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Author Topic: your power amp: tube or solid state?  (Read 13035 times)

e-cue

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2005, 02:20:24 am »

Does anyone know of any mastering house that uses tube amps on their mains (not a lounge or secondary system)?

I seem to remember one of the guys at Precision had some Manley tube amp on his mains.  Last time I was there, I forgot to ask.  Since the tube category seems to be such a minority in this thread, I'm curious as to which places can be used as examples.
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JGreenslade

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2005, 05:01:12 am »

The Exchange use custom EAR mono-blocks based on the EAR 509.

Taken from: http://www.ear-yoshino.com/news/news.asp?ID=79
Quote:


In 1985, de Paravicini introduced his new record cutting system. Now installed at ‘The Exchange’ in the heart of London, (originally Island Records ‘Sound Clinic’ facility). This is phase corrected, and uses in excess of 1,000 watts of tube audio power, based on the classic EAR 509 circuit.


edit: The above quote is probably referring to the cutter-head amps - the mains are powered via 6550-based blocks, and I'm 99% sure they're based on the 509.

I've attended numerous sessions at The Exchange and can state for a fact that the valve amps sound totally uncoloured, with a hell of a lot of kick in the LF region.

In all honesty, I find the cliche of valve amps sounding "coloured" compared to solid-state to be inaccurate and misleading... I can only assume people are basing their opinions on ancient equipment that needs re-capping or has poorly designed transformers.... Valves are transconductance devices, just as fets are - to state that valves sound "coloured" by default compared to their modern counterparts would be to make a gross generalisation. BTW, Hi-Fi dealers have complained to me that their clients find Tim de P's valve amps "too clinical" - I can only conclude he's too good at his job...

Taken from: http://www.ear-usa.com/timdeparavicini.htm
Quote:



The "warmth" in a lot of tube electronics is due to their dismal top end, the bad transformers they use, and the loading down of their high-impedance outputs. Because of the output transformer and the feedback used, many tube circuits have a partial bass instability that gives a bloated bass. Any warmth in the tube sound is a defect, but listeners don't want to know that.

I don't have to use tubes in my designs; I only do it for marketing reasons. I've got an exact equivalent in solid state. I can make either type do the same job, and I have no preference. People can't pick which is which. And electrons have no memory of where they've been! The end result is what counts.



The 2nd to last statement says it all really...

Justin
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bblackwood

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2005, 05:56:48 am »

e-cue wrote on Fri, 02 September 2005 01:20

Does anyone know of any mastering house that uses tube amps on their mains (not a lounge or secondary system)?

I seem to remember one of the guys at Precision had some Manley tube amp on his mains.  Last time I was there, I forgot to ask.  Since the tube category seems to be such a minority in this thread, I'm curious as to which places can be used as examples.

IIRC, a couple of rooms at Precision use them and Greg Calbi does as well. That's all I've been able to come up with here in the states...
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Brad Blackwood
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Mark Wilder

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2005, 01:55:41 pm »

Greg uses Audio Research.  I think Doug still uses his Sherwood Sax on the mains.  I was bi-amped with Sherwood's for a long time, but the change-over to surround has forced a change.  I'm now on Spectrals.  10 sets of tubes each year was a little rough to swallow even on Sony Dollars.  My bud down the hall, Vic Anesini is on Sherwood's Bi-Amped.
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Mark Wilder

mike chafee

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2005, 04:51:09 pm »

Mark Wilder wrote on Fri, 02 September 2005 13:55

Greg uses Audio Research.  I think Doug still uses his Sherwood Sax on the mains.  I was bi-amped with Sherwood's for a long time, but the change-over to surround has forced a change.  I'm now on Spectrals.  10 sets of tubes each year was a little rough to swallow even on Sony Dollars.  My bud down the hall, Vic Anesini is on Sherwood's Bi-Amped.



Hey, Mark,
Good to see you here.
Four years ago, after an AES tour of the Sony facility, you were kind enough to sit me at your mix posotion and play several tunes -  Toto, Africa-  (Maybe you remember I lost it!)   Miles, Kind of Blue  etc.

As I recall, you were usind Dunlavys, Cello Pallette, Millenia, Meitner? your sound raised the bar on my expectations considerably, and enabled me to up my game several notches. THANK YOU!

What is your current setup, if you please.

Mike Chafee
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Bodyslam

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2005, 02:20:31 am »

e-cue wrote on Thu, 01 September 2005 23:20

Does anyone know of any mastering house that uses tube amps on their mains (not a lounge or secondary system)?



I'm using tube amps on my main monitors.

I've heard plenty of tube amps with colorations over the years, but the ones I'm using now I would describe as very very low in coloration...at least as low as any solid state amp I've heard.

On the mains in my room: Exemplar Audio

In another system I use regularly: EAR 549's

Of course in other rooms we're using solid state (Pass Labs, and the Meyer speakers have their own amps) so we don't discriminate against the thermionically-challenged.
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Paul Stubblebine

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Sonovo

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2005, 02:50:47 am »

I'm actually using a digital amp these days (solid state) after using a hybrid valve design (Copland). A break in at the studio necessitated a new amp, and the Copland I was using had been discontinued (unfortunately, as I was very satsified with it) in favour of a newer model.

I was pretty sceptical about using a digital amp, but after A/B'ing quite a few contenders (Bryston, Electrocompaniet, Class
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bobkatz

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2005, 04:46:47 pm »

Thor Legvold wrote on Tue, 06 September 2005 02:50


The amp I ended up with is a "bel canto eVo 4" (I run mine in bridged mono, the eVo 4 has 4 mono channels at 150W).

Funny enough bel canto  got their reputation by building valve (tube) gear.

http://www.belcantodesign.com/prod_evo4.html

Thor



That's it! Bel Canto was the amp I favorably reviewed when I was putting it up against the Pass. It's a very good-sounding amp. The Pass is better, but you're paying for a LOT of BEEF!

BK
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ammitsboel

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2005, 09:25:13 am »

bobkatz wrote on Tue, 06 September 2005 21:46

Thor Legvold wrote on Tue, 06 September 2005 02:50


The amp I ended up with is a "bel canto eVo 4" (I run mine in bridged mono, the eVo 4 has 4 mono channels at 150W).

Funny enough bel canto  got their reputation by building valve (tube) gear.

http://www.belcantodesign.com/prod_evo4.html

Thor



That's it! Bel Canto was the amp I favorably reviewed when I was putting it up against the Pass. It's a very good-sounding amp. The Pass is better, but you're paying for a LOT of BEEF!

I build one a few years ago with a bigger Tripath chip than the Bel Canto.
It sounded ok.

Best Regards
Henrik
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carlos jaramillo

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2005, 05:20:43 pm »

dcollins wrote on Wed, 31 August 2005 00:21

Keef wrote on Tue, 30 August 2005 15:13

Tubes add color, and at the mastering stage, I would not want that from the amp. I would want a clear clean transparent amp.


The best ones are not "euphonic," and are clean clear and transparent!  Unfortunately there are so many designs that intentionally have very high coloration's, but it doesn't extend to all amps.

And, yes, you have to change the tubes periodically.

DC


can t be more certain than that. can it?
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thephatboi

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2005, 08:01:35 pm »

I use a Bryston 4B NRB (from 1992!) IMO tube amps are great to listen to by the end user but not for critical monitoring. My Bryston was made in the early nineties and still has 7 years left on the warranty, AND I even thought it sounded better than the newer Brystons (ST) So I considered it a bargain, and my mixes are translating perfectly, that's all I want.
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Tomás Mulcahy

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2005, 09:23:37 am »

Anyone using active speakers? I use a humble Quad 405 with some simple upgrades, and Lentek S4 speakers. A very unforgiving accuracy with this system. I would prefer big PMCs, they're the best thing I ever heard with the "bundled" Dutch amp they supply in the UK/ Ireland.

Mark Wilder

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2005, 05:23:53 pm »

mike chafee wrote on Fri, 02 September 2005 16:51


Four years ago, after an AES tour of the Sony facility, you were kind enough to sit me at your mix posotion and play several tunes -  Toto, Africa-  (Maybe you remember I lost it!)   Miles, Kind of Blue  etc.

As I recall, you were usind Dunlavys, Cello Pallette, Millenia, Meitner? your sound raised the bar on my expectations considerably, and enabled me to up my game several notches. THANK YOU!

What is your current setup, if you please.

Mike Chafee


Hello Mike,


Sorry for the delay, I guess I just missed this one.

Yes I do remember our listening session.  I always get a kick out of doing playbacks for people.  Listening to masters is a very different experience.

As for my setup, I actually have Duntech's (Princess), 3 across the front (still on the concrete plinths) and a pair of Duntech Marquis' in the rear.  After the Sax's, they were powered by Spectral's for a bit, but I''ve flipped over to Krell FPB 300c's.  The Cello Pallette is gone and replaced by an SPL desk.

Maybe I had a Millenia in the room when you stopped by but it's not a permanent fixture.  It's GML, Lavry, HDCD, and a floating Meitner.  


I'm glad I could give you some momentum.

Again, sorry for the delay.
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Mark Wilder

Rivendell61

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2005, 08:24:57 am »

With the talk of ‘digital’ amps I thought this might be of some interest:

Some of you know Bruno Putzeys from his DSD Converter, Grimm Audio, etc.  Not sure if you know of  the amplifiers he designs?  
The Hypex UcD (Class D) is eminently suitable for mastering—just ask him. Cool  
His primary design goal was full-range neutrality/transparency so they have resolved the few areas problematic with most other Class D (Tripath Bel Canto, etc).  There is a pile of info on this—but I won’t bore you.  Hypex amps can be used in either ‘active’ speaker applications, or as power amp monoblocks.  There are three versions, with varying power output.

Here are some links if anyone wants to look further:
This is the data sheet for BP’s Hypex ‘400’ amplifier module (performance graphs at bottom of page)
http://www.hypex.nl/docs/UcD400_datasheet.pdf
(note, e.g.,  the THD vs Freq. plot—ruler flat)

A US company that direct sells (US built) mono-blocks using the Hypex modules:
http://www.ciaudio.com/D200.html
Essentially, they provide the power supply and box.

And if you are really interested….here is a B. Putzey’s paper about the amplifier, given to AES in the spring of 2005:  http://www.hypex.nl/docs/document.pdf

I hope that did not seem too much like an advert.  
Just thought some of you might be interested.  I have no connection!.... although I listen at home via a Benchmark feeding a set of the the Hypex/D100 mono blocks.

Mark Matthewman


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bblackwood

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Re: your power amp: tube or solid state?
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2005, 09:09:06 am »

Rivendell61 wrote on Wed, 30 November 2005 07:24

With the talk of ?digital? amps I thought this might be of some interest:

Some of you know Bruno Putzeys from his DSD Converter, Grimm Audio, etc.  Not sure if you know of  the amplifiers he designs?  
The Hypex UcD (Class D) is eminently suitable for mastering?just ask him. Cool  
His primary design goal was full-range neutrality/transparency so they have resolved the few areas problematic with most other Class D (Tripath Bel Canto, etc).  There is a pile of info on this?but I won?t bore you.  Hypex amps can be used in either ?active? speaker applications, or as power amp monoblocks.  There are three versions, with varying power output.

Bruno's a smart guy - those amps ought to be worth listening to...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters
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