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  1. #26
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    Just out of curiosity, does anyone here play electric guitar? If so, have you ever played the same guitar on similar Tube-driven vs. solid state amps? What was your experience like?

    I always felt that tube amps for guitars were very warm, fat, and presented the sound in a very unveiled type of way, which is also true in my limited experience with higher-end tube amps in HT and 2-channel applications.

    There is little debate about tube amps to drive a guitar. While some guys prefer solid state units, they will rarely despise tubes like in the audio world. I own an Ampeg V4 which has the biggest and fattest tone I have ever heard. When I gigged regularily, guys would come after the show and comment. Tubes offer a stringed instrument everything a player could want, but tone is the key.

    As for 2 channel my Golden Tube can mop the floor with alot of SS amps, and at 40 wpc it's nothing to sneeze at. Is it accurate and unveiled? Is it dark and sludgy?

    It's quite frankly a giant killing, music making machine. But if someone doesn't like the sound of tubes, they won't agree. Oh well.

    Today I pick up my Ariston and kiss digital bye-bye.

  2. #27
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    Just out of curiosity, does anyone here play electric guitar? If so, have you ever played the same guitar on similar Tube-driven vs. solid state amps? What was your experience like?

    I always felt that tube amps for guitars were very warm, fat, and presented the sound in a very unveiled type of way, which is also true in my limited experience with higher-end tube amps in HT and 2-channel applications.
    Guitars depend on the added distortion of tube amps. That's why many design solid state guitar amps and accessory boxes with variable levels of distortion/crunch.

    I read this somewhere, and it's truth has stuck with me ever since.

    "Tubes produce music. Transistors reproduce music."

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    "Tubes produce music. Transistors reproduce music."
    A'int that the truth
    It's a listening test, you do not need to see it to listen to it!

  4. #29
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Guitars depend on the added distortion of tube amps. That's why many design solid state guitar amps and accessory boxes with variable levels of distortion/crunch.

    I read this somewhere, and it's truth has stuck with me ever since.

    "Tubes produce music. Transistors reproduce music."
    Bravo!
    Sir Terrence

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  5. #30
    RGA
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    Yes the prices of the units brought to the show were high for the common folk. They have a new zero series - a Zero dac around a grand. And a kit DAC for around that.

    I was at soundhounds yesterday and heard an interesting set-up. A B&W D800 their Diamond 20K plus speakers with a soolos meridian interface with Classe's top preamp and power amp. The dealer put the the AN DAC 2.1X in (to be able to stomach it all) and I have to say it was by far the best I have heard the D800 sound. I wouldn't buy it because the bass (definitely needed the subwoofer - probably could have turned it up louder) is always so lightweight in room but the mids and highs were much better than usual. A Dac can make a nice improvement surprising because the AN Dacs don't play nice with other gear sometimes but it did here. Classe is always a nicer than usual sounding SS match with brightish speakers like the B&Ws. Terry did a good job of getting those speakers to sound good. They also have the new 1.7 and it too sounded better than the rather crappy sound of CES. My dealer carries Bryston and is smart enough not to match it up with magnepan - top end Sim Audio and it sounded quite a bit better.

    PS - to the Quad poster - my dealer runs my 10 watt amp with the 2905. The Quads are not tough to drive - for decades one of the most popular amps running the Quad 57 and 63 was the Sugden A21a back then a 10 watt amp. Planars need more power which is unfortunate because they then have to use high damping factor high negative feedback amps and whatever the advantage the speaker actually may have is lost because of the amplifier. I have tried 2 digital amps with some saying they sounded like SETs with grip but I found they sound even more artificial than a good regular class A SS amp. I'd like to try a Jinro on a Maggie 1.7. The Jinro is 22 watts or something but it is stable into a dead short. It should therefore control any load presented to it. Run it from the 4ohm tap and Maggies are fairly stable.

    The reason I may not like Magnepan is because they may actually be picking up MORE of the nasties that I don't like about SS amps. I'm going to have to try and get them to run a more powerful tube amp. They have a 40 watt Octave tube amp which may work better and an AN source and then I'll be able to tell what Magnepan can truly offer. Bryston (Brightsound) is not really Magnepan's fault. Why those two showed together is boggling. Bryston got 3/5 stars in Hi-Fi Choice with comments about bright edgy and that was a blind panel level matched session and the Sima Audio match up was a lot better. I may drop by again today and have another go. See what it can do with Lady Gaga at 90-100db with my 8 watt OTO. (okay not 100 db)

  6. #31
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    Just out of curiosity, does anyone here play electric guitar? If so, have you ever played the same guitar on similar Tube-driven vs. solid state amps? What was your experience like?

    I always felt that tube amps for guitars were very warm, fat, and presented the sound in a very unveiled type of way, which is also true in my limited experience with higher-end tube amps in HT and 2-channel applications.
    I used to play and had a 100w tube driven Fender Reverb amp. I paid $250 for it in 1981 used and sold it last year for $750. It had certain tonal qualities around the mids that the SS didnít have IMO. Not sure if that is the same for stereo amps though. Seems like a whole different ball game to me.
    FYI,
    That thing could heat a small house in the winter.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  7. #32
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I used to play and had a 100w tube driven Fender Reverb amp. I paid $250 for it in 1981 used and sold it last year for $750. It had certain tonal qualities around the mids that the SS didnít have IMO. Not sure if that is the same for stereo amps though. Seems like a whole different ball game to me.
    FYI,
    That thing could heat a small house in the winter.
    I think that underlined statement is exactly why they are not suitable for studio monitoring situations. Tube amps have certain tonal qualities, and it would impart them on a studio master during playback. That is not what an audio engineer is looking for in a monitoring system.
    Sir Terrence

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  8. #33
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Tubed guitar amps are generally preferred simply because you CAN distort the waveform so easily with tubed gear. That "Fat" sound is a reflection of the distorted waveform and not a true representation of the actual waveform of the string.
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  9. #34
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    It sure kicked butt.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #35
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Without a doubt!
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    PS - to the Quad poster - my dealer runs my 10 watt amp with the 2905. The Quads are not tough to drive - for decades one of the most popular amps running the Quad 57 and 63 was the Sugden A21a back then a 10 watt amp.
    Poor choices given the low sensitivity of both speakers (83-84dB./2.83V/m), the amplifier would run out of puff long before the speakers hit 93dB. While the 2905 may well sound decent sound with 10watts, it would come alive with more power.
    My dealer carries Bryston and is smart enough not to match it up with magnepan - top end Sim Audio and it sounded quite a bit better
    On the otherhand, I read accounts from owners of Maggies who drive them quite happily with Bryston and have no complaints of excess brightness.
    It's a listening test, you do not need to see it to listen to it!

  12. #37
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    The Maggie's sound great with Audio Research tubes, and I bet the AN Jinro would be a great match.

    I go to a lot of blind wine tastings, and I would love to see some blind tube/ss and digital/analogue matchups. I go to a lot of live musical events (at least 3 a week), and neither ss nor digital sound real (of course to me). I still remember going to an audio store long ago that compared about a dozen speakers blind (matched for level). When they got to the AR 3a, I shouted: "that's it!" The rest of the speakers were crap in comparison. I would love to get a group together to do a blind listening event comparing ss/tubes and digital/analogue. BTW, my Audio Research tube units are nothing like "typical" tube sound (slow, fat).

  13. #38
    RGA
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    Yes the OTO could not play the Quad very loud for sure, but then quality is not the same as quantity. The N801 sounded marvelous with an 11 watt Set from Wyatech labs or Nuvista can't remember - best actual sound quality I have heard from the speaker. But the money outlay and the volume capability limits would make the scenario unnacceptable - the problem was that they tried McIntosh, Rotel, Bryston, MF, Sim Audio, Classe (all SS brands they carry). All could play loudly to satisfy but none sounded as nice. Certainly a frustrating situation for those of us with good ears who can actually hear the limitations of both the SET and the SS.

    The Quad 2905 on the other hand can't play loud and doesn't have any real bass to speak of anyway and it's not like the "typical" buyers are interested in bass and volume. I suppose people who tried stacking them realized the huge failing - wanted the midband but more drive - stack them is the answer. But virtually everyone I know who did that eventually gave up and went to a boxed speaker.

    The dealer had a guy travel 500km to listen to the 2905's on their top SS power amps from MF or Classe and the guy kept wanting to turn it up and up and Paul (Soundhounds dealer) just had to say this is all it can do - they'll break beyond this. The fellow was roundly dissatisifed. They're not about loud and they're not about bass so if you play them at low medium levels the OTO can do it. (I should make a correction - this was the OTO PP version not the SE version - my mistake).

    But it would be the same as the B&W SET issue that the money outlay would demand something else because you will want to turn it up from time to time. Tube amps do have a knack of sounding a little louder than their watt ratings and they also seem quite fine being pushed beyond their limits(though they distort). I'd probably look more at 40Watt+ tube amps for the Quad. Grant Fidelity's Rita is 45watts but is very powerful sounding and can ramp it up to 450watts - though it has a slightly leaner presentation. BAT makes a 150Watt zero feedback amp (monoblocks) that might be overkill. Andy Grove of Audio Note designed Quad's top amps several years back. Manley Labs also makes less expensive high power amps. Shengya PM 150 monoblocks at 300 watts into 4ohms is a very interesting tube hybrid power amp with better bass depth than the Rita and a fuller sounding presentation. And can hit very very hard. $1600 for a pair and they each weigh in at over 40lbs.

    As for people liking Magnepan with Bryston - you are probably correct. I am going by a sample size of one Magnepan dealer who also sells Bryston and my own auditions. Granted subjective opinions are subjective - after all if "majority" votes counted then Bose is the best speaker maker and McDonalds makes the best hamburger. George Bush got a second term and Britanny Spears probably outsold the entire classical musical catalog combined in her big years and Ace Ventura pet Detective made a lot more money at the theaters than The Shawshank Redemption and Quiz Show combined (both nominated for best picture). Like the saying goes "there's no accounting for taste."

    Edit: Correction Andy Grove designed the Quad TwentyFour/II Forty preamp power amps. They are designed for the panels and are 40 watts. My prediction of 40 watts plus wasn't too shabby. http://www.allegrosound.com/Quad_II-forty.pdf
    Last edited by RGA; 08-12-2010 at 11:17 PM.

  14. #39
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    Smile Straining a gnat but letting through a camel

    Yes the OTO could not play the Quad very loud for sure, but then quality is not the same as quantity. The N801 sounded marvelous with an 11 watt Set from Wyatech labs or Nuvista can't remember - best actual sound quality I have heard from the speaker.
    You've expressed your opinion, and here's mine, I do not regard an amp rated at 10Wch but puts out only 4 'undistorted' Wch as a quality amplifier. If a speaker has audible loudness limitations when driven by a given amplifier, the amplifier is heavily distorting and that's a not quality pairing IMO YMMV but personally do not care for high distortion even if it flatters certain simple music programs, You may like your music with huge dollops of distortion, I don't, But as you say, there's no accounting for taste.
    Certainly a frustrating situation for those of us with good ears who can actually hear the limitations of both the SET and the SS
    Smacks of someone who strains a gnat but then let's through a camel, doesn't say much for those of you with supposedly good ears.
    Edit: Correction Andy Grove designed the Quad TwentyFour/II Forty preamp power amps. They are designed for the panels and are 40 watts. My prediction of 40 watts plus wasn't too shabby. http://www.allegrosound.com/Quad_II-forty.pdf
    IMO, your prediction is unreasonably optimistic, 40Wch can barely drive the Quad ESL, claiming it was designed to drive panels is a quite a stretch.
    As for people liking Magnepan with Bryston - you are probably correct. I am going by a sample size of one Magnepan dealer who also sells Bryston and my own auditions. Granted subjective opinions are subjective - after all if "majority" votes counted then Bose is the best speaker maker and McDonalds makes the best hamburger. George Bush got a second term and Britanny Spears probably outsold the entire classical musical catalog combined in her big years and Ace Ventura pet Detective made a lot more money at the theaters than The Shawshank Redemption and Quiz Show combined (both nominated for best picture). Like the saying goes "there's no accounting for taste."
    All this nastiness and presumption on the basis of your auditions at your local dealer ,
    Last edited by theaudiohobby; 08-13-2010 at 05:45 AM. Reason: Additional material
    It's a listening test, you do not need to see it to listen to it!

  15. #40
    RGA
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    The Quad amplifier was designed for their panels. Same manufacturer - If you think the Quad 24 rig can't drive the Quad then you are calling Quad incompetent - which is fine by me but then if they are stupid why would you buy loudspeakers from them. They have already demonstrated their incompetence in building a 40 watt amp and you now trust them to build your speakers? That illustrates an even dumber consumer.

    As for your "theory" I have actually auditioned the OTO with the 2905 - You like making guesses about what things you have never bothered to try. And why on earth would the dealer with all those amplifier choices sit in the big comfy chairs and listen to the OTO driving the Quads? I guess none of the guys working there have good ears right. The 20,000 LPS and almost that in CDs and selling almost every brand for 35 years would decide to just bad-partner gear for the heck of it. Lame posters look at a spec sheet and draw conclusions based on zero experience. The fact that Audio Note's boss owns several Quad electrostatic panels and sold them for decades himself can't be right that the SET tube amp sounds better with Quads.

    And Quad has to be clueless as well because they thought so highly of Audio Note UK amplifiers with their Quad Electrostatic loudspeaker that they hired the AN UK amplifier designer and trusted him with arguably the face of their amplifier line. That's not theory - that's fact.

    So let's see - You have AN UK'S Boss who sold Quad for decades and tried every amp he sold or made with them. You have Quad like the match so much they hired the AN UK guy to build the amp for the panels - both manufacturers and all the designers think it's a good match. And then my dealer who carries a pile of highly raved about high power solid state designs decide to run a low powered tube cause it sounds better.

    All of them are wrong and a guy on a forum with zero credentials and zero actual experience with the actual products is correct because he read a spec sheet.

    40 tube watts isn't enough to play the Quads - LOL.

  16. #41
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tube fan
    I'm starting another thread as instructed. IMO, ss and digital flatten sound, reduce micro dynamics, and reduce music's tonal saturation.
    While I am also a fan of tube gear and have owned various ARC components since 1981, I will have to disagree here. I think you'll find that a REF5 sounds considerably more neutral than your SP-8 (I had an SP-6 myself). I have heard some exceptional SS (and digital) stuff from a number of companies. I use a mix of tube and SS along with analog and digital in both my music systems.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 08-13-2010 at 11:39 AM.

  17. #42
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Guitars depend on the added distortion of tube amps.
    You'll find a substantial difference in the design, execution and resulting audio performance between a Mesa Boogie and a Joule Electra Rite of Passage amp. First of all, high fidelity tube amps run Class A or highly biased Class AB for optimum linearity. Such is NOT the case with guitar amps. They are biased very *cool* for maximum output capability AND intentional crossover distortion. Secondly, the characteristic tone has to do with the clipping characteristics of the guitar amp and the tubes used. They refer to this constant clipping as its "overdrive" characteristics. In effect, they are always turned up to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. I think you'll find that if you always clipped your SS amps, that there would be pretty high distortion, too - at least until they failed ! As for me, I don't run my amps in constant clipping. Do you? The following will help describe this intentional distortion approach better found here.

    The Fender and Marshall designs use class AB for their output designs, biased with the valves almost off with no signal. This is more efficient (more watts per tube), and better for tube life. When you play, tubes take turns handling each half of the signal. This leads to some minor distortion as the tubes cross over which is all but eliminated with the negative feedback. Class A designs are rare in medium to high power guitar amps, but true class A has the tubes operating at half power with no signal applied. When you play, the tube fluctuates between full and no power, so there is no switching to add unwanted distortion.

    rw

  18. #43
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Huh? Where did you come up with this wacakdoodle question?

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    As for me, I don't run my amps in constant clipping. Do you?
    Your entire post starts from and simply expands on what I said. If anything, it strengthens my point.

    So, why the confrontational tone here?

    I'm not a guitar player but I've heard enough and know enough that I can say with confidence that the great majority prefer tubes for their tone in their guitar amps. Surprisingly enough, the few I know well enough to call friends have SS for their home stereos.
    Last edited by markw; 08-13-2010 at 12:30 PM.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Your entire post starts from and simply expands on what I said. If anything, it strengthens my point.
    This statement: "Tubes produce music. Transistors reproduce music." is conditional based upon two factors:

    1. Using a design that is NOT intended for linearity.
    2. The device is intentionally overdriven for creating the desired "effect".

    If that was your point, it was not very well qualified. It depends upon choices, not inherent qualities.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Surprisingly enough, the few I know well enough to call friends have SS for their home stereos.
    There is no doubt that SS is usually cheaper and more practical.

    rw

  20. #45
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I think I just got called cheap. If so, you're right. I am cheap.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  21. #46
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Tube amps have certain tonal qualities, and it would impart them on a studio master during playback. That is not what an audio engineer is looking for in a monitoring system.
    Only a fool would use a low fidelity guitar amp like a Fender for musical reproduction since they were not intended for that use. That would be like selecting a pickup truck for autocross racing.

    rw

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    The slight twist to your story is noted, now the amp is designed to drive Quad stat panels
    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    The Quad amplifier was designed for their panels. Same manufacturer - If you think the Quad 24 rig can't drive the Quad then you are calling Quad incompetent - which is fine by me but then if they are stupid why would you buy loudspeakers from them.
    Quad make electrostatic speakers and tube amplifiers therefore their 40Wch tube amplifier is designed to drive panels, a very good example of simplistic thinking. At least your new story is partially correct as the minimum recomended power for the 2905 is 40Wch.
    As for your "theory" I have actually auditioned the OTO with the 2905
    I do not doubt that you did so, probably sounded nice on some recordings too, it is still a daft pairing, you just done telling us that the pairing could not go loud a few posts ago, i.e. dynamically stunted at 79dB/1m that's unsurprising, a 10Wch amplifier can go only so far before it runs out of puff.
    You have AN UK'S Boss who sold Quad for decades and tried every amp he sold or made with them.
    He is hardly a disinterested party, the guy's peddling low power tube amps.
    Last edited by theaudiohobby; 08-13-2010 at 03:35 PM.
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    ...Secondly, the characteristic tone has to do with the clipping characteristics of the guitar amp and the tubes used. They refer to this constant clipping as its "overdrive" characteristics. In effect, they are always turned up to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10
    RGA's account above of driving the Quad 2905 (79dB) with the OTO, 4 'low distortion' Wpch, would most probably produce similar results to the above i.e. heavily distorted output from the amp, comments to the effect that the pairing could not go loud is a telltale sign of how hard the amp was working.
    Last edited by theaudiohobby; 08-14-2010 at 12:13 AM.
    It's a listening test, you do not need to see it to listen to it!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    RGA's account above of driving the Quad 2905 (79dB) with the OTO, 4 'low distortion' Wpch, would most probably produce similar results to the above i.e. heavily distorted output from the amp, comments to the effect that the pairing could not go loud is a telltale sign of how hard the amp was working.
    Perhaps, although the circuit topology of guitar amps is comparatively crude and anything but single ended Class A. The trick is that guitar players want to clip the amp!

    rw

  25. #50
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Perhaps, although the circuit topology of guitar amps is comparatively crude and anything but single ended Class A. The trick is that guitar players want to clip the amp!

    rw
    Exactly and the home audio user can avoid clipping the amp by not being heavy handed with the control knob. Hence the entire point of "not" being able to play the Quad loud witht the OTO.

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