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Thread: Amp to match my Tannoys ?

  1. #51
    Join Date: Mar 2014

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    I'm Mike.

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    Lots of great advice. I'll arrange a Mafia visit once the decorating is finished and I save up enough to buy in food for the day

  2. #52
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    You haven’t heard the last EL34 amp Nick built. ;-)
    Knowing Nick, I'm sure it's fab, but at the end of the day an apple's an apple, and a pear's a pear... The same applies to EL34s and KT150s, and I'm a pear kind of guy

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  3. #53
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    I'm tony.

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    Mike,
    PM sent....

  4. #54
    Join Date: Jul 2011

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    I'm Peter.

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    IME, valve amp performance is 90%+ about the circuit & transformer design, and only a few % about the particular valves utilised. For instance, Radford and EAR both have (very different) designs that use EL34s, both giving results superior to the majority of 'bog-standard' KT88 amps. Similarly, the MacIntosh 275 uses a different circuit design to raise it's performance above the norm. for KT88 push-pull amps.

    My Leben power amp has the facility to re-bias across a wide range of power valves (KT120, KT88, KT66, EL34, KT77, 6L6GC, 5881, 350B, etc), and although I haven't tried them all, there is a lot less difference than most people would imagine with the ones I have tried, the overall performance being overwhelmingly determined by the circuit topology and the o/p transformers. In fact, I suspect a blindfold test would show it'd be quite difficult to reliably, repeatedly, identify which valves were being used.
    ďNot everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.Ē - William Bruce Cameron

  5. #55
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    IME, valve amp performance is 90%+ about the circuit & transformer design, and only a few % about the particular valves utilised.
    Indeed, but the chosen valves dictate (to a significant degree) the design of the circuit!

    Therefore, one is intrinsically linked with the other...

    My Leben power amp has the facility to re-bias across a wide range of power valves (KT120, KT88, KT66, EL34, KT77, 6L6GC, 5881, 350B, etc), and although I haven't tried them all, there is a lot less difference than most people would imagine with the ones I have tried, the overall performance being overwhelmingly determined by the circuit topology and the o/p transformers. In fact, I suspect a blindfold test would show it'd be quite difficult to reliably, repeatedly, identify which valves were being used.
    No doubt, but do the same test with separate amplifiers, each one designed to optimise the characteristics of the chosen output valves (through circuit design and transformers used), and the results would be rather different....

    You'd need to be deaf not to hear the difference! There's a lot more to hearing the true capabilities of any output valve, KT88, EL34, or whatever, than merely re-biasing them in the same circuit... That's especially true, in the case of KT150s, because of their electrical demands.

    I like KT88s/120s and 150s in P/P amps because I like a bit of power (at least 30w), because the added 'grunt' has a beneficial (and very valuable effect for me) on the music

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  6. #56
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Indeed, but the chosen valves dictate (to a significant degree) the design of the circuit!

    Therefore, one is intrinsically linked with the other...
    No, I don't think so. Take for example a standard push-pull output with grid bias - you could make that with any type of output valves. Same goes for push-pull with cathode bias, or for single-ended output. Pretty much any circuit type could be implemented with any type of valve.
    True, there are some restrictions though. You can't make an ultra-linear output stage with triodes for example.
    Anyway, I agree that getting the details right is more significant than the broad-brush view that a particular valve type has an inherent sound.

  7. #57
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    No, I don't think so. Take for example a standard push-pull output with grid bias - you could make that with any type of output valves. Same goes for push-pull with cathode bias, or for single-ended output. Pretty much any circuit type could be implemented with any type of valve.
    True, there are some restrictions though. You can't make an ultra-linear output stage with triodes for example.
    Anyway, I agree that getting the details right is more significant than the broad-brush view that a particular valve type has an inherent sound.
    Yup, that's what I was referring to. Also, there's no doubt that if the circuit is designed to *optimise* the electrical parameters of a specific output valve, better results will be obtained than when that's not the case - as I've heard it for myself!

    KT150s, for example, require certain types of output transformers (and the right circuit) to give of their best. The reality of the matter is contained in your last sentence: the devil is always in the details

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  8. #58
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

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    I'm Dennis.

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    I muse this thread with both interest and a failure to understand it.

    I have built many valve amps from the late 60s onwards, and have not used one since about '74. My feelings are that in general they have so many disadvantages that they have technically been surpassed by bipolar SS amps; inefficiency, aging changes, microphony, limited power availability, low damping factor, and at best slightly under 0.1% distortion, but I accept that a good transformer can make the deal, (Partridge), and that they look lovely.

    So unless there is an obvious, or even and inference of better sound, I could not consider a valve amp now, and I am left in a quandary about what seems to be this great divergence of perception and taste.

    I've even gone Icepower for God's sake - really against every instinct in me, especially when considering the poor reports on switching power supplies.

  9. #59
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Knowing Nick, I'm sure it's fab, but at the end of the day an apple's an apple, and a pear's a pear... The same applies to EL34s and KT150s, and I'm a pear kind of guy

    Marco.
    LOL yeah, that’s because you listen at PA levels!
    There are times when you canít do the sensible thing, when you canít act like a responsible adult at all; you just have to do whatever insane thing comes into your head. When bad people do it they end up murderers, when good people do it they end up heroes, and when the rest of us do it we end up looking like total idiots. But whenís that ever stopped us?

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    I muse this thread with both interest and a failure to understand it.

    {snip} inefficiency, aging changes, microphony, limited power availability, low damping factor, and at best slightly under 0.1% distortion...
    Well, Dennis, that's the problem with adopting an 'objectivist' approach to audio, and attempting to use numbers to determine sound quality... Thankfully, there's a lot more to making a piece of equipment sound good (with music) than measurements alone, which only ever tell part of the story.

    And so when you're only in possession of part of the story, it's no wonder you fail to understand the full 'plot'...

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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