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jamesgarvin
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Question for John Atkinson

I've got some time to kill, have been wondering about something for a while, so I'll ask. My recollection is that since your being at Stereophile, you have pretty much always owned and reviewed solid state amplification, not even taking a tube plunge in a secondary system. Given the amount of contributors who own and use tube amplification, is there a reason for this? Any bad tube experiences?

Editor
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Re: Question for John Atkinson


Quote:
My recollection is that since your being at Stereophile, you have pretty much always owned and reviewed solid state amplification, not even taking a tube plunge in a secondary system.

Yes, that's pretty much true, although I still own an Audio Research SP10 preamp and a Melos SHA-1 headphone amp, both of which use tubes. I am also about to try the Audio Research Reference 3 preamp in my system.


Quote:
Given the amount of contributors who own and use tube amplification, is there a reason for this? Any bad tube experiences?

I did have a bad experience with the SP10, in that when its tube regulator goes bad, it pumps slowly varying DC into the power amplifier, which, depending on its design, will damage speakers. I have used tube amplifiers at various times, including an Audio Research Classic 60 and a C-J Premier Eleven, both of which I liked. But when it comes down to it, I need the iron control of the woofer that you only really get from solid-state.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jamesgarvin
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Re: Question for John Atkinson

"it pumps slowly varying DC into the power amplifier, which, depending on its design, will damage speakers."

This is the first I can recall reading about this issue. Is there anything that we can look for in a design which tells us that the manufacturer of either the pre-amp or power amp have considered this potential problem, and taken steps to avoid it? Many thanks. Having recently upgraded speakers, I am a little concerned about them going up in a puff of smoke in the event I upgrade to tubes.

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