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Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:01 pm
by PYE625
Cathovisor wrote:surely has to be the ultimate oxymoron? Bit like "valve" and "hi-fi" :qq1

.


How very very dare you.....tut tut tut :aao

lol

Re: Valve Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:18 pm
by Cathovisor
Heh heh... as you've probably gathered, I don't subscribe to the idea of valves providing the ultimate sound.

Re: British Leyland - the Quality Connection

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:24 pm
by marc
PYE625 wrote:
Cathovisor wrote:surely has to be the ultimate oxymoron? Bit like "valve" and "hi-fi" :qq1

.


How very very dare you.....tut tut tut :aao

lol

Oo Goody, fight time ! :qq1

And in the blue transistor corner it's "Catho" and in the red valve corner "Andrew"
Let me get my tin hat and a mug of tea and settle down in a comfy chair and wait for the sparks to fly ! :bba

Marc.

Re: Valve Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:42 pm
by PYE625
If valves are no good for Hifi, why are the Leak and Quad amps so very sought after still today?
Still new designs are being made with valves that are very good.

Transistors in Hifi.....BAH !!

I can't help it lol :aah :aah

Re: Valve Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:31 pm
by Cathovisor
Harold Leak: Funny, I always thought my transistor amplifiers sounded better.

Peter Walker: If valves were better than transistors we'd still be using them.

Re: Valve Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:49 pm
by PYE625
http://www.quad-hifi.co.uk/product.php?cid=7

They do still use them dear boy :qq1

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 7:47 pm
by PYE625
It depends upon a definition of HIFI. Which sounds the "nicest" may not be entirely accurate sound reproduction.
The debate has been going on ever since transistors replaced valves in Hifi equipment in the mid to late sixties.
It's like the more recent CD vs vinyl debate.
From measurement, of course semiconductors are way better with very low distortion and power transistors can drive almost any loudspeaker load.
Much lower noise too of course.

Trouble with a valve power amplifier is that usually a transformer has to drive the loudspeaker with its many inherent problems.
But they do sound nice. There is a characteristic natural presentation that many people find enjoyable, including myself.

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:26 pm
by Katie Bush
Hang on guys!

Just let me call my cats in... I hate to leave them outside when the local toms are having a scrap!

Funnily enough, I tend to find the biggest defining difference isn't the amp, but the speakers connected to them - for instance, my ageing Technics Hi-Fi, to me sounds dreadful with its own Technics speakers.. Okay, they'll do, at a pinch, but ditch them and plug in a set of good old British speakers (currently Wharfedale Glendale) and what a world of difference - much more mellow and sweeter sounding.. The Japanese things sound so hard and harsh.

Valves Vs Transistors?

Well, not being a nerd on the subject........

I like valves because they bring all manner of additional elements into the sound (a bit like the hums, pops and clicks in a vintage film sound track - just wouldn't sound right with today's clean and pure recording systems) and they offer up a rather satisfying smell of heated dust that you just don't get with transistor.

I like transistors (well, let's say 'solid state' anyway) because for some music they're so clean and pure and allow you to listen deep into the recorded material, plus you just switch on and there you are - no waiting to warm up! :aa

Personally, it rather depends on my mood, and what I'm listening to - although it's purely academic at the moment because I don't have any valved Hi-Fi kit. :cch

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:56 pm
by rob t
What i think is if you like listening to real music (not rap/tecno) then a good record deck valve amplification and large efficient speakers are the way to go.
If on the other hand you like listening to the equipment and think you can hear the difference between interconnects and speaker wires then get a hi end solid state amp a digital music source and some near field monitor speakers.
I love the sound of my QUAD and LEAK power amps listen to some well recorded female vocals ie Mary Black or janis ian and its can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up . on my audio lab 8000a that emotion is missing.
Yes the solid state amp sounds clear /bright and may on paper be getting more info to the speakers.
play say an action movie using the outputs from a sky box and solid state wins hands down.
But for music valves every time.
Rob T

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 9:44 pm
by crackle
Katie Bush wrote:Funnily enough, I tend to find the biggest defining difference isn't the amp, but the speakers connected to them

I totally agree. It is all down to the final point in the chain, the speakers. (obviously discounting the original recording of course)

Mike

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:11 pm
by rob t
I agree that counter to what Ivor Sigmund Tiefenbrun said in the 80's speakers DO have the biggest effect on sound
But what ever the signature sound of the speakers you will still hear a difference between valve and solid state amps .
if this was not the case we would give up on expensive amps and all use cheap class d amps .
Yes i do know there are some good sounding class d amps.
Rob T

Re: British Leyland - the Quality Connection

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:25 pm
by Alistair D
marc wrote:Let me get my tin hat and a mug of tea and settle down in a comfy chair and wait for the sparks to fly ! :bba

Marc.


Are the sparks flying inside the valves? Perhaps someone forgot to connect the speakers. :aaj

Al

Re: British Leyland - the Quality Connection

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:45 pm
by marc
Alistair D wrote:
marc wrote:Let me get my tin hat and a mug of tea and settle down in a comfy chair and wait for the sparks to fly ! :bba

Marc.


Are the sparks flying inside the valves? Perhaps someone forgot to connect the speakers. :aaj

Al

Well there you go Al, that's one thing you've found against valve amps....but they still sound better to me (he says ducking down out of Catho's aim....well most transistor amps are lighter and easier to throw and can travel further than valvers) :qq1 :aaj

Marc

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 11:07 pm
by Cathovisor
Class D belongs in the sort of amp that's fitted inside a light switch to power speakers in a shower cubicle. I'm more thinking of things like the old Musical Fidelity A 100, or good MOSFET-based designs.

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 11:28 pm
by rob t
Cathovisor wrote:Class D belongs in the sort of amp that's fitted inside a light switch to power speakers in a shower cubicle. I'm more thinking of things like the old Musical Fidelity A 100, or good MOSFET-based designs.

i used to own a Musical Fidelity A 1 and yes it was a great sounding amp how can i put this it sounded quit like a valve amp.
I would love to try an A100 or any other modern MF amp.
Another transistor amp i have that is close to the kind of sound i like is a QUAD 303/33 oh and the 33 is miles better than the QUAD 22 preamp.
Rob t

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:28 am
by Valvebloke
If you can hear an amp's 'sound' then by definition it's not a hi-fi amp, at least in the technical sense of the word 'hi-fi'. There are perfectly good commercially available valve hi-fi amps out there. If you don't believe me then have a listen to a VTL ST-150, for example, or a Radford STA100 (150 W/ch and 100 W/ch respectively).

When Peter Walker said that his transistor amplifiers were 'better' than his valve ones what he almost certainly meant was that they were cheaper for him to make, lighter to lift, more reliable in operation and cooler running. He actually went to quite a lot of trouble and expense to prove scientifically (double-blind test) that people who said they could hear the difference between the Quad II and the Quad 303, operated within their specified range, couldn't. If you think you can then try the test. If you manage it reliably then I think you'll be the first.

Pre-amps are different though. It's very hard to get valve noise levels down to the more-or-less absolute silence that transistors can deliver in, say, a moving coil cartridge head amp (signal from the cartridge is just a few hundred microvolts). The classic Quad 22 pre is also supplied with loads of features we hardly ever need these days. And its input sensitivities don't match most modern sources. And it's hard to find one whose controls haven't worn themselves noisy. Quad still make the QC Twenty Four pre, which has a valve in. It's not got the very useful tone controls though, which is a shame.

VB

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 10:39 am
by PYE625
I can agree with all of the valuable contributions above and it is an interesting subject.
It was all rather tongue in cheek to begin with of course. :bba

The speaker and it's position in a given room has a huge effect on sound and its so difficult to achieve perfection and domestic harmony.
I use a pair of the Quad ESL57 electrostatic speaker's and after nearly 30 years of hearing many various other types, have to admit they sound the most realistic to real life sound for me, regardless of whether the amplifiers are valve or transistor.
Their placement in a room is critical and you have to sit in a precise area, but the results are well worth it. When you hear a voice, it is as near to having that person in the same room with you as anything I have heard.
However, if I wanted trouser-flapping bass and ear splitting volume, they would not be the speaker for me.

Going back to what Valvebloke mentions above, I have tried my Quad II valve power amps in direct comparison with a Quad 306 transistor power amplifier and simply cannot detect any difference in the sound quality. I use a Quad 34 pre-amp (transistor).

How about a whole new debate on whether the picture on a valve TV is better than an all transistor TV..... Philips G6 vs Thorn 3000 for instance :aah

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 2:58 pm
by Valvebloke
If you think that valves are unnecessarily primitive now we have solid-state then you'll probably hate this



There are a couple of other videos where he explains how it actually works. I think he lets slip at one point that he post-processes the drum sounds to make them sound more like real drums. And of course he has to play the bass guitar fretboard. Still fun though.

VB

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 3:28 pm
by PYE625
What an amazing machine !!

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 6:39 pm
by Katie Bush
Berr-illiant!! :bba :aad

Like a cross over between a Newcomen engine, or better yet, James Watt engine, and an orchestrion ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... 55mEk_q8hM

I just love any mechanical music machine - as long as it plays and sounds like real music!

However, it's not exactly an 'amp' ! :aan

Marion

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 7:04 pm
by marc
Now that is really clever ! :aad
Trouble is I can't get that tune out of my head but that might have something to do with watching it over and over again.... :ccb

Spellbinding ! :aap

Marc.
PS....wonder if his amps were valve or transistor ? :aaj

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 7:13 pm
by Katie Bush
marc wrote:PS....wonder if his amps were valve or transistor ? :aaj



Well.... Definitely "SOLID" state...... :aaj :aal :aak

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 7:45 pm
by ntscuser
PYE625 wrote:How about a whole new debate on whether the picture on a valve TV is better than an all transistor TV.....


But we all know valves are superior, just as hard wiring is superior to printed circuit boards. :qq1

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:10 pm
by PYE625
ntscuser wrote:
PYE625 wrote:How about a whole new debate on whether the picture on a valve TV is better than an all transistor TV.....


But we all know valves are superior, just as hard wiring is superior to printed circuit boards. :qq1


Oh yes.....mmmm the reds are redder, the greens greener and the blue is booootiful !!
There is so much more depth and atmosphere to the transmitted scene with valves providing the picture.
With transistors driving the set, its a bit like champagne without the bubbles. :bba
I'm being silly now, yes I know.

But going back, I always used to find that the CRT would last better and longer in valve colour sets than their silicon counter-parts.

Re: Valve Amplifiers Vs Transistor Amplifiers

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:18 pm
by Michael Watterson
Perhaps CRT quality went down.

I always thought it was STUPIDITY going to WS on CRT (or on SD or Analogue). WS shouldn't have been introduced before HD.

My last CRT TV was a very large 4:3 because I'd heard nasty rumours about 16:9 CRTs and little content was WS, only some stuff on Satellite and DVDs. It was Vestel based "Black Diamond" able to reduce scan height for true WS display. Frame drive died and was briefly repaired. Then my son got a 42" Samsung HD LCD. By then the HD LCDs (not the garbage SD ones) were only just comparable to CRT, if viewing angle wasn't too wide. When he left and took it we got a 40" Toshiba HD LCD, one of the last with CCFL backlight. The cheaper LED backlights are less even and go gradually more and more purple with age as the yellow phosphor on the LED ages, as "white" LEDs don't exist. The RGB LED backlights are far better but very expensive.

Problem is now no TV on the market has proper speakers any longer. Too skinny and too small a bezel. Most of the sound bars are like the "free" plastic 1990 PC speakers, rubbish.