Have you ever tried a tubed component in your system?

Back in the day, tubes were the <I>only</I> choice. Today, some audiophiles still consider them the only choice. Have you ever tried a tubed component in your system?

Have you ever tried a tubed component in your system?
Yes, have one right now
63% (171 votes)
Yes, once upon a time
14% (37 votes)
Am planning on it
6% (16 votes)
Haven't tried one
10% (28 votes)
Not interested in tubes
7% (18 votes)
Total votes: 270

Snorre Wik's picture

I've been dying to try one—and now I am ready to rebuild one of my systems. Which one to get?

J.Koreneeff's picture

Tubes are not reliable, they change response and amplification clarity with time. It is more of a Russian roulette each time one flips the tube amplifier—or preamplifier—on or off. They sound good but at what risk?

Alan Ly's picture

Wish I had a bit more time with the system back then.

Alec Axt's picture

I like the sound of tubes a lot. I'm happy with the bass response and smooth harmonics. I run an old Heathkit and Quicksilver amps.

Anonymous's picture

Do to reality, I had to settle for the least expensive pre-amp, $1,000, still sounded better than the $1,500 SS. More open, better imaging.

Luvsmusic's picture

Use the McIntosh MC2200 all tube preamp. Awesome sound & awesome design and with NOS tubes in the phono section awesome sound

Phillip Carrigan's picture

With 3 and 6 year old wild boys, tubes equates to me to time taken away from listening.

roy hutchison's picture

Tubes rule. Period.

John Callaway's picture

Headphone amp. and a Dac, both of which sound beautiful

Donald N.'s picture

Have a nice Antiqque Sound Lab HB-1 headphone amp and will be buying a integrated amp - tubed. Love'em - 6BQ5 (EL84) may sole experience thus far but, loving it!

r.vermeer@visionwaves.com's picture

After several years i bought a single ended union research s 8 tubes amplifier and an audio note DAC 3 signature and audio note an e /spe loudspeakers. The cd playes is musical fidelity. It is an amazing sound. Transparent, clear, soft, open. So the sound of Joni Mitchell CD the beginning of Survival is so good, that it like's she stands in my room. Succes Rudolph

Alan Norberg's picture

Golden Tube preamp.I have also owned an AMC power amp with el-34 tubes run in class A which are still made and are one of the great bargains of audio.Sorry I sold mine.

bernard le-forge's picture

its my hand made monoblocks. i have 8 of them driving my four way active system. also my preamp and active crossovers are tubbed.

Mahlernut's picture

I have both a tubed pre-amp and power amp. I resisted for years, but once I heard what they did for the sound of my system, there was no going back.

Randolph Schein's picture

I have the Audio Research Ref 2 Mk II preamp and VT-200 Mk II amplifier (although purists would call these hybrid products, since they have FETs in the input circuits and the amplifier has solid state regulation and rectifiction. These are both modern designs that don't have any of the sweetening that many people associate with some older tube circuits.

Joseph M King's picture

I run Tube Power,Pre Amps as well as a Tube Phono stage.

Kurt Christie's picture

it's that se sound........

Mauro Mello Jr.'s picture

Musical Fidelity gear: Nuvistors: NuVista pre-amplifier, 300 power amplifier, 3D CD player. ECC88's: X-Cans v3 and v2 headphone amplifiers; Elektra Class A CD player. (Plus the X-Ray CD player v1, no tubes but fantastic, too.)

joe miranda's picture

so far i'm happy with the results with the warmer sound and greater sense of live music.

MyTwoCents's picture

A VTL 5.5 preamp between a Krell CD player and Krell amp. There seems to be a synergy between the components that makes the listening experience more realistic and enjoyable. And, after all that's what we are trying to accomplish.

Keith Y's picture

Two words....CONRAD JOHNSON!!!!!!

hex's picture

Tubes are obsolete and mostly appeal irrationally to nostalgic audiophiles. In a few cases they are used to "correct" deficiencies in other components to obtain a "euphonic" sound. Tubes are not linear at all!

Mannie Smith's picture

Have VTL TL2.5 - great preamp!

Nodaker's picture

I have a Melos Sha Gold that's seeing a lot of closet time due to upgrading to a solid state preamp. No regrets here, and I even had those expensive Siemens CCA (old style) tubes in it :-O

A.  Carter's picture

(I hope it is not too late to comment on the tube question.) I had grown bored with the quest for perfection with solid state systems. No matter the degree of air, space, and realism in the image, and power in the bass, something always seemed off, especially when listening to a single instrument where its tonal complexities were isolated, not shadowed by other sounds - the reed in a sax, a bow on the stings, etc. One day I heard a violin solo through a single ended triode amplifier and my love for this hobby was reignited. All of the complex tones which you hear during a live performance were there and were just right. I can't explain it, but I can hear it. Perhaps it is the simplicity of the circuit - one tube, class A, no feedback. I was ready to give up on audio, and the tube brought me back.

Jose Garcia's picture

Unfurtunately not. I would love to try a tube preamplifier with my amp to heard the difference between it and my solid pre. A friend uses an hybrid preamplifier and it sounds wonderfull to my ears. My only concern is the tube mantainance though.

Simon L.'s picture

Yes I owned the old Dynaco ST70 and PAS3 and have heard the McIntosh MC60's. I listened to modern equipment too from Audio Research. While pleasant, the sound of the components such as transformers and capacitors get in the way. Way too much bass boom and coloration from the Dynacos. I build my own gear now that I am an EE. I aspire to Mark Levinson and Krell these days.