Tubes versus Solid State - Power Delivered at different speaker impedances

Discussion in 'Theoretical Hypothesis Forum' started by Rocky Starns, May 4, 2019.

  1. Rocky Starns

    Rocky Starns New Member
    Thread Starter

    Dec 15, 2018
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    Question: I am interested in trying the McIntosh MC462 or 452 with the Autotransformer matching circuitry. My question is a review of this amp, and probably all tube amps, is the actual power delivered to the speaker is very different than that from a solid state amp. A good solid state amp has a linear power output that follows the impedance curve > example: 400w @ 2ohms; 200w @ 4ohms and 100w @ 8ohms > a constant voltage source! Reviewing the McIntosh MC462 shows the amp delivers max output at the preselected auto-tap (8ohm as example) but is not linear as the impedance changes up or down. I am currently using Perreaux 2150B amps that are rock solid voltage sources giving me big watts as speaker impedance drops. The McIntosh on paper appears to lower the wattage as the impedance deviates from the ‘sweet spot’ set on the auto-tap. I am no expert on this subject and hope that someone can help me virtualize what difference in power/sound might I hear with the tube amp over my solid state setup. Thanks in advance for any input.
  2. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
    Staff Member

    Nov 21, 2016
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    Lincoln, NE, USA
    I have pondered on the same question about McIntosh amps. If the speakers had a flat impedance curve (they never do) then power delivery should be pretty flat and so would frequency response, relative to that with a solid state amp. With real-world speakers, the McIntosh auto transformer output would seem to lead to variations in frequency response relative to that of a solid state amp, all other factors being equal. Such a comparison, with measurements and listening test, would make an interesting experiment. Getting hands on a McIntosh tube amp to try it with is the hard part.
    Rocky Starns likes this.

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