Tube amplifier vs solid state: Dynavox VR-70E II vs Yamaha receiver with Q Acoustics 3020 speakers

Edit: you can listen to the uncompressed audio track here:

Edit: here is a video comparing the factory tubes with upgraded ones:

Recordings of a Dynavox VR-70E II tube amplifier with a pair of Q Acoustics 3020 speakers.
Comparing the recordings with a solid state amp, a Yamaha RX-V563 receiver.

The recordings were done with a Zoom H2 recorder, the speakers and Zoom were triangular spaced, 1 mtr apart.
The source music WAV file was played using a Logitech Squeezebox duet.
The Zoom recorder was set at a height at the middle of the speakers. Please use some good headphones or monitor speakers to listen.

Because of the room acoustics, the recordings sound more lively than the original tracks and there is also some environmental noise.
Obviously, the recordings give an impression of the sound, as far as any of these type of recordings can do justice to the real sound.
If you use poor monitoring to listen, the sound will be poor.


intro “Voice Over Under” #1 “Who Likes to Party” #2 “Five Armies” #3 “Protofunk” #4 “Simple Duet” #5 “Organic Grunge” #6 “Zanzibar”
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


keasyman says:

That valve amp just sounds so much fuller and warmer.

Linda Free says:

Tube amp has more depth and headroom dynamics.

Photo Expert says:

Great veview. I love my Zoom recorder. The valve amp definitly won hands down. So warm and NATURAL.

Lance Lawson says:

The music choices were terrible . The SS was my choice

Gizmo Thewytchdoktor says:

who likes to party cut made for the most glaring difference: yamaha-lacked detail especially in the mids/upper mids/guitar detail. the dynavox…..although a lot of generic components were used(evidenced by the high end-above 5Khz/below 60 Hz- detail characteristics) was better sounding in the test. this is a much better amplifier as presented.

Zach Mueller says:

Tube sounded better. BUT i wouldn’t hear a difference if i wasn’t trying to find it.

valvox vo says:


Terence Lau says:

7:03 onwards (Zansibar) The Yamaha sounds quite spatially distinct, i.e. the tingling highs of the percussions sound more forward with the Yamaha than with the Dynavox, and the body of the music (mids and lower mids, 400-2k Hz) shifts downwards in wieght with the Yamaha too. Could say it tends to sound a bit tinny in this piece of music but I imagine it sounds pleasantly transparent, or “fast” if you will.2:31-3:35  (Five Armies) Good that the vid has multiple cuts to and fro. Agn, the Dynavox seems to have an emphasis tonally on the mids and the lower mids, making the cellos and the basses more colourful, and switching to the Yammy it gets more or less a bit planar in “imaging”, and the wood winds/trumpet melody becomes “meagre”, or thin, out of proportion and reality (if u know what I mean), the threfore less convincing. But the Yammy has a sound of its own, such that at 3:37 (ProtoFunk), it sounds quite a bit better in giving a lively stage with nice sense of beat and mood.4:40 (Simple Duet) Once again, I heard the Dynavox gives a lot more “tone” on the piano high keys, and when the Yammy came on, the piano high keys becomes less “deliciously toned” (being more accurate as such, perhaps). The violin also sounds very different between the two, in a way similar to what I described above, with the Yammy thinning up and the Dynavox projecting quite an involving playing of the violin, very emotionally nude in its sound coz the overtones (resonances) of the instrument get more pronounced and hence detailing the tune like there a silver lining.

ColdFlo says:

You need better mics you should build chinese clones of c-12 and u-87

คณพศ ซ้วนตั้น says:

go for tube

cdr011 says:

I don’t hear the sound difference but I can “feel” price difference

pa maj says:

Loved this, both sounded good to me but as the video moved on I enjoyed the sounds from the tubes more, brought me into a better musical reality (believable).
Cheers for uploading and some nice tracks there too.

Funkywallot says:

I like the Tubes more . Pobably because of better dynamics. The solid state Yamaha couldent play high attack notes (Drums,percussion, bas ) with distinction. The tubes played all instruments in the appropiate layer.

Richard De Vreede says:

I really here hardly any difference.

swieber1412 says:

well with this two amps the solid state Yamaha wins but overal tube amps are better in some aspect. and solid state are beter in difrent aspects.

Anoni.mouse same says:

No audible difference as in most cases. IMHO, the differences, if any, would be in the order of importance 1. Sound engineer who made the recording x100, 2. Speakers, 3. Phono pre-amp quality. 4. Turntable & cartridge

A Cool Name says:

Tube = Think of an old, blurry, low-res VHS picture.
Solid state = Think of a sharp, clean, high definition bluray 4k picture.

Tube = Exotic item.
Solid state = High fidelity.


dontin4 tinch says:

both are bullshit…but sound of yamaha is better than this tube amp.

BushidoKi says:

Can u push the tube through he solid state or vise versa ?

valvox vo says:

Japan VS China amp

Taser Face says:

tube sound wider and warmer … im listening on Fiio E17k n HE400i
tube is lovely, natural or what i want to hear on these cans despite hearing through a portable solid state

StillCloser says:

You are comparing a €600 tube amplifier vs a $300 digital amplifier with some bad reviews.
Try to play a 5.1 surround track on the tube amplifier, get real!

fft2020 says:

I can’t hear any difference

Peter Campbell says:

Of course they sound different, tube amps are relatively high impedance outputs….put a 1 ohm resistor in series with the solid state amp and they will sound same. People seem to like the inherent distortion of tube amps. I don’t.

Simon Tate says:

Unless you use a solid state amp thats got no bass treble adjustments, you can not compare the amps.
even so, in most cases a valve amp will always beat a solid state amp because solid state is bound by 20hz-20khz

Dhruv1223 says:

the tube has a wider soundstage giving it a more open feeling

el3xtrosky says:

I’m just curious, what if you replace the Yamaha amp with an integrated one such as the A-S500 or A-S300 or lesser model? I mean an amp that focuses on music only. This one is for home theater use I believe. Some components may not be the same.

Cargath says:

You should have randomised the pictures. Would be so funny if you could now reveal that the ones that said “tube” weren’t necessarily tube. Because i’m pretty sure the differences are imaginary. I would be really interested in the results of a blind test version of this.

nigel mahabir says:

tube sounds better. more warmth. deep. clarity

Schalk Ras says:

Thanks. They sound similar, the solid state have more definition and stereo image. When I read about the warmer tube sound, I expected something like a richer bass or something. But it is more like a treble cut? You can hear something go missing with some music in tube amp. To bright music can be annoying to my ears at time, but that is more a tweeter relative volume I think that trying to fix it with a tube amp. I suppose when you drive the amps into clipping levels, the tubes will sound less harsh, but that’s not the way I listen to music. I think PWM amps with switching supplies will be smaller and lighter, less that a quarter of the size and little heat loss. With the same quality or a little better. I also think that the amps will not make the same difference, as the quality of the speakers. High quality speakers with even an average specification amp wil sound a lot better than a spotless amp with average speakers.

Ace96 says:

When someone says there is no difference to be heard, they are just telling you they have bad ears and can’t hear tone at all. When someone says that and adds they are right because they have a degree, they are telling you that they are a phenomenal idiot. It’s not even close, tube is 10000x better.

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