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TUBES VS SOLID STATE

Tubes vs. Solid State Which Is Better?

 In two-channel audio systems, the choice between tubes and solid-state components is a matter of personal preference and the desired sound characteristics.

Tubes, also known as valves, like VAC's Signature 200 IQ are electronic components that use a vacuum or gas-filled tube to amplify or switch electronic signals. They are known for their warm, rich, and smooth sound. Tubes are considered to be less precise and more organic than solid state components, which can add a certain "musicality" to the sound. Tubes can also create a sense of depth and space in the soundstage, making it more immersive and natural-sounding.

On the other hand, solid state components use semiconductor materials such as transistors to amplify or switch electronic signals. They are known for their precise, accurate, and clean sound. Solid state components are considered to be more reliable and efficient than tubes, and they can handle higher power loads. They are also less sensitive to temperature changes and more durable than tubes.

It's important to note that both tubes and solid state components have their own unique sound characteristics, and each can be used to achieve a particular sound signature. Many audiophiles prefer the sound of tubes while others prefer the sound of solid state. Some high-end audio systems use a combination of both tubes and solid state components to achieve the desired sound characteristics.

Ultimately, the decision between tubes and solid state in a two-channel audio system will depend on the listener's preferences and the desired sound characteristics. It's recommended to listen to both options and make a decision based on personal preferences and listening experience.

 

Two good options to try out and demo would be VAC's Signature 200 IQand the new Hegel H30A

VAC SIGNATURE 200 iQ

Achieve perfect sonic purity with the VAC Signature 200iQ Stereo/Mono Power Amplifier. Boasting unmatched performance and power, this luxury amplifier produces up to 100 watts per channel in stereo and 200 watts monoblock with its exclusive patented VAC iQ Continuous Automatic Bias System that ensures each power tube is operating at its optimal level. Revel in a pristine sonic experience with the VAC Signature 200iQ.

 

REVIEWS

“I love the balance between old school and modern. VAC has lavished these units with cost-no-object niceties... while eschewing new valve types in favor of venerable KT88s. The sound reflects this with detail and scale to match the best of solid-state, yet with luscious warmth to never let you forget it's a tube affair. Or a love affair...”
Ken Kessler - hi-fi news, April 2, 2021

 

Type

Vacuum tube power amplifier with transformer coupled output

Features

  • VAC iQ Continuous Automatic  Bias System ™
  • Class A1 triode input & driver stages
  • Direct coupled input & driver stages
  • Low feedback design (6 dB)
  • 12 volt trigger
  • Detachable power cord
  • IEC power receptacle

Switch Settings

Fully balanced or single-ended input
Stereo or mono operation

Power Output

100 watts/channel stereo continuous
200 watts mono continuous

Speaker Matching Taps

1-2 ohms, 2-4 ohms, 4-8 ohms

Frequency Response

4 Hz to 85 kHz, +0/-3 dB

Full Power Bandwidth

13 Hz to 70 kHz, +0/-3 dB

Residual Noise

Typically > 95 dB below rated output

Input Impedance

  • 200k Ohms, Stereo, Balanced
  • 100k Ohms, Stereo, Single Ended
  • 100k Ohms, mono, Balanced
  • 50k Ohms, mono, Single Ended

Gain

  • 30 dB, Stereo, Balanced
  • 33 dB, Stereo, Single Ended
  • 31 dB, Mono, Balanced
  • 34 dB, Mono, Single Ended

Output Polarity

Non-inverting. 
Balanced input is Pin 2 positive.

Tube Complement

  • 4 x type 6SN7
  • 4 x type KT88
  • Compatible with KT120
  • Electrically compatible with KT150 (may be too tall to fit under the cage)

Operating Voltages

Available factory set for 100, 120, 220, or 230/240 volt operation

Connectors

  • Cardas rhodium RCA jacks
  • Neutrik XLR jacks
  • Cardas rhodium binding posts

Dimensions

  • 18" W x 17.25" D x 8.75" H
  • 457 mm x 438 mm x 222 mm
  • Excluding knobs & connectors

Weight

100 lbs. 
45.5 kg

 

HEGEL H30A

Nicknamed "The Orchestra," the H30A is our reference power amplifier, for it will orchestrate any music over any speakers to the best of its ability without effort. Boasting an impressive 1100 watts in 8 ohms and stability in even 1-ohm loads, this powerhouse has been crafted with our most skillful amplifier designs and superior electronics. The H30A power supply uses two separate 1000 VA toroidal transformers for fast response and minimized transformer hum. With a power bank of 270,000 μF capacitors, the H30A can handle even the most challenging piece of music at any volume, it always has enough power in reserve. In the output stage, we use 56 pieces 15A 200W high-speed, ultra-low distortion bipolar transistors. With so much power ready at any given time, things like speaker sensitivity and variation in loads no longer come into play. With the H30A you can confidently drive any speaker you like.

 

Specs

1100 W/8 Ω

Dual Mono

SoundEngine2

56 Bipolar Transistors

Mono/Stereo

Technical Specifications

Output power: More than 1100 W in 8 ohms (mono)
Min. load impedance: 1-ohm load
Inputs: RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced
Speaker outputs: One pair of heavy duty gold plated terminals
Input impedance: Balanced 20 kohm, unbalanced 10 Kohm
Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 100 dB
Crosstalk: Less than -100 dB
Distortion: Less than 0.003% at 100 W in 8 ohm
Intermodulation: Less than 0.01% (19 kHz + 20 kHz)
Damping factor: More than 500 (mono)
Power supply: 2000 VA dual mono, 270,000 μF capacitors
Output stage: 56 pcs 15 A 200 W high speed, ultra-low distortion bipolar transistors
Power consumption: 120 W in idle mode
Finish: Black
Dimensions/weight: 24 cm x 43 cm x 57,5 cm (HxWxD), weight 47,4 kg
Dimensions/weight US: 9.4" x 17" x 25.6" (HxWxD), 104.5 lbs

 

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