- 29 posts total
After I replaced my power tubes a few times, several hundred dollars each time, I realized I was only listening when I had a couple hours or more to listen. If I only had a half hour, I just wouldn’t warm up the tube rig. Now that my amp is solid state, I don’t hesitate to turn it on and listen, even if I just have few minutes. I listen a lot more now. My wife was a little intimidated by the big tube rig and its mysteries. She finds the SS simpler and more approachable, so she listens more, too. Other factors that led to the change were the substantial heat and power consumption of the tube rig. The SS is much more efficient, using less power at idle and in use, and it is barely warm to the touch. Bulk and weight of the tube amp, with large heat sinks was a factor as well. Finally, I audioned a number of SS amps and found there are very nice sounding amps being made. I really enjoyed my time with tubes, but I’m not looking back. All my guitar amps are tubed, though, and will remain so.
Some speakers are optimized for, or are more appropriate for use with, either a tube amp or a ss one. terry9’s Quads were used by Roger Modjeski in the development of his Music Reference RM-10 tube amp, and the pairing is to die for. That amp is, however, completely inappropriate for use with any of the Magneplanar speakers.
If one wants to avoid tubes, the smaller Pass and First Watt amps work very well with the Quads. So with that speaker, you can go either way, at a relatively affordable price. On the other hand, to power Maggies with tubes, a lot more dough needs to be spent to equal the capabilities of ss.
Not sure what Quads are referred to, but I have always been perfectly happy with mine (first ESL57s, now 2805s) driven by first a Q303 and now a Q606-2 solid state amplifier. I have also had the privilege of being given a private comparative demonstration by Quad's Peter Walker himself, at the time when people started to argue that his earlier valve amplifier sounded better than his later solid state designs, and in particular better than the Q405 current dumper. He thought all this was absolute nonsense, and commissioned an independent research project by James Moir: http://www.keith-snook.info/wireless-world-magazine/Wireless-World-1978/Valves%20versus%20Transistor...
As I said, he gave me a private demonstration with a blind setup with his three designs, playing master tapes on a professional recorder. The comparison was level matched and blind. I thought I could just about hear slight differences, but afterwards Peter smiled: my identifications had not been better than random. All three amplifiers had simply been straight wires with gain; the only relevant difference had been that each successive generation had been more powerful than the previous one. I had learned a useful lesson.
Great speakers. I could not have them because their top part would be in front of a huge panorama window. It would have spoilt the view, and exposed them to sunlight (so I went the subwoofer route). I have never heard any problem with the protection circuitry. I use a refurbished 2x140 watt Quad 606-2. The room is large, so Rob Flain at Quad suggested their QMP monoblocks.
- 29 posts total