Shouldnt you match tube with tube ?

Heres something i never really understood, and maybe can help me with my preamp quandry...

I cant see why if you have one tube component, wouldnt you need the other to be tube as well to really get the "tube effect" ?

I particularly cant undestand why someone would use a tube preamp with a non-tube amp. I mean the amp is the last component before the sound is reproduced by the speaker, so i would think for a "tube" sound, the amplifier would have to be tube.
The other way around i could understand a bit more, but am still a bit curious as to the quality. I mean the preamp handles the initial sound decoding and or distribution, so although i think if you have a tube amp with a non-tube preamp, the amp would be able to give you some "tube" sound, i would still think that to get the best tube effect, that both the preamp and amp would have to be of tube type.

Someday when i have the money id love to put all this to the test for myself, but until then id love to hear you thoughts.

Showing 1 response by audphile1

There are number of reasons. I can think of a few reasons I don't have a tube amp.

I have considered a tube amp before, but....

1) My speakers are difficult to drive. An all-tube amp that can properly drive my speakers is expensive.
2) The hassle of re-tubing. Tube life is relatively short in power amps. The need for carefully matched tubes that are low microphonics....becomes pretty expensive to re-tube. Biasing a tube amp....not everyone is up to this task and sending the amp in to re-tube and to bias is expensive. Bringing it to a local tech is not cheap either and one has to know a reliable tech.
3) A powerfull tube amplifiers are large and require open space for proper ventilation. They generate heat.
4) There are solid state amps that are really good.

Now, a hybrid amp is a different story. I know of a few that will probably have the best of both worlds, but they still cost more than a solid state with comparable power delivery.

And why don't you question the source component?
A tube cd player would be in order, no?

When I have a budget to buy the tube amp I want, I will do that. Until then, I'm using a tube line stage, which is cheap to re-tube, with a good solid state amp and it sounds great!!!