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I am shocked that you havn't mentioned that......opamps are the devils' children.
One reason it would be good to hear from Roger is that I think he has a bit Paul Klipsch in him, but stepping on toes in public isn't always fun. Another myth[?]: Good active preamps are better than passive preamps (assuming some proper matching between source and amp). If this myth[?] prooves false there sure is a lot of money at stake for owners and manufacturers. Secondary, related myth: Transformer-based passive are better than resistor-based passives.
The biasing, internal or external, of an op-amp has nothing to do with the class of operation.
I would like to share a recent experience ...
I'll take that as agreement. I was liking the discussion you were having amongst yourselves. Please continue. I'll chime in now and then.
Don't know enough about 1 and 2 to reply...still learning However, I do have an opinion about NOS versus current production tubes. Do NOS tubes sound better? Many, I'm sure, do. But most, I'm sure, do not. Add to that the counterfeiting, the cross-labeling, the extortionate pricing, questionable testing and the lack of significant guarantees and I find that the risks involved with buying NOS aren't worth the 10X to 30X price difference. . Current production still sounds way better than solid state to me.
Re: NOSI'm leery of tubes that have not been matched (if needed) or tested/graded for quality. I notice that some sites selling NOS tubes make no mention of the quality of the tube. An example of good practice would be Upscale Audio, where Keven Deal categorizes every NOS tube, as to standard, low-noise and super low-noise quality.Some tubes are just plain expensive because they have become rare as stocks have been depleted. So its basic supply and demand, and paying a huge premium simply based on scarcity rather than quality seems ridiculous to me. I once paid a premium for a pair of cryo'd Sylvania 6SNGT's which were nothing special if not noisy, whereas a cheap Mazda 6SNGT for 1/10 the cost sounded incredibly better. I learned my lesson, you don't always get what you pay for.If I were a gear manufacturer, I just can't see being able to rely on NOS tubes, where a steady and reliable supply is important to meet production requirements. RAM cherry-picking new production is good practice, but I have seen postings here and there by people who have done some rolling that they have preferred NOS in quite a few cases over RAM tubes. I also question why RAM needs to be doing this in the first place ... policing the quality of tube manufacturers. Name me one other industry that does this ... I can't imagine a BMW dealership saying we pick out the best Beemers off the production line and only sell those. The QA in places like China and Russia must be then terrible if RAM is having to do this.
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