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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #1
As I'm cleaning the house and occasionally checking e-mail, I have my tube rig going filling the house with music. It's a pair of ASL wave 8's (8W push pull), a DIY tube preamp, and some DIY horn speakers. It's rocking some ELO right now and I paused work to listen for a little bit.

I forgot how magical tubes can sound. I know it's fake and that the frequency response is altered and the distortion is just nicer, but man some of this music never sounded better (and I mean that in a good way)

In a hobby obsessed with specs and multiple speakers and other bells and whistles, it's easy to forget the end result is to just plop down on the couch and enjoy the music (or movie)!

End of my incoherent babbling. Please return to your regular lives. :bigsmile:
 

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I agree with you Anthony. I'll babble a bit, too. I have an old Dynaco integrated amp that I use in my office at work, I've got it plugged into my PC and I can hook up my MP3 player if I want. It's basically for background music while I'm working, I can't rock out with people in the offices right next to me, but I do tend to work later than most a lot of the time, and I'll turn it up a bit then. I've got a pair of Klipsch KG1.5s in there, and they're fairly tube friendly (read: high sensitivity) so I get decent output. I do like the tube sound for just listening to music, but I have never gotten into rolling and fiddling around with them.

That could change, I acquired a couple of kits a while back, and they're just sitting on the shelf for now, a Bottlehead S.E.X. amp and matching pre. Sometime I'll fire up the soldering iron and make them glow. They'll look cool on top of my desk, anyway. I have the Dynaco stuffed in a hole under the desk, with a PC fan modded to a wall wart to move some air, cause these tube beasts aren't exactly energy efficient! I've been known to set my sandwich (on a paper plate) on top of the amp before lunch, so the roast beef is nice and warm, and the swiss cheese melty. Yum!
 

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As I'm cleaning the house and occasionally checking e-mail, I have my tube rig going filling the house with music. It's a pair of ASL wave 8's (8W push pull), a DIY tube preamp, and some DIY horn speakers. It's rocking some ELO right now and I paused work to listen for a little bit.

I forgot how magical tubes can sound. I know it's fake and that the frequency response is altered and the distortion is just nicer, but man some of this music never sounded better (and I mean that in a good way)

In a hobby obsessed with specs and multiple speakers and other bells and whistles, it's easy to forget the end result is to just plop down on the couch and enjoy the music (or movie)!

End of my incoherent babbling. Please return to your regular lives. :bigsmile:
Why feel like you need to qualify or state a disclaimer about enjoying tubes?
Measurement geeks and arguementative nerds can ruin a hobbies enjoyment quicker than a bad MP3 file. Tubes can and usually do sound better but are not for everyone and I have never once enjoyed the measurement of sound or gear but I enjoy LISTENING to music every nite. Too many have lost their way in the whole enjoyment choosing instead to really on specs and spreadsheets, thats not what this is all about...............and if it is count me out!
 

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In the end its how good it sounds to you (the listener) Tubes do make music sound very natural and warm. Its been a long time since I sat down to enjoy music on a real tube rig and as i dont own one thats tough to do. Some day maybe but I'm happy with what I have for now.
 

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Elite Shackster
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Measurement geeks and arguementative nerds can ruin a hobbies enjoyment quicker than a bad MP3 file.
I'm one of those 'nerds' but I'm beginning to understand this more and more. My issues would stem mostly from the 'specs and spreadsheets' that ultimately lie and convince people to purchase their products based on meritless data...

No doubt tubes have distortion, but no doubt people also like how they sound :)
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #6
To me it all goes back to the amplifier specs and tricks of the 90's (when I got into this hobby). Japanese manufacturers led the way in a war to get THD to obscenely low numbers. That's all anyone wanted, power and low THD (not a bad request).

Problem was, the power came at 1kHz, one channel driven and the THD came from massive amounts of feedback in amp channel. To me, the amps all sounded harsh and edgy and in many receivers started to sag when all channels were driven.

Then I got introduced to higher fi, where the THD numbers weren't so obscene. I started with a Marantz receiver and now have an Outlaw power amp (with a Parasound inbetween). Lower feedback, beefier power supplies, and respectable THD numbers. Worlds apart in sound quality.

Then I got into tubes for a bit as part of a high efficiency speaker build. High EVEN order THD, very low power, almost no parts :) Incredible sound for guitars and vocals (but a little lacking in the bass and high detail). I didn't know what to think, the engineer in me couldn't understand how the numbers could be so wrong. But I decided to just trust my ears.

so now most music is through the tube rig and HT through the solid state rig.
 
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