Valves vs Transistors

George 47

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Well, had fun today comparing two sets of amps. In the red corner a passive pre (Audiozone Pre T1) with a set of chip amp monoblocks (Audiozone T2) and in the blue corner an Audionote M2 and WAD Kat 88.

Well the chip amps were very fast,powerful, tight tuneful bass, lovely top end nicely bright and clear; huge amount of detail (what shade of orange socks the drummer had on
biggrin.png
). Excellent on the Gorillaz, Led Zepplin, etc.

The valves were slightly slower, wonderfully 3D, the bass seemed deeper if a little phatter, but the mid range and vocals were glorious. The emotional impact was much higher. Excellent on Lucinda Williams, Damien Rice, Joni Mitchell.

So some of this gear has to go back to the dealers and decisions have to be made; get the transistors and love hearing all that wonderful detail (but not too much of the emotion), keep the valves and not over fuss the detail.

Flog the lot (add a lot more money) and get a nice McIntosh 2275.

Ooooo decisions, decisions?????:lmao:

 
E

Effem

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I had the same tough choice to make this week as well, whether to keep the VDH Array pre amp or the Audio Research SP-9.

Both beguiled in their own but very unique ways so it wasn't an easy choice to make believe me.

In the end it was the Array's ability to create a finely etched depth and breadth to the soundstage whereas the SP-9 didn't have quite the same spatiality, although it won hands down in the sparkling treble and fluid midband although there wasn't an awful lot in it.

I tell a lie, it was the Array's remote control that swung it for an idlelazy barskit like me
biggrin.png
:lmao:

 

Hawk

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kennyk wrote:

now that World Designs (www.world-designs.co.uk) have resurrected some WAD kits I should mention that the 'entry-level' KEL84 is available for £325. the 300b Monoblocks (PSE) are also available as well.
smile.png
Im very tempted to have a go at building one of these... just need to check the household insurance is up to date first
biggrin.png


 

jonjin

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Toughie... though I've heard your Audionote and KT88 combo. And it did blow my socks away in terms of bass and punch! For me the decision is simple, in the long run, it'll be valves as SS will be fatigue-ing once the novelty of all that hi-fidelity runs out.

Having said that, I do have both a 300B and chip-amp set-up!
tongue.png
And looking forward for a tinkering with the WD when they release their KT88 model!

JJ

 

Anthony

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George 47 wrote:

Well, had fun today comparing two sets of amps. In the red corner a passive pre (Audiozone Pre T1) with a set of chip amp monoblocks (Audiozone T2) and in the blue corner an Audionote M2 and WAD Kat 88.Well the chip amps were very fast,powerful, tight tuneful bass, lovely top end nicely bright and clear; huge amount of detail (what shade of orange socks the drummer had on
biggrin.png
). Excellent on the Gorillaz, Led Zepplin, etc.

The valves were slightly slower, wonderfully 3D, the bass seemed deeper if a little phatter, but the mid range and vocals were glorious. The emotional impact was much higher. Excellent on Lucinda Williams, Damien Rice, Joni Mitchell.

So some of this gear has to go back to the dealers and decisions have to be made; get the transistors and love hearing all that wonderful detail (but not too much of the emotion), keep the valves and not over fuss the detail.

Flog the lot (add a lot more money) and get a nice McIntosh 2275.

Ooooo decisions, decisions?????:lmao:
reading through your post twice it occured to me you may already have decided which one but weren't aware of it (see quote above). isn't that what music is all about?

 

Stereo Mic

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George,

There is a Berning ZH270 for sale on HFFS currently. The owner is in Spain, but get that, and IME you will get the best of both the products you describe and then some.

 

George 47

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Thanks guys. I think Hawk and Effim are actually saying the same thing as the Mac has remote control but her indoors
redcard.gif.e4bb2bc3520876c1792f9a324afcd589.gif
RRP is high

I might be tempted Kenny (wrong url by the way) but I don't know which end of the soldering iron to hold!! I bought this from young Lee (everyone is young compared to me;)) .

I have also seen the comments about the WAD from those at HFW, where they have confirmed what Lee said about not under rating it . I have compared it to a decent valve power amp and it is better, hence my interest in a signficant jump to the Mac

Well spotted Anthony
biggrin.png
. Yes valves do the emotional impact really well and the chip amps do produce huge amounts of information. Do I want to analyse or do I want to enjoy the emotion, well for Led Zepplin.....and for lucinda Williams......

 

kingsxfan

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Oi loiks vaalves oi do.

Emotion is what music is all about, if youfindthe valve kit conveys your favouritemusic in this way then its a no-brainer really
wink.png


 

kennyk

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thecrossovernetwork,
Hawk wrote:

kennyk wrote:
now that World Designs (www.world-designs.co.uk) have resurrected some WAD kits I should mention that the 'entry-level' KEL84 is available for £325. the 300b Monoblocks (PSE) are also available as well.
smile.png
Im very tempted to have a go at building one of these... just need to check the household insurance is up to date first
biggrin.png
Hawk, the KEL84 is a straightforward build. it's on PCB, so all that's difficult is making sure that the electrolytics and any diodes go in the right way, all the resistors go in the correct places. it's like painting by numbers. the time consuming bit is the wiring up of the inputs and volume pot etc. I've just completed tonight the HD83 Headphone II kit. powered up first time, all voltages check out ok (thought some are at 15% limit). sounds awesome. I'm tempted to order a Kel84 for the practice and I'll probably put it in the dining room as part of a second system. Ideally I want to build the 300Bs but a) very expensive and b) point-to-point is more tricky - more chance of errors.

the World-designs forum members are very knowledgeable and most can give some sort of advice if things go wrong. the other advantage is that, having built it, you know what to change to improve performance - boutique components, volume pot shunt mods, etc. it's very rewarding and satisfying to know that you built it yourself too.

 

julian2002

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why not try a hybrid valve / ss amp? there are some good ones available for not much if you look. and they might give the blend of emotion and detail that you want.

cheers

julian.

 

kennyk

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thecrossovernetwork,
George 47 wrote:

I might be tempted Kenny (wrong url by the way) but I don't know which end of the soldering iron to hold!! I  bought this from young Lee (everyone is young compared to me;)) .

I have also seen the comments about the WAD from those at HFW, where they have confirmed what Lee said about not under rating it . I have compared it to a decent valve power amp and it is better, hence my interest in a signficant jump to the Mac
fixed the url
wink.png
you learn very quickly which end to hold...
wink.png


World designs will do a build service for you if you're not confident about your ability to build it yourself.

bear in mind too that HFW and WAD are closely related. that said, I reckon that, value for money wise (even paying to have them built) they are difficult to beat
smile.png


 

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