#1
I am thinking of a circuit that is somewhat like this:

Basically, a 1w class A tube amp with your usual 12AX& + EL84 (maybe some other power tube), pass through a power attenuator or something to line level, be fed to a class D power amp. Due to the low wattage, the iron needed would be low; thus, in theory, it would provide best of both worlds: a tube tone with lots of volume, and much lighter weight.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it is STILL a hybrid with tube preamp and SS power amp.

Question is: why wouldn't that work?
#2
Quote by Jestersage
I am thinking of a circuit that is somewhat like this:

Basically, a 1w class A tube amp with your usual 12AX& + EL84 (maybe some other power tube), pass through a power attenuator or something to line level, be fed to a class D power amp. Due to the low wattage, the iron needed would be low; thus, in theory, it would provide best of both worlds: a tube tone with lots of volume, and much lighter weight.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it is STILL a hybrid with tube preamp and SS power amp.

Question is: why wouldn't that work?


It would work. Your design is actually what some upper class attenuators do - use a reactive load to reduce the load down to line level and then feed it into a totally clean power amp.
Most hybrids rely on 'tube' distortion coming from the pre-amp stage. If you set the amp up with a tube pre and power amp, then you'd be getting all the tube tone, while still being free to adjust the volume without losing it.
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#3
I've actually experimented with that configuration. Not the exact tube types, but I used preamp tubes running into a very low-power tube section, class A. The secondary of the output transformer was connected directly to the input of a class D amp. It sounded good, but not that great. I could achieve decent clean and over driven sounds, but it lacked the depth and harmonic nuances that a regular tube configuration provides.

I played around with resistor and capacitor values as well as using the different output impedance taps with the class D amp. Nothing I came across ever produced "the tone."

I'm definitely done experimenting, but it's been awhile since I've meddled with it.