Tube vs. Traditional vs. Power Amp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anthony Sa, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Anthony Sa

    Anthony Sa Agent

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    In my never ending quest for knowledge, I find myself coming back to this forum again and again. First I would like to apologize about the title, I did not know what to call the "traditional" amp, so I just went with calling it traditional.

    My question is, What is the difference in using a tube amp vs. using a tradition amp (monoblock, 2/3/4/5/6/7 Channel) vs. using a power amp. I am unfamiliar with tube amps but have read that they have very detailed an accurate mids but can sometimes lack towards the highs. Traditional amps also have their good and bads and power amps are used for just that.. power.

    Basically, what would the difference be between using A mid-high end tube amp (another thing i have read, they use their watts efficiently but are VERY expensive) vs using a Parasound 2205 vs using QSC/Crest/Any other power amps?

    Can a power amp put out the same quality as traditional amps? and can traditional amps put out the same quality as tube amps?

    I have a feeling I just opened the largest can of worms possible, but I don't know where else to go to find this information (there are not any high-end stores withing a good 20 miles from my house, just mid-high stuff)!
     
  2. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Anthony;

    There are:

    1 - Power amps: provide power and no other function; available in single channel (mono) on up.

    2 - Integrated amps: usually include source switching and 2 channels of anplification.

    3 - Receivers: Source switching, processing, tuner, and 5-7 channels of amplification.

    Within this classification, you can find tubed and solid-state amplification for numbers 1 and 2 above, but I've never heard of a tubed receiver. Also, tubed amps are not neccessarily extremely expensive, just as some SS designs are not neccessarily cheap.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Anthony,

    Both tube and 'traditional' (solid state) are types of power amps. Power amp being the category and tube or solid state being subclassifications within the category. The difference obviously being that one type of amp uses tubes. Both types of amplifiers have their strenghts and weaknesses. Tube amps are typically used only for 2CH listening and solid state amps are used for both 2CH and HT. If you're planning on home theater use, tubes would not be the way to go. Not only are their sonic characteristics not really compatible for HT use, retubing the amps every couple of years would get very expensive.

    For 2CH listening, I'd take a good tube amp and some Martin Logans any day.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Just to make things more confusing there are hybrid amps trying to take advantage of both configurations' strengths and skip the shortcomings. In general tube amps tend to have 'smoother' mids/highs due to their emphasis on certain (even order) harmonics but are known to have sloppier bass. On paper SS amps will outperform tube amps on any given day but if your view of 'quality' has as much to do with what you hear than read then you'll have a tough time making up your mind once you've listened to a good tube setup. [​IMG]
    PF
     
  5. Anthony Sa

    Anthony Sa Agent

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    Solid-State... thats the word i was looking for!

    and when I said power amp, i know that solid-state amps are power amps but i ment amps more used for sub amps/pro audio amps. like the QSC RMX 2450 (that comes to mind because i just bought one).
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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