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#44536 - 05/03/04 07:12 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
2x6,

True or false: A tube amp adds even-order harmonics to the source signal.

True or false: Even-order harmonics qualitatively change the sound of the source signal.

True or false: Any difference between the source signal and the output signal, no matter how pleasing to the ear, can be called distortion.
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#44537 - 05/03/04 07:13 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
tomtuttle,

I do this because I want to know the man behind the Michauras.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#44538 - 05/03/04 07:43 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Hello PMB.

Tube amps are characterized by even ordered harmonics. Solid state amps by odd ordered harmonics. Music that sounds sonorous is characterized by even ordered harmonics. Noise is more akin to odd ordered harmonics. I wouldn't say that tube amps 'add' even ordered harmonics. It is the nature of the frequecy resonances, and I think even ordered harmonics are more musical than the odd ordered frequency resonances which characterize solid state amps.

BTW, I read that very interesting article you linked. You may not have noticed but I responded several times to your query about double blind testing. My position, before reading the article, was that a well designed double blind test would provide more significant results than the kick back and listen with joy method. Now, I'm not so sure. It never occurred to me that the double blind methodology runs into its own 'Heisenberg-like Uncertainty' boundary between Type I and Type II statistical error.

There are certain little pieces of audio information which I use for my tests of sound equipment. The 'thwack' of the G string of a bass fiddle in the Colangelo jazz CD, the wood wind chimes in cut 2 of Loreena McKennett's Elemental CD, cuts 3 and 6 of Elemental for soundstage as a few examples. These sounds, IMO, test equipment in a way that is fairly easy to discern.

For me, as I'm sure for most of you, the joy of audio is coming as close to the sound of live music as possible. My home-brew tests are intended to satisfy my passion for this elusive goal. But, for me, my passion is price sensitive. I'm by nature, frugal, so I balance results with minimizing the pain-of-the-purse and soothing my conscience that I am not overindulging, that is, I am conscious that while I enjoy someone fiddling, someone else is starving and spending more than I do would be in as bad taste as buying a Louis Vuitton travel bag.

Anyway, no one has to come by to listen to my tube system. Let's just forget I offered. I have never suggested that you all are not entitled to your opinions. I see no need to justify mine any further.


Edited by 2x6spds (05/03/04 07:47 PM)
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#44539 - 05/03/04 07:51 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4801
Loc: western canada
Excellent link Peter.
I've read the article before and it is very well done.
Note the final two summary paragraphs that Tom Nousaine has written:

"I find it interesting that no one has difficulty discovering differences during subjective evaluations. However, during the open sessions I've participated in the general sensitivity level of the listeners often seems to be greater than one (p equal to or greater than 1.0). Differences abound. However, sometimes these differences mystically disappear under blind conditions. Why? It seems to me that many of them are a part of the relationship or interface between the listener and that gear. The things the listener hears are as much a part of the listener as they are a part of the equipment. Withholding the identity of the equipment breaks the bond with the listener and the differences disappear.

As an audiophile, it is important to me to know which differences are attributable to the equipment alone. Those which are part of the listener interface may not apply to me. The ABX method is the only test I am aware of that makes this important distinction. It is the only one that has both scientific validity and statistical reliability. I don't doubt that listeners and golden ears hear what they hear, but there is scant evidence that others would hear it. While the debate rages on, I will devote my energy to areas where there is no argument about the existence of major differences. Loudspeakers, anyone?—Thomas A. Nousaine, Chicago, IL "


People will disregard this evidence anyway. There is a distinct fear of having ones belief structure collapse around them, as well as a predictable need to be argumentative regardless of the obvious and logical evidence presented.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#44540 - 05/03/04 07:54 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
In reply to:

I appreciate the honest way in which you convey your experiences. I don't care about double-blind tests or "pure" data. Science exists. Not everything in life SHOULD be quantified. I'll accept people's opinions AND judge for myself.



See...I should have kept my mouth shut and let one of our most eloquent handle it. He (as usual) put it better than I could.


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#44541 - 05/03/04 08:01 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10379
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#44542 - 05/03/04 08:04 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Still, you can't fault someone for wanting to stick to their beliefs. After all, perspective shapes reality. As long as they're not publishing papers on it or passing it off as fact, I'm OK with it.
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#44543 - 05/03/04 08:35 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

Tube amps are characterized by even ordered harmonics. Solid state amps by odd ordered harmonics. Music that sounds sonorous is characterized by even ordered harmonics. Noise is more akin to odd ordered harmonics. I wouldn't say that tube amps 'add' even ordered harmonics. It is the nature of the frequecy resonances, and I think even ordered harmonics are more musical than the odd ordered frequency resonances which characterize solid state amps.



YES... now we're getting somewhere. I won't argue semantics between distortion and harmonics - in this case, they're close enough that I'll accept them as nearly synonymous.

Now the difference between tube and S/S electronics is the level at which these harmonics (or distortion) are produced. For tube amplification, they're present at nearly every power level; for s/s amplification, the harmonics are introduced only when overdriven - if s/s distortion (read: harmonics if it makes you feel better) appeared at the same level as tube distortion (harmonics), a s/s amp would sound like FM radio tuned between channels.

In short - hopefully we can all agree on these points on both sides:
- odd order harmonics (ie: transistors) sound bad
- even order harmonics (ie: tubes) sound not so bad (really just "octaving" - at 12th intervals)
- tube amp reproduction demonstrates these "good" harmonics at all power levels
- S/S amp reproduction demonstrates these "bad" harmonics only when overdriven
- tube amps sound "round" because of the even order harmonics - the guitarded (players of 6-strings) among us will recognize the sound of an octaver
- s/s amps offer flat reproduction because of the (relative) lack of harmonic distortion until they are overdriven (at which point they exhibit ugly noisy distortion)

It's far oversimplified, but a good starting point for coming together.

Bren R.

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#44544 - 05/03/04 08:46 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8280
Loc: Tacoma
Woo! Bren! You da man! I understood darn near all of that!

"octaving" is a funny looking word.
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#44545 - 05/03/04 09:17 PM Re: One simple question for 2x6
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Octaving:


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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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