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Why people still use tube amps when there are plenty of tubes already used in the making of music

BDWoody

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. So please spare me all the bull. I suggest if you really are too serious abt experiments and all, read Design and Analysis of Experiments (Montgomery).

:facepalm:

Yeah ..

I think a little more time spent figuring out that you aren't chatting with your typical audio crowd might be helpful for you. I'm going to give you a little time off from this thread to explore more of the forum.

How do people end up thinking Stuart is the one to lecture? It's like a gift.
 

SIY

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fyi, a statistically valid experiment requires at least 30 samples, not a sample of one
No. It totally depends on what the specific question being asked (and tested) is. It may be much less, it may be much more.
my first-hand experience is a dubious claim of what exactly?
Audible differences between tube amps and solid state amps. When frequency response and levels are matched, this is an extraordinary claim. And absolutely dubious.
 

Jaxjax

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Except that once you compensate for the higher output impedance (a tweak of EQ), they pretty much do. Unless you peek. The vast majority of nonsense about "tube sound" is from people who have never done a comparison with basic ears-only controls.
I'm curious as to how many 300B amps you have ran in your life be it SET or PP .?
Joe
 

SIY

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I'm curious as to how many 300B amps you have ran in your life be it SET or PP .?
Joe
Maybe 3 or 4? There's one in the listening room right now. Nothing special beyond the nostalgia but this particular amp is really pretty.
 

MAB

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my first-hand experience is a dubious claim of what exactly?
i said tube amps distort at high gains. It’s physics.
It produces harmonics. Again, this is physics.
tube amps sound different from solid-state amps. see above.
I LIKE the sound that it produces…a subjective statement.
so which exactly do you wish to apply science?

fyi, a statistically valid experiment requires at least 30 samples, not a sample of one. Also, the “experiments“ I normally see here are the dubious ones. many if not all experiments here made no attempts at all to identify the experimental design or even whether it is a single-factor or not. No consideration given to extraneous variables, or interactions among variables…what variables are held-constant, allowed to vary, etc. No blocking,
no randomization…nothing. It’s oftentimes a sample of one with uncalibrated instruments, often devoid of references to measuring instrument limitations, etc. No stat analysis (which is a bit hard to do with one sample!). So please spare me all the bull. I suggest if you really are too serious abt experiments and all, read Design and Analysis of Experiments (Montgomery). Now, listening to headphones doesn’t need to be all that serious. Music is the one that should be enjoyed, not experiments.
The problem is, people have tried to demonstrate what you claim for decades, but fail. While you are apparently cooling your heels, read this.
Or if you don't want to purchase the article you can read the summary table.
These are large studies of populations of people attempting to tell amps apart, and they can't. A properly working tube amp is absolutely indistinguishable from any other properly working amp.

Also, tubes producing pleasing harmonics (i.e. even ones) is another myth, perhaps you might not understand, but harmonics are measurable.

There are multiple distortion tests to see how much distortion you actually can detect, and even software that actually produces all sorts of different harmonic distortion, and it is kind of eye-opening to see how insensitive to the harmonics you think you are hearing we actually are, and how loud the harmonics have to be to detectable. Then, if you compare to the actual measured distortion of an amp, you will quickly see that no way you are hearing what you think.
As starting points, you will be shocked at how high distortion has to be to hear it, and how bad it sounds when you can.

ASR has lots of information on how we actually hear (ears are not useful at measuring) and how our hearing actually causes us to imagine and as you say hallucinate, but not in the way you are thinking.

Lastly, you are lecturing a physics professor who is quite an expert on tubes, owns and builds (among other things), and the very topic you are lecturing about... Physics. I'm also a physicist who owns and builds amps (although mostly solid state, and not as nice as SIY). You know nothing about physics.:mad:
 

Jaxjax

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Maybe 3 or 4? There's one in the listening room right now. Nothing special beyond the nostalgia but this particular amp is really pretty.
Cool...I have ran a few in SET & my favorite a particular PP unit. MY PP unit made everything sound good & definitely to much for alot of people. I could never get them to match the perceived speed in the bass regions that I get with my class D active rigs. I can't get the vocals I had with the 300B rigs but the trade off favors active for me for now at least. Also keeping a quad of fresh 300B tends to get spendy..lol I do have a DIY 6l6 dual mono amp built by someone way back that's pretty insane .It needs work but weighs a ton.
On guitar amps... I just run SS pedal boards into Fender Princeston Reverb's. I've tried most all digital pedals; amps & they always go out the door quick. I just can't get along with em.
Joe
 

SIY

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I could never get them to match the perceived speed in the bass regions that I get with my class D active rigs.
That's usually because of high source impedance. Unless your OPT is pooping out, a bit of EQ to flatten things will help.

This, BTW, is why overdamped woofers can actually benefit from a higher source impedance. Morgan Jones did an article about some single driver units he ran off a high source impedance amp (The Arpeggio) and everything balanced out very well. I spent a couple days with his amps and speakers and indeed it was a nice combo considering the cheapness of the drivers (I bought them for him so knew the price).
 

majingotan

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That's usually because of high source impedance. Unless your OPT is pooping out, a bit of EQ to flatten things will help.

This, BTW, is why overdamped woofers can actually benefit from a higher source impedance. Morgan Jones did an article about some single driver units he ran off a high source impedance amp (The Arpeggio) and everything balanced out very well. I spent a couple days with his amps and speakers and indeed it was a nice combo considering the cheapness of the drivers (I bought them for him so knew the price).

That's why I run my Susvara out of 300 ohm secondary windings from the output transformers of my SET amp which is roughly ~60 ohm headphone jack output impedance based on the rough calculation from the KT88 plate resistance in triode wiring and an assumption of 5000 ohm primary winding. This makes the Susvara have that a very slight bump of ~1-2 dB compared to the FR curve from the recommended 1:10 damping factor or better in the bass region (it's linear impedance so FR change is very minimal at 1:1 damping factor) and acquire that mild Harman like bass presence despite the FR curve being ruler flat in the bass region
 

antcollinet

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I don’t know what‘s your obsession of what I need to understand about sound. Dude, I play instruments. I sing. I mix. I’m a classically trained pianist. I took a DSP course as an elective in uni.
None of which has taught you anything about phsycoacoustics - in particular, the impacts subconscious biases can have on your perception of sound. And everything you say suggests you either have no knowledge of that, or have failed to accept it as a possibility that can impact you.
 

antcollinet

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And (if you are given the opportunity to return to this thread), to help you reconcile these two correct but apparently conflicting statements:

i said tube amps distort at high gains. It’s physics.
It produces harmonics. Again, this is physics.

A properly working tube amp is absolutely indistinguishable from any other properly working amp.

Your guitar amp driven into distortion is not what we are discussing here. This site is primarily about reproduction gear, not musician/studio gear. When you see "tube amp", unless stated otherwise, you can assume we are talking about reproduction/HIFI amps, not guitar amps.

An overdriven guitar amp is not "properly working" in the context of reproduction gear.
 

er|κzvio1in

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I can recommend this recent mini documentary to people seriously interested in "tube sound": this is 15 minutes about tube guitar amplification with stories and actual guitar playing that is properly recorded in a pure fashion. The recordings contain so much tube distortion that any tube sound added by the playback equipment is completely negligible. Please note that the entire signal path from the players hands/pick touching the strings to the point where the sound is captured is a pile up of many serial stages each introducing distortion and phase issues, which is entirely the point for electric guitars. It goes without saying that routing a hifi signal through that signal chain will sound truly horrible, especially from the speaker cabinet which are very alive, undamped and resonant for electric guitar application.

 

antcollinet

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I can recommend this recent mini documentary to people seriously interested in "tube sound": this is 15 minutes about tube guitar amplification with stories and actual guitar playing that is properly recorded in a pure fashion. The recordings contain so much tube distortion that any tube sound added by the playback equipment is completely negligible. Please note that the entire signal path from the players hands/pick touching the strings to the point where the sound is captured is a pile up of many serial stages each introducing distortion and phase issues, which is entirely the point for electric guitars. It goes without saying that routing a hifi signal through that signal chain will sound truly horrible, especially from the speaker cabinet which are very alive, undamped and resonant for electric guitar application.

Again - and I'm not sure how much this needs to be stated - this thread - and in general discussions about amplification here - are about gear for the reproduction of recorded music. IE specifically in this thread about "hifi" tube amps.

Not about guitar amps - which are specifically designed to be able to generate massive amounts of audible distortion. HiFi amps are not.
 

Jaxjax

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I can recommend this recent mini documentary to people seriously interested in "tube sound": this is 15 minutes about tube guitar amplification with stories and actual guitar playing that is properly recorded in a pure fashion. The recordings contain so much tube distortion that any tube sound added by the playback equipment is completely negligible. Please note that the entire signal path from the players hands/pick touching the strings to the point where the sound is captured is a pile up of many serial stages each introducing distortion and phase issues, which is entirely the point for electric guitars. It goes without saying that routing a hifi signal through that signal chain will sound truly horrible, especially from the speaker cabinet which are very alive, undamped and resonant for electric guitar application.
That guy plays well. I don't think anything production related in tube land has anything to do with reproduction. My tube hifi amps Ive had that were colored to all get out were purposely done that way in the circuit,etc & NOT what a lot around here would call proper. That is a Dumble copy he has, the real ones can go $80k & up per unit. My KT88 guitar head has test jacks on back so when I set bias I do it by ear with meter hooked up. It is always in melt down runaway mode when I like it so I barely back it off & go thru the expense of alot of replacements. That amp only gets pushed with a font end clean boost. MY sorta clean tube amps are total SS pedal board fed. None of this has anything to do with reproduction to me so I definitely am lost on what you mean.?
Joe
 

er|κzvio1in

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Again - and I'm not sure how much this needs to be stated - this thread - and in general discussions about amplification here - are about gear for the reproduction of recorded music. IE specifically in this thread about "hifi" tube amps.

Not about guitar amps - which are specifically designed to be able to generate massive amounts of audible distortion. HiFi amps are not.
Have you read the opening's post? This thread is specifically aimed at having the discussion why the tube sound is desired in the reproduction of audio, when there's often excessive use of tubes during the recording part. My comment was meant to add an example of how much tube sound/warmth/distortion can already be in the recording and how that really sounds. Non-musicians and non-mixers/producers often don't have the hands-on experience with what full on tube distortion does and how it's really used when making music.
 
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antcollinet

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Have you read the opening's post? This thread is specifically aimed at having the discussion why the tube sound is desired in the reproduction of audio, when there's often excessive use of tubes during the recording part. My comment was meant to add an example of how much tube sound/warmth/distortion can already be in the recording and how that really sounds. Non-musicians and non-mixers/producers often don't have the hands-on experience with what full on tube distortion does and how it's really used when making music.
Sorry - misunderstood your post as suggesting reproduction amps will generate audible distortion.
 

rwortman

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The misconception is conflating 'what they heard in a studio' and 'what they recorded in a studio'.
What they recorded in the studio represents what they heard. You can’t separate them. The recorded signal is that which produced the sound they heard on their monitors, in their room.
 

er|κzvio1in

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What they recorded in the studio represents what they heard. You can’t separate them. The recorded signal is that which produced the sound they heard on their monitors, in their room.
Not entirely true, because studio engineering is about selecting microphones and microphone placement. For example close micing electric guitar amps: what is recorded is not what you hear in the room!

Similarly: recording pianos is (supposedly) a real PITA and a lot of recorded pianos that sound nice on a recording don't souns like when you're in that same room because they put multiple mics inside the case pretty close to the strings where your ears will never be and often exaggerating the stereo image by panning multiple mics pretty hard left & right.
 
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