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Archive through January 21, 2005

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Now the question is, what "format" should Rick persue in a tube amp? I'm going to disappoint you again, Rick. There is no one right format. As they say, if there was one right way chances are everybody would be doing it that way.

A triode is only going to get you so much power. Adding more triodes to the amp in a parallel arrangement can be argued as not being beneficial to the sound. Pentodes and their derivatives can get more power but give up some simplicity. Push pull has more benefits to all but the most dedicated user, in my opinion, than SE. Market demand also means tubes for P-P amps are much less expensive.
The ability to switch between the two systems P-P and SE), seems to me to be mostly market driven. An attempt to give the listener the taste of both worlds, while other than by running in pentode P-P mode it falls somewhere between both worlds. If this system is done well I can see it offering an advantage to the listener as well as another path to neurosis simliar to VTA on a turntable.

Ultralinear mode was an attempt to get the most out of the expanding market of the '60's when people complained the drive to larger wattages with pentodes was destroying the sound of the music. Opinions on Ultralinear amps are as mixed as on any other design format. Some people love Ultralinear and some feel it gives the feel of neither triode nor pentode sound.
The arguments go on and on. Which tube is best? 6L6, EL34, KT66 or a 6550. Ultralinear or Unity Coupled?

My advice would be to make a decision based on what you decide is best for you. Every time you choose one from column A there will be an advantage you give up from column B. There are plenty of amps that have reached a "classic" reputation over the last fifty years to choose from. See if anything from this type of product appeals to you. If the reputation has lasted twenty, thirty or fifty years, there's a good chance the company did something right. If you don't find something in the used market to suit you, then take a cue from the vintage gear in choosing a new product. You can get a good idea how a company has progressed over the years by reading a few reviews. When you start to see a new product referred to as "typical XYZ sound", you know they have been doing things right for a long time and it's a prety safe bet they will have done it right on their current product.
This also gets you a product that has the other important qualities I look for in a company's equipment. It is likely they will support the product and the resale should maintain itself rather well.
Don't worry about the format, the tubes or anything other that do you think this will make good music. If you can satisfy that you will be happy.

That's my opinion.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1986
Registered: Dec-03
Not that it matters but I agree with the whole post jan!
And have been saying very simular things.

_____________________________________________-

Since we have just about every area of audio out their now. we seem
to be in a transition of actually getting to good sounding audio instead
of what just the manufacturers want to push at us.
"except for some who believe surround or hi rez is not all that"


They can't really push what we don't because we will go elsewhere
to someone who will.

sure theres a lot of non educated people out there that will buy whatever.
but so many have been educated in what sounds better that I believe the
companies have no choice but to give us quality!

And like jan said many speaker manufacturers have realized they need good quality
sounding effecient speakers, that we are now starting to see some. "also the tech behind speaker design has grown"
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 693
Registered: Dec-03
A quote I found along the way on my tube knowlege quest.............

"The musical dread of transistor and digital audio is that they have so little tuneability."
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1988
Registered: Dec-03
Rick that's the part I like but can drive others crazy!

"Tuning your system with tubes"
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1989
Registered: Dec-03
For me that's where you can dial in your speakers so to speak.

Some will say their speakers are to bright or to laid back or the system in
general is like that. With tube rolling you can change that.

But for some it could be never ending and lead to madness!
I like it. lot easier for me to tweak!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 694
Registered: Dec-03
Yes, I agree, but that's what makes the flat-earthers crazy. They will point to the numbers and the measurements. Tubes seem to only measure well with ears, not lab scopes.

PS-I'm long past worrying about madness, that set in years ago. LOL!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Rick, my best words of advise are to pay attention to two things when choosing what to buy. In any amplifier the power supply is the heart of the product. In a tube amplifier the transformers are the key to good performance. If you can find a product that spends time and effort on those two areas without sounding like they are trying to reinvent the wheel, you should have a good system.


 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 698
Registered: Dec-03
Thank you Jan. I have decided to go for the Jolida 102B. I have heard great things said about the sound of the EL84 tubes. I just hope I'm not underpowering the Spendors even at moderate listening levels. I am going to order it from Response Audio. They are here in New York State, seem very dedicated to tubes, and are doing some interesting mod work. Check out the site if you get a chance and tell me what you think.

www.responseaudio.com
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2579
Registered: Dec-03
Good luck, Rick! Please tell us your impressions.

I, too, would be concerned at going to 25 W per channel. The 202A at 40 W would be safer from this point of view. If I recall, you have the Spendor S3/5, an 8 Ohm speaker rated at 84 dB for 1 W at 1m. That is low sensitivity by today's standards.

If the Jolida 102B works well for you, this will be really useful to know.
 

bluntman420
Unregistered guest
hey...one quick question....i have 2 alpine type r 12" subs...i also bought 2 alpine mrd-m501 amps.now i was only planning on running 1 to both instead of 1 to each but i found them at www.ikesound.com 245.00, and that seemed to be a good deal to me. now what im wondering is if the rms is 300 and im pushing 550rms watts to it do ya think its to much for these little alpines?...thanks for any replies...
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1992
Registered: Dec-03
bluntman420 ARE YOU SMOKING BLUNTS!

You need to ask these questions in the car audio forum not home audio!

No one here will know the answer to your question but someone in car audio might!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

This alone gets Response Audio my vote for good guys:

http://www.responseaudio.com/real%20stereo.htm

Kegger, you might find this interesting:

http://www.responseaudio.com/modified%20products.htm


Rick, this sounds like a very good place to start your new life as a tube-o-phile.





 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 531
Registered: Apr-04
tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe.....what's this, a new thread? <wink>
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 699
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Where have you been girl? We missed you! It's great to hear from you.

Yes a new thread. Read through if you can, and if any questions, ask away.

Cheers!

Really glad to hear from you............
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 532
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks for the sentiments, Rick! I've been lurking on the boards instead of posting.

Great information in this thread. I've learned a little bit about triodes and pentodes and tube rolling etc. Who knows, maybe I'll follow in your footsteps (again!) and try out a tube amp at some point. I look forward to your thoughts on the Jolida amp and how it compares to your Mac/Spendor experience.

As y'all know, I'm extremely pleased with the Mac experience so much so that it replaced the NAD a/v receiver as my main system. Nothing about that has changed. But, lately, I've been wondering if I'm getting the best music presentation out of the source, the Denon DVD-2200 universal player.

For now, I'm considering a tube CD player to pair with the MA6200. The Jolida JD-100A is what I have in mind (ironically, I was already looking into that model before I found this thread). Any thoughts on this strategy or the benefits/cons of the Jolida vs the Denon universal I currently have?
 

New member
Username: Raymond

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Kegger...just returned from out of town....looooong thread haven't caught up yet. Not sure if you already have the Spendor speakers. To let you know I have just audition the Spendor 5se. Much positive press about it. It is the smallest of the tower Spendor line. Very nice and smooth and I think more efficient than the model you are considereing. However I found it a little restrained with the (non tube) gear they were using to demo it. That characteristic was also mentioned by Martin Colloms(?) of the 6se so it a design characteristic of the line. Be careful...with the Jolida you may find the sound too relaxed and round. I prefer a bit more bite!! All the Spendor line are very nice and have the BBC heritage. Bottom line, be sure you listen to the Spendors in your room with the Jolida before committing...just trying to warn you!!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2581
Registered: Dec-03
Raymond,

It is Rick who has the Spendors. I agree that a home trial is essential in this case.

I wonder if you know of the PrimaLuna and "The Affordable Valve Company" - see my post above on Dec 6?

Tube/valve amps seem to be specific to different regions, and not just the name. Papworth and Walrus Systems seem interesting from UK viewpoint. The TVA-8 is SE design and 15 W per channel, with infra-red gain control (one of the useful modern features in my opinion). Your comment about trying one applies even more with 15 W pc. Can one audition valve/tube amps at home?

Papworth also do monoblocks.

I note that Papworth use McIntosh circuitry.

Ghia,

Welcome!

Jan,

The links bring back the original "Old Dogs" question. Let me state my position again, and here.

Stereo is wonderful, I agree. But it arranges the sound sources along a line; which is not what you hear at a performance, usually.

If you have 4.0, you have the possibility of stereo on each of four sides. Which actually corresponds to what you hear at a real performance. Mostly.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2582
Registered: Dec-03
Raymond,

It is Rick who has the Spendors. I agree that a home trial is essential in this case.

I wonder if you know of the PrimaLuna and "The Affordable Valve Company" - see my post above on Dec 6?

Tube/valve amps seem to be specific to different regions, and not just the name. Papworth and Walrus Systems seem interesting from UK viewpoint. The TVA-8 is SE design and 15 W per channel, with infra-red gain control (one of the useful modern features in my opinion). Your comment about trying one applies even more with 15 W pc. Can one audition valve/tube amps at home?

Papworth also do monoblocks.

I note that Papworth use McIntosh circuitry.

Ghia,

Welcome!

Jan,

The links bring back the original "Old Dogs" question. Let me state my position again, and here.

Stereo is wonderful, I agree. But it arranges the sound sources along a line; which is not what you hear at a performance, usually.

If you have 4.0, you have the possibility of stereo on each of four sides. Which actually corresponds to what you hear at a real performance. Mostly.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2584
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry about that. I checked before clicking "Post" a second time, and the first was not there, then.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1993
Registered: Dec-03
Raymond Plummer as john said it is rick who has the spendors, good to hear yu pop in.
Are you considering spendors?

Ghia good to hear from you to, glad you found us!

well guys/gals I've done it again, bought another speaker!

http://www.klipsch.com/product/product.aspx?cid=365&s=specs

Yes I know it's a center, I've wanted to try this ever since I got
my rc-7 center, and I found one local while searching audiogon for
half what I paid for mine and it's basicly new!
"sorry if any of my wording is stranger than usual just got home from work party!"

A pair of rc-7 centers standing up in an mtm configuration for stereo!

Anyways I had been perusing the klipsch forums as many use tubes on
there speakers if not just for the sens of the spk'rs but other's. "maybe to taim the horns"
And I've come accross a few doing what I wanted to try, with what sounds to be
some incredable success. The only real change that needs to be done is
the center horn rotated 90 degrees so it disperses just like it would
if it was laying down, because now you stand it up and it becomes one heck
of an MTM cabinet that truly rocks."the horn is square so no mods just rebolt"

From what I've been able to gather this is the only 8" driver klipsch
mated to what is suppose to be a far superior horn than most of the line.
Well after moving the horn and putting them on stands and filled in with
a fast set of subs from 50hz on down,
These things are way smoother than I had expected!
"most say it's the horn used on this setup"

I'm using the rouge amp 35watt triode 6550 tubes!
This may be just what I've been serching for, "need more listening"
But so far these produce fast and articulate with no hint of strain!
Imaging seems extremly good too, with 98db and dual 8" woofers these baby's
are producing drum snairs like no ones buisness, truly amazing.
The drivers are very light/rigid and fast, combo that with the horn
and my 10 subs powered by solid state, then mate the speakers to a quality
tube amp and you've got something special.

Right now I'm in heaven. Yu know how when you turn a system up it seems to take
on a different sound? Thats what is strange with this setup! It sounds the
same no matter how much volume you give it. Just gets louder when you turn it up.
And at normal listening levels every thing is heard very clear without
any strtain on the system or yourself! These horns are unlike any I've heard.
They don't have that traditional horn sound they just sound lively!

Well just thought I would share that with you guy's, As I think It may
be something really really amazing.

Peace, Keg out!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2585
Registered: Dec-03
Great stuff, Kegger. Amazing: a center horn. Horn speakers are another contentious issue, that's all I know. I suppose they sort of go with valves/tubes because of their high efficiency. I learn something new here every day.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 533
Registered: Apr-04
Hey, no advice on pairing a tube CD with the Mac? I guess I'll have to wait for Jan to sign on.

Kegger, what is an mtm configuration? Couldn't the center be used as stereo in its horizontal position? What kind of sound does Klipsch deliver and what type of music is it's best suit?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 701
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Sounds like a great idea. I often thought I would go that route when my CAL dies. The Jolida sounds like a great unit. You may want to check out the NJOE TJOEB player that all the critics are raving about. They are calling it a reference quality tube player for $699.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1994
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia I've been looking at tube cd players for awhile.

The only problem is how do you know they implement a tube into
the design that actually benefits and not just throw it in there to
say it has a tube.

That's the reason I havn't pulled the trigger yet!
I don't know who is actually implementing the tube in a way that's
actually doing something. I'd like to try one of the lesser expensive ones.
I'm sure if you went with a major brand that was fairly expensive it's done right.
But I allways try to find the bang for the buck guy in the crowd and right
now I don't know who that is.

Two names I have heard are what both you and rick suggested I'd imagine
both those companies have it done right.
(Jolida JD-100A - NJOE TJOEB )
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1996
Registered: Dec-03
MTM or D'Appolito array means Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer it's quite the
rage in the speaker building community.

The reason why you'd want to stand up the center is:
Orientation should be vertical for best sound, as with any speaker. Any array
of drivers (even if it's just a woofer and tweeter) along a line will exhibit "lobing"
(off-axis frequency response unevenness caused by interference patterns between
the drivers) along that line. Keeping the alignment on a vertical line puts the offending
anomalies above and below the speaker (the least offensive place for them).

Yes, that goes for center channel speakers, too. The only reason they're horizontal
is to fit ontop a TV. It's a poor tradeoff, but many don't want to stick a traditional
speaker standing up onntop of there tv.

here's a little exerpt from a well known speaker sight.
"The dual woofer design, pioneered by the esteemed Joe D'Appolito (hence the term 'D'Appolito configuration') has better efficiency and power handling than a traditional monitor-style two-way. For those of you new to building your own speakers, MTM refers to the front baffle configuration where you have the speakers arrangement comprising "midwoofer - tweeter - midwoofer". This type of arrangement is widely accepted as having significant improvements over single woofer designs, at the expense of the larger cabinet size and (of course) the extra speakers."
"D'Appolito-style MTM configuration can produce a high-quality speaker with good sensitivity, excellent dynamics, and very musical, full-range response."
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1997
Registered: Dec-03
Klipsch speakers generally are known for their upper mid and tweeter response.
They are very fast and effecient "mainly from the horn"

Some do not like the sound of the horn it can give a megaphone effect.

I believe Jan is not all that fond of them.

In the earlier days they were called honkers as the megaphone effect was worse.

Todays klipch speakers do not exhibit this honkyness in the upper lines
of the newly designed serieses. As you go up in price and quality on the
horn and tweeter they really produce some of the best sound in the upper
frequencies I've heard! VERY LIVELY!
They still have the traditional klipsch sound but as you go up in quality
those traits seem to deminish quite rapidly.

Because of this configuration klipsch uses, the upper midrange and high frequencies
of the speakers are very effecint and fast so they also need the rest of the
speaker to have these charicteristics.
The reference line of todays klipsch speakers does this really well.
Now the combination of the rc-7 being an mtm when stood up and the dual
8"drivers along with the better horn/tweeter combo "of the top units"
Makes these an excelent choice for main speakers.
because they are effecient makes them a choice for tube amps.

my impression of what my klipsch sound like is ever so slightly, very slight
rise in the top end with an overall non colorization to the sound with exceptional speed/dynamics.
Very flat overall with an ever so slightly rise in top end and drop at about 45hz

I have some of the lower models in the reference lines too as rears and surrounds.
They do not have the same sonic signature as the rc-7's do.
"more of the standard klipsch sound"

overall I would describe klipsch as effecint/dynamic with an
emphasys on the high end.

The more you spend or the better quality of the klipsch speaker you choose
the better quality horn and tweeter are used. Which can make a huge difference
in weather or not you like the sound.

with these rc-7's and the larger horn they do not sound like one
would think from a traditional klipsch speaker. They are so much smoother
on the top end. "as many have described in the klipsch forums"

Other things that have been said about klipsch is they have a raspiness
to the sound they produce, which some hate and some love!
The rc-7's "and maybe the larger horn in general this is deminished"
It's quite possable klipsch lovers may prefer other horns as they produce
more of the traditional klipsch sound.
But for me this is a major step in the right direction.
 

New member
Username: Raymond

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-04
Sorry for the misdirected response on the Spendors, blame it on jet lag. Yes Papworth are a very nice valve line with good reputataion in England over the long hall...also using designer Tim de Pavaracini's work. Also in the Absolute Sound in their Nov or Dec issue I saw a positive review of another tube amp coming in at a resonable price. Here is the problem we are all facing. I refer to it as "System Synergy". Much taked about but reliant on access to good local dealers and your personal tastes. If I were in "let's build a system from scratch mode" today I would look for the sound I like best by visiting dealers, audio shows and fellow audio nuts homes. Every designer voices his gear to his personal preferences. Find out which voices you like and identify which you don't. The only real way is to set some up front criteria. If you like the SET sound I'd say you like clarity, hyper reality(small scale,) detail and the being there effect. I've said before I get more clarity and detail from my system than when I go to the DSO, LPO, Sydney Opera House, or listen in Westminster Cathedral, York Minster or Cranbrook or Lichfield Cathedral...at least where I am sitting. For small scale acoustics, baroque, chamber...I can still get nearer to the real thing but diminishing returns are kicking in big time. Recognize the disease!!! Similarly Luducrous, Outcast "shake YOU" like a polaroid...meaning hurt my body my organs...ouch!! The organ at Litchfield does not. I decided I don't want/like that hyper bass, but that what there concert sounds like.

So focus on what you are looking for. Then build the bricks to achieve it. Every piece matters...but don't let it take over your life...it's the music right!!

In the early days NAD and Linn were my discovery through a dealer that built my first system with me. My Mordaunt Short speakers were the window to what they provided. As I upgraded to the EAR 859 I got more of everthing...specially the detail/clarity of an SET and my tastes in music evolved too. More of some types..less of the heavy stuff, though I still enyoy it. Steve McCormick fit the bill after a two year search for a cd player I could live with. Now to solve the next window, the speakers. Getting out the windex what can I find...what ever it is it can only be tested in my home. So bottom line, as you get more exposure(no pun intended, but nice integrated amps) to the gear the picture will become clearer. But be prepared to travel, invest in shipping, return/restocking and read/research feverishly. Talk to dealers out of state. I'm in the dodrums right now as I have gone beyond my local daelers resources and family/Xmas calls on time I can devote. Will keep you posted. Any high efficiency speaker suggestions for a 13 watt SET will continue to be appreciated. Have not heard the Klipsch horn stuff, RF 35 and 7 still too bright for right now...perhaps I'll revisit. Happy Holidays!!

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Ghia - I don't have any comments on your desire to change the source, but, I do have a question. What are you trying to achieve? My meaning is somewhat the synergy that Raymond talks about.
I have described various pieces of high end audio as neutral with a personality. Every company will have a slightly different sound than a competitor that comes from the designer's idea of what music sounds like - to them. One company will produce a product that is somewhat brighter, darker, faster, more expressive, more restrained, forward, recessed, expansive, focussed, tonally correct, etc., and, if all these personalities click in one system you can have tremendously good sound (and sometimes for little money spent). When I was selling I found it was often a matter of getting the client to understand what they were expecting that eventually led them to this synergy. To get to what they were expecting we had to go through what they had been hearing or not hearing.

(And here I'll make another pitch for a reference of live music. It was much easier to find that synergy when someone described what they were hearing in a live performance and then missing at home than it was to have someone describe what they wanted in terms of just their hifi. [I often got the impression they were regurgitating reviews.] It was easier to get them the synergy they wanted even though they found the hifi could never really recreate the live event. But for those that sought the best hifi, it could become a long journey through the various personalities they could find. That's my experience and may not apply to everyone.)

If they had a clear idea of where they were and where they wanted to be, it was much easier to get to that point with minimal side tracking.
So I would have to ask what makes you think the Denon isn't doing what you desire since it has received good reviews from most of the press and people who own one. Not that reviews are what make a component good or bad, but, once you have reached a level of "goodness" it becomes more difficult to say where you should go to find an improvement. The fellow who drives into the the dealership in a Ford Pinto has a very good chance he'll drive out in something better. The Ferrari driver has a better chance of finding something equally as good but just different in personality with an Aston Martin, Porsche or Lamborghini.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


http://www.papworthaudio.demon.co.uk/tva50spc.html

Klaatu barada nikto!!!


 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 708
Registered: Dec-03
Very nice looking amp Jan.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

From "The Baker's Journal":


http://www.nzbakingsociety.co.nz/dean7.html


"Ciabatta

Having recently observed the various attempts at ciabatta at the Inaugural ANZBake Bake-off in Christchurch, I thought I'd share one of my own formulations which I have adapted from a book call Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glazer.


I know there are many recipes for this product, but I am simply amazed that nearly everyone makes excuses to why theirs is like a flat white loaf of bread.

Why aren't they striving for perfection?"



That's what I'd like to know. Why?



 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1174
Registered: Aug-04
This isn't about bread bake offs but I read that this group in Hong Kong have a good reputation for tube kits etc. For all you insufferable tube fanatics :-)

http://www.diyhifisupply.com/

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 710
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Now I would like to know as well........WHY?

Rantz,

I would also like to know why you are lurking about tube diy sites? Are we getting a little curious?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1175
Registered: Aug-04
Rick,

Not on your life! I couldn't be happier with my lot.

I came across the link by accident and thought some of you old fogies might be interested in a look :-}

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 711
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz,

I appreciate you looking out for your elders. Mom would be so proud. LOL!

Jan,

Take your meds my friend. This is the audio forum, not the food forum. It doesn't matter, if you want to talk pasta, I'm in.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Music, pasta & life!!! The Real Stereo folks are out of Italy if I read correctly and they seem to be the audio equivalent of the Slow Food movement. Both are good ideas that need to be followed.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2593
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

I am to Italian cooking as fish to bicycles, but ciabatta is not pasta. Surely?

Jan,

Thanks. I cannot find a price on that gorgeous amp or its more conventionally-styled sister the TVA10. Probably it would be prudent not to delve too deeply into such questions.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 535
Registered: Apr-04
Jan,

I'm trying to achieve music nirvana. How's that for vague? :-) In part, curiosity is driving this. Reading about tube "sound" is very intriguing and compelling. Doubts about the Denon are playing a role too.

Before the Mac, I was getting terrific sound out of the NAD/MA system. The sound was clean and detailed and I knew I could put my system up against the systems of friends and it would sound better than 90% of them. But, curiosity stemming from Rick's experience with the Mac led me to give one a try. As you know, the result was dramatic. From the first listen, the music took on a new life that I never realized was missing. Hyperbole? No, not at all. It truly was captivating and intoxicating. I was drawn into the music like never before, pure and simple.

So, given that, why would I need/want to change anything? It's simple really. I'm curious about what the tube sound brings to the listening experience - but, not so curious that I would give up the MA6200. Would a tube source component have an effect similar to a tube amp?

Another factor:

- The article posted on Old Dogs about not gaining the full benefit of hi-rez formats unless separate components are used struck me. Does it not stand to reason that a player dedicated to one format (in this case, Jolida as a redbook player) would do that better than a universal player?

The Denon doubt: my DVD2200 has experienced the "washing machine vibration" described on another thread. It has only happened a couple of times but, the fact that it happened at all, planted the seed of doubt. It's similar to how getting the first dent on a new car makes it a little less special.

Maybe, within my budget, I have reached the point of diminishing returns. Maybe moving to the Jolida is nothing more than a lateral move. Unless, of course, the tube gives its output a characteristic that is different from that of the Denon. Or maybe, I need to decide what is "enough".
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 536
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger,

Thanks for the feedback on the Klipsch's and the MTM explanation. If there's a local dealer, I might have to check out the sound - for curiosity's sake. :-) Not sure, based on the description, if they would be to my liking. The "British sound" is generally what I prefer in a speaker.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


John - http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/ciabatta.htm

The TVA-8 retails, according to the shop's site, at GBP 1699. That's for the SE amp. The Push-Pull amp, the TVA-10, looks to be very much the same amp as far as layout and tube compliment are concerned. I wouldn't think there would be much difference in the cost of the two amps to the manufacturer until you add in the additional cost of SE transformers. My guess wouldbe the TVA-10 probably costs about the same or slightly less than the TVA-8.

Ghia - I'll have more for you when I get more time.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2594
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Excellent link. Thanks. I am tempted, and will think about kits.

These are UK, and more expensive:

http://www.hificollective.co.uk/kitshome.html

Ghia,

Wonderful post. That is roughly where I am, except that I have no experience of McIntosh. I have been listening more critically, and enjoying the music more, courtesy of contributors to these threads. Whether or not one thinks "hi-res" and surround sound have something to offer, and I certainly do, stereo is not going to be superseded for most practical applications, nor should it. And I still want that sense of hearing more from the CDs and LPs I already own, and from those I will, one day.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2595
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Thanks. That is a bit pricey, at least for me. I missed your post while writing the previous one. Will be back.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1177
Registered: Aug-04
Ghia,

I posted the link below in DVD Players for prospective universal player buyers, however the reviewer speaks of the cd quality in such equipment compared to the dedicated players. The 2900 fares well and I imagine the same may be said for the 2200 but this is something I have been saying all along - on a player with so many options there is usually some trade off to keep prices out of the abnormal range. The question remains - how much does one spend on a dedicated cd player for that superb sound. About four times that of the 2900 according to the reviewer!

http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_print.asp?ID=2749
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2596
Registered: Dec-03
http://www.iconaudio.co.uk/
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2597
Registered: Dec-03
Also for kits:

http://www.worldaudiodesign.com/
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2000
Registered: Dec-03
Oh yah now yu all decide to talk about cd players and what the
cost might be for something special.

Where were yu all a month ago? lol!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2001
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia I know your not going to buy any but if or when you do listen.
listen to the reference series of klipsch speakers.
Anything lower will not do your ears justice.

Rf-7's should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm listening to.
The rf-7's are not quite as tight in the bass region or mids as what
the Rc'7s are and the highs are a little brighter on the Rf-7's. (but close)
That should put you in the ballpark, excspecially amped by tubes!
The tubes make the horn smoother then solid state does!

You asked what type of music they would be best for. I have a hard time answering that!
As everything I've thrown at this setup so far is truly an experience for me.

They are so fast and articulate that midbass on up sounds so real on these.
The music I've played a lot through them has been peter gabriel and joe jackson.
I'm sure your familuar with them as you've mentioned some music you
listen too and I would imagine those two would be in the ballpark.
Anything that is very dynamic these speakers love and reproduce with a realism
that's second to none!

But I've also been listening to al steweart with a lot of unamplified
stringed instruments plus some good horns and those are displayed lovely too.

Then I put in my 3 blind mice jazz cd "very dynamic" and that is excelent too.

I'm not finding a weakness yet.
They probably reproduce drums the best.
The police and rush have never sounded better.

I do listen to rock the most "from slow to hard"
These take it all and say give me more, is that all you got?!
I've had speakers that could play real loud and somethings just were killer
for a party. But these guys play the subtle things so well and rock out
when you want, never had a setup like that!

If there is a nirvana, right now I'm there.
I think I can stop the upgrade path "for now" as this setup does it for me!
"including amplification"

Rick kinda funny there not quite bookshelves or smaller speakers on stands.
But there not large towers either. Somewhere in the middle "large bookslelves on stands ?"
"small standmount speakers on steroids"
As most bookshelves or standmounted speakers are a 2-way with 6.5 drivers,
these are a 2.5-way's with dual 8"'s.

Maybe just the configuration I should have been looking at all along.

Interesting is the configuration of the pair I still haven't finished
from allmost a year ago. They are dual 8's.
But they are a conventional tweeter in a TMM config tower.

I think the mtm config and the drivers "very light but rigid"
used in these speakers make the difference!
Not to mention it's the best sounding horn I've ever heard.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2002
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia:

"So, given that, why would I need/want to change anything? It's simple really. I'm curious about what the tube sound brings to the listening experience - but, not so curious that I would give up the MA6200. Would a tube source component have an effect similar to a tube amp?"

I can give you what I've found through tubes.


First I got the tube preamp, sounded better than the b&k preamp I was using.
I switched around the tubes to better ones and it made another positive improvement.
Then I moved to tube amps and an even bigger improvement for me.
Recently I got that tube buffer for the output of my cd player, that was a positive.

So far for me tubes have improved everything in my system.

The only things that were a downgrade for me was when I first upgradded one
of my se-40's and the sound became to sterile, to me the kit took the
life out of the amp. So I had to go through some trials to figure out what happened.
This is going to sound weird but the amp was to good, it played completly flat
with no emotion to it. After some cap changes I got er back!
Then it was the older tube preamps to rolled off , soft and mushy!
Had to do the opposite of the tube amp and put newer caps in it and newer tubes
to change it enough to where I could listen to it.

So I think as long as whatever piece of tube gear you get as long as
it's well implemented and it's synergy fits your system should make an improvement.

I'm convinced of tubes and will not go back.

Even my surround and rear speakers are klipch with horns and have benefitted
from the tube power amps running them.

So I think anywhere you get a well implemented tube
in the chain will make a positive improvement.

Like I said it just may be difficult to tell if
the manufacturer has implemented the tube in way
to actually reap the rewards of tubes.

But if you find enough reviews and they seem geniune you'll probably be allright!
Not to mention maybe with a cd player sticking with a known company
like Jolida or TJOEB which many have reported to be good!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2003
Registered: Dec-03
Well finally read through all the links on this page!
Great stuff everyone.

Jan I liked the looks of those last amps, didn't see any prices or
what exactly they were!

Ghid i'll be very interested if you pick up a cd player.

rick your new toys, when you get them i'm anctious also.

Rantz what are yu doin hear? lol

John your thinking of maybe building something ? cool !
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 712
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Look at what we started. People are Talking Tubes! I am going to order the Jolida next month. I'm trying to get through the holidays like everyone else first. LOL!

Ghia,

"I prefer that British Sound".

Sounds to me like those Spendors are calling you.

Jan,

Music, pasta, and life. I joined that club a long time ago. PREGO!

Rantz,

Please stick around. Thanks for the input.

Cheers to all............
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2598
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

I am sure you remember I, for one, was considering how much I would have to spend on a better CD player.

However, all informed reviewers seem to agree on tubes. I have also come to value greatly the opinions of some people on this forum. Many of whom have shown up here!

Yes, I might go for a kit. MR's DiyHiFisupply link made me think of it seriously for the first time. The www.worldaudiodesign.com site looks good, too. Soon I will be living close enough to those guys to go and take a look. They do not mention a safety cage. I think that would be a must for my application.

A can do soldering and understand the very basics, I think. I also enjoy fixing things and making things; it improves one's understanding of how things work, up to a point. The problem is time vs. money, the recurring dilemma. The last kit I started was a stringed instrument, about nine years ago, and I had to give up, eventually (earlier this year) getting it completed by a craftsman who was a friend of a friend. That was tough. It was the only thing I have ever taken on and had, in the end, to admit defeat, which hurts the pride. Electronics should be much easier. One hifisupply reviewer of their EL34 40W said seven hours http://www.triode-systems.com/ella_brian_build.htm I could live with that. The World Audio Design 6550 looks good http://www.worldaudiodesign.com/wadproducts/kit6550.html and has plenty of inputs.

Thanks again to Rick for starting this thread, and you and Jan for your input. Also MR for the link. In such company, it is flattering to be counted as an Old Fogie! This must be a special subset of Old Dogs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 539
Registered: Apr-04
JohnA wrote:

And I still want that sense of hearing more from the CDs and LPs I already own...

Exactly.

MR,

Thanks for the link. I still plan to use the Denon for SACD/DVD-A but the vast majority of my library are redbook CD's. In the review, when comparing the CD portion to "dedicated" players the benchmark was "£500+" and the opinion was the 2900 was not quite as "expressive". The Jolida reviews use $2000 as a benchmark for comparative purposes. Plus, the 2200 doesn't have the Burr-Brown DAC that the 2900 (and the Jolida) has so I'm not sure if it is even as good as the 2900.

Then, there is the tube aspect. I wish there was a local dealer so I could audition the Jolida but this may have to be another blind leap of faith (assuming I make it.) I'm not sure what the tubes bring to the table. But, a used Jolida (not modded) can be had for $600 so it might be worth a shot to see what it does.

As an aside, in a review I came across this info about the Njoeb player and one of its "tweaks" - which can be used on any player:

Kudos are also due Ah! for their De Mat disc stabilizer ($25). Not only does it dampen vibrations, but it also blackens the top and edge of a CD during playback. De Mat features a lip that covers the edge of the CD in much the same way as the application of a green felt tip pen aka "CD Stoplight." Unlike the green ink treatment, De Mat does not permanently alter the CD, and there's almost no effort involved in using it. Simply place the mat over the CD and go! The sonic effect is to focus image outlines in manner synergistic with the benefit of the upsampler board. Once heard, you will not want to be without it. And the best news of all is that it may be used in any CD player.

Kegger,

If I recall correctly, the Jolida and the Njoeb players use tubes differently. The Jolida has a true tube output while the Njoeb does it differently. Can't recall right now the difference and need to get to work but will look it up and post findings.

Rick,

The Spendors are still on the list. :-)

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 713
Registered: Dec-03
John,

You sir are welcome. I wear that "Old Fogie" title as a badge of honor. Look at what great company I am in.

My sincere love, respect, and admiration to all the "DOGS".

Cheers!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2004
Registered: Dec-03
john:

"I am sure you remember I, for one, was considering how much I would have to spend on a better CD player."

I know I was just joshing around!

and this:

"A can do soldering and understand the very basics, I think. I also enjoy fixing things and making things; it improves one's understanding of how things work, up to a point. The problem is time vs. money, the recurring dilemma."

You should have no problem doing a kit and even if you took your time
should take no longer then a couple days.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2005
Registered: Dec-03
rick:

"Look at what we started. People are Talking Tubes! "

I think people interested in tubes or who allready enjoy them
owe it to the rest of the comunity to get these discussiions going!

GOOD JOB EVERYONE!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2006
Registered: Dec-03
ghia I'm interested!

"Kudos are also due Ah! for their De Mat disc stabilizer ($25). Not only does it dampen vibrations, but it also blackens the top and edge of a CD during playback. De Mat features a lip that covers the edge of the CD in much the same way as the application of a green felt tip pen aka "CD Stoplight." Unlike the green ink treatment, De Mat does not permanently alter the CD, and there's almost no effort involved in using it. Simply place the mat over the CD and go! The sonic effect is to focus image outlines in manner synergistic with the benefit of the upsampler board. Once heard, you will not want to be without it. And the best news of all is that it may be used in any CD player."
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2007
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz you know all your contributions are allways welcome!

___________________________________

I don't know if jan with all his knowllage and enthusiasm knew what he
was contributing to when we started discussing tubes awhile back "or maybe he did"

As keg the tube monster was born and has been gobbling up info "and parts"
ever since the first conception of the idea!

Be careful guy's maybe jan knew this all along and anyone who gets a taste
of tubes will be consumed by there lore!
"or maybe it's just the crazy kegger , who knows"

Either way it's been a fun ride for me and I hope the same for anyone
else taking the leap into the land of glowing little bottles!

Maybe soon we will have more old dogs that can
share there passion for these little guy's.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 714
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Who was that masked man who left behind this Electro Harmonix Gold Grid?






Yeah, he knew what he was doing. Teaching the grasshoppers. LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2599
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger and Rick,

Many thanks for these kind words. I too would wear the badge with pride, and even carry a membership card.

Ghia,

With the eventual "Tube surround sound system" in mind, one thing I have learned, and I am a bit slow with these things, is as follows. With my player, and with its 5.1 processor for DVD-Audio and Dolby Digital AC-3, I do not lose the center channel if I turn it off in "bass management"; it is redistributed to the front Left and Right channels.

We have discussed whether we need a center channel at all, and I do not wish to re-open that issue. But, even for movies, it is no big deal. The dialogue is not lost. the center speaker seems more important with Prologic and EARS, on my system at least, but I rarely use these now, and do not think they have a future.

Therefore I can imagine a happy transition period with valve/tube stereo for front left and right, and my stereo transistor amp for surrounds.

If one wanted to get serious, and spend more money, one could get tube amplification for the surrounds. Then on to a monoblock for the center, if that is what one wants. I cannot imagine anyone hearing a difference between tube and solid state amplifiction of a sub, these are not subtle animals, but who knows.

Probably this is common knowledge and many people have such set-ups.

Those player "analogue out" connections are not such a bad idea, after all!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2008
Registered: Dec-03
John as you know I am now running 7.1 surround with all tube amps.

And yes no use for a tube amp on the sub, solid state actually works better!

Anyways You know my feelings on the center channel and with the tube
amp powering the klipsch center I really like what it has done. "voices are clearer"

And what your prupopsing is simular to what I was trying to get ghia to try
with the mac amp powering the fronts for 2 channel and letting the nad do the rest.

Where it sounds like your saying using your tube
amp for the fronts and the nad for the rest.

That's what I was doing before I went full blown tube and it worked just fine.

I really like the tube amp on the center but for
the surrounds and rears it's probably overkill.
"I really like how music comes through though!"
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1181
Registered: Aug-04
I'm glad you all took the "Old Fogies" tag as intended. It is a term to describe an old dog that's a bit demented and I'd count myself in the group also if I could remember how :-)

Now where was I? Oh yes - maybe I would be interested in a tube amp except I'd have to spend an extra few grand on air conditioning for use in summer - it was a mere 40 celcius today, I think if had switched on a tube amp the house would have gone up in flames.

Dementia example: when one spends money upgrading audio equipment instead of purchasing air conditioning :-)

Cheers all!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 715
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz,

So what's your point? LOL!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"I cannot imagine anyone hearing a difference between tube and solid state amplifiction of a sub ... "

Bass response has always been the defining difference to many listeners between solid state and tubes. That reduces the discussion to a simple matter that most people can lock onto and use as a hammer to beat tubes into submission. There is a difference in every area between tubes and solid state. (The differences can be quite small in some designs, but that is a different discussion.) Unfortunately hearing that difference would require taking the time to listen instead of just reading specs and reviews. Wanting to listen is a trait many people have in short supply.

In the bass regions the common notion has been tubes are sloppy in the speed and definition of transients and have extended decay of the note because they lack control of the woofer cone. On a piece of paper that would appear to be true. Tube amps have a naturally higher output impedance and a lower damping factor. That is what would show up on a test bench.
That puts solid state in the camp of "correct" bass response because it can produce (not reproduce) tight, dry, fast bass response that has enough impact for those intergalactic thermonuclear explosions that have come to make up the new listener's sonic library. (Assuming, of course, you've chosen the correct sub cable.)
As we've determined, everyone listens for different qualities; and, what any one person expects in bass response is as open to interpretation as any other portion of the audible spectrum. Technically tubes have a disadvantage in the bass region due to the significantly higher output impedance of tubes when coupled to (through) a transformer.
One option in the world of tubes is an OTL design, or output transformerless amplifier. It does away with the output transformers (obviously) because they are seen as the largest impediment to the sound of tubes (or transistors for that matter). Multiples of output tubes are run in parallel to eventually lower the output impedance to a point where the amp can be connected to a loudspeaker without falling flat on its face when asked to drive an 8 Ohm load. I'll leave it up to your imagination at this point as to the good and bad points of this design technique.
In the normal world of tube power amplifiers there is going to be a transformer between the output of the tubes and the speaker. In most cases the transformer will have a series of taps that are taken from different portions of the secondary windings to allow connection to a 4,8 or 16 Ohm load. By matching the connection to the implied impedance of the speaker the amp will maintain its rated power specifications. So, unlike a direct coupled s.s. amp, a tube amp will produce the same wattage into any load when the match is correct. Should the match be incorrect the output impedance changes and the amplifier will respond more like a s.s. design in that power and distortion will change in accordance. The owner of a tube power amp can use this to their benefit to, once more, slightly alter the sound of their amplifier to suit the needs of their system and their taste. Lowering the output impedance will result in a slightly tighter response while raising the impedance will give a slightly rounder, more "acoustic" sound to even an electric bass instrument. Of course other areas are also affected and the owner has to listen and decide what qualities suit their taste.
The quality of the transformer is of prime importance in the response of a tube power amplifier. (Tube preamps and sources do not require a transformer on the output [though some manufacturers include one for technical reasons] since they are not faced with the mismatch in impedance that a power amp will see. Some older tube pre amps did have a high output impedance that disliked driving a s.s. power amp but those products are fairly uncommon.) Most successful tube power amplifiers owe much of their sound quality to the quality/expense of the output transformer(s). As I mentioned above, the cost of shipping a tube power amp with three heavy transformers was a significant disadvantage to the tube products when s.s. could ship an amplifer with one smaller, lighter transformer that could, on paper, produce more power. I'm sure it comes as no suprise to anyone on this thread that buying the heaviest amplifier you can find is probably one good indicator of quality. This idea should be amplified five fold for a tube amp. Iron is your friend!
If someone hears a very good tube power amp vs. a s.s. equivalent, the difference in the bass quality should be immediately apparent to several of their senses.




I hope you took notes, this may appear on the quiz.




 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2600
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Kegger.

Yes, exactly. Tube stereo plus a 5.1 NAD receiver would be a good way to approach everything from 4.0 to 7.1, I think. Not everyone has all those spare speakers, though! Also, you could only rely on 5.1, max, from the player, in most cases, without getting in to matrixed surround effects. I get the impression form the tube web sites that their makers are not much into DVD etc., still less Prologic.

Jan,

"Klaatu barada nikto" ....?

This does not look like Italian to me. More like Finnish.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

John's link explains it a little more:

http://www.papworthaudio.demon.co.uk/valve.html


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


And finally, the thought of the day.


Transformers can be either a step up or a step down device.


If only life was that simple.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2011
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I've said before a good tube amp sounds great in the bass.
I love the way bass guitairs sound.

But for the bass of say 50hz on down I like the spead and power of soild state
to really get the impact form the subs.
so for me solid state is better for subs!

That's just my preference!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2601
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Thanks. You write my kind of language. Except for "Klaatu barada nikto".

In comparisons of recorded sound with the original, I am a bit at a loss with thermonuclear explosions. Fortunately. So it is not so easy to choose a sub cable, except on specs.

My family's penchant for action movies leaves me a bit thudded out from time to time. I am not in love with the idea of the active sub, and would prefer full-range all round, as Nimbus recommend, amongst others. By "full range" I mean I would be happy, for music, with 40 Hz, and that is only for the big stuff.

I note that indeed most tube/valve amps have separate connections giving transformer windings for 4 and 8 Ohm speakers. One of the Icon Audio (http://www.iconaudio.co.uk/) amps can also switch between triode and pentode modes for its EL 34s.

It is a whole new world. Awsome power from those Papworth monoblock amps in your link, though. You would need air conditioning with those, even if not in the sub-tropics of Capricorn, like MR, I expect.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2012
Registered: Dec-03
Agreed john if your not concerned with bass response lower than about 50 hz.

Then a sub with a solid state amp would not be warrented.

But if you are concerned with those frequencies then getting them away from
your main speakers trying to reproduce them and putting them through a speaker
designed for that, powered by a hefty solid state amp is going to be the preferred way.

It's not just that the sub would do a better job.
But it's easier on your main
speakers to not try and reproduce those frequencies along with the amp also!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


"You write my kind of language. Except for 'Klaatu barada nikto'."

Golly gosh, John, that's not my language either. That comes directly from Klaatu and was only understood by Gort.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/day_the_earth_stood_still/

As to the need for air conditioning, that would obviously depend on the amplifier's design. It is unlikely thata tube amp that achieves 200 watts per channel would run cool; but, how much heat is developed by a tube amp is a function of how much power is require of a given tube set and how the tubes are biased. Some tube amps run very hot continuously and some tube amps run rather cool by comparison. A tube cage is a good idea none the less, if for no other reason than the tubes are running at somewhere above 400 volts. I've told the story of my cat jumping onto one of my amps when the cage was off. He only did it once.


I found it interesting that the Papworth designs rate their EL34 based amps at 55 watts per side. As a comparison the Mac MC225 used the same tube (with a similar three tube driver stage) but was rated at 25 watts per channel.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2602
Registered: Dec-03
Bigger cars, houses. Texans always have to go one better. Now, it's understatements... At least there is an agreed definition of a Watt. One could always get the amps and measure their outputs, with a test meter...

Seriously, to me, it is a pleasure that Papworth acknowledges McIntosh. It is always a good to see credit where it is due.

Will have return on Klaatu and Gort.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

No slight to Papworth intended other than the amp will produce more heat when asked to produce higher wattages from the same set of tubes. And running the tubes harder will mean more frequent replacement just as running a dimmer on a lamp will extend its life when voltage is reduced by just 15%.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2603
Registered: Dec-03
No slight taken on their behalf, Jan. Feeble attempt at wit turns accidentally to state-ist slur on Texans. Apologies. Yes, the difference in rated power with same circuits and tubes/valves is interesting. Wonder why it is. I find I cannot write "tubes" in this context. To me it means something completely different. I'll get used to it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Asimo

Post Number: 36
Registered: Apr-04
As I see the tube discussion is becoming hot and also very interesting. I would like to add my humble contribution to the tube issue.
I was dreaming on tube amplifier for years, it is not only the audiophile sound but also the glaring of fluctuating red light that comes from the amplifier at late night music session listening.
Unfortunately I did not find a tube amplifier at reasonable price up to now.
In the last year I discovered that Jolida is imported to our region but the Jolida 1501 or 1701 that have remote are hybrids and not pure tube.
I do not imagine myself listening to music without remote. (before a loud section coming I reduce volume to prevent my wife exploding to the music room)
Few years ago a friend of mine bought an Anthem pre and power tube amplifiers but this model had a sound very similar to solid state. I also tried the Anthem at my system but I did not find any improvement over my NAD 7000 receiver or NAD C350.
Now I have plans to take out from service the NAD 7000 monitor after 15 years and to upgrade either for Jolida, NAD C352 or Roksan Kandy.
I also want the replace my Sonus Faber Concertino's speakers to Quad 12L Epos 12.2 Epos M5 or MA S6. The Concertino's are beautiful speakers, high WAF but start to be aggressive, harsh and scream at a higher volume. I had a bad experience with floor standing speaker in a small room (non control bass) and I prefer good small bookshelf monitors on stands.
I was lucky to move to a new medium size 16 sqm room in my apartment where I can rearrange it as a music room or even Home Theatre which I am basically against.
I do have Marantz DV4200 DVD player for stereo video.
Did somebody have experience with the speakers or amplifiers I on my list?
Ghia, unfortunately we do not have MAC here. Not old and not new. A friend of mine found an old Sansui receiver DB9090 and he is very happy with it, still it is not MAC. I would like to recommend you few classical DVD-V that can help you enter into the classical music world. I watched this DVD in PCM stereo.
Classical symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler on DVD- video. Excellent performance, recording and editing.
.
Abbado Beethoven
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=beethoven&x=0&y=0

Abbado Mahler
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/dvd.php?keytype=1&keyword=Mahler


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2022
Registered: Dec-03
ASIMO GLAD TO SEE YU IN HERE!

Hope you find some things of interst to you!

Ask any questions you may have.
Or throw anything into the mix you may have.

were all friends here, want to help and learn.

Rick has started an excelent thread that we neede a long time ago!

Good goin rick!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2023
Registered: Dec-03
Well I've been cheating on you guy's lately.
I've been over on the klipsch forums.

Met a gentleman today that runs a website and tube repair/mod out of his house.
(Only about 35miles from my house)

He offered for me to come by this weekend and bring some of my gear if I like.
(Might take him up on it)

He's doing some mods and a rebuild on a 2a3 amp this weekend that I may find interesting!

here is the site! Jan this guy is realy into vintage equipment!

http://www.nosvalves.com/
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 716
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Looks like you have made an excellent contact. I will look forward to hearing about your experience.

Cheers!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2637
Registered: Dec-03
A belated thanks to J. Vigne for reference to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Must see this.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 549
Registered: Apr-04
Asimo,

Thanks for the recommendations for the Abbado recordings. I have added them to my (long) list. :-)

What is your time line for changing your equipment? I have a NAD c350 which I really loved (before Mac, of course). It replaced a Yamaha RX-V795 A/V receiver and I remember loving how much cleaner and warmer the music was with the NAD. I think, if Mac's aren't available in your region, the NAD is a great alternative. Unless, you decide to go to a tube amp like the Jolida.

As I wrote that above paragraph, it occurred to me that I have reverted from MC system to stereo system twice now. My first MC system was the Yamaha/Energy Sat-Sub/Toshiba DVD/Kenwood CD which was replaced by NAD c350 amp/NAD c541i CD/B&W CDM NT1 speakers. The second was the recent NAD T763/Denon/Monitor Audio speakers being replaced by MA6200/Denon/B&W. I wonder if I should ever get another surround system? lol

Rick,

Have you gotten the Jolida yet?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 721
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I am going to order the 102B right after the holidays. I will keep you posted. Stay well.

Cheers!
 

New member
Username: El34eh

Grosse Pointe, MI.

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-04
Hi Guys: I've an important question for those more expierenced with mods. I've a Cayin TA 30 Tube Integrated Amp. Which I love to death. Yet knowing most Chinese Made Amps. come with lesser Quality Internal Parts to cut price level down. Most of the options in which, I've seen only consist of changing the Coupling Caps- to Auricaps. Is this enough to make said unit.......,more refined on its' own. Or should, I also be looking to change the following: Alps volume control- to Noble Black Beauty?. / Upgrade Power Supply Filter Caps - Bypass Caps. to either Panasonic, or Sonicaps ? / Resistors in signal path, etc.? / Change Binding Post to either Copper, or Rhodium Plated ones?. I'm not looking to alter the Original sound of the Amp. too much. Only attempting to enchance what's already there. Any & All Advice........,Is important to Me. As I don't want to over do it, nor miss out on something that All of You Guys, know that I don't. Thanks in advance to all whom respond. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & Seasons Greetings
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

If you clean the house, would you sweep the floors without wiping the counters? The more you change on your amp, the better it is likely to sound. Where you stop is your decision.

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 553
Registered: Apr-04
Welcome to the thread, Oscar! I'm sorry I can't offer you any advice but Kegger and Raymond might have some feedback when they sign on again. I'll bet Mr. Vigne probably has some additional details if you zero in on some specifics.
 

New member
Username: El34eh

Grosse Pointe, MI.

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-04
Thanks , To J. Vigne & Ghia. For coming to my assistance on this one. Yet......, Mr. Vigre. Where do i begin. If I'm new to this modification issue, and wondering which phase would make the biggest improvement to the overall enchancement to fidelity, without spenting the amount of $600. total over haul price, which I've been quoted?. Is there a point........, that I'd start at, say coupling caps & power supply filter caps & better volumn pot first ?. Followed at a later stage with upgrades to resistors & Silver or Rhodium binding posts & RCA jacks......,Etc. Signal wire replacement & so fouth.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Start with the power supply. Build up, or at least, change the filter caps and, if possible add capacitance to the overall storage capacity. A group of small caps are better than several large caps, but, most often space limitations dictate what can be done here. A few small bypass caps will give increased speed when called for. Replace any capacitors in the signal chain. Coupling and blocking caps. Replace the components that look the weakest. Connectors or pots, which ever the budget allows. Resistors will have the least overall effect. The problem with doing this piece meal is once the amp is on the bench, it's easier to do everything at once. But if you have to go in stages, start with caps. What brand, for what function, only you can decide. Read or talk to someone familiar with the sound of the caps you're considering.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2044
Registered: Dec-03
Allright I'm back in town very productive trip to the tube masters house!
_____________________________________
Oscar Le'Toniio Johnson :

First welcome to the thread.

Now me personally I would do as much research as I could to find out
what others are doing on your amp.

I would make sure I have all good tubes in the amp "no chinese crap"

If I could not find info on others mods then I would tear the unit down to
see what is in it.

where I would start first "and maybe end" is caps like Jan said.
Alps are good volume controls and the conectors won't make much difference.
In my opinion the 2 things that contribute the most to the quality/sound
of the amp will be the caps and the transformers. (and tubes of course)
If it's an older amp that it may benefit signifacantly from resistors
too but most resistors are fine in the sound department unless there bad!

Now your not going to upgrade the iron so hopefully it's good to start
with or you can forget about making it truly nice!

As Jan said build up the power supply then I would work on any capacitors
in the signal chain. Coupling and blocking caps.

Teflon these days are considered the best but are extremly expensive.


(Auricaps as you mentioned is one good brand)
Or other good quality poly caps in every crucial place except maybe
some exotic ones used on the outputs. maybe even try some pio caps.

Here's a little excerpt about caps that I pretty much ascribe to.

"If you want a very fast, detailed and more analytical sound then I would suggest to stick with polypropylene types for the capacitors. However if you desire a more warmer and lush sound then try some quality PIO on the output. Mixing PIO capacitors at stages and film-foil poly capacitors in other stages can also work very well which I have done with success. For example, using poly capacitors for the inter-stage coupling with the copper PIO on the output gives a balanced sound without sounding overly warm. If you use too many PIO caps in a pre-amp and power amp then the overall sound can become too warm and lack HF extension. Using all plastic caps in an already bright system with bright speakers and front end can exaggerate matters or sound very thin. The point is that it is possible to 'tweak' the sound with tubes and cap choice to suit your system, room and ears. This is always the advantage of any rebuild over a commercial product.


More Capacitor Choices

I Recently obtained some Russian Teflon Capacitors to test out in the Joplin DHT Push-Pull power amplifier and I thought I would give them a try in the Basie first. These are an in-expensive industrial capacitor but a very worthy upgrade. Most audio grade teflon based capacitors are very over priced IMHO. I used them in the 0.1uF coupling stage of the Basie in place of the Beeswax types. They are very large at 6cm long by 3 cm diameter. I can only describe the sound character as neutral to very slightly 'creamy'. They have the best properties of film-foil capacitors in terms of speed and HF extension without sounding brittle. I rate these higher than most of the film-foil poly caps I have tried including the popular RS arcotronics types. The Jupiter Beeswax types just beat these for me though in most applications with a fuller sound.

I also tried using copper PIO capacitors on the inter-stage. This added more mid range detail and emphisis but at the cost of some HF extension. The Basie was now using all PIO capacitors. This worked well on acoustic style music with vocals and some badly recorded material but not so good on electronica / newage etc. So a balance of capacitor types seems to be the ideal."

That should give you a pretty good idea that no one can tell "you" what to use
in your amp. But it should also give you an idea of what the diferent types of
caps "generally" do to the amp.

Personally I like poly's throughout the amp then in the output stage pio's!
Seems to keep the amp nice and crisp and quick with a hint of fruitiness!

Here's a link to some caps and really good info.

http://ldsg.snippets.org/appdx-ec.php3#MUNDCAP

 

New member
Username: El34eh

Grosse Pointe, MI.

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-04
Again Thanks to You All. For the added insight in which You've shared with me. With this new found knowledge.......,I can have justice done too this Amp. knowing that there is more hidden within. Thanks again to Jan, KEGGER & Ghia for coming to my aide. I'll keep You all posted on the outcome. Oscar ( Merry Christmas & A Happier New Year Too the 3 of You & Your Families.)
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Happy Holidays, Oscar.

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 727
Registered: Dec-03
Hi All,

I am getting ready to order the Jolida 102B, and I have a quick question. I hear that the stock tubes with the unit are junk, so I want to order it with good tubes. I can't see spending the time to break in inferior tubes. Any suggestions?

Sovtek? Electro-Harmonix? Where is a good place to start. In the tube compliment it has 2 pair of EL84 output, and a pair of 12AX7A preamps. What is the third tube in the front array? It doesn't list it in the specs. Is it a 12AT7 power driver?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2046
Registered: Dec-03
sorry rick weve had isp problems at work today just came up!

I don't have any time to look into right now but the EH'S are generally good
and also EI I like a lot!

unless there nos sovtek there probably new ones
by an american company that took over the name
there allright but the others are generally better!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

See if you can find a Svetlana or an EH. Either are a good place to start tube rolling.


 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 729
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks Kegger & Jan.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2053
Registered: Dec-03
for anyone who may be interested , a little fine reading on tubes!

http://home.comcast.net/~enghenry/diy/taste.pdf

(you'll nead acrobat reader , but can download it for free)

Jan I think you'll enjoy how it's written.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Looks interesting but will take some time to read. I'll let you know what I think. The guys at Sonic Frontiers always had a good sense of humor.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2098
Registered: Dec-03
We have some people interested in tubes from other threads maybe it's time
to fire this thread up again!

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2102
Registered: Dec-03
The kt88 and 6550 are almost the same tube and most amps that take one
have no problem using the other!

Personally I find the el34 to be a little more syrupy and not quite as much
umph in the bass region.
If your going to biamp then maybe this would be a good thing.
But if your going to use one amp I'd probably go with a kt88/6550 jobby!
You may even want to considder a 6L6/5881 amp.
To me the 6l6/5881 is the least syrupy of the three tube amps.

So far my experience is!

El34/6ca7 has the most midrange loving tone with less control of bass.

6l6/5881 has the least midrange loving tone with extreme controll of bass.

Kt88/6550 somewhere in the middle, nice midrange bloom with good control of bass.

With a propper running amp that is either new or has been brought up to todays
standards I feel they all have no real issues in the treble department.

Right now I'm really liking what the rogue 88 kt88/6550 amp sounds like in my system.

Now none of the sounds of these amps are set in stone and everybodys sounds
different, from the design they chose to the transformers used to the tube
compliment used in the driver section. not to mention the output tubes themselves.
Then you have the type of capacitors used in the curcuit.

But at the moment I feal the descriptions I've given is a general rule
of the particular tubes the amps use.

I'm not sure how many are like this but my rogue 88 can use a wide range of
tubes including kt88/6550 and el34's.
I just ran some el34's in the unit , some mullards and sylvania fat bodies.
After compairing I went back to the kt88's which seem to work really well on
my current setup.

I see your speakers are 90db sens and 4 ohm.
I hate to keep mentioning my rogue 88 but I like the design of ultrlinear 65watts
a channel and triode at 35 watts a channel. I'd suggest something along those
lines for power requirements and it's nice to have the choice!
I'm running in triode at 35watts on 98db sens speakers and find I have
more than enough power and it's a little smoother than the ultrlinear!
Your 90db speakers may like the 60watts better but with the switch it's
like having 2 different amps. I highly recomend the rogue 88 and feel it would
more than likely work wonderful on those speakers.

That is my input, by allmeans I would not take it as gospel!
That is just what I feal at this moment in my experience of tubes and
what I've been able to gather from other sources.

Others including Jan may feel different and would not hurt my feelings
if they post things to the contrary!
That is just my honest feelings at this point!

Hope that was help 2c and hope others give there view and you find the
right amp for you. Any more questions I'm all ears.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2103
Registered: Dec-03
Jans post hope you don't mind i move it here it Jan!

""The KT88 seems to provide a little more juice than the EL34."

Indeed it does. The tube type you choose will largely come down to how much money you have to spend. The division of EL34, 6L6, 6550 are telling you how many watts of power can be dissipated by the tube. These are all "modern" tetrode (beam power) or pentode tubes, not to be confused with triodes. In broad, general terms if you have a pair of EL34's per channel in a push pull Class AB amp you are going to be looking at an amplifier that will be rated at around 35-40 watts per channel. 6L6's will be around 40-50 watts and 6550 will be 50-65 watts. These are general guidelines and can be different for any given tube set. You can also run any tube type in parallel arrangement which has its advantages and disadvantages.

For the purpose of our discussion let's say you've decided you want an amp that uses a 6L6 tube type. (It's a good choice since that's my favorite tube type.) When you begin to look at the 6L6 tube, you will see quite a few variations on the basic 6L6 design. These developed over the years and were intended to serve different needs. Some designs were meant to withstand greater shock and continue to work to spec, some were meant for more industrial use and long life, while others were meant only for consumer audio. Their sound and power output were what set them apart from the other 6L6 type tubes. Some audio 6L6 tubes can output more wattage than another 6L6 depending on the voltage the tube can withstand. One thing is certain, running a tube that can dissipate 375 volts on the plate at a higher voltage of, say, 450 volts is a sure route to blowing out tubes quickly and will only gain the amplifier manufacturer specs on paper and not good sound.

Here's the basic description of a 6L6:

http://www.kbapps.com/audio/tubemanual/153.html

This comes from the RCA tube guide:

http://www.kbapps.com/tubemanual.html#TubeApplications

After the basic tube type, the amount of voltage run at the plate and screen will change the wattage capacity and sound slightly as will the grid bias voltage. Grid bias will largely affect the class operation of a tube. Grid bias can be either fixed or cathode bias arrangement. Triode, Ultralinear, Pentode, the McIntosh Unity Coupled or Output Transformerless configuration will also affect the wattage available at the 8 Ohm tap on the speaker outputs. There are some other configurations of output design, but, these are the most likley to still be in use if you are looking at a relatively new amplifer or even one that has survived the ages and been refurbished.

Using a different impedance tap will affect the wattage to a given loudspeaker load. (This is, of course, impossible to do with an output transformerless design.) All of the above will affect the sound of a 6L6 tube to some extent, some more than others. Naturally, the type of rectification and the driver set in front of the outputs will be a large factor in what you will eventually pick. I'd stick with 12AX7/12AT7/12AU7 drivers, though My Mac's have a 12BH7 in the driver stage. But that's a whole diiferent discussion. We won't go there now.

After you've chosen an amp with fixed bias, Unity Coupled outputs with a plate voltage at 450 volts and a bias on the grid at -55v DC, you will also have to choose what brand of tube you will want to run as your 6L6GC; or, whether you want to run a 6L6GC at all. You can choose between the many variations on the basic 6L6 design. A KT66 is slightly different in its overall construction and sound from a straight ahead 6L6. A 5881 is not the same as a 6L6 or a KT66. Though all three tube types will interchange with one another in the same amplifier. In a fixed bias amp, it is mostly a matter of plugging in the tube type you choose while staying within the generic guidelines of the amp wants to see a 6L6 tube type. Naturally you can rewire the amp to accept other tube types to change the sound of the amp; but, do you really want to?

Most tube manufacturers make a tube that will fit into several tube types and its variations. While a KT66 is not the same tube as a 6L6, not all KT66's are equal in construction either. The best I've heard in my amplifiers are some NOS Gold Lions from England in the 1960's. They are physically huge tube bottles that wouldn't allow me to place the cages on my amplifiers.

Before you begin looking into tube manufacturers, you might want to consider whether you want to go with a currently produced tube or if you want to pay the price and try either a NOS (New Old Stock) tube or possibly a set of used (but graded) old stock tubes. This would be somewhat determined by the sound you want to have as the old stock tubes are generally considered the best built and therefore the best sounding tubes for any given tube type. The classic RCA and Sylvania 6L6 tubes are considered the benchmark the new tube makers shoot for when they try to design a 6L6 tube to give what is considered classsic "tube sound". Classic tube sound also depends on whether your going to use the 6L6 in an audio amplifier or a guitar amplifier. Choose wrong and the result could be very disappointing.

You could decide you really don't want "tube sound" and that would take you in another direction all together in what you would be looking at in your choice of tubes. If we allow that you think you prefer a more classic tube sound, then you can decide whether you want to go with the original RCA tubes or try a new stock tube that has been designed to sound and operate as much like the old RCA as possible given the changes that have taken place in tube manufacturing in the last 30 years. Where most of the tubes the "classic" tube companies designed around were built either in America or England, neither of those countries have operating tube manufacture anymore. That means you have to decide between Russian or Chinese tubes and, of course, what area of those two countries you want to have your tubes made in.

This is where the decision as to what tube you should run really gets complicated!

The intermingling of assests from the various Russian companies such as Sovetk, Svetlana and Electro Harmonix has left a lot of tubes that were well regarded not that long ago being mixed with new tubes that are not manufatured in the same plant, with the same equipment and to the same standards. The same goes for the Chinese tubes. Naturally the Russian tubes are not considered to sound the same as the Chinese tubes in the first place.

To make a long story short, you decide you want the Svetlana Winged 6L6GC with the brown ceramic base that came out of the St. Petersburg plant before it was temporarily shut down to allow for the conversion to the new owners and the change over in manufacturing equipment and workers. You call the shop that you have determined has the best price and avaialability on the tube and they tell you the tube is out of stock and they won't be able to ship for the next three to four months assuming they can still get that exact tube from the supplier they had been using. They guarantee the price if you give them your cash now, but reserve the right to raise the price if the tubes come into them at a higher cost. Or, they have a JJ tube that is really close to being the same tube as you first chose, but, it costs more money. You could, at this point, go with your second choice which was a Chinese KT66 tube, but, that would change the entire balance of your system.


That is a very basic idea of what to consider when you ask what tube you should be looking at. I've left out a lot of the more nuanced considerations because I knew you wanted this to be a simple answer.

I hope that gives you a bit of an idea what tube type you should buy. Please don't ask about transformers. They are the real heart of a tube amplifier and will do more to determine the sound of the amplifier than anything we've discussed so far. And caps and resistors; not to mention jacks, connectors and isolation systems (to mention just a few), are another topic worthy of discussion.

Here's some other information that you might find useful:


http://www.worldtubeaudio.com/directory/directory.htm


http://www.ken-gilbert.com/techstuff/vtf.html


As to running a tetrode or a pentode in triode configuration, I doubt you want me to go into that discussion either. If you will look at the last link I gave, you will see a brief comment on the benefits and disadvantages as seen by the author.

Have fun with tubes!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 408
Registered: Feb-04
Hey, Tube Guys,

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a tube pre-amp with a solid state amp? How much of that tube magic would I lose compared to using a tube amp? Just wondering.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2119
Registered: Dec-03
FOR STARTERS 2C I DON'T SEE ANY DISADVANTAGE TO USING A TUBE PREAMP!

One of the things I did notice was when using a tube preamp and solid state amp
was that I could use pretty much any descent tube preamp with that setup
and get good results. But the tube amps are a little bit more of matching
because they have more of a sonic signature than allmost any solid state amp.

So as Jan had mentioned to me when I got my first tube preamp is do you
want old school tube or new school tube!

old school tube being a little more tubby sounding and rolled off at the extremes.

new school tube less tubby sounding with little to no rolloff.

Then there's old tube that's been rebuilt with newer parts that gets you
somewhere in between and the same with new tube being rebuilt with older parts!
______________________________________________________
Say you have some book shelves that may be a little bright with your
current setup and there backed up by a sub!
Well then an old school premp might be the ticket to tame those highs,give
you a nice tube sound and the extreme lows go to your sub!
That setup sounds really sweet and you can listen for days!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

My experience has always been you have to be very aware of the synergy of the system. Not all tube gear is going to mate well with a s.s. product if there are certain qualities from both you are trying to maintain. Even with new tube pre amps the character of the sound is typically placed back behind the plane of the speakers with vocals being displayed with a more natural sense of detail and expression. It is the rare tube product that has the slam in the bottom end that some s.s. gear has. Not that I think tubes have less control in the bottom octaves; actually, I think tubes do a much better job in all areas. If, however, you have a s.s. power amp that will blow out candles from across the room, a tube product is going to be a very different sound in almost all cases. I can't think of any tube product I've heard that didn't do midranges differently than 80% of the s.s. I've heard. Some tube gear is dramatically different than s.s. in that one area alone. So much so that I feel many people make a mistake trying to inject tube "magic" into a s.s. amp that is plainly a transistor product. If the idea is to roll of the high end of a harsh bipolar transistor amp, I think you will, over time, be disappointed by tubes. That's not why you use tubes. In that case, you're better off looking at a MOSFET product and straddling the fence between the two sounds. If your entire system is balanced toward getting the best out of your transistors, a tube pre amp may just flatten everything out. Using CD as the main source has eliminated many of the problems of tube pre amps. The noise of a tube phono stage could be less than desirable for someone used to s.s. pre amps, especially when you used a moving coil cartridge with very efficient speakers. With a CD as the source the gain is minimal and the noise is a non-issue. Tube life is quite good in most tube pre amps today; while tubes will need replacement if you go the tube power amp route. I think most s.s. power amps have as much, if not more, identifiable sound than a tube power amp. If your speakers are tube friendly, I would suggest the tube power amp as the best place to start. You will be more aware of the tube quality with a power amp than with most tube pre amps in my experience. As we've discussed here, the options in "tube sound" are quite varied and a tube power amp is the best way to find what tubes have to offer. As you get used to the sound of the various tube types you will find a 6L6GC sounds not at all like a EL34 or a 6550 power output tube. While a 12AX7 doesn't sound like a 6DJ8 or a 12BH7 in a pre amp, those three tubes are more difficult to distinguish from each other than the power amp tubes.





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