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Tubes and Low end...

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DTB300

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kach22i said:
That's kind of what I meant when I joked about the mini monitors, the bass is there but you do have to listen for it. With the Maggies you felt it more than heard it - care to explain that one for me?
That is more the nature of the panels than the amp driving them.

If Tube Amps were the best thing for low end, then all the well known Sub Systems - ML, REL, SVS, Velodyne and others would not be using SS to drive them. They must know something we don't :)

I am not here to argue that Tubes do not sound good, as they do, just as SS sounds good. Both come down to proper design and execution as there are as many bad sounding tube amps as their are SS amps - there just happens to be many more SS amps in the lower price category - and most are not that great sounding.

For control and accuracy of the lower registers, I really do not think SS can be beat. Now midrange....that is a different story all together...

Dan
 
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risabet

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DTB300 said:
That is more the nature of the panels than the amp driving them.

If Tube Amps were the best thing for low end, then all the well known Sub Systems - ML, REL, SVS, Velodyne and others would not be using SS to drive them. They must know something we don't :)

I am not here to argue that Tubes do not sound good, as they do, just as SS sounds good. Both come down to proper design and execution as there are as many bad sounding tube amps as their are SS amps - there just happens to be many more SS amps in the lower price category - and most are not that great sounding.

For control and accuracy of the lower registers, I really do not think SS can be beat. Now midrange....that is a different story all together...
Dan
There are other issues in the use of SS amps in subs, specifically, do <b>YOU</b> want to open your sub every 18 to 24 months to change the tubes, and talk about a microphonic environment!

Seriously, I agree with your premise that, all things considered, SS amps have better control of the really low bass, say 40Hz to 20Hz and below. This I think is due to the low output impedance of the SS amp. Electrically, the woofer appears directly connected to the output devices of the amp which can than absorb any back EMF generated by the voice coil keeping it under tight control.
 

kach22i

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Myth or fact?

The bass guitar on most recordings (CD & LP) typicaly does not go below 50Hz.

I was told the above long ago and since then it's explained a lot of loudspeaker specs.

If true and depending on speaker load (of course) can tubes really kick out the bass?

I mean if they could you would be seeing tubes used in guitar amplifiers....................never mind. :)

Oh, don't give me that tube distortion story - classical jazz guitar sounds good with old tube amps without digging into the feedback/reverb/distortion Hendrix-like thing.

I am not an engineer, I'll be using my ears and very biased opinion on this one...........could get silly or ugly depending on the crowd. :D
 

DTB300

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kach22i said:
Myth or fact?
The bass guitar on most recordings (CD & LP) typicaly does not go below 50Hz.
Got me by the short ones there :D as I am not familiar enough with bass guitars.

But we can look at the CLS speaker that starts to roll off at 50 or so and it puts out plenty of bass - Right Jeff and Roberto? It just does not put out that low low "feel it" bass - some want this effect, some are happy with what is reproduced.

If true and depending on speaker load (of course) can tubes really kick out the bass?
Sure, but it is the contol and accuracy of the bass in the low registers that SS takes care of so well.

I mean if they could you would be seeing tubes used in guitar amplifiers....................never mind. :)
Most guitar players that I know have head amps that are tubes and they would not want it any other way.

Oh, don't give me that tube distortion story - classical jazz guitar sounds good with old tube amps without digging into the feedback/reverb/distortion Hendrix-like thing.
Oh, but that distortion is there in its own way, just as SS has its distortion. Just depends on if you like that distortion in your listen pleasures and preferences.

I'll be using my ears and very biased opinion on this one...........could get silly or ugly depending on the crowd. :D
And that it the BEST way to determine your system and its make up. Never mind what any of us say here in this forum - we just have our own opinions and that is all it is - an opinion.

Each of us lives in our own homes and listens to our own systems, and if we are happy with the sound, then we have a great system. Does not matter if the system is a Sears Rack System, ML's, Krell, Levinson, TAD, VTL, ARC, Meitner, Wilsons, VPI, Manley, Legacy, Plinius, Magnepan, stock or modded, etc. etc. etc. If the person likes it, it is a GREAT sytsem.

Dan
 

DTB300

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Regardless of the type of amp being used in this discussion of low end reproduction, there is a great new product coming out to help ALL of us in getting the low end right in our rooms.

It is an equalization system specifically for 200Hz on down. Velodyne and Infinity have this with their subs already to improve their units. This new product will be a system that can be used with ANY sub. This will be a great product to use in addition to room adjustments (traps, etc) to get that low end to sound right - ie. peaks and dips in frequency response...

I will post some info here from the manufacturer. Note: I am not affiliated with this company at all and have nothing to gain other than helping out others looking to correct low end problems in their rooms. I have been on a waiting list for the product since Sept 2004 when I first heard about it. It is scheduled for release, as of latest posts, in about 30 days from now.

**** Start of Manufacturer info *****

A DSP-based parametric EQ which is controlled and programmed via your PC - interfaces via USB to the device.

Features include:

Four fully parametric filters (frequency, width of boost or cut and gain), user adjustable subsonic filter (high pass) with on/off, user adjustable low pass with on/off, the ability to store multiple curves for different types of movies or music (whatever you want really) and a super easy to use computer interface.

Why do you want it? Low-frequency sound waves are very long physically. They interact with the walls in your listening room and this causes dips and peaks in the frequency response. A peak of 10-15dB at one single frequency is common. This is very audible to even the average listener even if they don't know what they are hearing.

You measure the response of the bass in-room and design a reverse curve. Click a button and in less than 200ms, the EQ is uploaded to the hardware! You can design and then store up to five curves in the hardware. This means you can design (if you wish), a 'house curve' for movies, a flat curve for your favorite music etc. You can even design curves for specific movies and albums. Any of these five curves can be selected by the push of a button on the front of the unit. The only time your PC needs to be connected to the hardware is when uploading new curves.

***** End of manufacturer info *****

So you can have five programmed frequency adjustments (curves) in the hardware at any time - yet be able to upload any new ones at any time. The only item that will not be included is something along the line of a Rad Shack SPL meter. There has been discussion about microphones and mic pre-amps to use to take readings back to the program, but the Rad Shack is the minimal addition you will need ($40). They will even include a program that generates 1/12 octove frequencies for testing and a graphing program showing you the response you are getting. Find your four most severe problems and fix them (boost or reduction) and program the DSP with them.

The unit has two RCA in and two RCA out - no XLR at this time, and a USB connection.

What is this product called: R-DES and will be priced at $399 during its initial release.

The only reservations I have about this product, is the company is notorious for relelasing products much later than announced. But the last post that I have read on R-DES, is the product is about 30 days or so away from release. This product was shown at CES and received alot of attention and praise from folks.

Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

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OK my 2 cents and I was going to avoid some of this..............really.
I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and yes most every guitar player I know and have known that care about sound likes the sound of tubes. Guitar players are not as "finicky" with their amps with regards to tubes as some audiophiles. They will usually get the "sound" they want and leave it alone from that point on. SS amps are also good but from standpoint of maintenance, protability and expense. Most of the jazz players you find and some of the "older" rock & rollers also use tube amps.

The bottlom line on this is their is a difference in sound and it does come down to preference. Tubes tend to be "mellower" in overall timbre where SS tends to be brighter and lets say more piercing in sound. There are definite design differences and reasons for having either type based on music and where they are used specifically in performance venues.

As far as the CLS's, the do produce an amazing amount of bass. I have some recordings with acoustic bass that abosolutly blows me away on the realism and it's ability to reproduce the lower end. On electric bass, which are the same notes as an acoustic, we will ignore extensions on an acoustic bass and 5 string basses here, the difference is how the signal is amplified. An electric bass produces a more vibrant and intense signal which appears either as louder or has been "eq'd and.or doubled to produce more sound. This is done for effect and is not as natural as it would seem. Does the CLS reproduce that, well most of it. Will it give you that chest thumping feeling, no, it will not. It is not phyically capable of moving that much air as a acoustic suspension box speaker. It is by design not deficiency. It comes down to what you are looking for in sound, what you like and what you can afford to get there. :p

So which is better SS or tubes? It is a matter of preference, likes and dislikes, room resonances, and budget. I have a tube pre and a SS amp. The sound is superb to my ears. Would I buy a tube amp, maybe would it be a "wow factor" in difference, I do not think so and will be in line with the magnitude of money spent on what is realized, nope. IMHO!!!! :eek:

Now that was a lot of hot air and only my opinion. No matter what anyone chooses, most of the time it will be the correct, for that time. Remember, this is a hobby and seeking out the holy grail of equipment is not the most important thing but the listening of music and/or sound that is enjoyable and the pursuit of nirvanna I choose. :rolleyes:

BTW, I have always had tube guitar amps! :D







Jeff
 

kach22i

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Jeff Zaret said:
OK my 2 cents and I was going to avoid some of this..............
I'm glad you decided to share, it's a good read. :)
 

DTB300

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Jeff Zaret said:
OK my 2 cents and I was going to avoid some of this...

Now that was a lot of hot air and only my opinion. No matter what anyone chooses, most of the time it will be the correct, for that time. Remember, this is a hobby and seeking out the holy grail of equipment is not the most important thing but the listening of music and/or sound that is enjoyable and the pursuit of nirvanna I choose.

BTW, I have always had tube guitar amps! :D
Jeff
Dang...only a 2 Cent reply today huh? :confused: Thanks for jumping in with another viewpoint to this discussion. It has been fun.

Dan
 

zaphod

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Jeff Zaret said:
As far as the CLS's, the do produce an amazing amount of bass. I have some recordings with acoustic bass that abosolutly blows me away on the realism and it's ability to reproduce the lower end.
I have to concurr, on both salamander pie (Jay Leonhart) and Girl Talk (Holly Cole) there is string bass work that gets the CLS moving and the reproduction matches what i remember from my days as a concert musician. deep, clean, moving and resonant.

certainly, the CLS can't move internal organs, but then little live music has done that. except perhaps organs with all the stops pulled out.

shaking internal organs i reserve for HT applications :)
 

zaphod

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DTB300 said:
A DSP-based parametric EQ which is controlled and programmed via your PC - interfaces via USB to the device. ...You measure the response of the bass in-room and design a reverse curve. Dan
Wow, there really is nothing new under the sun. I remember BSR had an equalizer (EQ-3000) in the late 70's or early 80's that came with a pink noise generator and a mike. you put the mike where you listened and the pink noise generated from the speakers fed back into the equalizer to create a curve that turned your speaker response flat.

now, where'd i put the drawings for that wheel-thingy i was working on ... :cool:
 

DTB300

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zaphod said:
Wow, there really is nothing new under the sun. I remember BSR had an equalizer (EQ-3000) in the late 70's or early 80's that came with a pink noise generator and a mike. you put the mike where you listened and the pink noise generated from the speakers fed back into the equalizer to create a curve that turned your speaker response flat.
Except most people do not like the sound of flat believe it or not. It will be nice to be able to boost or reduce where we want, and not where a slide is. But then again the Parametic EQ's were also out years ago too....

Yes the old EQ days are still around, except now they do it with no slide levers to get dirty, just a DSP.

Dan
 
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Erictrostatic

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Jeff Zaret said:
OK my 2 cents and I was going to avoid some of this..............really.
Jeff
That was indeed a very good read. I have a sense that Jeff is actually a Master who only comes out from the deep mountain once a while....
 

SteveInNC

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DTB300 said:
Except most people do not like the sound of flat believe it or not. It will be nice to be able to boost or reduce where we want, and not where a slide is. But then again the Parametic EQ's were also out years ago too....

Yes the old EQ days are still around, except now they do it with no slide levers to get dirty, just a DSP.

Dan
I have an older Sony GX900ES ProLogic receiver that has a three (four?) channel DSP parametric eq built in, with different curve settings for each signal source. It does not have a feedback mike ala the BSR above, so you either use external test equipment, or tweak things by ear. The EQ curves are shown on the electroflourescent display.

My concern with devices such as those decribed above is that I would think that you would have to account for the quality of the mike used, the confounding response curves of the mike and associated measuring electronics, etc. I'll admit that for any reasonable quality mike, it will still probably do better than your ear as far as setting a reasonably-compensated curve, but we're supposed to be audiophiles.... :)

Typical PC audio inputs would seem to be of even lower quality than that of cheap mikes.
 

Jeff Zaret

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DTB300 said:
Dang...only a 2 Cent reply today huh? :confused: Thanks for jumping in with another viewpoint to this discussion. It has been fun.

Dan
Yeah 2 cents was all I had today

Jeff
 

Jeff Zaret

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Erictrostatic said:
That was indeed a very good read. I have a sense that Jeff is actually a Master who only comes out from the deep mountain once a while....
Master huh? :eek:
Maybe just an "older" fart who has been around audio since he was a kid and has seen many changes - good & bad :rolleyes:
I also have realtive pitch which can be a hinderance having "too" good of hearing. This is where I can actually tell you the notes you are playing or hearing. It was a lot sharper when I was younger and more involved in music.

Huh ?? Did someone say something LOL :D

Jeff
 

roberto

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my heart is with CLS and tubes...

Hola chicos!!!...yes, I know that I have being a little away from the forum, but here I am again...
The story nevers ends...SS vs Tubes. What I like on tubes over transistors are 1) sweeter sound 2) great scenario 3) air between instruments 4) size of the instruments 5) the harmonic distortion is even and we can't hear it 6) with 10000 uF and 500 V. on plates we have over 250 Joules, 40.000 uf with 80 V. on collectors will give around 60 Joules. None talks regarding this. (Storage energy) 7) you can play with the impedance tabs at the output transformers, so you can choose the one that you like most, without harming the amp. 8) tubes are more musical, but transistors are more precise regarding of bass mostly. 9) many times when you have a problem, the repair on tubes are easy...and usually less money. 10) Trust your ears...and choose the one that you like most. Both SS or Tubes will make your ML to shine, giving tons of enjoy of what we like most: MUSIC!!!
Happy listening...
Warm regards from Costa Rica, my friends...
Roberto
 

roberto

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ooooooooppppppppssss sorry guys...

Dear friends...please I am sorry. I said many things that has nothing to do regarding the discussion...

SS is better for driving low cone speakers than tubes...please sorry again for the missunderstanding! If I have to choose, and having cone speakers (inductive load) for lows, SS is far better 1) there is no transformer to match the impedance 2) the control is more evident 3) the speed control and the damping factor wins the battle here...not so sure for electrostatic bass (capacitive load) or plannar bass (resistive load)

Again, I will say, trust your ears and choose the one that you like most...
Happy listening,
R.
 

DTB300

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roberto said:
Hola chicos!!!...yes, I know that I have being a little away from the forum, but here I am again...
About time you got back here :rolleyes: :D

Both SS or Tubes will make your ML to shine, giving tons of enjoy of what we like most: MUSIC!!!
The bottom line for all of us, no matter what our preferences or budgets are. The Music...

Dan
 

Robin

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SS Amplifiers ~ Power Deep Bass Better for HT DVD Dynamics...

IMHO, I also believe SS amplifiers drive bass with more effectively and with power / authority from 40Hz to 20Hz and below. When I say below, I am of course referring to the electronically synthesized deep lower bass in the applied dynamics of DVD's. For instance, DTS 5.1 sound tracks, which sonically go below 20Hz during dynamic sound effects, which makes HT system demands for powerfully dynamic SS amplifiers for optimal sonic nirvana, IMHO. :rocker:
 

Craig

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If Tube Amps were the best thing for low end, then all the well known Sub Systems - ML, REL, SVS, Velodyne and others would not be using SS to drive them. They must know something we don't :)
Most subwoofers use Digital (switching) amplifiers which are technically a different animal than traditional SS amps. Digital amps have the advantage of being very compact, cool running and produce the best bass. They don't really do mids and highs all that well according to a recent Digital Amp shootout article in a popular audiophile magazine (Absolute Sound ?).

In my opinion, the best of both worlds for bi-wireable Martin Logans is the use of Tubes for the Panels and SS or Digital amplification for the Woofers.

If you have Summits or Vantages then your speakers are actually biamped since the woofers are already being driven with an internal digital amplifier. I use an Art Audio Jota tube amp with 520 V2 tubes on my Summits with excellent results and the bass is great. Yes you can feel it in the chest. (Sleepysurf- you should hear the Summits now). Yet there is still room for improvement.

I am working to improve and tighten the bass even more by treating my room acoustics. I just purchased a pair of ASC bass traps and will making some more acoustic panels to hang on the walls.

Here's a free tweak - I've experimented with stuffing the corners of my room with all the pillows and rolled up comforters (when the wife is not around of course) I could find and the overall sound is significantly improved. Room acoustics are important yet figuring out what to do in a particular room is challenging to say the least.
 
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