Trade- off, power SS vs tube magic.

As everyone knows, tubes are expensive. Can a higher power SS substitute for this "subjective" magic. One reviewer said he made the transition and did not miss the tubes. What do you say? Let's try to keep the speaker variable out of this.
yippee....another tube vs solid state thread.

Is there a price point for such amp ?

When I first got into this hobby, I tried tube amps and liked the sound that they have, but the cost of tubes is what made me switch to solid state.

Now, I will say that the tube amps that I tried were not in the same price point as the solid state amp I had, so maybe that is why I have no regrets of switching.
I guess it's a matter of perspective and priorities.

I just replaced the four KT-88 power tubes on my amp at a cost of $160. The old set lasted about five years. That's about $2.70 a month to keep the amp running. I spend far, far more on monthly fees for TV, phone & internet and cell service.

My 50 watt/ch amp provides all the power I need. (My previous solid state amp was 150/ch.) I listen at the volumes I like with no discernible clipping or harshness.

I know others listen differently, in larger rooms, or far louder, and choose different speakers. They could easily prefer a different amp.

That said, I'm surprised that anyone who pursues quality audio as a hobby would grouse about amortized tube costs.
Why have to make a trade-off? Simply get a Butler Audio amp - tube goodness mated to MOSFET power. These show up from time to time on A'gon. I can tell you that I am tickled pink with mine - the last amp I will probably ever buy...

A tube preamp can be a good compromise. SS can be very transparent, and the tube pre gives the tube sound.
Higher power, lower power top consideration is the speakers you're driving. Plenty of posts from people talking about the synergy of X speakers with Y amp. You know that. I hear some say this or that SS amp sounds like a tube amp, but it's the old apples to oranges comparison. I loved my tube amps, I love my current SS amp. My current NCSE has been called tube-like, but so have some models of CJ, Luxman, Pass, older SS Mac's. I feel SS and tube amps are just different in subtle ways and there is no getting around it. I like to hop around every three-four years (well did until the economy tanked), so much more pleasant moving lighter SS amps than tube boat anchors, and moving to Arizona meant I didn't need another space heater. I really didn't mind chasing down old RCA Black plates and NOS British tubes (really interesting learning about tubes and the culture around it), but saving the cost of tubes for music is nice too.
>>Let's try to keep the speaker variable out of this.


The performance of each is dependent on the other.

Do some homework on the subject.
What do you say? Let's try to keep the speaker variable out of this.
Orpheus10 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I say you can't keep the speaker variable out of a discussion of tube versus solid state amplifiers because the speaker is the primary determining factor that dictates which amplifier topology will work and which will not.

There are many existing threads that thoroughly cover the tube vs. ss topic.
Audiofeil, Tvad, every moron who ever read a book knows about the speaker variable. You could have kept that. Others seem to know the question I am asking. Why don't you?
Speaking only for myself, I am not like you and the other morons you speak of. However, you fit well into that grouping based on this and other threads.

That being said, I know the subject matter.

It would behoove you to have a modicum of it before blasting others.

Others seem to know the question I am asking. Why don't you?
Orpheus10 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
OK. I'll directly answer the question, "Can a higher power SS substitute for this "subjective" magic?"

There is no definitive answer. It depends on the listener and his choice of subjective trade-offs.

The reasons for the lack of a universal answer are: listener preference, speaker design.
Mlsstl, you may have given me "my" right answer. An amp for 5K puts out 250wpc. With a tube amp it's not a matter of getting 250 wpc, but how many WPC can I get for 5K. Of course both amps must deliver the sound quality that we demand.
Well I was going to post, but shall decline due to my moronic tendency to point out the obvious.

Enjoy your search for amplifier nirvana.
Am I to ass-u-me the speaker will work equally as well with tubes or solid state? Is the primary concern the amount of power or sound quality?
There's no such thing as magic, tube or otherwise. And you can't keep the speaker out of the amplifier equation.
I have never heard SS sound like tubes, not even several Pass amps said to be the closest thing. The speaker variable you choose to leave out of equation makes it impossible to answer, though you may not like that answer, some speakers will work better with SS, magic or not, and will make some great tube amps sound terrible, tube amps need smooth speaker impedance and the higher the better, if you don't have that, and SS amp is likely to be preferable.
Come on guys take it easy.

Let's not confuse Orpheus 10 with the facts.

No such thing as magic? You must be listening to solid state!
I forgot, this is "Audiogon", not "Musiogon". Those of us who can appreciate the subtle "nuances" that only a tube amp can deliver; must contend with those who can not.
Orp10, if you're one of the few that can appreciate the subtle nuances that ONLY a tube amp can deliver, then why did you ask the question in the first place? Not that I agree since I sit listening to magical music provided by my humble
SS system. And Class D amplification at that. (Previous amp was tubed)
Oh yeah, and you don't have to contend with us.
Music is a peaceful endeavor, so let's leave the flames at home, OK? As Prince said, "I have two sides, and they both friends."
I'm with you Bojack, it's just that not everyone appreciates my sense of humor.
>>08-18-10: Orpheus10
it's just that not everyone appreciates my sense of humor<<

Not true at all.

I find you an extremely comedic character.
To answer your question and in my opinion, NO. There are plenty of variabls as already stated about plus your own preerences. That being said, there are ways to modify both to make them better but I have never heard a SS amp do what a tube amp can do in the right system. Same goes for a tube amp. Trade offs can be limited but then it comes down to person taste.
Who would've guessed, a thread about SS vs. tubes. Another thread where things get contetious and Bill is in the middle of it. Another thread where things make no sense at all and Tvad trys to reason for us. And another senseless thread forwarded by Orpheus in his endearing passive/agressive fashion. Who says that history doesn't repeat itself?
Oh, and another post where Marty is a surly ass.

This would be a good time to let people know that you are a dealer.
I wish you could 'leave the speakers out of it'.
Sorry, no can do. What you get as sound is not just 'amp' or 'speaker', but the combo. Happy combo makes good sound. mating a speaker with hi impedance swings and huge phase angles on even the best tube amp will probably result in unhappy. Likewise, a good, well executed SDFR design may be happier with tubes.
It's all about that mystical term....'synergy'.
>>08-18-10: Sounds_real_audio
This would be a good time to let people know that you are a dealer<<

Sure thing soundsreally.

Simply point out the manufacturer and/or model I've mentioned which connects me to a financial interest in one of their products.

Take your time.
Sounds_real_audio, why should Bill let everyone know that he is a dealer if he not only hasn't endorsed any products in the thread, but hasn't even forwarded a strategy for building a system. In fact, he hasn't done anything except get into the fray. There's no commerical gain in that, nor is there any bias involved.
The answer is that this was a troll from the outset and you all are providing the entertainment that the OP sought in the first place.
FWIW there is something special I hear from tube amps that no SS amp has imitated. The answer is not slow, dark, warm to excess, rolled off, droopy, syrupy sound either, quite the opposite, I get crystalline top end, holographic imaging. and transparency. I will admit SS has generally better bass emphasis extension and control. That said my tube amps with my speakers deliver very satisfying bass never the less.
"This would be a good time to let people know that you are a dealer."

Not that he needs my help, but I have to throw in with Audiofeil on this one. In addition to the reasons already mentioned, Audiofeil has served as nothing less than Audiogon's most stalwart advocate of dealer disclosure when it make even the slightest sense.
I was entralled with my BAT VK500 solid state amp, but I'm not surprised given BAT's preference for tubes. It's really hard to say whether it was "tube like" as I have a BAT tubed preamp, but having used other SS amps since then, I have to say BAT had the tube sound dialed in on their SS amps. Stupid good, kicking myself for selling it.
One needs a good dealer after reading this.
If we have to explain, you wouldn't understand!
"One needs a good dealer after reading this."..............Totally agree with Bjesien,s comment. Oh well I learned Audiofeil is a dealer and all this time I just thought he was using. Cheers
One observation...if you keep the speakers out of it, both SS and tubed amps begin to sound remarkably....alike :?)

Seriously, you just gotta listen to a lot of gear then buy what you like. Both tubed amps and SS amps can sound good but they tend to have somewhat different strengths. Don't forget about hybrids - check out Lamm, Moscode and others. Make sure you have enough power for your sp...kers and room size. And, don't worry, once you settle in on something you like, something else will come along that you think you like better.
It's threads like this that put the, "FUN" back in dysfunctional. =8^)
Hack, it's amazing that you should mention the BAT VK 500. That's the amp I want to audition and compare to a tube amp.
Don't connect the BAT up to your speakers though. Leave the speakers
out of your evaluation to remain true to the spirit of the thread ;)
It's nice to be among geniouses (is that the proper plural for more than one genious). I know that P = E x I, and several other formulas for "watts". But what I don't know is how to substitute "tube watts" for "SS watts"; and I would appreciate it if no one told me "Watts is watts".
So rather than actually state what speaker/amp you're currently using and asking for a comparison/comment to the BAT amp you instead ask a vague question about solid state vs. tube amps. Then you compound it by getting snippy with those who point out your fallacious premise. If you don't like how the thread has evovled, you have no one to blame but yourself. A direct question based upon factual info would have gotten you better responses.

BTW, a watt is a watt. A tube watt a millisecond after clipping can be different than a solid state watt under the same circumstances. But again, much depends upon the specific speaker load.
2 tube watts = 847 SS watts - that should help.
OH- And it's G-E-N-I-U-S, not genious, BTW.
Orpheus10 I have audio valve challangers and jeff roland model 6 mono's;my 2 sets of speakers are soundlab m2's and usher rw729's.I listen to both combos when I feel like moving gear around and the tubes seem to me in my enviroment to present a more lifelike/realistic presentation of the source material;however the rolands do sound very tube like as well but I still prefer the tubes.
My taste in music run from jazz,vocals,easy listening,acoustic,and pink floyd even drops in now and then.
Audiofiel,T-vad, onhway61, malfan; my speakers are custom built 3 way. The crossover was designed by an eccentric engineer who did nothing else. It utilizes Solen Metallized polypropylene capacitors for the woofer, and Jantzen Superior Series Z-capacitors for the midrange and tweeter. The tweeter is a ESS Heil air motion transformer, the mid driver is Vifa 6 inch mid woofer, the woofer is a 12 inch Pioneer. Each driver has it's own crossover, that means three crossovers per side. Speaker wire is maximized for each driver; copper silver composite for the tweeter and so on. It is a 3-way 4th order T-type; the crossover frequencies are 400/2500; 92DB efficiency. At present, they are operating on the 4 ohm out of a tube amp.

The ESS AMT is a dipole, this accentuates the "Holographic" sound stage which is behind the speakers, that appear for the most part to be useless pieces of furniture. Non audiophiles have to get up and look behind the speakers for hidden speakers, since that is where the sound is emanating from.

If this is not a good enough descripiton, I can provide more.
Wow! Maybe we should ask you, Can a higher power SS substitute for this "subjective" magic?
I've been reading these posts thinking that eventually, I'd get a better handle on your question. That's not meant to be a put-down; there are just different ways that I can interpret your question. If I interpret it literally, the answer is easy because when you use the term ""subjective" magic", you're question implies its own answer: everyone will have to decide for themselves. You can't ask for an objective answer to a question with subjective variables.

If I may suggest a question that might serve your purpose and get you a better response, it would be something like: Is there some ineffable quality exclusive to tubes (tube magic)?

Tubes and SS share most audiophile desired virtues to some degree e.g., warmth, soundstage, transparency, detail, dynamics. Each design has it's reputation for providing a mix of those virtues with different relative values. If a designer develops a product with virtues typically associated with the other design, it's called tubelike if it's SS and vice versa. But if there exists an ineffable quality to tubes that some might be sensitive to and others not, that will be the determining factor in the question of whether or not solid state can replace tubes.
The one quality I consistently prefer in tubes over SS is in creating the perception of dimensionality, or body.
The question with tubes is: "how would you like your signals to be distorted?" (I think most people refer to this distortion as "warmth") To that extent, if your interest is in tubes, then the only answer is that you have to listen to each amplifier in question and pick the one that colors the signal in the manner that is most pleasing to your ears.