Audio and Video Talk > Valves / Vacuum Tubes

What Make Valve?

<< < (2/6) > >>

handsome:
Different brands do sound different but trying to quantify that difference is extremely hard. As Ampdog pointed out variances are rather large so the same brand but a different batch or even part of a batch can sound different.

The older 'original' valves have much cachet in the fraternity - and matching prices - but even they are not  reliable. Unfortunately when the valve era came to an end western valve production moved to the east, and whilst the facilities in the east often had the original manufacturing equipment they didn't always have access to the exact same materials. Unfortunately many of these valves were branded Mullard, Ampex, Phillips, RCA etc as the original manufacturers bought and resold them as replacements. So many NOS valves actually aren't despite being marked as such. Date codes here can be a help.

So yes valves can and do sound different but trying to quantify them is not so easy. However i have noted that if one is prepared to spend a really ridiculous amount of money on a valve AND tell your wife/significant other/friends how much you paid then it will definitely sound better than whatever brand you had in there before........

MadHat:

--- Quote from: handsome on June 30, 2016, 11:53:42 AM ---Different brands do sound different but trying to quantify that difference is extremely hard. As Ampdog pointed out variances are rather large so the same brand but a different batch or even part of a batch can sound different.

The older 'original' valves have much cachet in the fraternity - and matching prices - but even they are not  reliable. Unfortunately when the valve era came to an end western valve production moved to the east, and whilst the facilities in the east often had the original manufacturing equipment they didn't always have access to the exact same materials. Unfortunately many of these valves were branded Mullard, Ampex, Phillips, RCA etc as the original manufacturers bought and resold them as replacements. So many NOS valves actually aren't despite being marked as such. Date codes here can be a help.

So yes valves can and do sound different but trying to quantify them is not so easy. However i have noted that if one is prepared to spend a really ridiculous amount of money on a valve AND tell your wife/significant other/friends how much you paid then it will definitely sound better than whatever brand you had in there before........

--- End quote ---

Love it!

Surely there are companies such as Octave still building new  Valve Amplifiers, and for obvious reasons they will source good sounding valves to sell the product?

Ampdog:
On the other hand, MadHat ......

I am going to try to state this cautiously. Amplifier designs should be such that there will be no difference using valves within an acceptable spread - certainly no audible differences.  When designing (in the past) instrumentation amplifiers the demands were quite more stringent. But users could mostly not be expected to test replacements first.  Still we managed (auto balance, negative feedback and such, not going to expand now).

That is why I am, respectfully, mostly sceptical when large audible differences in 'sound-of-valves' are claimed.  (Strange how mysteriously, particularly these days such are claimed. Decades ago when principles of amplifier operation were more generally known, such claims were less frequent .....

fredeb:
Here's an interesting article concerning valve quality : http://www.tronola.com/html/7591a_tubes.html

Ampdog:
AH!

This is an almost definitive report. As good reports are sometimes indicated, : "Mr Lafferty and Dr Gillespie should be listened to."

If F_D is reading here, I would suggest making this report (including the comments afterwards) a sticky. There are so many tests necessary to define a valve - and then the next batch comes out different! Note that the writers stress that the test batch was limited. As I pointed out before ....  Still, this is one of a very few investigations which highlights important aspects.

I know Mr Lafferty less well, but Dr Gillespie contributes on several forums as a respected authority on valve operation. The man did a lot on valve use even if it is a bygone facility.

Thanks for that reference, Fredeb!

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version