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Monoblocks/Tube/Solid State Questions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by aron_w, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. aron_w

    aron_w Auditioning

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    Can anyone elnighten me as to what exactly the differences are between tube and solid state amps? Are monoblocks tube amps? I know this is a vague question and difficult to quantify, but how great really is the difference? What level of speaker quality is generally needed to notice the difference? Are certain genre's of music better with one or the other? Thanks.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Solid state is just that; it uses solid state (semiconductor based) components, while tube amps use vacuum tube transistors, thus the two designations.

    See here:

    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question558.htm

    Monoblocks are a single channel amplifier and may be either type.
     
  3. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    A monobloc is a single channel amplifier- it can be solid state or tube. Monoblocs have a single PSU (either switched mode or torodial) for a single channel of amplifcation.

    A stereo poweramp normally has a single PSU (switched/torodial) to supply two channels of amplification.

    Monobloc has no relevance whether a amp is tube or solid state- just the design principle of the amp, not the amp stages themselves.

    For example the Sherbourn 7 channel poweramp is solid state, but in a monobloc arrangement (one torodial per channel) whereas some of the Rotel 5 channel poweramps have a single or dual toridials to share between all channels.

    Solid state amp uses transistors to amplify the signal (black ceramic block with three wires) a valve (also called tube) uses these..

    to amplify the signalthese
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    What is a vacuum tube transistor? just kidding[​IMG]

    John is right in his distinction. You should, if possible, listen to both before making a judgement to buy. Both have their pros and cons.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sorry, vacuum tube functioning in the same capacity as a SS transistor. [​IMG]
     
  6. aron_w

    aron_w Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the info guys, this forum is really amazing. In an area where enthusiasts have a reputation for being a bit snobby it is great to see such a friendly community. John G, since you are a car guy, you can understand that there seems to be significant similarities between the two worlds. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, and so many different factors go into the overall performance of the system that I think it is difficult for the novice to know where exactly to put his money and emphasis on quality, given a limited budget.
     

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