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  1. #76
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    The Counterpoint can't supply deep bass to either pair of speakers while the SS can shake the pictures off the walls with the same recordings and volume.
    Tube amps are posed with a bit of a challenge when driving conventional magnetic speakers. The amp's high source impedance (low damping factor) does not have the same level of control to address the back EMF from the magnets. In my case, that is a non-issue with electrostats. Since they are essentially voltage driven devices and have no magnetic motors or EMF to address, bass extension and control are not compromised. On the other hand, stats offer a punishing load that requires a strong output section and power supply. My VTLs have 16 outputs and a 500 joule power supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    4- You just never understood what the rave about tube amps was about
    Bingo! While I've heard excellent tube amps going back to the 70s with the Audio Research D-76, I never really *got* what they do best - the midrange. Partly because I listened more to rock music back then. I was more focused on low end punch and top end extension at the time which was better served by a Threshold Stasis (which was designed specifically to drive one of the founder's Dayton-Wrights and worked great with my Acoustats). For thirty years, HP of The Absolute Sound has been saying that it is all about getting the midrange right. Even after briefly hearing the IRS driven by a C-J Premier One in his environment back in '80 and '83, I still didn't full understand the difference. It took many more years and more listening to fully grasp the difference. It is about their ability to more accurately convey the harmonics of voice, piano, strings, brass. etc.

    I'll differ a bit on the analog vs. digital thing. While I am a child of analog and have a decent vinyl rig, Redbook CDs are capable of wonderful midrange clarity. Their Achilles' Heel is top end extension although modern mastering at 24/192 and digital filtering has helped.

    rw

  2. #77
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    E-Stat:
    I totally agree. Tubes and Electrostatics, a marriage made in heaven. ESL's on tubes get the midrange right. That's why I switched to them in the early 80's. That sometimes harsh high end from CD's is something else we agree on.
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  3. #78
    3db
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    [QUOTE=RGA]Ahh you want it both ways.

    You want the test when it backs up your belief that things don't sound the same - you believe all cd players cables and ss amps sound the same and because people fail a test (which is arguable in the first place for many reasons starting with statistical innacuracy and sheer hoplesslessness of the people conducting the tests) and then when the tests indicate that people prefer Tube amps in general - including some of the most prestigious Recording engineers, and electronics engineers designing the best SS stuff - well you want to chuck out the DBT and say = well it's just preference and you should not do a DBT. /QUOTE]

    Your very good at not listening and putting words in others people's mouthes aren't you.
    I never said nor did I imply "well it's just preference and you should not do a DBT" Stop pulling things out of your arse and try to understand what teh person is saying without going on the defensive.

    I just said it was interesting how the test data changed when the test subjetcs were allowed to see. There wasn't alot of statistic funny math going on in that test. You yourself that alll SS amps sounded generic with weak bass blah blah blah. I also believe that all cables sound the same based on physics, theory of signal propogation through cables etc. What people perceive as real differences with cables is just the placebo effect.




    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    What Floyd Toole knows or does not know is irrelevant since he has been bought and paid for by a billiondollar company who profits on selling loudspeakers - the science is marketing - it is not independant research - they have a financial stake in selling the most product with the highest margin - not the best product with the lowest margin.
    Your arrogance knows no bounds RGA. Floyd Toole's pioneering work is the basis for speaker designers and his work has influenced the audio industry, not just one company.

  4. #79
    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Most SS tends to sound pretty much the same - kind of like McDonalds - there are subtle difference between outlets but generally it's the same Big Mac whether you're in Florida or South Korea. .
    Why on earth would you do a DBT test between SS and tube amps? They are 2 different beasts and the heavy generation of even order harmonics generated by tube amplifiers changes the sound. I would rather see it used between SS or between tube amps but not mixed. The DBT test mentioned here used the same speakers and they just noted how the test results changed with sight. Two simple tests were done. And if you want to argue this silly mathcing of amps, cables and speakers BS, well that was taken care of already. Here's the system, the bench mark like it or not. The only thing that was changed was the blind fold. So a reference was set wether it was matched to audiophool's tastes or not is irrelevant.

    The blind session I posted had more to do with negative feedback - and ESTAT posted one SS company (Pass) that believes in no negative feedback class A design - and Sugden's A21a is a Solid State Single Ended Topology (SET). The a21a has been selling since 1968 and it is imo the best sounding SS amplifier for relatively sane money.


    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Most people under 40 started with SS - they go to tubes they don't go back. There is a huge misconception started by people who heard 50 year old tube amps and their soft mushy billowy sound and lumpy bass and veiled sound and then heard the clear crisp tight SS and then go around on forums and say stupid ass things like "put a resister in the cable and it will sound like a tube amp" as if all tube amps sound like 50 year old washed out distortion generators. Who knows maybe they can equal that sound.

    But Chesky Records chose tube amplfiers because they chose "good" ones not 50 year old Pieces of junk.

    A good tube amp directly compared to Bryston spearates systems - the tube amp had deeper bass, more pressure of instruments - real decay, faster cleaner tighter attack, far far better transients - no noise, no hums, no groans, no hisses. Granted there are "tubey" tube amps that some people like - I don't. What I don't like is having to sit through an incredibly fatiguing fake experience and then for some clown on an internet forum tell me that what I just heard was "technically" more accurate because it has less frequency response deviation with impedence. It's non-thinking idiocy from narrow minded sheep who never bother to actually test their claims.
    Please back up these last claims or is this your perception?

  5. #80
    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Motors? How do they sound driving electrostats?


    Using motors.


    IT. Thanks for finally answering my question.

    rw
    I'm also in IT and I can't where an IT person would care about impedancee and electrical principles, signal propagation theorey, amplfier design, semiconductor maetrials even come into play when everything is rolled out of a box. I have studied all of that and more so please don't spout your unqualified opinions of impedance on me again. Its wasting my time.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Tube amps are posed with a bit of a challenge when driving conventional magnetic speakers. The amp's high source impedance (low damping factor) does not have the same level of control to address the back EMF from the magnets. In my case, that is a non-issue with electrostats. Since they are essentially voltage driven devices and have no magnetic motors or EMF to address, bass extension and control are not compromised. On the other hand, stats offer a punishing load that requires a strong output section and power supply. My VTLs have 16 outputs and a 500 joule power supply.


    Bingo! While I've heard excellent tube amps going back to the 70s with the Audio Research D-76, I never really *got* what they do best - the midrange. Partly because I listened more to rock music back then. I was more focused on low end punch and top end extension at the time which was better served by a Threshold Stasis (which was designed specifically to drive one of the founder's Dayton-Wrights and worked great with my Acoustats). For thirty years, HP of The Absolute Sound has been saying that it is all about getting the midrange right. Even after briefly hearing the IRS driven by a C-J Premier One in his environment back in '80 and '83, I still didn't full understand the difference. It took many more years and more listening to fully grasp the difference. It is about their ability to more accurately convey the harmonics of voice, piano, strings, brass. etc.

    I'll differ a bit on the analog vs. digital thing. While I am a child of analog and have a decent vinyl rig, Redbook CDs are capable of wonderful midrange clarity. Their Achilles' Heel is top end extension although modern mastering at 24/192 and digital filtering has helped.

    rw
    Great explanations for the sound of tubes. I am learning to let the deep bass issue pass while the midrange is incredible. I guess the new tubes in both the VAC and the Counterpoint have settled in a bit now and my observations are changing for the better.

    I had a great listening session last night and moved the Danes around a bit to adjust the bass output a bit. I played "Party In The Basement" by Pete Levin. Yes, Tony's almost identical looking brother. He plays mainly keys but many other instruments on the disk. Lineup includes Mike Stearn, Lenny White, Mark Egan, Danny Gotlieb, Lew Solof, and others.

    Next up was Jon Luc Ponty's "Taste For Passion" which does have some nice bass by Ralph Armstrong along with Allan Zavod and Jamie Glaser. Some truly awesome tracks on this disk.

  7. #82
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    I'm also in IT and I can't where an IT person would care about impedancee and electrical principles, signal propagation theorey, amplfier design...
    Simple. I'll explain it to you. I have been a music lover for nearly forty years. Since I was first exposed to the coherency and purity of electrostats in 1976, I have owned and enjoyed many of them. Such a relationship has required that I spend time finding amplifiers that work well driving them. Many do not. I'm certainly not talking about *motors*.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    so please don't spout your unqualified opinions of impedance on me again. Its wasting my time.
    You continue to forget the topic. It's about "reactance". What I "spout" is common knowledge for those who actually work in the audio industry.

    rw

  8. #83
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Seems to me both you and 3dB are both guilty of condeming DBTs when don't like the results, and resorting to them when you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Ahh you want it both ways.

    You want the test when it backs up your belief that things don't sound the same - you believe all cd players cables and ss amps sound the same and because people fail a test (which is arguable in the first place for many reasons starting with statistical innacuracy and sheer hoplesslessness of the people conducting the tests) and then when the tests indicate that people prefer Tube amps in general - including some of the most prestigious Recording engineers, and electronics engineers designing the best SS stuff - well you want to chuck out the DBT and say = well it's just preference and you should not do a DBT.
    ...

    What Floyd Toole knows or does not know is irrelevant since he has been bought and paid for by a billiondollar company who profits on selling loudspeakers - the science is marketing - it is not independant research - they have a financial stake in selling the most product with the highest margin - not the best product with the lowest margin.
    Floyd Toole had published most or all of his basic findings before joining Harmon.

  9. #84
    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Seems to me both you and 3dB are both guilty of condeming DBTs when don't like the results, and resorting to them when you do.



    Floyd Toole had published most or all of his basic findings before joining Harmon.
    Thanks Feanor. I wanted to say that about Flloyd but I wasn't sure. I don't condem DBT tests. I endorse them. What I was saying that I don't understand why one would do a DBT test between SS and tube becuase its an easy difference to hear. Picking either one is a choice on listener preference. Its analgous to choosing a car or a truck. It depends on the users preference and in that, there is no right or wrong.

  10. #85
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Contrary to your point, 3db, I think we need to take into account that many of the posters here, in particularly the "regulars", are trained listeners and are able to discern characteristics and nuances of sound that many others don't.

    Related to this discussion, I remember discussing with a friend my infatuation with tube equipment, explaining that (as Hyfi mentions) the midrange bloom was very appealing, etc. Simply the way the music was presented, was quite life-like and natural, giving presence to voices and wind instruments (saxophone, e.g.) that was almost eerie. My friend remarked that this was because of the amp's "dampening factor". Any thoughts about this or what he was talking about?
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

  11. #86
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    Thanks Feanor. I wanted to say that about Flloyd but I wasn't sure. I don't condem DBT tests. I endorse them. What I was saying that I don't understand why one would do a DBT test between SS and tube becuase its an easy difference to hear. Picking either one is a choice on listener preference. Its analgous to choosing a car or a truck. It depends on the users preference and in that, there is no right or wrong.
    I could be wrong, but I don't think it's all that easy to hear the difference between my Audio Research tube integrated and a solid state amp of a similar level of quality...probably not easier than hearing the difference between two tube amps.

  12. #87
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    My friend remarked that this was because of the amp's "dampening factor". Any thoughts about this or what he was talking about?
    Damping factor is the relationship between the output impedance of the amplifier and its nominal load where DF=speaker load / output impedance. Tube amps typically have a relatively high output impedance and thus a low DF. Here is the nominal case for my VTL 450s driving the Sound Labs:

    8 / 1.3 = 6

    Solid state amps, however, typically have much lower source impedance so that the DF can range anywhere from 60 (my Threshold Stasis) to 20,000 (Crown Macro Reference). The wide variation can easily be controlled by the amount of negative feedback. Low feedback amps typically have lower figures. The Crown has massive amounts of NFB which is dandy for specsmanship, but the sound quality suffers greatly.

    So, what does DF have to do with sound? In the real world, amps drive speakers. The frequency response of those amps with low DFs is affected by speakers which possess wide swings in impedance over their response. The curve of many dynamic speakers looks like the Scream Machine roller coaster. Stereophile magazine uses a load with this characteristic to measure the effect on the amps they test. Look here. The result is FR errors on the order of up to 1 db in certain areas. ( Some speakers are more linear in their impedance and are not affected as much. My stats, for example, possesses a shape with mild undulations, not wild peaks. ) As a result, there are some who assert that the "tube" sound is entirely due to this modified FR behavior. While I don't discount that effect with some amp/speaker matches, I find the tube difference based upon its inherently more linear open loop distortion behavior and more innocuous distortion profile. While the magnitudes are higher, they are in our sensory blind spot. Anyway, some speakers are not good matches for use with tube amps. Just for grins, I drove my double New Advents (which have a roller coaster profile) with the VTL amps. Yuck. The bass was thick and muddy and they sounded duller on top. I would use neither characteristic when describing the sound with the U-1s. The Stasis definitely works better with them.

    A friend challenged me that this is the reason I prefer the VTLs to the Stasis on the stats. I put that challenge to the test. I bought a pair of 10 watt 1 ohm power resistors from Radio Shack and put one in series with a leg of each speaker wire with the Stasis. That effectively lowered the DF to match the VTLs. Did that magically change the Stasis to match the VTL's ability to float fleshed out, palpable voices in front of you? Emphatically, no. That is not to say, however, that there are some cases where that may be the case.

    I cannot stress enough the notion that speakers and amplifiers must always be considered together.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 05-29-2009 at 06:21 AM.

  13. #88
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Thank you, E! Words to ponder upon for awhile....

  14. #89
    RGA
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    Last edited by RGA; 05-30-2009 at 01:46 AM.

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