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Tube watts Vs. Solid state watts

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Yogi, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  2. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    Well, he missed the boat...

    Repeat after me. 25W is 25W is 25W.

    All he proved is there's extra output resistance in the tubes that lowers the current and raises the voltage of the output because it doesn't saturate as quickly. Nothing magical.
     
  3. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Well Seth, with all due respect, I think you missed the boat in that article. I think there is more to it than just the output impedance of the tubes. You forgot the 'output transformers' that interact with the speakers and not the tubes. Also all it shows is why tubes sound louder than comparable transistor devices and nothing about 25W from a tube amp being larger than the 25W from a transistor amp. Do I need to elaborate?

    Also please lets not degrade this thread into an objectivist and subjectivist sound issue. Lets just keep it simple like its meant to be.

    Thanks,
     
  4. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Who cares about numbers as long as the amp will drive your speakers at a loud enough level for your taste and sound good to your ears.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Elaborate si vous plait [​IMG]
     
  6. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

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    >Who cares about numbers as long as the amp will drive your speakers at a loud enough level for your taste and sound good to your ears. <

    Your right if we were all normal listeners who enjoy music and movies. But we are HT enthusiasts, we don't care about the movie, we want to know how we can rattle our neighbors windows with duel SVS's [​IMG]

    Just kidding here but my point is, as enthusiasts we want to know a little more about how the gear works than the average listener.

    Bob
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Dual SVSs driven by 25w tube amps? [​IMG] j/k

    I find it a very interesting article.
     
  8. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    I was refering to music listening. For HT I will grant you more wpc help.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well you know, that article leaves a ton of stuff out and it pays to keep in mind that he was running the solid state into something like a 3.5 ohm resistor. However, it's a broad premise and one that doesn't necessarily hold true in all cases. Consider the following posting that was made by Arny Krueger.
     
  10. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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  11. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    While the article's measurements prove that tube watts are "louder" than solid state watts, it also proves that tube amps compress the sound (to a significant extent) before clipping. I'm not sure which is better...
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well of course, buy what you like.
     
  13. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Watts Are Watts

    What I attribute to the seemingly more loud nature of Tube
    Topologies is the fact that Tube Clipping is easier on the
    human ears (and the drivers) that a clipping transistor
    Topology. Therefore you can drive the Tube Amp futher into
    distorsion in most cases with "acceptable" results to most
    ears and this would make it seem to be louder when in fact
    it is still being driven past it's linear amplification
    range it just doesn't sound quite as bad as when the transistor
    amp falls on it's face.

    Yes/No?
     
  15. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Right, Brett and Seth, what I meant was that tube amps clip "softly" so the sound compresses quite a bit (peaks reduced in amplitude) before the distortion becomes objectionable. It is true that a watt is a watt...
     
  16. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well Bob Carver to be specific and his primary purpose I think was to introduce some of the characteristics of many tube amps. Note though that I didn't say they sounded like any particular tube amp. Given that tube amps can and vary in output impedance and further more that it's frequency dependent is it any wonder that different tube amps interact differently with the same speaker? I think not.

    No one's questioning your preference for one over the other Yogi, but I thought the reason why you posted the article was to perhaps gain some insight, opinions, etc. as to some technical explanations for this oft cited phenomena. No? That both amps measure ~25 watts as per FCC regulations (the usual warm up and 8 ohms resistor) and have quite different power into lesser resistance is hardly a revelation. You yourself know that to be the case from your general experience with solid state. You're also aware that if the output impedance of the amp is sufficiently high it will cause the amp to deliver more power depending upon the impedance of the speaker. In effect this is the same as putting an equalizer on the amp. Toss in a more loosely regulated power supply and really, is it any wonder why the author obtained the results he did?

    Further I think it pays to consider a bit the pedigree of the author of that article, Peter van Willenswaard. He is a fan of tubes, valves if you will. Nothing bad about that, but IMHO, rather than stating some of the obvious reasons for what he observed, he faulted the humble 25 watt SS amp for not being able to deliver comparable power into a particular load. Peter could've been objective, sanguine if you will, and instead acted like a typical attorney. Keep in mind this is the same person who sought to give experimental credence to the 'green pens make CD's sound better' camp. I don't question his or your preference for using tubes. I do question his objectivity and the two houses he builds...bricks for one, straw for the other.
     
  18. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  19. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    This is all very interesting! I have one question, though: are there any measured differences between amplifiers using "good enough for music" power supplies versus those able to deliver full power continuously?
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I think more so than the output transformers Yogi it may have something to do with the implementation or not if you will of feedback, the nature of the tube topology, the power supply (as mentioned above), etc. But one could equally as well ask a similar question of solid state devices. Why is it that with three amps, all 100 watt/channel, are there different outputs into say 4 ohms, or 3 ohms? Tough question but I don't know if it's necessarily worth agonizing over. Certainly it's not going to be due to one particular component.

    A problem or a deficiency, as I see it, is that we don't see enough measurements of devices into real world loads for amps in general. I think some magazines do a pretty good job with speakers and all, but when it comes to amps, it seems to fall woefully short. The consumer doesn't have a good understanding of how the amp will behave if the impedance of a speaker is low on the low frequency side as compared to if it's low in the upper frequencies. The ability of the preouts aren't investigated with respect to driving long lengths of interconnects for those people adding amps.
     

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