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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by St Drogo, Apr 20, 2010.
I don't agree, particularly with the bolded.
me neither, sorry. if i thought it sounded the same when running clean, i'd use ss amps.
i agree too. on most amps/preamps, tubes make a big difference in tone when running them clean.
now, there are some tube devices that almost sound solid state and vise-versa, but IME, its generally not the case.
for me, tubes just have a dynamic thing going on that is happening on all frequencies all the time that i have yet to hear a ss device accomplish on all levels.
That's why we have high-gain combos with only one speaker.
As all the telephone equipment shifted over to SS, there was a huge surplus of tubes and components related to tubes.
Tubes stuck around because marketeers wanted to take advantage of this huge surplus. Forums are full of anecdotal stories of sonic superiority, but the same forums are full of stories of superior cables, and power conditioners. Search the Carver Challenge for and AES papers where double blind tests have shown people really can't hear a difference, even in circuits that are meant to distort.
The lowest measured distortion of any amplifier is a SS amplifier. That's sonic superiority. You can reproduce any recordings. And anything that can be measured can be modeled.
Stories about tube immunity to EMP are exagerated. SS with shielding is just as immune. There are no modern military uses for tubes used in amplifiers.
People are not immune to EMP.
SS travels far distances in space and survives all kinds of radiation.
And contrary to stories told on this forum - tubes did not travel to the moon. The guidance system schematics are all online and completely SS
Your modern PC has millions of transistors that make the guidance system look very primitive.
I personally believe that moment is already upon us, I couldn't tell the difference on a recording, but maybe I don't have the ears... although I think that most tube fans would agree that it's not just the sound of a tube amp but the way they interact with the player that is a big factor in their preference, and hearing the sound on a recording is also very different to standing in front of a big tube head through an 810, thus I believe tube amps will always have a place in live music just because some people will always want them, just like vintage cars
I think i read somewhere that broadcast-transmitter-level tubes also outperform their SS counterparts in terms of efficiency.
Huh, never thought about it in the economical viable way, if you will. Makes a lot of sense though, thanks for your input.
Yeah, it's kind of hard to find megawatt level transistors to replace 8973/8974 tubes. Class AB1 a pair of 8974s will give you a couple of megawatts.
Interestingly, the FET was invented in France in the late 1920s, but not mass produced until well after World War II. The bipolar junction transistor wasn't invented until the late 1940s.
Quantum mechanics has been around actually for longer than the FET has.
I think it's better said that tubes don't account for all of the SVT vibe/voicing since you've got 400+'s, yba 200's, etc. that have different tones and voicing to them.
Similarly, would it be fair though, to say make the comparision from tubes v. ss, to analog v. digital differences? I submit it would be an interesting analogy/debate in that the freq. range differences from analog/digital is the same kind of argument as comparing sound physics/tone from tubes v. ss.
If that makes any sense...
Since EMPs have been brought up several times I have a comment. The fact the the military should be worried about EMPs makes sense. But if you look at it a little close you realize that currently the only way to create an EMP is to set off a nuclear explosion somewhere in the atmosphere. A really large nuclear explosion. If this happen I don't really see an amp losing power being the biggest problem. Where there is one nuke, there are two. And if whoever is launching can get a bomb off above a target undetected, then he could probably land one on the ground, which again seems to me to be a larger problem.
No, you don't need a nuke. There are several very efficient ways to artificially generate a localized EMP using electrical means only. There's also naturally occurring lightning...
And now, back to our topic...
Everyone knows that Einstein rocked out with tubes and Niels Bohr preferred solid state...
It is VERY difficult to mimic tube sound without tubes. There is a LOT of non-linear things happening besides the gain curve and the "nice" way they distort. The parts inside a tube are microphonic and are affected by the sound during use causing additional complexities that are hard to model. The effect of this is increased along with the gain, which is why you can get tube sound with a tube preamp and SS out, rather than the other way around.
The worlds most powerful transmitters are SS.
http://www.locusinc.com/library/2004 Nuts Bolts 2.pdf
They take less power and have much lower maintenance than tube transmitters.
EMP is not going to take these out - these are the backup for GPS in case the satellites are taken out.
Um, no, concerning most powerful transmitters. Even the article you reference acknowledges this. I have helped build 2.5 MW single tube RF amps using the 8974. That's twice this transmitter's power.
I think it is less about the sound and more about the feel when playing. That is the reason that blind listening tests can fool people, but put a bass in someone's hands they can often feel the difference between SS and tubes.
that's what happens when one gets all one's info out of books rather than practical application, eh?
Stop that, or we're going to have to sit through another rant about how Behringer is the best gear out there.....