I've just accuired a Battery powered Tripath amp based on the 2022 chip and love it. I have tubes in my output stage on my Modwright Sony 999es that keeps the tube magic in my system.
I had a Almarro A318B SET amp that was replaced with the Tripath amp. I think I like the Tripath better in my system.
You are correct in the SS vs Tube toss up. If done correctly and matched up well with other components.
Your conclusion is reasonable as it`s all subjective.
I don`t know that there`s any more to add on this often raised topic.
When that tube blows and takes a pr of 3K speakers with it,
might sound different.
Schubert, I had the same thing happen when something blew in a SS amp.
I agree not much to add here. A ss amp paired with a tubed pre is a great combination . I have owned this combo (conrad-johnson) and liked it very much. I am now using a Cary SLI-80F1 (tube integrated) and I enjoy it as well; so to each his own.
My friend lost a set of expensive speakers due to a SOLID STATE amp passing D.C. Perhaps Schubert may want to know this?
It depends on the impedance of your speakers.In my case with high efficiency horn speakers with nominal impedance of 16 ohms my very powerful ss amp would not deliver adequate bass response,while a low power tube amp did get me the good bass.
As Charles1dad said: ...its all subjective. If the elements of music reproduction that are most important to you are not effected by different amplifier designs (in your system), then youre right - its a toss up.
Many "newbies" will not have the opportunity to audition tube and SS amps to decide for themselves whether or not the sonic merits of a tube amp are worth the additional cost, they depend on these forums. Audiophiles on a budget can not fly to the latest CES, and this thread is meant for those who want to get as much bang for the buck as they can get on a budget.
In general, I would say a good tube amp costs 3 times more than a good SS amp. From the thousands of reviews I've read, it seems that the sonic merits of tubes are never put on a sliding scale and weighed against the cost factor. While we agree in regard to pre, I disagree on the amp when the cost factor is included. That's very important for a new audiophile on a budget. For those who want to include sonic merits to the Nth degree without any cost considerations, I'll take tubes over SS; but to enjoy those "sonic merits" you have to listen intently, because if you're half listening, you can not tell the difference between good SS and a tube amp.
I agree with you that forums can provide valuable information(most of the times).My point was this site has a very good archive source that contain repeated/ popular topics such as this one.
This Crescendos rarely come for sale anywhere, that tells you something about the satisfaction of their owners.
I have been trough difficult cash times on graduate school, by my gear on storage a NO...NO.
they were the first speakers that made forget about the gear and focus into the substance, the music i guess....
Orpheus10, I admire your motivation. When I was a newbie, I was like a sponge seeking reliable information... heck, I still am. But I think that the range of opinions regarding tubes and solid state are so diverse that there is no substitution for listening. Sure, those of us who are experienced can talk about the sonic impact of alternative designs because we have reference points. But to a newbie, its like an interior decorator discussing fabric selection without the use of swatches. Even forgetting about system synergy [I have complete confidence (Im not going to prove this) that I could set up two well matched systems, where you would conclude that one sounded better with tubes and the other with solid state], we all have different values and a newbie hasnt acquired his yet. He might think he has, but he hasnt. Also, in my experience, tube amplifiers of comparable quality are less expensive than their solid state counterparts - thats not taking into consideration re-tubing. Im not disagreeing with you and your experiences, Im just adding mine - for the newbies.
Of course can happen with SS too, still tubes do it more often.
"Since I'm the kind of audiophile who wants the best sound possible, even if it's imaginary."
What does this mean?
The emotional impact of tubes and heat in those sexy tube amps. Works for me!
Schubert, Funny thing, I've been into tube power amps for 25 years. Had my fair share of tube fireworks - took out bias resisters and fuses, but never speakers. FWIW as I understand it DC can't pass the amps transformers.
I've had two SS amps. Both passed DC from a tube pre-amp and took out speakers. Go figure.
Since you are insisting that Tube amps are so dangerous, at least compared to SS amps, why not feed us some facts to substantiate your statement (or bias).
I'll look forward to your comments.
Only time an amp took out a speaker driver in my 35 years in this hobby was with a SS amp!
Amplifiers don't take out drivers. People take out drivers.
I'm sorry your hearing is such that you can't tell the difference between SS and Tube, seriously, you don't have to listen "intently" to hear the difference.
Ya, my Belles amp was letting DC out. No, I did not put my foot through them.....
I thought sure it was the pedal to the metal that did it.
No, I'm mostly an 85db kind of listener.
Okay, so I would agree with everyones perception of tube amps. I have a Rogue Cronus Magnum, source is Audiolab 8200cdq (32 bit) and Harbeth C7es3 's. I love my speakers and I want more power /current for tighter bass control and I want another integrated. I might get back into vinyl after 28 years without my Technics TT. Any suggestions? My thought has been Luxman SS but id like a couple of tube suggestions as well. The Rogue is not all that tubey to me. I like the Rogue and would probably keep it. Room is 12x18 and I listen to Melody Gardot, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis and Talking Heads.
Rrog, some days my system sounds so glorious that I'm transported to another time and place, but on other days it may not sound so glorious. What is real, and what does my imagination contribute to that euphoria.
In terms of longevity and service issues, there are pros and cons for tube gear. First, I have never heard of tube gear taking out a speaker when it failed. I suppose it is possible with high powered stuff (which I usually avoid for sonic reasons), but, it is not likely with most amps. I have seen many more examples of solid state stuff destroying speakers, but, even then, it is not a common occurrence and it usually involves a lot of stupidity (or too liberal use of intoxicants).
One does have to change tubes when they go bad, which will happen much more frequently than the output devices on solid state going bad, but, doing the replacement is easy whereas servicing solid state is much harder, particularly finding older replacement transistors and ICs. Also, most tube amp failures are easily repairable, while solid state amp failures tend to be more difficult to repair.
Depending on one's level of interest/commitment, the fact that one can substantially change the sound and tailor it to one's system and personal taste by swapping tubes, can be the great advantages to tubes.
Aside from maintenance issues, the main consideration is what is appropriate for the particular system and taste of the listener. There are a lot of speakers that are quite difficult to drive that may be more compatible with solid state amplification (sonically as well as practical consideration such as heat). As one goes up to higher levels of tube amplification, a lot of the sonic advantages of tube gear become less evident. OTL tube amps work better than pushpull, in my opinion, at delivering higher power, but, some claim that they work well only with speakers with higher and flatter impedance curves (they have sounded great with all the speakers I've heard them with, so I don't personally know that this is a limitation).
What tubes are you using with your Rogue? A tube change might get you what you want. In particular, maybe look into KT120s.
As for costs of tube vs solid state amps, there are some less expensive tube amps out there (up to about 100 watts or so). For efficient speakers the MiniWatt is amazing at $350ish. For more powerful amps, look at Rogue or Quicksilver. Line Magnetic may also be a good option.
For higher power with some tube sound, maybe look at hybrid designs. Vincent or Butler for example.
Larryi, you made a very positive contribution, not only to "newbies", but to myself as well. I'll have to audition an OTL amp.
In regard to the "tube sound", although I have all tubes including NOS tubes, I don't have "the tube sound".
Roscoeiii. I'm glad you said that. I was unsure of whether or not I could use the 120's. Ill probably give them a shot and report back. Thanks for the reply.
I guess Ill have to call Rogue and ask if the KT120 will fit the chasis of the Cronus Magnum. If anyone knows this off hand Id appreciate it. Those Tungsol Kt120's are pretty cheap.
just a question : what if a tube in a pre blows? will it cause any damage to the SS amp, no matter how slightest? as i saw someone posting says tube amp blows will damage speakers..