets on the outputs and simple circuits. Listening to my PP V-fet amplifier at the present time and it has a very tube like character. The advantage of tubes is cost. Tube amplifiers with our speakers can produce outstanding sound for less money then a class A SS amplifier. Mystic character also with those glowing tubes to look while listening to music. Adds to the entertainment experience which is what our hobby is all about. Transistors have been trying to mimic the tube sound since invented. Mosfets have curves like pentode tubes. V-fet transistors have curves like triode tubes so they have a triode tube character. 

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15 hours ago, ToolShedAmps said:

Word of advice: buy the best iron you can afford. There is a difference.


Price (money) does not equate to the best. The boutique transformers are always much more just because they don’t have the sales volume. That doesn’t make them better. Take Hammond transformers for example, if you listen to the “experts” Hammond is pure junk. My first tube amp I built 23 years ago used 1627’s and the amp sounds wonderful. Especially if you use an 8 Ohm speaker on the 4 Ohm tap for a 5k load. 
 

However, a lot of people will spend money on “the best” to make themselves feel good. 

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3 minutes ago, Curious_George said:


Price (money) does not equate to the best. 
 

However, a lot of people will spend money on “the best” to make themselves feel good. 

This can be said about any product. Reputable companies do build better products for a higher price that are more reliable, last a long time, and sound better. Sounds like Heritage speakers doesn't it. 

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2 minutes ago, henry4841 said:

This can be said about any product. Reputable companies do build better products for a higher price that are more reliable, last a long time, and sound better. Sounds like Heritage speakers doesn't it. 

Yes, but you’ve taken my quote out of context. I was specifically talking about output transformers. For example, a $3000 pair of silver MQ transformers are not going to sound magnitudes better than something that cost $400. A good circuit design will yield better results. 
 

For someone just starting out, that “best iron” would be a waste of money. 

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1 minute ago, Curious_George said:

If Bob can do it, obviously someone else can too. It’s not mapping the human genome.

My understanding of this challenge is that Bob was trying to make a SS amplifier sound similar to a specific tube amplifier and not the tube sound in general. Easier to do with pentode amplifiers but becomes much harder when one starts talking direct heated triode tubes such as the 300B with altogether different curves then pentodes and most transistors. Static Induction transistors, SIT's, are a rare breed with curves like triodes. Not available to the general public being used mostly by the military. NOS is the only way most are going to be able to find them which limits their availability for the general public.  

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6 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

Yes, but you’ve taken my quote out of context. I was specifically talking about output transformers. For example, a $3000 pair of silver MQ transformers are not going to sound magnitudes better than something that cost $400. A good circuit design will yield better results. 
 

For someone just starting out, that “best iron” would be a waste of money. 

Was not meant for what you posted. Just talking in general terms. Sorry if taken wrong. I like and use Edcor transformers as best value for buck and yes I have used other more expensive OPT's and have not heard a great improvement of sound spending more. 

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There is a big difference between DIYer's, forum hobbyist who turn out a product here and there for fun and a company that churns out products at whatever rate that not only need to remain solvent but financially motivated to continue with their work.

 

I've been looking at different tube products and the competition out there is fierce-- I am not envious of those that wish to compete in such a tough market. The advantage goes to the consumer with so many choices out there at every price point manufacturers really have to step up in quality and craftsmanship to justify higher price points. 

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Staying on the title of this thread I would love to own on of his amplifiers to cherish and pass on to my kids when I am gone. Work of art which if same detail are inside the amplifier it would have to sound excellent. If one can afford one why not? It would be a showpiece. Work of art. 

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18 minutes ago, jjptkd said:

manufacturers really have to step up in quality and craftsmanship to justify higher price points. 

I agree and the problem is sometimes you have to “look behind the curtain” and in some cases you may not like what you find. 
 

A lot of manufacturers are reputable, however, there are quite a few companies that have a great looking product and the guts are cloned junk circuits or just terrible overall. Then you have a great circuit and great amp and the looks are mediocre and then everything in between. 
 

The consumer really has some homework to do, but audio seems to be much worse in this area than other categories. 

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30 minutes ago, henry4841 said:

Was not meant for what you posted. Just talking in general terms. Sorry if taken wrong. I like and use Edcor transformers as best value for buck and yes I have used other more expensive OPT's and have not heard a great improvement of sound spending more. 

No worries Henry. We’re good.

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5 hours ago, henry4841 said:

My understanding of this challenge is that Bob was trying to make a SS amplifier sound similar to a specific tube amplifier and not the tube sound in general.

 

Bob Carver challenged Stereophile to pick any amplifier at any price that they chose and he would clone it within 48 hours. Sterephile chose the Conrad Johnson Premier 5 tube amplifier but Bob did not know it was a tube amp as it was presented to him as a 'Black Box'. It just so happened Bob used SS amplifier to clone the same sound as the tube amplifier. All he did was take out resistor in one of his amplifiers and added potentiometers and called them 'distortion pots' where he would adjust them to get the desired distortion spectrum and null the tube amp at output. It proved that two completely dissimilar designs could yield the same sonic output. Since people didn't quite understand what the test was meant to show and continued to criticize him he then designed and sold the Silver Seven amplifier.

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1 hour ago, Curious_George said:

this question is misplaced and assinine.

Absolutely agreed. I was beyond delighted when Captain was kind enough to offer his services to the audio community.   Without his offering, I would perhaps not have ever tried another tube amp. They are too damn expensive to just guess on what you like and what you don't.  This is based on my experience with only a few tubes amps some years ago.   I liked that sound of the frimaon 275 during my brief period with it, but would have been pissed paying full retail or close for it and learning what I now know about it later.... Captains knowledge and what he has been sharing has caught my attention and I have been reading and learning a bit with others contributing as well.  This is why I came to this forum in the first place.... Great people and vast knowledge.  

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5 hours ago, jjptkd said:

I've been looking at different tube products and the competition out there is fierce-- I am not envious of those that wish to compete in such a tough market.

 

I was always very fond of music and musicians gear along with the audio equipment meant to recreate it in our homes. The thought crossed my mind to possibly get into the industry but doing a startup is a shot in the dark and is extremely hit or miss not matter how good your product is. At the time it was just too big a risk and I just wanted to start earning money so I could live a comfortable life instead of going bankrupt. This wasn't a personal decision, I had a family to provide for so I took jobs with financial security.

 

I never stated I am a successful amplifier company, I just enjoy making things especially amplifiers. I know I am in the minority in my viewpoints compared to your average audiophile and when one of them hears something from me they don't want to believe well then this is always how the argument starts. When they don't like the message they character assassinate the messenger to try and discredit me. It's fine, I don't expect to change peoples minds over night.

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44 minutes ago, captainbeefheart said:

 

If anyone is interested I have backwards engineered genome code for Pfizer's Mrna Covid vaccine. Not joking, another hobby.

How ironic I would use that phrase... BTW, I was vacinnated w/ mRNA and did not have any side effects (that I know of yet). It may have lowered my tolerance to stupidity and other loathsome traits...

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27 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

How ironic I would use that phrase... BTW, I was vacinnated w/ mRNA and did not have any side effects (that I know of yet). It may have lowered my tolerance to stupidity and other loathsome traits...

 

Great read explaining the genome coding and how they design and produce the treatment. Who wouldn't want a DNA 3d printer right?  I have the paper from the University students also.

 

https://mottikumar3.medium.com/reverse-engineering-the-source-code-of-the-biontech-pfizer-sars-cov-2-vaccine-d3503a34f95f

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