Can one have too many tube components in a system?

Especially if one has sensitive speakers? For myself with ZU Omen defs, I have to keep an eye on the gain of the amps I choose since my BHK runs tubes. If gain is too high, tube hiss becomes an issue. However, I see people with tubed amp, tube pre, tubed phono pre, tubed dac......doesn't the tube his (just like tape hiss every time you copy a tape over and over) intensify with every component? Or to pull this off one needs less efficient speakers?

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I have tubes in all components except for my streamer. No hiss, none…not a bit, dead quiet… If you have hiss, there is something wrong. The speaker efficiency on mine is 90db. 

For me each additional tube component was synergistic and brought my system to a new level of realism. Now over the last few years those tubes came from the same company, Audio Research Corp… so there was even more synergy there since they were designed and built together. 


With recognition that I am not the most experienced with the proposed scenario, I have come to learn that having compatible gain across all components in the system is always a concern and I would agree that this can be even more critical with tube gear and sensitive speakers. 

Not so much with tube pre/amp combinations, though there are many tube pres that IMO provide too much gain. Especially when using high output DACs.

The concern would be greatest with tube phonostage as they generate the greatest magnitude of gain. 


I should add that I have a system with tube DAC tube pre, and tube amp. My speakers are 91dB, not overly sensitive.

@oldhvymec  I loved that response! Most of those that use multiple of tube components know what they are doing. I am still exploring.

The talented Telefunken, the magnificent Mullard Blackburn, or the rare and rich RCA BP. Long live the 12AX7

Know thine tubes, to thine own tubes be true.

50 years with Mac June of this year. I just got my C2500 back Telefunkens are goin in. Mcintosh USA (made in China) JJ are coming out. 

I don't trust anybody with my pridefully and pricy handpicked Telefunkens.. :-) 1000.00 for a great set of 6, 3 pair is a lot more likely. 4-600.00

Amperx, Valvo and Mazda are might good too.

Here's a bone. Solvex 12AX7 (sufix W) NOS and confirm with your dealer. It will go toe to toe with the best RCA ever made. Second, they will outlast everything and sound good AFTER you drop it on the floor. One tough valve. It's a mill-spec black plate for extreme vibration / shock. Survive a nuke I hear. The pilot won't but the MIG will be fine.. :-)

Dave - Solid state ! F-15 air to air combat record 104 to Zip, Nada, Nyet. 

in my Mac the Blackburns and Tele duke it out for supremacy…. since Winter of 1965 for me…i am low milage

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Yea but I ride a bicycle. MIG 1000, bicycle zip.

I can say there were no tube failures, only flat tires. :-)