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About MechEngVic

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    Chromecast Audio, Topping D30 DAC, Nobsound NS-01P Tube Preamp, Dynaco ST-70 II Tube Amp, Klipsch KLF-10 Horn Speakers, Klipsch Sub-12HG, All cables DIY

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  1. Here's my take in the broadest of generalities. There are two big differences between tube amps and SS amps. One is the output impedance, and two is the harmonic distortions of tube circuits that SS amps lack. SS amps can be designed to have an almost ruler flat frequency response throughout their power output range. This is combined with low output impedances and massive power supply filter capacitances. Very powerful, stable, reliable, and flexible. Tube amps can and have been designed with flat responses but it's almost impossible to eliminate the harmonic distortions. There is no perfectly linear tube, and if you're into tube amps, you don't want it. This combined with relatively high output impedances makes tube amps varied in their color. Throw in your choice of speakers and you start being able to grasp all the different ways an SS or tube amp can come off as sounding flat, bright, or rolled off. I honestly feel that the main contributor of sound signature is the speaker/amp combination.
  2. Deep cleaning or dusting? I use paint brushes and canned air for dusting. For deep cleaning, where I'm disassembling, I'll use Isopropyl (75% or higher), old toothbrushes, rags, and paint brushes. If I want to polish, I'll use synthetic liquid wax on a rag, apply and buff out with dry rag, this works for everything from PCB boards, to enclosures, to the tubes themselves, just be careful not to rub off the lettering, and make sure everything dries completely.
  3. I'd sure like to see the rest of your setup!
  4. What you're saying is interesting and I wouldn't doubt an ethernet right into your receiver is the most reliable setup. But I think there are other ways to get bit-perfect Hi-Res streaming. Isn't the whole point of digital media being able to move it over distances and through components with no generational losses? There are several Wi-Fi streamers that promise bit perfect streaming at up to 24/192. My Chromecast Audio with Toslink out to my DAC wirelessly receives my devices output through my streaming apps in up to 24/96. The great thing about Wi-Fi streamers is you can use the app on your device and send the signal wirelessly to the streaming device. When you're using old-school tube pre's and amps, you need a DAC to straddle the divide. Most Wi-Fi streamers have their own conversion and analog outputs, but I have yet to find one that beats the convenience of the Chromecast audio and a DAC with Hi-Res capability.
  5. Please tell us the names of the "bird outside", "breathing too hard", and "bombs going off" tracks, so we can hear them too!!! I love that kind of stuff!
  6. Good question... I was comparing random tracks in Qobuz in their 24/96 vs. the same tracks in their "CD quality" which they say is 16/44.1. I'm gonna say, proly upconverting by Qobuz on many of the tracks. Chromecast Audio casts in up to 24/96 lossless, which is what I was using. I was doing none of the bit rate conversions on my own. Unfortunately my 1 month Qobuz trial is over, so... I will tell you this: When I listen to authentic (recorded in hi-res) .DSF files on my laptop with the DSD Direct mode on Foobar2000, I swear they sound better than anything I hear in CD quality (completely subjective listening, no comparing). If you ask me to describe it: Less disturbances in loud, complex passages, more "empty space" in the subtle parts of quiet passages, more pronounced peaks of the sound envelope with longer decay. But according to the experts, it's most likely just in my head.
  7. Welp, My amp started crackling again. It was a power tube. The crackling was so subtle I didn't think it could be a power tube, there was no arcing or red-plating... Until I turned off the lights. Then I could see the faintest of sparking from within the EL-34. It took a couple of days and several on and off cycles for the problem to go from occurring after several hours to occurring a few minutes into the warm-up cycle. The tube is replaced and I'll be watching the amp carefully for the next several cycles. The many ways a tube can fail surprise and confuse me!
  8. Have you had a similar issue to mine, where you actually started getting contact failure? So far I think that's what happened, the amp has been running smooth since cleaning.
  9. Just a little while ago, my amp (Dynaco ST-70 Series II) started crackling and popping during low volume listening, no red-plating or arcing tubes, no resistors burning, no speaker blowing boom of a capacitor failing, just crackles and pops and the high-low bias LED's flickering. (You set the bias of this amp by turning a trim pot until both LED's are of equal brightness, they also pulse in time with the music when it's loud. These LED's are sensitive to AC fluctuations and will go up and down in brightness. I say all this about these LED's so you'll understand why I mention them flickering with my issue) I instantly turned off the amp and did a quick look and sniff. No burning smell nor anything that looked wrong. I decided to pull the six tubes, I inspected the socket seats and saw what looked like a tiny bit of carbon deposit on a couple of them. I grabbed a thin wood dowel and some isopropyl alcohol and gave them all a good reaming. Then I retensioned the seats and slapped the tubes back in. I turned on the amp and it is running smooth so far, cross my fingers. This is the first time this type of crackling and popping has happened and I fixed it (hopefully) with socket cleaning and retensioning. I had a very similar type of crackling and popping happen a different time and it turned out to be a bad driver tube. Anytime I remove and install a tube I re-tension, but never did much in the way of corrosion removal. These sockets are about 1.5 years old and this amp runs several hours a day. Is what I experienced typical of what happens when tube/tube socket contact is compromised? Also, what do you use to clean tube sockets?
  10. Having listened to both Chorus II's and RF-7 II's (not the III's, but they both have a similar bass response) in the same room with the same amplifiers (VTA ST-120, 60 WPC tube amp, Mcintosh MC-275) I can give you this simplified description of each's bass response: The Chorus II's are room shakers, and the RF-7 II's are chest pounders. Don't get me wrong, they both shake the room and pound the chest, but they stand out in the ways I mentioned. And let me say this again because I keep reading it mentioned: The Chorus II's DO NOT NEED A TON OF WATTS TO POUND. I owned Chorus II's for many years and ran them with several SS 100+ watt amps (and a 1000 watt Crown mosfet amp), and the best sound and most room-bouncing bass came from a 35 WPC Dynaco ST-70 Series II tube amplifier (which I still own). Sadly, I sold the Chorus II's. And the RF-7 II's absolutely ripped the house apart with the 60WPC of the VTA and the 75WPC of the MC-275. The 8ohm impedence of Klipsch speakers is what makes them so efficient. Don't let anyone tell you any different. If you and your dad are looking for that chest pounding bass, speakers with direct radiating woofers sitting up high like in the RF-7 series might be what you're looking for. If you want the accurate bass (especially the upper bass frequencies 150-500 Hz) then the horn loaded woofers of the Khorn/Lascala speakers are better. The heresy IV's are probably just too small for the bass impact and volume you're looking for.
  11. Cornwall III's are 8 ohm nominal impedance
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