Author Topic: Tube Amps  (Read 426 times)

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Offline tp4tissue

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Tube Amps
« on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 19:06:45 »
Not talking about guitar amps.

Tube amps seem ok for the goal of colorizing instrumental music.

But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?

Offline Faceman76

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 19:08:47 »
It's up to the personal preference of the end listener.  The remaster of Pantera's Cowboys from Hell is very bright and unlistenable on a rig that doesn't have some coloration.

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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 19:10:42 »
It's up to the personal preference of the end listener.  The remaster of Pantera's Cowboys from Hell is very bright and unlistenable on a rig that doesn't have some coloration.

Didn't we used to just say it's a shi7-master if it's broken out of the box ?

Offline Faceman76

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 19:13:28 »
It's up to the personal preference of the end listener.  The remaster of Pantera's Cowboys from Hell is very bright and unlistenable on a rig that doesn't have some coloration.

Didn't we used to just say it's a shi7-master if it's broken out of the box ?

I've never said that.  Unfortunately, there's lots of great music out there that's poorly mastered. 

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Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 20:22:13 »
Audio is wholly subjective and anyone who tells you different is either full of **** or trying to sell you something.

Personally I prefer the warmer sound of tube amps over the brighter sound of ss amps. Nearly every instrumental type of music benefits from tubes except maybe classical imo.

Offline jamster

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 21:49:35 »

But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?
Show Image


This is a bit of an easy oversimplification. Speakers can distort far more than amps, and magnitudes greater amounts of distortion are a key part of a lot of modern music (electric guitars- was listing to Jimi Hendrix last night.)

This also assumes that all tube amps sound the same... they can be designed to sound very clean and almost sterile, the can be designed to sound like warmed over garbage.
« Last Edit: Mon, 15 February 2021, 21:51:09 by jamster »

Offline Faceman76

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 15 February 2021, 21:54:04 »



But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?
Show Image


This is a bit of an easy oversimplification. Speakers can distort far more than amps, and magnitudes greater amounts of distortion are a key part of a lot of modern music (electric guitars, anyone?)
Except for headphone listeners, the room rules as far as overall sound.  I have a pair of large horns from 450hz-20khz in my living room for this reason.  The room is non-symetrical and imaging can be whacky with your typical high dispersion loudspeaker. 

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Online yui

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 03:34:20 »
personally i used an old integrated Sony amp with equalizers, and depending on the source the sound was totally different, i have an album on CD, LP and OGG and of the 4 sources (OGG from the phone DAC or Bluetooth DAC) the Bluetooth DAC completely overpowers the +- 10 db of the equalizer, the LP and CD are pretty comparable, maybe a bit fuller on some louder part on the LP but not much, and the phone is a phone, so not great. i also have the album on tape but my deck is dead... well so now is the amp.
next step is an even older Radiola quadraphonic transistor amp that i am restoring slowly, maybe a bit faster now that the Sony has died...
all of that to say that if you are searching for the artist intent you will need to reproduce their exact setup from the source to the room they intended it to be played in, good luck with that, well if you listen to more than one artist :)
i guess a rule of thumb is that old amps were trying to distort as little as possible with their level of technology, new amps that uses old tech will actually go a bit overboard with distortion because it is what they search of that old tech.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 03:46:23 »



But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?
Show Image


This is a bit of an easy oversimplification. Speakers can distort far more than amps, and magnitudes greater amounts of distortion are a key part of a lot of modern music (electric guitars, anyone?)
Except for headphone listeners, the room rules as far as overall sound.  I have a pair of large horns from 450hz-20khz in my living room for this reason.  The room is non-symetrical and imaging can be whacky with your typical high dispersion loudspeaker. 

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Hah, there is something to be said for nearfield. Not much, but at least you avoid room interference :)

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 05:36:00 »

But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?
Show Image


This is a bit of an easy oversimplification. Speakers can distort far more than amps, and magnitudes greater amounts of distortion are a key part of a lot of modern music (electric guitars- was listing to Jimi Hendrix last night.)

This also assumes that all tube amps sound the same... they can be designed to sound very clean and almost sterile, the can be designed to sound like warmed over garbage.


That's not how distortion works, though, you can hear 1% distortion through a speaker that has 5% distortion, depending on the type of distortion and its frequency band,  a higher speaker distortion does not obviate the amp's.

Offline jamster

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Re: Tube Amps
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 21:32:47 »

But for general playback of modern masters, it sounds really weird, since the distortion is directly against the artistic intent.

Thoughts ?
Show Image


This is a bit of an easy oversimplification. Speakers can distort far more than amps, and magnitudes greater amounts of distortion are a key part of a lot of modern music (electric guitars- was listing to Jimi Hendrix last night.)

This also assumes that all tube amps sound the same... they can be designed to sound very clean and almost sterile, the can be designed to sound like warmed over garbage.


That's not how distortion works, though, you can hear 1% distortion through a speaker that has 5% distortion, depending on the type of distortion and its frequency band,  a higher speaker distortion does not obviate the amp's.
Not sure what you are getting at here- distortion against frequency should be based on more than a simple tube vs solid state design.
 
Are you talking about 1st, 2nd, 3rd order harmonics? Again, that stuff is important, but (from my total noob understanding) also more dependent on the specifics of amp design beyond tube vs solid state.

I have a couple of amps. The slightly warm, 'tubey' amp is totally solid state. The dry, slightly clinical sounding one has a tube.