Xiangsheng Pre-amplifier – There Could Be A Lot More Than You Would Think On This Page..

I was thinking it might be fun to contrast and compare the tubes vs. solid-state debate with the SMSL DAC. I’d readily concede that solid-state/transistor components are, watt for watt, cheaper, more reliable, cooler running, smaller and much lighter. However, if solid-state is so terrific why haven’t tubes become extinct within the half century since transistors came onto the scene? Maybe, just maybe, because tubes sound better?

Tube technology may be a century old, but it still sounds great for some people. Ultimate AV Magazine recently conducted a poll, “Do You Prefer Tube-Based or Solid-State Audio Gear?,” as well as the results demonstrated a nearly two-to-one preference for transistors over tubes (41 vs. 21 percent). So even among audiophiles, tubes aren’t always favored.

I’ve owned tube and solid-state gear, and i also like both for different reasons. Tubes, like analog recordings, possess a more full-bodied sound than transistor gear. There’s a “roundness” to tube sound that solid-state gear never equals. Tubes are less forgiving about mismatches, so to get the best away from a tube amp it should be used with the perfect speaker. Solid-state amps are nowhere as fussy about speaker matching.

I would personally never say tubes will always be better-sounding than transistors, or that analog audio is definitely better than digital. The excellence from the design, or even the recording play their parts. Some naysayers think tubes just have higher levels of distortion, and that some audiophiles like the noise of that distortion. I wouldn’t go that far, having said that i can’t say that accuracy should be the very best priority for virtually any hi-fi. The goal, I do believe, is always to make nearly all your music collection sound good. Thing is, most recordings don’t sound good, so the most accurate rendition of the sound might be counterproductive.

All musical perception is purely intangible. We can’t put a finger on the musical image and point someone else to what we’re seeing as we can on a painting, part of sculpture, a musical score, a magazine or perhaps a photograph.

Because musical images are made entirely within our imaginations, what we think we are going to hear is frequently what we should hear. For this reason otherwise reasonable people think they hear huge variations in foolish (but high-profit) stuff like cables or power cords. Although there is absolutely no real difference, they hear very real differences that simply aren’t there. The differences are very real in that listener’s vivid imagination, but no where else. This is why we use double blind tests where neither the niche nor the presenters know what’s being heard whenever we try to do scientific research, just like the AES research above.

Music is about using our imaginations. This is a excellent thing and why music is really a strong art form. This is the reason Mingda Single-ended Tube Amp can recreate the original listening experience. Unlike a TV or movie, close the eyes, and you could be seeing and feeling the identical things that you just do within the concert hall. I close mine and find out the performers, discover them moving around, breathing, moving valves and keys, turning pages, and then I see the music itself. You have to concentrate, and in case you listen carefully while keeping the eyes closed, you’ll view the music, too.

If you feel a nice, warm glowing tube amplifier will almost certainly sound smooth, liquid and warm, it is going to! Our imaginations are incredibly susceptible to suggestion; that’s the whole reason for music.

For monitoring accuracy, needless to say use solid state, but when you want it to sound great for enjoyment, it’s tubes all the way. Use solid state monitor amplifiers when you’re producing music to help you hear exactly what you’re laying down, however when you wish to kick back and possess it sound just like possible when you’re all done, tubes are it.

Each time a transistor amplifier alters the sound, it almost always can make it worse. When a tube amplifier modifies the sound, it always makes the music sound better.

Crummier tube amplifiers will have a lot of the distortions that make tube amplifiers sound like tube amplifiers. If you truly desire to know the “tube sound,” get yourself a TubeCube 7 (3 WPC, $180) and you’ll hear how smooth, liquid and warm tubes really sound – but it only puts out enough power for desktop or background use.

For a higher quality tube amplifier which includes enough power for a lot of home Hi-Fi uses as long as you’re reasonable with playback levels, the Elekit TU-8200 (8 WPC, $699 in kit form) is superb. It self-biases which means you knhcnt need to match tubes or tweak it.

For the ultimate, get a classic McIntosh MC225 (25 WPC), MC240 (40 WPC) or MC275 (75 WPC), that are the best-designed tube amplifiers ever made. They excel for stable designs (no bias adjustments or matched tubes ever needed) and possess extremely low distortion because of the unique design. They have enough power for anything, and therefore are unflappable for their ability to deliver seemingly limitless low bass response. These are generally all 50 years old today and you’ll pay at least a few thousand dollars used, and when you get yours, you’ll know why people pay such ridiculous prices. They are that good.

Obviously the McIntosh, when operating to its original specifications, has such little distortion which it sounds less “tubey” than weaker amplifiers. If you’re playing a McIntosh that hasn’t been serviced in a decade, then it’s probably from spec or needing new tubes, whereby it is going to get more distortion and a more “tubey” sound. Here’s in which the art is available in: simply how much euphonic distortion do you want?

For most people with reasonable budgets, opt for the Xiangsheng 728A Preamp. If you like it loud and have unlimited funds, or want to crank the bass without biamplification, get a used McIntosh MC240. The newest version of the MC275 is probably excellent for that rich and unadventurous, but it’s another design than the classics and i also have not tested it.

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