does a tube pre do what i hope it does? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

peachtree audio dac*it. personally i feel it has a great filter and it reduces jitter down to 2ms without asynchronous .
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2 ms isn't down for most systems, it is up. Normal audio gear has jitter in the range of dozens or 100s of picsosecond, certainly less than 1 nanosecond. There are a million nanoseconds in a millisecond. Any decent AVR does better!

Just about the only people who think that 2 ms is good performance are those who prefer analog playback such as tape or vinyl. The very best analog geat has wow and flutter in the range of 0.1% (usually averages and smoothed) which is in the same range as 1 ms.
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post #32 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

That's a new one on me. The high end audiophiles are constantly looking for ways in which their preferences can be backed up by some kind of science. This science, however, is mumbo jumbo. What tubes do is add harmonic distortion to the playback. Some people like the sound it causes and some do not. Musicality is in the music, not the equipment that plays it.

This is actually one of the wilder "A salesman told me" stories I've ever heard. ;-)

A good salesman is supposed to accurately recount correct technical information he obtains from his technical sources, and I can't believe that any competent technical person ever said this.

In linear systems rise time and fall time are guaranteed to be the same. Neither good solid state or tubed equipment is so nonlinear as to be significantly different in this regard. Since most of our musical sources are bandpass limited to 22 KHz or less someplace in the production chain, its the source material or the speakers that set the rise and fall times in our systems.
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post #33 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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i did a blind test last night and found something fascinating.
after getting my speakers placed in a better position, i decided to see the difference between my external dac and my recievers dac
i didn't have to stop and change anything around to do this either. i simply had to unplug my hdmi cable out of the back of my wd tv box.
i bought it because it has spotify and an optical cable out so i could run it to my dac.
so i would listen to a song and have my wife unplug the hdmi cable. the picture would disappear and then the audio signal would switch from hdmi to optical and my dac
would immediately take over.
guess what? absolutely NOOO difference.

it's weird to me because i swear i have done similar tests before and there were major differences. not sure what changed this time.
maybe it's because i finally got my speakers placed right

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post #34 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 10:47 AM
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No, it is because the DAC's have no audible differences and before your perception was that they did.
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post #35 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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i understand why you would say that but why would i be so subjective before and not now. and no the sound was different plain as day. I'm guessing my trials were flawed somehow

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post #36 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i understand why you would say that but why would i be so subjective before and not now. and no the sound was different plain as day. I'm guessing my trials were flawed somehow

I think that you may be as subjective as ever, but your biases may have been changed by an educational process. Previously, you probably heard a great deal about all DACs sounding different and now you are hearing that some DACs, actually quite a few DACs sound the same.

You test may or may not have enough bias controls - your wife is part of the experiment and she apparently knows which cable she is plugging in. So the test still isn't double blind.
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post #37 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 12:05 PM
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i understand why you would say that but why would i be so subjective before and not now. and no the sound was different plain as day.
We don't know what your biases are. We know that you have them, because your answers are different in blind tests than in sighted tests. But we don't know what exactly is influencing your perception in sighted tests.

We can guess though. In your case, you optimized your speaker position, then decided to compare DACs again. Why did you decide to do that? Whatever made you think the result might be different most likely played a role in influencing what you heard.

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post #38 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 12:22 PM
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If you are looking for the "tube" sound, then a tube preamp by it's self isn't going to do it. The famous (or infamous) tube sound comes mostly from the output transformer to speaker interface. The output transformer is the root of most evils in a tube power amp. OTL tube amps sought to address this but they have other issues equally as bad.

A modern SS power amp with a frequency response to 100khz is all you need for near perfect reproduction. And almost all good amps today can easily meet this requirement.

Me? I use home built tube amps on my bi-amped LCR's. But you will never see me saying my amps are sonically accurate because they aren't. I do like the sound though. "Do as I say, not as I do" wink.gif

As for your wanna-be engineer audio salesman, an amplifier can never be "too fast". This is silly. A faster amplifier does require more careful design to avoid oscillation and therefore why go there for audio applications. Some "audiophile" amplifiers do go well into the MHZ range and believe me, this is not good. IMPE, this is just asking for stability problems as the components age. But a faster slew rate or higher frequency response is of no determent to audio reproduction. Cost and potential reliability yes.

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post #39 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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theories theories theories...it was so predictable that you would say that i am now being more subjective now than ever but if you go to my profile and read where i started and what i have read and written then you would see that i was subjected to being told that dac's sound the same a long time ago. it's nothing new to me.
as far as why i would redo the tests it's because i had just dramatically moved them again and was seeing if the previous audyssey settings would be fine since i didn't feel like trying to keep the kids quiet while running a new test. So i then ran it in pure direct and it didn't sound to bad so i tried the dac and then i questioned my memory capabilities because i coudn't hear any difference so i decided to go about the test differently and that was to make the gap between the switching of the two different sources smaller. i got the switch down to almost nil and that's when i realized that there wasn't a difference.
i think my biggest downfall in my previous tests was because i was constantly listening to different songs
(major flaw)

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post #40 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Glimmie.
Arny, i have always kept an open mind when it comes to this stuff but there's just so many things people say that it's hard to know what is the truth or not. I would be an idiot to just say, hey i believe you.
That's why i have done trials. Wouldn't make sense to do a trial and be biased when i'm trying to save myself money. It doesn't make sense at all.
I will say this, i've seen a lot of your posts and you try to inform people of the bs that's out there and i've seen people get mad at you for it but i salute you for trying and because of my trials i have found what you say
to be accurate to my findings.

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post #41 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i talked to a salesman at a stereo shop and he was explaining to me that an amp whether it's transistor or tube, needs to mimic the sound wave attack and decay as close as possible and that solid states, generally decay too fast and your brain is left filling in the gap making it less "musical."
He was not trying to sell me anything, just explaining it to me.
with that being said, i know there are gaps in digital music and i'm curious if a tube preamp's excessive decay could fill in these gaps of information, making it more musical.here is a picture of how he explained what makes an amp more musical


Audio salesmen is probably parroting someones marketing material that's what they do most are not EE's or Phd 's either .

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post #42 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i understand why you would say that but why would i be so subjective before and not now. and no the sound was different plain as day. I'm guessing my trials were flawed somehow

I didn't say your subjectivism changed. I said your perception changed. When sonic differences are subtle to non existent, the brain tends to filter perception based on memories, bias, expectation, preference or any number of other factors. You ask your brain for a difference in sound. If it can't readily discern a difference it gives you what you want another way. What happened is that before you expected an audible difference. Your brain was unable to comply so it gave you what you expected. It did the same thing the second time. The difference is that you didn't expect a difference the second time. Your expectations managed your perception. It happens to all of us.

An entire industry is based on biased hearing. If we humans didn't have biased hearing, the high end audio industry would not exist the way it does today. People might buy audio jewelry but they wouldn't buy it based on sonics. The would buy it based on some other reason - the same reasons that people buy Patek watches and designer handbags.
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post #43 of 54 Old 10-28-2013, 02:32 PM
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Didn't know how to delete a duplicate post. Sorry.
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post #44 of 54 Old 11-01-2013, 06:56 PM
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Tubes color the sound. Pure and simple. They add harmonics which give the music a "warm" sound. Some people like this sound and I have heard some tube enthusiasts touting that this result is the way it was meant to sound. But they could not be further from the truth. The amplifier or pre-amp should add nothing or take away anything from the original signal. There is no perfect amp but a well designed solid state amp will produce a cleaner, more accurate sound as long as it does not hit the clipping threshold. At clipping it will add odd harmonics and quickly the music will sound downright awful (not to mention that your tweeters could get fried). Tubes, on the other hand, at the clipping point just add more of the same harmonics that are there at low volume levels which adds more warmth and they start to sing which is why tube guitar amps are frequently preferred. Tubes are great for screaming guitar solos but not really for accurate sound production. I know that there are going to be some that disagree with me. All in all, it all boils down to this: use whatever sounds good to you and do not let some salesman on commission convince you otherwise.
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post #45 of 54 Old 11-01-2013, 10:36 PM
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So we have a new audiophile term to play with- seduction. How is this measured? Goosebumps per square inch? Genital tingling?
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post #46 of 54 Old 11-01-2013, 11:59 PM
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Hi Gizmologist,
Quote:
seduction. How is this measured? Goosebumps per square inch? Genital tingling?
If I was requested to design such an instrument, I would be much more comfortable with the former.
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post #47 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 03:07 AM
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Tubes color the sound. Pure and simple. They add harmonics which give the music a "warm" sound.

Some people say that, but any amplifier that adds harmonics also adds IM distortion products that are aharmonic and generally sound ugly.

Also the various harmonics of a fundamantal are of different orders, occur at different frequencies and all sound different if they are audible at all. Why would they all add warmth?
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Some people like this sound

I still remember the days when tubed amplifiers were all we had. They were big, heavy,hot, expensive, and required nearly constant maintenance that was a PITA. A set of tubes were needed every year or two ifyou used the amp all the time, and a set of tubes could cost a serious fraction of the cost of the original piece of equipment. Many o tubes had to optimized to the piece of gear with bias controls, which really had to be done by someone with expensive test equipment. One of their congenital problems was that they all tended to have high source impedances and so their frequency response was audibly affected by the impedance of the speakers they were attached to.
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and I have heard some tube enthusiasts touting that this result is the way it was meant to sound.


Their seem to be all kinds of enthusiasts in this world that want you to do as they say and spend your money the way they say.
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But they could not be further from the truth. The amplifier or pre-amp should add nothing or take away anything from the original signal. There is no perfect amp but a well designed solid state amp will produce a cleaner, more accurate sound as long as it does not hit the clipping threshold.

That frequently seems to be the case.
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At clipping it will add odd harmonics and quickly the music will sound downright awful (not to mention that your tweeters could get fried).

Actually, that is false. The reason why SS amplfiers tend to add only odd harmonics is that they are push-pull amplifiers and push-pull operation tends to cancel out even harmonics. The solution seems obvious - have a power amplifier with enough power that you never clip it!
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Tubes, on the other hand, at the clipping point just add more of the same harmonics that are there at low volume levels which adds more warmth

That is false. Many tubed amplifiers are push-pull (balanced output devices) and also naturally cancel out their own even order distortion, and thus produce odd order distortion. I tested dozens of tubed amplifiers on my own test bench back in the days when tubes were all we had. When overdriven the better cleaner tubed amps produced very nice square waves, that were hard to tell from the square waves that were produced by SS amplfiers.

Quote:
and they start to sing which is why tube guitar amps are frequently preferred. Tubes are great for screaming guitar solos but not really for accurate sound production.


Right, there is a big difference between producing music and reproducing music.
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I know that there are going to be some that disagree with me. All in all, it all boils down to this: use whatever sounds good to you and do not let some salesman on commission convince you otherwise.

I shake my head at the thought of people who like the sound of IM distortion. I is not harmonically related to the music and it always sounds nasty to me.
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post #48 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Soooo Audyssey wasn't even on the other night when i was enjoying my music. I had changed in speaker configuration, that there was no surround to there being surrounds even though there wasn't because you only get stereo audio from movies and not dolby with LFE signals with 2.1. so i thought i'd trick it which does work but it disabled the previous audyssey data.
So i'm thinking what happened is this,

I was laying down and i think the back of the couch and the arm of the couch were catching the reflections from hitting my ears.
so on the left of the drawing i drew up a chair that i'm going to make that would keep the reflections away from my ears.....
probably won't lol but it was an idea

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post #49 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

Soooo Audyssey wasn't even on the other night when i was enjoying my music. I had changed in speaker configuration, that there was no surround to there being surrounds even though there wasn't because you only get stereo audio from movies and not dolby with LFE signals with 2.1. so i thought i'd trick it which does work but it disabled the previous audyssey data.
So i'm thinking what happened is this,

I was laying down and i think the back of the couch and the arm of the couch were catching the reflections from hitting my ears.
so on the left of the drawing i drew up a chair that i'm going to make that would keep the reflections away from my ears.....
probably won't lol but it was an idea


If you want to try something fun-simply cup your hand slightly and face it forward and to the side of your ear-say about 8" to 12" away and slowly wave it (keeping your arm still and just moving the hand).

Or better yet us a book or hard surface (piece of plywood etc).

Just notice how much the sound changes when you hear reflections.

People spend so much time and effort on the electronics and "stupid things"-like cable lifts-expensive wire-special AC power cables etc-yet they ignore the things that make HUGE differences in the overall experience-THE ROOM.

If you want to hear the recording the way it was intended-you need to remove the room as much as possible. Your idea will do that-at least to the sides and rear.-but the idea is basically "sound" wink.gif

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post #50 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 04:19 PM
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If you want to try something fun-simply cup your hand slightly and face it forward and to the side of your ear-say about 8" to 12" away and slowly wave it (keeping your arm still and just moving the hand).

Or better yet us a book or hard surface (piece of plywood etc).

Just notice how much the sound changes when you hear reflections.

Do it frequently ... sitting at my computer desk (or anywhere), some item is generating some sound. In this example a fan integrated into the built in microwave, that vents the cooktop. Well, holding my hand at half an arm's length away, I experiment with the higher freq spectral components I can "catch" with the energy re-directed now into my ear ... it's fascinating experiencing the relative difference, with, and without the highest freq energy.

Also, you can face the mains, and space your cupped hands outward, widening the apparent source width (ASW), etc. Fwiw, a CD case works best IME.

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post #51 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

peachtree audio dac*it. personally i feel it has a great filter and it reduces jitter down to 2ms without asynchronous .
....
Well, if you copied that number and subscripts correctly, that dac is adding a great deal of jitter to the music and will be audible. wink.gif
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post #52 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 05:19 PM
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... YEah-I have some ocean front property in Kansas I think somebody should invest in.

Hold on to that. When the two polar caps melt, you may have ocean front property there. wink.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #53 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

peachtree audio dac*it. personally i feel it has a great filter and it reduces jitter down to 2ms without asynchronous .
....
Well, if you copied that number and subscripts correctly, that dac is adding a great deal of jitter to the music and will be audible. wink.gif

2 msec is 2 parts in 1,000 or 0.2% which is the flutter and wow spec (unweighted, unaveraged) for a very good analog turntable or open reel tape deck.

Ever hear one of our analog-uber-alles friends complain about all of the jitter in their turntable or tape deck?
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post #54 of 54 Old 11-02-2013, 06:29 PM
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Ever hear one of our analog-uber-alles friends complain about all of the jitter in their turntable or tape deck?
Heck no, man. That's vibrato. It's a feature, not a bug.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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