Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????

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AmpDesigner333

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Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« on: 3 Jul 2012, 04:44 pm »
Copied from our blog (yes, the blog is still up):
http://digitalamp.blogspot.com/2012/07/does-cherry-amp-sound-like-tubes.html

Customers have said that it sounds much like the smoothness of tubes but with the authority and transient response of Class-A.

One customer said: "While the amp does not posses that warm, liquid, syrupy sound of a single ended triode, it is similar to an ultra linear tube design in sound"

Another said: "I switched my VAC amp back in yesterday, and while it certainly does things that people like tubes to do, the soundstage is narrower and at the same time more diffuse"

And another: "I find the Cherry to be the best compromise I've heard between tubes and SS in my systems"

So there you have it....  Somewhat like tubes, but better.

watercourse

Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #1 on: 3 Jul 2012, 05:57 pm »
Not all tube amps are created alike... My Bottlehead Paramount v1.1 SET monoblocks running 300B tubes had more in common with the Cherry Plus from the midrange up than they did with JWN EL84-based push-pull amp, which is more like the classic "tubey" presentation. Both the Cherry and BH amps are very linear, exceedingly quiet, and can present a holographic image, but the Cherry amps left both tube amps behind in bass linearity and extension, and macrodynamics, although the BH amps would likely do better in those departments with a tube swap and more efficient speakers than mine (~93dB/m is probably safe, mine are 91).

Comparing the Cherry Plus to the Pass Labs X150.5, which run only in Class A with my efficient speakers, I would say that the two amps are playing at the same level, just a matter of preference, with the Pass presenting a better impedance match with my pre, a touch more warmth and 3D but at the expense of dynamic snap.

Tommy's made some great amps that are definitely in the same league as great tube and Class A amps. Just makes you realize that great sound can be had regardless of topology, if you have an open mind and ears!

munosmario

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Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #2 on: 3 Jul 2012, 06:59 pm »
Tommy's made some great amps that are definitely in the same league as great tube and Class A amps. Just makes you realize that great sound can be had regardless of topology, if you have an open mind and ears!

Well said, watercourse....if you don't mind, I would state it slightly different and a bit stronger: “Tommy's made some great amps that are definitely in the same league as great tube and Class A amps. Just makes you realize that great sound can be had with fewer compromises than by sticking to other highly regarded circuit topologies, if you have an open mind and ears!

munosmario

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #3 on: 3 Jul 2012, 09:07 pm »
Guys, I'm touched!  Thanks for the wonderful words.

-Tommy O

watercourse

Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #4 on: 3 Jul 2012, 09:34 pm »
Well said, watercourse....if you don't mind, I would state it slightly different and a bit stronger: “Tommy's made some great amps that are definitely in the same league as great tube and Class A amps. Just makes you realize that great sound can be had with fewer compromises than by sticking to other highly regarded circuit topologies, if you have an open mind and ears!

munosmario

 :D I'm glad you could tweak my statement to fit your perspective better!

I'm of the opinion that there always will be compromises, whether they are room-related, component-related, budgetary, etc., and that overall synergy is clearly something more than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all - one can't say that all tube-based amps are better than solid state, or that Class A is always better than push-pull or Class D, etc. Well, you can say those things, but you'd be foolish to do so.

But, back to the topic at hand, which is: Tommy has achieved great things with his twist on the Class D topology, and when you judge his products against other very high quality and well-regarded products using different and well-tested approaches to achieve similar ends, the Cherry amps prove their excellence both empirically and sonically.

munosmario

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Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #5 on: 3 Jul 2012, 11:21 pm »
:D I'm glad you could tweak my statement to fit your perspective better!

I'm of the opinion that there always will be compromises, whether they are room-related, component-related, budgetary, etc., and that overall synergy is clearly something more than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all - one can't say that all tube-based amps are better than solid state, or that Class A is always better than push-pull or Class D, etc. Well, you can say those things, but you'd be foolish to do so.

But, back to the topic at hand, which is: Tommy has achieved great things with his twist on the Class D topology, and when you judge his products against other very high quality and well-regarded products using different and well-tested approaches to achieve similar ends, the Cherry amps prove their excellence both empirically and sonically.

watercourse, I like the way you expanded your thought. I believe we are totally in agreement and our perspectives coincide. We do not profess the notion that any particular topology is better than any or all others…but what we seem to concur on is that Tommy’s class D technology, approach, and implementation are producing amplifiers that when high power is a must (other compromises and particular synergies aside), in average, may well offer less of the sonic compromises than are usually observed even in fine high-power executions of other topologies (some costing several multiples more than Tommy's).

I, for one, know this from my personal experience. I am a retired investment banker with still "young" ears (according to my doctor :lol:), who started into this hobby with an addiction (that, to some extent, I still have) to quite expensive Japanese SET amps, while stationed there in the mid 80's to mid 90's...but, over all these later years, I have continuosly experimented (individually or in conjuction with some audiophile friends) with many so called state-of-the-art/high-end alternatives (all topologies) in my search for the absolute sound.

munosmario   
« Last Edit: 4 Jul 2012, 02:19 am by munosmario »

watercourse

Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #6 on: 4 Jul 2012, 03:30 am »
watercourse, I like the way you expanded your thought. I believe we are totally in agreement and our perspectives coincide. We do not profess the notion that any particular topology is better than any or all others…but what we seem to concur on is that Tommy’s class D technology, approach, and implementation are producing amplifiers that when high power is a must (other compromises and particular synergies aside), in average, may well offer less of the sonic compromises than are usually observed even in fine high-power executions of other topologies (some costing several multiples more than Tommy's).

I, for one, know this from my personal experience. I am a retired investment banker with still "young" ears (according to my doctor :lol:), who started into this hobby with an addiction (that, to some extent, I still have) to quite expensive Japanese SET amps, while stationed there in the mid 80's to mid 90's...but, over all these later years, I have continuosly experimented (individually or in conjuction with some audiophile friends) with many so called state-of-the-art/high-end alternatives (all topologies) in my search for the absolute sound.

munosmario

 :thumb: yes, we are on the same page, thanks for the expansion on your line of thought!

tonyjack

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Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #7 on: 4 Jul 2012, 05:45 am »
Although I do not have a Cherry Amp, I have heard one and I really liked it. I heard it in an A/B comparison to the Bel Canto Mono Blocs (forget which ones) and everyone involved said it was no contest! The Cherry's won hands down! Better in every way. Now a friend of mine has one mated with Hyperion Loudspeakers and ARC SP 11 preamp and loves the combo. I've not heard his system yet but I do intend to.
I am using some other Class D amps in one of my systems by Red Dragon Audio. They are mono bloc amps (M-500) and are advertised as having SET like sound. I really love these amps driving my Vandersteen 3A Sigs with an ARC SP-16 preamp. They do in fact have a tube like easiness to the presentation and the bass slam and control is better than my Quicksilver V4 amps, that I also happen to love very much. I was wondering what the majority of Cherry amp owners are using for preamps? Are there others out there using tube preamps that would be better suited to an amp with a higher input impedance? I'm using an SCE Harmonic Recovery System Interface between amp/pre to help with the impedance issue. Pleas excuse me if this issue has been covered on this Circle.

Thanks for a great product. TonyJack

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Does the Cherry Amp sound like tubes ????
« Reply #8 on: 3 Dec 2019, 05:22 am »
These threads on Audio Circle also mention tubes vs Cherry....

"SHATTERED GLASS … No more tubes – Class D all the way baby and loving it!"
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=154294.0

"The Honeymoon Ain't Over Yet..."
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=156310.0

"Stereo Maraschino (King Version)"
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=149310.0

"Switching from tubes to Cherry -- benefits"
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=166206.0