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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hei all,

I am currently testing a beautiful Rogue Audio Stereo 90 tube amplifier. For those who don't know it, here are the specs: http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_90.htm

I have decided to switch my 7-channel P1000 amplifier for a dedicated 2-channel amplifier. My system is summarized below in my signature.

This is the first time I try a tube-only amplifier in my system. I've used some time yesterday to test it against my Arcam P1000. I was very excited to test this Stereo90 because I have heard and read so many positive reviews during the last months. Martin Logan Vista is also a very good candidate for tube amplifiers and should match this one very well (as I heard).
However, my initial tests are not really what I was expecting :huh: In my system and my room, I feel that P1000 performs better: Stereo90 seems to lack a bit of punch in the bass and doesn't sound as defined as P1000 in the top.
I can hear that Stereo90 produce a typical tube sound whereas P1000 is more neutral.

Now it's important to note that I have a relatively cheap CD player digitally connected to my Denon 3806 (used as DAC and preamp). I fear that 3806 could be the problem here and hides some of the differences between the two amplifiers.

I'm going to spend more time testing with calibration enabled today and see if it makes any differences.

What do you think? Is the 3806 to blame here ? Room accoustics maybe ? Should I try to modify my speaker placement due to the amplifier switch ?
Should I give up the Stereo90 and start chasing a new preamp first ?

Also, could you recommend any songs I should use in order to easily pinpoint the differences between the two amplifiers?

I'm open to any suggestions ! I really want to like this amplifier ... :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After a few days of testing I have decided to return the Stereo90 and keep my transistor-based amplifier.

The main reasons are lack of power and sound coloration. Sound coloration is so nice on some types of music but I like a more neutral sound when it comes to dynamic. Pink Floyd (Another Brick in the Wall) or Dire Straits (Private Investigations) with the Stereo90 is not as punchy as with my other amplifier. It just sounds too nice ... :foottap:

Anyway, it was fun to finally try out a very good tube amplifier in my setup. The design is beautiful but the sound comes first ...
 

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I'm surprise no one else chimed in here on this.

I'm also glad you gave us a verdict. I have been tossing around the idea of looking for a tube amp for two-channel listening. Of course I'd be looking for a used one on Audiogon.

The subject of treating a room acoustically for ML's is interesting. It's my understanding that behind the speakers will need diffusion and on the sides just in front will need absorption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm also glad you gave us a verdict. I have been tossing around the idea of looking for a tube amp for two-channel listening. Of course I'd be looking for a used one on Audiogon.
Well, it's my opinion. Other people might think otherwise. I believe that my Denon 3806 receiver colors the sound in a 'too-much' way if you see what I mean: too much highs and lows (typically the Denon sound). I am going to try an Arcam FMJ C31 preamp later this week. I expect it to be much better than my receiver. More neutral, closer to the real sound.


The subject of treating a room acoustically for ML's is interesting. It's my understanding that behind the speakers will need diffusion and on the sides just in front will need absorption.
Interesting, but difficult ! I bought some pieces of acoustic material and tried to place them back the speakers, on the sides, on the back of the listening position but I could not hear any real differences or improvements. i have to try more when I get some time.
Maybe I should try diffusion on the back of the speakers as you suggest. Thanks for the advice !
 

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I think for most applications today, solid state electronics are going to be just as good, and sometimes even better, than most tube based amps. Therefore, I'm not surprised that you ended up returning the tube amp. One guy I know that I respect a lot is an AVID tube (SET amps only btw, no push pulls) guy.. however, he has an extremely efficient horn loaded system that has an active crossover. He said that if he had a typical system (i.e., cone and soft domes with a passive crossover) he'd probably go with a solid state system since you can get so much more power than a tube system.

JCD
 
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