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Thread: Tubes Starter.

  1. #1
    Kam
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    Tubes Starter.

    Does anyone know of a good website that contains a lot of information for starting/learning about tube amps? i really have zero knowledge in this area and am looking at a bunch of different amps and was curious to learn more about tubes. (i really know nothing other than i'd read somewhere that a high end tube amp at 15-30watts is more "powerful" (whatever that was supposed to mean) than a solid state amp rated at 100watts)

    if anyone knows of a good informative site with faq's and the like for a newbie, i'd appreciate it. have done some google searches and am reading up, but was hoping someone knows of a good site to check.
    thanks!

    peace
    k2
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  2. #2
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Kam - go to www.audioasylum.com and click on FAQ. You'll find categories of links including a category for tubes. "Vacuum Tube Primer" will give you an idea of what to expect as a tube amp owner. Also, if you monitor the tubes asylum or run some searches there, you might get some good info. Some of the advertisers on the right hand banner of the tube asylum have information pages at their websites.

    I bought a Jolida 202A integrated amp back in November. It replaced a Parasound pre and Acurus A100 amp setup. The Acurus is a 100wpc solid state amp. The Jolida 202 is 30wpc. I don't think I can say that the Jolida is more powerful, but I don't find the Jolida lacking in power. It can play plenty loud in my small room. As far as power or loudness goes, I noticed a huge difference between the 100wpc Acurus and the NAD 25wpc stereo receiver I used before it. I didn't notice much drop off at all in the ability to play loud with the Jolida. Probably the biggest difference is in bass control and slam at high volumes which is better with the Acurus. But I do almost all of my listening at moderate volumes.

    You can find a tube amp to match your listening preferences, habits, speakers and surroundings. I chose the Jolida 202A because it was a relatively inexpensive first tube amp, my listening room is not that big (small bedroom used as a computer and listening room), and it uses EL34 power tubes which are supposed to have traditional tube sound characteristics, i.e., lush midrange and high freq. sparkle. I've been able to tweak the sound a little by changing the driver and preamp tubes which has been a fun and educational experience. The power tubes are more expensive to swap out.

    My next adventure is to bias the amp. The instructions seem easy enough to understand and follow. We'll see. Otherwise, the Jolida has been trouble-free, reliable, low maintenance and enjoyable. It hasn't required the constant attention and care I thought might come with a tube amp.

  3. #3
    Kam
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    awesome thanks! the link was very helpful... of course, now i am curious as hell to hear how my nht's will sound with tubes... ah, as if i didnt have enough on my ebay and audiogon watch lists!!!
    i was looking at either an acurus or an aragon (the 4004 mkII, have heard this is a great match with nht, and while krells also match well with nht, they're a leeetle bit out of my range) and now including tubes!! so many choices!!
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  4. #4
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kam
    awesome thanks! the link was very helpful... of course, now i am curious as hell to hear how my nht's will sound with tubes... ah, as if i didnt have enough on my ebay and audiogon watch lists!!!
    i was looking at either an acurus or an aragon (the 4004 mkII, have heard this is a great match with nht, and while krells also match well with nht, they're a leeetle bit out of my range) and now including tubes!! so many choices!!
    Which NHTs do you have, Kam? I have a couple pairs of SuperOnes. One pair is the xu for wall mounting in the bedroom which I haven't done. The other is the high gloss black laminate we use for movies. I haven't tried either with the Jolida yet. They perform well in their present applications. Plus, I thought they might be a little difficult for the Jolida to drive, but who knows 'til you try? I could give'em a try then post.

    I did try the NHTs with my Acurus A100 power amp though. At first I was impressed. But, I thought the presentation became fatiguing. The other components were a Parasound HP/P 850 preamp and an AMC CD8b cd player. I prefer the NHTs with my NAD integrateds(2). The main source in one system is a Cambridge Audio D300 cdp. The other system's source is a Pioneer Elite dvd/cd player used mainly for movies. The NHTs would probably sing with the right tube amp. I think my NAD integrateds have a little warmer presentation than the Acurus and that's probably why I like the match so well. On the other hand, Mondial's Aragon amps, especially the older ones, are supposed to have a warm presentation. But hey, what I might find as irritating treble response, someone else might find as exceptional detail. One thing I've noticed with the Jolida is that I haven't lost any high freq. detail, but the treble is "sparkly" like my old Fender tube guitar amp after it's warmed up.

  5. #5
    Kam
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Which NHTs do you have, Kam? I have a couple pairs of SuperOnes. One pair is the xu for wall mounting in the bedroom which I haven't done. The other is the high gloss black laminate we use for movies. I haven't tried either with the Jolida yet. They perform well in their present applications. Plus, I thought they might be a little difficult for the Jolida to drive, but who knows 'til you try? I could give'em a try then post.

    I did try the NHTs with my Acurus A100 power amp though. At first I was impressed. But, I thought the presentation became fatiguing. The other components were a Parasound HP/P 850 preamp and an AMC CD8b cd player. I prefer the NHTs with my NAD integrateds(2). The main source in one system is a Cambridge Audio D300 cdp. The other system's source is a Pioneer Elite dvd/cd player used mainly for movies. The NHTs would probably sing with the right tube amp. I think my NAD integrateds have a little warmer presentation than the Acurus and that's probably why I like the match so well. On the other hand, Mondial's Aragon amps, especially the older ones, are supposed to have a warm presentation. But hey, what I might find as irritating treble response, someone else might find as exceptional detail. One thing I've noticed with the Jolida is that I haven't lost any high freq. detail, but the treble is "sparkly" like my old Fender tube guitar amp after it's warmed up.
    i have the 2.5's right now, but am a hairs-breadth away from pulling the trigger on a pair of 3.3's. the 3.3's were the very first nht's i heard and i absolutely loved them. they were run off of krells (i think the 250watt krell monoblocks, i cant remember the model #)and mark levinson pre. i've been in love with nht ever since and the super zero's were the first pair i got, running with a denon receiver (i first got klipsch, but thought the super zero's blew them away). i didnt like the denon that much and switched to marantz and have upgraded twice now (both marantz) and moved the super zeros to surrounds when i got the 2.5s. for the 3.3's i was thinking of the acurus a250 (which combo i have not heard) or the aragon (which combo i have read reccomended in stereophile and audiogon, i've also heard bryston combo'd with nht is a sweet sound, as the nhts are hard to drive with the 6ohm and 87dB sensitivity). i've been wavering for a while as i still do love my 2.5's and would defn sell them and keep the super zero's as my surrounds (the 2.5's would be supreme overkill as surrounds, in my setup at least) but a pair of 3'3s have presented themselves to me (as a gift from the audiogods) and am just waiting to see what my refund is before i snatch them up.....
    /create

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