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Mr. FullRangeMan -What you say seems to be the general consensus around tubes. But help me understand - is the second harmonic of which you speak part of the recording? Or is it generated by the preamp? Or is it a subtle part of the recording that solid state preamps cannot typically reproduce accurately?
My question is sincere and I am honestly trying to learn. Here are some thoughts to help you understand where I am coming from and why I'm asking the question:1. I've read comments to the effect that "as you approach the state of the art, solid state and tube equipment begins to sound very similar".
Most musicians who play guitar will tell you that their SS emulation amps DO NOT sound like a tube amp.
Harmonics is the key, even (pleasant sounding) order for tubes, odd order for solid state. But any harmonics take away from fidelity. Thus tubes versus solid state in low/mid-fi is a matter of attempting to be euphorically entertained (by however you want everything colored) versus a more sterile/accurate (lesser amount of harmonics) sound. As said above, at the hi-end they sound more alike, so at that point why bother (unless you're a follower of a particular tube designer)?Note that tubes age, so their sound changes as they wear out. Is your goal to listen to music, or to tubes?
I think there is a bit of confusion or misinformation here. Please do not confuse harmonics and harmonic distortions. They are not the same. Harmonics are a natural part of acoustic music. When a note is played on a musical instrument, more than the basic note, the fundamental, is created. As an example, on a violin, an "A" above middle C vibrates at 440Hz. This is the “fundamental” or “first harmonic”. The second harmonic vibrates twice as fast (ratio 2:1): 880Hz. This produces the next higher "A" a full octave above the fundamental. The third harmonic will give a ratio of 3:2. This will be an "E" a full octave plus a fifth above the fundamental. This is basic wave physics.Harmonic distortion is a different phenomenon. It is an artifact of the voltage produced in an amplifier. All AC current is in waves, so wave physics apply. There are odd and even order distortions. The human ear finds even order distortion pleasant, (musical), but odd order distortion discordant, (not musical). Solid state devices are switches, therefore they produce switching distortion, as well, Switching distortion is discordant. Vacuum tubes are electronic valves, not switches, so most of tube distortion is even ordered.Cheers,Geary
Hi, does vacuum tube rectification vs. silicone diodes for rectification have anything to do with the sound?....Mark Korda
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