Is your tube amp really a tube amp?


I use and love the older ARC D70Mk2 tube amp. To many people, this design is a true tube amp...however, ARC uses a LOT of transistors in the circuit. In the "day" a transistor was considered a ss device. Anyone know of a tube amp that uses NO transistors in the circuit...only tubes. I suspect that in my amp, the audio signal passes only through the tubes and not through the "ss" devices ( don't know this for sure)...Therefore, what is a TRUE tube amp...how many of us are actually using such a device ( no transistors or other ss devices whatsoever in the amp), vs. a hybrid...what's the definition of that term in regards to tube gear?
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What are you selling?
I used to think a tube amp must have gobs of tubes to be considered a tube amplifier. 2 tube rectifiers, 4 power tubes, 4 preamp tubes etc. Glass everywhere. I realize now that isn't the case.
I don't think Ralph(Atma-Sphere) uses solid state anywhere in his amps.
there are many true tube amps, but are there ANY true tube CD-players with buncha toobz? i only saw ones with single tube per channel and the rest of circuit is semiconducters
In my limited experience I have listened to and owned some amps that were all tube (tube rectifier, voltage regulator, etc.) and some that were tube but had solid state retifiers and voltage regulators. To me, the ones with solid state components sounded solid state. They did not have the "soft" and "smooth" sound the all-tube amps did. Again this is only opinion and it is difficult to quantify, but that was just my perception.
I have an early tube celphone that isn't very practical at all...burns my head and the tubes break in my pocket...just not worth the trouble, except my calls sound very warm.
"03-24-15: Czarivey
there are many true tube amps, but are there ANY true tube CD-players with buncha toobz? i only saw ones with single tube per channel and the rest of circuit is semiconducters"

BAT VK5Dse
Good one wolf !!!
My Quicksilver amps are all tube !
ZD, I've never seen tube DAC chip at all. I only know semiconductor DAC chips or circuits. Is DAC(logic component) in VK D5se implemented with vacuum tubes like in first computer?? I thought that it would take at least a size of 24' box truck enclosure to implement it with vacuum tubes.
Yogiboy,
I thought that Quickies all use SS power supply.
Some of them use SS diode couplers instead of capacitors.
"03-24-15: Czarivey
there are many true tube amps, but are there ANY true tube CD-players with buncha toobz? i only saw ones with single tube per channel and the rest of circuit is semiconducters"

I just answered your question about 1 tube per channel.
Czarivey,I was under the presumption that quickies were all tube.
I stand corrected! He does state that his gear is all tube. Thanks for the info!
I had Quickies M60 with SS power supply
A solid state device in the power supply does not mean that the amp is not a true tube amp.

An example would be a Dynaco St70 or a Harmon Kardon Citation 2.
Question: why do portable Walkman amfm radios sound so tube-like? Is because they don't require all the capacitors and transformers that high power amps do?
Answer: they ain't got no bass.
Atmasphere, what do you consider a hybrid tube amp? Since you say a solid state device in the power supply does not mean that the amp is not a true tube amp, what qualifies as a hybrid?
Oh, they got bass. Tube bass, too.
By the time I get the bass sounding good to me consistently with a tube amp I may as well just forget about it and stick with Class D. At least with any speakers that I currently own that are relatively full range.
If one cares about bass that is where the work is involved, both for the user who must get everything set up properly and for the gear that has to be able to handle the workload.

Treble is still work for teh owner to get things set up right but not so much work for the gear itself. Most good quality gear is capable of good performance with teh treble these days.

Note sound quality depends on performance but are not the same. Getting things to "sound good" is largely an exercise in personal discretion once the basic ability for teh gear to perform up to the level expected is in place.
Ideally, in teh end you want a system that can do the work asked of it effortlessly without ever breaking a sweat. The amp/speaker combo together is the part that will be asked to do most of the work.

There are many good source devices for reasonable price that can be used to good effect once the workload needed is covered. Especially digital ones.
My car may perform excellently and me loving it under normal circumstances, but if I ask it to tow a 3 ton load it may not work out so well.

Same thing with audio. You gotta have enough muscle to get the job done or nothing else matters much. That means the right amp/speaker pairing for teh job. the technology chosen in teh design including tubes or transistors does not matter so much as does a good design and a quality product to work with in any case. The rest is mostly personal preferences that you cannot bank on.
A hybrid amp will have semiconductors in the signal path.

Some examples: The MOScode, Berning ZOTL, some of the old Counterpoint stuff, some of the CJ stuff.

So this is an easy thing to spot. To flip the coin over, anyone making the claim that the H/K Citation 2 power amp is a hybrid because it has a semiconductor power supply would get laughed out of town.
Yup never mix milk with coffee or visa versa. Keep the race clean:-)
Did someone just cut one?