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  #31  
Old 02-02-2021, 06:28 PM
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Formerly YB-2 Formerly YB-2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Prentice View Post
I stayed away from tubes in amps because of biasing... I don’t want a $10 or $20K piece of gear that must be adjusted all the time, with tubes that don’t last long... or can blow up.
... I have never heard this degree of musicality come out of a system.
There seem to be some myths about tubes in this thread.
Perhaps it has to do with one's definition of "all the time........".
With my amps that have required setting the bias (Conrad-Johnson & Cary) I've found that doing so after a new set of tubes is installed and checking again about 30-45min later will be good for at least 1000hr of listening. I'll check again at 1000hr and invariably find that I've wasted my time. Setting once and checking once or twice a year does not strike me as "all the time".
With both ARC & McIntosh one does not need to do any bias adjustment, or, could you, as is all 'built-in' with their circuit design and has been that way for many, many years.
As for "blowing up", I did have a SET amp at one time in which the power tube got so hot it cracked the tube envelope. But, that was with a Russian radar power tube that was only good for about 1000hr, at best. Nice sounding amp, but no better than those offered by any by ARC, McIntosh, C-J, Cary or several other of the well known amp manufacturers.
The care & feeding of tube amps is no more complex (actually quite a bit less so) than listening to LPs on your TT/TA. Setting the bias might take 10min every 6mon. Much less effort then keeping your LPs & stylus clean.
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  #32  
Old 02-02-2021, 07:14 PM
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One of the reasons I became sold on the tube/SS combo is an audition I had some years ago at a store in Nashville (2008–2009 or thereabouts), where I spent part of a vacation.

I heard an all-tube combo, an all transistor combo, and a tube/SS combo. The best sound? The combo. The all-tube (MC275 amp and I forget the preamp) sounded too warm; the all-SS system was crisper, cleaner, more detail, but didn't do much for me. The 275 amp with a transistor preamp (C52, if memory serves) sounded just right. It sounded like music! All systems went through the same speakers, a set of B&Ws. That's when I begin to think the combo setup might be the best option. And here I am today.
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  #33  
Old 02-02-2021, 08:08 PM
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George Prentice George Prentice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
There seem to be some myths about tubes in this thread.
Perhaps it has to do with one's definition of "all the time........"...
Absolutely, as is commonly the case. It varies from one design to the next. However, from my experience: I had a audio buddy with a tube amp that did require a quick biasing each time... and / or he was anal about it. Also, a friend of mine bought a Rouge tube amp on my recommendation and a tube “blew up” taking out a few resistors... although it was under warranty (like two weeks old) the owner argued that wasn’t under warranty because a tube caused it. Rogue was new then, I am sure he got his act together now and would not challenge a customer today for this kind of issue. But I was really embarrassed having recommended it, then it ending poorly. None of this has ever happened to me with a solid state. It does’t matter if it is occasional or a minor thing... it is enough to have people shy away from a particular design. I have been very happy having, for instance, my Pass amp for nearly 20 years and not once having to do anything to it other than turn it off and on. I am absolutely sure I could have kept it for another 20 years and never have to change a tube or repair it. Solid state has a reputation for reliability and have always lived up to it in my experience, and tube amps have not.
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Last edited by George Prentice; 02-02-2021 at 08:16 PM.
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