Anyone have tube amp recommendations?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by magnet18, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    My dad wants to buy one for our turntable, and told me to research and find a good one.
    Since I don't know the first thing about tube amps, I was wondering if any of you know of any good ones or any good brands.

    Anything is useful, Thanks :)

    Thanks for the move mods, sorry
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  2. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Father recommends "6L6"
    magnet18 likes this.
  3. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
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  4. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Thank you both, I'll pass the word on :)
  5. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    Build a "gainclone" stype amp using a simple rugged chip that has 0.000001% distortion, then hide the chip in the box and put a nice "glowy" tube on the top. He'll get good sound quality AND tube satisfaction... ;)
  6. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
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  7. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    I don't like fake things. If I wanted to have a valve (tube) amplifier, it would have to be the real deal, with thermionic devices at least in the output stage, where some people manage to believe they make a preferable kind of sound. Personally I'm not convinced, and if there is any real benefit it may be more relevant to things like guitar amplifiers which are commonly over-driven, so that their distortion characteristics matter more.

    The real thing is going to come expensive though. I know that you are used to having things big and powerful over there in the USA; perhaps you would need something with a pair of KT88s or something similar per side.

    If you want to go the whole hog, there are the amplifiers based on really big triodes, but they can cause severe overloading unless they are matched to a specially low-impedance bank account.

    Some of these contraptions leave me feeling a bit uneasy, given that there are other things in this world that we might spend money on. Some of the more extreme custom cars give me a similar reaction: I'm well aware that they have a big following, but they leave me cold. Here are some fancy custom amplifiers: I think many of them look silly, others may disagree.
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  8. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
  9. PaulEE


    Dec 23, 2011

    I have recently purchased a Fender Telecaster to play and bought components for an amplifier design that may or may not give you a few ideas.

    Up until about a week ago, I have always "wanted to get into building tube circuits". I got ahold of a few 9-pin sockets and off I went.

    My plan was to build a pre-amp front end from a 12AU7 twin-triode tube. They are 9-pin tubes and are/were quite popular. That have moderate gain.

    The rest of the plan involved buffering the output of the 12AU7-based pre-amp with an LME49860, which is a pathetically low distortion amplifier (0.00001% or something insane like that).

    From the low-distortion opamp, I have designed (but not built yet) a discrete class AB output stage with MJE-type power transistors.

    If your Father wants tube sound and solid-state dependability, I would suggest building a hybrid/ tube preamp and transistor power stage. If he wants ALL tubes, it can become quite a costly venture to purchase all tubes, sockets, and high voltage components; not to mention output transformers.

    The reason I explained my current hybrid project is because I do get very nice and warm tube sound in the preamp while (eventually) getting the power gain I need from good transistors. I designed the 12AU7 stage, by the way, to run on +12v (or +30v), which is also a lot less dangerous than hundreds of volts, like tubes are usually running at.

    I searched for the 12AU7 datasheet and found a GE datasheet from years ago. It had an illustration of the common-cathode (common-emitter/source in transistor speak) amplifier and example values.

    If you do decide to go this route, I ran into issues with power supply hum sneaking into the circuit and being amplified by the opamp. If you split the plate resistor from the +V rail into two resistors and hook a 10uF to 1000uF capacitor from the midpoint of the two resistors to ground, it forms a VERY effective low pass filter that gets rid of the power supply ripple (and, hence, the annoying hum). That trick was from a McGraw-Hill book entitled, "Vacuum Tube and Semiconductor Electronics", (1958) that I read before building the circuit in the first place. :D

    Happy new year and good luck-
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    It was of course said as a joke. :)

    I quite like tube amps for instrument (guitar use) but for my recording studio and HiFi playback I use a good low distortion chip amp.

    There are some nice kits for DIY tube amps, but they run expensive. Tube amps in general run expensive by the time you get all the transformers, tubes and sockets and a punched metal chassis to build it in.
  11. MarzBeatz

    New Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    dude just get a dl1500 amp from spyn audio

    Duel Speed Fans With Rear -to- Front Cooling Streams
    Balanced XLR and ¼” Inputs
    Speakon and Binding Post Outputs
    Signal and Clip LED Indicators
    Seven-Way Power Protection
    8 ohms Stereo: 2 x 450W
    4 ohms Stereo: 2 x 700W
    2 ohms Stereo: 2 x 750W
    8 ohms Bridged: 1400W
    4 ohms Bridged: 1500W
  12. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    I don't have an amp to recommend but just thought I'd let you know Santa got me a Fender Mustang I for Christmas. It is a solid state amp with DSP modelling technology. It's only 15W into an 8" speaker. I wasn't happy with it because it lacked that bottom I was looking for.

    So I asked him to get me something better and he came back with a Fender Super Champ XD. What a difference! This is still only 15W into a 10" speaker. But it has a 12AX7 preamp and a pair of 6V6 output tubes. Now I'm as pleased as punch.
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