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Can one tube sound faster/slower than another?

Legion1capone

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Ive started tube rolling an fx audio tube-01 and there are definite differences between them. What I'm noticing most is the latest tube I have sounds much slower. Which makes it superb for classical and instruments but not great for most other genres. Is there a definitive guide to tubes and their sounds? Can different tubes sound slower/faster than another?
 

solderdude

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Depends on the circuit it is in.
Some tubes can show roll-off in the audible range.

The perceived 'speed' of sound, however, is in a frequency range well below that of the roll-off though.

Try tube rolling 'blind' by someone else rolling the tubes and you not seeing/knowing which tube is being used.
Quite possible the perceived 'speed' differences might be more difficult to detect.
 
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tired_guru

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Can different tubes sound slower/faster than another?

I think it depends more on the application itself than tube type. Could be because of dull, muddy sound, lack of resolution or high frequency roll-off. Could be also not so great impulse response & transients handling. If you have low impedance HPs connected to OTL, you will have extremely bad damping factor because of high output impedance of the amp. It can alter HPs frequency and have poor damping of the diaphragm during big amplitude shifts thus not having "speed" as control over the HPs diaphragms (so there can be more decay instead of sudden stop of moving diaphragm, especially for double bass low frequencies hanging in the air for too long after attack).

Edit: Just checked out the amp - this is not amp but only tube preamp with 600 ohms output impedance. Powered by 12V external pulse power supply ; / Considering price of the amp and probably "starvation mode" of tubes plates because of low voltage (unless there is some step up converter on pcb), I would not invest too much in "fancy" NOS tubes.
 
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bravomail

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I had my share of "tube rolling" in the 80s - when lamp in my radio or TV died. It is no fun. I'm not going back. :)
 

Julf

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The perceived 'speed' of sound, however, is in a frequency range well below that of the roll-off though.

This. The word "speed" as used by audiophiles/audio reviewers has nothing to do with speed as the rest of the world understands it.
 

Wombat

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It is a matter of tube characteristics and whether the new tube is suitably biased. There are large variations in the specs of manufactured tubes within a brand type( and their licensed re-brands) and other independent brand tubes of the same designation may not be as equivalent as you may think. Not many tube rollers deal with these differences and re-biasing.

This audiophile tinkering practice has certainly depleted the NOS supply of good tubes for no rational reason. :mad:
 

Wombat

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This. The word "speed" as used by audiophiles/audio reviewers has nothing to do with speed as the rest of the world understands it.

So fill us in.
 

Julf

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So fill us in.

For the rest of the world, "speed" means how fast an object moves (technically the magnitude part of velocity - the rate of change in position). In audio, anything that can reproduce a 20 kHz sine wave at full amplitude (so pretty much all our systems) moves/changes fast enough.

When an audio reviewer talks of "speed", it is usually about a certain coloration (and sometimes distortion) that emphasizes rhythmical, short and/or percussive elements in the music.
 

Wombat

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For the rest of the world, "speed" means how fast an object moves (technically the magnitude part of velocity - the rate of change in position). In audio, anything that can reproduce a 20 kHz sine wave at full amplitude (so pretty much all our systems) moves/changes fast enough.

When an audio reviewer talks of "speed", it is usually about a certain coloration (and sometimes distortion) that emphasizes rhythmical, short and/or percussive elements in the music.

Sorry, I don't get it. That coloration, distortion, vague emphasis stuff. I need further explanation.
 

Julf

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Wombat

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What do you mean by "speed" in audio?

I don't know what is meant by subjective 'speed' in audio. You did not make it clear in objective terms. Otherwise it is a loose term
 

Julf

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I don't know what is meant by subjective 'speed' in audio. You did not make it clear in objective terms. Otherwise it is a loose term

Ah, I see. Yes, that is precisely my point - "speed" in audio is not an objective term. It is pretty much meaningless.
 
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