My Modwright SWL9.0 line stage and SWP9.0 phono stage are astoundingly quiet, regardless of topology.
- 23 posts total
- 23 posts total
Rowland Capri SS preamp into Audio Mirror tubed power amps into Zu speakers turned up to 95 on the preamp scale causes a barely audible hiss with my ear about 2 inches away from the tweeter. The midrange driver doesn't make a sound or vibrate to the touch. These speakers are very efficient and with a normal input signal, if the amps could take that gain, my ears would be destroyed at the 95 setting. Nothing could be heard from the listening position. Is that quiet enough? BTW, with the preamp set at 75, this system is very loud. I would never attempt playing it at 95.
The days of NOS tubes are gone. How many old shops and basements can be gone through in search of tubes? Good quality present production tubes are the way to go, unless you have a reliable source and deep pockets for NOS tubes. I find that older tubes are now, more often than not, used tubes and, unless you are equipped to test them, have to take it on faith that then numbers provided mean anything.
Noise is one important factor, but one has to look at the overall performance of a product in context and not just one aspect. Although I have to admit that the noise floor should be as low as possible, but not at the price of doing without the other attributes of tube gear.
Why not have both types of equipment on hand?
"Rowland Capri SS preamp into Audio Mirror tubed power amps into Zu speakers turned up to 95 on the preamp scale causes a barely audible hiss with my ear about 2 inches away from the tweeter."
I've got the Rowland Continuum 500 SS integrated amp, where both the pre-amp (same circuit as the Carpir)and amplifier section (same as the Rowland 501s) both operate in DC. (Power Factor Correction converts any AC to 385V DC). I'm impressed that your tube amp gets so very close in terms of quietness. That's excellent. I hear about the same on my all-SS integrated.
BTW, I generally listen at a setting between 50 (when it's very quiet and I'm reading with music in the background) to 80-ish (when I'm trying to blow myself out of the listening seat with Mahler's 6th). At any of these levels I can't hear anything out of my tweeter.