Originally Posted by greggplummer
BTW, it seems to me, given your affection for Zanden DACs and tube equipment, that you have an audio preference for a smooth musical reproduction. As you know, that is a common characteristic of tubes.
I just referred to the Zanden because of its price. Although I used a tubed DAC, now I don't anymore. Not because I don't like the characteristic of tubes in this part of the chain anymore, but because it "adds", in fact like you are implying.
Talking about amplifying, I think tubes (single ended) are used to allow the highest frequencies to be more accurately amplified than a solid state amp can do.
Here too, all is about a consistent whole, which btw makes me express "the other leage". For instance, where a single ended tubed amp has no feedback, all begins with speakers not needing
feedback. So, in order to compare properly, you should have 112dB speakers like I have in my room.
Now tubes vs. ss has nothing to do with smooth musical reproduction (being negative) anymore ... now it just comes to representing the music "data" as accurate as possible. Note that in no way (in my system by my ears) a colouring or otherwise can be heard, when the tubes are compared with ss, but, that the highs sound less distorted.
And the funny thing is, the distortion is brought forward by my XXHighEnd player ...
Without it, there's no distortion, but also there is nothing !!! With it, there's distortion, which turns out to be an instrument once the distortion was tweaked into accuracy.
This is such a strange phenomenon, that it hardly can be explained.
Right now I use tubes for the mid-high and ss for the bass, because this gives the most accurate
Now allow me to a. show myself it bit more as this person on the other planet (but we are with many overhere) and b. explain how audio can become a phenomenon that can be objectively analyzed, instead of the subjective stuff as usual :
Already a long time ago I found that room correction to the sense of reflection and standing waves is not needed at all. You "just" need to have the sound good.
For that matter, my room is 12 x 8 x 3 meters, and in fact it's a tad too large to have good music reproduction. In theory that is ...
By pure coincidence, last week I could prove
it is just true that room correction isn't needed (observed by several people btw).
First it needs the reference that -no matter how I achieved that- the room is without audible reflections (at normally listening to music !) and is without audible standing waves at any point in the room.
Then it needs a big change, like changing amps and speakers, the room now being full with reflections and standing waves.
Lastly it needs the adoption of "knowing" this can be tweaked by "good sound". Good supposedly is "accurate".
In this case the speakers were provided with temporary adjustable filters, providing volume level balance between bass and mid/highs and impedance matching between all elements. And there you go ... as long as you keep on thinking all reflections etc. can be removed, and of course you know the elements in the basis are ok, then you will manage. And so I did.
Note that I'm playing well over 120dB (which is loud, I promise
) and that there's no grain of sharpness or unstandable bass waves anywhere.
Oh, during this process the speakers weren't moved, and now you can move them without damaging the sound (but with respecting the general rules of course).
Well, why this story ? just to show that I'm working in the domain of stupid accuracy, instead of having a nice smooth whatever sound to *my* ears. This is unrelated to my ears, so it would count for you and anyone just the same.
For me this implies a non oversampling solid state dac, single ended tubes to the mid/high and a solid state amp to the bass (but the latter is prone to change).
Please note that there's much more to it, like bi-amping where a main amp is acting as a preamp for the other main amp, and the dedicated speaker filtering for that.
Although it would require many pages to work it out, please respect my expression about the Fireface being "ugly", which already begins with its oversampling principle. If you'd take the time to scope the output of a os-DAC vs. a nos-DAC and observe the waves, there's no way that you will think the Fireface can
be better than a nos-DAC. That -of course- the nos principle has its "negative" aspects as well, is quite another story, which all deals about how we perceive that and if we can hear that.
Of course any soundcard doesn't sound "ugly" when it's in its own leage. And of course the Fireface is waaay better compared to the mobo's sound or the EMU for that matter. Btw, I think a Lynx is better than the Fireface if it were for analogue out.
So all is in perspective, but accurate sound really is not.