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Re: Sound of tube amplifiers

This is a pretty old argument, vacuum tube vs. solid state amplifiers. As I
recall from the popular literature of 20-30 years ago, tubes were supposed to
sound "warmer" due to the predominantly even-order harmonic distortion products
however low in amplitude they may have been. In contrast, solid state amps
were supposed to exhibit more odd-order harmonic products, giving them a more
"raspy" sound in comparison. Other test domains seemed to consider issues due
to negative feedback, like transient distortion, where the "edge" of a waveform
is able to present a signal fast enough to "beat" the feedback, which by its
nature must lag in time. Stereo Review was a magazine I recall from back then,
I probably even have a few copies floating around my basement or attic, but I
wouldn't necessarily cite them as "legitimate" academic sources! I would also
add that as an electric bass player, I have both vacuum tube and solid state
amplifiers, but my tube amp (Ampeg B15-N Portaflex) is still in great demand
by guitar players for studio work. The B15-N also has a preamp out for that
"tube sound" into further solid state amplifier stages.

Happy listening,
Tom Maglione

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