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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:03 pm 
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First off I need to say I love the sound of tube amps, but my first and only tube amp gave me nothing but grief: clicks, pops and new tubes all the time.

I don't mind the one time cost of purchase, but I hate components that fail that's why I now only use solid state Brystons.

Was my initial experience just do to bad luck? Should I give it another go? Are some brands more robust than others?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Well .... vintage tube amps from the 50's are proven reliable once re-capped and sound fantastic so maybe something else? Please do tell.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:25 pm 
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I owned a CJ MV52.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Location: Silver Creek, BC, CA
I had a Cary V12 and V12R
I ran the V12R for years without a problem.
I did roll tubes (types) a few times but only to hear the change in sound-never an issue with the amps
regret selling it to be honest but I replaced it with a Jeff Roland SS amp-so all was great!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Location: Moncton, NB, CA
Audio_Guy wrote:
First off I need to say I love the sound of tube amps, but my first and only tube amp gave me nothing but grief: clicks, pops and new tubes all the time.

I don't mind the one time cost of purchase, but I hate components that fail that's why I now only use solid state Brystons.

Was my initial experience just do to bad luck? Should I give it another go? Are some brands more robust than others?


If the Tube Amp is Not a self adjusting Bias design then it is Extremely important to manually set the Bias,I was constantly replacing tubes in my Amps until I started doing this,since then I have not needed to change another tube in over a year.

A tube amp has to be properly adjusted before it produces the sound that one expects
from such a device; furthermore, proper adjustment is also necessary to maximize the
tube's lifespan and ensure the amplifier is not damaged.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
Some tube amps (like some solid state amps) have more issues than others. My Rogue Stereo 100 amp is solid and dependable. Yes, tubes are not dead silent compared to solid state amps. As posted above you have to adjust bias on a regular basis.
If you think of tubes the same way you think about old style incandescent light bulbs, you will be fine. Once in a while a bulb will fail right out of the box or shortly after, most of the time they last for years. Tubes are similar. Just the cost of having them.
I avoid tube rolling, as it inferences with music listening time! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:39 pm 
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That was a significant piece.
Purchased used?
Familiar with its history?
Mods?

Ya can’t base reliability of tube based components on just one piece you’ve owned.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:54 pm 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
That was a significant piece.
Purchased used?
Familiar with its history?
Mods?

Ya can’t base reliability of tube based components on just one piece you’ve owned.


That's why I'm taping the CAM knowledge pool.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:21 pm 
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then I guess to answer your question yes, bad luck.

but...did you attempt to diagnose the cause of the clicks and pops and why it ate tubes? because there was a reason...

for your last comment imo its not so much brands but build....even cheap iron on a good circuit and build can be reliable (and sound just fine).

understand too running things to spec helps...push a tube to its limits and you've increased the chance of failure. run it conservatively and could last years. heck, I have a '40s tabletop radio that I think still has its original tubes.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:35 pm 
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In short, compared to ss amps, yes. Firstly there is the heat which burns out passives, sockets. etc..second is tube amps can be designed badly, too much current, voltage for passive, poor layout....but, they are way easier to get to work once they develop an issue. You don’t usually get the fountain of sparks fiery death the ss amps can do.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:38 pm 
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malthuse wrote:
In short, compared to ss amps, yes. Firstly there is the heat which burns out passives, sockets. etc..second is tube amps can be designed badly, too much current, voltage for passive, poor layout....but, they are way easier to get to work once they develop an issue. You don’t usually get the fountain of sparks fiery death the ss amps can do.


??? Every comment you have made can be flipped a complete 180

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Hi,

I owned some tube CJ gear and generally they ran their tubes full throttle up at the limit of the plate voltage and bias specs. That makes the harmonic distortion figures look better but the down-side is that tube life is shortened when compared to more conservative tube designs. But, that said, it still sounds to me like the amp you had was an extra dose of trouble. I still like to bias my tube amps rather than use auto-bias. This way I can keep the bias levels moderate (they all have a range) and extend tube life. In certain applications and with certain speakers in certain rooms, tubes can be unbeatable, but they are not a universal one size fits all solution by any means.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:55 pm 
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if you asking in general....there is no difference in making the tube amps reliable or making SS amps un-reliable. So it is all about the design and age issues for both.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:11 pm 
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Location: Calgary, AB, CA
Audio_Guy wrote:
First off I need to say I love the sound of tube amps, but my first and only tube amp gave me nothing but grief: clicks, pops and new tubes all the time.

I don't mind the one time cost of purchase, but I hate components that fail that's why I now only use solid state Brystons.

Was my initial experience just do to bad luck? Should I give it another go? Are some brands more robust than others?


If a tube amp clicks pops and needed new tubes all the time they're something seriously wrong with it. You better start saving now because it'll cost you plenty to buy a better one.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
You could run a Bryston for years without turning off, but not a tube amp....
Tube amp commands maintenance, tubes rolling, etc.
But If you want to live with noraml utilisation, tubes are all right.


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