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tube fanatic

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About tube fanatic

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    tube amp designer

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  • Interests
    extracting the best possible sound from single ended tube amps using modestly priced designs and tubes.
  • My System
    Currently using RF-15s in a small room, near-field, arrangement and driven by low power SETs. The soundstage is enormous, and the musical involvement beyond anything previously experienced.
  1. Integrated Amp suggestions

    There's no limit to what some folks will spend for art. TS Matt's artistic flair is certainly different so some wouldn't consider spending $5k as being unreasonable. And, as an artist, I'm sure that he wants what he considers fair compensation for his metal working skill. As with anything, the best value is going to vary with each person's criteria. But, I do know a guy whose amps are considered the best in their power class... Maynard
  2. 6P3P Chinese amplifier

    Obviously, it will depend on the amp in question. However, one modification which I consider important is to drill another hole in the front panel to accommodate another volume pot. These amps are furnished with a single, ganged, control which makes balancing the stereo image impossible. Given the differences in our ears, room acoustics, and recording levels, I consider this imperative. Also, most of the pentode amps use a global feedback loop which can lead to some phase issues. I would disconnect that and replace it with local fb at the output stage (and possibly at the driver as well). The SEP amps often show some ringing on square waves which could conceivably affect sound quality. There are various methods for alleviating this, but will depend on the unit as well. Hope this helps you a bit...... Maynard
  3. NBS Phonostage... consensus?

    A properly designed and shielded piece of audio equipment should not be susceptible to RFI issues. It surprises me that in the modern age of wifi, we still encounter equipment which isn't up to the task. Even the vintage manufacturers shielded front end tubes, not only to prevent hum from transformer magnetic fields , but also to prevent RF pickup from nearby radio and television transmitters. Maynard
  4. Tube Sound From Your Solid State Amp ?

    Not all tube amps offer a "soft, fuzzy, limp" sound. As to truth in musical reproduction, everyone has a different criterion and will try to select equipment to meet their expectations. It's like the issue of remastering or demastering recordings to make them sound "as they should" vs. using some type of tone control or tone shaping to create a more pleasing effect. My definition of how a recording should sound is strictly personal. This is a debate which has no answers.... I'll add that the last SS amp I heard which seemed fairly decent was a Rowland Model 1 right after it came out on the market. Maynard
  5. 89' LaScalas/Proper Tube Amp

    The forum has a section which contains an enormous amount of information which will assist you in answering your question (you may want to post it there as well): https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/forum/109-talkin-tubes/ There are many variables which will dictate the appropriate amp for your needs. One point is certain- there's no substitute for hearing a prospective amp in your system! If you state your location you may get a response from someone in the area who has tube amps which they can bring over for an audition. Alternatively, buying an amp from a dealer or manufacturer who allows you to return it if not satisfied is well worth considering. Decware is a prime example of such a company. In addition, some of the Chinese amps which are available on Ebay or Amazon are actually quite good, as well as very inexpensive. If that interests you, consider sending a PM to William (wdecho) as he has experience with some of them powering LSs. Maynard
  6. Tool Shed's finest integrated amp

    "Moderate" is too subjective a term to describe your listening level. But, there's a very simple way you can actually measure how much power is needed to satisfy your requirements: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/170414-who-wants-to-measure-how-much-power-voltage-is-really-needed/ You may be amazed at just how little power is needed to drive Heresys. Maynard
  7. Tube amps lacking bass is a popular, although totally incorrect, misconception. I suspect that it originated because some SETs have a little less bass punch than their pentode analogues. That said, push-pull KT-120s running in ultralinear or triode strapped should be quite capable of producing prodigious bass. It is worth contacting your dealer to discuss this issue as it is possible that the amp is not performing correctly. Maynard
  8. The 12AT7 swap for the 12AX7-Impression

    I understand your point Derrick! As far as expectation bias goes, I encounter that all the time when guys I know buy some really expensive tubes because they read that the "Tung-Sol gray plate type XXX with D getter and manufactured on January 3, 1952" sounds better than any other tube of its type in existence. Somehow that, in combination with paying $300 for the tube, does indeed make it better. No one has been willing to take me up on my offer to try their preference with a blind listening test in which they don't know what they are listening to. Maybe Dave can do a little post about this from a psychological point of view. It seems that when it comes to audio equipment, the prettier it is the better it sounds. And, certainly, the more expensive it is the better... Maynard
  9. The 12AT7 swap for the 12AX7-Impression

    Depending on location in the circuit, the higher 2nd harmonic output of the 12AU7 could possibly be audible although probably subtle. But, you can have fun playing with all of the 12A_7 series of tubes and their equivalents. Of course, if you don't precisely level match at your listening position it will not be possible to make a sound (pun intended) judgment. There's also the issue of expectation bias (another intended pun!) based on reading that a certain tube has specific characteristics (and that will depend on the piece of equipment in which the tube is used). Maynard
  10. I think a variac is fine and have never found its use to be detrimental in any way. You are correct about the tube filaments. A major cause of premature tube failure is excessive filament voltage (7+ volts is definitely excessive). So, keeping it at 6.3 maximum is a good measure. If normal line voltage variations should cause the voltage to run even 5% low that should not affect emission to any significant degree . Same for plate and screen voltages. Running a little low isn't going to change the operating parameters to the point that the sound of the amp will be degraded. And an added advantage is that the tubes will run a bit cooler which can only help longevity. Maynard
  11. It's unlikely that this amp is delivering more than 1.5-2 watts in triode mode and 5-6 watts in pentode mode which may explain why it doesn't seem quite powerful enough. If you have a more powerful amp around (SS is fine), there's a very easy way to measure how much power you need to satisfy the listening level you desire. All that is required is a multimeter with a 20V or lower AC scale (autoranging is fine), and a digital source with which you can play music and a couple of test tones: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/170414-who-wants-to-measure-how-much-power-voltage-is-really-needed/& Not necessarily. It's easy to switch between pentode and triode operation depending on how the circuit parameters have been chosen. Maynard
  12. 6P3P Chinese amplifier

    The value in these little Chinese amps is truly amazing. When I consider that my parts cost for the amps I design/build is roughly double the cost of the amp which William linked above, it highlights the value there (and these kits include a pre-drilled chassis too!). William was kind enough to send me the 'scope shots he took of his amps and they look really good (especially the bottom end). And, with some very simple modifications, I'm convinced that these amps can sound every bit as good as amps made here at a fraction of the cost. Any owner of Klipsch speakers who is curious about how they will sound with tubes should really give one of these a try. Maynard
  13. Audio Note company tour

    An interesting overview of this popular company: http://www.avshowrooms.com/audio_note_co.html Maynard
  14. Tube Amp for newbie

    I'm amazed no one directed you to the one place which contains more information about using tube type equipment with Klipsch speakers than any other: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/forum/109-talkin-tubes/ It will be a good time investment to read through the threads. There are many considerations when getting into tubes, so your options may be vast or limited depending on what you are trying to achieve. Maynard
  15. A budding audiophile!

    My grandcat is highly insulted! He would never allow a flea on his body!!! And, he's not really sleeping. He is analyzing the problem in the HT system and concentrates better with his eyes closed..... Maynard