newlash09

Tubes vs SS for treble

Recommended Posts

Hi all...

I fondly hope I haven't lost my marbles to post this query. I've read that tubes have the most glorious, euphoric and ...ahem  distorted mid range. But it is euphonious is the general verdict .

But tubes seem to roll of the treble pretty early as per what I've read. It could be specific to the particular tube in use and reviewed. So maybe it is specific to that particular tube and maybe cannot be generalised. But just wanted to know what the general opinion of the wam was regarding tubes and treble vs SS.

Maybe I can split the query into 2 further parts, treble extension and treble smoothness. Will tubes do one part and SS the other part. And neither can do both :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hybrid can :)  

but maybe you need to include what type of SS, if you mean Class D, Class A/B or Class A? 

After finally getting a Class A amp I could never go back to D

Edited by The Chronicals
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, The Chronicals said:

Hybrid can :)  

but maybe you need to include what type of SS, if you mean Class D, Class A/B or Class A? 

After finally getting a Class A amp I could never go back to D

Thanks chronicals :)

I was looking more like class A SS vs tubes :)

Even Iam a fan of class A completely. Been a recent convert though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Valves can do treble Manohar. 

EL84 done right (Audionote Oto for instance) can have the most wonderful ‘chime’ to them and two different 6C33C amps I’ve owned, the Almarro a318b and my current Phase Style monos, do top end better than any SS amp I’ve had here.

I’m sure that someone will be along in a minute to state that valves per se don’t have a sound. Maybe it’s the different circuits designed around them that give the specific sound signature that so often get assigned to the various types of glass. 

Have you fired up the Reythm amp yet? That one really interests me!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, lordmortlock said:

Valves can do treble Manohar. 

EL84 done right (Audionote Oto for instance) can have the most wonderful ‘chime’ to them and two different 6C33C amps I’ve owned, the Almarro a318b and my current Phase Style monos, do top end better than any SS amp I’ve had here.

I’m sure that someone will be along in a minute to state that valves per se don’t have a sound. Maybe it’s the different circuits designed around them that give the specific sound signature that so often get assigned to the various types of glass. 

Have you fired up the Reythm amp yet? That one really interests me!

Thanks a lot for the reply sir :)

Will certainly bear that in mind. Sadly the rethm had to go back , as on testing by my friend who received the shipment on my behalf, its power amp inputs  were not working. And only line level were working. So it would have been fine as a integrated amp, but not a power amp for the treble duties I was looking for. So my search is still on, and partly the reason why I posted this thread. After your previous advise I got a little worried about active triamping with a tube amp connected directly to the treble driver without a crossover to absorb any stray DC. So was wondering if a tube amp was must for a smooth and extended treble. Or would class A to a better job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the treble it's probably more down to the individual amp than whether it's solid state or valved. I'd call it a tie between them.

Not having spitty nor overly smooth tweeters is more important than the amp when it comes to getting realistic cymbals etc. That's assuming either the valve or solid state amp meet fairly easy to attain minimum standards.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

For the treble it's probably more down to the individual amp than whether it's solid state or valved. I'd call it a tie between them.

Not having spitty nor overly smooth tweeters is more important than the amp when it comes to getting realistic cymbals etc. That's assuming either the valve or solid state amp meet fairly easy to attain minimum standards.

Thanks Lindsayt...I do find the pmc tweeters to be not all that smooth in my bright room. I think they also sound edgy at times. Hence started my thoughts about smoothing it out with tubes. Then further reading led me to believe tubes are smooth but are rolled off, and not extended. Hence the confusion .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was swapping between valves and ss at the weekend and differences are more in mid and bass rather than treble.  Based on that (very) limited experiment I would concur with the view that the tweeter unit in the speaker is probably more influential. Without changing the speaker you may be able to tweak the sound by trying different speaker cables - those with silver coating can sound brighter so changing to copper only (particularly fewer & thicker strands) could be smoother. Alternatively, moving the speakers so you are listening off axis to reduce beaming perhaps. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 What about some wall hangings to reduce brightness of the room - i have a large Rajasthan embroidery framed on my wall helping me do just that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, lostwin said:

 What about some wall hangings to reduce brightness of the room - i have a large Rajasthan embroidery framed on my wall helping me do just that!

Thanks a lot Lostwin :)

I did consider wall hangings at first reflection points. But considering it will be my growing up daughters room, who will soon be a teen. Didn't want to take up wall spaces. So trying to get a sound I want with amps alone. Either tubes or SS. By the way , the system will be tri amped with adjustable levels for each of the drivers. So I could always increase the gain on the tweeter. But Iam not sure if it would make it too bright, instead of increasing treble extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, newlash09 said:

Thanks a lot Lostwin :)

I did consider wall hangings at first reflection points. But considering it will be my growing up daughters room, who will soon be a teen. Didn't want to take up wall spaces. So trying to get a sound I want with amps alone. Either tubes or SS. By the way , the system will be tri amped with adjustable levels for each of the drivers. So I could always increase the gain on the tweeter. But Iam not sure if it would make it too bright, instead of increasing treble extension.

If she is anything like my pre teen daughter a large canvas printed photo of BTS which you can pack out with a wool type filling might be a good solution for you both!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, lostwin said:

If she is anything like my pre teen daughter a large canvas printed photo of BTS which you can pack out with a wool type filling might be a good solution for you both!

Thanks a lot for that sir :)

Will be done immediately once I get home :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fly in the ointment time.

I have single ended, parallel single ended, and various push pull valve amps here, ans well as single ended, multiple single ended, and single and multiple transistor push pull sand amps, and class D as well.

If there's one area valves excel at its treble. My class D junk amp does midrange like a God. It's treble where they really, truly part company. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

There is no inherent reason whatsoever for any valve amplifier to 'soften' the treble response, apart from poor design or components.

Just a quick example. The FR plot for a Dynaco ST70 series 3. It's deliberately rolled-off around 30K for various reasons. That's an amp with 'pipe and slippers' EL34s for the power stage :D

new-freq-response.jpg.866023b6942c1972f18653665fc20f27.jpg

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, lostwin said:

I was swapping between valves and ss at the weekend and differences are more in mid and bass rather than treble.  Based on that (very) limited experiment I would concur with the view that the tweeter unit in the speaker is probably more influential. Without changing the speaker you may be able to tweak the sound by trying different speaker cables - those with silver coating can sound brighter so changing to copper only (particularly fewer & thicker strands) could be smoother. Alternatively, moving the speakers so you are listening off axis to reduce beaming perhaps. 

Definitely good stuff here.

Angling my speakers in more results in increased treble.

What speaker cable do you use @newlash09? I use Mogami 3104 now, after Chord Super Twin Epic, and its far more natural without the obvious forced treble extension of the Chord, and it works well even in a laid back system like mine...and its fairly cheap!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.