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Thread: Ker pow!!!

  1. #41
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Well, Dennis, for the probably the first time ever, we'll have to vehemently disagree. Virtually every word you've just written, I couldn't disagree with more!!

    And I could challenge you on some of it, but it I suspect it would be pointless, as your mind is clearly made up, and of course you're entitled to your opinion, the same as I am to mine.

    I'd appreciate, however, if you would attempt to answer the questions I asked you earlier (post #17). Care to have a go?

    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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  2. #42
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    Marco, I think you have to bear in mind that you have a very good, very expensive valve power amp. As do a lot of people here who use valves. But most valve power amps are highly compromised in a lot of ways, compared to a cheap solid-state amp. I have heard some really poor examples and some that were listenable but really far too coloured to be classed as 'high Fidelity'. So the frame of reference is everything, really.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  3. #43
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Sure, and I agree, but the fact that I have such an amplifier (as do others) simply *proves* that the technology is capable of delivering the performance stated. It's not valve technology's fault that there are so many sub-standard implementations of it on the market

    Blame the designers!

    You can only judge how good anything truly is by assessing the best available types of such. For example, you can't showcase the pinnacle of today's automotive design technology by using a 1987 Ford Fiesta as the example, and the same follows with valve amplifiers.

    What Dennis is failing to take into consideration is that valve amplifier design has moved on considerably since the days he used and built it, simply because of the vastly improved quality of components available now to talented EEs.

    I'm sure that Harold Leak or Arthur Radford would have loved to have had access to some of the electronic components available now!

    So what Dennis should do is listen to an amplifier, like mine, which fully utilises the best of those components (and valve technology itself) and see whether what he claims still holds true

    I could certainly demonstrate how, IMO, it doesn't.

    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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  4. #44
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

    Posts: 184
    I'm Pavel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    What Dennis is failing to take into consideration is that valve amplifier design has moved on considerably since the days he used and built it, simply because of the vastly improved quality of components available now to talented EEs, so what he should do is listen to an amplifier, like mine, which fully utilises the best of those components (and valve technology itself) and see whether what he claims still holds true.
    Has it? Is this why people are paying silly money for 80 years old tubes and Telefunken output transformers?

    I don’t think there has been anything really new in valve amplifier technology since the Nixon administration, or maybe even since 1940s. With the notable exception of Korg NuTube, we haven’t seen a single new tube type in decades. Solid state technology, on the other hand, has improved tremendously, today we have transistors and other semiconductors with characteristics nobody could even imagine in 1970s. And if we’re talking about improvements in passive components, then they’re equally available to designers of both tube and solid state circuits.

  5. #45
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 686
    I'm Dennis.

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    The answer to both questions is that at lower listening levels the dynamic range is compromised, and it therefore does sound less 'dynamic'. The ear is missing energy at lower levels because; some is under those conditions, below the threshold of perception, particularly so at the frequency extremes, and it is also so that low level information is masked by the ambient noise in the listening room, and hence lost.

    My mind is not 'made up' in a fixed dogmatic way, perhaps like that of a religious proseletiser, all my beliefs are relatively 'soft', and I am prepared to alter them as new information is tested, and verified. I am an atheist, as much as I can come to any conclusion, but there are factors which science and experience cannot address fully, and I would never adopt the stance of Dorkins, who is just too sure, to the point IMO of risking a loss of objectivity.

    The last great frontier to cross, and domain to master, is that of objectivity, and it takes a great deal of discipline to do so; it entails an open mind, because our understanding is ever changing and not a fixed entity, and we are finite beings in a massively complicated universe.

    It is IMO mature to be able to have differing opinions and views, and we can discuss them in a friendly manner, they should not alienate us or result in rancour.

  6. #46
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Hi Pavel,

    You're mixing up valve amplifier design, which is what I wrote, with valve amplifier technology. I was careful earlier in differentiating both, but obviously not enough for you to misinterpret me

    Actually, in this instance, 'topology' is probably the better word, instead of 'technology'. Valve amplifier topology, to my knowledge, has largely remained unchanged since its inception.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying, in terms of the best tubes and output transformers available, often being the most sought after vintage ones, and of course the most important things of all, the circuits themselves (used in valve amplifier design), remain virtually unchanged since the day they were invented.

    However, what I'm referring to are things like capacitors and resistors (and other electronic components produced today), which quite frankly are *so* superior now to most of what was produced and used 'back in the day', as to make them broken. The fact is, huge advances have been made in that area, which when judiciously implemented, have raised the performance valve amplifiers are capable of quite dramatically.

    THAT is what allows talented EEs today to design (there's that key word again) and build better valve amplifiers now, often of course using the best circuits and valves (sometimes transformers) from back in the day [the marrying of the best of old and new technology, as it were], than was once possible - and my own amplifier, and those of many others that qualify as such, are testament to that

    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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  7. #47
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 6,851
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Hi All,
    In very basic terms:

    Valves are high impedance voltage devices, Transistors are low impedance current devices, speakers are low impedance devices, valves therefore need some form of converting their high impedance to low, enough to drive a basic speaker impedance [ say 8 ohm] That’s where the output transformer comes in. Many would state that that is the main weak point of a basic valve amplifier, and to a point, I agree.

    Now, if we look at Transistors, as stated, they are very low impedance compared with valves, and therefore an output transformer in most cases is not needed, [Mcintosh Amplifiers being amongst the few that still used output transformers in their solid state designs] Now it would seem from the examples given that transistors have the upper hand, however; this would only be true if the load they were driving remained constant.

    Unfortunately that is far from the case where loudspeakers are concerned, i.e.; they may have a nominal impedance to start with, [4, 8, 16, etc] however; that can change quite dramatically once you put frequencies through them, and if we go back to the comparisons, when a speaker impedance falls [usually with low frequencies] the transistor output stage will put more power into the load, but as the speaker impedance rises, the power output will decrease, with a valve amp, with very minimal feedback, the opposite is the case.

    Damping factor is another aspect of superiority grossly over played' by those promoting solid state designs over valve. Lets look at that for a moment, most well designed conventional valve amps manage a damping factor of around 12 to 20, now compare that to what a well designed conventional solid state amp is capable of i.e.; well into the hundreds, and again; those solid state fans amongst us here may be rubbing their hands with glee.

    However, again’ all is not what it may seem, e.g., the full potential of that higher damping factor in solid state designs rarely gets put into play where loudspeakers are concerned, as most conventional speaker designs have a choke in line with the unit that would most benefit from it, the bass, or low frequency driver!

    Anyway, I know there are many here knowledgeable enough to get where I am coming from on this, and can contribute their own thoughts, safe to say; there are good and bad aspects of both topologies, and because of this; there are very good, and very bad examples of both solid state, and valve designs.
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla



    We Send our kids to school to be Educated, not Medicated!

  8. #48
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

    Posts: 399
    I'm matt.

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    I think it's one of those things where you wouldn't understand until you've lived with a system that sounds good at low volume. I have, and I remember being pleasantly surprised at the time.

    As has been said earlier, you can have the volume down to whisper levels and everything sounds alive without loss of bite or bass.

  9. #49
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 6,851
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Many amplifiers over the years have been fitted with "Loudness controls" these were meant specificaly to be used for low level listening, basicaly; they boosted certain frequencies that helped portray a similar sonic presence of an amplifier being run at a more realistic volume!
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla



    We Send our kids to school to be Educated, not Medicated!

  10. #50
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,336
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    The answer to both questions is that at lower listening levels the dynamic range is compromised, and it therefore does sound less 'dynamic'. The ear is missing energy at lower levels because; some is under those conditions, below the threshold of perception, particularly so at the frequency extremes, and it is also so that low level information is masked by the ambient noise in the listening room, and hence lost.
    Yes, of course, but unfortunately because of the rather 'matter of fact'/black and white way your objectivist mind works (no offence intended, because as humans we all think differently), you're still not understanding the point I'm making, or what I've described, in terms of what I can clearly hear in reference to this matter - and unfortunately no amount of words I type here will alter that.

    The only way that we might get somewhere, would be for me to visit you with my valve amps, pop them into your system, and whilst we're both listening to a piece of familiar music, attempt to describe and explain where I'm coming from. If you're up for that, then let me know and we'll sort something out, otherwise in order to prevent a pointless circular argument, it's best that we simply 'agree to disagree'

    My mind is not 'made up' in a fixed dogmatic way, perhaps like that of a religious proseletiser, all my beliefs are relatively 'soft', and I am prepared to alter them as new information is tested, and verified.
    Ok, I get that and believe you, for now. However, let's "test and verify" whether your claims of "not denying the validity of subjective perception" are true, or whether you're just paying it 'lip service'...

    You say that you're prepared to alter your beliefs if "new information is tested and verified". Ok, then allow me to propose the following hypothetical scenario:

    What if said "new information" was provided by your EARS, and so if I came round and demonstrated my valve amps in your system, and compared them with your SS devices, and afterwards you agreed that I had a point (based on what I wrote earlier), as you could clearly hear it for yourself, would that qualify to you as "new information"...?

    Now, if you use active speakers (which on thinking of it now, I seem to recall you do) and therefore couldn't facilitate such a demo, that's fine, but what I'm asking you to do here, is to entertain the notion of allowing your ears, and the stated outcome of the above hypothetical demo, to override and update your previous beliefs, which will prove that they're as "soft" as you claim, and that you're not as dogmatic as how you come across, when the topic of discussion is audio-related.

    If you can successfully do that, then your statement of "not denying the validity of subjective perception" is true (with the accent on 'validity'), but otherwise I'm afraid it's clearly false, and sadly you're just another dogmatic, closed-minded objectivist, who believes more in science and measurements than in what his own ears tell him....

    It is IMO mature to be able to have differing opinions and views, and we can discuss them in a friendly manner, they should not alienate us or result in rancour.
    Absolutely not, and I hope that my being frank with you, in order to argue my point robustly, is taken in said friendly manner, as indeed was my intention, and also in the spirit of open and constructive debate

    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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

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