Like

Archive through July 23, 2004

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1666
Registered: Dec-03
I have a number of different recordings of The Planets. The new Naxos DVD-A by Scottish National Symphony Orchestra is as good as any for performance, and beats them all into a cocked hat for sound. Awesome. It is also cheap.

In about 1980 I took back three copies of the last Adrian Boult recording, made in 1979, on LP; they were all scratched or warped. In the end I got my money back. I found out later that EMI had also made a digital master of the same performance, but never released it; it was still experimental at that time.

Wish I'd kept one of the LPs, scratches or no. Boult was the master imho, personal friend of Holst etc. Previn is a great guy, has done many wonderful things, but not in the same league as Boult for that conducting that repertoire. Imho. Anyone is entitled to a contrary opinion. It is an awesome piece. You can hardly go wrong. The musicians love it. It is a field day for percussion.

The Naxos disc fills up the space with some other nice Holst stuff with a ravishing solo soprano, a setting of Walt Whitman poems, again. A lot of those early 20th Century Brit composers seemed obsessed with Whitman (an American) and I can see why.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 741
Registered: Dec-03
jan or anyone else who knows.

a quick response please if you can.

my preamp just came in.

i am at work and don't have anything to plug into
it's output but would like to turn it on.

i know tube amps you are not suppose to turn them
on to an open curcuit.

does it matter on a tube preamp.
my guess would be no it does not matter.
but i would like to be sure!

thanks in advance for this!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1674
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Wonderful summary of tubes/valves.

Sitting here painted in woad, I just wonder what happened to the likes of Mullard and EMI* thermionic valves? If I recall correctly, they were once the mainstay of PYE and similar producers of valve radios, TVs., gramophones (what a quaint word; US "phonographs" hence "phono"), amplifiers, tape recorders, etc.

These were the days before the advent of brands, consumers, and market research, I suspect.

Instead, there were manufacturers, products, and customers. It is not just the technology that has changed.

*"Electronic Manufacturing Industries", illustrating my point.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1675
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

My post crossed yours. I do not know for sure, but it seems to me that any amp has to be designed to cope with accidental disconnection, which is much the same as a load of infinite resistance. I always understood you could go higher, without limit, but not lower, for resistance of the load. But don't risk frying it if you think this is wrong.

When you have the time, please post a pic. The amp, I mean....
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 742
Registered: Dec-03
john if you go back to my post on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 09:19 pm:

about 15 up!

you can see a pic.

also the older tube amps yes if you gave them
infinate resistance they would blow.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1676
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

OK, I see the pic on the link you posted. It looks really gorgeous. Though not as nice as Bond, obviously.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1677
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

I also think I recall that tubes have filaments that are brittle when hot, like light and projector bulbs, so move it only when it is cold. I recommend patience; try it when you get it home!

You really need a gorgeous turntable to go with a gorgeous pre-amp like that.... (smiley) you can even get a tube phono pre-amp, there is one in july HiFi News... Never mind, just keeping up the pressure!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 743
Registered: Dec-03
good one john!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - It is OK to run a tube pre amp unloaded. The problem is a power amp only situation. Without a load the amp will go into a self induced oscillation and will destroy itself. (Partially due to microphonics.) It takes a while to happen so most accidental disconnects seldom cause a problem, but an amplifier left on all day after the cat knocks loose a connection is likely to fry. It is one of the reasons most tube amps have terminal block connections. Other than allowing for the various impedance taps (4,8 and 16 Ohms) the terminal strip will allow a locking spade lug or a properly wrapped bare wire connection to be used which provides more security against accidental disconnect than a five way binding post will normally provide.

As far as NOS it means New Old Stock. There are quite a few tubes that are still in circulation that were produced by the old tube manufaturers. As the various plants shut down through the 60's and 70's some companies would shift their production to another plant (an early example of off shoring jobs - curse you Richard Nixon). Tubes that were manufactured in these subcontracted plants often failed to meet the original quality of the old tubes and, hence, hastened the demise of more plants (the domino effect - Lyndon Johnson was right, just not about Vietnam). Anyway, NOS tubes are stockpiles that have been in an old repair shop for forty years waiting for the guy with the old Pilot reciever to come in. When these old shops finally closed the tubes sellers would buy up all of the stock of tubes and then sell them as NOS. New to you but old to the market. There are some great tubes to be had, at a price. Old timers remember when there were tube testers at the drug store, the hardware store and every Radio Shack. Tubes could be had for a few dollars at most. Now some of these NOS tubes can run over $100 each. It is like having a never used, in the box carbuerator for a '55 Corvette. The market determines the price and it can be outrageous. These are tubes that will never be produced again and as the numbers dwindle the price rises.
Most tube lovers will have to try NOS tubes if for no other reason than the allure of what is available. And most who try them find a sound that isn't quite available in the present day tubes. The world was run on tubes and tube manufacturers made so many that they could simply discard the pieces they deemed unacceptable. Today there are only a handful of tube manufaturing plants left in the world. I'm not sure whether Richardson tubes still is in business in the U.S. but most tubes are now coming from Russia and China, two areas that still use tubes for national defense purposes. (Tubes will still be working after the nuclear mushroom cloud settles, transistors will be hopelessly fried.) Many companies have bought the tube manufacturing equipment as old plants have shut down and some of today's tubes are designed to meet the standards of yesterday's tubes. Some come very close but none have, in some people's estimation, managed the same sound as the NOS tubes. The Bugle Boys, Siemens and Telefunkens are all NOS and they represent the best that was avaialable in the heyday of tubes. If you can afford them they are generally the best tube you will find on the market. Good pieces in pre amp tubes can still be had for $25 average, but some get very pricey.
If you don't want to spend that much for a tube you should start with the Russian tubes (Sovtek and Svetlana) which are very good tubes and, in a pre amp tube, can be purchased for under $15 each.

Microphonics is a traditional weakness of tubes that solid state guys love to use as an example of why tubes are inferior to transistors. Since the elements of a tube are arranged in a glass tube with space between the working elements they are not a rigid piece of silicon like a transitor. As the signal is played back the air borne and mechanical vibrations can set up a vibration inside the tube itself. This is microphonics, similar to the feedback of a turntable. (Unfortunately you can't just raise the dustcover like John can on his Rega, vacuum you know.) Microphonics in tubes will start a feedback loop that can be anywhere from a mild smearing of the sound to a wild echo effect coming from your speakers. Tube equipment that is poorly manufactured will have such a problem with microphonics that you can shout in close proximity (a few inches) to the tubes and hear your voice amplified through the system. Manufacturers worked, through the years, as tubes got better and power ratings rose to eliminate mocrophonics. If you take a pencil erasure and gently tap on the top of each tube with the volume at a low listening level you can tell how microphonic your tubes are. Some are still poor, most have little to no effect. But the Vibrapods are still a good idea under any tube gear.

John A. - The EMI and Mullard tubes were pretty good and because they became the manufacturer of choice they sold their tubes at good prices to the market. They are still available as NOS tubes. Like most mass market items they were good but not great. The NOS brands I recommended to Kegger are all considered better tubes on sonic value. Even in England the Gold Aereo and Gold Lion brands were considerd the rich man's tubes of the day. They were, however, "high end audio" of the day and were sold through more specialized dealers. The Mullards and EMI's were the average tube that, like a Chevrolet vs. a Jaguar, got you what you needed at a decent price and gave long life by comparison to the "ritzy" stuff. Consider a Chevrolet or Ford pick up truck and there you have a Mullard tube. They were ruggedly built to eliminate microphonics since they knew their tubes might be placed in a radio console with the speaker on the bottom that was a budget model from Sears. They weren't that concerned with noise since the electronics in many pieces they might go in would swamp a quiet tube with circuit noise. So like Pioneer and Sony of today, the Mullards were everywhere and become well known. Like Pioneer and Sony they were quite capable of making good equipment but the mass market was their place in the world. Like Quad and McIntosh the Telefunkens and Gold Aereo were the better product sonically. Incidentally, the Shuguang Golden Lion tubes I mentioned to Kegger are Chinese built tubes that are made by ex-Gold Aereo engineers who bouhgt the remaining equipment when the Brittish company went out of business. They made the claim of the same tube as Gold Aereo and they were, by most estimations, very close. But they had reliabilty problems (rather like a compnay trying to biuld new carbuerators for '55 Corvettes would not be able to reproduce the exact same product due to scale of production) and the trade/exchange values finally did them in.

Rick - I'm not certian what you are asking me. The tubes, such as the 12At7's that Kegger is using are small tubes. They are primarily designed for use in a pre amp or driver stage of an amplifier or as recieving tubes in a tuner. Their physical size and pin layout determine where they can be placed in a circuit. Most of the tubes of this type used as pre amp or driver tubes are triodes. Similar to a single ended amplifier, a triode is the simplest form of tube that can be used to achieve gain in a circuit. So the idea of simplicity is apppealing and by logic says there may be better sound since there are fewer parts and a straighter path from in to out. There have been a few SET amps that have used small triodes as the power output tubes but I have never heard any of them. SET fanatics will rave about them and I, to Gregory's discontent, believe what I read in this case. It would be a facinating exercise, if nothing else, to hear one of these amps. But due to the physical size of the tube and, therefore, the amount of gain they can provide they are truly flea size power amps. I believe the most power I have seen from a small triode SET is 2-3 watts, and that was with multiple tubes in parallel. That is not much power for most music today.
The larger tubes, such as EL34, 6L6GC (KT66) and KT88 (6550) are tubes that were designed to produce output power. They are usually driven to this power by the use of a 12AX7, 12AU7 and a 12AT7 with a 12BH7 as a phase splitter. Each of the small tubes represents a gain stage in the circuit and then the signal is fed to the KT66. The KT66 then is responsible for the higher wattage of more contemporary tube amps. A KT66 can output 40 watts per tube in a push pull circuit. A KT88 can produce 50 watts under the same situation. So which output tube you choose will vary depending on the wattage you are trying to achieve. You can, as with the smaller tubes or transistors wire the tubes in parallel to gain more power or stabilty (headroom) from the amp. The most famous American amp, the Dynaco Stereo 70, used four EL34's to achieve 35 watts per channel. My Macs have 6L6GC or KT66's for 40 watts per side and the big Mac MC275 used 6550 or KT88's to do 75 watts per side. All of these amps were capapble of being strapped in mono to double the power output.
The large power tubes are of various types of tube design that are known as pentode (EL34 and 6550) meaning they have five elements inside the tube. The 6L6GC is called a Beam Power tube. Some of the pentodes can be wired to utilize only three elements of the tube's internal pieces. VTL has had several amps that allow you to switch between pentode and triode mode by switching off the two extra elements of a pentode based amplifier. Obviously when you do this the power output is reduced since you are eliminating several gain stages within the amp. The idea is to get a triode sound from the simpler circuit at a reduced power level and still have the ability to produce more power when needed. The only time I heard this amp I was quite impressed but I knew none of the other components in the system and much has to be said for the overall quality of the VTL amp no matter how the tubes are running.
The 300A and 2A3 tubes are large triodes that were tubes designed back in the 30's before the extra elements of a pentode were introduced. These are LARGE tube envelopes that are capable of outputting more wattage (8 -10 watts) than a small triode but still not as much as a pentode type KT88. They have become the mainstay of SET type amplifiers since they represent the "golden age" of triode design and are the highest power output tubes available in a true triode design. My experiene with these SET's has been limited to another unfamiliar system but they are extremely interesting sound under the right music conditions.
There are a few guys out there designing amps around old radio transmitter tubes. These are normally (if you can call these guys normal, they would probably distain the label) the guys doing onesies and twosies of a design in their basement. One such designer here in Dallas is designing an amp based on a transmitting tube that will be, he calims, a 150 watt SET. There are only a few examples of this tube known to exist and the heat it produces will be prodigious since SET's, by nature/design, are Class A amplifiers.
My experience with the various tube manufacturers of small and large envelope tubes has been mostly the same as what I layed out to Kegger. If a company made good small driver tubes they probably made good large power tubes. A few exceptions exist, such as a Westinghouse 300A being considered the best available and a Sylvania 6L6GC as very good but mostly a good tube manufaturer would do well with all their product. The market place doesn't seem to contain output tubes from some companies such a Telefunken and Siemens, probably because output tubes would be changed more frequently than drivers and the market for NOS in the output tubes has mostly disappeared. I had a set of Gold Aereo KT66's in my Macs for awhile and I never heard better sound from the same circuit as I had with those tubes.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 745
Registered: Dec-03
allright jan all the info you want to through out
the better.

i'm interested what tube gear do run at home and
in what type of configuration?

and what speakers are used?

the more detailed the better!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1678
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Thank you, thank you. I want one. What immense knowledge, lightly worn.

Some special award for this man, please.

BTW the first electronic computers ran on tubes. Each one had hundreds of them. Bletchley Park and all that. They were destroyed when no longer needed, in 1946. Brit conspiracy theorists claim it was on the orders of FDR, and WSC was out of the loop, being educated in classics, and with military advisors who knew zilch. Never mind. We're all friends, now. William Shockley changed the world, no question.

All the best.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - My main audio system has been for years:

Two McIntosh MC240 tube power amps, purchased used in about 1982. 40 watts per channel strapped into mono. I redid the internal and external components not long after I bought them to update the quality of components that had improved over twenty years time. No circuit changes were made other than to bypass some switches and controls that didn't apply to my application. Other amps, tube and solid state have come through the system but I like the Macs. Currently running Sovtek tubes but they are due for a change soon.

An Auduble Illusions tube pre amp that I bought in 1989. Underground classic. Audible Illusions doesn't advertise or get much press. They just turn out good gear and stand behind their product. Slightly modified. Currently running NOS Siemens tubes.

Spica Angelus loudspeakers that Spica gave me in 1990. They are unlike any other speaker you are likely to see. They are two trapezoidal cabinets placed on top of one another. The woofer sees the narrow dimension of the truncated triangles so it is operating in a virtual free field as the signal leaves the dimension of the box immediately. The tweeter is off set slightly (not mirror imaged) and sees the broad width of the cabinet to increase efficieny and decrease diffraction. A thick felt pad is on the face of the cabinet. Time and phase aligned. No parallel surfaces in the speaker. 4th and 1st order X-over. A little known speaker company that is now out of business. John Bau was a great designer and a poor business man.

A McIntosh MR67 tuner. FM only. Classic Mac tube tuner. Bought in 1988. Not used much, outside of the East Coast FM is crummy in most of the U.S.

A V.P.I. turntable, HW-19 MKIII, with a Rega 300 arm and a Grado cartridge. Bought in 1986. Slightly modified. I think that's as much as I need to spend an a table. The gain beyond the Rega 300 is not worth the money to me. The cartridge will probably get changed when I think money warrants, but I'll likely get another Grado.

Cables are mostly AudioQuest. Nothing too expensive. I like value items.

The LS3/5A's are in a bedroom system with a Citation 12 amp. I've got a few pieces of Dynaco tubes in a closet.

I never liked what most of my clients were buying and my system is what I like. I think it is a synergistic match up that sounds much better than the pieces might indicate. (But everybody does, just like they think their kids are the brightest.) When customers asked what I owned it was easy to answer since many of the pieces were unknown or no longer made. They couldn't ask to hear a demonstration of my equipment. Those that did hear it liked it, usually more than what they had bought. I never thought or cared whether somone else would like my gear. It was purchased to please me. It doesn't play all that loud or have lots of bass but it is, I think, very musical. Somewhat like Quads (which the Spicas were compared to) it is light and fast with a good musical ability. I have heard better, but this suits my taste and budget.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 747
Registered: Dec-03
jan i still have to read the rest of your post.

but i had to stop and tell you.

i have a pair (well me and a friend own them) of
Spica Angelus and yes they are a very interesting speaker.
they lack in the low end but make up for it every
other way.

mine are actually modifed both cabinet and xover
to where mine are now biwierable.

i did not do the mods a well known guy hear in michigan
did for my friend before i got involved.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
John Bau has said he finds a slight difference in biwiring the Angelus but the speaker was designed before this became popular. If you have more info I'd like to see what is done to accomplish this. The X-over isn't complicated but it didn't appear to me to be a good candidate for converting to biwire without starting out almost from scratch. Bau has also said he is not a big fan of modifying his speakers since he worked hard to assure the correct values were observed in every component, even the internal wiring's resistance and capacitance.
So you and this friend each get one speaker or is this a time share?
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Have you done any structural mods on the cabinet of the Spica's? I did a few extra braces where I detected some resonance and placed a sheet of panel dampening material on the outside of the baffle under the felt. I replaced the wood screws with some bolts and lugs and put a different gasket on the drivers. I doped the woofer basket with a combination of Mortite and lead. I replaced the cheap binding posts with better units and took the X-over board out of the nasty environment inside the cabinet and placed it on the back of the cabinet with some damping material on it. Spica sent me some heavy duty X-over parts as subs that I replaced but it's been so long ago I can't remember exactly which they were.
It is a speaker that can be amazingly good if you take the time to REALLY set it up correctly. I often went to client's homes after they had listened to the speakers for a week and just twiddled with placement. An 1/8" here and a 5 degree tilt and this and that and they were amazed at the difference it made when I was done. I don't really have room for the Spica's now that my main system is in a different room but I can't yet part with them.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 748
Registered: Dec-03
ok now that i'm home from work.

jan i can envision how your system must sound.
so musicly enjoying! i would have loved to hear
the spica's with tubes.

i may end up taking my preamp over to the spica's
friday night.

when i use the spica's "not right now" they are
powered by a parasound 855a 5 channel amp. my
b&k pt3 series II feeds the parasound all 5 channels
L & R 80hz on up go to the spicas, full range left
and right each go to 10 drivers that blend to the
spica's and the 2 sub outs from the b&k are combined
and go to a 12" jbl sub. the 10" drivers and 12"
sub have homemade xovers external.

so basicaly i am biamping the spicas to 10" drivers.
then a 12" sub does the extreme lows.
all done with 85X5 parasound amplification.

and the source is the denon2200.

as you can see quite different from yours.

and it works but had to do a lot to get what i was
looking for.

but as you know the spica's aren't the most power
handling speakers. but that is allright if you are
going to listen at moderate levels but i have a
tough time doing that.

so that setup has been taken apart. "basically so
i don't ruin the speakers"

now all that probably sounds like i'm dissing the
speakers. oh no on the contrary.

the speakers that i am building now are what i was
trying to get from the spica's. i love the sound
of those speakers so much i was trying to make a
bigger version of them. so i can play them my way.

i am using audax drivers for the tweeter just like the spica's
and an 8" audax midbass driver like them also.
but the ones i am running are newer and handle
more power "not necasarily better". then theirs
another 8" driver and 10" sub for both.these are
still a work in progress but getting very close.

jan the speakers share time between my friend and
i.
mostly at his place i have no extra room and the
weight of those things i don't really like to move
them.

we both still know the guy who modified them.
this guy is an extremist. he took the hole back
of the speakers apart drilled holes and inserted
wooden dowels.making the cabinet even more rigid.
like i said made them biwirable. and i'm not sure
if they originally had spikes but they do now.
he also used a red clay like sustance on the metal
frames of the driver baskets for sound deadening.
this guy just went all out.he had the speakers
for a year.

i'm pretty sure my buddy has some pic's if i can
get them i'll post um.

i really don't think that the pics will do the
mod's justice though.

anyway's they sounded great before the mod's but
quite a bit better after.

the guy who modded them said he would never do it
again with the amount of work he put in.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 749
Registered: Dec-03
when i was searching for drivers and doing research
on the spica's i found a very cool interview with
John Bau. i don't know where now but it was very
interesting all the places the guy had worked.
and owned!

they asked him if he would ever design speakers
again and he came back with a resounding "NO".
at least not commercialy anyway. he said he's got
many designs in his house that are just his to
play with.

to answer your xover question i was told that it
was not that difficult. now having built xovers
myself "didn't at the time" it should be relativaly
easy.

i remember now too that they originally had 4 spikes
now they have 3 spaced farther apart and balance better.

also the whole inside of the cabinet was sprayed
with car undercoating type rubber sealent.

the back of the cabinet was redesigned and looks
quite different.



it looks like from what you did to yours that you
understood what i said about the advent's i was
doing. and where if you can find the little extra
to do to a speaker that the manufacturers just
couldn't afford to.you could extract that little extra
from them. that takes them from very very good to
excelent.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 750
Registered: Dec-03
it's funny you don't hear much about these speakers.
"even i don't talk about them much"

but when you do it's nothing but praise.

i've seen them for sale on audiogon sometimes.
and the little brother's the tc50.


you know someone was asking about small monitors
for tube amps.

you think the tc50 would go nice?

anyways good to hear you have a pair.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 751
Registered: Dec-03
well i hooked up the preamp in the multi channel
room.

using the pioneer sacd/dvd audio player in 2 channel.
hooked up to the rotel and from their my big jbl
towers.

i'm not going to go over board yet but what i heard
was very incouriging. open and musical with a rock
solid image is how i would describe the first listen.
also i believe better bass response and very nice
equalization.seems like quite a bit of gain to.
there are no numbers on the volume pot but if you
said 0 was all the way down and 10 was all the way up.
then it was pretty loud at 1.5 to 2.

shall do some extensive listening friday night at
a friends place hooked up to his aerial acoustics 10t's
and my kenwood amp.
http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeakerreviews/466/

also john i am glad you like the looks of the preamp.
as i find it very nice looking also.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - Glad to hear you and tubes are doing well on your honeymoon. Don't let room service disturb you two lovebirds.

Most items that are designed to fit into a certain price category can be improved by the owner if the owner has any clear ideas about how to achieve the results they are looking for. With the Spicas there were no cast basket drivers available at a cost that fit into Bau's price point. But taking a little doping material can greatly stiffen the basket on the Audax driver. The X-over has to be inside the box for shipping purposes but that is a poor location for the electronics of the speaker.
I don't modify my gear to change the sound just to improve upon what I already like about the sound. I don't change circuitry as I feel the designer not only knows more than me but I bought what I like, why change that. I may sub parts to upgrade to better that wouldn't fit in a price range but that is about it, the circuit is essentially unchanged.
Yes, the TC-50's would be great with tubes. I had used a pair for awhile before I got the Angelus. I've thought of getting a pair if I decide I just can't live with the Angelus with my space limitations. They were very good and more mobile with 95% of the Angelus sound. But, oh, that other 5%!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1683
Registered: Dec-03
Jan and Kegger. Thanks for all this. I intend to change my "belief system" as Gregory put it, in 2005, and this is all mentally filed away.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
http://csown.dhs.org/hi-fi/rega_mod.html

http://www.tubedepot.com/whisbipo.html

http://www.vacuumtubes.net/How_Vacuum_Tubes_Work.htm

http://www.diytube.com/

http://www.partsconnexion.com/home.php

http://www.vacuumtube.com/tubes.htm (check NOS)

http://hometheater.about.com/od/vacuumtubeaudio/

Give them a look.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1690
Registered: Dec-03
Much appreciated, Jan. Now filed away on computer, too.

BTW today played EMI "Eminence" LP (Elgar, Enigma Variations), on trusty old unmodded Rega Planar 3 - with lid open. LP sleeve says, proudly, "digital recording". Still better than CD, no question. Wonder what the sampling frequency etc. was on those early-mid 80s digital masters?

Kegger, take look at that first link of Jan's.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 757
Registered: Dec-03
will do john.

thanks for the links jan!

ok i'm sure most people know ac/dc and the album
"back in black" right.

well i can't believe what i found today.

back in baroque: the string tribute to ac/dc.
10 violins
7 viola
6 cello
3 bass
1 drums


if anyone likes ac/dc or music with these instruments
should give it a listen.

i'm telling you this is very enjoying.

it's the whole back in black album done by very
good artists.

vitamin records cd -8467

crazy i tell yu!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 165
Registered: Feb-04
KEGGER:
Sorry to butt in here, but the Fosgate tube 5.1 pre/pro is new to me. I know this is 2 channels shy for you, but isn't it interesting? The price could be more than a decent used car.

If this is old news, I apologize.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 763
Registered: Dec-03
yes i have seen that john.

if you back up to my post where it shows the preamp
i got. they have a reference and a link to that.

the reason why is because they are suggesting
you buy 3 of the tube preamps i got, run your 5.1
sacd/dvd audio in those and out to your amps.
these are controlled by a remote that controls all
three preamps volumes.

and you could by 3 for less than $1000 so it would
be pretty interesting aye?


 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 166
Registered: Feb-04
Using three amps for 5 channels would leave a side of one unloaded. A problem? Or would you install a fake speaker load to balance it?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 764
Registered: Dec-03
no it's "5.1" you would put the 5 speakers on a
channel and your sub on the other.

but also what you said would not hurt anything.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
"Stereophile" reviewed the Fosgate piece in their June issue. Apparently only 50 will be made at a price tag of $13,000.
Jim Fosgate is the person credited with taking Dolby Surround (which once was DynaQuad) and moving it to Pro Logic Surround. As such this $13k pre/pro will do no more than decode a Dolby Pro Logic Surround signal. No DTS or DD, and it can input no more than the stereo tracks from SACD.
The review reads somewhat like the idea of creating a space shuttle that will traverse Route 66. But this space shuttle was built around vacuum tubes, or valves to you "other side of the world" folks.
Don't know since I'm obviously not a potential customer, but it seems it puts the planned obsolesence of a Shibatta stylus to shame.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 771
Registered: Dec-03
allright after 2 nights and 1 full day of listening
to 3 amps and many interconnects and variuos speaker wire.

also the small tube preamp, a passive well designed
preamp and a b&k pt3 series II preamp.

source: denon 2200 universal dvd player.
speakers: aerial acoustics 10t's
http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeakerreviews/466/
amps: rotel rb993/ kenwood m2a / parasound 855a


also played just about every kind of music.

2 individuals listening and trying to be objective.

speaker wire: found little if any difference.
interconnects: same as above.
preamps: (good) b & k (better) passive (best) tube.


amps were much closer. (good) parasound (better)
kenwood (best) rotel.

i believe the rotel and kenwood mainly sounded better
because of the power hungry 10t's.

the preamp:2004 model: Dared SL-2000A tube preamp, remote.

http://sphl.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/buy_auc.pl?dgtlplay&1086313519

the best way to describe the unit would be very
open and detailed with a rock solid image and well
defined bass.

after testing we just played music all kinds.

we even went after bad recordings to see if we could
get the system to sound bad and could not!
(wether that is more a testiment to the speakers
or the preamp i don't know for sure) but the other
preamps did not do the same.

maybe those speakers liked the combination of the
tube preamp with the denon dvd player and the rotel
amp.(this was playing regular cd's/scad/dvd-audio)
all in 2 channel.

but hey the amp/preamp/dvd player are mine and i
now know they work very well together.and don't
seem to mind which interconnect or speaker wire
used.
interconnects ranged from 2 feet to 6 feet long.

granted all speaker wire and interconnects were
at least monster/acoustic research or better/much
more expensive. my friend uses mainly xlo brand.
but has various higher grade/more expensive cables.

after all the listening i would like to try tubes
that are known to have a little less highend/less
bright if possable. to see if they may sound even
more pleasing/mello.

this is not a complaint just an observation that
this unit had so much detail i would like to try
the other side of the fence.

JAN SUGGESTION ON TUBE OF CHOICE FOR THIS?

this in no way is meant as an end all to how this
equipment may sound to someone else. but it is 2
peoples perspecive of what they heard during a long
listening session in a particular room with the
equipment used!



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - Start with the Russian tubes, the Sovtek and the Svetlana. You'll have to trust whoever you buy from to give good information as both companies are competing pretty hard for the matket place right now. Both companies have done extremely good 12AX7's recently (Sovtek has the advantage right now) but the 12AT7 is not as widely used and has not recieved the attention of the other tube. But both tubes are very similar and I would guess that trickle across technology is easy with those two tubes. The Russian tubes are a good place to start and will not set you back much money compared to NOS tubes. Otherwise I would still stay pretty much with the ranking I gave above. If you want "just the music" its hard to go wrong with a Telefunken, but the Bugle Boy and the Siemens offer more bang for higher bucks. And no matter what tubes you end up with in the pre amp you can put the spares in the two other pre amps when you go to tube based surround.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 773
Registered: Dec-03
thank you jan.

well i found an intersting way to hook my system back up.

the little tube preamp has 2 sets of rca inputs
with a switch.

and my dvd players both have 2 channel stereo outs
along with the 5.1 outs too.


(from the dvd player)
so i have the 5.1 outs going to the reciever and
the 2 channel outs going to 1 set of inputs on
the preamp. then the front external preamp outs
on the reciever go to the other input on the preamp.
then the preamp outputs of the tube preamp go to
the l & r inputs of the rotel amp which powers
my main speakers.

so if i listen to 2 channel i flip the switch on
the preamp to come from the dvd player.

and if i listen in multichannel i flip the switch
to the other position now i'm coming from the reciever.
and i set the volume control on the preamp to halfway
then the volume on the reciever controls all speakers.

so i get dedicated 2 channel tube preamp and multi
channel with the main front speakers still going
through the tubes.

pretty cool.

seems to work very nice!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goldenarrow

Post Number: 50
Registered: Jun-04
Jan and Kegger,

I have an old X-10D that I have toyed with over the years and wonder if its the tubes that make it sound a little unpleasant? (it kind of sounds fuzzy and gets tiring to listen to after awhile) It has the original Philips tubes that came with it when I bought it new. Would good Russian or NOS tubes be better sounding and how would it sound? I wouldn't mind experimenting with it again if I had a better sense that it would sound a lot better. Then I could put it in the pre-out to mains path. It does not have a switch like Kegger's Daren, so I think I am stuck with just one connection choice. If I tried to modify it, I would probably destroy it, I can be all thumbs when it comes to drilling and soldering anything.

It is interesting to note that it was originally designed to help make CD players sound more "tubed".

goldenarrow
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 783
Registered: Dec-03
yes jan would be the resident expert hear on tubes.

but i would imagine you could definatly use some
new tubes.

and by changing them to something known to be of
good quality could make it sound better then it
did new.

that is my oppinion. i'm sure jan will chime in when
he sees the post.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Goldenarrow - Funny you should ask, since I have a X-10D in my closet also. The reviews on the unit were quite glowing at the time but that was about 10 years ago I believe. The overall quality of CD playback has improved substantialy since the X-10D was designed. Unless you have a very inexpensive CD player I have a hard time imagining the X-10D will significantly improve the playback quality of a current CD player. I've thought of using it between my satelite reciever and my pre amp but just never really felt the need to improve satelite TV sound in the bedroom system.
Changing tubes will alter the sound slightly and improve the overall sound somewhat. The tubes Musical Fidelity chose were not expensive tubes and I tried changing them at one point but just couldn't justify the gain. It came down to not being that impressed by the X-10D and I went to an outboard DAC.
If you want to play with it give the Sovteks a try and see what you think. They should be much better tubes than the Philips but I don't know that the circuit of the X-10D will pull the most out of the tubes. As I remember the X-10D was marketed as a buffer circuit only.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goldenarrow

Post Number: 55
Registered: Jun-04
J.Vigne,

Thanks kindly for the explaination about the X-10D. I hooked it up again and yeah, it makes everything sound a bit muffled but smoother. I'll take your word for everything you said. It sure is nice to have experts around to learn from!

I'll probably just hook it up to something and play with it, maybe I can just get FM radio to sound a little better. Good enough.

goldenarrow
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 798
Registered: Dec-03
hey jan have you seen these?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=64629&item=5709273898&rd= 1

another auction i had found for electro-harmonix
says that they are the manufacturer of sovtek!

any idea about that company.

$20 seems descent for 2 of them including shipping.

i'm going a little over board on ebay for tubes
but hey you only live once right!

i have found telefunkten mullard siemens but haven't
found some of the others yet you mentioned as being
better ones. at least not 12at7/ecc81 anyway.
but i'm still looking.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - The Electro-Harmonix are decent tubes. I don't know their relationship to Sovtek but it is likely that they might be the parent company or the manufacturing plant. The price is right so there's little to lose if you decide to try other tubes. This will give you an opportunity to see what you hear as you exchange tubes.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 806
Registered: Dec-03
thanks jan i was hoping to get to this thread before
you posted.

i notice noone seems to upgrade the 5Z4P rectifier tube!

why is that?
what does that tube do?
any difference in brands/quality?
change sound at all?
should i look into an upgrade?
should i get a spare?
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - Rectifier tubes are a portion of the circuit that takes the AC coming into the equipment and converts (rectifies) it to a DC current which is then used throughout the internal circuitry of the unit as a reference voltage. In circuits where the signal is not present it is split into different sections by a regulated power supply (you've probably read of pieces of equipment that have various numbers of regulated power supplies) and the voltages are fed to areas such as bias circuits. Where there is a signal passed through the circuit the DC voltage acts as a reference voltage that the signal modulates against.
A rectifier tube is a somewhat benign system since its only function should be to accomplish the change from AC to DC. The tube will age as any tube will, but, like most pre amp tubes this a replacement about every five to seven years. A spare won't be a bad idea since the pre amp won't work without this tube. I have only once found a slightly improved sound from exchanging rectifier tubes so I can't tell you nothing will change with a different tube but it will be very slight, particularly in a pre amp. The quality of the tube is still a matter of who made the tube and still follows the guidelines I've given on the 12AT7. There are some people who sell solid state rectifiers that plug into the tube socket and the claim is made that the s.s. device will give better sound. Most audio uses stay with the tube rectifier since they have little interest in finding a solid state sound in their tube equipment. Solid state rectifiers in tube gear are more useful for guitar amps where the s.s. device doesn't age like the tube rectifier will and this gives the guitar player a more consistent voltage when they are using the amp. It is less of a concern with home audio, again particularly in a pre amp, since a slight variance in voltage is not going to affect the output stages like it might in a musical instrument amp that gets kicked around from session to session. Unless you could find a 5Z4P that was built for ruggedness I wouldn't be concerned with changing that tube.
http://www.fust-electronica.nl/rectifiertubes.htm

Heavy on technical but look under "diodes"
http://www.du.edu/~etuttle/electron/elect27.htm
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Here's a good picture of the inside of a pre amp with explanations of the various parts. The rectifier tube is a part of the whole power supply circuit.

http://www.graniteaudio.com/photo/770inside.PDF
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1719
Registered: Dec-03
Just to say that I have little to contribute, but am reading these posts with interest. Kegger, after your description of the set-up and first impressions on July 11 - can you still hear a difference, and is it down to the tube vs. transistor pre-amp......? This was the big disagreement between Jan and Gregory a while back, as I recall. [I now have a nice two-channel CD- and DVD-V-playing set-up with no pre-amp at all. I keep my old NAD stereo-pre-amp with the 5.1 system to provide the phono input in the main room; seems your tube pre-amp does not have phono (?) which would be a big plus for my application].
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 818
Registered: Dec-03
just real quick john i will have more later.

yes i truly enjoy listening to the little tube
preamp versus the b&k or passive.

it just does a little something to the signal,
makes it more enjoyable to listen too.

everything is easier to hear even at lower volumes.

and this is with suposably stock inferior chinese
tubes.

i have 3 sets of tubes bought and paid for that
should be hear by saturday or monday."all different
from each other and different then what is in the
unit"

that should give me an idea of what different tubes can do.
hopefully those sound even better!

and yes their is no phono input. you could use the
nad with phono input then go into one of the 2 inputs
on the tube preamp. it has two sets of rca inputs
with a toggle switch.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 822
Registered: Dec-03
hey i think i got pretty lucky today.

i found a local older camera and tv repair shop
where the guy had some nos ge 12at7w tubes for
$5 each.

so i go over their , talk with buy find out he's
got a tester to test the tube right in front of me. pretty cool!

then he says yah i have another tester in the back
if your interested $25. so he pulls it out we test
the tubes again and it works great looks to be in
very good shape too.

so 35$ i walk out the door 2 tubes in hand and a
tester.

Knight KG-600B case, manual and a bunch of connectors.






Upload
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 823
Registered: Dec-03
well i test the tubes in my preamp " all they say
is made in china 12at7 " and everything checks out.

but on the meter the nos ge tubes read around 92
where the china ones read around 62.

now the little i have been able to understand so
far about the tubes "valves john" that my unit uses
those numbers are it's relative lifespan with 90-100 being new
and 50 being pretty much worn out.

JAN DOES THAT SOUND ABOUT RIGHT?

if so then my guess would be i could start to hear
a degration of sound quality allready from the china
tubes both being not that great a tube to start
with and being used up "so to speak".

well i replaced the tubes and wow even better than
it was.

i hope that it was just the china ones were pretty worn out.
and the new telefunken,groove tube and sylvania
i got coming are even better.

now john i'm not gonna come at you as strong as you
did with dvd-a but i'm telling you do yourself a
favor and ask jan what might be right for your
aplication and get one.

i see why jan is still using them!

once you go black "i mean tube" you'll never go back!

i am barely scratching the surface hear and don't
have as trained a ear as i hope to and others allready have.

but i'm telling you it's really strange to describe
how good and better the music sounds.

youv'e heard people say "i hear things i never heard before"

now i think i understand what they mean.
and their not quite right.
this is how i think i hear it.

all the music/sounds on the source going through
the preamp are sorta smoothed out.

what i mean is the very low "in volume" sounds
that are on the music are brought up/out without
bringing up the allready higher "in volume" ones.

so what you get is the subtle sounds on the recording
that you could barely hear are much easier to hear.
hence someone might say "i hear things i never heard before"
but if you were to listen real closely you could
of heard them before just real faint.

and it does it at low volumes as well as high.

that is just one of the benefits.
you really have to hear it for yourself with a combination
of gear that really work well together.

i think to start with my jbl speakers with the rotel
amp and the denon dvd player really like each other
then the preamp connects them all together nicely.

my jbl's are around 92db sens. so i may try to
experiment some more and get a or some tube amps
to play with.

gregory i'm sorry but i hear it and like it.
it may not be natural/neutrel or it may have more
distortion but i'm telling yu it's so musical/pleasing.
if you could get a good tube preamp to audition
you should give it a serious listen for a couple
weeks. i think you'll enjoy. i know it would be
difficult to go in with an open mind but if you
can, you may find yoiu like it.

peace!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1728
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Congratulations, well done - and thanks! I have said before, you are one of the guys here who tells it like it is, and that recommendation counts for something.

Early next year, in 2005, the A family is moving. When we get all that sorted out, I will re-think. Separating the 5.1 system from the stereo system will be tough; I enjoy DVD-A so much, as you know. Also the WAF is pleased with my new/old enthusiasm for listening to music, but we are still not going to be rich. if severla things fall right we might be a bit less strapped, though.

Apart from your comments and and Jan's, I was intrigued by that integrated "affordable" (about $1000 I guess) tube amp reviewed by Ken Kessler in July HiFiNews. He's another "been there; done that" guy who praises things very rarely, and always seems to have good reason, when he does.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 827
Registered: Dec-03
JOHN: REMEMBER THIS!

well i found an intersting way to hook my system back up.

the little tube preamp has 2 sets of rca inputs
with a switch.

and my dvd players both have 2 channel stereo outs
along with the 5.1 outs too.


(from the dvd player)
so i have the 5.1 outs going to the reciever and
the 2 channel outs going to 1 set of inputs on
the preamp. then the front external preamp outs
on the reciever go to the other input on the preamp.
then the preamp outputs of the tube preamp go to
the l & r inputs of the rotel amp which powers
my main speakers.

so if i listen to 2 channel i flip the switch on
the preamp to come from the dvd player.

and if i listen in multichannel i flip the switch
to the other position now i'm coming from the reciever.
and i set the volume control on the preamp to halfway
then the volume on the reciever controls all speakers.

so i get dedicated 2 channel tube preamp and multi
channel with the main front speakers still going
through the tubes.

pretty cool.

seems to work very nice!

DON'T NEED 2 SEPERATE ROOMS.

THIS IS WHAT I SAID ALONG TIME AGO AT THE START
OF THE OLD DOGS THREAD. BEING ABLE TO RUN BOTH IN
THE SAME ROOM ON THE SAME SYSTEM WITH NO COMPRIMISE!

MULTI AND 2 CHANNEL LIVING IN HARMONY BABY!
I GOT IT! WWHHHHOOOOHHHOOO!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1730
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Kegger. Yes, I read that before, and understood, but it is good to think about it again.

My own requirements are a bit more complicated. I have a 5.1 room with good stereo, AV receiver, DVD-A/DVD-V/Cd player, separate CD player, turntable, but also a TV and a digital satellite receiver, and a VCR. This where the pre-amp is, and where I connect the audio tape recorder (rarely used nowadays) and a laptop sometimes. This room everyone at home refers to as "The HiFi Room". In the other room life is simpler, with DVD-V/CD to power amp (with a volume control) to two speakers, plus a small TV. That works very well for two-channel movies (the children watch stuff there and like it) and I get excellent stereo CD in that location. Anyway, everything will be changed around soon.

I guess I could just upgrade the pre-amp to a tube pre-amp but there isn't much wrong with the old one, and anyway I would then need a separate phono stage (the existing stereo pre-amp will handle MM and MC phono).

I also have about 25 m speaker cable running through the cellar; I can drive the stereo speakers from the "HiFi Room". I did this for years, but it is better now to have the two systems separated, so that long speaker cable run between rooms is currently disconnected. Add in the fact that may AV receiver is "single zone" (the dedicated stereo power amp is "two zone") and you see how complicated it all gets. Never mind. It is nice to have spare capacity. I never throw anything away. My surround speakers (the ones I repaired) were originally second-room stereo speakers, but were in storage for about eight years, glad I kept them.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - WHOA! Hold on there, who ever told you tubes were a good thing? Oh, yeah, I did. Well I'm glad you're enjoying your purchase. Sounds like you are finding new things to hear and think about. And the best part is it didn't cost you much money.
If you would like to explore tube amps you can probably find a good bargain on Ebay but you also might try a DIY kit. Your JBL's (and the Spicas) are good candidates for an 8 watt SET amp. There are many to choose from today and most are in the spirit of the old Dyna and Heathkit amps from the 50's and 60's in that if you can work a screwdriver and a 25 watt soldering iron you can have a new amplifier by tomorrow night. The boards come prepacked and all you have to do is connenct the wires. I'm includung some links to various sites you can check.
Congratulations on the tube tester, that's a great buy. It is something you don't use very often but is nice to have and can make a neat looking display piece that most of your friends are not going to know what it is so here comes the story and pretty soon you've got another one hooked. (Oh my God, I've just described "The G-A-Y Agenda"!!! [OK, I've run into some weird words on this forum that aren't allowed, but g-a-y??? But I can type screw!]) Anyway, I'd have to pull mine out of the closet to tell you what all the tester can do but mostly the check you just performed is the most important one that the old testers could accomplish. (There are several types of tube testers that are sold today, they all do different test so you will need three or four to run all the tests. There's one for sale on one of the links at $749, a $200 savings and it will only test triodes, no octals or power tubes. They hook you and then you need more and more. "T.G.A." again, what devils!)The next test, if your unit can do it, is to check for noise. You will see a large difference in noise between the NOS tubes and the China tubes. The numbers you have tested for are more a reality of why NOS tubes are so popular. When tubes were made on a consistent basis here in the States they were very good. The new tubes today are not made the same way and, particularly the Chinese tubes, come out of the factory as almost old tubes. As I said I have yet to be impressed by a Chinese tube.
I'd be interested to know what else the gentleman at the shop has in stock. I need 8 6L6GC's for my Macs.

http://www.thetubestore.com/glassaudio.html
http://www.vacuumtube.com/
http://www.hificollective.co.uk/kitshome.html
http://www.hificollective.co.uk/magazines/vacuum_tube_valleyhome.html
http://hometheater.about.com/library/weekly/aa082200a.htm?terms=vacuum+tube
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/ (hit review magazine and then go to archives, equipment reviews, amplifiers, check out DIY and Antique Sound Labs $99 Wave 8 monoblocks)

Have fun. WWHHHHOOOOHHHOOO!!!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
While you guys are on the enjoy the music site check out the SAP (Strumenti Acustici di Precisione) KT66 Integrated Amplifier (Amplificatore Integrato). This may be something that would make me trade in the Macs. That is so Italian.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 829
Registered: Dec-03
so jan this souds pretty accurate!

but on the meter the nos ge tubes read around 92
where the china ones read around 62.

now the little i have been able to understand so
far about the tubes "valves john" that my unit uses
those numbers are it's relative lifespan with 90-100 being new
and 50 being pretty much worn out.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 338
Registered: Dec-03
WAZZGOINGONHERE????

TUBES? OLD 70's MAC's? What is this MASKED MAN up to?

Must be some kind of weird cult thing starting....
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 838
Registered: Dec-03
john: all of this i got yu bro!

"My own requirements are a bit more complicated. I have a 5.1 room with good stereo, AV receiver, DVD-A/DVD-V/Cd player, separate CD player, turntable, but also a TV and a digital satellite receiver, and a VCR. This where the pre-amp is, and where I connect the audio tape recorder (rarely used nowadays) and a laptop sometimes. This room everyone at home refers to as "The HiFi Room". In the other room life is simpler, with DVD-V/CD to power amp (with a volume control) to two speakers, plus a small TV. That works very well for two-channel movies (the children watch stuff there and like it) and I get excellent stereo CD in that location. Anyway, everything will be changed around soon. "

and i see you got me.
just wanted you to be aware that you don't have to
have 2 rooms.

and i see where your comin from with all the rewiring
and setup! good luck on your move and system sir.

rick!

were going tube crazy around hear.




 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1731
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Kegger!

Rick,

Him masked man have ear to ground.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 339
Registered: Dec-03
Hi John,

I don't know if you heard. I bought a vintage McIntosh integrated amp-MA-6100. Being shipped from Hawaii. If you go back to Integrated Amp threads it will bring you up to speed. I've also ordered a pair of Spendor s3/5se's. I'm going on holiday, as you say, for a week, looking forward to my "new toys" when I return. Cheers!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1732
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

Cheers. Thanks for the update. Report back. Vacation good, pal.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1741
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

On reflection, I realise the tone of my last post was partly coloured by jealousy. I would be fascinated to know how you rate the amp and speakers, and how you use them. A holiday, as well. Some people have all the luck!
 

New member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-04
Wow - so here I am - brand newbie-registered and all, and trying DESPERATELY to play "catch-up" on several threads at once. BTW - John A. - happy belated birthday - I celebrated my 68th (going on 30) in late May. But the spark plugs aren't fouled yet, so I celebrate heartily! A toast to you, my new cyber-compadre! And now - back to reading and trying to figure out all of the very intelligent posts I have to contend with on my foray through "forum-land." Hope I can, in a small way, contribute in the future!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1746
Registered: Dec-03
Welcome, Larry. I am on Central European Time, so rarely get into rapid discussions, here. Also, I have to do some serious work in the next few days. Hence my envy of Rick. I shall keep an eye open for posts from Larry R; I like the things he says.

By the way, try Teaching an old dog new tricks..., too, if you have not found it already. The topic there is stereo, surround sound, life, the universe, and everything.

All the best.
 

New member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jul-04
John A. - I am humbled by your reply. I try to maintain some level of logic and cohesiveness - though I bog down on occasion! GRIN
Old dogs new tricks - my, that sounds like my kind of place! Will go there soonest. And while I enjoy (sorta) retirement, I do miss "serious work" - really! More anon. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 854
Registered: Dec-03
glad to have you aboard larry!

JAN:
i have been handed a preamp by a friend to test/play with.

eico hf-85 tube preamp with (5)12ax7 and (1)6x4
would you happen to know anything about this unit?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 27
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
Thanx for the welcome - I learn something new here every day - and it is nice to be in the company of folk who share my love of music, in whatever form. Without music, life would, indeed, be GRAY.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 855
Registered: Dec-03
also jan what do you think of the dynaco stereo
70 amp.

i have come across a few and from what i have read
it might be a could starter tube amp.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - I don't know anything about that specific pre amp. Eico was a mid fi brand back in the 50's and early 60's. They were, as far as all the pieces I have seen, a step below the HK, Sherwood and Dyna of the same time period. I would think it is of the "old school" type of tube sound we discussed a while back. It should give you an idea of the mid range lushness that was rather prevalent back then with a somewhat loose bottom end and a slightly (maybe more than slightly) rolled high end.

The Dynaco ST-70 is THE starter tube amp. It is still the most successful tube amp ever produced. David Hafler was the man behind the Dynaco line which started out as a transformer company in the 50's. The Ultralinear transfer function is the design that made Dynaco famous. It does two things that proponents will say are the best way to achieve good sound with reasonable power levels at the lowest cost. It first creates a localized feedback loop in the output stages that means very low global feedback - a good thing. It secondly places the tube somewhere between a triode and a pentode in its operation and sound - this is argued as to its merits. It is a design that is worth giving a few minutes study. Put "Ultralinear tube amplifiers" in a search engine or try:

http://home.earthlink.net/~busenitz/vac.html

The ST-70 is the amp I always suggested to someone who begins to get interested in tube amps. I've seen many clients who thought their solid state recievers were producing very good sound just be mystified by how music can sound through a ST-70.

The amp was a budget design for the day. It was sold as a kit for about $59 and assembled for around $79. The kit was a simple "solder this wire here" type of design. One of the biggest problems with ST-70's is many were purchased as kits and the people putting them together had no idea how to make a good solder joint and there are a lot of cold solder joints that create problems. If you are looking at a kit amp look at the solder points very carefully to ensure you have an amplifier that is tightly constructed.

The amp is rated at 35 watts per channel with four EL34 pentodes. The Ultralinear design gives a sound (partcularly through the midrange) that is more like a triode tube with some guts. The sound of the ST-70 in stock condition is old school in a very good way. It is loose in the bottom and rolled on the top but it has a mid that is quite appealing. The mid is somewhat forward though that can change with the tubes. Of course the original design used wire wound resistors and oil in paper caps. This will give the amp a classic tube amp sound if the circuit has not been updated. There was a reissue of the St-70 back in the mid 90's and the quality of those amps is considered to be similar to the original. These amps have not had the modifiers working on them as much.

The ST-70 is also the most modified tube amp in the history of audio. Lots of people have ideas on how to improve the original design with better parts and stiffer power supplies among the the most common. Here are two of the longest lasting modifiers of Dynaco gear:

http://www.curcioaudio.com/index.htm

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/ST70mods.htm

Lots of claims of "the best amplifier ever made" have been heaped on the ST-70. Certainly it can qualify as the best value amplifier ever made. It can be exactly what is always has been, a very good amp to introduce you to tubes. It can also be an amp that will suprise you with the quality of sound you can extract from it with a few simple mods and some dollars spent. Just the longevity of the amplifier is a testament to its inherent quality. Quite suprising for a budget amplifier. It does not have the overall build (or many think the sound) quality of the McIntosh, Marantz and Citations of the same time period but those amps sell for many times what you can still find a ST-70 priced at.

I have two that are in a closet not being used. I seem to remember they both work but both need tubes. They have the cages for the amp. If you want to try one let me know and I'll work out a loan with you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 856
Registered: Dec-03
well jan you have confirmed my obsevations.
thanks.

and yes i very well may be interested in your
generous offer.

i don't have your email address but if you click
on my name you will have mine.

when you get a chance email me and we may discuss
things.

also aren't those amps bridgeable so you could
use two and get around 70 a channel, mono blocks basically.

very much appreciate your insight into this tube
venture "soon to be fet!sh no dought" !
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Kegger - I'm going to have to get them out of the closet (I don't know off hand which trunk they are in) and hook them up to make sure they work. I'll get to that this wekend, I hope. So hang on till then.

Any word on how your Telfunken, Groove Tube and Sylvania tubes sound?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 858
Registered: Dec-03
sounds good jan!

well i got the groove tube and telfunken tubes in
still waiting on the sylvania.

both sound better and more mellow than the original
chinese tubes.

besides the fact that pretty much all of the tubes
i have sound better than the originals. there isn't
as much a difference in the rest of the tubes on
this preamp.YOU CAN TELL BUT IT'S MUCH MORE SUBTLE!

but the other one i mentioned "the eico hf-85"
i have now been able to get it up and running.
"with a little work" and i now own it!

tubes make a much bigger difference in that one.
and these 2 preamps are a night and day difference
from each other.

this preamp is basically as you described rolled
off highs and lows. it had telfunken tubes in it
and now has new ei tubes. "Ei Tubes
Ei tubes are made in the former Yugoslavia to the Philips license, using original Philips machinery, drawings and test procedures. Ei is one of today's top quality manufacturers of audio tubes. "

and with these tubes it sounds like a whole new unit.
still rolled off at both ends but much less.
and this preamp may actually be a better fit for
my jbl's than the the other one. my jbls can be a
little bright and the bass a little boomy "not bad"
they have 12" drivers with 4" ports and a rather large
cabinet. so this new preamp tames them, so to speak.
i'm having trouble deciding which preamp i like
the sound of better. THAT'S A GOOD THING!

also bye the way jan if you are interested in off
loading/selling those amps "or possably other things"
just let me know in an email and we can get together.

thanks and if you don't have the time or patience
messing with those old amps still drop me an email
and maybe we can still work a deal.

see yu!

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 859
Registered: Dec-03
john:

if you do decide to get into tubes, my observation
would be the "new tube sound" for you as they play
the whole spectrum and pretty flat/neutrel.

now this is just my thinking on what i have only
recently delved into.

but what jan has described has been right on and
the "old tube sound" that i am getting from the
eico preamp is definatly NOT uncolored whereas the
dared is pretty neutrel.

so i would assume "new tube sound" would be what
you would go after.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1763
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Thanks for the tip. What a wild turn on this thread. We should re-name it "The twilight of the transistor...?". Keep posting on this, guys, it is a pleasure to read. Hope Gregory comes back sometime. I am sure no-one meant any offence!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 862
Registered: Dec-03
hey john funny you mention that!

because lately iv'e been saying to myself "man
didn't this cd sound prety bad"

since i have been using these tube preamps even
boarderline/bad sounding cd's sound good now. i'm
shocked. i've even been playing them on the $100
pioneer 563a dvd player and i'm flaborgasted at
the performance i'm geting with regular redbook cd's.

so for me the cd is "not quite twilight!"
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1770
Registered: Dec-03
Well, Kegger, this gets more and more interesting! So, if that's what tubes do for CD, what happens if you play DVD-A/SACD through a "new tube" amp.....?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 38
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
Sure wish now that I'd kept my old Williamson tube amplifiers from about thirty years ago! I'd feel right at home with the tube-folk. But seriously, I firmly believe that there is something to the warmth of "tube-sound."
My doctor-friend, about whose too-expensive systems I've written, has tube amplifiers in his BIG listening-viewing room. McIntosh stuff that cost more than my car. (remember, he's a doctor)
In his living room (where I'm allowed to play) he has a Sunfire receiver, which I guess must be transistor, not tubes? As a non-tech guy, I'm never sure.
He swears his Macs sound much better - but as he prefers I not mess around in the A room when he's gone - I can't very well compare.
I'm fascinated by your experimentation - and look forward to your conclusions as you go along.
BTW - I'm going through my CD collection - and to my amazement, I've discovered somesort of a "truth" as to early-CD sound. In every case, the early DG discs are shrill and tinny. Every one of them up to about 1986. Early CDs on other labels aren't great - but nowhere near as shrill.
Guess the DG engineers hadn't yet found their Neumann microphones? And at that point, certainly everbody must have been using not-great analog-digital converters?
Comments? For any out there who have similar experiences - and this is true for only classical music, BTW - I'd like your input, please. I intend to give to our local libraries all of the old DGs - to be replaced, of course, by more current performances or re-masterings. LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 866
Registered: Dec-03
good question john!

maybe i will find out soon. as i am peroosing
audiogon.com lately and may find something.

but it can get pretty expensive to get a tube amp
with more than, say 45 watts a channel and if you
don't have some pretty effecient speakers may not
be enough power.

thats why it seems a little more practicle to go
the tube preamp route. "imo"

but i have a fealing i'm going to build or rebuild
some tube amps for myself. "seems right up my tinkering
alley" as i just can't leave anything alone.

hey john my latest preamp has a phono section! lol
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 867
Registered: Dec-03
LARRY i hear yu , wish i understood about tubes
before i went through all the gear iv'e allready
gone through.

"Comments? For any out there who have similar experiences - and this is true for only classical music, BTW - I'd like your input, please. I intend to give to our local libraries all of the old DGs - to be replaced, of course, by more current performances or re-masterings. LR"

NOT SURE WHAT YOUR ASKING!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1774
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

Personally, I have never liked DG recordings. I had a day off today. After playing CBS Julliard LP of op. 131, I thought "well, what about ninth symphony (composed at same time)?" Dug out Karl Bohm/Vienna Phil DG LP of 1981 "digital recording". Aweful, really. Brittle, harsh, unnatural-sounding. I then realised I have no DG recordings I actually like. I have a roughly contemporary LP of ninth symphony; George Solti/Chicago Symphony/Decca; magical, clear, smooth, balanced. they probably only used two mikes.

Kegger,

The kits Jan mentioned look like a good idea to me. At the moment, my CD/DVD stereo system has no pre-amp at all. I think if I went tubes I would want integrated, or separates with tubes at each stage. If only one is tubes, I would think it would be better if it were the power amp. Can't see the point of putting a tube pre-amp in front of my Sony transistor power amp.

Yes, phono, absolutely!

Man, you've got to hear analogue...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 42
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
See? This is what happens when you get into your "Golden years." (gag) You get "ambiguous," aka totally off yer rocker! Anyway. . .
What I'm asking is: has anybody had similar experiences with early DG (or other) CDs in terms of their bad audio quality - such as shrill, tinny, thin, etc. Just wondering.
BTW - I'm auditioning these and all of my discs, one by one, not only on my "adequate" system, but on my doctor-friend's Marantz 8400 and Sunfire receiver with Martin Logan speakers. Needless to say - ALL my discs sound better (or less bad?) on his equipment! Of course, it also cost about as much as my house!! GRIN LR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 43
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
Just talking on the phone with my recording engineer friend out in LA. Asked him about the tube situation - and he said that tubes, if they are quality ones, do, indeed, sound warmer and smoother. But he told me to stress to you that you should NOT put a tube preamp in front of a transistor amp - totally defeats the purpose, he said. He's dah doc, as far as I'm concerned. LR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 44
Registered: Jul-04
John A.
Glad to have some support here! I now have a pile of 37 DG CDs - ALL of which I consider to be harsh and, well, "miserable" recordings. Never really pinned that down before - I mean, as to label - because I go through discs without pausing to consider who pressed them.
I don't understand this - DG is a quality company, and how they could (and may still?) produce sub-standard product escapes my understanding.
Anyone else have similar experiences?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 869
Registered: Dec-03
larry i had read a lot about using a tube preamp
with solid state amps for quite awhile before i
had done it.

and talked with many high end audio dealers where
they suggest going that route.

so i went after it and it works rather well for me.

hear is a link to a discussion of this topic on audiogon.com

you will see people doing ss and tube in both ways.

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?aamps&1012230703&read&3&4&
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 45
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
Dipped into the comments you so kindly "linked" in your posting. OK - I speak as an "outsider" here - not having much recent tube experience.
My friend has his ideas - and my, how loudly he expresses them! SIGH. Just HIS ideas, though.
If it sound good - do it!!! Respectfully - LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 871
Registered: Dec-03
i didn't mean to sound standoffish larry if it
souded like that.

just wanted to point out that many are doing it
with some really good sucess.

it's possable your frind tried a combo that didn't
work for him.

chears!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 46
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
BTW - asked my nutzy LA friend if he uses tubes in any part of his very elaborate recording studio in his home. His reply: "Nope." So I guess he's biased, after all? LR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 47
Registered: Jul-04
Kegger:
Standoffish? Hardly - did not take it that way at all, my friend. Actually, I envy you in your trials of different equipment. Please keep us all informed of the results. I have fond memories of glowing 6L6 tubes in the late-night of my youth. They were always so - well - "comforting." LR
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1775
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

DG is like Lufthansa and Mercedes; people buy for the name, and the prestige. No matter Lufthansa flies Airbuses that have Pentium-chip altitude meters, Mercs have gunsights on the hood/bonnet, and DG sounds like garbage. I am not at all anti-German. On the contrary, I would glady drive a VW or a Porsche (well,,,,); Telefunken (now Teldec) and BMG are fine record labels, also German Harmonia Mundi - even better. And there are also some really good small, independent labels. IMHO. [BTW I recently hired a new, 6-speed VW Golf. Nice car. The stereo system is no longer Blaupunkt, which were great, I thought, I used to load up with CDs, but unbranded, and the most horrible, boomy, distorted, flaccid piece of junk. The tweeters no longer point at you from the front door frame (that was good), but inwards, parallel to the windcreen, presumably to entertain dying insects. I will never buy a new Golf, just on that score.]

Thanks for the comment about mixing tubes and transistors. that's what I thought.

BTW Larry, it is my opinion that you can build a fine surround system, for little cost, on top of what you already have - keep the best bits, and add to them one at a time, as Kegger says. It helps if you are prepared to take refurbished or used, especially speakers (the odd scuff does not affect sound quality), but probably not players (the only component where the technology really is changing). My big step was a traded-in, few-years-old, NAD T760 5.1 AV receiver, cost about $450, then. Excellent. As good as the top models for the all-important analogue stages, I think. Inside is an excellent integrated stereo amp. 5x 60W; 2 X 80 W; plenty Then I have the new, outstanding NAD T533 DVD-A player; a total bargain, imho, about $400, now, I think. If you really want SACD, the Pioneer "universal" or Denon 2200 do not cost an arm and a leg. If you have large, floor-standing front speakers (going down to say 40 Hz; a good idea, anyway), then an active sub is low priority; it adds a bit of extra grunt in action movies, that's about it. Oh, yes, cables; unbranded but well made. Even Monster is overkill.

What do you have at present? Maybe you can invite your doctor friend round later in the year, and demonstrate what a quality system sounds like!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 49
Registered: Jul-04
John A.
Thought I'd posted my "gear" on this site, but then, probably not. So. . . I have a brand-new Onkyo 701 receiver - brand-new Polk bookshelf speakers RTi6 - an almost-new JVC XV-N55SL DVD/CD player - and some unbranded surround speakers. I use Blue Jeans cable digital coax interconnecct, and 10-AWG Belden (Blue Jeans) speaker wire. Blue Jeans has very, very good wire for very little money. (PLEASE don't get anyone off on a toot about wire!!!!!!)
The speakers are small - 6 1/2 inch woofers, 1-inch silk-something tweeters - they go down to about 55 Hz. Yes, I DO need a subwoofer, as I am in the camp of those who believe that there is a lot of lower-octave sound in orchestral work. If you put the crossover at either 80 or 100 Hz, the sub will work quite a bit.
(quick insert) Love the bug-entertaining! I do that A LOT down here in Florrid-Uh!
We've generally figured out that a new CD/SACD player is called for. The JVC does a fantastic job on video - the audio player side got short shrift, I'm afraid. Others on the forum have posted to that.
My doctor friend HAS all the high-end stuff he could imagine - and does, indeed, understand its virtues in sound. He often feels sorry for my relative poverty, and sends me new CDs for birthdays, etc. Nice of him, certainly! And fortunately, money has never come between us in our friendship. We're both nice guys! G R I N
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 143
Registered: Dec-03
There are companies that make hybrid integrated amps...tube pre and s/s amp. I imagine they wouldn't make these if there was a compatibility issues with the mediums.

I can say that tubes (like vinyl) are a labor of love. They require more TLC than solid state equipment and generally have higher failure rates.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1777
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

Thanks. I see. My tentative opinion is a player for DVD-A/SACD and, yes, an active sub would be the obvious next step. Bookshelf speakers on stands (?) can give better directionality than floor-standing speakers. Add a compatible sub, and it looks like a good system, to me, with the speakers in the right place. 55 Hz is low enough for most stereo applications, and probably your receiver will allow "bass management" even in stereo. I guess Polk make a reasonably-priced sub. if not, there are many from which to choose.

Ben,

Good point. As always. But suppose the tube sound really is better? A bit of TLC is not a big price to pay... I think LP has the potential to give better sound than the best from CD, it just scores less for convenience. Same for tubes...?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 50
Registered: Jul-04
John A.
The bookshelf speakers are on 17-in stands, and give pretty fine sound stage. It is just that the mid-range is a bit congested, and the highs are a bit strident. Sigh. Polk makes subs, but not great ones - I've got my eye on a Velodyne 10" one, which gets overall fine ratings, and isn't outrageously priced. One crown to go, and I'll have some "mad money" by Fall. GRIN
Oh, yes, the Onkyo has fine bass management, so I'm OK there.
Just waiting now to see what comes out this Fall for CD/SACD players - and I'm sure that they'll have a lot of "new, improved!!!!!" models to show off and sell.
Meanwhile, please join me on "OperaNutz, Unite!" thread for cogent comments from your side of the Pond. Good listening. . . . LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 276
Registered: Feb-04
Here's another vote for the sound of vinyl over cd.
An alternative to tube equipment is solid state equipment with a warm, "tube-like" sound.
I agree that the sound quality of DG recordings is generally not very good, with a few exceptions, including Karajan's Beethoven cycle from the early 60's (they sound better than his later recordings). I've heard outstanding Decca and RCA recordings. And then there are the small labels that usually have great sound quality, such as Chandos, BIS, Hyperion, Telarc, and Mercury.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 277
Registered: Feb-04
Larry R.

For SACD/DVD-A, you will not want to use the bass management on the receiver. The receiver's bass management only works on a digital signal and the player passes an analog signal from an SACD or DVD-A disc. You should get a player that has bass management.

I will contribute what I can to your opera thread. My knowledge is limited on the subject. I enjoy seeing opera live, but have a hard to listening to opera recordings.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 278
Registered: Feb-04
My command of the English language is failing me...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 51
Registered: Jul-04
Two Cents:
I fully understand your position on opera - most people just don't like it, period. However, for those of us who do - it is its own brand of magic.
As to your English language "problem" - well, yah gotta admit that last sentence can be interpreted several ways! G R I N
Always welcome your comments - LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 145
Registered: Dec-03
John A,

If you think tubes sound better, then they do. I tend to like the Bryston / Krell sound...neutrality. I wouldn't mind having a Jolida integrated amp in a second system to have tubes to listen to...they do look and sound cool.

The key to building any kind of hi-fi component or speaker ultimately is the engineering. I just think it is important to consider some "negatives" about tube gear and why one can also consider getting solid-state gear with "tube like sound".
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 53
Registered: Jul-04
Ben James:
What you say is solid information - but you are talking Big Bucks language here. Does any of your information boil down to "normal folk" level, i.e., for those of us who don't have $10,000 to spend on an amplifier?
I hear so much about the marvelous sound, or non-sound, or whatever, involving the equipment that Stereophile magazine pushes. Well, we would all love to experience that, but few of us can ever attain it.
Hoping that you might have some recommendations for tube or "tube-like" equipment that is lacking the stellar price tags.
this is NOT meant as a criticism of you or your choices in gear - heck, I envy your position in "audiophile-land."
BTW - what equipment DO you have in your own listening environment. I'm always curious (OK, nosey) Respectfully. . . LR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 54
Registered: Jul-04
Ben James:
What you say is solid information - but you are talking Big Bucks language here. Does any of your information boil down to "normal folk" level, i.e., for those of us who don't have $10,000 to spend on an amplifier?
I hear so much about the marvelous sound, or non-sound, or whatever, involving the equipment that Stereophile magazine pushes. Well, we would all love to experience that, but few of us can ever attain it.
Hoping that you might have some recommendations for tube or "tube-like" equipment that is lacking the stellar price tags.
this is NOT meant as a criticism of you or your choices in gear - heck, I envy your position in "audiophile-land."
BTW - what equipment DO you have in your own listening environment. I'm always curious (OK, nosey) Respectfully. . . LR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wryter

Naples, FL US

Post Number: 55
Registered: Jul-04
Sigh - sorry about the double-post (again) If I keep trying, I'll get it right yet! LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 146
Registered: Dec-03
Larry A,

You don't have to spend Big Bucks on hi-fi to assemble a great sounding system. I f we are going to talk about Mcintosh tubes I feel that Bryston and Krell are not out of place. There are great companies like NAD, Arcam, Rotel, B&K, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, etc...that produce great sound.

Personally,

My current system is...
Bryston BP25 Pre
Creek OBH-8 Phono Pre
Anthem MCA 2 Amp
Castle Severn II Speakers
Rega P2 with Super Bias
Arcam CD 92T
Pioneer Elite DV 45A hooked to a Musical Fidelity 10D
Nordost and Straightwire Cables
Matantz ST 2000 Tuner

I like my setup and am pretty satisfied (at the moment). I've had it together for two years.

The important thing is that we each have our own idea of what we think is ideal. Hopefully we all can find that ideal system.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1778
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

I think you are already doing fine. Most of that congested sound could just be the Cd medium at work. I have waxed lyrical about DVD-A and PCM stereo; I know it, I have heard it for myself, it is whole new experience. There are definitely some SACDs that I would be interested in, and, as I have said to Ben, before, I will get a separate SACD player if it really begins to seem to me I am missing something without one. If you are into opera (will check your thread) it seems to me that DVD-V is the perfect medium, and, given that, it would be "spoiling the ship" to get a DVD player without DVD-A.

Ben,

Thanks. As with SACD, I have no experience with tubes. I have always thought an amp should be neutral, so it should not matter how it is made. However, on this thread, I read with interest the discussion between Jan Vigne and Gregory Stern, and think Jan wins the "academic" argument on points (it could be a knock-out; I keep hoping Gregory will come out fighting again). Then Kegger, who seems a pretty hard-boiled guy to me, gets all fired up about his tube pre-amp. I also read HiFi news, where they are into tubes, like they are into vinyl. I always try to listen when informed people take an unorthodox position. I am with them on LP. The mass market prefers CD. I don't. CD just doesn't have the resolution, in my opinion. I don't begrudge a little TLC if it really produces better sound.

So I am minded to try a tube amp sometime early next year, just to see if I can hear any difference. On the evidence I read here, it will be worth taking seriously.

BTW that is a really nice system you have, all quality stuff. I am not familiar with some of the models, but is it stereo only? Seems no sub, or 5.1 (or more) amp/receiver? I guess "Super Bias" is an arm? If so, the cartridge will be important. There are reviews of cartridges which alone cost more than some people's cars. Some people are still taking vinyl very seriously: it's not just us.

All the best.
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 147
Registered: Dec-03
Super Bias is a Rega cartridge.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1787
Registered: Dec-03
Ben, thanks.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Facebook

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us