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Old 02-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #15
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Gotta speak out here...

I can't comment on stereos, but for guitar amps there is NO comparison. Tube amps slay solid state ones. Not even in the same sport, much less the same ballpark. They are more fragile, but the sound is much much better and the raw power is better too. I have a 60W Fender tube amp that I compared to a 160W solid state and mine wasted the other one, even though the other was both more powerful and physically larger. Most of the bands I like play Gibson guitars plugged into Marshall all tube stack amps. Can't beat that tone and power. All a Marshall is is an enlarged Fender.

I agree though, for a stereo in an RV, stay solid state.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I asked the tube amp question only in hopes that someone had tried it and succeeded. I think the sound is quite different than solid state gear. "Better" or "worse" depends on what an individual likes. Even with solid state gear, road travel would be a test of durability. Has anyone had an amplifier conk out due to trailer travel?
Mark
Tube amps are not as fragile as often declared. I have a fleet of tube guitar amps running all over the world, with modern and classic rock bands. We do have failures, but they're no more than bass amps, which are ususally solid state. Stuff blows up - it's just the way it is.
My home stereo is built around a Jolida tube amp. I much prefer it over a comparable solid state amplifier. The drawback is that it is very heavy, and would have to definitely have it's own cabinet built for trailer use. Or, it would have to be transported in a suitable case,and then set up once you reach your destination. Not because it's fragile, but because it is heavy and would destroy lightweight Airstream cabinetry.
The tube amp has much faster transient response, which translates into a very natural and immediate sound, often comparable to a live soundstage. Instead of just hearing left and right in the stereo, it actually images front and rear instruments if you listen closely through a very good set of speakers.
Tube technology is expensive and heavy, solid state is dirt cheap for the most part. the demise of tube technology is mostly due to companies switching to solid state for profit reasons. However, high end solid state amps are also very good, but not any cheaper than tube amps.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Gotta speak out here...

I can't comment on stereos, but for guitar amps there is NO comparison. Tube amps slay solid state ones. Not even in the same sport, much less the same ballpark.
Absolutely!
Line 6 has experimented with 1200w per side poower amps in their larger stereo modeling amplifiers, and they still could not compete with 100W tube amps. They digitally modeled some of my products and then wrote software to put into their amps. No go on the power and "feel", though.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:22 PM   #18
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Eric

There's a guy who lives in my hometown, Eric Pritchard (sp?), who had a big hand in designing Paul Reed Smith guitars...anyway, Eric is an electronics guru and he claims to have invented a solid state amp that mimics the tone and power of tube amps, without the headaches of tubes. I've not played with one of his amps, as they're very spendy. But I've talked with the man (he did some machine work for a company I used to work for) and he seems to be very sharp.

I told him that, in my humble opinion, if he could get the tone of an all tube amp with a solid state, he'd sell every one he could build. People I've talked to that have his amps really swear by them. Eric said that advertising costs are very high and it's hard to break into the market. I know he's advertised in Guitar Player and other similar mags. Not sure how many he's sold.

Eric is an electronics engineer. I'm an aerospace/structural guy. I tried to follow his theory, and it sounded good to me, but it's beyond my study. I'm still "Old School" and a like tubes.

Some day when I'm worthy of a full stack I'll get one from Marshall. As for now, I still wail on my Fender Hot Rod DeVille 4x10. It'll crank up pretty well. I did notice that although it's labeled a 60w amp, it says 180w on the transformer on the back. Have had to change the tubes once in five years.

I play a Guild S-100 (looks like a Gibson SG but a bit stouter although not as heavy as Les Paul and with the longer neck) plugged directly into the Fender.

Angus Young is my Hero

OK, I'm WAY off topic here, but I'll jam out in my Airstream. 60W of metal inside an aluminum tube should make for some wicked reverb!
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:03 PM   #19
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Bose Ascoustimas - 'nuff said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
... the Bose Acoustimass 3 is all but invisible, if the bass module is hidden from view inside a vented cupboard or closet, or under the goucho etc. It can lay flat. The cubes can be conceiled behind a thin curtain ,or even put behind existing speaker mounting locations.....
Experience the cubes - it will blow your socks off in an Airstream!

Pic 1 - Two surround sound double speaker arrays on driver's side.

Pic 2 - Custom cabinet for electronics - originally a credenza out of an 80's
Excella from Colaw's Salvage - lengthened and deepened - finished to match the 345's cabinetry - mounted on five tricycle trucks for movement within the cabin.

Pic 3 - Three surround sound double arrays on curb side.

Pic 4 - Business end of sub-woofer/power unit.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:14 PM   #20
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Dennis -
Nice sound system! I'll be upgrading mine in the near term, and will post some pics when I (quoting Delbert McClinton) "get it worked on."
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I am soon to be retired, and will thereafter spend much more time in my trailer.
No, you can never spend TOO much time in an Airstream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I am interested in an upgrade in interior music quality. ...<snip> I want to go to "astonishingly good." I'm looking to dedicate a system to the trailer. Ideally, I'd like to leave it in place permanently, on the road and in camp.
Around ten years ago, when I decided to investigate RVing again and Airstreaming, one thought I could not get over was the "Bose Acoustic Wave." That is the original Bose 1-piece "boom-box" type, from which the "Wave Radio" was born.

Found one at a pawn-shop, eventually bought it for $250.00. It has a cassette and bass and treble controls. I bought it a couple of years before I got my trailer and listened to it in my apartment. Kept it in my bedroom and just turned it up for the rest of the house. GREAT SOUND for one unit. There is some separation but, of course, you don't have the wide separation due to it being one unit.

Advantage to it being one piece? You can take it outside, on the boat, etc. I used it once to play music for the warm-up aerobic routine outside for a "walk" for the American Lung Assoc. The aerobics guy was AMAZED that it played such perfect sound OUTSIDE...on batteries!

In my '86 Argosy, there is a shelf behind the sofa, at the front window. The Bose AW fits perfectly there, with a lamp and some photos. I usually run a cable from the AUX input and plug it in the line-out on my computer, my XM radio, CD player, or whatever I need. You oughtta hear 256kbps MP3s played in the Bose AW.

Occasionally, I use a better quality computer 3-1 system also. But the Bose really is more balanced than even a "nicer" computer sound system.

When I bought this '86 Argosy in '97, the built-in stereo would not play. But I haven't checked the power to it, really not sure how to use the multi-meter...or even which one to get. I thought about replacing that unit with a nice car-audio deck, maybe one with a front panel auxiliary input if I could find one. From there, replace the built-in speakers in the front and in the rear bedroom. An amp could be added or whatever else. XM could play through the tuner or directly through the front aux input.

For right now, the Bose AW1 sounds fine. The advantage of buying pawn-shop/ebay over new is...$800 or so!!! Pawn shops are a wonderful thing! Plus, if it is stolen...you haven't lost that much. Lots of sound in a small, portable package.

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Old 03-18-2006, 04:35 AM   #22
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I love it when the conversation gets to stereo equipment. When reading the forums regarding light bulbs there are pages of formulaeic diatribes about the conusmption of a nano watt of precious electricilty. Not when it comes to tunes, baby! I haven't seen one concern in this thread about how stereo systems suck the juice. I camp (boondock) for a few days at a time and have a relatively modest system in my Bambi that incorporates XM Sat. Room is a big issue in my AS so I have upgraded the speakers that came with it and put in a pretty decent Sony head unit and cd changer. I have a four channel Kenwood amp that will be installed shortly. Of course, Sat makes the cd changer less important than it used to be. Outside, I have a Delphi boombox for the XM out on a small camp table. Electricity? Who cares? I know lots of ASers lug around a couple of Honda 2000's for their AC units. Not me I don't camp where I'm gonna sweat too much. My Honda keeps my batteries charged so the music never stops!

I have a Crate digital modeling guitar amp in the house and never ever considered taking an electric guitar camping! I must really be acting my age just bringing an acoustic with me. You guys are hard core!

Keep on rockin in the free world.
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:48 AM   #23
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I'm outta here tomorrow for a week in the trailer. I have the speakers mounted below side cabinets (definitely a beta version of this setup) focused on the center of the front couch. I too run a Honda 2000, and will have 100 watts a side to the speakers - don't need it for "volume" but it drives the speakers easily and fully. I have run a pair of Audiovox speaker cables thru/under cabinets and carpeting, and a second set of cables out the backside of the cabinet into the refrigerator vent compartment. This allows switching to a second set of speakers outside the trailer for campfire use, assuming the campsite is sufficiently vacant (it usually is) to accept the noise level. Have plenty of music and a third of a cord of dry firewood for a week's worth of campfires.
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:14 PM   #24
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fly-fishing, good tunes, and campfires!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
...allows switching to a second set of speakers outside the trailer for campfire use, assuming the campsite is sufficiently vacant (it usually is) to accept the noise level. Have plenty of music and a third of a cord of dry firewood for a week's worth of campfires.
Mark
Hiya, Mark!

Hmmmm — fly-fishing, good tunes, and campfires! Gosh, golly, gee — does it get any better?

There are certainly some potentially-contentious issues among the replies here (tube vs. solid-state, Bose vs. almost-any-other-brand, XM vs. Sirius, et. al.) but the "good thing" that is going camping with good company while enjoying pleasant tunes in/near the Airstream is not at issue.

Enjoy your trip!

P.S. Have you noticed how easy it is to find room in your fly vest for an S-50?
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:05 PM   #25
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http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/audio/6cd8/

You'd have to seriously consider this little amp. Audiophiles on the internet are raving about it. I have a couple myself, and am going to figure out a rig for my 74 Landyacht. Probably end up making some boxes similar to these.

http://www.zaphaudio.com/audio-speaker18.html

The best part is that the Tamp is 12 volt...
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:26 PM   #26
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Our son bought me an Apple iPod Hi-Fi for my birthday. Amazing, amazing sound. Just pop an iPod into the top and control the machine with the remote if you like. Also, it is portable in that it uses 6 D-cell batteries in addition to the AC.

Check out the reviews on the internet, especially those from the audiophile mags and I think you might be pleasantly surprised by the performance. I certainly was, but perhaps it's just that my aging ears can discern all the nuances any more.
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Mark,
Consider a system by Bose. Their passive Acoustimass3 System sounds better than I had anticipated, and only takes up very little space. Bose makes their sub/satelite systems sound integrated, as it should be, and their audio dispersion seems to work well in the trailer's interior. There is a very nice musical quality to this, not quite audiophile, but a great compromise between practicality and audio quality. It is efficient, so it can be good and loud with a regular 12v powered car audio amp. The car stereo deck of your choice can be i-pod and xm ready, or you can go straight from the i-pods headphone output into a car stereo amp.
A system like that, running on 12V, would then be consistent, when hooked up or while boondocking. If you get everything all at once, you will end up under $ 1000.00 for an excellent audio system that rocks your world.
I am in the process of buying the components to install this in my 1963 Overlander. Only I will most likely use a MacMini for a cd/dvd/mp3 player.

A year later, how do you rate this Uwe? And I am correct in understanding this is a 12V system? (I know less than nothing about audio systems).
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I am soon to be retired, and will thereafter spend much more time in my trailer.
I am interested in an upgrade in interior music quality. Tunes are vastly more important in my trailer than video. I currently have a pair of (remarkable) Epos Els-3 bookshelf speakers, an old 100 watt/channel integrated amp, and a mediocre CD player.
This system delivers surprisingly good sound quality. I want to go to "astonishingly good." I'm looking to dedicate a system to the trailer. Ideally, I'd like to leave it in place permanently, on the road and in camp.
Have you dedicated an integrated amp to the trailer? Will a tube amp survive road travel? Have you tried something that did NOT work? How do you route the honkin' large diameter speaker cables? I like to know what works for you.
Mark
Mark, Have you looked into Milbert amps. These are tube amps designed for cars! Milbert Amplifiers Tube Car Audio Just something to look into. Mark
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