SS vs Tube Conundrum

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RonN5

SS vs Tube Conundrum
« on: 3 Mar 2021, 05:13 pm »
Two of the things I appreciate most about my 2Cherry are the beautiful tonality and the large, dimensional soundstage.  By comparison, if you wander over to the Decware website and read some of the posts by owners of their amps you will see the same words being used to describe the sound of their amplifiers.

All of which makes me wonder, how can a 200 Watt/Solid State/Class D/Negative Feedback amplifier like the 2Cherry sound so similar to the 2Watt/Tube/Triode/No Negative Feedback Decware Zen Triode Amplifier?  What is it that I’m missing?

abd1

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #1 on: 3 Mar 2021, 08:48 pm »
Its really about system and speaker matching. I haven't heard Decware amps but they are meant for high efficiency speakers. Basically, 93db and higher. Your class D amp has more than enough power for really any speaker. Also, watts per channel is one of the most misleading metrics in audio. I learned this years ago because I had solid state amps running 100+ wpc and up to 250 wpc. Then I heard a 30wpc Primaluna tube amp and my jaw dropped. The bass was so much more impactful and the sound was just better in every regard. I've tried other solid state amps since including class D, but haven't liked any enough to own long term. However, everyone has their own taste as to what sounds good. Some like detail, some like bass and dynamics, some like musicality, tone, imaging, etc. Tube amps produce even order harmonic distortion. Some like that sound, some don't. I find it addictive, as do others who've heard it. However, I suggest you listen for yourself. Try not to get caught up on the watts. If you have 10 wpc and a 90db sensitive speaker, and an average listening space, you have plenty of power.

Early B.

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #2 on: 3 Mar 2021, 08:55 pm »
Any good amp should contribute to providing great tonality and a large soundstage. A solid state amp can be designed to sound just as "tubey" as a tube amp and vice versa. 

AmpDesigner333

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #3 on: 16 Mar 2021, 12:00 am »
Tube amplifiers usually have pretty bad issues at frequency extremes due to output transformers.  OTL types require massive parallelism to be effective.

Then there are the issues of performance....  Noise, distortion, etc....  To get decent performance you will need to spend big $$.  That's at low power.  Want some real power?  Well, get ready to fork over 5-figure USD prices for an amp that can't outperform a $100 Japanese receiver from the 1980s.

Then there are the issues of fragility, heat, tube replacement, inefficiency,

The reason Cherry amps have a "more tubish" sound (without the noise and distortion) is our special modulation technology.  Class-D amps come in many flavors, and our topology is unlike any other.

RonN5

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #4 on: 16 Mar 2021, 12:20 pm »
Tommy,

First, thanks for weighing.  Your comments make me want to ask two questions:

1.  I guess I thought that "tube sound" was a partially, maybe largely, a result of their distortion...is this not the case or possibly too simplistic?

2.  For those of us non technical types, can you define what modulation means and why it is needed?

Thanks

AmpDesigner333

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #5 on: 9 Apr 2021, 03:48 am »
Tommy,

First, thanks for weighing.  Your comments make me want to ask two questions:

1.  I guess I thought that "tube sound" was a partially, maybe largely, a result of their distortion...is this not the case or possibly too simplistic?

2.  For those of us non technical types, can you define what modulation means and why it is needed?

Thanks

1.  I guess I thought that "tube sound" was a partially, maybe largely, a result of their distortion...is this not the case or possibly too simplistic?
     -- yes, distortion and noise

2.  For those of us non technical types, can you define what modulation means and why it is needed?
     -- Class-D amplifiers need to "modulate" the signal to convert an analog waveform to a pulse train.  The pulse train is amplified with devices used as switches, then filtered "back down to analog".

The circuitry used to modulate the signal can be very complex.  Modulation can also be done in the analog domain, digital domain, or a hybrid approach where it is split between the two.

Modulation is my specialty (:

RonN5

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #6 on: 9 Apr 2021, 08:02 pm »
The better tube amplifiers seem to present an almost liquid and 3 dimensional soundstage...which is exactly what I attribute to and enjoy so much about the 2Cherry....although I'm not sure why since the 2Cherry noise and distortion are extremely low compared to any/all tube amplifiers?

On the website 10audio, they were reviewing an amplifier and gave it a "7" for "immersion" meaning sound that is "captivating, involved, and thoroughly satisfying".  I would add to that sound that at times is all around you and that seems alive and real and puts a smile on your face.

For me, the 2Cherry continues to be a "10".

rollo

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #7 on: 9 Apr 2021, 08:07 pm »
1.  I guess I thought that "tube sound" was a partially, maybe largely, a result of their distortion...is this not the case or possibly too simplistic?
     -- yes, distortion and noise

2.  For those of us non technical types, can you define what modulation means and why it is needed?
     -- Class-D amplifiers need to "modulate" the signal to convert an analog waveform to a pulse train.  The pulse train is amplified with devices used as switches, then filtered "back down to analog".

The circuitry used to modulate the signal can be very complex.  Modulation can also be done in the analog domain, digital domain, or a hybrid approach where it is split between the two.

Modulation is my specialty (:



You do quite a good job putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Not an easy task.

charles
 

sletnty

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #8 on: 15 Jun 2021, 08:21 am »
Our ears are not really stable so sometimes we will prefer the sound of the SS amp and sometimes we will prefer the sound of the Tube amp.
I personally prefer the SS amp, it gives more dynamic, more accuracy.

Ric Schultz

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #9 on: 16 Jun 2021, 05:16 pm »
"On the website 10audio, they were reviewing an amplifier and gave it a "7" for "immersion" meaning sound that is "captivating, involved, and thoroughly satisfying".  I would add to that sound that at times is all around you and that seems alive and real and puts a smile on your face."

From what I understand, a 7 rating from 10 audio has nothing to do with "immersion"......in fact, it takes an 8 or higher for him to recommend auditioning.  Why not send Jerry at 10 audio the best Cherry amp (mono Mega's) and let him give it a number.....that is meaningful...at least in his context.  Of course, you could send him a lesser Cherry amp.....but, more than likely, won't get as high a number.  We like our numbers here, don't we.

RonN5,
Have you a/bed in your system a 2cherry amp and a Decware amp?  How do you know they sound so similar?  I would bet they would be quite different.  But only those who have actually done listening tests know, for sure.
« Last Edit: 16 Jun 2021, 09:02 pm by Ric Schultz »

RonN5

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #10 on: 17 Jun 2021, 09:36 pm »
Ric,

No, I haven't heard the Decware or compared one of the other tube amplifiers in my system....so....

I should have said that the "descriptions" of the sound from tube amplifiers (by their owners) like the Decware or Cherry Amplifiers like the 2Cherry are so similar that I wondered how it was possible.....could these two different amplifier technologies produce sound that was so similar and if so, how?

In other words, more of a hypothetical question.


seikosha

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #11 on: 17 Jun 2021, 10:51 pm »
Ric,

No, I haven't heard the Decware or compared one of the other tube amplifiers in my system....so....

I should have said that the "descriptions" of the sound from tube amplifiers (by their owners) like the Decware or Cherry Amplifiers like the 2Cherry are so similar that I wondered how it was possible.....could these two different amplifier technologies produce sound that was so similar and if so, how?

In other words, more of a hypothetical question.

Lots of people will use superlatives to describe their system’s sound never really having heard what is really possible.  What one person says is great soundstaging could be pretty mediocre sounding to someone with a better system so unless you are reading comments from someone who has heard both components in the same room with the same ancillary components, reading what individual owners are posting about their own equipment is useless.


Bullitt5094

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 02:11 am »
I had an Odyssey system, a Linear Tube Audio combination and a Lyndorf digital amplifier in my home for a couple of weeks for evaluation for an upgrade. As much as I wanted the cool looking LTA amp to win, the Lyngdorf stayed. The others went back. The LTA was really good but the Lyngdorf was noticeably better and the Odyssey wasn't even in the same league with the other two. And these results were confirmed by several others who's opinions, and hearing, I trust and didn't have any idea what hardware they were listening to. Zero equipment bias from them.

opnly bafld

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Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 02:35 am »
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« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:49 pm by opnly bafld »

Bullitt5094

Re: SS vs Tube Conundrum
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 03:11 am »
Maybe the Lyngdorf was a better match with the speakers than the LTA.
Yep, I figured that would be the next comment.

Tried them all with different combinations of front end set-up and several speakers including OB and Box. It was consistently better.

Could it be the Lyngdorf was the better amplifier? I guess you could blame the room. That was the only constant.