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If "Tube Sound" Is a Myth, Why Tubes?

mhardy6647

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Looks like they're a mesh plate variety?

EDIT: Yup. TJ FullMusic 2A3 mesh plate.
Yes, although "Sofia" branded, in my case. Basically the 300B "mesh" (perforated) plate tube with 2.5 V filament.
Goofy looking dang tubes, but they do sound pretty nice.
 

Julf

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ahofer

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oh - haha, just ran into this on, of all places, the Roon forum:

https://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/w...iNvfcCIdzqzvLlPN0YMOYC3mUOLdszSrwNvt-FrlqHtVM

Tube amplifiers sound better because of the euphonic distortions they add to the music, as well as plenty of other reasons I'll cover below.

These are subtle effects most audible to musicians and very dedicated music lovers; casual listeners (people who "listen" with their eyes open while doing something else) usually won't notice, but sometimes the difference is so obvious that people's wives will comment that "wow, that sounds much better" when people use tubes at home.
:facepalm::rolleyes:
 

mhardy6647

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keebz28

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IMG_0306.jpeg

Present to you a portable tube headphone amp. I've had this thing for less than 24 hours and it has opened up some of the same music files I've listened to over and over. Distortion like many tube amps is pretty evident in some songs in the low frequencies but my subjective listening experience has been changed by tube sound.
 

tuga

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So can the "magic of tubes" be attributed to amps having output transformers?

Also "If by this one means "solid state amps are far less affected by impedance dips because of their lower output impedance than tube amps" I would agree. Noticeable, that entirely depends on the design."

I think he meant quite the opposite. Valve amps being less sensitive to speaker's changing impedance.
Have you read this?

Analogue Warmth
The Sound Of Tubes, Tape & Transformers
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth
 

ahofer

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Mnyb

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I think the reasoning are somewhat circular.

"
If "Tube Sound" Is a Myth, Why Tubes?
"
because it's a myth :) thats why.

Then follows , that the design of said tube equipment must adhere to the mythological and real properties we observed.
So tube equipment cant really move forward anymore , but must follow the fantasies of reviewers and customers alike even more outlandish designs and even more obscure NOS tubes with even more expensive design that's in reality is only slight variations of classic designs from the past with ridiculous silver transformers and magical capacitors .

A SYI pointed out any real progressive design which aim for hifidelity would be very similar performing to solid state equipment and thus not give you any mythical tube sound .

Imho it's not even a dead end or even a cul de sac . it's a dead end with blocked entrance :)
 

mhardy6647

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DonH56

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Yah... Like many others, I ran sound for (and played in) a few bands that insisted on turning the "suck" knob to 11.
 
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I agree and my vision goes one step further. People will not have to choose different amps based on taste, they will be able to configure the modeling inside the amp using an included app to make it sound “right” for them.

The app will be like the audio equivalents of the image editing tools of today. Start with current in the middle and they can tap in one of many directions to add more color so to speak or less bright or warmer etc until they settle on what sounds best for them. There will even be multiple profiles for each member of the family and for each type of content.

Mark my words, I prophecied it first. :)

The people who like their clean perfect sound replication amps of today will be relegated to the back pages of history and niche markets just like the vintage tube amps crowd today.

It will be the ultimate triumph of subjectivism enabled by objective scientific method.
I’ve tried to approximate this by sending audio via airplay 2 from my Mac to my class D amp. Using “audio hijack pro,” an app that allows you to drop any plugins on your system into the audio chain before output, I’ve added some high end and highly respected tube mastering emulation plugins to my streaming music. In my estimation it was never really worth it and didn’t add much or any “holographic” or “3d” qualities to the sound, and at the point where distortion becomes audible it was just too degrading. I did fool myself for a bit into thinking it was richening the sound with a bit of “thickness and shimmer” but honestly it wasn’t anything that couldn’t really be achieved with some EQ. For fun I’ve also experimented with tape saturation, vintage EQs based on famous consoles, and even cutting-edge ai based mastering software- literally remastering songs in real time to assume different sonic characters. Fun to mess with, (something satisfying about EQing your general listening with an SSL channel strip) but at the end of the day it was just coloring things differently - not better or worse and an OCD nightmare of immediately accessible and endless combinations.

The new active Buchardt a500 has various manufacturer-supplied DSP profiles / crossover configurations, so your vision is essentially being implemented, and I agree that this kind of dsp based emulation or customization is the future. If engineers can accurately emulate famous guitar amps, the tape machines and consoles of abbey road studios etc. they could certainly emulate popular hifi tube circuits.
 

MattHooper

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I think the reasoning are somewhat circular.

"
If "Tube Sound" Is a Myth, Why Tubes?
"
because it's a myth :) thats why.

Then follows , that the design of said tube equipment must adhere to the mythological and real properties we observed.
So tube equipment cant really move forward anymore , but must follow the fantasies of reviewers and customers alike even more outlandish designs and even more obscure NOS tubes with even more expensive design that's in reality is only slight variations of classic designs from the past with ridiculous silver transformers and magical capacitors .

A SYI pointed out any real progressive design which aim for hifidelity would be very similar performing to solid state equipment and thus not give you any mythical tube sound .

Imho it's not even a dead end or even a cul de sac . it's a dead end with blocked entrance :)
Dunno about that. My lil' old tube amps seemed to have sneaked by that entrance and I'm glad for it. I've still got a modern, well designed Bryston SS amp on hand and prefer the tube amps.
 
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