State of the Art Solid State vs SOTA Tubes: Which is Moving Faster?

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#41
I find that your first comment applies particularly well to your meaningless answer concerning the Aida. People have been using the The Sonus Faber (Fenice) and the Aida's with Audio Research REF610 and REF750. These amplifiers are extremely powerful and dynamic and properly driven by an adequate source can fill a large room with both the Sonus Fabers with a realistic musical scene - surely very different from solid state.

BTW, many people think that Audio Research can't drive the Aida's because they listened to the REF210 or REF250's with the Aida's - and yes, they can't drive them.
Hi Microstrip,

Thanks for quoting me - "Looking at this hobby from a higher level perspective, this is a hobby based on subjectivity. Everyone brings different prior experiences, assumptions, perspectives, beliefs about finances, backgrounds, available real estate, different goals, and imaginations of realism etc. Unless people listen together and add meaning to some of the vocabulary, as well as compare similarities and differences, people will continue to talk past each other."

I think this statement carries a lot of truth of why people prefer different things. But short of listening together, the best people can do is listen to the same music on the same/ similar system and describe the sound.

And I am not trying to hurt your feelings of love for Audio Research, which for years, and until very recently, has sounded more bleached that an albino who bleaches his skin, Audio Research 750 just cannot drive the Aida to satisfaction of most rock listeners. I doubt think you listened to that combination on Zeppelin. If you did, you didn't compare it to another system.

I love to bring up "cheap" Zu speakers with a "cheap" SET to arrogant, elitist audiophiles (not referring to you specifically). You know guys who have spend $100K, $200K, or more on their system, and it can't rock or play blues. Hahaha hahaha hahaha!! But an easy to drive speaker like Zu with SET destroys the popular, hard-to-drive box speakers when it comes to tone, dynamics, and EMOTION, especially on music like Rock, blues, and soul.

So popular, hard-to-drive box speakers with tubes is definitely not the first go-to technology for rock. Bonzo got a thread going on horns with low powered tube amplifiers doing rock drums. And even through a youtube video one can hear the speed, the crispness, the impact, and again - EMOTION! ...

Any dealer who would sell an Aida system with ARC 750 for a rock-loving listener should be sued for malpractice. :)

Furthermore, speaking of ARC, I hear they are in deep trouble. As this thread alludes to, expensive flavors of SS are on the rise. Tubes are on the way down. Carl Marchisotto used ARC for years on NOLA. I actually think their 75 amp is outstanding. But he recently switched to VAC. And it's his livelihood!!!

Ditto for Scaena. ARC 75 sounded better with Scaena than CJ or Ayon, but they moved away from it...

Again, not trying to hurt your feelings, but sharing facts. So ARC better get their act together fast!
 

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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#42
But an easy to drive speaker like Zu with SET destroys the popular, hard-to-drive box speakers when it comes to tone, dynamics, and EMOTION, especially on music like Rock, blues, and soul.
Not in my experience. :cool:
 
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caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,514
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#43
Not in my experience. :cool:

Hi Kal,

I respect your preferences. Yes, tastes of normal people differ from those who have undergone years of audiophile conditioning. :)

Yes, Zu is everything that audiophiles hate. But they sell out their dirty weekend speakers in days.

And I Sincerely appreciate that Stereophile has given them oxygen via reviews and online videos. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

But let’s get the data points out there, and let people decide if they want to rock out to Zu and SET for $10k or spend $75k on audio research amps inadequately driving $75k+ box speakers. Or anything in between.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,748
126
520
Monument, CO
#44
I have only heard a few SET systems through the years. I much prefer my conventional speakers (Revel Salon2) and (very cheap, very un-WBF-worthy) SS amps, though still have a warm spot in my heart for tubes. :)

My opinion only - Don
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
1,885
281
525
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#45
I respect your preferences. Yes, tastes of normal people differ from those who have undergone years of audiophile conditioning. :)
Yes, Zu is everything that audiophiles hate. But they sell out their dirty weekend speakers in days.
I don't accept that argument.
And I Sincerely appreciate that Stereophile has given them oxygen via reviews and online videos. Gotta give credit where credit is due.
I do not have to accept that argument either.

I probably should not have bothered commenting but, sometimes, my visceral response needs to be expressed.
 

Robertd

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2015
42
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#46
I took the bait and played Led Zep. Black dog. On my hodgepodge system of tidal, musical fid dac, spectral pre, golden tube power amp and Thiel speakers and sub. I love this system for jazz and orchestral. However black dog sounded better on the system I had in 1981 - American acoustic labs tower speakers, an SAE integrated, and a Toshiba TT with AT90E cartridge. Robert plants voice just ripped through the room then. Not quite this time.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,889
2,661
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E. England
#47
Robert, its possible for these apparently challenging recordings to absolutely rule.
By those, I mean...LZ, Cream, The Who, the prog and fusion giants of late 60s/70s.
That is, to have them on the medium they were recorded in, ie LP.
And to have a playback that is liquid and immediate, stressing dynamic shove and texture, ie triodes and horns or very high efficiency crossoverless full range driver box spkrs.
I've been playing Zep today, and LZ3 is majestic on my Jap vinyl played via 70W 211s thru primarily single driver transducers with a single cap and resistor.
Immigrant Song stretches all the way from the East Of England where my listening room is, back over the North Sea to Vikings home base.
 
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Robertd

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2015
42
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88
#48
Robert, its possible for these apparently challenging recordings to absolutely rule.
By those, I mean...LZ, Cream, The Who, the prog and fusion giants of late 60s/70s.
That is, to have them on the medium they were recorded in, ie LP.
And to have a playback that is liquid and immediate, stressing dynamic shove and texture, ie triodes and horns or very high efficiency crossoverless full range driver box spkrs.
I've been playing Zep today, and LZ3 is majestic on my Jap vinyl played via 70W 211s thru primarily single driver transducers with a single cap and resistor.
Immigrant Song stretches all the way from the East Of England where my listening room is back over the North Sea to Vikings home base.
I know! It’s crazy! Like I can’t resist jazz and classical and acoustic voices - Leonard Cohen and Ryan Adams in this system - but something like Led Zep or old PJ Harvey just doesn’t sound as big and immédiates as I remember. Played the Rover from physical Graffiti Deluxe Edition.....results were the same. And Layla the other night. Just not big and immediate and holistic. But then I played a cover of autumn leaves by Clapton, almost brought tears to my eyes. Like I can’t imagine a better experience.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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E. England
#49
Robert, my journey has been in the other direction. My home systems haven't always been fully convincing on classical. But getting the tt/triodes/full range-zero xover concept right has always made those apparently poorly recorded Golden Age albums come to life. For me, having been to a number of audiophile systems that fully suck on late 60s/70s music, poor sounding Zep and Yes and Cream and Santana is not the reason I got into this hobby.
 
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Robertd

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2015
42
19
88
#50
Robert, my journey has been in the other direction. My home systems haven't always been fully convincing on classical. But getting the tt/triodes/full range-zero xover concept right has always made those apparently poorly recorded Golden Age albums come to life. For me, having been to a number of audiophile systems that fully suck on late 60s/70s music, is not the reason I got into this hobby.
I know.....there’s so much old rock music that I love and may not be ideally recorded. I wanna hear that a lot, in addition to the other stuff. I’d love to be able to enjoy both.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,889
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E. England
#51
Well, I feel I have a great series of choices for that.
 
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Apr 1, 2018
41
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Ohio
#52
At the suggestion I just worked my way through Nursery Cryme.

There's clearly something wrong with my system because for some strange reason Phil Collins sounds exactly like Peter Gabriel to me. Maybe I need to try another cable swap...
 
Likes: Alrainbow
Apr 1, 2018
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Ohio
#53
Sorry for the failed attempt at humor. I grew up in the era where these two gents were both onto their solo careers by the time I found their music. I'd actually never heard this album until today.

As an aside, I realized that I was born two weeks before this album came out...is it possible that my folks played this album for me over and over while I was in my crib years? If they didn't, what was wrong with them?
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,514
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#54
I don't accept that argument.

I do not have to accept that argument either.

I probably should not have bothered commenting but, sometimes, my visceral response needs to be expressed.

Hi Kal,

Sorry didn’t see this earlier. Looks like my comments have struck your amygdala. But I prefer reason, despite our hobby being subjective and predominantly Platonic. So What exactly struck your amygdala? Is it the fact that when one looks at the taste of the stereophile social network of writers and the reference gear they use , one finds primarily Wilson, dcs, d’agostino as the favorites?



Or is it the concept of preference / taste acclimation, where people get used to a certain preference / taste of speaker (or type of pizza or hotdog, or anything else) and carry it forward. Then they go on to judge everything else by that standard , while everything else is regarded as flawed, regardless of actual differences between the products. Again, Wilson, dcs, seem to be stereophile standards because they seem to express a certain audiophile vocabulary and intellectualized sound that “audiophiles” like. While high efficiency gear with SET amps is covered as fringe fetish for the truly weird, while it’s virtues of more realistic dynamics, tone, and musical flow are ignored in favor of big box speakers with solid state amps that sound either badly colored, to their designers taste, or extremely sterile.



One would expect a fanboy, trapped in a powerful, blinding, Platonic illusion inside his head, to not find any sonic signature of their favorite Wilson or Magico. But As experts, I would hope you guys would step above that and present the whole smorgasbord so others can choose based on their personal audio goals and preferences.



Or maybe it was the fact that I mentioned that you guys covered Zu audio. Yes, it is true that brands get publicity from audio publications. Your coverage of Zu introduced them to some people and gave “validity” / assured their “legitimacy” to others. Yes, people do look to experts when they are confused and overwhelmed by choice; it’s human nature and it’s scientifically proved...



I would hope that rational people who are self-confident and comfortable in their place would welcome alternate points of view . (Those who are insecure , obviously don’t. And our hobby is a dying disaster.)



Reality exists whether we like it or not. I look at what people do, not say. So just reflecting stereophile coverage and not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings.



With so many reviewers who either lack a soul or just park it at the door of this hobby, Stereophile , you’re one of the last hopes . We* are all cheering for you.

again, nothing personal. Stay healthy


*We is not Wilson, dcs, pass, d’agostineo, etc., who are the top brands that have benefited from the herd behavior of the audiophiles
 

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