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Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Stellasarat, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Stellasarat

    Stellasarat Active Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Take two 11 meter amps built as close as possible considering ones transitorized and the other tubes, will the tube amp reproduce a higher quality audio? Both amps are being driven by the same tranciver/mic. I've heard tube amps soud better than transitorized/pill ones, and have been hearing this for many years. Is this true and if so I'm assuming it can be exspained, technically.


  2. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

    Nov 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I think the question is more applicable to music audio amplifiers.

    I was a professional musician for many years and a sound technician for a touring group for two years in the Navy and I have a pretty good ear. If properly tuned and driven with a properly functioning hf rig, I can not tell the difference on the air between a tube and transistor hf amplifier.

    I also listen to the AM crowd on 75 meters and the solid state rigs can sound just as good as the older AM tube transmitters the hard core AM'ers run.
    rabbiporkchop likes this.
  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
    Staff Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    Likes Received:
    There is a lot more to sound quality that just the difference between tubes and amps. I have run and maintain commercial broadcast transmitters, both tube and solidstate, and either could sound better that the other depending on other factors besides the active amplifying device. I had one site with a solid state main TX and a tube backup TX and I could tell by listening which was on the air. The tube TX sounded softer and not as harsh as the solidstate TX but then again we were comparing mid 80's technology versus mid-late 1940's tech. Tube TX's have more transformers which affect sound quality which is a variable factor to be considered. As for a straight amplifier, IMHO a PROPERLY tuned and fed amp should be indistinguishable on the air as to being tube or solidstate.
    rabbiporkchop, Tallman and unit_399 like this.
  4. StrangeBrew

    StrangeBrew Sr. Member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I think tube amps have a reputation for being better because there have been a lot more people building crap transistor amps over the years than crap tube amps.
    314 likes this.
  5. Atlasta

    Atlasta Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Whoo.... This one ranks right up there with the old 'Ford vs. Chevy' argument.

    I'm a tube freak so I tend to come down on the side of glass. That said, I must concur with Capt. KW- the key word is PROPERLY tuned. There is an art to correctly tuning and loading a tube amp.

    Tube amps are quite forgiving when it comes to things like being out of resonance or the VSWR is high. Solid-state amps need to have everything 'just so' or they go boom and magic smoke escapes.

    StrangeBrew: There are a lot of crap solid state amps out there but there were also a lot of really bad tube amps. Not so much from the basic circuit design which was lifted from a long-ago issue of QST, but because they were constructed with little to no regard for safety. At least a solid state amp won't kill you if you accidentally touch the wrong thing!

    As always, the amp is going to make whatever you put into it louder- so make sure that you have a clean signal in!!!
    rabbiporkchop and Tallman like this.
  6. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

    May 1, 2013
    Likes Received:
    What I have always said, "Garbage in, louder and stronger garbage out." I have more functional tube amps than transistor amps. I have one guy always trying to buy my collection of tube amps. He just won't put up enough cash to get them.
  7. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Dec 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    If you are going to go for a tube amp; then get an amp that they still make tubes for.

    And . . . don't put a crap signal into it - JMHO . . .
    rabbiporkchop likes this.

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