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Thread: Tubes?

  1. #1

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    Default Tubes?

    I'm game to at least trying out some tubes, but admit I know absolutely nothing about them.

    I can't remember which thread it was exactly, but I do recall Russman saying to someone not to get a tube CD player and to put the $ in the amps instead.

    So, with that in mind, the obvious question is do I get a tube integrated (or hybrid where the pre-amp section is tubed and the power amp section is solid state such as those from Jolida that Zero recomended to me once before), or just get a tube pre-amp to match up with a SS power amp?

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    I have a Jolida tubed cd player. I also have a couple of tube preamps and non-tubed cd players (Myryad, Rotel). I agree with what Russ said about the tube preamp and SS amp. Your NAD cdp will go well with it. The tube cdp will make a noticeable difference but a tube preamp I think takes it to the next level.

    Don't be afraid of tubes. Its just like a lightbulb and I'm sure you've changed many of them in your lifetime. A tube preamp is less maintenance than a tube amp because the signal tubes usually last 3 to 4 years (or more) as opposed to amp power tubes which last approximately 1/2 that time.

    Paul

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    What Russ alluded to was that a tube pre amp makes more of a impact on the sound than a tube cdp. I would have to agree, but I feel a tube cdp is very important too. Hell I should, I own two.

    Various folks like all tube gear, others a tube pre amp with a SS amp, still others like a hybrid integrated. There is no right or wrong choice, it's a personal preference and what works best with your other gear.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Have to say affirmative with all the above. I initially started with an all SS set up, progressed to tubed CDP and SS pre/amp then heard the tubed CDP combo'ed with a tubed pre/SS amp huge step there in SQ. For the last year that was my setup Jolida tubed CDP/ CJ tubed pre/ SS amp ,then I lucked into an ASL tubed integrated, changed everything for me. Great sound quality plenty of oomph (AS long as your speakers and Amps output can coexist)
    I purchased my seperates as deals when they came out but if I were going to save and purchase items today the order would be:
    (based on having at least an SSamp to flesh out a system.)
    Tubed preamp-tons of examples old and new from $450and up
    look at Dodd, Transcendent or used. If anything
    the pre will give you an idea of what tubes in the
    chain will do for you.
    Tubed amp(s)- my integrated showed me the direction and more
    than likely after the next preamp purchase i'll be
    looking to drop one SS amp and go with a tubed
    stereo amp or a pair of tubed mono blocks.
    CDPlayer- any high def. with great dacs and possibly upsampling.

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    So it seems the consensus is that a tube pre-amp to go with a SS power amp is the way to go, at least to start with.

    Any suggestions to go along with DAGLJAM6's?

    I thought I had found a brand new Jolida hybrid 100 watt intergrated for $399, but it was already gone.:(

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    I agree with the responses above.

    As to going tubes all the way, it's really up to you and your speakers. Using a tubed pre/ss amp combo with my LSi9 is pure magic but with my Klipsch it has to be tube pre/tube amp. The amp really brings out the emotion and atmosphere in the recordings.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    Would recommendations about SS/tube gear be partially based on the type of music one listens to? For instance, if you're into heavy rock, would a SS amp be more suitable? Or if you're mainly into light jazz, would all tubes generally be more appealing?

    Thanks.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

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    Hey Early,
    Don't you have a Jolida int?

    IMO, it depends more on the speakers and how far you want to go. But IMO, the more tubes, the better. The all tube set up on my Klipsch is just as dynamic as using my NAD ss amp. The Klipsch are 98db/w/m. With the tube amp, they can do everything from soft classical to black metal. Tubes CAN hit with authority, you just have to have the right speakers for them.

    When it comes to my LSi9, it's obvious the dynamics is limited. That's why I like the tube pre/ss amp combo with my LSi9.

    Tubes sound great with the RT series.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    Thanks! I'm very seriously considering putting tubes of some sort on my pair of RT2000i since the external amplification would only have to drive the tweeter and 6.5" midrange crossed over above 100 hz, which should be a relatively easy load to handle.

    Plus, the tri-lam tweeter is a little on the "hot" side of the line, so tubes should be a good match for it, right?

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    Hey Early, Don't you have a Jolida int?
    Yep. The SJ-502A. I'm luvin' it. I only play jazz on it. I prefer to play dance music on my HT system because it sounds better on it, so that's why I asked the question about music preferences and SS vs. tubes. Could be other factors at play in my setups such as room size and speaker size (bookshelf vs. floorstanding).
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    Would recommendations about SS/tube gear be partially based on the type of music one listens to? For instance, if you're into heavy rock, would a SS amp be more suitable? Or if you're mainly into light jazz, would all tubes generally be more appealing?

    Thanks.
    Early, I would think that if you have some poorly recorded/mixed, harsh sounding rock CDs, that if anything, wouldn't the tubes help smooth them out?

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    Marker,
    You are in for a real treat. The RTxxxi series is pure magic with tubes. I used to have a pair of 800i that I connected with tubes and the sound was killer. Talk about warmth and smoothness. Those tri-lams are going to sound killer.

    Early,
    Have you checked out Zero's post on the Flea Market? Klipsch RB-3 for $299? A great way to get into high efficiency.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    Have you checked out Zero's post on the Flea Market? Klipsch RB-3 for $299? A great way to get into high efficiency.
    Why do I need highly efficient speakers? Other than loudness, do high efficiency speakers sound "better" with tubes?

    My current speakers are 87 dB, but they sound great. With 60 tube watts poured into them, they can go as loud as I would ever want them to.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  14. #14
    Stronzo
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    The main benefit of a speaker with high efficiency is that you naturally require less gain from an amp to reach a certain volume. Without this strain, the amplifier can better cope with musical and theatrical dynamics. Dynamics, is what MAKES music so grand and emotional. The Horn / Tube combination is famous for being a relatively cost effective and easy method to achieve this type of sound.

    That being said, an efficient speaker doesn't mean everything. I *much* prefer the Totem Sttafs on a 6 watt amp, to the Klipsch on the same amp. I know, not helping my ad along any - but the whole YMMV and cost difference applies.

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    Yeah, like what Sean said. I had my LSi9 connected to my tube amp before going Klipsch. The LSi9 is similar to your Nohr at 88db/w/m. Not sure about imp on your speakers though. But the difference is HUGE. I should've mentioned this before but I forgot until reading Zero's description. People who go for horns feel the dynamics bring them closer to the music. Klipsch sound just like live music having the same kind of effortless dynamics and impact. They have a "larger tha life" perrformance with huge soundstaging. The main problem with horns is they're not what most people would call 'refined' and 'warm'. So powering them with tubes add that warmth and refined sound while still retaining their dynamic performance. However, they still won't sound as warm as direct radiators like your Nohr. Some people prefer smoothnes and warmth over dynamics. That's why Sean prefers his Totem. I wasn't trying to get you to buy his speakers, just giving a heads up incase you're interested because you said your tube system is limited to Jazz and softer material.

    Maurice
    Last edited by organ; 06-15-2005 at 07:30 PM.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    Thanks for the explanations. I've always heard that high efficiency speakers work best with tubes, but never knew why except for the gain. I'd certainly like to hear a pair of Klipsch speakers run on tubes. Gotta find someplace in my area to do so.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  17. #17
    Stronzo
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    Actually Maurice, I find dynamics to be roughly equal with the exception of real demanding material such as symphony pieces. I have many reasons for my preference. I will say this, I now retain an appreciation for what Klipsch is capable of and now have insight as to why so many people could love this sound.

    A good friend of mine heard these speakers and fell instantly in love with them. When I informed him that I would part with them, his face turned into a frown.

    Early,

    Whatever you do, make sure they are bi-wired during your demo..!!

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    This why I love this forum. You can't buy this kind of knowledge.
    I'm very interested in throwing some tubes into the mix, and these discussions are invaluable. Keep it up, need more info.

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    Sean,
    Glad to hear the small bookshelfs models are capable of pushing the dynamics when needed. The smallest model I heard was a pair of RF-25 which was still extremely dynamic. I also had some friends over and they loved the sound. It seems like Klipsch are great for showing off to your friends, especially at insane spl's:).

    Early,
    Check out this write up. Pretty much tells you what kind of sound to expect. I have the 35 which replaced the 3's. http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/klipsch-rf3_e.html

    Noel,
    Take your time and check out all the selections. After getting what you really want, all that's left is trying out different tubes until you find the brand you like most. I've found mine.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    Originally posted by organ
    After getting what you really want, all that's left is trying out different tubes until you find the brand you like most. I've found mine. Maurice
    Give it up, bro! :)

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    Noel,
    Take your time and check out all the selections. After getting what you really want, all that's left is trying out different tubes until you find the brand you like most. I've found mine.

    Maurice [/B][/QUOTE]

    I was, at first, being a little impatient about getting tubes in the mix, but I've decided to slow down a little and save up for the ASL AQ1003 DT Integated. It looks to be what I'm looking for and it has sub outs and a friggin REMOTE. Gotta love that. It should be enough for the SDA 2A's, Mon 10A's, or the RTA 8TL's. I'm not sure about the Ohm Walsh 2's or the RTi70's though. I guess I won't know until I get it and hook 'em up. Then I will get to start weeding out speakers and make the misses happy.

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    Nice. It should be able to power your speakers just fine. That thing is 30w/ch Class A. The sub out is an excellent feature. You can also check out similar offerings from jolida. www.jolida.com

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  23. #23

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    Originally posted by organ
    Nice. It should be able to power your speakers just fine. That thing is 30w/ch Class A. The sub out is an excellent feature. You can also check out similar offerings from jolida. www.jolida.com

    Maurice
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...782315525&rd=1

    Like this one?

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    Well after conferring with a few people, I ordered a Jolida Model JD 1501RC "hybrid" integrated amp and a Jolida Model JD 100A tube CD player.

    Then I have reached agreement on a deal to trade a pair of Infinity IL60 speakers I have for the following to try the tube gear out on:

    http://www.klipsch.com/product/produ...cid=11&s=specs

    Can't wait till next week!

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    Wow, a 100 db sensitivity rating. They should work awesome with tubes. Great set-up. I can't wait to get tubes. You're making me jealous.
    ;)

    Good Luck,
    Noel

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    Thanks!

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    Marker,

    Did you see the LaScala's in the FM?

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    No, but I'll check them out. I'll admit I don't know too much about Klipsch even though my first HT surround set up was all Klipschs. I can't even remember the models. Mains were something 4.4 I believe, KGB 4.4 maybe?

    Edit- I just did look, and they're in Detroit with local pick up only, so that rules me out. Thanks anyway!
    Last edited by marker; 06-25-2005 at 04:21 PM.

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    Originally posted by marker
    No, but I'll check them out. I'll admit I don't know too much about Klipsch even though my first HT surround set up was all Klipschs. I can't even remember the models. Mains were something 4.4 I believe, KGB 4.4 maybe?

    Edit- I just did look, and they're in Detroit with local pick up only, so that rules me out. Thanks anyway!
    They are rather large, but I've known of alot of people that swear by them for use with tubes. To bad they aren't convenient for you.

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    Marker,
    That's awesome. Be sure to check what brand 12AX7 the int comes with. There's a good chance they packed it with cheap tubes that sound bad. The Sovtek 12AX7LPS is very popular. I've had experience with this tube and it's my favorite X7.

    The small Klipsch HTIB won't even come close to the KLF you're getting. Those horns will blow you away. As you already know, the KLF is discontinued and have been replaced by the Reference line. I've never heard the KLF series but some prefer them over the Reference because they're 3-way vs the 2-way Reference line. You're going to get some serious impact with 100db/w/m. Remember to toe them into the sweet spot. Horns don't sound good without toe in.

    Let us know what you think of them.

    Noel,
    Have you heard the La Scala? When I'm ready to upgrade, I'm getting a pair of RF-7 or La Scala. Some say the La Scala is the most 'musical' speaker from the Heratige series. 104db sensitivity .

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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