CNET story on my tube based system Audiogon too

A writer from Cnet (Steve Guttenburg, who writes for other audio mags as well and who used to work for CHesky) wrote a story about my tube based system system on Cnet. It also talks about Audiogon.

Maybe it will get more of the general public to think about tubes as a viable alternative?
Hey Richard, nice little cross technology interest story... I wonder if anyone in the (digital)computer paradigm of Cnet will get it?! Hope it sees some interest.

I sure do... have a pair of Atma-Sphere MA-1 Silver Editions myself and vinyl is also still king my house. How do you like your Atma's? I Love the sound of ours paired with Coincident Total Eclipses. It's a real nice sound.

Happy (OTL) Listening!
Hmmmm... a viable alternative? To what -- forced air gas heating? But all seriousness aside, what does it cost to retube those monsters? I had to ask, so I'm pretty sure I couldn't (or wouldn't want to) spring for that bill.

But it's obviously a first rate system you've built there and I wish you many hours of musical bliss. Just having a great vinyl playback system rates you high in my book.
The truth is that the power tubes in an Atmaspere amp are only about $7 each. You wouldn't have to change them for 2-3,000 hours. If you listened 3hrs a day, 6 days a week, it would take about 1,000 days before they burned out. I love my system but I don't think I get to listen to just my big rig that often. Never the less for the 60 watt Stereo amp thats $50-60 every 3 years. Double that amount for the 140wpc and so on. I don't know of anyone in this hobby who doesn't waste that much on a few bad albums, a piece of gear they regret buying, useless tweaks,etc.
If you realize that it is part and parcel of owning this gear you won't mind. My own tube amps use 6CA7s. They are used in amps that use EL34s. If you could even find NOS power tubes, I know some on this board do, you can spend a fortune. Most of us mere mortals use modern production. They burn out at about the same rate , truthfully the as7 might go a bit sooner. These tubes cost at least double For instance, mine have 8 tubes at about $80 for a well selected matched quad. Much more, but I still wouldn't trade them in for SS.
Either you love or you don't, but please don't use cost of keeping them an excuse for not liking them.I thinkifor most it's a case of tubophobia. Maybe it is because the majority still relate tubes to a blurry thick syrupy sound of the early stereo days. This is simply not the case in modern amps especially the OTLs. Cost a huge concern in this hobby of high priced everything? If your willing to spin vinyl you spend more on record wash.
Great story and great photos. This is what it is all about. Great Gear and Great Music! Kudos to you Emailists!

As for more public thinking about this....forget it...they will never get it. I suspect one is either born with a discernming taste in music or not (for the most part not). The trend in music is downwards at the moment. Ubiquitous music reproduction from subway station to malls to restaurants to portable sound has devalued music.

The only place I consistently find high quality sound reproduction (with proper dynamics) is on big budget hollywood movies...sadly most music today is compressed for the masses (to grab attention on small PC speakers or in a restaurant or car).

BTW....are those Genelecs that you are using with your Mac and Final Cut? And what are these mystery speakers??
Hi Emailits

Nice to see you with the Raven:-) Very nice system you've got there.

Congrats on the cool system!

However, what caught my eye, was the response that was shown there, from a guy who tried to make his own hi-end gear,
specifically: "Turntables that had 75 pound platters made of steel, and were floated on MERCURY!
(with the thought that the mercury would absorb any stray vibrations being transmitted to the arm)."

My response to that response: What, are you nuts!!!!

I'll try to answer some of the questions.

The 6AS7G tubes n the atma-spheres last longer than 3000 hours I believe, especially in the latest designs which are supposed to be very easy on the output tubes. They are more in the neighborhood of $15-17 each to replace however these days.

Shadorn, yes very good eyes. Those are Genelecs 8020s that are paired with a Genelec woofer. I bought them for use with a second edit system, but now use them for Home theater in a temporary setup. They'll go into my main edit sytem someday.

The main speakers are Cerious Technologies Too/bass.
I just learned that these speakers are in fact in production,
and are pretty amazing, especially for the price.
The tweeter is Vifa Ring Radiator, but modified with a ceramic
coating at certain points internally.

You can see my virtual system here.

And as someone mentioned the Atma's not at all the typical tube sound.

I have owned Atma's for many years, and at times (when tubes blew out or I got heavily into home theater) I would go back to solid state. Then any time I would get new speakers, I had to see what they sounded lie with tubes, so I would get the ATma's running again, and undoubtedly they would sound better than whatever SS I was using at the time.

So when it came time to upgrade to new amps, I really didn't even audition anything else. I just got the latest version of what I had all along, MA-1's.

Maybe I'm just suspectible to marketing hype, but the combination of triodes, Output transformerless, and balanced just made think, "how am I get any better than this" except for possibly alot more money. Maybe I shoudl have auditioned VAC's. I heard LAMMs at the NY hifi show but I think they are more expensive and not ol school point to point wiring like the Atma's. You can see a picture I took under hood of the wiring in my virtual system.
ol school point to point wiring like the Atma's. You can see a picture I took under hood of the wiring in my virtual system.

Indeed I took a good look "under the hood" very very printed circuit board runs; obviously considerable labour is involved in the beautiful construction of your Atma's. No doubt a pride and joy to own.