What’s the draw of a tube amp? I’ve never heard one. What’s its value?
What’s the draw of a tube amp? I’ve never heard one. What’s its value?
Hi Jonne. I’ve heard some terrific tube amps and if you really want a good one the value I’d say would be between 1400$ and 3000$ Weather it be an OTL or transformer coupled. Personally I love the transformer coupled because they kickass with low impedance planar headphones like the AUDEZE LCD XC.
Anyhow. Tube amp offerings like say a Woo Audio WA22 offer some of the sweetest midrange you’ll ever hear in your life. Tube amps are great, however they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The tubes themselves degrade over time by becoming more microphonic and you have to change them depending on the life of the tube.
Overall solid state amps can’t sound like tube amps and tube amps can’t sound like solid state. They are different. I get out there and hear one.
Thanks for your reply! My curiosity is peaked now! I’ll have to sell a kidney though having just bought the LCD-XC. But it’s good to know there is more out there to look forward to in the future. It’s good for me to a have a specific reason to save money otherwise I don’t, haha.
You are most welcome. This hobby of ours is filled with many different upgradable paths. I love it. Yeah it is expensive to do everything right without cutting any corners, but setting yourself goals to what you want to gain out of your music is fun.
Hard to put into words, but there’s a piece of the highs that has been recessed with the 2022 update. Very subtle, but pretty noticeable. I am definitely enjoying this as well. Thank you for posting these updates.
They can add fun colorations to the listening experience. Be careful pairing low impedance headphones with tube amps, though, as it will likely change the frequency response of the headphone due to the impedance mismatch; this can be a good thing, but if you don’t want to change the FR then tread lightly. Tubes also seem to do some magic regarding technical performance (soundstage specifically), which can be very fun. Many on this forum are of the mind frame that higher impedance dynamic driver headphones perform better with tubes amps, while planars perform better with high current solid state amps.
Thank you for the information @Nuance. Knowing more about them has balanced out my enthusiasm. I’m afraid I’ve completely switched from dynamic drivers to low impedance planar magnetics like the LCD-XC and the LCD-X. I’ve got a DT1990 lying around though that might be resurrected with a good tube amp but that’s for tomorrow when I have more to spend.
Have you (or anyone else) anything to say about the Rupert Neve RNHP coupled to the LCD-XC or LCD-X? I do some crazy EQing to my LCD-XC that taxes my system for power. In other words certain songs with emphasized sub, sub bass distort my system and my LCD-XC at listenable levels. Also tracking with them really tests the limits of my setup. I’m wondering if an amp like the Rupert Neve could give me like 6dB more of clean/undistorted volume. That would be priceless to me. If it makes everything sound better that’s a plus too!
Thanks for your knowledge!
I know you recommended this EQ (5850Hz, Q 5, Gain ~ -3.5) tweak with the XC in mind but I was fooling around with the EQ of my Dynaudio studio monitors and I tried your tweak kinda just for fun and voila!, magic happened! Funny that! A headphone tweak worked with my externals!!
LCD-XC 2021 EQ Revision 12-03-22
This EQ Revision most religiously respects the Harman Target Curve 2018 from the frequencies 900Hz - 8000Hz. I did not just follow the Curve blindly, it was just after a lot of experimentation and trial and error that I discovered that there is just ‘SOMETHING’ about this Harman thing that is just spot on beautiful. Like chicken skin on songs I’ve heard 100s of times before. Amazing!
Sub bass is a horizontal line all of the way down to 20Hz for true flat sub bass extension for that extra bottomless slam available in songs that utilize these frequencies. 80Hz is emphasized as usual in my EQs to bring out the punch in kick drums. 300Hz and 740Hz are emphasized to bring out the top end of kick drums and the meatier parts of snare drums respectively.
I know that there are a lot of filters and I’ve been told that before. I have never heard any sound degradation in the year that I’ve been EQing with Equalizer APO and you can copy and paste the filter values and pre-amp value into a .txt file and all you have to do is import it, no typing in values. Yes, I find it necessary to use a lot of filters, nuff said about that.
Preamp: -19.58 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 4.5 dB Q 1.3
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 27 Hz Gain 0.4 dB Q 6
Filter 3: ON LSC Fc 39.5 Hz Gain 6.3 dB Q 0.7
Filter 4: ON LSC Fc 40.2 Hz Gain 1.13 dB Q 4
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 80 Hz Gain 7.2 dB Q 1.79
Filter 6: ON LSC Fc 130 Hz Gain 7.42 dB Q 0.7
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 197 Hz Gain -8.7 dB Q 1.4
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 250 Hz Gain 6.97 dB Q 0.6
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 590 Hz Gain 2.45 dB Q 3.3
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 740 Hz Gain -1.27 dB Q 2.5
Filter 11: ON PK Fc 1015 Hz Gain -2.45 dB Q 1.5
Filter 12: ON PK Fc 1015 Hz Gain 2.9 dB Q 2.9
Filter 13: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain 0.33 dB Q 3.2
Filter 14: ON PK Fc 1675 Hz Gain 1.55 dB Q 4.5
Filter 15: ON PK Fc 1800 Hz Gain -4.35 dB Q 0.9
Filter 16: ON PK Fc 2000 Hz Gain 0.3 dB Q 5
Filter 17: ON PK Fc 2350 Hz Gain 1.95 dB Q 4
Filter 18: ON PK Fc 2700 Hz Gain -0.47 dB Q 5
Filter 19: ON PK Fc 3050 Hz Gain 0.5 dB Q 4
Filter 20: ON PK Fc 3600 Hz Gain -0.35 dB Q 4
Filter 21: ON PK Fc 4000 Hz Gain 0.38 dB Q 4.5
Filter 22: ON PK Fc 4150 Hz Gain 4.2 dB Q 2.1
Filter 23: ON PK Fc 4300 Hz Gain 0.91 dB Q 2
Filter 24: ON PK Fc 5750 Hz Gain -3.82 dB Q 3.7
Filter 25: ON PK Fc 6500 Hz Gain 0.3 dB Q 2
Filter 26: ON PK Fc 7300 Hz Gain 2.1 dB Q 3
Filter 27: ON PK Fc 9000 Hz Gain -8.6 dB Q 6
Filter 28: ON HSC Fc 10000 Hz Gain 2.29 dB Q 1
Filter 29: ON HSC Fc 13000 Hz Gain 1 dB Q 2.7
Filter 30: ON PK Fc 19000 Hz Gain 1.47 dB Q 0.6
Filter 31: ON PK Fc 4900 Hz Gain -0.2 dB Q 4
If you want less or more bass, simply adjust the gain of filter 5 and then change the Pre-amp level back to -0.1.
I have a new respect for parts of the Harman Target Curve now. Make sure you have a powerful headphone amp and try it out for yourself, it will sound great on anything you play!
I’m hoping you can help me understand something. I’ve been using your EQ settings on my Windows machine for quite some time now as it has been my default for the LCD-XC (2021). Recently, I have recreated this on eqMac (for MacOS) but I’m a bit confused as to what I should do with two bands that, in Equalizer APO, have the Q level grayed out. As you can see in my screenshot, eqMac does not gray out the Q setting when using a low/high shelf, so I have to put something in there. I just don’t know what to enter without negatively affecting the EQ curve you created.
Yeah this is the downside with the PEACE UI. Shelf filters have locked Q values. I think they default to 1.41… but I’m not confident about that. EQ APO editor allows you to customize them, which is why I prefer using that if I want to really dig into things.
But… since those are all wide ranges anyway, it’s just altering how sharp the slope of the shelf is. So I’d experiment with what sounds best to you there regardless.
I’m with you in that it likely defaults to 1.41. I just checked out your video on EQ basics and it’s really helped out in understanding all these settings, so a big thanks for that.
It does show 1.41 in the greyed out box, but if you look at the slope of the actual shelf, it’s using .71 rather than 1.41. You can verify by looking at the shape of the slope within the graph window; click the green graph line to show it and compare the default “low shelf filter” and the “low shelf filter (Q as slope)” by manually enteringing .71 for the latter. They should match.
tl;dr: Even though it’s shows a value of 1.41 in the box, it’s actually using .71 and overrides whatever is showing in the box; that’s why it’s greyed out.
Good find Nuance. I will play around with those settings a bit.
I use your EQ. Player Daphile. Rollup file created in the REW program and loaded. Thank you !!! The sound is great!!! Audese LSD KSK have risen to a completely different level!!! Thanks to you!
I am really liking the LCD-XC EQ’d to a target of HD600 with no bass roll-off. I’m not a fan of Harman (particularly in the bass and lower mids). For anyone who is interested:
Preamp: -4.14 dB
Filter 1: ON LS Fc 105.0 Hz Gain 6.9 dB Q 0.70
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 50.7 Hz Gain -6.7 dB Q 0.55
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 157.8 Hz Gain 1.9 dB Q 1.58
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 401.3 Hz Gain 1.7 dB Q 1.02
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 667.2 Hz Gain -1.4 dB Q 1.88
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2046.0 Hz Gain -3.4 dB Q 1.24
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3733.6 Hz Gain 4.3 dB Q 1.40
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 6087.9 Hz Gain -4.1 dB Q 3.84
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 8225.8 Hz Gain -1.5 dB Q 3.70
Filter 10: ON HS Fc 10000.0 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 0.70