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joessportster

Aric Audio Systems.....Tube Pre's, Amps + Good Prices

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I recently discovered this on Audiogon. Where I bought his EL84 PP,  with 13 Watts Ultra Linear, or 6 watts Triode Strapped Switchable. It has Volume control so can be used as Integrated with 1 input.  The amp also offers adjustable Feedback to tailor the sound a bit more. The amp is auto BIAS with Cathode follower and allows for the use of pretty much any of the 12ax7 Variety as driver tubes. And it is 100% Point to Point wiring

 

Been listening for a few hours now and so far no complaints, have not had a chance to really concentrate though I can tell you I really like the way this amp sounds

 

Link to builders web site Located in the North East and Prices look to be very reasonable  (No Affiliation and all that)

 

https://www.aricaudio.com/

 

 

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Pic of my amp................at $1895.00 all in I consider this one of my better audio buys

 

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Sweet looking rig there Joe, seems very versatile as well . I would like to hear a EL84 tube some day ' .

  Better buys indeed , congrats .

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In my experience, a 6AQ5, about a $2.00 a tube today, has in the past,  and will today, sonically outperform a EL84 / 6BQ5.  One should use that 6AQ5 Finals tube, it needs a 7 pin socket, or its military equivalent, the 6005, for real performance and quality playback. 

 

Don't push the 6AQ5, no need.  About 6 to 7 Watts total dissipation from its 10 Watt rated plate.  Push Pull Triode connected would be my choice, direct coupled, just a two stage amp.  No solid state parts, except a CL-90 thermistor, in it !!

 

In the pictured amplifier, the rectifier tube, with its nasty fields, is too close to the Finals tubes, and the three transformers have their open end bell  (  higher fields  )  facing / interacting with the tubes, rather than their cores facing the tubes.  All three transformers need to be turned 90 degrees. RCA jacks are mislocated on the back of the amp, rather than really close to the input tube.  That long RCA jack wire, and pots in the front of an amp degrade the input signal before it ever gets amplified. All these are very typical amp design / layout errors existing -  in what was pictured - and many many other amps.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

In my experience, a 6AQ5, about a $2.00 a tube today, has in the past,  and will today, sonically outperform a EL84 / 6BQ5.  One should use that 6AQ5 Finals tube, it needs a 7 pin socket, or its military equivalent, the 6005, for real performance and quality playback. 

 

Don't push the 6AQ5, no need.  About 6 to 7 Watts total dissipation from its 10 Watt rated plate.  Push Pull Triode connected would be my choice, direct coupled, just a two stage amp.  No solid state parts, except a CL-90 thermistor, in it !!

 

In the pictured amplifier, the rectifier tube, with its nasty fields, is too close to the Finals tubes, and the three transformers have their open end bell  (  higher fields  )  facing / interacting with the tubes, rather than their cores facing the tubes.  All three transformers need to be turned 90 degrees. RCA jacks are mislocated on the back of the amp, rather than really close to the input tube.  That long RCA jack wire, and pots in the front of an amp degrade the input signal before it ever gets amplified. All these are very typical amp design / layout errors existing -  in what was pictured - and many many other amps.

 

 

While I appreciate YOUR experience in amp design, your OPINION on tubes.  At the end of the day you are espousing things that you have no idea if they are affecting THIS amp in my system.  I can tell you for fact that the amp is DEAD quiet on my 96DB effecient full range drivers.  I can also tell you for fact that should we put 100 people in a room we will find a substantial portion that appreciates the EL84 over the 6aq5.  There are MANY millionairs that build & sell amps in the 10's of thousands of dollars range that obviously do not agree with YOUR OPINIONS.  If you are gods gift to amp design & tube's why is it no one ever heard of you ?  I personally find your comments in poor taste. 

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13 hours ago, Cornman said:

Sweet looking rig there Joe, seems very versatile as well . I would like to hear a EL84 tube some day ' .

  Better buys indeed , congrats .

Sounding sweet as well..........................

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I use Russian military tubes that Steve Deckert recommended for his SE-84 amps, and they sound better than the Gold Lion EL-84's in my amps.Plus they were dirt cheap. Can't remember the tube number right off hand.

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53 minutes ago, joessportster said:

While I appreciate YOUR experience in amp design, your OPINION on tubes.  At the end of the day you are espousing things that you have no idea if they are affecting THIS amp in my system.  I can tell you for fact that the amp is DEAD quiet on my 96DB effecient full range drivers.  I can also tell you for fact that should we put 100 people in a room we will find a substantial portion that appreciates the EL84 over the 6aq5.  There are MANY millionairs that build & sell amps in the 10's of thousands of dollars range that obviously do not agree with YOUR OPINIONS.  If you are gods gift to amp design & tube's why is it no one ever heard of you ?  I personally find your comments in poor taste. 

 

Captain Critique... that's his outlook in life Joseph.

 

JdM, it must be completely exhausting to continually have the need to contemplate the worlds abnormalities... highly Narcissistic behavior.

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I use Russian military tubes that Steve Deckert recommended for his SE-84 amps, and they sound better than the Gold Lion EL-84's in my amps.Plus they were dirt cheap. Can't remember the tube number right off hand.
Are they the EL84M? I use those as backups. I dig em.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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34 minutes ago, kevinmi said:

I use Russian military tubes that Steve Deckert recommended for his SE-84 amps, and they sound better than the Gold Lion EL-84's in my amps.Plus they were dirt cheap. Can't remember the tube number right off hand.

Com on man now your killing me................I will be on a quest for that now till found :) 

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17 minutes ago, Schu said:

 

Captain Critique... that's his outlook in life Joseph.

 

JdM, it must be completely exhausting to continually have the need to contemplate the worlds abnormalities... highly Narcissistic behavior.

Yes I know it just IRK's me when people do that...................No cause for it

 

Thanks man......................BTW every bit as good and better than the el84 I sent your way. Now I am kicking myself for letting you get those RCA smooth gray plates I still have a pair but need a quad :D  Story of my life 3 great pairs not 1 quad ( I will be on the hunt for matching pairs of Mullard, RCA, and Matshushita)  Popped in the Bugle Boy 12at7 I have had for ever as well as a rectifier swap.

 

I also popped off the bottom for a look of the guts seems Aric does use some quality parts WIMA, Audyn etc...

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2 hours ago, joessportster said:

The Guts, Looks like quality work and Parts throughout

AA amp2.PNG

 

=== don’t be so sure - looks like that big square doohickey thing is sitting at more of angle than the smaller square doohickey thing -

That Can’t be good — 

And there sure are a lot of those turquoise blue thingamajigs sprinkled about - 

How good can That be — 

I’d sell it —🤓

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I can hear it already... "there to many right angle/perpendicular lines, it causes radio frequency interference".

 

HOW does it sound Joseph?... awesome?... well then, AWESOME!

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19 minutes ago, Schu said:

I can hear it already... "there to many right angle/perpendicular lines, it causes radio frequency interference".

 

HOW does it sound Joseph?... awesome?... well then, AWESOME!

Yes IMHO Awesome..........................Easily up there with amps costing many times the $$$ that I have had in my systems.

 

30 minutes ago, richieb said:

 

=== don’t be so sure - looks like that big square doohickey thing is sitting at more of angle than the smaller square doohickey thing -

That Can’t be good — 

And there sure are a lot of those turquoise blue thingamajigs sprinkled about - 

How good can That be — 

I’d sell it —🤓

Wont you please help me and take it off my hands............................I would not be comfortable selling it, considering all the issues....................:P

 

On second thought Ryan Adams, Tchaikovsky, Chesky, John Lee Hooker, Tom Waite, Dire Straits, AND Many Others so far are telling me to keep it.  "It sounds so Good"

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Got some quality time with the amp today.  Listening to long time favorites Iron & Wine The Shepard's Dog. Track 7 has long been a reference for assessing sound stage. I have heard this song hundreds of times and on a couple dozen different setups. I was shocked as was my wife to hear some new information about 1/2 way through and left of center there is a subtle noise almost like a clicker

 

On Endless Numbered Days track 1 I can clearly hear the 2 part Harmony going on with Sam & Sarah Beam...................Never would have thought an EL84 amp could be so revealing.  

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10 hours ago, joessportster said:

While I appreciate YOUR experience in amp design, your OPINION on tubes.  At the end of the day you are espousing things that you have no idea if they are affecting THIS amp in my system.  I can tell you for fact that the amp is DEAD quiet on my 96DB effecient full range drivers.  I can also tell you for fact that should we put 100 people in a room we will find a substantial portion that appreciates the EL84 over the 6aq5.  There are MANY millionairs that build & sell amps in the 10's of thousands of dollars range that obviously do not agree with YOUR OPINIONS.  If you are gods gift to amp design & tube's why is it no one ever heard of you ?  I personally find your comments in poor taste. 

Hi Joe, 

 

That new amp in your circuit, is only being compared to itself, and what you remember from prior experience. 

 

If the same amp were also built with ONE change,  using 6AQ5s as finals, you, and those 100 people you bring up, .....if tested BLIND,................ I'd estimate 95 would easily choose the 6AQ5 Finals tube. 

 

Experienced tube amp builders have known the 6AQ5 eats a 6BQ5 tube for at least 50 years since these tubes came out. That was the way it was in the 1960s - with consoles that used both tubes !!  Manufacturers don't make many 6005/ 6AQ5 amps today because its economically better, easier, to offer a 6BQ5 to Joe public and get them to buy it.

 

Here is an experienced builder's post ( not mine ) from 18 years ago. :

 

" That leaves the wimpy and fragile antique 6V6, which was pushed totally out of the way when Philips came out with the cheaper and more miserable EL84/6BQ5/7189. I keep trying to get this valve to sound good, and after 20 years of this, I'm quite fed up with it! A pint-sized piece of sonic pig misery, so ignore it and it will go away... 
The valve it replaced in American Hi-Fi equipment, the 6V6, sounds GREAT. Not the most neutral valve around, a bit thick, juiced up, with forward, va-va-vivid mids, ethereal & incredibly "open" highs, and erm...pretty crummy bass not unlike that you get out of a SET amp, actually! Tuneful, but not all that tight. And imaging is on the crap side, too, if you are anal-retentive enough to care about such unimportant things. There is a much better sounding 7-pin alternative, the electrically identical 6AQ5. Cleaner and more neutral top to bottom, with noticeably tighter bass, too. Oh, and far, far more durable and reliable, despite the much smaller bottle. Go figure. I think it's because the military was the main customer for these, and there are ruggedized premium versions of it like the 6005. Nobody uses them anymore, nobody wants them, the military has probably dumped all their inventory of them, the post-communist junk producers don't make them...perfect! A great sounding American-made NOS valve you can buy CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP! "

 

 

                                                                                  = = = = = = = = = = -= = = = == = = = = = = = = = = = = 

 

 

Joe, I am not an amp manufacturer, but I have been on the " tube amp scene " as a private person who designs and builds out-of-the-ordinary amps for himself, for four decades now.  My photo, along with a unique "double-decker chassis" P-P 6B4G DHT amp design of mine, can be seen in an early issue of Sound Practices.  

 

Actually Joe, a person should be able to discuss various tubes, and their generally accepted performance by experienced persons, and not be concerned about it being in "poor taste" as you state.   If a 6AQ5 eats a 6BQ5, and it does,  I am doing you a favor, and giving you such an opinion to consider.   You need to look into a person's experience, to consider the " possible " validity of their comments, and where it might lead you in your future audio journey.  

 

Also, on the positive side of things, despite the critique I gave, ( which really applies to MOST all commercial tube amps I see ), I think the amp you bought was a decent bargain, considering its all point-to-point wired and its general below-deck execution.   Its, to me, a " loss leader " for the builder, so people will order his costlier units.  I WOULD NEVER WANT TO BUILD AND SELL IT FOR $1300.  So on that basis, you got your money's worth.  Well done.

 

I personally want much more than that , which is exactly why I roll my own, to get what is satisfying and affordable to me.  Its NICE not having to build things to market to someone.  In all of my life, I only have sold only one of my amp builds, and that gentleman was a Minister - and I truly could not turn him down.  I respected him, for what he was and what he did for work. 

 

Have fun listening, enjoy yourself.  I do !

 

 

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1 more time into the fray.  I know your only point is to antagonize, but so help me I cannot resist.  I often take others advice,  I just wont take advice from some one so self absorbed in there own rhetoric they believe they are above all others.  Its great you stand on the moral high ground that you have created for yourself. Its wonderful that you will only use amps,  speakers and crossovers that you build. Your beliefs are yours to behold.  You slipped up a bit though, when you state you build or get what is satisfying to you.  Guess what everyone in the hobby eventually ends up there and 99.99999999% without your help.  

 

I personally have a great deal of experience as well, been in the hobby for a few decades myself. I know what satisfy's me and that's what I buy or build.  I could honestly care less about your OPINION as to which Tube trumps which.  I could also care less about the fact that some other builder 18 years ago did not care for an EL84.  Those mean nothing to the quality of the EL84. Those are 2 opinions of thousands

 

I am comparing this amp exactly as you do all your builds. from my vast experience of the literally hundreds of systems I have heard or built. and the other amps I have on hand. You should take your own advice. Know something about me and my experience before you ASSUME I know nothing and attempt to share your self anointed better than thou experience

 

I do enjoy myself despite you and your views.

 

I will continue to have fun listening to "MY FI" 

 

This will be my Last response to you on the matter. this thread was not started to debate with you it was started as a way to inform members there is another Tube Amp builder out there, & said builder  may deserve there attention.  Also to pass along my thoughts concerning the amps sound, construction, & Value as seen by me.  If you wish to respond further (I hope you do not. I suspect you will) I will tell you that the Private Message system is the best way to go about that. 

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Very nice looking amp!  The layout reminds a bit of the Dyna 70.  Not to get political or take sides or any such ridiculousness - the humble 6bq5 is one of my favorite output valves - single ended or pp.. Good deal!  Enjoy!

 

btw, Joe, I think it was you who had those pm4a driver in Garage sale, wasn't it?  I looked very closely at those!

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1 hour ago, erik2A3 said:

Very nice looking amp!  The layout reminds a bit of the Dyna 70.  Not to get political or take sides or any such ridiculousness - the humble 6bq5 is one of my favorite output valves - single ended or pp.. Good deal!  Enjoy!

 

btw, Joe, I think it was you who had those pm4a driver in Garage sale, wasn't it?  I looked very closely at those!

Yes it was me. They are now in Indianapolis with another DIY guy I should have kept them. While trying to be honest with myself the 8" driver simply could not handle the low / mid low like my 15" full range can / does...................................I honestly don't understand the 6bq5 hate. There are some FINE HIGHLY RESPECTED builders that use the tube Audio Note, Decware, and dozens more. Decware (Steve ) has basically built his business off the tube.  I understand that's its not every ones cup o tea.  Hell I have yet to find a 300B amp I like. 

 

No politics here man..................One subject I steer clear of at all costs :) 

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