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Author Topic: your power amp: tube or solid state?  (Read 12746 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2005, 07:54:45 am »

Bryston 4B and 3B here @ Acoustik Musik.

I auditioned a wonderful tube amplifier here for about a week. Made by a local company called Western Reserve Audio. It sounded really clean and powered my Alon IVs very well. Two problems with the tube amp HEAT and it cost $7500.00. The money I could, if needed, scrape together. The heat is another story. I could literally turn off the heat to my mastering studio and use the amp for a heater in the winter (AC is something else entirely). But the amplifier sounds wonderful and I understand the builder has had a couple of inquires from Mastering facilities, including Telarc, about auditioning it. He does not have a website or I would post it.

The last tube amplifier I had was a Dynaco 70 back in the 70's. It was a nice amplifier and I hand built it from a kit.

I love my Bryston and who can beat a 20 year warranty that is transferable.



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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Ed Littman

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2005, 08:01:10 am »

Ronny wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 02:01

I think a lot of that comes from the guitar amp thing, tube amps versus solid state, "that tube sound", so they apply it to all power amps. It's been my experience that most tube power amps with the typical gain control and nothing else, are transparent when the tubes are maintained.




And most of us know that the attractive tone from a guitar amp comes from pushing the power not the preamp tubes.
i guess some audiophile marketers are closet guitbox slingers too... Very Happy
Ed
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Spiritwalkerpro

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2005, 10:04:44 am »

Nice to hear that some of you folks are using Bryston amps, they are a fine Canadian company.  I'm not mastering but run a demo studio and have been monitoring on a 3B or 4B for years.  I sometimes wonder if there is something better, but hey if they ain't broke why replace it!  It's not like I don't have other things to repair and worry about!

Norm
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carlsaff

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2005, 10:25:03 am »

I agree -- my Bryston ain't broke! No strong desire to fix it. It's a real amp.

I was just curious if everyone here shared my gut feeling that tube amps don't have a place in the mastering studio, and it seems that most agree with me that save a few exceptionally well-designed (read expensive) models, we're all better off with solid state amps.

Sorry if the topic was a moot point from the get go. What can I say... I was bored.

EP

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2005, 12:32:47 pm »

Threshold s350e here. Older, but solid [no pun intended] and was a good deal.

As a side query: anyone listened to the 'new generation' 'digital amps', such as the PowerPhysics modules (used by NHT in their corrected/powered setup) or similar?

Rumor has it that this technology has matured and is on par with the better class A or A/AB amps.......although previously more or less confined to trunk-rattler car stereo installs.....
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rondr

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2005, 12:39:49 pm »

Bryston 4B SST Pro
Bryston 4B ST consumer
Sonic Frontiers Power 1 Tube amplifier

Ron Rice
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mastermind

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2005, 01:33:26 pm »

Bryston 7B's for the lows on the Dunlavy's, Bryston 4BSST for the mid/top. Love 'em.

carlsaff wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 09:25


I was just curious if everyone here shared my gut feeling that tube amps don't have a place in the mastering studio, and it seems that most agree with me that save a few exceptionally well-designed (read expensive) models, we're all better off with solid state amps.


Yup... I agree 100% with that....

best,
t
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trevor sadler
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Glenn Bucci

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2005, 02:23:45 pm »

I would not want an tube amp that colors the sound of the music. I can't afford Bryston, but my Carvin amp (though not the same) is very respectable. It is also very clean and transparent.

HEAR THE DIFFERENCE
SUPER CLEAN – less than .1% THD +- 1dB 20 to 20kHz • CRYSTAL CLEAR – TRANSPARENT– doesn’t sound “processed” • HIGH SLEW-RATE – better than 50 volts per
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bobkatz

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2005, 07:30:22 pm »

I just did another amp shootout against a pair of high end mono blocks, and once again the Pass X250 won. Better depth and space by far, more solid and extended bottom end, effortless dynamic range, drives the difficult Lipinski load, pure tonality without sounding "artificial", revealing. It's a very special amp, has very few rivals. I wouldn't trade it for any tube amp.
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Doug Van Sloun

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2005, 10:35:39 pm »

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 06:54

Two problems with the tube amp HEAT and it cost $7500.00.


You don't need tubes to put out the BTU's!  My Krell KSA-250 runs class A and keeps the room warm... Wink
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Doug Van Sloun
http://www.focusmastering.com
Omaha, NE

jazzius

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2005, 01:15:10 am »

Cello Duet 350 - sometimes i worry it might be a bit euphonic 'cause it sounds so much better then anything else i ever tried!

bobkatz

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2005, 09:38:51 am »

EP wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 12:32

Threshold s350e here. Older, but solid [no pun intended] and was a good deal.

As a side query: anyone listened to the 'new generation' 'digital amps', such as the PowerPhysics modules (used by NHT in their corrected/powered setup) or similar?

Rumor has it that this technology has matured and is on par with the better class A or A/AB amps.......although previously more or less confined to trunk-rattler car stereo installs.....



I tested a Digital amp during my search for amp Nirvana a few years ago. I've temporarily forgotten the brand name. I liked the midrange and top, it was quite nice, nearly as nice as the Pass's top end and certainly acceptable. Better than any class AB I had compared it with, including a Bryston 5. The Lipinski speakers are so revealing of any crossover distortion that it is useful to get a class A amp. I could have lived with the Bryston, by the way. We're talking fine levels of differences. But if you have very particular tastes, then at least so far, no class AB amp seemed came up to the sound of the Pass. Maybe a Bryston 7, I never tried that.

But the bottom end of the digital amp was not as extended or tight as that of the Pass. I attribute this to power supply design; I was testing a stereo digital amp and their mono model (costing twice as much, of course) might have been a contender against the Pass. In short: Yes, digital amps have come a long way. Depending on the power draw of your loudspeakers and how well you match it to the amp, you may find a digital amp would be very nice.

One EXTREMELY attractive thing about the digital amp... it idles at very low current and is extremely economical. Runs cool. The Pass, on the other hand, has been heating up the control room and emptying our wallets for a couple of years now.

We have a $400-500 a month electric bill here, running several rooms, all with computers and audio gear and A/C on 24 hours a day.

BK
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There are two kinds of fools,
One says-this is old and therefore good.
The other says-this is new and therefore better."

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number of
electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

D Harris

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2005, 09:56:50 am »

I'm using Cello Perfomance II mono blocks here.
Class A and could probably heat the whole building.
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Dave Harris
 Studio B Mastering

ammitsboel

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2005, 10:50:49 am »

Both valve amps and transistor amps will colour the sound and you can't generalize on which type is more coloring than the other. What irritates you the least if often what you choose. When people go wrong is when they chose out from the idea of what they think is revealing.

When I talk to people that uses transistor amps I often hear comments about the bass, mid range, treble, depth, image and etc...
When I talk to people that uses valve amplifiers I often hear comments about the music and the sound all together.
This is the majority though, occasionally I will hear specific comments from valve amp users and vice versa.  

I honestly think that the line "order is the great deceiver of man" plays a great role in what we chose. This probably makes us more secure about our choice, but doesn't really make our choice better.

Best Regards
Henrik
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jdunn

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2005, 01:25:10 am »

EP wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 09:32


As a side query: anyone listened to the 'new generation' 'digital amps', such as the PowerPhysics modules (used by NHT in their corrected/powered setup) or similar?

Rumor has it that this technology has matured and is on par with the better class A or A/AB amps.......although previously more or less confined to trunk-rattler car stereo installs.....


I've heard the Power Physics amps, and they're really pretty good.  You might not know it's a Class D PWM amp if you weren't told.

I didn't know NHT used them.  The guy who built my speakers uses them, and the active version of my speakers uses them.  They're constanly improving the Power Physics amps, so they probably sound even better than I remember at this point.

I just ordered a Chord myself though.
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