I've listened to the VTL's ,but not the Rogue's.I ended up buying Quicksilver V-4's.If you can do a side by side comparison.I would suggest that you purchase a tube line stage as well.I listen to mostley to rock and fusion jazz,but I can appreciate any cd that is well engineered. Good luck on your search!
I had Audible Illusions mod3 once and went to a Aragon 24k because I had the Aragon 4004. I was thinking of synergy and though that has it's merits the tube pre and ss amp was a great combo. I now have a all tube rig(ARS L7,Anthem Amp1,Sonicfrontiers SFD1mk2 dac). I don't think I will ever go back to ss. I get a kick out of tube rolling-so many tubes so little time:) Peace!
I own a CJ PV12 tube pre-amp. Great sound, but the tubes get expensive after a while--now selling to make room for new A/V preamp. To get the best sound you have to leave the unit on all the time--since it takes about two days for the tubes to reach optimum performance levels. You also have to put up with some "tube noise" hisses and high-pitched tones. Leaving the unit on all the time shortens the tube life. Not to sound too negative, but I want you to know what you are getting into. Bottom line, if you love the sound, you can probably live with a few inconveniences.
I sold my Rogue Amp simply for more power than its 60 watts. I got a great deal on an Accuphase P-450 SS amp. I miss the sweetness of tubes but I cannot argue with the raw horsepower of this beast. I still have an Air Tight tube preamp which I would be hard pressed to part with. If my budget allows, I may eventually get a tube amp with some 'stones' but Accuphase is the best SS I have heard. If I were to go back to a SS preamp, I would go for a balanced one or not at all.
Yes, I replaced my CJ Premiere 11a (tube) with a CJ MF-2500 (ss)amp. More bass with the 2500 compared to 11a, however, significantly more power. I felt the 11a had more detail in the mid to highend however. I currently run a CJ Premiere 17ls pre amp with Thiel 3.6's and audioquest cables. I highly recommend a tube preamp with ss amp combination; best of both worlds, or so I've been told. I am looking at possibly replacing my MF 2500 with a pair Premiere 8a mono blocks. I have not had any problems with tube noise or the like. I can not comment on any of the preamp / amp combinations you have asked about; sorry.
I have been back and forth numerous times. Overall i personally prefer tubes. I had VTL MB100's in the past, and at this time i have Rogue 120's. I mostly listen to jazz and blues.
I've been there but not back. ;-) Someone commented about tube hiss and high pitched tone. The slight background hiss is normal for a tube preamp but not the high pitched tone. That indicates to me that one of the tubes is oscillating and needs to be replaced or something else went south in the preamp. I had this happen to me in a CJ PV-12 preamp and replacing the bad tube cured the problem. As for hiss, I've owned three different tube preamps and they all hiss slightly but only noticeable if I place my ear right up to the tweeter. My Adcom GFP-750 preamp is very quiet in the background like most modern ss preamps but it doesn't have the soundstage, air, or transparency of the tube preamps that I have owned.
Currently using ARC LS16 tube preamp in combo with CJ Premier 11a tube amp driving the smallish Thiel CS 1.5 speakers. Previously owned Classe CA-200 ss amp. Good amp with more bass slam but wanted that "tube magic" so I sold it.
Ok my short story...
Started out with a cheap tube integrated, then discovered solid state & couldn't be happier. The hum noise hiss pop & crackle of tubes was never missed one bit. Stuck with SS through several iterations of my rig until I finally decided to try to discover what all the raves about the better tube equipment were about? Auditioned Sonic Frontiers, VTL, & Golden Tube; couldn't stand any of it. Thought a Cary might work better but it was even worse; the microphonics were just awful. Every time that the input selector was switched, it went 'boiiiing'. You could tap on the rack & hear it in the speakers even at nominal voume settings.
I'm glad that y'all love your tubes & I'm not trying to talk anyone out of them, just not my cup of tea. I've always thought that my Luxman Ultimate SS series was the holy grail, but have since discovered that Accuphase even betters the Lux. Bluesawn if you ever decide to part with that P450 then definitely get in touch with me by all means!
I have a VTL ST-150 , and the Amp is amazing ! Tubes can get costly about $ 300.00 for 8 Svetlana 6550C s . But they last a couple of years for me. The average SS does not come close . You need to step up to the Big Bucks SS to Give the tubes some competition Pass, Rowland etc Good luck
PS Make sure you have some help the VTL Stuff weighs a TON!
I went from tube preamps (Counterpoint SA5.1, Audible Illusions M3) to Jeff Rowland Coherence One and Consonance SS preamps. I like Rowland products. They sound tubey but has a lot of details and you don't have to fiddle with tubes.
Nope! I use both Audio Research & VTL amps & pre-amps. Only thing is, you do want to turn them off when not using so as to not use up the tubes prematurely. To me SS is best in a 2nd or 3rd system where convenience is more of a factor....if you want to leave it on a lot for background music, or video perhaps. What kind of preamp are you using?
I use both a solid state and tube preamp. I prefer the sound of tubes.
Tube gear can be microphonic and more sensitive to vibration but I just (now) did a test on my ARC LS16 tube preamp and CJ Premier 11a tube amp.
I switched the preamp to an input that didn't have a source component connected to it, turned the volume control almost completely open 3 O'clock position. I then tapped my knuckles around the LS16 tube preamp then on each side of the Premier 11a tube amp and the top of the amp near the tubes.
No "boiiing" sounds or other indications of microphonics AT ALL. No sounds coming from the speakers, i.e. can't hear the sound of my knuckles tapping on the gear thru the speakers.
I listen to a lot of live music; and no matter what I've tried; or whenever I listen to another persons all tube system; it never sounds right to me. I've had CJ, Sonic Frontiers, and Blue Circle. I guess I could live with a tube pre, SS amp combo, but currently happy with all SS.
when i went to my local high end shop they use to kid me that i could detect something in the krell force. i had a krell 300 s krc3 md 20 and studio. i had used tubes before with great results. but after reading high end magazines. ss is as good as tubes. well i spoke with krell this was confermed . i still like ss but tubes take me to the real thing. if you ever hear good tubes and listen to your ear not a magizine you will never go back. sounds like bob needs to hear my system.
To answer to Steveaudio,
I am using an ultimate custom built dual-mono DACT preamplifier that have both: active and passive sections for each channel, stepped volume attenuators for each channel. I can use it as passive and I can use a switch for extra gain. It's battery powered for each channel currently, but I'm about to get DACT dual power supply. It's all solid state -- gain section and power. On the analogue end I have AR PH3 hybrid phono and that is why I need some extra feedback(not necessarily gain) from preamplification to stabilize the phono output.
So switching to tubes will(I assume) bring me a nice "blend"
I think that preamp will stay with me for a long time since I've invested my time and bucks to create it and it sings. If I use digital end I turn the gain section off and use it as passive.
I like a solid state amp tube preamp combo
You get the advantage of the warmth of tubes, tube rolling to paly around and preamp tubes are not as costly as power amp tubes. Also I can leave my Audio Research D200 on for extended periods of time where it really breaks in nicely and not have to worry about short tube life.
On an absolute basis, if I had nothing to do but sit between my speakers and listen critically constantly, I prefer the sound of tubes. There is nothing better.
On a practical basis, I no longer have this kind of time, and tube equipment requires more space, ventilation and maintenance than I care to deal with. Thus, I have just switched to solid state. It was not an easy choice, but I am slowing getting used to living with an Audio Refinement Complete.
I recently moved out of my Copland CTA-402 tube integrated into a Plinius SA-100mkII and C-J PV11 and couldn't happier. Yes, there is some hiss if you put your ear to the drivers, but when music is introduced, it's wonderful! The ProAc 2.5s are happy and have all the power the need to pull the depth and detail out of the source material; analog or digital. Yes, tube rolling is fun too! I contacted the tube gurus out in California and took their recommendation (not their pricy product) to swap the stock CJ tube set. I am using Tele 12ax7s and RCA Cleartop 12au7s. I am searching for GE 5 Star 5751s to replace the 12ax7s and to one stock 5751. I just acquired some Mullard 12au7s and am anxious to try these in place of the RCAs.
Your decision should be based on the efficiency of your speakers, room size, music preference and budget. You're gonna get a lot more SS than tube amp for you $$. But, I personally would never have a totally SS system. This is the second SS/tube pre combo I have had; the 1st being the Aragon 4004mkII and CJ PV8 driving Maggie MGb's. The CJ replaced a NAD pre-amp, the result was stunning.
In answer to your initial question, I "sort of" have returned to solid state. I originally used a Krell KSA 80 on my Duntech Princess speakers, replacing that with ARC M300 hybrids and eventually Jadis JA80s. I was disappointed with the deep bass from the JA80s on the Duntechs, so I sold the speakers and am now using a 4 piece biamped system, with my Jadis on the top and solid state (Meitners) on the bottom, below 200hz. The only tube amps I've heard that can match solid state in the deepest bass (big VTLs, ARC Ref 300s, CAT JL-1) are way too big and expensive for my system. However, I do miss the Jadis in the mid-bass, as I feel they were superb in that area; I feel most tube amps are better than ss in that area. I can't alter the crossover frequency in this system, but if I could I'd go for 60 hz or below for the ss, above that for tubes. I'm still looking for a tubed amp that can replace the Meitners, but so far no reasonable contenders.
In addition, as my JP80 is off for repairs, I'm borrowing a Klyne ss preamp (6 in the model number?), which is pretty good for a $2200 preamp with phono stage. However, while it has better deep bass extension, it lacks the bloom, soundstaging and dynamics of the (admittedly ar more expensive) Jadis unit. Having listened for almost two weeks, I'm quite certain I would not be willing to give up tubes in the preamp.
As you asked, my principal listening is to classical music of all kinds, with a preference for the large scale romantic works, but I also do a lot of listening to late 60's and early 70's rock and folk. I might lean more to solid state with different tastes in music, perhaps.
Well right now I have a tube preamp,Conrad Johnson Premier 3,with a Conrad johnson MF-200 S.S. MOSFET power amp.I've been bouncing back and forth between S.S.and tube power.The best combination I had was Tubes on top,Conrad Johnson MV-75a with a Sonographe on the bottom,with the Premier 3 preamp.I'm working on getting back the MV-75a so that I can put it on the mids and highs and use the CJ MOSFET on the bottom,to my opinion this is my ideal sound and getiing the best of both types of sound.I have B&W 802 series 3 speakers.
Used to own a Melos tube amp, before that an ARC D115. Now I like the Jeff Rowland that I own a lot more. Why, the tube amps give off an enormous amount of heat, and in a small room this is a drag. Plus you never really know how the tubes are holding up, where are they in their life cycle?
SS is more reliable and if you have the right amp better sounding IMHO.
Now in pre-amps that's a whole diff story, I say tube all the way.
Back to original question. I moved fm tubes (Jadis) to ss (DNM), back to tubes (OTL -- Audio Exclusive), to my current ss (Symphonic Line Kraft).
I listen mostly to classical, some blues, rock, & jazz added.
Sound character-wise, I look for tube or "tube-like" sound i.e. the thermionic euphonics. My switches were dictated by reliability problems (OTL, Jadis), need for more power (DNM), and to avoid a slight roll-off at the end of the spectrum that my old tubes had. In fact, my present set-up, although wide-bandwidth, does retain a tinge of tube-like euphonics to my ears...
Other than the high cost of good high output tube designs, I don't think you have anything to worry about with contemporary tube designs!
I *think* you'll be musically happier with vtls/Rogues than with your Bryston -- an excellent machine in its own right. After all you're ready to switch!!!
Cheers & enjoy!
I too switched because of reliability problems[Cary,Wolcott] and on the advice of a Lamm listener I switched to Aloia. Tube replacement constant biasing took away from listening
A long time ago, I had a pair of CJ MV75A-1s and a Luxman CL-32 tube preamp. They were nice but a little too lush for my blood. Silly me....I thought all tube systems sounded that way...so I switched to a pair of hybrids [Magics; Foster Blair] and switched the Luxman out for a Krell KBL. It's been about 7 or 8 years since then. I kept the Magics in my system but started missing that round dynamic spacing that only tubes can bring. I put my KBL on the shelf and bought a VK-5i. Things got noticeably better. But I still wasn't getting the dynamic range I was looking for. I'm now thinking about going all the way back...perhaps to premiers 8s, Atma-Sphere MA1s, Transcendents, or VK-60s.....don't think I'll be doing SS anymore. That's a little more than what you asked for...but the best I can do.....good luck in your search.
In response to snook2:
There are a number of outstanding and RELIABLE tube amps out there that don't require constant biasing and tube replacement. I'm not saying your gear was bad but if you stick with reputable quality brands with solid construction, I think you're in for a life time of reliable operation. I own Conrad-Johnson and Audio Research. Both companies have been around for a couple decades and didn't just recently jump on the vacuum tube bandwagon because they thought it was cool. I bias my amps maybe twice a year and the tubes only need replacing every couple years if I listen frequently. No "reliability problems" here.