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What is the Single Ended Triode thing?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Coda II, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    I have big Living Voice horns (105db) which I run with Boulder pre & power.
    I was told that it would be sacrilege to use anything other than a top flight set with them, so I spent a month with various amps being sent over to me. I can’t remember them all now but the usual suspects from say £5k-£50k or so..
    The best of them was a modded amp (can’t remember exactly but SJ Accoustics is in my head) at around £20k or thereabouts, and I would describe it as listenable at best.
    Compared to the Boulders I found, to a man, they were all noisy, bloody unreliable, had rubbish bass, poor imaging, lacked detail and had very little attack.
    Granted a couple of them did have lovely midrange’s and in that region a couple of them were perhaps the equal, or very slightly better than the Boulders, but not by much and in an extremely narrow frequency range.
    It was bliss every time I switched the Boulders back on.
    Of course this is all in my system, in my room and with my ears….

    I should mention that I never tried any GT stuff - a few months after all this I was speaking to Paul from RFC and he told me that GT stuff was by far the best valve gear on the market and the only ones he’s ever seen that have truly low noise…
     
    topoxforddoc and Coda II like this.
  2. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Definitive Audio (Living Voice) would have no trouble recommending CH Precision or Jeff Rowland or anything else they sell now:rolleyes:no sacrilege involved ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  3. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Good comment needs a response!
    Yes, your second line is true:

    But the %HD of a moving-coil driver is (fairly closely) proportional to the square of the current through the voicecoil, and that is before other effects (say port loading choices in a small box or sim, & if not so inherently limited, that of displacement vs. linear displacement of the voicecoils, and surround effects)

    So 'decent-size' drivers, loaded in a manner akin to an acoustic transformer (the horn) for efficiency can result in very, very low %THD from the driver at modest listening levels because (1) the sensitivity is very, very high and (2) the driver displacement is held very-near-zero. Really delivering on that promise also requires exceptional acoustic design of horns and integration etc. of course - but ... headline statement is definitely true.

    Big, good horns deliver a gestalt very difficult to approach any other way - even at low levels, IME.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  4. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

    I guess a SET amp and headphones is the way to go if you don't have the room or the money for horns.
     
    RichardAusten likes this.
  5. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Yes definitive let me try Manley, SJ (I think), Kondo and Cary…
     
  6. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    I've heard a couple of SET installations that worked well, but I've heard more that sounded like telephones.
     
  7. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member


    I run 104 dB/W Avantgarde Duos with a TRON Meteor preamp (Syren predecessor) and TRON Voyager (6W SET with EML 20B valves) - only a whisper of noise with my ears right up against the horns - totally inaudible from 6 feet away, let alone my listening seat. Paul from RFC is correct IMHO.
     
    Darren L and Coda II like this.
  8. Coda II

    Coda II getting there slowly

    Had you had other horns previously in the build up to the Duos or was it straight in at the deep end?
     
  9. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Exactly….
     
  10. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Are you claiming the music we listen to is not a recording?
     
  11. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    IMO using visual terminology to describe auditory characteristics is fraught with danger. I worked for many years with stained glass; coloured glass can also be be considered transparent. As in not opaque, diffuse, etc. So red coloured glass (for example), can be called transparent.
    Personally, I find FR unevenness is something I can recognise and then *ignore, just as a hall's acoustics can be.
    * Not extreme anomalies.
     
    John Phillips and Steve 57 like this.
  12. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    In at the deep end. I heard some Duos and Trios and was completely smitten. Can’t afford Trios or other better horns eg Cessaro, Acapella etc. Really happy with my set up - very good with CD, excellent with vinyl and astonishing with 15ips R2R master tapes.
     
    martin clark and Coda II like this.
  13. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    There are SET amps, and then there are SET amps, and then there are Tron SET amps... ;)
     
  14. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Any small residual noise will be coming from the Meteor Preamp Charlie. Good as it is, on models post Meteor (2003 onwards) further circuit refinement has shown that the noise is so low now that it is very difficult to measure, let alone hear.
     
    topoxforddoc and Coda II like this.
  15. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    With most of the set amps (I tried) having SNR’s in the 80’s-90’s range, listening at low volumes wasnt possible due to the hiss and crackle being louder than the music!
    Tron stuff coming in with SNR’s in the 100-110 ballpark I think. Which is virtually unheard of for valve amps I’m led to believe..?
     
  16. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Yes, it is.

    The Nemesis Phono stage for example is almost impossible to tell if it is switched on or off, such is the low noise floor.
     
    Coda II likes this.
  17. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    How big is your room please?
     
  18. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    Darren,

    I'm very fortunate as my music room is about 30 x 15 ft with my wife's grand piano at one end and my stereo at the other. I sit half way down the room with the piano behind me. The Duos will work in a room from about 15-16 ft upwards. Mine are tucked in fairly tight to the corners, perhaps only about 12 inches from the side wall and 24 inches from the back.

    [​IMG]

    Charlie
     
  19. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    Sounds like I might have to consider an upgrade at some point

    Charlie
     
  20. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Thanks Charlie, beautiful room, I really like all the plaster moulding, quite big too!
     
    G T Audio and topoxforddoc like this.

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