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In Reply to: Why tubes? posted by Lynn on August 19, 2006 at 08:55:45:
Lynn, Dan is the wrong resource for this. Tubes usually have a better sound than most solid state. This is partially due to the lower order distortion generated by the tubes themselves, compared to bipolar transistors. Also, tubes use less overall negative feedback than solid state amps.
"Tubes usually have a better sound than most solid state. This is partially due to the lower order distortion generated by the tubes themselves"
Every specification I have ever seen, every test I have ever done or witnessed had lead me to the conclusion that well designed solid state amplifiers not only produce lower non linear distortion, wider bandwidth, and flatter frequency response than tube amplifiers, but beat them generally by orders of magnitude.
"Also, tubes use less overall negative feedback than solid state amps."
When it comes to results, what difference does it make what goes on inside the box. As far as the user is concerned, an amplifier is a two port black box.
Isn't it true that you do not have any measurements to correlate the results of bench testing amplifier electrical performance with your preferences and that of other audiophiles, not only for amplifiers but for other audio equipment as well? Isn't it fair to say that to credit your preferences to the fact that amplifiers which test worse sound better to some people is jumping to an unfounded conclusion about the amplifier and completely ignores the fact that it may be compensating for or disguising shortcomings of other parts of the reproduction system?
I can measure in the next room from where I am typing now, harmonic or IM distortion to 1 part in 1 million or -120dB down. I CONSTANTLY measure higher order ODD harmonic distortion in solid state designs, INCLUDING MY OWN, that is virtually absent in vacuum tube designs. Why? How? IF you actually studied tube design, you would find that it has several advantages over solid state design. The tube input impedance is more linear as well as its transfer conductance. Standing alone, a tube outshines ANY fet or bipolar transistor in distortion, especially when it is weighted as to how the ear actually hears.
The limitations in tube design keeps it expensive to make, relatively low power, subject to compromising added parts to make the circuit work, such as caps and transformers, and limited noise performance. However, outstanding examples of tube design going back 50 years, will still outshine 90% of all solid state design made today. This is similar to having a Mercedes Benz 'Gullwing' coupe outperforming 90% of autos today,
...what I've been hearing.
Prior to when I stopped comparing equipment in about 2001, I never heard a solid state amp I could live with for very long (I never heard yours).
They all seem to have an 'electromagnetic' coloration or upper mid grain - which never let me forget I was listening to a ss amp reproducing sound.
The last one I owned was a Pass X-350, which was the best ss amp I'd heard, except for the upper mid grain which eventually got to me.
Good tubes on the other hand sound to me like real music without those colorations and now that the best ones like ARC, VTL, Manley, etc. are reproducing bass and treble almost as good as the best ss, why compromise.
You are a glutton for punishment. That being said, I do admire your stance, being a primarily a s/s manufacturer.
The truth about tubes is reality. It is not ad hype. Now, how do you make solid state products do as well or better (overall) than tubes? That is the challenge! I have worked for 40 years to do this, and I will continue to attempt to make solid state even better, as I learn new ways to optimize active devices.
Yes, it is a hugh SONIC challenge for SS to beat tubes.
Last year I auditioned the new Tenor hybrid power amp with triodes driving MOSFETs OTL, replacing the worldwide famous WP75 all-triode OTL, using the same hi-end set-up I mentioned above with Hyperion speakers & turntable etc etc.
I was not impressed like I did with Tenor all-tube OTL at all. Frankly I was saddened that WP-75 was no longer available.
What about those output transformers?
BTW, how about some numbers. Tube amplifiers typically seem to have at least 1% THD + IM while ss designs are usually a quarter or less of that, some far less. Are you saying tube amplifiers sound better because they have less nonlinear distortion?
My tube preamp has lower distortion than I can measure, under 0.003% at 2.5VRMS out. My tube power amp runs about 0.01%THD at 1W, 0.08%THD just before clipping. IM numbers for the power amp are slightly higher, about 0.02% and 0.1%. Preamp IM is still below measurement threshold. And neither of these designs is very unusual.
I guess from my perspective that the whole point of many components is to cater to measurements of little relevance to sound. Mies Vanderoeh said that in architecture, less is more, certainly many feel the fewer parts in SETs allows them to be truer to the music.
said that. He pointed out that a lot of the appeal of the SET was due to the simplicty of the circuit, and then emulated it with his Aleph series of amps and such. If you looked inside of those amps there was almost nothing in them.
And accurate they are not, at least if you define "accurate" as having the voltage presented to the speaker terminals be a linearly scaled version of the voltage input to the amp. The frequenc response errors alone are waaaaay above the audible threshold (bad pun), not to mention the rather high levels of distortion- tone control AND Aphex.
Nelson is a strong believer in audio as entertainment, not in the musical sense, but in the sense of the purchaser playing around with equipment and adding his (I use that pronoun deliberately) own touch to the music.
NO, just lower WEIGHTED higher order distortion! Of course, they have some or even a lot of 2'nd or 3'rd harmonic distortion. So what?
I'm still trying to understand what you are saying. Are you saying that solid state amplifiers have distortion components above the threshold of audibility but tube amplifiers don't when reproducing the same input signals at the same levels?
In most cases, yes. In other cases, the actual distortion that the ear detects may not be measured by simple IM or distortion tests. Then Hirata measurements (JAES around 1980), or FM modulation may be what we detect. This test equipment is not commonly available.
Relative levels of distortion components are not meaningful, only absolute levels count. Once they are below the threshhold of audibility, what difference what their distribution is? Do you care which is more toxic and has the higher concentration in your water lead or mercury as long as both of them are far below the allowable safe limits? If a solid state amplifier's fifth harmonic distortion component is three times higher than it's third, what difference does it make if it's only .05% of the total signal? It's still inaudible.
"they are below the threshhold of audibility, what difference what their distribution is?"
Prove the distortion made is below this threshold. According to an earlier discussion with JJ, the thersold, depending on the frequency band, much lower than nearly all amps can achieve. Therefore; the order of the distortion is VERY important.
"If a solid state amplifier's fifth harmonic distortion component is three times higher than it's third, what difference does it make if it's only .05% of the total signal? It's still inaudible"
Is it really? Why don't you use Keith Howards software to add distortion to cds and see what is audible. I did this with a solo violin track and I added distortion based on measurements I found for 1Khz distortion for a variety of amps. The difference was audible.
"Do you care which is more toxic and has the higher concentration in your water lead or mercury as long as both of them are far below the allowable safe limits"
Thanks John. You have designed many great amplifiers, and I appreciate your insights into this issue.
The JC1 is very nice solid state amp, among others you have helped to create. How were you able to minimize the adverse affects of solid state in it's design? Many have said it has a tube-like quality.
Also, have you had an opportunity to create tube amp (I would be very interested in listening to it)?
Lynn, I have a number of tube amps around, but the best tube amp that I have drives my STAX headphones directly, without a transformer. It is difficult to get quality tubes that don't cost a fortune for these amps. I'll stick to designing solid state , much like many people gravitate to digital design. I do have a Marantz 10 tuner, that someone gave me. WOW! I have NEVER heard anything better!
I guess that's why you have been designing solid state amps for the last twenty years or so.
Dan, I have been designing power amps for almost 40 years. I first designed the complementary differential input stage, (don't you use it in your amp?) in 1968. I still have the prototype.
If tubes are that much better(acording to you) than why have you not been designing and manufacturing with tubes?
ANSWER THE QUESTION.
I didn't say that tube DESIGNS were better than solid state, I said that A TUBE is better than any solid state device in many ways.
I lived with and used tubes in my hi fi system for the first thirty years of my life. I learned the fundamentals of tube design in college classes along with transistor design. Over 40 years ago I used to repair and maintain vacuum tube hi fi amps and preamps, at Berkeley Custom Electronics, (a high end hi fi store) while I finished college. For the first 10 years of my serious commitment to hi fi as an avocation, I used tube amps, preamps, and tuners almost exclusively, while I learned even more about designing solid state amps to compete with tube design. This is when I developed the complementary differential input stage, in 1968, and achieved distortion levels at 1W below .005%. Since I was using a K-horn, I didn't need more than 10W at the time. It had taken me years to make a power amp that sounded better than a stock Dyna mk3 power amp, but I still had a difficult time matching the sound quality of a Radiocraftsman 10W triode power amp. When I measured both amps, I found that they BOTH achieved .005% IM distortion at 1W slowly rising to .1% IM at 10 W, Neither had crossover distortion as I ran my transistor power amp at .5A quiescent current. They BOTH had a damping factor of about 40, and their frequency response both extended to 100KHz.
What could be the audible difference then?
My imagination? I think not. Then, I read the first paper by Matti Otala, in 1970, that promoted high slew rate, and high open loop bandwidth. I found that the slew rate of my l0W power amp was only a few volts/microsecond, because I had tended to overcompensate the dominant pole in order to get maximum stability with any capacitive load without a lead network or an output inductor. I had gone too far, but this did not effect the IM measurements. I modified the compensation to make the power amp a bit faster, and this did help it subjectively.
Now, why do I design solid state, yet give some credit to tubes? I design solid state, because I am good at it, and it allows more combinations of creative topology, BECAUSE it has complementary devices, lower noise, both enhancement and depletion mode devices, which allows more creative freedom (for me) to try different topologies.
Still, tubes give me serious competition, and I know it.
"I didn't say that tube DESIGNS were better than solid state,"
But then you raise another poser.
"I said that A TUBE is better than any solid state device in many ways. "
Why? Your post discusses circuits not the devices.
I design solid state circuits. Solid state devices are generally inherently inferior to tubes. However, solid state topology CAN help to get around solid state device limitations, but not as well as you might think. Solid state is GREAT for digital, and has always been superior for switching circuits. Analog, it takes an expert to make solid state give good tube designs a close race.
I hear you, you say that Solid state devices are generally inherently inferior to tubes.
Here is a theoretical paper on the differences in amplification devices.
They basically reach a similar conclusion to John.
Thanks, I quibble with the article's treatment of FETs and Triodes, but I will have to look at
Jonathan B. Scott, S. Roxenborg, and Anthony Edward Parker, "Improved triode model," in 6th Australian Regional Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, World Congress Centre, Melbourne, 10-12 Sep. 1996, vol. B-4 Preprint 4301, pp. 1-9, Audio Engineering Society, Inc., New York.
Jonathan B. Scott and Anthony Edward Parker, "A MOSFET model for the simulation of amplifier non-linearity," in 6th Australian Regional Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, World Congress Centre, Melbourne, 10-12 Sep. 1996, vol. B-1 Preprint 4298, pp. 1-11, Audio Engineering Society, Inc., New York
I had a tube on my test bench a few weeks ago that, in grounded cathode, 20VRMS out, showed -68dB second HD, and no measurable higher harmonics. with 37dB of gain. This is all before any application of feedback. Show me a transistor or FET that will do that.
I hope you didn't actually add any feedback. BTW, have you read this?
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~musiclab/feedback-paper-acrobat.pdf#search="boyk and sussman"
Are you technical! Ever heard of transconductance? What about nonlinear input capacitance, nonlinear beta?
Well, in simple terms, they are both transconductance devices, give us your comments technical or otherwise.
Music making the painting, recording it the photograph
The rate of change of the transconductance with current, or delta Gm/delta I is very different for tubes, fets and bipolar transistors. Bipolar transistors are the worst, as they have a change in Gm that is proportional to current, Fets are second worst as their transconductance changes with the square root of the current, and tubes are the best, because they follow a 3/2 law characteristic that can be partially compensated for by the change in output conductance with current. NOW, do you understand?
From the information I have on hand, the transconductance of a vacuum tube is very similar to that of FET.
i.e. For both FETS/Vacuum tubes,
Gm is changes in linear proportion to current change.
Whilst that of BJT, Gm changes with the square root of the current change, which you mistakenly attribute to FETs.
From your discussion, it is not clear why tubes are superior to transistors simply on the basis of the Child-Langmuir law (i.e. 3/2 power law), the transconductance of transistors devices (albeit by different mechanisms for each device), can be compensated for. Or is there any clarification here you want, this is especially true of FETs.
Music making the painting, recording it the photograph
interesting response, and by so doing you avoid answering the original quesion, nice ploy.
Music making the painting, recording it the photograph
It was basically his way of saying you are dead wrong. You have a problem with the boyk paper because it says the same thing John just told you. Fets are basically quadratic, tubes (triodes specifically)follow a 3/2 law, and BJTs are strongly nonlinear (e^x or some such exponential function).
Corrections in respect of BJT accepted.
John said this
"Bipolar transistors are the worst, as they have a change in Gm that is proportional to current," not
"BJTs are strongly nonlinear (e^x or some such exponential function). "
"Tubes usually have a better sound than most solid state."
We can never agree. You are essentially a subjectivist at heart. You do not have an objecive working defiinition of what an amplifier is supposed to do ideally. You judge by sound alone. At what point do you say the amplifier is doing its job, any problem with the sound lies elsewhere? In your way of looking at the problem of sound reproduction, no such point exists. For you, every problem is a nail because what you do is to hammer at them.
"This is partially due to the lower order distortion generated by the tubes themselves, compared to bipolar transistors"
"I CONSTANTLY measure higher order ODD harmonic distortion in solid state designs, INCLUDING MY OWN, that is virtually absent in vacuum tube designs."
"In other cases, the actual distortion that the ear detects may not be measured by simple IM or distortion tests. Then Hirata measurements (JAES around 1980), or FM modulation may be what we detect."
You rationalize your opinions with guesses. At what levels are non linear distortions inaudible. At what level does it no longer matter what the distribution of distortion components are because they are so low nobody can hear them anyway. By your way of thinking, no such level exists. You postulate distortions you cannot measure or speak about distortions in qualitative terms to justify an endless parade of new designs. When do you passs the point of diminishing returns so far that you reach the point of no return? And when do you start looking elsewhere for a real explanation of why some amplifiers sound different from others, one which correlates exactly with measurements so that their design can be optimized once and for all and we have a yardstick everyone can agree on knowing beforehand based on meeting objective design criteria that one amplifier will outperform another even if we don't like the sound of the result? For you I'm afraid the answer is never. For me that day dawned a long long time ago. I find it pointless to think about gnat's eylashes while there are still problems in sound recording and reproduction the size of elephants flying around.
"Yes, and I also postulate what electrons are made of. Have any absolute facts about that?"
it was a whole straw army.
and we are not discussing your subjective opinion, but the scientific basis for the performance of these devices. At this point, I know what I like will not cut it.
Music making the painting, recording it the photograph
You don't like that I pointed out that Soundmind was tossing strawmen like rag dolls? Is that it? No? Must be my comment about John Curl's amps, which if you measure and test, you'd note that "good" hardly does them justice. By what arrogant misreading of a post do you get the idea that I'm proposing something "subjective?" Did you bother to read Soundmind's post to which I replied? Did you just guess that the topic was "the scientific basis for the performance of" John Curl's amps? It wasn't the topic, actually. Where did you read me posting anything like, "I know what I like...?" I lurk here for two reasons, one of which is educational (which diminishes as the ill-humor and personal attacks take the forecourt), the other which is entertainment (which is all about the ill-humor and personal attacks). Not sure if you can see it from your high horse, but your reply is definitely in the "entertainment" category.
whatever you make of my post, your outburst serves to illustrate that you have nothing of value to add to the discussion, the original poster ask for technical justification, not 'I like Amp A'. Or could you point me to something of value that you have added to the thread?
Music making the painting, recording it the photograph
most of you wouldn't be allowed.
My initial post was about strawmen created to justify suppositions about Mr. Curl's desigm methodology. That you may not agree with my post does not render it valueless.
"Outburst?" You still don't have a clue as to why I wrote any comment at all about John's amps, do you? That was an attempt to get Soundmind to make a disparaging remark about a product that fulfills both his "requirements" for the function of an amp, and measures extremely well. He obliged.
Really, that looks more like an "A" after your moniker rather than a "B," so maybe you should just relax. Soundmind's sense of humor is letting him continue, as he is very comfortable with his position(s) and his knowledge base, and I'm enjoying doing the same with him. Don't read any of my posts if you don't find any "value."
What was the technical value of your intent? None.
That was an attempt to get Soundmind to make a disparaging remark
Have you done a survey of the technical merit of posts in this thread? No? Oh well, I was rather looking forward to the facts.
"Damn those JC-1s are gooood!"
I use Nagras. Tubes. No negative feedback. Those Nagra guys haven't got a clue what they're doing. But since I'm not a measuring device, it doesn't really matter, does it?
"Those Nagra guys haven't got a clue what they're doing."
If you know of others who are as clueless as the engineers at Nagra, let me know. I'd love to audition whatever they've got....
I'm curious Soundmind as you are constantly attacking, criticizing and berating John Curl as a designer, what audio components do you design & manufactuer that are as good or superior to John's?
From his JC-1 preamp which he designed for Mark Levinson and I owned and IMHO stomped all other solid state preamps I heard at that time, to the Blow Torch preamp which John had a hand in, but I never heard, John designers wonderful audio components.
Even if John designs his equipment subjectively as you claim, even if John doesn't have a working defiinition of what an amplifier is supposed to do ideally (which I highly doubt) even if 100% of what it appears you fabricate against John is true, what it really comes down to is this...
Does John, design, manufactuer and sell a solidstate component that sells well? Now I readily admit that selling well isn't typically a graet indicator, after all look at all the IPODS being sold. However when one considers the expense involved in purchasing one of John's products, I'd have to believe that the people laying out those amounts of $$$$$ would listen and probably very carefully before buying, wouldn't you?
Now consider that John does indeed sells his products, which means after listening and considering what must be spent to obtain John's product the consumer decides it's the best (in their opinion) for the $$$$ they're spending. They could have bought a Dan Banquer designed product, but they didn't the bought Johns product.
Now look at the resale price (usually a very good indicator of quality) and notice how John's products command a high resale value and THOSE numbers speak about the quality of John's components.
Unless of course you believe that the majority of solid state loving audiophiles are mindless idiots who don't have the foggest idea what real, live unamplified music sounds like?
Very little solid state audio components sound musically correct IMHO. However John's products are one of the few I include in the group of solid state components that do!
I have to admit for all his arrogance here on Prop Head I haven't th foggest idea what Dan Banquer designs and builds or ever designed and built as far as highend audio components are concerned.
John. My hat's off to you. Just keep on, keeping on. Your continued sucess of designing and selling expensive soild state audio components speaks volumes on what you make.
However willingness to admit publically that a product different from your own, i.e. tubed equipment is as good or better than your solid state components is admireable from my POV. It also speaks volumes about your character as a man!
"Very little solid state audio components sound musically correct IMHO"
Solid state audio components don't make any sound, neither do tube components. They perform a strictly electrical function. What I asked John Curl to define is what that function ideally is and what criteria he uses to determine if he has met his design goals in fulfilling that function. That is what engineers do, they define design goals and evaluate how well they've met them, they do not evaluate their results by subjective criteria. That may play a role in a marketer's evaluation of sucess or failure but not in an engineer's.
"I'm curious Soundmind as you are constantly attacking, criticizing and berating John Curl as a designer, what audio components do you design & manufactuer that are as good or superior to John's?"
First of all, I did not attack his designs, I questioned the philosophy of his attitude towards the practice of design and engineering and the standards by which to measure it. That is an entirely separate issue. If you must know what I have designed that I have contributed publically so far, it's the concept and circuit which was incorporated (according to me), in the Yamaha DSP1. On the advice of legal counsel, I did not pursue them over it. At this point, it hardly matters anyway, the patent is expired and the idea was never favored much by audiophiles. I have other ideas which don't much interest anyone either.
Soundmind you stated "Solid state audio components don't make any sound, neither do tube components." I would have to say that statement is 100% incorrect in a real-world enviroment.
As EVERY audio component is distorting in one way or another, they are adding something to the signal that wasn't there originally. I know you'd probably argue that it's inaudible, but I disagree! Thus to the extent that they add distortion, or if they are interacting with the other component's LCR parameters or for reasons I don't even know are happening, they are adding a characteristic sound that's uniquely their own. So I'd argue that ALL audio components do indeed have a unique "sound".
I believe you're just playing one of the many Objectivist games. In fact the "sound" game is the same one that Dan Banquer also likes to play when he states "One of these days the crackpots are going to realize that there is no real sound of wire..." (See link provided)
However this time you're wrong! EVERY audio component I've ever heard imparted a unique "sound" of it's own on the music. Whether this is due to their own unique way of distoring, or if they are interacting with the other component's LCR parameters or for reasons I don't even know are happening, it's an undeniable fact. While it's true that in a perfect world an amplifier would ONLY amplify the signal it's being feed, the ideal would be straight-wire with gain as they say. However, it's not a perfect world. NO audio component does ONLY what it was designed for. Unfortunately they all vary from perfection and they all do it uniquely, thus all have a unique sound characteristic.
Now as for your comment that you didn't attack John's designs. Again I'd disagree with you. Attack can mean: The word attack is often used to mean criticize or accuse (this usage may have started in newspaper headlines, where "attack" typesets into less text line length than "criticize") Now let's look at these comments of yours as addressed to John:
1) You do not have an objective working definition of what an amplifier is supposed to do ideally. You judge by sound alone. At what point do you say the amplifier is doing its job, any problem with the sound lies elsewhere? In your way of looking at the problem of sound reproduction, no such point exists. For you, every problem is a nail because what you do is to hammer at them. (Here you critic how he designs his components, i.e. "by sound alone" as if you're there and actually know, you also critic John problem solving abilities)
2)To this comment "Damn those JC-1s are gooood!" (YOU replied, You are easy to please.) Sounds like a critic of his product to me!
Finally I asked what you've audio components you've made that's as good or superior to John's designs. To that YOU responded "If you must know what I have designed that I have contributed publically so far, it's the concept and circuit which was incorporated (according to me), in the Yamaha DSP1. On the advice of legal counsel, I did not pursue them over it. At this point, it hardly matters anyway, the patent is expired and the idea was never favored much by audiophiles. I have other ideas which don't much interest anyone either."
I'd say the fact that audiophiles don't favor your ideas and you other ideas which don't much interest anyone either, speaks volumes about your abilities to design and build a marketable audio product to discerning audiophiles. That's something John has been doing since the JC-1 preamp he designed for Mark Levinson so many, many years ago.
PLEASE don't misunderstand me. I believe you're intelligent, but being intelligent or even gifted in one area doesn't mean your intelligent or even gifted in another different area. When you start designing, manufactuering and selling audio components that others start to prefer over John's designs perhaps then you can start attacking/criticing how John designs, solves problems and defines how and what the function ideally is and what criteria John uses to determine if he has met his design goals in fulfilling that function!
Tell then it's all just techno-babble speak on your part, that seems more due to the fact that you believe John is a Subjectivist than for any other real reason.
"Soundmind you stated "Solid state audio components don't make any sound, neither do tube components." I would have to say that statement is 100% incorrect in a real-world enviroment"
If you put your ear up to one, you might hear the transformer humming. That's about as much sound as it makes. It is strictly an electrical device which can only be properly evaluated by its electrical performance. Setting the criteria for that performance is a big part of what elecrical engineering it all about whether non engineers understand that or not.
"As EVERY audio component is distorting in one way or another, they are adding something to the signal that wasn't there originally. I know you'd probably argue that it's inaudible, but I disagree! "
Based on what? That's the issue. Engineers don't guess. They don't hypothesize. They find out what the required performance is, they set standards they must achieve to meet or exceed it, and then they test their products to see if it meets those standards. Period! Anything else is tinkering. You cannot be an engineer and a subjectivist at the same time, it's one or the other. They may argue the pros and cons of different approaches, the relative merits of different types of shortcomings but they don't design without at least some goal in mind and some way to know if they achieved it. And they don't dismiss the success of one effort, even their own because it doesn't compensate for the failure of another, especially when the product of that other effort varies from day to day and person to person. For all Curl knows, he may have built the perfect amplifier and didn't know it because his method of evaluation can't tell him whether he did or not.
"2)To this comment "Damn those JC-1s are gooood!" (YOU replied, You are easy to please.) Sounds like a critic of his product to me!"
What's the matter, don't you have any sense of humor about life?
"I'd say the fact that audiophiles don't favor your ideas and you other ideas which don't much interest anyone either, speaks volumes about your abilities to design and build a marketable audio product to discerning audiophiles."
Not necessarily but we have no way to know that one way or the other for a long time. Many inventions which were groundbreaking generated no interest at first but later became very widely used. FM radio was one. The acoustic suspension loudspeaker was another.
"When you start designing, manufactuering and selling audio components that others start to prefer over John's designs perhaps then you can start attacking/criticing how John designs, solves problems and defines how and what the function ideally is and what criteria John uses to determine if he has met his design goals in fulfilling that function!"
I could just as justifialy say to you that when you become an engineer, you can enter into a discussion about how engineers approach problems and evaluate the results of their efforts regardless of what field they are in but until you do, you are not ready for such a discussion because you don't understand the issues.
"That's the issue. Engineers don't guess. They don't hypothesize"
That about sums you up. No intuition, no imagination. Its no wonder you can't hear a difference you are set in stone. Just an old fossil someone will dig up in a million years.
It is also no wonder that you cannot understand the changes around you where creative engineers decided to look back on old technology to see if there was something important there that they had missed before. You know what?? They did find something!! Quite a lot actually.
It is quite often in science that people go back over old theories, some forgotten and discover a new relevance to the theory (Einstein's cosmological constant is a good example). It is insulting that you think a very large group of people are delusional and somehow you are the one who isn't! These are EXPERIENCED listeners who are disagreeing with you. Of course trying to penetrate a lifetime of unimaginative, unintuitive, calcified thoughts seems to be impossible.
I don't think you have listened to modern tube gear with an open ear. Your preconeived notions completely forbid a shift in the paradigm of your thinking. No one here claims perfection. They would be foolish to do so. But your inability to even grant some of the obvious advantages to the sound of top tube gear tells me either you haven't really heard it or you heard it but your brain won't allow you to admit even the obvious.
""2)To this comment "Damn those JC-1s are gooood!" (YOU replied, You are easy to please.) Sounds like a critic of his product to me!"
What's the matter, don't you have any sense of humor about life?"
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