It has nothing to do with cleanliness. Technically tubes are "dirtier" than mosfets. They're expensive because the technology is vintage and some rich people think that makes them good. They add some subtle distortion to the highs that some people say give them a "warm" sound.
IMO - They're completely ridiculous to use in a car unless your goal is to get people to say, "Wow, you paid HOW much for HOW much power???"
2: Whatever vacuum tubes can do in a piece of audio equipment, solid-state devices can do better, at lower cost, with greater reliability.
3: A tube amp will never perform to the standards of an equivalently built SSI amp.
4: They are not worth the tube replacements, rebiasing, and performance degradation over time
5: Tubes give the amplifier designer an excuse to add a deliberate colotation and call it the "tube sound". Mainly a severe lack of damping from the output devices and making sure that the amplifier releases a ton of harmonic distortion when clipping. The same can be done for SSI, as done by Bob Carver. It's just that a respectable designer doesn't want to.
maybe that ap is for like bill gates maybe everything inside is gold components or platinum u know someting better than copper and maybe the amps can push like 200 rms insteead of 13 rms cuz for that money they have to be underated and i think they are like 30 in the world produce maybe thats wat make them so expensive yeah jonathan im wit you whos goin to pay for that amp exepct for bill gates
tubes are mainly in the realm of home audio with speakers that have senstivities over 120 such as klispchhorns. in car audio they wouldnt last and they take up lots of space so not practical for use in a car. the problem for car audio only people, especially the younger people is they think wattage is the only measure of loudness and power when there are many other factors to take into account. i think tubes are more about preference than anything else. it would be the same as comparing 8 tracks to vinyls, CDs or mp3s. there are concrete differences, advantages and disadvantages for each thing, it just depends on what you want. it is expensive only becuase not many companies make them anymore.
Lot of people buy tube amps/radios for old memory's sake. I mean, if you turn down the lights, play some love music, and shack with your gf, I guess it can replace a fireplace. After all, those tubes do get very hot.
" the problem for car audio only people, especially the younger people is they think wattage is the only measure of loudness and power when there are many other factors to take into account."
I hope you aren't referring to me with that comment.. 13 watts will not be loud, sh.t, all 26 watts into one HLCD still wouldn't be very loud ...
"it is expensive only becuase not many companies make them anymore."
Years ago, I don't know what the deal was with these, they may have been decent and appropriately priced. But today, tube amps serve no purpose other than letting the ultra rich have an excuse to spend huge amounts of money on what they think will be the killer soundsystem. I can just imagine the sales pitch now...
thats purely your opinion lewass. hook up a low wattage amp to a pair of klipschorns and you will get loud and clean music. now i dont think you will get the thumping bass of an obnoxious teenager but you get quite the punch. considering you know nothing about home audio you talk alot about nothing.
The only thing tube I'd buy is guitar heads. I don't see how a tube amp could last in a car unless it was mounted in some kind of suspension lol. At least with the suspension in my truck (has some travel to it), that amp would be beaten to smithereens in seconds.
Tube amps get about 25 times louder than Solid State. And the clipping doesn't rip your ear drums lol. I don't know how this works in cars but for guitar, tube is way better & you can get loud tube amps for $250.
Because tubes tend to exhibit "softer" characteristics when the devices are overloaded. Primarily 2nd order harmonics instead of the odd order distortion that solid state amps do. That's only at clipping, though, and undesirable in any form. Sometimes tubes can seem to be louder because 2nd order harmonics are closer to the original signal, and to the ear it is percieved as being louder. The main reason that tubes are used for guitar amps are because tubes can be more desirable when overloaded, basically guitar players like to use distortion to add an edge to the overall sound.
Horns will get quite loud off of 13 watts. Even regular speakers will get pretty loud off of 13 watts. It's just that headroom is important with most drivers. If you want 10db of headroom, that means you'll want 10x the power on tap compared to what you're using on an average. Headroom is critical for dynamic peaks in music, especially well recorded music that isn't compressed to make the overall passage seem louder than it really is.
Tube amp cost isn't really because of a rarity of tubes and the necessary connectors. Russia still produces a high volume of tubes. If you're wondering why, they never converted to solid state due to the cold war (in case an EMP were a factor). The same could be argued for cars with points instead of electronic ignition, but that still doesn't mean points aren't obsolete ;).
Money doesn't dictate knowledge or the ability to have a great system. Klipschhorns are an excellent example of that in all honesty, not really outstanding performers unless you're looking for home theater instead of reference level equipment.
"It's just that headroom is important with most drivers. If you want 10db of headroom, that means you'll want 10x the power on tap compared to what you're using on an average. Headroom is critical for dynamic peaks in music, especially well recorded music that isn't compressed to make the overall passage seem louder than it really is."
^ ^ That is what I mean. How much headroom is there in 13 watts? How loud can you really listen to a 26 watt stereo? I'm not saying that nobody would be impressed when they heard it and found out it was only 13 watts per channel, but come on, with huge horns on the speakers, it's not a fair comparison. Even male cheerleaders are loud when they're squawking into a megaphone. I could rip a.ss into a megaphone and produce more bass than that amp can... haha
That tube amp is like the smartest kid with down syndrome.
Christopher, are you sitting on a nail or something? You seem to be quick tempered. This is car audio forum, so if you consider investing in audio stupid, then you are hanging around the wrong place. And yes, that is my "opinion."
I have a Boss amp that is still working 7 years later. Bad investment? Car audio equipment properly set up will usually outlast your car. How is that a bad investment. A car is a bad investment. Some older amps are still selling for their MSRP (or higher) even today!
I never thought tubes served a purpose for car audio, in fact I thought we were all talking about if they serve a purpose in home audio.
I also don't think name calling is necessary either. If you want to spend $3000 on a 26 watt amp, and $200 on a little tin of snails, I think you should go to www.habitatforhumanity.com and do something a little more beneficial with your deep pockets.
wow you guys are pretty touchy here. i was using the car audio example to show you how it is ridiculous to condemn something purely based on biased opinions. i have invested in car audio upgrades so believe me if i think its stupid then i just called myself a moron. the reason i called you guys bone heads is hecause you have no desire to see what possibilites other things have outside of your personal experience. i highly doubt you have actually listened to a tube amp setup and i know you wont because you seem to have some complex with people enjoying their money regardless of where it comes from. i earn my money just like you do just like my dad does. i haev volunteered work at habitat for humanity and helped build a couple houses in trenton i have donated money to cancer research and the hurricane katrina so shove it.
If you've done all of that, then why the attitude? Are you looking for a metal? I don't recall anyone trying to diss or insult you. Having a chip on your shoulder might work in the real world, but on forums, it will only make you sound like a jerk. FYI, I used to have tube amp and have listen to it. So don't assume or generalize. There are people on here that actually spend time testing and experimenting.
There is no headroom past the RMS capabilities of the amplifier. A 5W amplifier is going to produce 5 watts. Anything beyond that is driving the output devices into saturation. The power supply may be able to drive that demand, but the tubes/transistors won't do it. You may clip the crap out of the amps, which will increase the average power enough to produce a power increase, but it won't replicate a sine wave and it won't sound good. Any amplifier should be set to provide it's RMS power with a 0db reference signal (in which 0db is the absolute loudest a music peak can get).