Originally Posted by A9X-308
I've been designing and using tubes for decades, and this is not a worthwhile application for them.The is no such thing as tube sound.
. Get that myth out of your head. There are hundreds of topologies an at least as many tubes you could us in them, and each could beeee to sound different, from guitar amp to undetectable.
You first say that tubes changing the sound is a myth, then you go on to say that it can change sound depending on the topology. Get your story straight. Tubes DO audibly change sound depending on the design and tube type.
All you will accomplish is to spend money for little to no real effect, incease dstortion (never good no matter what audiophools tell you), lower your signal to noise and increase your output impedance.
Yes, there will be 'minor', nearly inaudible changes to the sound in other ways, like S/N, etc. The point is to apply a type of signal distortion which is pleasing. You say I shouldn't, fine, but I want to test it out to see if I like it.
Does 'will be using' mean you don't have the speakers yet? If so, then don't buy some with an audible defect not to your liking. The brightness / harshness from many metal cone/dome drivers is due to improperly damped, high Q breakup modes in the drivers,
STOP! That's all crap. The Infinity Entra series speakers from over a decade ago were designed SPECIFICALLY to render 'breakup nodes' INAUDIBLE. And they accomplished it with their diaphram material and driver development and listening tests with trained listeners. However, the 'brightness' of this and other speakers usually have NOTHING to do with anything other than the speaker material giving off a 'signature' damped sound. Damping sometimes can be over-done and drivers can lack responsiveness to delicate signals. So, damping isn't about 'breakup nodes' when you find a highly refined driver material and design like in this Entra speaker line. It's merely a chosen level of damping to cater to some of the more delicate sounds. These speakers sound neutral, accurate and sensitive to nuances, however does lean 'slightly' bright. It's not by any means objectionable, but could be improved just a tad with a 'tube' effect I think. I've heard more 'metallic' sounding drivers benefit immensely from a tube amp.
and a device at line level, especially a simple tube stage cannot, ever do anything to ameliorate this effect;
Really? I will be testing this and will report back to let you know. Either way, I'll be honest in my eval. I bet there will be a 'smoothing' effect, but hey, I've never tried it on the 'pre-amp' section before. I've only ever heard true tube amplifiers before.
it has to be done at the design stage of the speaker.
The design of my speakers are fine and sound incredible near-field at a PC. I just usually enjoy the damping of good polypropylene drivers more because they sound more 'smooth'. But these Entras truly do have a nice, clean, precise sound that is ever so slightly on the 'bright' side. But to someone else, it would probably seem 'just right'. I am used to listening to smooth, highly damped speakers. The Entras seem to have slightly better detail in the upper midrange.
Tubes upstream will not do what you want. Save the money you would waste here and redirect it to better speakers without the defects you dislike.
Again, I don't consider them to be in anyway as having a 'defect' in their sound. Like any speaker, they have their own 'sound'. And it's very good. I just want to try and achieve the effect I've heard tube amps delivery to metal-based drivers in the past. I have a suspicion that it might make these sound delicious. Even if I just played these without any trickery, the sound is fantastic as it was intended by the engineers.