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Archive through March 27, 2005

 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3245
Registered: May-04


L.H. - Did you retain the tube rectification on the PAS? If so, what tube are you using? What about the signal path tubes? When I bought my first PAS years ago the VC was well past its prime. At that point the suggestion was to either bypass the balance also or replace the balance and VC with two good quality volume pots, one for each channel. Of course, that was before good quality pots cost $150 each. What have you done with the VC on your unit?

As to the DH-200; placing the drivers on a separate board/chassis would probably make more sense; don't you think? The issue of an umbilical cord carrying several hundred volts is always a bit dicey. Getting the transformers away from the circuitry and isolating the vibration of the transformers would be my first concern, but not at the expense of a safety issue. If you are the only one in the house with access to the system, that's another matter. You say you have been around tube design for a while so I'm sure you have a good idea of how to accomplish this.


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 504
Registered: Feb-04
There's been a lot of hyperbole about tube amps lately. I just want to get this out there (speaking for myself only of course):

1. The most significant improvement in my current system upgrade involved getting new speakers.

2. A very close second in terms of magnitude was getting a new turntable and phono stage.

3. Finally, going from my old solid state amp to my current tube amp has improved the sound quality, but NOT to the extent of upgrading speakers and the front end of the system.

There's also the idea of all the parts complementing each other. I think an analog front end matches really well with tube amplification. Also, two strong suits of the new speakers are their ability to image and reveal detail. These qualities match the strengths of tube amps and analog playback. That's all, folks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 954
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

WOW!



more later...................
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2899
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Ghia. Amazing. Thanks, 2c. Yes, my recent speaker upgrade made a big difference. I would expect a tube amp to produce a more subtle improvement.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 955
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger was kind enough to send me a care package consisting of NOS (new old stock) preamp, and driver tubes for my Jolida..............

Kegger,

I swapped out the existing tubes for the RCA tubes. I turned on the amp, and let it warm up for about hour. I reached for my old trusty reference CD, The Robert Cray Band-I was warned. Besides being a knock out performance of material, it is a superb recording. I am totally familiar with every note, chord, word, phrase, guitar lick, drum beat, horn note and funk this CD has to offer. From the opening cut, the overall sound took on another level of warmth and clarity from top to bottom. The difference in ambience and inner detail was amazing. There was more depth with precise placement of instruments within the soundstage. The mids took on a sparkle especially with horns and cymbals. The resolution of inner detail just popped outat you. More air everywhere. CD after Cd. After the third hour of listening, everything sounded holographic.

I don't know if it was just the Nos tubes, or the combo with the Electro-Harmonix EL84's, or if the EH's finally hit about 200 hours and finally really bloomed. All I know is there is no going back. I can no longer be objective. I have become a full blown TUBE S-L-U-T. I am not going to change a thing for a while. Just the thoughts of putting a quad of NOS Mullard EL84's in the amp is scary. I could loose the little that's left of my sanity.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Did you hear that? The amp is calling me. Must go now.........................


2C,

Get at least 100 hours on the tubes, and give another listen. Are you sure it's the speakers doing the imaging and giving you the detail?

Enjoy!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 506
Registered: Feb-04
Rick,

If you were a woman, I'd call you a temptress, but what's the male equivalent?

I suspect the imaging and detail are the result of the entire system, including the tubes. The Primaluna really did open up after 60 hours. I think the tubes are near their full potential now. It turns out that the amp came with stock EH preamp tubes, so I'll probably try swapping the KT88s with EH EL34s at some point just to find out the difference. The EL34s are surprisingly affordable. I'll wait a while to try NOS tubes though. BTW are the NOS tubes better than _____
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 956
Registered: Dec-03
....at my age.......ALMOST!


LOL!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 507
Registered: Feb-04
LOL!

Unfortunately I think I know what you mean
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3249
Registered: May-04



Reeeeckeeeee, oh, Reeeeckeeeee ... lookeee here, Reeeeckeeeee. Lookeee what I have for you, Reeeeckeeeee. This will make your NOS tubes sound EVEN BETTER, Reeeeckeeeee. Don't you wnat your NOS tubes to sound even B E T T E R, Reeeeckeeeee? Hmmmmmmmm?


http://mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/progold.php

http://mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/silclear.php




 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2323
Registered: Dec-03
RICK which tubes have you used?

Just the 2 rca 12at7's "REPLACEMENTS WITH LESS GAIN"?

Try Anymore yet? Yu know you can allways put the good ones back in! LOL!

Yes all of the those tubes are nos or "exrememly near new" old stock.
Also I tested them on my tester and in my system.
They should last a long long time,test at 100% or better.
"THEY ALSO SHOULD NOT BE MICROPHONIC" I hope in your system anyway!

I believe the baldwins are sylvania screened by baldwin for consistency.
The rest I believe have labels telling you who made them.

Good tube rolling, and see why Jan and I talk about nos verse just n?
That's the good stuff!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 957
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Sure, blow in my ear and whisper sweet nothings. LOL!

I'm probably a dino when it comes to that stuff. I'm so old school, I use denatured alcohol and Q-Tips once a year on all interconnects and jacks.

But keep talkin' you silver tounged devil!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 958
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

First of all, I can't thank you enough for the tubes.

If any of the "Dogs" are monitoring this thread, I just want you to know Kegger and I had a phone conversation last week. I want you all to know he is as nice and friendly as he appears on the forum. Truly one of the good guys, and as good a friend as you could ever want. Now that I completely embarrassed him, I will continue.

Yes Kegman, I used the RCA 12AT7's for the preamp, and the RCA 12AX7 driver. No I have not tried the other tubes, and am not in a big hurry to do so. LOL! This rig sounds too good right now, and I don't want to change a thing.

Like I said, when the time comes for me to put a quad of NOS Mullards in the amp, it will probably give me a heart attack. LOL!

It's calling again.............I'm coming my precious................
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3250
Registered: May-04


Oh, Reeeeckeeeee! You turn away and go to another when I can offer you soooo much. I can teach you things you never thought you could know. I will whisper things you have never heard.

Theeeeese tubes, they are nothing with out meeeeee. I can be tender, Reeeeckeeeee. I can be sweeeeeeet. I will lift the veil for you, Reeeeckeeeeeee. Do you want to seeeeeee what is behind the veil? A little touch here and a tineeeeeeee bit there and, Reeeeckeeeeee, you will be a man! Oh, Reeeeeckeeeeeeee, how can you ignore meeeee for her?

http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/silclearfeedback.php

I bet Uncle Larreeee would let you try some of his magic fluid if you asked reeeeeeeeal nice.






 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2324
Registered: Dec-03
Rick I'm not really that nice or friendly you just caught me on a good day!

I wouldn't worry to much about the output tubes, I've changed a lot of them
and find no where near the amount of difference the inputs make.
Those Eh output tubes are pretty darn good!

Whenever you get to it I'm interested in your impressions of the other tubes.
Great to hear they worked out for you. That's cool!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2325
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I followed your "silclear" link And am intrigued!
Have you tried it? And if so whats your impression?
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 815
Registered: Oct-04
Ha! I've talked with Kegman on the phone, too, and I can attest to the fact that he's NOT a nice guy at all! Just a decent soul in tubeman's clothing!! Yep.

As for Silclear and other silver glop. Wellll, if you like to deal with messy hands, messy plugs, messy furniture, messy clothing, messy marriages (no, forget the latter) then Silclear and SST and their ilk are for you.

They promise the moon - but I'm not at all sure that what some "claim" to hear is all there. I've used the Walker silver glop now - and finally took alcohol and scrubbed it all away. Nearly shorted out some connections - and got the stuff all over everything - even though I was super-careful.

Claims for epiphanic experiences with the silver grease are individualistic, to the max. I won't say they are exaggerated, because all I can report is what I heard. Not much. OK? That is, of course - IN MY HUMBLE OPINION.

There are several tweaks that I've found to be useless for me - though others who I respect say they are wonderful. Such is the nutzy world of audiophilia (is that in Pennsylvania?)

I maintain that my Z-14 or Vivid CD cleaners/polish DOES make a difference. You may neither use them nor experience the differences if you do. OK.

But yes, Jan, Uncle Larreeee WILL be glad to send you a dollop of SST silver glop if you wish. Just send me an e-mail with your address. It will be free to you - and you can make your own judgements.

Meanwhile, I've got some discs to polish with my new Black and Decker super-orbital polisher, that goes at 45,000 rpm and promises glass-look finish. If the CD doesn't burn up. . .

More anon. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 816
Registered: Oct-04
Kegger: You want some SST? (same as silclear) OK, just send me your address, and I'll drop you a smallish (free) packet. With luv, of course! (grin)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2326
Registered: Dec-03
Larry:

"I dabbed our brand new, silver-saturated, hyper conductive contact lube on the AC plug of my $99 boom box. Then I dabbed it on every plug and lug of a $100,000 dream system. Stunning results on both! For 3 cents a plug, violins gained a gloriously sweet sheen. Delicate acoustic guitar overtones stood unveiled."

The thing that struck me, "Don't really know why" was the use on the power cord!
So many people I've seen lately claim the power cords somehow have these
huge differences in what they do for amps and myself lately I've swapped a few
around on my system and have had quite a bit of difference in the noise the amp
produces from the speakers so I'm intrigued by the products from that aspect!

I'll contact you! But I'm still curious if Jan has used the (silclear).
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 818
Registered: Oct-04
Kegger: unless Jan bought it himself, I doubt it. I sent him Z-14, Vivid and Z-6 - but not the SST (Walker's version of Silclear). But heck, he's got his own budget! So maybe he's used it!

I'm always amazed at the claims for power cord differences. IF I ever heard any, I'd be a disciple too - but I guess I've never ventured into the land of hi-end AC cords. Maybe if I lived in England - where "dirty" power seems to be everywhere.

As it is, I use filters on all the plugs - fridge, computer, portable phone base, and of course the stereo stuff. it DOES make a big difference.

Violins with a "gloriusly sweet sheen?" Wow - sounds more like Vaseline than Silclear! (grin)
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 207
Registered: Jan-05
Violins with a "gloriusly sweet sheen?" Wow - sounds more like Vaseline than Silclear! (grin)

There's an image I don't need. ;-)

First impression: The Onix amp and CD player are keepers. Haven't listened to Onix speakers,yet.

The Onix may have earned a place in the living room. It feels like I've been unfaithful, though.

Initially, the Onix sounded a little lean to me so I started doing a comparison with the Mac. This was definitely not apples to apples. It was Mac/Denon vs Onix/Onix with the Maggies being the only common link.

The more I listened the more I realized the "lean" sound actually must be a lack of "coloration". I never really knew what audiophile reviewers meant by coloration but now I think I do understand. I've always thought the Mac was relatively neutral but compared to the Onix, it is pretty clear it is adding its own character to the music. This doesn't mean the Mac sounds bad. But, it sounds like the Onix has opened the midrange with more clarity and detail and an extra sweetness. These results are with the Sound King speaker connecting the Maggies to the Onix. If you recall, the HD speaker wire whipped the Sound King in my testing from the other week. Tomorrow, I'll give the HD cable a try with the Onix.

CD's used in tonight's listening:

Cowboy Junkies 'The Trinity Sessions'
Suzanne Vega 'Nine Objects of Desire'
India.Arie 'Acoustic Soul'
Josh Rouse 'Nashville'
MSO 'Pictures at an Exhibition'


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2327
Registered: Dec-03
SimplyMcIntosh does the amp have orientel input tubes? My guess yes!

All the small signal tubes if there chiniese/japaniese are very inferior
to even new tubes made today elsewhere. This is not a nock on the amp as many do.
If you change those with older tubes from the us or europe you will hear what the
amp is capable of. Big difference! Get use to the sound of the amp and let it break in.
But when, not if, you change those tubes you will be stunned!

Nos tubes make the chinese tubes sound like crap when comparred!
If you like how it sounds now you will be shocked when it breaks in and has nos tubes!

Have fun and congrats!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 208
Registered: Jan-05
Kegger,

I don't know. I imagine it does but I haven't been able to get the main cage off to see the tubes up close. The cage is supposed to connect via banana plugs but it doesn't disengage as easily as I thought it would.

I look forward to doing some tube rolling in the future. When I get to the point, I'm sure I'll be pinging the forum for advice. :-)

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2328
Registered: Dec-03
Sounds good!

Yah I saw those banana plugs when I looked at it.
Looked like it should just pull off from the top.
Probably a little tight since it hasn't been used much.
If you had something that wouldn't scratcth the surfaces and wedged it between the
cage and amp and kinda twisted, that would probably do it. But you work on things
so I'm sure you'll figure something out!

Good luck!
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3252
Registered: May-04


Silclear - No, I have not used THIS product. I still have a supply of Tweak which, to my knowledge, was the first of the audiophile contact treatments. It was claimed to give jaw dropping, org@smic results. Of course it didn't do that, but maybe I was already too much of an Old Dog to know what was happening. I do use Tweak whenever I clean my system and find it does sweeten the sound and give slightly better detail than untreated contacts. Not a large difference but enough to make the application of a bit of fluid well worth the effort. Tweak is a much less viscous fluid than Silclear being on the order of a light weight household oil.

THE KEY TO USING ANY CONTACT ENHANCER IS TO USE THE ABSOLUTE LEAST AMOUNT POSSIBLE AND DISTRIBUTE IT EVENLY OVER THE CONTACT. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE MUCH PRODUCT TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED RESULTS.

When people have problems with contact treatments it is most often a matter of the thought process being if a little is good, then a lot should be great. This is a product that is intended to increase conductivity. If it gets smeared across the surfaces you can have more problems than you ever thought could exist in the fingers of a tube socket. Tweak needs to be applied only to the point you can barely see the product on the pins of the tube or the plug. It is applied with a very dry brush. You almost have to apply the product as if you were wiping it off the contact instead of wiping it on the contact. Since Silclear is thicker than Tweak, I can't predict how easily you can control the application. If you can get a minimal amount of the material on the contacts, I would guess it, or SST, will give a benefit similar to Tweak. That, in my estimation, is not large but noticable. Since there is a viscousity to the products, they also inhibit oxidation for a longer period than untreated contacts (for those of you still smearing Vaseline on your plugs).

I would strongly suggest the application of the Pro Gold before the use of any contact enhancer, especially on NOS tubes. Any oxidation will surely negate any benefit of a contact enhancer. And remember there can be a voltage on the sockets even after the amp is unplugged, let the amp discharge completely before you stick ANYTHING in a tube socket. Here's a title that should explain what I mean:http://www.netaxs.com/~vkalia/diy.html

Tweak can be removed with ProGold, Cramolin or most tuner cleaners. I can only assume Silclear can be removed as easily.


SM- How could you make ANY decision when you haven't played Patsy?

Most people do not care for the sound of Chinese tubes. They are thin and wiry and have a sound somewhat like a poorly tuned radio station. Listener fatigue is very noticable with most Chinese tubes. I did have a set of Golden Dragon tubes in my Macs (12AX7/12AU7/12BH7/KT66's) that I thought sounded very good. The G.D. tubes were made to the specs of the old Gold Areo and Gold Lion tubes from England. The company employees had purchased the rights and the equipment to manufacture the tubes in China. Golden Dragon is now out of business, but I was told (?) the parent company, Shuguang, is making the same tube under their own name. I've not heard the Shuguang's, but I would say there are some good Chinese tubes available - just not the majority. If you happen to have Shuguang's in the amp, give a listen for a long while. They can be bettered, but, if they are even close to the Golden Dragons, they are a very good tube for the money.

As to the bananas, they are tight so a young child can't get to the tubes. The Macs have a similar arrangement on their cages. As Kegger said, use a soft tool to gently pry the edge up and you should be able to work the cage loose after a bit of effort.




 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3253
Registered: May-04


If you haven't looked, here's the subtitle you should pay attention to in the above link:

"Guide to tube DIY, aka Fun with Fibrillation"


 

Anonymous
 
I am not able see the sport channels on 61.5 and 119. Can not watch any of the cricket match between India and Pakistan. Does anyone have any information regarding this?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2329
Registered: Dec-03
Hey Jan I'm running 12bh7 rca's in my 300B amp! (input tubes of'course)
Internally they look like a mullard El34!
Much better for my situation with those in there verse about 15 different types
of 12au7's in there. I suspect though if I wasn't running a brighter speaker then
many of the 12au7's would be fine and maybe even better then the 12bh7's. But the
12bh7's are a more full bodied sounding tube and slightly tame on the top end.
Just right for the ole klipsch horns BABY!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 209
Registered: Jan-05
Ok, I got the cage off. How do the tubes come out? The manual that came with the amp has no instructions whatsoever. It only has safety warnings, specs and a company bio.

Here's the tube info I can see with the tubes in place:

- 4 large tubes - "Melody 5881S Australia"

- 2 small tubes - "Melody 12Ax7". Can't see the country code but the tops of the letters I can see are all curved so I don't think it is China. There are 5 letters.

- 2 small tubes - "12AU7A/ECC82 EH Electro-Harmonix, Made in Russia"

- 2 small tubes - "6922/EH Made in Russia"

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 960
Registered: Dec-03
SM,

Hold the tubes gently near the base, and rock slightly while slowly pulling straight up.




No comments from the Peanut Gallery please......
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 210
Registered: Jan-05
Am I part of the Peanut Gallery? lol
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 821
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. - good points about the Tweak, Silclear, etc. A little is good - a very little is better - a barely-seen amount is best. I learned that the hard way!

For anybody using any form of the silver grease - use JUST enough so that the surface of plug, etc. turns silver. Allow NO build-up - you will really be sorry!

My offer still goes for anybody Stateside who wants a tad. Actually, Mer saw/heard quite a difference after using it on interconnects and power cord. Almost nothing on speaker cables.

I took it all off with Isopropyl alcohol - reg-lar alcohol from the drugstore. Contact cleaner will also remove it. Plain rubbing is OK, but a tiny film will remain. Use alcohol.

Now I'm just using ProGold - as recommended by you, Jan. Sure makes the plugs "work" better, and may give better sound - I just really don't hear that much difference, though.

Still reveling in the sound of the new Yammie, which I swear has a smoother sound than the old one. Mer agrees. And - it's so nice not to hear those vibrations when playing a disc!

Is a tube amp in my future? Well, gang, I doubt it, but heck - you never know! Right now I'm focused on the only remaining "weakness" in my system: the surround speakers. think I'll order the PSB Alpha Bs - get them for a good price out of Chicago.

More anon. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 822
Registered: Oct-04
Wasn't there a 70s rock song about tube-rocking, by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs? Sum-ting about "rockin' wid my tubes, rockin' wid my tubes, rockin' wid my tubes tonight. . ."

Yeah, yeah, yeah - or something like that?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2901
Registered: Dec-03
I assume you reverse the procedure when putting them back in...

A round of applause to the contributors to this thread on the subject of tube amps. It is hilarious and educational. Thanks again to Rick for starting it and encouraging it along.

Another tube "newbie". Waiting with bated breath, SM...
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 961
Registered: Dec-03
SM,

You are way to young to be part of the Peanut Gallery. LOL!

I just wanted to quiet any Dirty Old Dogs reading that post. I actually wrote that with a straight face, and then saw how it looked on paper. I'm glad my wife wasn't looking over my shoulder on that one. I'm sure she would have made that post my last. LOL!

Yes, pull up gently!


I know some of the dogs are howling...........
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2902
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry I missed the vital info, reading the e-mail notifications only, worrying about hi-jacking etc., and not following links

SM; you wrote

So, in the interest of getting back to the original intent of the thread...I think I just did what might be considered an "impulse purchase":

Onix Combo

6 Moons Preview


So, you now have the "Onix SP3 Melody" Tube Integrated Amplifier AND the "Onix" Reference One Mk. 2 loudspeaker?

Where does the Melbourne-based "Melody" come into it? Is "Onix" a US badge, or what?

As before sorry, to be slow, or unobservant. Or both.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 211
Registered: Jan-05
JohnA,

Yes, I was researching the Onix Rocket UFW-10 subwoofer as a potential replacement for the REL and somehow I ended up buying a "combo deal" that included the Onix SP3 amp/Onix Ref1 speaker/Onix XCD-88 cd player. But, no subwoofer.

The "Onix" amp is actually a Melody amp badged for the US. The company is based in Colorado. Website: http://www.av123.com/

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2903
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

I think you were understood.

I repeat; "I assume you reverse the procedure when putting them back in... ".

SM,

Thanks. Now I get it. So the amp is designed in Aus, made in China, shipped to US? Probably it goes by a third name in Europe. Anyone know? It looks good, but the music on the Melody web site. Argh.

And you are already changing tubes?!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 214
Registered: Jan-05
No, I'm not changing tubes, yet. Just posted info about the ones that are already in it to see what feedback it elicits. Doing some research and it seems the 5881s are likely from China.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3254
Registered: May-04


SM - I don't know if you were reading when I instructed Kegger and Rick to not have the tube amplifier turned on with no speakers connected. There always has to be a load present when the amp is running. Also you may want to go back and look at the comments about using the various impedance hook ups to alter the sound of the amp.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2904
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, SM.

Another piece of basic information, once common knowledge - and forgive me if you already know. The filaments are very brittle when hot. Move the unit only when it is off, and, furthermore, only after it has had time to cool right down.

Any outlet, name, or badge, for Melody amps in Europe? There is nothing about this on their web site.

As Kegger said, My Rantz, you have a key export industry to support!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 216
Registered: Jan-05
Thanks, Jan. I had not seen that and violated that last night when switching the maggies between amps. Hopefully, this didn't cause any harm. Thanks for the info.

JohnA, thanks for your suggestion too. I'm a complete newbie to the tube/valve amp scene and have a bit of research to do. I thought I had read somewhere that Onix had a very good, detailed manual but that wasn't the case with the SP3. The manual's purpose appears to be more for "legal" protection/safety warnings than information about operation of the amp.

I don't know about their distribution in Europe. I saw a thread about their speakers and subwoofers being available for distribution in Europe. You may want to send an email to the company to inquire about European distribution. From what I understand, the company has god customer service and is very responsive to inquiries.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 831
Registered: Oct-04
SM - wow - I'm really impressed - Onix has God running their customer service?!? (double grin)
No wonder you love their stuff!!

Just reading the mini-liner note on the new Bill Evans "sunday at the Vanguard" SACD. They say that - now get this - "all-tube equipment was used in the transfers from analog to DSD production of this disc." Hey - is everybody going back to tubes? Bye-bye transistors and hello filaments? Prob-lee so. . .

Two Cents chimes in that more vinyl records are being sold than SACD and DVD-A combined - everybody I know is going tube amps - can reel-to-reel be far behind? (grin) Maybe not. . .

More anon. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 514
Registered: Feb-04
I've read that Sony has given up on SACD. John A, you won. You have defeated the Evil Empire.

On a related note, Sony is still reissuing vinyl albums.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 963
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

It looks like the universe is getting back to sonic sanity. The planets must be aligning. All we need now is legislation to make it law: Use a transistor? Go to jail! LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1599
Registered: Aug-04
"I've read that Sony has given up on SACD."

2C - please let us know where you read this, because I've read where Sony is expanding its DSD recording facilities to Europe as well, as the US facility in Colorado cannot cope.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 515
Registered: Feb-04
Rantz,

Sony has not made any official statements about abandoning SACD. But Sony has stopped releasing SACD titles and promoting SACD (not that they ever did a good job of it). Sales of existing title have been anemic to say the least. They are releasing and promoting new titles in the dualdisc format, but not on SACD. This has been fodder for internet rumors about Sony giving up on SACD. Tomorrow Sony will probably be promoting Blu-ray.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1600
Registered: Aug-04
2C

"David Kawakami, Sony America's Project Director for Super Audio CD, offered his comments on the new Super Audio Center launch and the growth of the SACD format. . .


Sony/BMG has only just announced another SACD release - The Best of Rory Gallagher . . .


Read about the success and expansion of the Sonoma DSD workstations :

http://www.highfidelityreview.com/news/news.asp?newsnumber=14627490

All this does not gel with your comment 2C - I'd still like to know where you read the article?

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2905
Registered: Dec-03
SM, You are most welcome. "Brittle when hot" also applies to light bulbs and projector lamps, I believe.

2c, Many thanks. It is a pleasure to have one's contribution recognised... As I understand it, Blu-Ray has nothing to do with formats or encoding. It is just more bits per disc. Sony LPs? Excellent news.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 516
Registered: Feb-04
Rantz,

Okay, okay. There's no "article", just a lot of speculation and rumors on the internet. I apologize if I stirred you up unnecessarily.

Now back on topic--

SMc,

FYI, the Primaluna owners manual actually recommends experimenting with the 4ohm and 8ohm taps. My speakers have a nominal impedance of 4ohms, but during the break-in period I preferred using the 8ohm taps for a smoother sound. After breaking in the amp I switched back to the 4ohm taps and got the smooth sound and more punch!

John A.,

What have you been listening to lately on your Quads?
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 517
Registered: Feb-04
John A.,

If I recall, you have the Sundazed reissue of "Blonde on Blonde". How does it sound?
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 217
Registered: Jan-05
2C,

The 8ohm taps can be used with 4 ohm speakers? Hmmm...I didn't know that. Will have to try that tonight.

I just finished disconnecting Mac and moved him into the office. I swear I could hear the strains of "Evil Woman" echoing from him....

 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 218
Registered: Jan-05
Any comments on the array of tubes that came with the Onix? Are these standard, run-of-the-mill? I'm trying to make my way through the thread archives to catch up on all that's been discussed. Sounds like there may not be anything special about the Electro-Harmonics tubes that came with the amp.

Last night, I plugged the amp in around 6pm and started listening at 7p. At that time, I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed. There was a difference between the Mac and the Onix but I thought the Onix sounded "lean". I think this was because the Mac handled the low end with more muscle. But, by 10:30pm, my opinion had swayed considerably. The mids do sound more open and there's a "sweetness" that I find hard to articulate. The recording that really started revealing the sweetness was Cowboy Junkie's "The Trinity Sessions". What an atmosphere that record has and the tubes really opened and exposed many nuances I had not noticed before. Rick, I know Jan has that recording. I highly recommend it if you don't have it.

Patsy gets her turn tonight.

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2330
Registered: Dec-03
Sm the Electro-Harmonics tubes are decent new production tubes not junk chiniese.
(Nos will still be better but good enough for now)

I looked over the array of tubes when you mentioned the amp and commented on
it's rather interesting choice of small signal tubes, (all good ones) a lot of them.
A few more then is generally used but I see no problem with it per say.

Yes the 8 ohm and 4 ohm taps can be used on either speaker and should be tried
for best results. Many claim better bass response by going up on the taps (4 to 8).
So yes I would suggest seeing how the 8 ohm taps sound.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 518
Registered: Feb-04
If your Onix is like my Primaluna, it will change personalities in its first 60+ hours, becoming more likable :-) the more time you spend with it. If you like the sound on the first day wait until the second week.

The "Trinity Sessions" is one of my reference recordings when testing new equipment. Good equipment will reveal the reediness of Margo Timmins' voice and the ambience of the church. I happen to have both the cd and the lp and have to admit the cd sounds pretty darn good. I'm not surprised the tube amp brought out the best of this recording. It should also bring Patsy back to life, figuratively speaking of course.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 219
Registered: Jan-05
Daaaaammmmmmnnnnn!!!!! :-)

 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1605
Registered: Aug-04
Two Cents

First I apologise to Rick for getting off topic on his thread, but in reply, it's not about stirring me up, it about misinformation. Had I posted a comment stating that I read where there will be no more manufacturing of tubes or vinyl records, most contributors here would be clamouring to find the relative articles. Naturally, if after spending a fair amount of my money to purchase quality gear for hi-res playback, I would be very interested in reading about the demise of the formats. Also I understand the wonderful audio experience the tubes and/or tt's are giving you guys, but all the adjectives used in describing what you hear I can also use just as easily and honestly to describe what I hear from well recorded sacd's in particular and even many DVD-a's. If your hi-res experience didn't live up to your expectations with your equipment doesn't mean it doesn't with others when played on their equipment. If I didn't find pure pleasure after all the expenditure I would most likely look to tubes and perhaps a good turntable myself. Good music gives me great pleasure - good music combined with great sound puts me in a very special and precious place so I don't throw my comments around lightly.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2906
Registered: Dec-03
Like MR, I apologize for posting strictly off-topic.

But 2c kindly enquired.

I have the Simply Vinyl Blonde on Blonde. But not here in the centre of the known world; all I have is Quads, KEF speakers resting, a Sony stereo power amp (and CRT TV), the NAD T533 player, my old Armstrong FM tuner, about 10% of my CDs and about 80% of my DVD-As.

The Simply Vinyl BoB is a masterpiece; a complete facsimile of the original, cover artwork included. But probably a better pressing. 180g vinyl. Perfect. It is stereo. I recall (but no-one has confirmed) that the original was released in both stereo and mono: no-one was sure in 1966 whether stereo would catch on.

I did hear "Visions of Johanna" on the radio last Sunday, and do not know which source they were using. As with everything on the Quads, I heard all the words for the first time. It was a revelation. And this on analogue FM with a 26-yr-old tuner (solid state).

I have less time for listening these days.

I heard an unfamiliar (to me) performance of Elgar 3 last week on the radio, by BBC Scottish Symphony Orch. Really excellent. Live broadcasts are breathtakingly good on the Quads. It is just as if you are there. There is also a Saturday morning BBC Radio 3, 4-hr programme called "CD Review" which I like and try to catch most of.

As regards familiar discs, I have not played so many. On CD-Review's recommendation I got the Beethoven Cello sonatas by Alfred and Adriann Brendall on mid-price Phillips. I am also into my new Beethoven String Qt. set by The Lindsays. I held back from the late Qts. until I got the Quads, and have now listened to Op. 127, Op. 130, with Op 133 (Gross Fugue; the original ending - I thought of our discussions, 2c!). It is with these I notice the strident quality of the first violin. There seem to be more detail and dynamic range than before. It seems that I can hear quieter notes than before. Whether a tube amp will cure the shrillness, as I have heard claimed, I do not know.

With orchestral music the Quads are just inspirational. You can hear every damned instrument; every phrase. Phrases on inner parts go on longer than I had ever noticed before; you hear much more of the ingenious interweaving of parts. Familiar orchestral CDs I have played and enjoyed like never before include Beethoven 9 (Frans Brüggen/ORch of 18C); Brahms 1 and 2 and Academic Festical Overture (Halle Orch); Elgar "Enigma" (I forget the orchestra; Andrew Davis; it is on Telarc). Then Purcell Queen Mary birthday ode "come ye sons of art" (Monteverdi choir, orch, etc. on Erato). A very familiar disc, heard as if for the first time. Again, every word, every note, every phrase. It is such a pleasure. Why did I not get these speakers years ago?

The really familar discs, having played them so many times for the children, are compilation discs on EMI called "Hello Children Everywhere". These have "hits" from about 1932-1966. There are entire verses of some tired old popular songs which I never even noticed before. It is also startling how good very old mono recordings become. Harry Roy; Henry Hall etc. Even in mono, you can hear all the parts.

Sorry again to deflect attention from tubes. All sources agree the Quad ESLs will work well with a tube amp. Also, I think the way I listen, and the stuff I like, make me natural tube material. I need to pause and take stock. Also examine my bank balance. And the family is champing at the bit for a larger TV or a projector as our next purchase. It is difficult to enjoy movies, no matter how good the sound, on a 14" CRT, and movies were, previously, a shared pleasure. [BTW we now live near cinemas a.k.a movie theatres - anyone remember these? Mrs A and daughter went to local opening of "Hotel Riwanda" in the week, and were deeply moved - could not stop talking about it.]

I am still with MR on the benefits of Hi-Res and surround, and the sheer pleasure of music, even if we listen to slightly different stuff (MR would LOVE "Hello children" - courtesy of the Quad I now know the simple chord sequence of "Tie me kangaroo down, Sport"). But it strikes me that it is not "Either-or". Whether 2-channel DVD-A still seems clearly superior to CD, and how LPs compare, too, on the Quad ESL 63s, I am not yet in a position to say. But I will report back on this, when I have all my gear. This could take some time. In the big picture, even a tube amp would seem a bit self-indulgent at present.

But I am very grateful for this thread. An education, as well as fun. Back to tubes, please!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 964
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks back to those who have thanked me for starting this thread. I just followed in Keggers footsteps. The person we should thank is Jan. He got us all thinking about tubes in the first place. He's like the guy lurking around school yards-PSSSSSSST, Hey kid, you wanna try some tubes? That's how it all starts. LOL!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 220
Registered: Jan-05
Despite this thread, I had decided I was not going to go the tube route, at all. All that stuff about 12ax7 and Mullards and biasing and tube rolling, etc seemed to be too much work and, frankly, a little a n a l. What a surprise when I found myself ordering a tube amp. When I purchased the Onix, it was done in complete haste with little research (or thought). Afterwards, I thought for sure I was not only insane but stupid, too, and felt more than a little apprehensive about it. After the past two nights of listening, I now believe some level of subconscious thought drove me towards the impulse purchase and, it turns out, maybe I'm not insane, after all. The jury may still be out about the stupidity, though. Surely, there are better ways to use what money I have?

The first hour of listening, I still had my doubts about it. The Mac sound seemed fuller to me, particularly in the low end where it seemed to have more muscle. But, into the 4th hour of listening, I began to realize the Onix was taking me to a place, musically, where I had never before been. A better place. It was euphoric but also a little disappointing as I began to realize the Mac was on the verge of losing its place in the main system. That was something I had not envisioned.

Last night. Five more hours. This time, there was no system switching, just pure Onix. And, pure it is. Right from the start, the Onix/Maggies sparkled - even though the Onix had not been properly warmed up. It must be the HD cable that is now connected to the Onix for the first time. That HD cable is something else. Who would have thought? But, I digress. Many times I found myself saying "I cannot believe what I'm hearing!" For the first time, I also hooked up the Denon to the Onix and listened to some SACD's. Incredible.

Last night's playlist:

Aimee Mann - Bachelor #2 - SACD - What a revelation!
Aimee Mann - Lost in Space - SACD - Less of a revelation than BNO2, but still, it never sounded so good!
Actual Tigers - Gravelled & Green -
Doc & Richard Watson - Third Generation Blues - CD - Their guitars have never sounded richer than this! Had to listen to this one, twice
Pickin' on Zeppelin - CD -


All of this seems to be such a cliche. But, I can't help it. From what I've read, it will only get better as the amp breaks in and with tube rolling experimentation. It's hard to imagine how that could be.

And, JohnA, you are right. It is self-indulgent. And, utterly irresistible.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 221
Registered: Jan-05
What kind of ventilation do tube
amps need? I placed the Onix on the shelf I was using for the Mac and
it seems to be generating quite a bit more heat. My "audio rack" is
really solid wood bookcases with 3/4" boards for shelves, sides, back
etc. The amp is on a shelf by itself and there's approximately 6" of
open space around and above the unit. In the back of the bookcase,
there's a rectangular hole that is approximately 3"x8" .

The shelf above the amp is 3/4" and holds the cd player. The
underside of that shelf is very warm from the heat from the amp. The
topside of the shelf is also warm to the touch but the bottom of the
CD player is cool.

Does it sound like there is anything I need to change or be concerned about?
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 222
Registered: Jan-05
Oh, yeah, I forgot...Patsy lives!

 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 229
Registered: Dec-03
John,

You know very well the original Blond on Blond was mono (just like Sgt Pepper's). We went through this a couple of years ago. The Sundazed LP, which I own, is the first reissue of the original mono master.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3257
Registered: May-04


Pssssssssssssst, hey you. Wanna try something really cool? Naw, forget that crap Michael Jackson's got. Here try this small signal dual triode. NOS. Gold pin. Only the best for you, kid. You like that?


SM - You will have enough ventilation for the amp with your current set up. What will happen is the wood will eventually dry out from the heat and begin to crack and possibly warp. If this is not a big deal, you can leave things as they are. Remembering that heat is the enemy of elctronics, the more ventilation you can provide your amps, the happier they will be. And a happy amp means a happy SM.

I do keep a small whisper fan on top of my amps at all times, and the Mac tubes tend to run cooler than most other tube amps. The fans are there mostly for the time when the amps are not in use, since I leave my amps running 24/7 to get the best sound. Heat can be a problem with tubes and how you set the bias can affect the amount of heat to some extent. Different bias settings will also affect the sound you hear. You are quite a ways from experimenting with bias settings, but file that away to be used, possibly, later.

In short, using the impedance taps to alter the sound of your system is a function of output impedance related to the overall impedance swing of your speakers. A tube amp's slightly softer bass response compared to most ss amps is a function of the tube amp invariably having a higher output impedance. If your speaker has a somewhat benign impedance curve, there will be little problem with using the taps to find the most pleasing sound. If your speaker has wild swings of impedance, the frequency response can change drastically with each tap on the output transformer. With the MMG's the impedance is low but fairly stable. The changes you are likely to hear will be mostly in the bass response. By lowering the output impedance (the 4 Ohm tap), you should hear a slightly tighter, but drier, bass response. Using the higher impedance tap will give a more "tube like" response since the amp is at more of a disadvantage at that point in controlling the driver. Some of this also depends on the output transformers and the amount of feedback the amplifier runs and where that feedback is taken from in the amp's circuit. If you hear minimal difference when switching taps, that doesn't mean you are missing anything in the "tube experience"; just that your tube amp is slightly different from Rick's tube amp. That cannot be considered a bad thing, just different. The other side of impedance taps is there will be a resulting alteration in the actual amount of power and T.H.D. the amp produces as the impedance match varies. Experimentation will not harm either the amp or the speaker, so feel free to find what sounds best to your ears knowing you can always change back with minimal effort. I don't know what your amps sound like, but with the Mac tubes, the "tube like" bass is very much like your Mac ss bass. It may not have the slam of some ss amps, but it is very tuneful and can be very convicing on its own merits. Everyone has their preferences as to the sound they prefer. Listening to tube bass can be similar to listening to the Quads, the MMG's or the Spendors without a sub. There is a cohesion to the sound that can be disrupted for some people when the bass is switched to another type of amplifier or driver. Some people prefer the sound of solid state bass. It is your choice which you prefer.


 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3258
Registered: May-04


John - Are you finding good mono recordings have much more space and a sense of staging when played on the Quads?


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 519
Registered: Feb-04
Rantz,

Personally I think SACD and DVD-A do have some value. If I have a choice I usually choose a hybrid multi-channel SACD over the redbook CD of a recording. Alas, that's the problem, usually there isn't a choice. The fact that Sony/BMG is releasing one new high-res disc in the foreseeable future is not exactly an encouraging sign that major labels are supporting the format. However, Sony has several new recordings by major artists such as Springsteen and Yo-Yo Ma being released on dualdisc (but not SACD). Such actions have high-res fans fretting that SACD is fast becoming a niche format instead of the standard that many had hoped for. There are plenty of smaller labels, especially in classical music, supporting high-res formats. I should have elaborated in my earlier pronouncement that it was based on speculation and not on absolute fact. May you continue to enjoy SACDs for a long time.

John A.,

Thanks for the update. As I mentioned a long time ago, it's always a pleasure to read your posts even when we disagree (e.g., Beethoven op. 131 - smiley face). I'll be interested to hear what you think of LPs through the Quads after you set up your turntable, which I understand might be a while.

and Ben,

"Blonde on Blonde" was originally mixed for both mono and stereo sound. Dylan was involved with both mixes, but I understand he spent more time working on the mono version (according to a Michael Fremer article, so who knows how reliable it is). There seems to be varying opinion as to which version sounds better, the Simply Vinyl stereo reissue or the Sundazed mono reissue. I apologize if this is old hat. I missed the original discussion.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 521
Registered: Feb-04
SimplyMcIntosh,

Good to hear Patsy is alive.

If you're thinking of changing your name again, may I suggest "Hooked-On-Onix"

Watch out for shady tube dealers lurking 'round these parts. I suggest you roll your own ; )
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 230
Registered: Dec-03
I believe the mono Blond on Blond is a different mix than the stereo one and it runs about 50 seconds longer. From what I have read, the mono version came out a month before the stereo one (5/66 and 6/66).
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 966
Registered: Dec-03
2c,

Very funny! LOL!


I'll give you due credit in my memoirs. "Confessions of a Tube S l u t"


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 523
Registered: Feb-04
Rick, I can't wait. Can I pre-order on Amazon?
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 223
Registered: Jan-05
Jan,

Thanks much for the feedback! I sent you an email with some follow up questions.

2C,

Hooked-on-Onix? lol I think I'll keep my name...Mac still has a place in my heart even if he's not in my living room. Somehow, it appears I've lucked out with the quality of the Onix equipment. I did actually read a few reviews before getting the Amex card out and, unlike the Spendor S5e, this equipment lived up to the expectations raised from the reviews.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2907
Registered: Dec-03
Ben,

Yes, I remember our discussion. I learned there was a new LP pressing from you. I also remember the original release. It THINK I remember you could have mono or stereo; CBS released both. I could be wrong. At that time, people who prefered mono thought it did not sound as good if you played from a stereo LP. I was around then, but did not have my own record player.

OK, I now read your later post. If they were released one month apart, that would explain why I saw both in the shops. Yes, I am that old.

I thought Sgt Pepper was the first Beatles stereo LP. It would be surprising if it was mono. The producer, George Martin, had been producing stereo LPs since the late 50s. And there are all sorts of stereo effects there.

[Off topic] Ben, forgive me if I've read all this wrong, but from Mrs A's comments and your previous posts, you've got to see "Hotel Riwanda". Where we live, the audience could well have had a few real refugees. I do not want to get "Tube Talk" off on politics, too, what the UN is for, all that. We could discuss that movie on another thread. But that is going to be a classic and powerful movie, no question. That is a gratuitous plug, based on not having seen it. And maybe you have, so this is pointless.. [All off topic]

Jan,

"Are you finding good mono recordings have much more space and a sense of staging when played on the Quads? "

Yes. Shall I eat my hat now, or can I do later...?

2c,

Opus 131 rocks. I will not hear otherwise. Will certainly report on Quads playing LPs. It will take time. We ordered an LCD TV today. Please don't ask...

SM,

Keep enthusing, please. You do it so well!
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 841
Registered: Oct-04
Oh, no! Not another name! Give the gal a wunnerful tube amp, get her involved with Kegger's tube-upgrading, and now you want her to have ANOTHER name?

2C - shame! You want her to be called HOO? HOO?SM is bad enough! (grin) OK, hoo's the first one to use Two cents' moniker? (chuckle)
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 524
Registered: Feb-04
John A,

We agree that Op.131 is great. In fact, I don't think there's a more profound work of art. Where we disagreed was in the intrepretation.

An LCD tv? That sounds very--what's the word?--posh. I'm sure your family will be very happy. Enjoy the tv and your family's good will. Stylistically it may clash with the Quads. You couldn't convince your family to watch movies with a 16mm projector?

Larry,

Actually I think you're prime for a name makeover. Hmmmm... there's lots of play on words with "de Mer"...
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 525
Registered: Feb-04
Quick survey of tube amp owners.

Do you usually keep the tube cage on or off? (And for SM, if you could take the cage off, would you keep it off?)
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 969
Registered: Dec-03
2C,

Jolida's don't have tube cages. I definitely think all amps look better without them. To me, they are great pieces of art deco.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 526
Registered: Feb-04
Rick,

I agree that the amps look a lot better with the cages off, but I have this horrible vision of dropping a record and having it shear off the tubes, shorting the amp, and the record bouncing off the amp and hitting the tonearm and bending the cartridge cantilever.

Then there's the curious six year old boy who is my nephew...
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 225
Registered: Jan-05
JohnA,

An LCD TV? Awesome! Congrats to the family!

2C

So far, I have not removed my cage. Yesterday, I took it off just to prove to myself that I could but put it back. I worry about my cats getting on it. So far, tho' they haven't show any interest in it (or the heat it generates) just as they have left the Maggies alone.


Here's a shot of the new equipment. This shot shows the maggies pulled out into their listening position. When not in use, they quietly flank the bookcases (which still need to be leveled). How about that orange HD speaker cable? Stylin', eh? It actually is orange AND black. :-) Question: Some pics of stereo equipment show a rug placed in front of and between speakers. My rug is about 4 feet in front of the speakers. Does location matter?



Upload

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 970
Registered: Dec-03
SM,

Everything looks.....and sounds terrific!

Enjoy.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 527
Registered: Feb-04
SM,

It looks oh so peaceful. I'm not an expert but there seems to some good feng shui going on there. The HD wire does jump out a bit. Maybe you can wrap it with something, raffia or hemp?

As far as the rug, Jan can probably give a better acoustical answer. I have my rug located based on how it looks, not how it affects the sound.

When I auditioned the larger Maggies, I commented to the store owner that they might be visually imposing in my living room. She insisted that they could be placed sideways (perpendicular to the back wall) without it affecting the sound quality. I tried listening to them this way and they sounded better than I expected, but I think some of the imaging was lost in this position. Have you tried the Maggies in the sideways position?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

ON

Post Number: 272
Registered: Jun-04
SM,

What a beautiful setup! You should post that pic on HGTV. I envy you ;-)

So that's how the MMG's look like in an actual home setting, eh? Mind if I save the pic for future ref? We have hardwood floors, too, and prefer dark furniture.

Luv it, luv it! Good stuff.

 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 226
Registered: Jan-05
Rick, 2C,

Thanks! I'm pretty pleased with the setup both sonically and aesthetically. It's been a pretty amazing journey this past year but, thanks to the guidance from the forum, I believe I'm very, very close to the point of complete satisfaction. One of these days I'm going to sit down and sort out what I've bought, what I've sold and what I have. In the end, I believe it will turn out to be an amazing sounding system for a fairly economical price.

2C, I'll move the Maggie comments to Old Dogs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2331
Registered: Dec-03
"Some pics of stereo equipment show a rug placed in front of and between speakers. My rug is about 4 feet in front of the speakers. Does location matter?"

What your trying to do is cutdown floor reflections, at 4 feet you've allready
got the reflections. I would go with about 1 to 2 feet at most before the rug.

The higher the speaker is from the floor the farther the rug can be placed
but with the maggies and being right on the floor I would believe the rug should
be pretty darn close to the speakers.

What size is the rug?
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 227
Registered: Jan-05
Hi Don,

We crossed posts. Thank you very much for your kind comments. Sometimes pics make things look better than they actually are. :-) The floors, for instance, are pretty scuffed up and are on the "honey-do" list - just need to find a honey to do them. Or, perhaps, pay a professional. ;-)

Feel free to save the pic, if you like.

Envy? Let's talk about that lovely piano in your music room and your talent at playing it. Now, there's some serious envy coming from me. :-)

Don, I'll post another pic showing the speakers at "rest" on Old Dogs. It's pretty surprising how unobtrusive they are. Might be different for the bigger Maggies but these really work out ok for the space I have.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 228
Registered: Jan-05
Hi Don,

We crossed posts. Thank you very much for your kind comments. Sometimes pics make things look better than they actually are. :-) The floors, for instance, are pretty scuffed up and are on the "honey-do" list - just need to find a honey to do them. Or, perhaps, pay a professional. ;-)

Feel free to save the pic, if you like.

Envy? Let's talk about that lovely piano in your music room and your talent at playing it. Now, there's some serious envy coming from me. :-)

Don, I'll post another pic showing the speakers at "rest" on Old Dogs. It's pretty surprising how unobtrusive they are. Might be different for the bigger Maggies but these really work out ok for the space I have.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 229
Registered: Jan-05
Hey Kegger,

I'll move the rug comments to Old Dogs too. Sorry to get Tube Talk off topic.

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 971
Registered: Dec-03
SM,

Off topic? Maggies powered by tubes are ok in my book. No need to move.
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 231
Registered: Dec-03
John,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2911
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Ben. That is a mine of information. I never knew that. As with BoB, it looks like the mono and stereo versions were released almost at the same time.

The article says "The Beatles specifically mixed the album in mono, and the LP was originally released as such, alongside a stereo mix prepared by Abbey Road engineers". That seems bit like spin to me; I don't think the Beatles mixed anything. If the Beatles had mono in mind, that would be natural; it was the major, and familiar, format. I doubt if they had tried, and rejected, stereo. They were into everything new and experimental.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3262
Registered: May-04


The cages on my tube amps stay on all the time. The monoblock amps sit behind my speakers so it is not a matter of enjoying the tube glow. The cages protect the amps from the critters that inhabit my home (I've told the story of my cat jumping into one amplifier while the cage was off - owners of tube amps without a chromed chassis probably won't have a cat so fascinated by his own reflection). The cages also hold the whisper fans above the tubes to serve a dual purpose.

The rug issue is a matter of preference. I find most rooms rather boomy without floor treatments. Damping the first reflections from the speaker can hardly ever be an issue of too much. With the MMG's, however, I am not certain how much I would suggest. Kegger's comments about the height of the speaker vs. the placement of the damping material seems, to me, to be more appropriate to a conventional dynamic driver. The MMG's ribbon design is much more severly limited in its vertical high frequency dispersion than most conventional dome tweeters. And I don't know how much vertical dispersion the MMG's actually have in the high frequencies. Since most rugs are too dense to actually have large effects on the highest frequencies, the benefit of the rug is going to be in the upper midrange and downward. In this regard I would suggest the thickness of the rug and the padding under the rug will make more difference to the sound than placement alone. Overall, I would tell you (not that you asked)the room is (judging from the picture) still very lively for dipole speakers. I would first remove the corner placed sub if you haven't already. Room treatment for dipoles usually begins with damping placed behind the speakers to bring more information from the front wave to your ears. This is a matter of taste as the damping will dry up some of the spaciousness the dipole design has as its strength. But it will most often also smooth out the bass response as you damp the rear wave of the lowest frequencies. Depending on the size of the trap, the absorption through the mids should offer a better focused soundstage with rear placement. Where a front firing speaker will most often require corner traps and traps placed between and behind the cabinets, a dipole will usually prefer corner traps with smaller traps or diffusors placed immediately behind the speakers.

When dressing your cables try to avoid wrapping the cables in circles which will replicate the action of an inductor. If you have excess cable it should be laid in soft "S" shapes instead.

Might I inquire, have any of you experimented with "absolute phase"?


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2333
Registered: Dec-03
"Kegger's comments about the height of the speaker vs. the placement of the damping material seems, to me, to be more appropriate to a conventional dynamic driver"

Yes agreed! The conventional, say bookshelf on stands the rug can go out farther.
But as the maggies are right on the floor what little vertical high frequency dispersion
they have is still going to hit the floor pretty early.
(The vertical high frequency dispersion has been improved on the later models also)
Still not like a conventional box speaker but much better.

Yes the thickness of the rug, for some reason I was thinking I had seen it and
that it was rather thin, Don't know why I was thinking that. Maybe subconciously!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2334
Registered: Dec-03
My tube amp cages are off all the time. Gotta show my ART! LOL

I have no kids or pets, just lowly me, hummph.
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 232
Registered: Dec-03
Last Beatles comment...

Sgt. Peppers was modeled after Pet Sounds. That is why the original mix was mono.

I imagine a nice mono copy would sound great on everybody's new tube systems!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 238
Registered: Jan-05
Thank, Jan. A couple of days ago, I was speaking on the phone and heard the "boominess" while in my office which has nothing but hard surfaces in it since I haven't yet gotten a rug or window treatments. As I walked through the house and into the living room, the boominess subsided. I think my furniture and some of the "sculptural" type items hanging on the sidewalls help with those reflection points. But, I know the wall behind the equipment needs some treatment. Now, that I'm starting to get settled on equipment, I think I can focus more in those areas.

Jan V.: I would first remove the corner placed sub if you haven't already.

Hmmm....it's ironic to read this because early today, while driving to my parents house I was contemplating the subwoofer situation. Several things crossed my mind:

- While I'm extremely happy with the evolution of the listening experience, I do wonder what might be missing on the low end.

- The Onix amp does not have a subwoofer or preamp output. Which I think means I would have to use a subwoofer such as the REL or Vandersteen which offer the speaker line connections. Which makes me wonder - if the speakers are sharing the tap with a subwoofer does that alter the impedence? Do the two separate taps on the amp act as a sort of A-B switch or should only one tap be used at a time?

Those questions then led me to wonder if I should consider moving to the bigger Maggies? All along, I had planned to integrate a subwoofer with the Maggies and felt a sub+MMG sound would be very close to the 1.6 at a lower cost. Of course, this was before my REL blew up on me.

But now, being in a position of having to replace the REL, I'm trying to consider all options. The sub I had been considering (Rocket UFW-10 $600) evidently can't be used due to above limitation and the REL and Vandersteen subs go for $800-900 on the used market which is half the cost of the MG1.6. So, in lieu of spending money on a sub, I could take that money plus the $550 trade-in for the MMG's and this would cover most of the cost of the bigger Maggies.

I realize the 1.6 wouldn't add the same range as the subwoofer but, it would eliminate the integration/tuning issues as well as keep the speaker taps dedicated to the main speakers. It would eliminate another box in the living room. What am I not considering, oh wise ones?



 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 239
Registered: Jan-05
Kegger,

The rug is thin....it is a kilm and there's no padding underneath. So, it may not do much for cutting floor reflections.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2337
Registered: Dec-03
SimplyMcIntosh : "The rug is thin....it is a kilm and there's no padding underneath. So, it may not do much for cutting floor reflections."

Actually you want something fairly thin so the waves go into and pass through the fabric.

 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 241
Registered: Jan-05
Oh.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 242
Registered: Jan-05
:-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2338
Registered: Dec-03
SimplyMcIntosh: As far as trading in the maggies and getting the bigger ones.
Your going to have to make that call.

I'm sure if it was me "cause I've heard the larger ones" that I would
still use a sub. I'm sure the bigger ones sound better in all areas including bass
but the bass is still lacking a little for me with my music taste. "not bad though"
I've been surprised by how much better the bass is on the newer models of speakers
such as the consruction of yours, the bass is much better then it use to be.
I also have not heard your model as there only sold online so I can't compare
there bass to what the larger ones produce, just know the larger ones are decent.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2339
Registered: Dec-03
JANs Comment:

"Since most rugs are too "DENSE" to actually have large effects on the highest frequencies, the benefit of the rug is going to be in the upper midrange and downward. In this regard I would suggest the thickness of the rug and the padding under the rug will make more difference to the sound than placement alone."
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3269
Registered: May-04

This still goes back to the idea high frequencies, being very short in their wave length, will be mostly reflected by any material more dense than a typical grill cloth. If you can't see light through the material, high frequency sound waves are not going to pass through the material to be absorbed. If sound waves do not pass through, they will either be diffused, deflected or reflected. Since a thin rug laying flat on the floor has very little ability to diffuse or deflect the sound waves, the only thing left is reflection. If the material were hung in loose gathers so the surface area is increased and the deflection pattern is more random, then diffusion can occur. The problem with this type of diffusion is the irregularity of the frequencies affected. To absorb and take down in level any significant low bass frequency requires a substantial amount of damping material. A trap that is effective down to about 70Hz will be 16" in diameter. Taming bass waves below that point is increasingly difficult as the wavelengths become increasing larger.

The best alternative in most rooms is to have the sound wave pass through the material twice. A thin rug laying on the floor with no pad beneath will not allow any time for the signal to diminish. The signal will pass through twice while hardly being affected. By placing an open small cell pad beneath the rug, the sound waves that can pass through the rug material to be reflected by the floor will then pass through the rug a second time. Each pass will lower the level of the signal somewhat. The distance between the first pass and the second pass allows the wave to diminish in level further. The greater the distance between first and second reflection, the more attentuation will occur. The thicker the pile on the rug, the more absorption and diffusion can occur. If you prefer to use a flat panel trap on the rear wall or a corner, a 4-6" thickness of absorption material will have an affect down to about 100Hz if its rear reflection point is about 2' away. The ideal absorption material is one that has an open cell system as the sound wave enters the material and then gradually gets more dense toward the rear of the material. This, along with the large surface area, makes Sonex foam panels more effective that fiberglass insulation of the same thickness. Even with the better construction, 4" thick Sonex is still not thick enough to have any significant affect below the upper bass.

The floor and corners are the most easily treated areas that will affect bass response. With a dipole speaker where the entire bandwidth of the speaker's output is being generated front and back at equal intensity, the rear wave is going to be reflected back toward the front of the room. This reflected wave will, at some frequency, be out of phase with the wave that has been propogated by the forward motion of the panel. Though the actual frequency where this occurs is only at one single wave length in the bass response, the frequencies surrounding that point will also be out of phase to some extent. Also multiple frequencies can be out of phase at different points in the frequency bandwidth. This out of phase energy can cause severe peaks and dips in the frequency response of the speaker and will smear the time relationships of the signal. By absorbing the rear wave with a trap, the bass response may actually be extended downward in any given room by reducing the amount of out of phase signals.

The broader the horizontal dispersion of the mid and high frequencies, the more valuable damping the first reflection point on the side walls will become. If your listening position is close to the rear wall, that area should be treated also.

I will ask again, has anyone tried experimenting with absolute phase? Quite a bit of the equipment on the market in consumer audio reverses the absolute phase of the signal. This results in a positive pulsing signal becoming a negative going signal. Think of a bass drum having the head of the drum move up instead of down when it is struck. Not everyone claims to hear differences in absolute phase, but those that do will often find a very considerable improvement in the quality of their system when the absolute phase is maintained. Overdubbed, pan potted, flanged and multi mic recordings tend to obscure absolute phase since many of the signals are out of absolute phase on the recording. The simpler the recording technique, think Mercury, the more obvious absolute phase will become. If you don't know whether your system maintains absolute phase, reverse the speaker connections at BOTH SPEAKERS and listen to a few simply recorded discs.




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