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BadChile

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  1. To answer your first question: most of the non-branded tubes are junk, but anything from a reasonably established brand will be good - if not great. I prefer JJ Tubes for a number of reasons and run them when I can, but other brands are fine too. It is waay to easy to spend insane money on tubes (in my opinion). In terms of amps, the OP states they have a budget of 1000 quid ($1,200 USD), so I'm not sure there are non-kit 2A3 or 300B amps available in that price range, particularly if you also want a headphone out. The MP-301 is a reasonable, well reviewed choice as an entry level Tube Amp. The Jolida FX-10 is another choice at a higher price, as are the lower-end Elekit and Bottlehead offerings. If you're not certain of the tube game the APPJ Miniwatt (around 130USD) performs reasonably well with my Heresy IIIs, KG4, KG1, and RB-51 II speakers but lacks headphone out. The stock tubes in the Miniwatt are junk but once changed out for around $30 total I'd say it gets me 70% of the way to my heavily modified and upgraded Elekit TU-8200 at less than 1/6th the cost. PS: As I've said before, don't get into DIY to save money. Get into DIY because it is a fun hobby that has the side effect of giving you cool audio toys. But I certainly haven't saved money in the DIY game considering how my kids know that a package from Digi-Key means dad is going into the workshop with a soldering iron for the next couple of hours.
  2. Awesome and congrats. The KG series are really fun speakers. I use a pair of KG4s in my basement system (where I've been working for the past four weeks, so lots of time on them) The KG4s were abused in a past life so I picked them up for $50. Recapped the crossovers through Parts Express (cheap money), added cheap plastic feet. They're driven by a Kenwood receiver from the early 2000s I got for free at a yard sale. The source is an Echo Dot using the audio out from Pandora. Truth be told, some days it just seems like the KG4 system is more fun than my tube based, dual subwoofer, external mid-fi wtih FLAC files DAC Heresy system. At 1/40th the cost of the whole system.
  3. Thanks for the link. When first introduced (at the time of the post) they were, and with a standard bottlehead 15% off sale a few times a year they'll hit that price point.
  4. Likely correct. My Cherry IIIs have the same SRB designation, and yes, I have SRBs.
  5. That is my guess what is happening. If using the built in phono preamp (the Pluto), the line level input should be used. If the Pluto is defeated, then use the phono input on the Sixes. The Vali is a line stage.
  6. Sounds like you may be confusing a phono preamp (with RIAA equalization) with a line level preamp (the Vali, which does not have RIAA equalization). First question: did you get a built in phono pre (Pluto) on your Orbit, and if so, is it active or bypassed? Second question: what cartridge are you running? Third question: what input are you using on the Sixes?
  7. He has nothing on the world's largest horn :
  8. Oh man, that stinks. Give it time - it could be anything, including that the speakers just don't gel with your listening preferences. If it is any consolation, I *love* how my system sounds, but I constantly am shocked at how bad all of Adele's albums sound on a highly resolving and dynamic system. Sound great on a crappy car stereo or earbuds, though - which helps explain why she's sold a bazillion albums.
  9. Good point. The solder is the same roll as I used 18 months ago, but the resistors definitely are Tigger tolerance (1% vs 5%) and lower ppm/C. I'm pretty confident there is an improvement vs the stock, but my kids and wife either can't tell or don't care. Or both.
  10. Purely desired, however I noticed a slight change in the signal path. Reduced hiss even further. Possibly entirely the placebo effect. I had the stock resistors in there (which are fine), these are all PRP 1% tolerance. Considering there are resistor upgrades out there and it kept me out of trouble for a week...why not? Possible improvement in imagining. Possible improvement in the treble. Possible that I'm imagining everything. Also upgraded a good number of the capacitors to Elna Cerafine (Simlic II are too tall). 🐇 Hole
  11. No worries! Bottlehead usually does a coupon code this time of year...I suspect the monoblocks won't be on sale but based on the past my guess would be 15%. Again...this is a rabbit hole. I just replaced 63 resistors in my TU8200 because....well, as I told my wife if you have to ask you wouldn't understand!
  12. I measured once and ordered twice, both times ending up with capacitors too large for my amp. Both sets are less than a month old; the Jantzens are from Parts Express and the Mundorfs from Sonic Craft just last week. SOLDJantzen Silver Z-Cap, 0.1uF, 1200VDC. Installed, trimmed, less than one hour of use SOLD Mundorf Supreme, 0.1uF, 1400VDC. Never used - installed, trimmed, then removed. Leads trimmed as shown, can include the trimmings from the Jantzens if you want them. Price $12 a pair. $20 for four (mix and match), or $36 for all eight. Prices include shipping in continental US.
  13. Sorry about this - I completely forgot to post the information on the Bottlehead 2A3 monoblocks: https://bottlehead.com/product/mon-amour-2a3-monoblock-amps-kit/?fbclid=IwAR1jR_QIiDctc0hEZuGjEiwfmmkVWGBfqttzWDuSVChvlkYr0dre8h403OU
  14. Couple other thoughts: Bottlehead is releasing a pair of 2A3 based monoblocks for under $2,000 in the coming months but I can't find the link to the amp (early morning / lack of coffee / general tiredness). If I recall correctly they're priced under $2,000 for the pair. Will edit this post if I find information on the amps. The Elekit amps are well finished and well reviewed. I built and run a TU-8200 (6L6GC based, also runs EL34, KT88 and associated tubes), and if in the states, now that VK ships these out with JJ tubes I suspect they'll gain more of a following as the 12AU7 that was shipped previously was a major weak link in the amp as-built. In addition to the TU-8600 (300B based amp) listed above, there is a soon-to-be released single ended TU-8800 based on the KT88 that produces slightly more power than the TU-8200 and has a tube cage unlike the TU-8600. Additionally, the upgraded transformers are available for the TU-8800 at launch while TU-8600 owners are still in a holding pattern. As a bonus - headphone tap off the tubes so all Elekit amps double as a quality headamp. Note that Bottlehead and most of the Elekit prices include tubes with the exception of the TU-8600. But the reality is you can't go wrong going down this path rabbit hole of DIY audio. I remember silently laughing at people who spent $60 on four coupling capacitors and now here I am one of them....
  15. While I don't have SB-2000s, I fully agree that dual subs are far superior than a single sub. I run dual Martin Logan Dynamo 700 with the wireless option, tapped off the speaker outs of an Elekit TU-8200 amp and padded down before being sent to the wireless transmitter (the Dynamo 700 does not have speaker level inputs and I was getting hum at the subs going wired and was too lazy to track down). Having tried running mono and stereo I prefer stereo.
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