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Single Ended Triodes (SETs), the ultimate tube lovers dream.

RE: Properly designed SE amps

I agree with the quadratic non-linearity.

All topologies have some kind of problem(s).

Really good push/pull-- really good--- sounds
just like the best SE, but they're very different
animals as you point out.

I would point out that the P/P or any balanced topology
is processing the signal (if it had started out as a SE signal--
there are some sound labs that use all SE topology-- ),
applying Common-Mode rejection to it-- the
distortions & noise are lowered.

Just how much of what is filtered out was music? Is
perhaps the lack of this filtering why we love SE amps?

Yet I have heard all balanced systems that sound exactly
like the best SE systems-- NO audible differences!

It comes down to the designer-- what you get in your
listening room. It is very possible that the best
SE amps require certain speakers, and those speakers
may offer some sort of corrections---?.

High power SE's have never interested me because of
the output trans limitations and the power required
to drive the large output device.

It's an amp driving another amp, so why not just
listen to the stage before the output device?
You get fewer signal quality losses due to excessive parts,
better sound-- so why not just get a speaker that needs less power?

As your top-notch work indicates, the two
examples are different anyhow-- the handling of
musical data will be different depending on how many
stages are used. I certainly agree with your work
on P/P amps-- different coupling methods, etc.,
will deliver different handling of waveforms.

In the end, one may decide to change or even
compromise one topology in some way in order to
get a better overall result. For instance, one may
choose to drive a P/P output stage with a single triode
that is driving an interstage transformer-- using
the transformer as a phase inverter.

You would see a flaw right there, and you would be
correct. Someone else, however, might look at it
differently-- see that it is very simple, has a truly
balanced phase inverter, and has
few signal losses in the circuitry even though
things look better if that amp is just balanced all
the way-- giving a far different handling of the signal.

One could point out-- why not trash the transformer
phase inverter and just install two triodes-- that's
better, isn't it? SURE-- for about 10 minutes.

One need only wait until the two tubes decide to
differ from each other. Then, the single-triode
driving the transformer/phase inverter will CREAM it.

Now, which one is going to be the most fun for the
user? Especially if he keeps it for long time, and
puts many hours on it?

Why wear-out tube sockets-- that's another signal
compromising problem for sure....

Well, which one is going to sound the best?

That would depend on what the designer did with
the rest of the amp, and what he did to minimize the
effects of the flaw.

Kudos to you and your fine work, Ralph!


Edits: 10/04/21 10/04/21 10/04/21

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