- Aug 1, 2021
If you look at advertisements from 'back in the day,' you'll see that they were trying as best they could with the technology at hand to reproduce the signal as cleanly as possible.
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Compared to today's SS numbers, these may not be great, but it is unlikely those distortion numbers would be audible with real music. What's left is whatever the noise component is, but I don't think you are arguing that the noise contribution is what makes tubes special.
They are 'guaranteed for the protection of quality sound.' I'm not interested in a one size fits all fuzzbox. Hi-Fidelity and all...
If you go through McintoshCompendium on the power amps, you see basically with each generation their THD for tube amps stay around 0.5%. That is, they keep it with about the same sound (at least for the MC 75, MC 275 series). For MC3500, it was 0.15%.
For the SS models, the THD goes like 0.25% (2105), 0.1% (2205), .02% (2250), .005% (7100), etc. I think they mostly bottomed out around 0.005% maybe in the early 90s?, but that was really 1st watt to last rated watt. I skipped a bunch of models.