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  »  New  Disregard Digital with Vacuum Tube output..  Microphone’s and cartridge preamps/correctors vs. DACs...  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     3  24504  12-08-2007
11-18-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
KLegind
Posts 32
Joined on 04-03-2008

Post #: 1
Post ID: 14972
Reply to: 14972
Tube outputted CDP's and DAC's
fiogf49gjkf0d
I am hoping someone will comment on the tube driven output stage topology vs. the conventional solid state output solution.
Is it possible to squeeze more out of the 16/44 format with a tubeoutput? The phrase is kind of problematic, maybe "overcome the shortcomings" is more apropriate.
What I am looking for, in the context of solid state vs. tubeoutput, is difference:
  • In harmonic content, the nature of the harmonics

  • In dynamic tracking (especially small dynamics)

  • In imaging and ambience

  • And perhaps in a thing that is difficult to talk about; namely "presence" or "x factor"

I deliberately do not name names but a major UK brand has used tube output for their entire series of CD players and DACS. A lot of chinese companies have done the same thing even if the implementation was often cheesy and even fraudulent. I wonder if they were on to something...

Kindly
Kris
11-18-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,302
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 14973
Reply to: 14972
I personaly avoid any digital with tube output stage.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Kris,

I personally do not like the whole ides and I have addressed it in here:

http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=6086

I am not nether equipment or electronics engineer but from what I see they also are very clueless in this subject. My feeling is that since it is imposable to make absolutely transparent buffer on tubes then any output tube is in a way a marking devise. In addition we truly can’t assess the topology itself as in D/A for instance they are very much merged with DAC topology, filter topology and so on. So, how one would distinct let say the imaging problems that come from tube vs. SS output stage from imaging problems that come from post-conversion filter? In way we look at the performance of a complete unit and this is all the we, end users, can do. with all things being equal I personaly try to avoid any digital with tubes  in output stage.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
joaco


The Pacific Coast in Chile
Posts 30
Joined on 12-18-2010

Post #: 3
Post ID: 15466
Reply to: 14972
I hope its not too late ...
fiogf49gjkf0d
 KLegind wrote:
Is it possible to squeeze more out of the 16/44 format with a tubeoutput? 

I don´t think so , even with a very good quality tubeoutput analog stage (pre section) on a CD-DAC introduce too much coloration and distortion . 

 KLegind wrote:

What I am looking for, in the context of solid state vs. tubeoutput, is difference:
  • In harmonic content, the nature of the harmonics
  • In dynamic tracking (especially small dynamics)
  • In imaging and ambience
  • And perhaps in a thing that is difficult to talk about; namely "presence" or "x factor" 
1. It depends on the output stage , if using a single ended or pp output stage for example and depending on the individual class of tubes used . 2. I think this is merit of the DAC chip itself .3. Imaging depends on too many things but not just tubes or solid state output .4. same as 3 .
I use too have tube outputs stage DACs ( really analogs sections) , I prefer solid state by far , but the topology must not introduce any harsh sound , must not introduce nfb , that kind of sound its not good .  so you need to find a really nice manofacturer with very good concepts , try to follow the concepts around dCS . 

01-22-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
KLegind
Posts 32
Joined on 04-03-2008

Post #: 4
Post ID: 15467
Reply to: 15466
SS output vs. tube
fiogf49gjkf0d
Thank you Joaco for your reply. I was hoping tubes could ameliorate the brutal sound many CDP exhibit. I was at an audio fair recently and heard a Tentlab player with the Philips CD Pro mech and tube output that had a kind of gentle sound very unlike what I hear at show rooms. As it was a 'uncontrolled' environment with many unfamiliar variables my impression is suspect, even to myself.

I think the best 'CD sound' I heard was at a Audio Note dealer - however the cost of the transport and DAC alone was insane compared to similar topologies and to the end result altogether. Actually the leap in performance from their entry level digital stuff to their level 3 - 4 machines was not very big and a bit disappointing.

John Westlake of Pink Triangle fame is out with a Audiolab CDP model 8200 (solid state) that the british think is the best thing since the invention of penicillin. The British audio public seems to be incapable describing what this new CDP does better in terms of audio compared to the competition. Its remarkable that so many seem to applaud this new digital effort while so few have heard it outside their imagination.

Kris
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  »  New  Disregard Digital with Vacuum Tube output..  Microphone’s and cartridge preamps/correctors vs. DACs...  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     3  24504  12-08-2007
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