Tube vs TransistorSun 07 June 2015
For so long I've listened about debate how tubes have "warmer" sound. All audiophiles will tell you that you can not compare amps which are tube based to those that have transistors in them. I don't say they're wrong, but I'm never satisfied with "It's just the way it is" explanation, so I searched for more info. First, I don't believe that just because you use tubes you get better sound. There has to be more to it. As they've explained me, tubes have a feature which makes even harmonics stand out, while the transistor does the same for odd ones. This makes tube harmonics get along better. For simplicity, think of overtones which are octaves. Octaves are 2x, 4x, 8x ... the original sound which are even harmonics.
Now the fun part. I didn't know, but more than once I've heard from really educated people that you can make an amp with transistors which makes even harmonics stand out. You'll probably ask yourself, just like I did, why don't we have these amps around. I don't know, but I'm almost sure it has something to do with economy.
There is some area of audio amps where tubes are superb and transistors can't ever come close to them: distortion in guitar amps. The reason for this is that tubes and transistors act totally different when they are saturated, hence the difference in sound of distortion.
I'm a guitar player, among other things, and the best think I can think of, in theory, is tube preamp with transistor power amp which makes even harmonics stand out. I don't know if it's possible, but I would sure would like to try to create one.