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Tube gear section.

Do you want a tube gear section ?


  • Total voters
    66

kemmler3D

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I have no delusions about how I believe my tube amp would measure. I just edited my post. I’d be thrilled if it broke 60 SINAD. A new Cary SLI80 is $4800. Hardly a good investment if you want SOTA. But if you like it and have the money. Who cares?

A $60 pair of pants with pockets functions as well as a $2000 handbag. However, nobody is confused about whether the handbag is a better value for holding your wallet and keys. I think the problem we've all identified is when new folks get some sketchy information about tubes being *actually higher fidelity in general* and not just interesting gear to play with / look at or use in niche situations like 104db/w speakers.

I personally don't think that's a serious concern, I voted in favor, but I get the argument. Even so, I think ASR in general already does as well as it can do (perhaps too well) at getting people to focus on a few metrics that actually matter. Lead a horse to water, etc. etc.

Probably grouping tube reviews together will make it even more clear to the uninitiated that the quantitative performance is not what they're best at.
 

Timcognito

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Amir should steer clear of testing tube amps. They are mostly old, tubes are extremely expensive, easy to damage and the amplifiers do not tolerate loads being disconnected at high power etc.

Also, the internal rails on most tube amps are high enough to destroy the front end of the AP is anything goes wrong.

I've got an Audio Research SP-8 coming up in a few days to fix for a friend. Here's the schematic of the PSU. Voltages are up to 630V in a preamp...

View attachment 231164
After you get to what you think is its best. Give it a test with some good recordings and let us know what you think. AR was touted as the company that gave tubes a Solid State sound.
 

MattHooper

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A $60 pair of pants with pockets functions as well as a $2000 handbag. However, nobody is confused about whether the handbag is a better value for holding your wallet and keys. I think the problem we've all identified is when new folks get some sketchy information about tubes being *actually higher fidelity in general* and not just interesting gear to play with / look at or use in niche situations like 104db/w speakers.

I personally don't think that's a serious concern, I voted in favor, but I get the argument. Even so, I think ASR in general already does as well as it can do (perhaps too well) at getting people to focus on a few metrics that actually matter. Lead a horse to water, etc. etc.

Probably grouping tube reviews together will make it even more clear to the uninitiated that the quantitative performance is not what they're best at.

Yes I understand, but then the same "concern" could be raised about any equipment at all. Name the device - DAC, Amp, Cable, Speaker, Music Server...and there are plenty of audiophiles making b.s claims about them. Here is where you can find more accurate information on a particular technology, and where if dubious claims are made, people get to see those claims put under the microscope.

So in principle I don't really see the difference between discussing tube amps or any other gear on the forum. And even if there was proportionately more disinformation about tube amps out there, that's all the more reason to have a space here where people can come for accurate information.
 

Waxx

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I voted yes off course as i own a tube amp and tube preamp and love them. I'm a cheapskate who don't give a **** about status, but i still spend some money on them, because i like the (coloured) sound they make. My preamp is even a generic and not branded very cheap chinese thing that i modded to be good (I spend about 200€ on it in total). So at least for me, the snobbery thing does not count.

I know they are noisy but don't know how noisy they are. I also know quiet a few tube amps and have my personal preference, but there is no objective data so i don't know how subjective my preference is. So objective tests would be great. I would send my stuff in for measurements if Amir did not live on the other side of the world and it costs more to do than i paid for the stuff. I don't think my tube gear will have a good sinad, it won't, but i would like to see the types of distortions and how it's spread in the frequency spectrum. I know for speakers what i like (wich is also not ruler flat, i have a preference house curve), but i don't know that for amps so that section is a bit trial and error for me (what is expensive).
 

charleski

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Last, there is debate on tube rolling. Is this the same as sighted bias/cables?
FWIW, I dug out a paper from Japan a while ago that measured a large difference in higher-order distortion between preamp tubes from different manufacturers, though this was only found in the first stage of the preamp, not the second. But they caution that, "results indicate that differences between manufacturer clusters are of the same order as those between outlier samples within a manufacturer". Different tubes from the same manufacturer will show a fairly wide variance in grid current at a particular plate voltage, which is a major component of tube distortion. Basically, every tube is different and there's no way you can guarantee that two tubes from brand X will perform the same unless they're matched using tests that are far more involved than the basic parameters thrown out by a standard tube tester.
 

MattHooper

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Basically, every tube is different and there's no way you can guarantee that two tubes from brand X will perform the same unless they're matched using tests that are far more involved than the basic parameters thrown out by a standard tube tester.

It that's the case it could make sense of my experience rolling tubes. Especially NOS tubes. For instance I ended up with a trio of NOS input tubes that I really liked and I wanted back ups, so I had the vendor send me precisely the same type of NOS tubes. But when I tried them out, they didn't sound exactly the same. Kept happening. Realized...yeah...if these things are making a difference it's hard to get consistancy. (Except as far as I can tell, the newer tubes, e.g. Tung Sol for my power tubes and Electro Harmonix for my CJ preamp, seem consistent).
 

fpitas

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Those of us who use loudspeakers exhibiting > 100 dB SPL /watt (@ 1 meter) sensitivity... already kinda sorta sussed this out. :cool:
Yes. Class A for horns used to be the rule. These days, Class D works well too, as a friend demonstrated to me. You do have to worry about the noise floor, but that's solvable.
 

mhardy6647

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Yes. Class A for horns used to be the rule. These days, Class D works well too, as a friend demonstrated to me. You do have to worry about the noise floor, but that's solvable.
I don't disagree re: Class D & high-sensitivity loudspeakers (horn-y or otherwise), FWIW.
 

fpitas

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I don't disagree re: Class D & high-sensitivity loudspeakers (horn-y or otherwise), FWIW.
I was admittedly very skeptical. But we both listened very carefully, even with our ears to the horn like the RCA dog :D we did have to reduce the gain of the Hypex module to lower the noise to inaudibility. That was one 1206 resistor, so not real challenging.
 

fpitas

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egellings

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How on earth can you actually solder something that tiny with resorting to solder paste & reflowing?
I think it would be cool if we could train insects like beetles & ants (those with nice pincers) to do pick & place of such tiny components.
 

fpitas

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How on earth can you actually solder something that tiny with resorting to solder paste & reflowing?
I think it would be cool if we could train insects like beetles & ants (those with nice pincers) to do pick & place of such tiny components.
We had a guy that could solder 0201s without using a magnifier, using two irons at once. I need to get it under the microscope and very carefully solder one terminal at a time.
 

Doodski

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We had a guy that could solder 0201s without using a magnifier, using two irons at once. I need to get it under the microscope and very carefully solder one terminal at a time.
I am PACE certified but not to this pitch... 0201s are pretty small. I can't say I've encountered a 0201 component in the wild and had to resolder it.
 

fpitas

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I am PACE certified but not to this pitch... 0201s are pretty small. I can't say I've encountered a 0201 component in the wild and had to resolder it.
Once you get above maybe 15GHz, 0201s shine. They have less parasitic inductance than 0402. And of course, you can cram more stuff in a small place.
 

tonycollinet

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I actually got around to noticing the poll results.

It has me somewhat puzzled.

I know there aren't a majority of ASR members actually clamoring for a Tube Gear Section of the forum.

But taking the poll to be a "For or Against" the notion of a Tube Gear Section poll...then I'm curious why many voted "No."

I mean, why not? What would having that additional forum do that puts you against it? It would be another place to discuss some of the gear some ASR members use and are interested in.

Why would you want to put a stop to a section other people may find useful and enjoy? If you don't care about tube gear...you just don't bother going to that section. Just like if you don't care for vinyl you don't have to participate in the Phono/Turntable section. I don't care for headphones at all, but I wouldn't have voted against creating the headphone section of the forum - it serves some member's interest.

??? :confused:
The poll is badly worded.

Do "you" want a tube section.

I don't particularly. I don't mind if others want one if one is set up, but I don't particularly feel the need.

So if I am to answer honestly I'd have to vote "no". Which is why I haven't.
 

Doodski

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The poll is badly worded.

Do "you" want a tube section.

I don't particularly. I don't mind if others want one if one is set up, but I don't particularly feel the need.

So if I am to answer honestly I'd have to vote "no". Which is why I haven't.
Sometimes the threads can be a bit slow and a tube section is a welcomed diversion from the daily doldrums of the same old stuff. We are inundated with tube questions from newbies and the experienced too and for them to have a place to post their stuff is a good thing. No sense in shoving tube stuff away when it could be welcomed and placed in a separate category where things will be organized and the tube peeps can hang out and do stuff in the other categories too. The more peeps the better I think.
 

Jaxjax

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plenty of us do tubes & the "ASR" way... Lotsa fun & good sonics in some of those tube circuits with or without iron. Will never forget my 1st 26 preamp I built or 27 for that matter..
 

Zoomer

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The poll is badly worded.

Do "you" want a tube section.

I don't particularly. I don't mind if others want one if one is set up, but I don't particularly feel the need.
Same here.
A tube gear section on ASR would feel to me like a homeopathy section on a serious medical forum. As does the vinyl section btw :p
 

Doodski

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Same here.
A tube gear section on ASR would feel to me like a homeopathy section on a serious medical forum. As does the vinyl section btw :p
I think of it as a DIY for the harder core. I mean seriously have you reached out and experienced what some of these tube aficionados are into and what they do in their daytime pursuits? Just a example but there is some impressive stuff occurring. :D
 
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