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Welcome aboard Dan How many tube Watts do you need?
Welcome, Dan. I recently made the transition from tubes back to SS!
OSHA warns that extended exposure to greater than 85 dB will result in permanent hearing loss and/or pain. (I mow with hearing protection.) In my wanderings the average serious listening is done at 85 dB (average). Do you own a sound pressure level meter?Good tube and SS amps should sound very similar. Big wattage tube amps aren't cheap or small. They generate lots of heat and tube rolling/keeping the tubes matched can be a headache. Plus you can't leave it warmed up and ready to go. And of course tubes blow. So yes, tubes require more involvement/commitment. OTOH tubes clip in a friendly manner and typically have big power supplies so the common advice is that you can do with half the wattage of SS. If you like it loud and have 87 dB/w/m speakers in an average room, you'll probably need at least 100 watts of tube amplification.As a speaker guy I'm committed to SS. My experiences with tubes over 40 years:1.) I home auditioned a tube/SS preamp that sounded the same to me either way (and an expensive NOS 6SN7 tube blew during the trial). 2.) Also owned a DAC that had a tube that could be bypassed and couldn't tell the difference (even though the tube wasn't cheap and was recommended for that particular DAC). 3.) I trialed one tube integrated amp at home that had great tube palpability but lots of bass flab (poor damping factor) that I couldn't live with. 4.) Owned another tube integrated amp (Stereophile Class A rated). Rolled output tubes, one set was 'warm' (don't want everything colored), and only one other set (6550's) sounded better than my old Class D SS mono-blocks that cost half as much and required zero user involvement.Don't believe the hype. Honestly listen for yourself. Why do you think so many swap so much gear?
Hello and welcome to AC, Dan.
Hi WC,...what made you go BACK to SS after tubes? I can honestly say that I have not seen that before, so I'm just curious what were your motivations? Was it more about convenience than sound, or is tube equipment ill-suited to your space / location, or did you change a piece of equipment for which SS worked better?
Hey Dan,I've owned a number of tube amps and other pieces of tube gear over the years. For me it is first and foremost about sound quality. Despite my speakers being fairly sensitive @ 94 db, the impedance curve proved to be too much for my 8 watt SET amp. So I tried a modest SS amp and ...In addition to sound quality, I like the fact that I can leave the amps on 24/7. No warm up time required ever. System is always on, up and running ready for serious or casual listening without wasting tube life. And yes, the sound quality is superior to every SET amp (PP need not apply) I have ever heard or owned.
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