Probably obvious question, why not the BHK amps?
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hybrid tends to be the best endgame.
Best would be a tube pre-driver/driver section, with V-Fet output transistors.
If I had the time, I would build it....
the are some very sound reasons for stating that. It has to do with dynamic expression and micro dynamic expression as tied to linearity of devices. Tubes inherently have it and the only solid state devise that is linear, is a V-Fet. the rest, all of every bit of all solid state devices... is just crap we’ve been forced to use since the V-Fet went away.
due to how our ears work the missing gain linearity is critical, it turns out. The very reason that Sony designed the V-Fet in the first place. the problem is that the MOS-fet happened at the same time and was much less finicky and cheaper by far. So we lost the superior device, it went out on a whimper. The only solid state device that was ever linear. We never really noticed as Sony never really got to the point that the device was widespread enough, to do enough design work..to finesse it’s implementation. A lot of them ended up being used in low power RF amplifiers, where linearity is also critical. We needed the small signal versions, but never made it there, so we could do the entire amplification chain inside an amplifier, so it was all linear, all the way through. And then it would have had all the beauty of tubes with solid state balls throughout. Imagine how that would have sounded.
If you find yourself looking for more, then, the error, I think...lies elsewhere. That the BHK monos are not the problem, it is your cabling, our sources, ad whatnot. But not the BHK monos. the BHK monos use all the same devices in their output stages, in order to try and get some of that linearity back. BHK recognized what was wrong. It’s why some folks covet the Radio shack SA-1000, the sa-1000a, and the sansui 2000 receiver. and the Sansui AU 222, 555, 777, 999 and so on.
We know what is required to make things sound right and some companies try. But separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult when there are a thousand designers who can design electronics and almost zero who understand how the ear works. They don’t understand how to engineer for the ear, they more know how to design for the test instrument.
Sony got it right when they designed the V-Fet. But so few people recognized it ....that it got washed away.
Nelson Pass recognized it, when he put out his new series of First Watt power amps.
Very well said. I currently have a Audio Research Refrence 160S which I strongly believe is the Finest Tube Amplifier Ever Made! You described it to the T.
"It has to do with dynamic expression and micro dynamic expression as tied to linearity of devices. Tubes inherently have it and the only solid state devise that is linear"
I was curious as what is the best of the best in s/s class A/B only due to the heat class A and tube amps deliver and my curiosity.
If I was buying an amp in the 10-20 range I would listen hard to the Luxman m-900u. It has plenty of mojo with sonics I doubt can be exceeded in your price range. In addition the construction is at the very top of the industry. A beauty. Second choice would be the new Dag progression integrated amp. I haven’t heard it but I expect it to be killer. 18k list
I’ve been auditioning the Mcintosh 462 and Simaudio 860a ss amps, and the Mcintosh 2152 and ARC REF150 tube amps, all with a few different speakers. The problem I found with the tube amps is the bottom end can be a bit flabby. The mid to top was glorious.
The Simaudio 860a was okay, but a little dry and thin. The 462 hit it out of the ballpark: tight control of the bottom end and near tube like mids and highs. I liked the 462 so much that I’ll probably purchase the 611 monoblocks. Close second is the Mac 2152.