Opening a can of worms again: Why Tubes sound better

heliumflight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
1,437
Points
83
Location
delhi
Hello everybody, little hard to describe emotions which only single ended triode can only exhibit. No matter how hard a man drapes himself with a saree, he will still not classify as a woman. SET and SS are 2 worlds apart.
 

drlowmu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
528
Points
93
Location
Warrensburg, Missouri
Why the SET and efficient loudspeaker approach works

This write up by Steve Deckert ( Decware ) is one of the wisest things I have ever seen written in audio, as audio ad
vice. After about 50 years of chasing the " high end audio " game, about seven years ago I went to a two way ALTEC VOTT A7-8 speaker system, with my OWN very minor mods. Being that my 515B ALTEC woofer is front horn loaded, the speaker has about 103 dB efficiency.

It is my second two - way FRONT horn loaded ( directly radiating 15 inch ) professional ( movie theatre ) speaker system. Just as Steve mentions, I independently determined to use absolutely NO crossover on the 15 inch, and a simple high quality crossover on the Compression Tweeter. I believe I am finally satisfied. Oh, the time and money I spent, over half a century, to " arrive ".

My advice topm others is to dupe nmy ststem, and enjoy yourself. Work on developing a great amp, something that no one else seems to have equal in performance, and enjoy your listening experience.
 
Last edited:

manek

Active Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
335
Points
43
I do not know of any live album which are sonically superior to their studio counterpart. Live albums have a presence accentuated by audience engagement, all that clapping and roar and whistles that is not there in studio albums ( although many bands have simulated this in some of their studio recordings- The Beatles being the foremost, courtesy Sgt Peppers) , but no live album in classic rock at least is sonically better than studio albums in my experience. There are of course exceptions , most notably in jazz ( Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert comes to mind ) but they are few and far between.

So I too would like to know names of such albums that you are alluding to.

Edit: In case you referred to live music as experienced first hand and not to live albums per se , my apologies.
There are quite a few where live is as good or better than not live. Many albums recorded in jazz clubs are great but many more in classical music where orchestras play/record in their own or others concert halls (not in those comparatively small over damped recording studios sitting so close to each other that they could easily elbow the next person in the ribs or take an eye out of you partner). Now thats live buy any standards and is many a times played like a normal concert but without an audience and sometimes with an audience of the press and music production company. You can instantly gauge that. Many albums by Vienna phil, Boston Symphony, Concertgebouworkest, Gurzenich Koln, etc. sound fantastic as they are recorded in their concert halls which are acoustically superb and you can hear the sonics of the hall in the recordings.

The reason a tube amp sounds good to you is because of your listening room, your ears and what lies in between them.
About 15 yrs back, I had a NAD with a pair of Missions, fed by a Marantz CD player. Hardly top tier. But in that room, it sounded fabulous. We moved house and the magic was gone.
My condolences
 
Last edited by a moderator:

vkalia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
266
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Two words where SOME tube amp designs sound better: timbral accuracy.

If you cant hear the difference or care more about other attributes - they wont sound better. If you want a violin or piano to sound lifelike, the right tube amp is the key.

Now we can go back to our regular discussion as to which subjective preference is objectively better.
 

Hari Iyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
3,559
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
100% agree.
Having listened to both of Bhaskar da’s setup as described several times , I can testify the DIY SS driven Tannoys sound absolutely wonderful. They have a certain flavour which one appreciates better the more one listens to them. I liked them better on second hearing , and even more on the third.
Wondering, if you have listened to a low powered DC SET tube amp?
 

manek

Active Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
335
Points
43
Tubes !
Toobs !
Toobz !
Call them what you may but there is “something” that draws us towards them.
Its like the movie “There’s something about Mary”. For most of us once you are hooked, there is not going back. You love them for what they are, the good points and the faults.
Thats why people say they sound better, becuase they invoke an emotional response.

……..Ok enough of the BS. Let me just say it……They are just better ! 😂
 

[email protected]

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
1,254
Points
113
Location
Kolkata
There are quite a few where live is as good or better than not live. Many albums recorded in jazz clubs are great but many more in classical music where orchestras play/record in their own or others concert halls (not in those comparatively small over damped recording studios sitting so close to each other that they could easily elbow the next person in the ribs or take an eye out of you partner). Now thats live buy any standards and is many a times played like a normal concert but without an audience and sometimes with an audience of the press and music production company. You can instantly gauge that. Many albums by Vienna phil, Boston Symphony, Concertgebouworkest, Gurzenich Koln, etc. sound fantastic as they are recorded in their concert halls which are acoustically superb and you can hear the sonics of the hall in the recordings.
True for classical , of course, which I don't usually listen to.. I was referring to classic rock ,pop
 

drlowmu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
528
Points
93
Location
Warrensburg, Missouri
Wondering, if you have listened to a low powered DC SET tube amp?
Of course he hasn't. Simply being "low powered and SE" is not any guarantee of the most desired / best possible result.

Probably Hari, you have the only amp of that type - in all of India . Hardly anyone, outside of your family, has heard it yet. Same for me.

They do not know what you and I are talking about !!! Likely may be great persons, fine human beings, but presently, a mile-wide gulf exists between us two, and most other respectable audio people !!

Without seeing it ( ie: IN PERSON ) it is mighty hard to mentally relate to such a concept as color TV, if 100% of your experience has solely been with black and white TV.

Inexperienced people will not relate - and will think you ( and I ) are nuts. I have a good idea you are not !! Based mainly from my direct experience daily - at home in the USA, in my listening room.

Jeff
 
Last edited:

keith_correa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
3,689
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Inexperienced people will not relate - and will think you ( and I ) are nuts.
Jeff, no! I don't think most inexperienced (like me) people here and the "experienced" people too would be so presumptuous to think that anyone they don't know is nuts.
Repetitious and continual maybe, but, definitely not nuts. :D
 

drlowmu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
528
Points
93
Location
Warrensburg, Missouri
Jeff, no! I don't think most inexperienced (like me) people here and the "experienced" people too would be so presumptuous to think that anyone they don't know is nuts.
Repetitious and continual maybe, but, definitely not nuts.

Keith !! Decent post. I am evangelistic. Always have been. Not for financial gain, but to help others and to advance the audio art form.

All I can say is " Wait until you see your first color photograph, your very first color TV program, or first color movie ", as ONLY then, does it become clear. ........One can perhaps begin to fully understand.

The " proof of the pudding " is to eat it !!!!

Respectfully,

Jeff
 
Last edited:

keith_correa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
3,689
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
All I can say is " Wait until you see your first color photograph, your very first color TV program, or first color movie ", as ONLY then, does it become clear. ........One can perhaps begin to fully understand.

The " proof of the pudding " is to eat it !!!!
You may very well be right. But, most of us do not have the DIY chops like you and Hari have to build something like you have designed so we are destined to remain uninformed. And like they say: "What one does not know about, one does not miss." or something to that effect. :D
 

aeroash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
647
Points
93
Location
Mangalore
"What one does not know about, one does not miss."
GIF by Originals
 

drlowmu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
528
Points
93
Location
Warrensburg, Missouri
You may very well be right. But, most of us do not have the DIY chops like you and Hari have to build something like you have designed so we are destined to remain uninformed. And like they say: "What one does not know about, one does not miss." or something to that effect. :D

To learn, to advance, isn't where you live, Mumbai, very close to Thane ......... where Hari is set up??

Are you two guys on speaking terms??
 

[email protected]

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
1,254
Points
113
Location
Kolkata
Wondering, if you have listened to a low powered DC SET tube amp?
Well actually I have heard the Rethm Saadhnas, multiple times , which I believe are over 100db sensitivity.
The owner , @bhaskarcan , might elucidate what amplification was used for those beauties … :)
From what I know he has experimented with different types of amps (tube PP , SET , solid state , hybrid etc ) over the years and has settled with only SS amps.
And humbly , there is no single ‘best amp’ in audio world. Even Dan D’Agostino would not claim so for his Relentless.
 
Last edited:

Hari Iyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
3,559
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Of course he hasn't. Simply being "low powered and SE" is not any guarantee of the most desired / best possible result.

Probably Hari, you have the only amp of that type - in all of India . Hardly anyone, outside of your family, has heard it yet. Same for me.

They do not know what you and I are talking about !!! Likely may be great persons, fine human beings, but presently, a mile-wide gulf exists between us two, and most other respectable audio people !!

Without seeing it ( ie: IN PERSON ) it is mighty hard to mentally relate to such a concept as color TV, if 100% of your experience has solely been with black and white TV.

Inexperienced people will not relate - and will think you ( and I ) are nuts. I have a good idea you are not !! Based mainly from my direct experience daily - at home in the USA, in my listening room.

Jeff
I concur fully.

Are you two guys on speaking terms??
actually no.
 

jls001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
6,165
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
And like they say: "What one does not know about, one does not miss." or something to that effect. :D
Saudade is a feeling of longing, melancholy, desire, and nostalgia that is characteristic of the Brazilian or Portuguese temperament. It describes a deep emotional state; a yearning for a happiness that has passed, or perhaps never even existed.
 

vkalia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
266
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
True for classical , of course, which I don't usually listen to.. I was referring to classic rock ,pop

I suspect you may have nailed the heart of the matter - ie, why the genre of music plays a big role in determining what sort of sound palette one prefers, and also why these arguments keep happening (hasnt changed since the days of rec.audio.high-end and rec.audio.tubes back on Usenet in the mid 90s).

There is a lot of smug bloviating about "what sort of live sound are you trying to re-create/what about the sound of the hall/etc etc", which may be sound very incisive on the surface but which doesnt hold up to deeper scrutiny. A live violin has a certain sound, whether you are listening to a street performer or in an audience hall. Same with a piano. Yes, the acoustics of the hall vary, the distance you are from the instrument affects the tone, yadda yadda - but there is a certain something about the sound of a live instrument that is consistent and unmistakable, regardless of all of this.

Certain amplifiers do a better job of replicating that - especially when matched with speakers with great dynamic range. I am not sure how this has become so controversial - one merely has to listen to the damn things to realize this!

For people who listen to other genres of music, this probably doesnt matter much, and they certainly may prefer the sound of solid state amps. Certainly, SS amps do a better job with a lot of genres of music and I can see why someone may not like the sound of SETs in such a case.

(As an aside, I agree with the comments that there is no stereotypical "tube sound". You can create a PP tube amp with a lot of feedback that sounds very similar to a SS amp. I remember re-building a Dynaco ST70 with one of Triode Electronic's PCB upgrade kits... which improved the rectification, if i remember correctly. It was a fun project but that amp did not sound anything special. I kept it for a month or so before selling it off. Similarly, sticking a low-power tube in the early stages of a circuit probably doesnt do as much for the sound as people seem to think it does. There certainly is a heavy dose of placebo at play here as well. as with everything audio-related).
 
Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers in Red Mahogany finish at a Special Offer Price. BUY now before the price increase.
Top