I never would try tubes for amplification

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Yogi, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Atleast thats what I thought until I got my Conrad-Johnson MV55 tube amplifier. Now hooked to a matching CJ PV14L linestage it has brought my music to another new level. Man do tubes do wonders with music[​IMG] I am totally in love with my new system now (not that I hated it before) and re listening all my favourite recordings. I know someone is going to come and tell me that it might sound better but is it accurate? To which I'll say, accuracy be damned (and see my other thread about amp and speaker accuracy). If my system makes all recordings sound seductively sweet then so be it I'd rather have this system than some 'super accurate' SS system that only sounds good with a select few reference recordings. In any case I am in audio heaven (AKA financial hell)

    Cheers[​IMG]
     
  2. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Welcome to world of tubes Yogi!! I've been saving up for a CJ PV-14 and CJ MV60SE myself and hope to get them in a couple of months.


    Enjoy!
     
  3. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Yogi,
    Congradulations on your state of euphoria. Tubes really do sound sweet in the right setup. Just as long as you dont have to drive the volume to insane levels and your speakers dont dip too far below 4 ohms, you should be fine. Conrad Johnson gear is really nice, some of the sweetest tube sounds this side of Cary. Hope you enjoy your system for years (and monthly credit card balance payments[​IMG] ) to come. Always good to hear of someone who is content with the sound of their system.
     
  4. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Congrats Yogi, you'll never go back. [​IMG]
    I must admit that I bi-amp using a SS amp for the lower frequencies and tubes on top. Happy listening! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  6. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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  7. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi,
    If you don't mind my asking, is that a series I or series II PV 14? Which tubes are you using, and which others have you tried?
    Thanks
     
  8. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    "Don't worry Frank, we will pray you can get tubes on the bottom and enjoy their more accurate bass."

    There must be some mistake... Unless there's some new definition of "accurate" I haven't heard yet. [​IMG]

    I like the bi-amping idea too and I think it is difficult for a reasonably priced tube amp (are there any >100 watt tube amps under $500?) can provide real bass and dynamics with regular speakers. Uncompressed power and damping factor are the practical issues. Heck, sometimes I prefer the big (it's also pretty good sounding, I think) SS amp full range. At lower frequencies it gives up so little of the "special" quality of my small class-A SS/tubelike amp (upper midrange and treble are a different story), while eliminating the somewhat boomy and compressed characteristic entirely.

    Of course you can make a 200 watt tube amp with the same kind of bass as a decent SS amp. But that costs money. Hence bi-amping. It works out even better with 3-way speakers since you can probably get away with using a low power high quality amp for the midrange too.
     
  9. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Thankyou everyone for sharing my enthusiasm. I might add that the bass of the MV-55 although not at par with the bass from my Proceed amp is no slouch either. Its pretty good and I notice the difference only if I run my mains full range. If I route the bass to a sub I dont notice any lack of bass in either setup. I have also thought about bi amping with ss in the bass section and tube for upper and midrange. Where tubes shine is in the shimmering delicate top end free of any grain and the seductive midrange. Also against my earlier 'wisdom' tube amps dont sacrifice any top end detail compared to the best ss gear. Also I didnt think that a 45 watter tube amp would sound so powerful in my moderate sized room. I surely sounds much more powerful than 45 W.

    "Put some tube rings on those things and you will be amazed what an improvement that makes"

    Lee can I put damping rings on output tubes too?

    Joe my PV14L is mark I. I am thinking about the option to upgrade to MII for $300. Has anyone done that and if so what difference in sound was noted?
     
  11. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Welcome to the light!

    I went in reverse order, acquired a tube amp first then a tube preamp w/ tube phono. Mmm...delicious to the ears.

    Art Audio Concerto MK2 tube amp
    Granite Audio 770 tube preamp
     
  12. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    What are you guys talking about?!? I thought this was a Home Theater site... Nobody's supposed to mention 2-channel systems and tubes!!!!

    As Scott knows, my system is also anchored by tube monoblocks and a tube stereo preamp. I use the monoblocks to drive my speakers full-range. This 2-channel rig is also integrated into a A/V Home Theater (with front projector). All this HT equipment is solid state and relatively inexpensive.

    My system is used about 75% vinyl, with the rest of time equally split between CDs and DVD movies.

    Yogi, congratulations on your new stuff. Never forget that the only "ears" that matter are your ears.

    Kevin
     
  13. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Frank, I wanted to know how I could bi-amp with a tube amp with 100K input impedance and a SS amp(Proceed) with 11K input impedance?I have never bi-amped before and so this sensitivity issue baffles me.

    Regards,
     
  14. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Yogi, to passively bi-amp just connect both amplifiers to your signal source (y-adapter will work). If neither amplifier has a volume control of its own, you will have to wire one to the amp with higher gain (probably the SS amp). Connect the SS amp to your speakers LF terminals and the tube amp to HF, and remove the jumper between them. Adjust the amplifier volume control to get the right balance.
     
  15. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    You have just discovered what we musicians have known for years. Most musicians would prefer tube amplifiers over their solid state cousins any day. I personally use a Fender tube amp for my guitar and the sound can just NOT be matched by a solid state amp.
     
  16. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    "Adjust the amplifier volume control to get the right balance"

    How do you know whats the right balance? None of my amps have a volume control so adding a volume control means something like another preamp in between for the high gain amp?
     
  17. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Yogi, you can either measure the SPL at different frequencies to get an idea, or simply adjust the volume until the sound is to your liking (that's what I did). If you have no volume control, you can put in another preamp... or you can go to Radioshack, buy a $3 stereo potentiometer and wire it up to the input of one amp. There may be another solution but that's what came to mind.
     
  18. Mike Mundt

    Mike Mundt Stunt Coordinator

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    tube amplication has been the choice of guitarists for a longgg time. All i can comment on is that tube amplifier have the warmth and smooth sound that solid state can never reproduce quite as well. I have to say for home theater i still prefer solid state
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  20. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi,
    What does the series I use for tubes? If it's not using the Mullard M8080's, try them out. I compared the Mullards to Westinghouse, GE and RCA 6C4WA's, and they were significantly extended in the highs, with a cleaner mid-range.
     

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