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08-26-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
wolfy
Posts 6
Joined on 07-16-2016

Post #: 1
Post ID: 25058
Reply to: 25058
Paul McGowan. tubes in preamp
Paul McGowan is a regular poster on youtube.  I have to take his presentations with a grain of salt as they always conform to sales pitch for PS Audio products, but they are interesting.  Recently, he asserts that tubes in preamp stage will provide higher resolution.  Ok, great, but if that is the case I would like to better understand why.  Romy asserts that tubes belong in the power amplifier and not in preamp section.  Ok, great too, and that makes more sense to me.

Really, tubes are more transparent that solid state?  It's my understanding that tubes are inherently producing more distortion of the signal, so how is resolution or transparency going to be better with tubes?  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlyJVhUykug

W.
08-26-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,534
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 25060
Reply to: 25058
The Mr. McGowan's type of question...
Wolfy, first of all your question is based upon wrong supposition. I never asserted that tubes belong in the power amplifier and not in preamp section. I never remember made this comment and why I know it is because it is never was a part of my believe system. I generally do not think that SS circuitry can much in term of quality to a properly implements tube circuitry but this thinking has a LOT of contingents. I am not circuit specialist and I am rather a brutal end user and I can only judge form the examples that I witnesses.  I have seen remarkable SS and tubes amps but generally I feel that tube amplifiers as class are more cables then SS amps. The mistaken supposition that you took was probably because I use SS preamp in my own playback. First of all what I use for my playback is not coupled with my believe system. Second, I use it mostly because for the topology of the playback I use I need an ultra-low output impedance in my preamp. The third is because I did not have a preamp that would beat my active Placette in term of transparency and dynamics. I do not claim that they do not exists, they might, I just do not have it. 
 
Regarding, the Paul McGowan: it tend do not watch his films as some kind of intellectual challenge. I have seen a few of his films, it was entertaining and his is a very comfortable with himself man. He still in his wisdom, in my estimation, do not rise to the level of demands that I impose to Sound.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
wolfy
Posts 6
Joined on 07-16-2016

Post #: 3
Post ID: 25063
Reply to: 25060
Thanks Romy.
  I had in mind a few comments made on your forum which I had in mind when I listened to Mr. McGowan:

"Vacuum Tubes the Vacuum Tubes must not be used in line level outputs.  In audio Vacuum Tubes meant for power amplifiers, preferably for out stages, that where they do job."


"14) A preamplifier shall not use vacuum tubes as output devises. Come on, get real! No one yet built an absolutely transparent tubes buffer. The output stages of an Ultimate preamplifier shall be DC-coupled SS devise."

I must have misunderstood your points.
Still, I do think Mcgowan's assertion is interesting.  Maybe it does not matter whether tube or solid state, but more so how they are implemented.
W.



08-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,534
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 25066
Reply to: 25063
Conflicts resolution. :-)
Well, the conflict you pointed might sound reasonable but not completely. The First quote is taken from a thread “Disregard Digital with Vacuum Tube output”. In there I advocated do not look into D/A converters with tube output stages. In was in 2005 and at that time there were tones of DACs with tube output stage that did the DAC’s “humanization”. I very much did not like it then and do not like it now. Again, not because it is topologically impossible but because any single DAC that I had/heard at that time was not good in my estimation and the best DACs I have heard used SS outputs. So, in context of the thread the comment was appropriate in my view.


The second comment is from 2009, the “The 15 Commandments of Ultimate Preamp” thread. It said exactly what read: “No one yet built an absolutely transparent tubes buffer”. I do stand with the observation that up to the time I very actively was monitoring what the best was done out there I did not see any tube preamp that I find to be transparent. I built a few my one transparent tube buffers and I commissioned some people who I have high respect to build buffers for me, not one was able to do it transparent enough. That lead to my choses but I do not deny that it is possible to have a very transparent buffer, there is nothing in tubes that theoretically limits it.

In my case I did not possible it as I was needed an ultra-low output impedance whish in case tube preamps means an extra state … not good in my books… 
 
Again, regarding McGowan. I kind of discard those talks because he was taking about “resolution” and I have no idea what it is. Well, unfortunately I know what he and his audiences mean and I do not care about this characteristic at all as they do not talk about “proper” resolution but rather about transients contrasts – a bogues distinguishing of Audio confusion.
 
PS: With all it said, I agree that I have to be less “resolute” in my judgment. I think nowadays I am possessing slightly softer judgment then 10 years back. I know that nowadays I would not spend another $100K and 4 year of my life to chaise an ultimate tube buffer. I do applaud the people who would and I would like to use it if it was discovered. I feel that a proper SS buffer can do what make person do not want to look for tube buffer as the ultimate tube of SS buffers would produce unethical results. The tube implementation would be MUCH more expressive and exotic.



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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