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That tube sound?

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David Mc

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Post Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm

That tube sound?

Recently ther was a discussion on the "tube sound" of a C-19. I know that Bob Carver, like many audiophiles, likes sound of vacuum tubes. He has successfully imitated that sound in a number of his tube transfer amps, with the "t" designation. I've heard this sound described as warmer, softer, having more musicality than the sound produced by solid state equipment.

I have a nice (at least I like it) setup of solid state equipment, an sd/a 490t CD player, which has a tube output stage, a Sunfire Symphonic Ref Pre Amp and the Sunfire 600 X 2 amp driving a pair of ALS Silver Editions. My question is, if I want to get that "tube sound" could I get there by replacing the Symphonic Ref pre amp with a C-19, or a Sunfire vacuum tube pre amp? Have I already achieved that sound with the 490t? If I get a tube pre amp is it all for naught if I don't get a vacuum tube amp also? In other words soes a solid state amp negate or minimize the sound of the upstream tube components? Or does each component have the ability to add more and more tube sound? Can you gave too much tube sound?

I also read discussions of guys changing out the brand, or type, of tubes and that changes the sound noticably. I know there are a lot of you regular posters on this site who have an incredible wealth of knowledge, and I've already learned a lot just reading your posts, so what's a good way for a simple solid state guy to unlock the sublime mysteries of the vacuum tube? I appreciate your advice.
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treitz3

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:03 am

Re: That tube sound?

Keep what you have and start rolling tubes, brother. That's my advice.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

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Mr. M-500t

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:07 am

Re: That tube sound?

You have a nice line up there guy ! Wish I could help you with the tube thing but I haven't matured yet ! You'll get plenty of help though. Good luck.
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F1nut

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:29 am

Re: That tube sound?

He has successfully imitated that sound in a number of his tube transfer amps, with the "t" designation. I've heard this sound described as warmer, softer, having more musicality than the sound produced by solid state equipment.


Let me dispel that myth. The "t" amps do not sound like a tube amp.

If I get a tube pre amp is it all for naught if I don't get a vacuum tube amp also? In other words [d]oes a solid state amp negate or minimize the sound of the upstream tube components?


No, many use a tube pre amp with a SS amp. It can be the best of both worlds.

Can you gave too much tube sound?


Perhaps, but it is more dependent on the tubes used rather than the piece of gear.
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TNRabbit

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:10 am

Re: That tube sound?

I will add to what F1Nut said by saying "synergy" (we use the hell out if that word) of the total system together has a LOT to do with the final sound that reaches your ears. The is no Magic Bullet in audio.

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F1nut

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:00 pm

Re: That tube sound?

Der Rabbit is right, synergy trumps all else.
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.



In a recent press conference, President Obama remarked, "If I had a city, it would look just like Detroit."
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mbskeam

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:45 pm

Re: That tube sound?

Symphonic Ref pre amp


if you want to sell this let me know.....
thanks....
mike
Mbskeam


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kingman

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:34 pm

Re: That tube sound?

treitz3 wrote:Keep what you have and start rolling tubes, brother. That's my advice.

I'd have to agree with Treitz3...you have a nice set up. If it already sounds good, just substitute tubes in the cd player until you hear the sound you like.
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!
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Scarabeo

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Post Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: That tube sound?

The Biggest up-grade to my system was my 390t! I use a Tube amp but a SS Sunfire TGP-1 in stereo so I say next would be my amp but again YOU have good stuff and Tube CD will be the Biggest part of your system. If you want to go more tube then SS check out some tube buffers! I know little about them but help can be found here and that with your sunfire would be nice.
BillD, You will be forever with us! RIP until we meet again on the other side...
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David Mc

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:34 am

Re: That tube sound?

Thanks for all the replies. You guys are great. You're saving me a lot of money.

It sounds like I should try some different tubes. I went on to a web site that sells audio tubes (the tube store.com). They claim that a 6922 can be used to replace the original . They have a few that claim to bring out a warmer and smoother sound for pre amps and CD players. They also had these Duende Criatura Tube Rings that are supposed to enhance sound. Do they work or are they 99% snake oil?

Are there any favorite tubes anyone can reccomend to replace the pair of 6DJ8s?
Sunfire II Signature Amp 600, TFM-35, (M-1.0) X2, M-400, C-4000, C-1, Sunfire Symphonic Reference Preamp, Sunfire Classic Vacuum Tube Control Center
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F1nut

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:43 am

Re: That tube sound?

This site gives you a good idea of what different tubes sound like.

https://www.tubeworld.com/index_high.htm

The 6922 is a premium version of the 6DJ8 with the heater current reduced from 365ma to 300ma. The 6922 will have a slightly longer lifespan than 6DJ8 and in some cases the 6922 will last 5-10,000 hours vs 3-4,000 hrs for a 6DJ8.

Tube rings are most definitely not snake oil. Herbie's makes really good ones.
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.



In a recent press conference, President Obama remarked, "If I had a city, it would look just like Detroit."
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Scarabeo

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:27 am

Re: That tube sound?

Thank you F1nut, You helped more then one person on this one! =D> =D> =D>
Great information Quoted again below,,,I always appreciate your post not trying to post over you just had to give THANKS! =D>

F1nut wrote:This site gives you a good idea of what different tubes sound like.

https://www.tubeworld.com/index_high.htm

The 6922 is a premium version of the 6DJ8 with the heater current reduced from 365ma to 300ma. The 6922 will have a slightly longer lifespan than 6DJ8 and in some cases the 6922 will last 5-10,000 hours vs 3-4,000 hrs for a 6DJ8.

Tube rings are most definitely not snake oil. Herbie's makes really good ones.
BillD, You will be forever with us! RIP until we meet again on the other side...
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OconeeOrange

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: That tube sound?

Personally, I prefer a clear sound toward the highs as opposed to bass heavy.

Bob proved in his now famous competition that he could adjust the sounds of his amp. He did not set out to prove his sounded better, but that his could sound anyway you choose.

For anyone who wants to play with different sound, including tube, but don't have the bucks right now for a C-19, here is the poor man's choice.

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/media/ozone.html

Of course you have to plug your computer in as in as the server. Add that software, and you can easily adjust the music in many ways. The program even has a section for "tube sound". Is it as good as hooking in a tube amp/preamp - ? I have no way to compare, but I doubt it. On the other hand, with a little time, you can adjust the sound to what sounds good to you. I suspect it can be made to sound better than some tube stuff but short of others.

I ain't saying it is as good as what many have in hardware, but for $29, it is amazing. I have been messing with it for about two years, and use it every time I play tunes.
I guess it is just a better equalizer, but it does a lot more than that. A good feature is that you can click the bypass and easily compare it with and without on your system.
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stereo_buff

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:45 pm

Re: That tube sound?

You mention that you are using a Sunfire 600 X 2 amplifier; are you using the voltage or the current outputs? If not already, try using the current outputs. This will give the most 'tube-like' sound, or so it's said.
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jjptkd

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Post Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: That tube sound?

I don't have any experiance with tube amps or preamps but I did have the chance to try a Carver SD/A 490t and it did have sort of a "smoothing out" quality to it. I had just hooked up my new 400x5 and was really impressed with all the high end I had been missing with the Carver amps and when I hooked up the tube CD player, it seemed to suck away all those highs I had just gained with the Sunfire amp. I've read that the "smooth" sound could just be a roll off of the upper frequencies and that's exactly what it seemed like to me. I only played a few CDs through it and sent it back due to tray issues so I really don't know if there was other issues with the player or what kind of tubes it had.
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