I read the tube vs. solid state article

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Donovan, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. Peter Donovan

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    That was a great article, and I've always liked the sound of tube amps, but have never owned one.

    Here is my question: When people talk about some solid state receivers/amplifiers as sounding "warm," I'm assuming they are saying that the sound is trying to sound closer to tubes.

    That being the case, what amps out there are "warm" sounding? From what I've read, I've seen Marantz and Rotel mentioned in this light. How about Outlaw, Parasound, ATI?

    Has anybody heard of someone using a 2-channel tube amp for there main speakers and a 3-channel solid state amp for the center and surrounds? Maybe that wouldn't blend. Otherwise, I wonder if anyone will release a 5-channel tube amp or at least a hybrid.
     
  2. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I have used 2 tubes for my mains and a Rotel 985 for the center and surrounds. The tubes were borrowed, so I had to return them, but my nOrh SE 9 integrated tube amp is coming this week.

    I had it set up so that I only used the tubes for music. I switched the speakers to the Rotel for HT. The tubes I had were fine for music at decently loud volumes, but they couldn't hit reference (not that I ever listen that loud anyway). Of course they sound different - they were much better ! (for real - the 'blew away' the Rotel for music).

    Read the tubes vs solid state thread. There is talk of a 5 channel HT tube amp coming out that will be in the $2K range.
     
  3. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    The tube vs SS therad is here
     
  4. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Warm does not neccessarily mean "sounding like tubes." Tubes, while (broad generalization) inherantly "warmer" than most solid states, also have a certain fullness and musicality that some solid states do not. While some say that it would be hard to call most tube amps "neutral," they for some reason tend to sound a little more life-like than solid states. If you find a good solid state amp, then the line between tubes and solid states become blurred, and a very good solid state (we are now talking about amps over $5000) will almost always match or exceed tube amps in terms of musicality, neutrality and power. Tube amps, thoough sometimes underpowered, tend to give the best pure sound for the money, even though some may not be described as "warm." As for warm solid state amps, I would suggest Parasound, Odyssey, or Blue Circle, while I would call Rotel, Marantz, ATI and Bryston as punchy. But on the other hand, while the Bryston might not be as warm as a Parasound, I would suggest that it sounded more like tubes, you understand?
     
  5. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter,

    The technical answer to your question requires a LOT of typing which, if you'll forgive me, I don't want to get into right now. But for the short answer to "...That being the case, what amps out there are "warm" sounding?" you simply have to look at the SS amps design. Just ask the question: "Does the amp use bi-polar or mosfet devices in the output?" If it uses MosFets, it will generally have a sound that tends to be more "tube-like". Simple as that.
     
  6. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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