Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: Has anyone else tried this experiment? posted by vinnie2 on July 07, 2017 at 13:15:10
I posted this link about the multi-type tube line stage a while ago but I think it is still relevant.
The switch arrangement satisfies most of your requirements except for volume. All of the tubes are warmed up and operating with current flowing through them that is reasonably appropriate for the tube type. The switching can be accomplished in two seconds. The rest of the listening chain (source, amp, speakers, cables) remains the same.
If I could notice differences between different tubes in a line stage then I should notice differences between amps, which I do.
As my write-up points out, switching quickly between different tubes didn't work well for me. I found it was preferable to take my time to make comparisons. The style of music also made a difference to my preferences.
"The switch arrangement satisfies most of your requirements except for volume. "
That's not a minor point Ray. Failure to level the outputs prior to switching between them invalidates the experiment. I was involved in extensive double-blind A/B tests of SS amplifiers in the '70s and '80s. Higher-gain amplifiers must be padded down to eliminate this difference. Results become virtually nonsensical otherwise, with multiple listeners more frequently reaching different conclusions. That aside, I do think use of phones for these types of tests is more appropriate than speakers, particularly when vacuum tube power amps are involved. It's too easy otherwise to be fooled by variations caused by the tube/speaker interface.
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
Interesting write up Ray. I had the opposite results when I tried listening for a greater length of time before switching. I kept wondering does that sound different or doesn't it? For me the only way to know is to be able to compare it immediately on the same passage of music.
When you heard the differences between amps, were you switching between hot amps or were you disconnecting one and hooking up another?
We all different and we have to respect and appreciate those differences.
Agreed. I edited my post as you were replying. Were you using hot switching when you heard a difference between the amps?
The chain at the time was CD source > tube taster line stage > amplifier > loudspeakers. Only the high voltage of the line stage was turned off momentarily as I switched between tubes and then high voltage was reapplied. The CD player and amplifier were all turned on the entire time. I heard a difference irrespective of which amplifier I used.
The one thing that bothers me is that it might be possible for complete amps to sound the same even when single tubes don't due to all the other things that go into an amp. There has to be some reason that I have found quite a few reports that say if amps are within their limits and not distorting it is very difficult to tell them apart.
Every amp sounds very different than any other amp-- variations
are huge and completely obvious on a system that is transparent
all the way through.
The ability to play these differences-- and they are huge-- lies
in the transfer efficiency of all interconnects, cables, and in the high-efficiency dynamic accuracy that transducers either have, or don't have.
Most people doing comparison tests are listening for tonal differences only.
That's about two percent of actually reproducing music. While tonal characteristics do count, other factors such as event timing and
overall micro and macro dynamic presentations-- and their timing
accuracies-- are what separates real music reproduction from the
cheap cloning of music-- which isn't complete enough.
Headphones are best to spot individual component variations where
the speakers and cables are not efficient enough to reproduce small
differences. With that being said, really great speaker systems can
be more revealing and more transparent than any headphone.
I don't consider listening, or AB tests conclusive. I agree with
other posters that long-term association with the components, playing
many different kinds of music, among friends is what tells the tale
in the end.
Either you love playing everything on the system, or you don't.
Personal preferences count very little. The closer the performance
becomes to you, the more you will want to play music.
Only all kinds count here, and Blu-Ray movies should be watched
on the same system. Is Blu-Ray audio that good? Not especially,
one can beat it with the best L.P.s played on e great phono setup.
What does a good Blu-Ray movie do for you? It sets different approaches
to playing and using music and adds special effects.
This is a world that most Hi-Fi systems can fall woefully short
at reproducing. What a thrill to find that your system is also
world-class in this arena!
Invite friends over for movies. If your system has problems-- of
any kind, it will be very obvious, and you can proceed from there!
"other factors such as event timing..."
Could you explain what you mean by this? Are you suggesting part of the music is coming out delayed, relative to the rest? Could you give figures for the magnitude of these relative delays?
it's related to 'transfer efficiency', and only your ears are able to notice it.
Friend, I would not hurt thee for the world...but thou art standing where I am about to shoot.
Does this mean that if you can't tell the difference between two or more amps then they are perfect? If that is so, then I enjoy the imperfections of my less than wonderful amps. They are what makes the hobby interesting for me and why I continue to build with the hope of learning something along the way.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: