I'm a Tube Guy. I can say that the last 4 times I heard a McIntosh solid-state setup at RMAF, I couldn't last in the room for a full song. Nothing good at all.
- 17 posts total
- 17 posts total
"Tubes cost really money"
I like that statement as not many people admit to the extra cost of owning tube amps. I have tube amps and have spent this year alone $1300 in tubes. and probably will do the same next year or early year following, preamp tubes do last a long time but power tubes do not.
Depending on the tube type and count that's big money to toss away every couple years, not to mention tube failures and degradation over time. If your not steeped into the tube life I'd recommend passing on tube power amps at least, tube preamps can be great though.
Now if you love tubes then your basically &$%#* as you can't have anything else and the cost is just the cost of doing business. sigh....
I have tube amps and have spent this year alone $1300 in tubes.Wow! Well, there are tubes and amps and there are tubes and amps. High power pentodes don't last very long. Triodes can last a long time but DHT triodes will degrade over time. But many power pentodes and tetrodes in well designed PP or SE amps just run and run and run. Tube amps can be very economical if you want them to be.
When I purchased a McIntosh MC225 a few years ago it still had the original power tubes from 1963 - and still does, despite playing several hours every day. I have purchased many vintage EL84 amps with original tubes from the late 50s and early 60s. Were these tubes better than modern? Maybe, but it's more about amp design.
I own an MC402 and have owned and auditioned tube power amps. Advantages of 402: stonger tighter base and realistic transparency without giving up warmth. Advantage of tube power amp: more atmospheric midrange, possibly with slightly deeper sound stage and better signal to noise ratio. All sounds but especially massed instruments and piano will be slightly fat, smeared or blurred possibly in a pleasing way depending on your taste. I prefer reality as I go to a lot of live concerts and therefore the 402.