Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
Cleese74

My first tube!!

Recommended Posts

On 7/7/2019 at 3:42 PM, amped said:

After 50+ years of listening to recorded music, I got a tube amp in February 2018. I had inherited a Thorens TT and some RB-5's and that was all it took.

 

I started doing homework on a tube amp. I ended up getting a VTA ST-120 kit (you can get them turnkey as well).

tubes4hifi.com is the seller. Bob Latino the kit builder has had a presence on the klipsch forum. Roy his partner designed the circuit over 30 years ago. It's based on the Dynaco ST70. The new versions have upgraded components. Bob is very responsive and generous with help before, during, and after. Roy is pretty helpful as well. They also have a forum with tons of info. After not doing any soldering for 25 years, the amp took me about 35-40 hours to build. I took my time and had no real issues- I was antsy and took a week before I plugged it in and turned it on. After doing so, I was bummed that I could've been listening to it. It sounds quite different to the Yamaha AVR it replaces. It's darker, faster, and more up front. Glad I did it!

 

Bias takes all of 3 minutes every couple of months with a multimeter and a flat blade screwdriver. Bob says not to make a huge deal of worrying about it either. I'm having autibias put on it now as I want to keep the tube cage secured (kids and other animals) but otherwise, I'd have left it alone. Tubes aren't a worry either as they're very available. 

 

I will have it playing through a pair of Chorus 2's before the end of summer. Just have to pick them up...

 

I hope this doesn't sound too much like an ad. It's not meant to. The amp sounds great and it wasn't difficult to build (if you consider that route). I'm just a thrilled customer.

 

Good luck!

 

What tubes are you running in that st-120?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Power:  TungSol 6550 reissues. (also got a good deal on a quad of KT88EH's- but I haven't tried those yet)

Center:  (phase splitter?) Brimar NOS CV4003 /12AU7)

Outers:  Sylvania 6189 /12AU7 NOS

 

New-  Just doing the AutoBias mod so will use a Weber WS1-t   s/s rectifier that replaces the TS 5AR4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amped, 

find a balanced black plate d getter/foil cbs hytron for the center position. You'll like it👍

For the side preamp position I'm running some black plate 12bh7's. they seem a little more engaging. Cv4003's are hands down excellent tubes. Cheers!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many good suggestions here-  Cary Audio makes an amp tweaked to match with Klipsch Heritage speakers. SLI-80HS(Heritage Series) Might want to check that out also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2019 at 10:40 PM, Could sound better said:

Amped, 

find a balanced black plate d getter/foil cbs hytron for the center position. You'll like it👍

For the side preamp position I'm running some black plate 12bh7's. they seem a little more engaging. Cv4003's are hands down excellent tubes. Cheers!!

I see Bob L. says the 12bh7's have higher gain and they can be used. Have to look into why they should be. Not in much of a hurry to roll at the moment.

 

Also tried "Hungarian" Amperex in the pre's. To me, no difference from the Sylvania's. Tried clear top D-getter RCA's sounded a bit too bright-  so went back to the Sylvania's...

Yeah, that Brimar- WOW. Supposed to be better especially in the highs than Mullard. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, amped said:

I see Bob L. says the 12bh7's have higher gain and they can be used. Have to look into why they should be. Not in much of a hurry to roll at the moment.

 

Also tried "Hungarian" Amperex in the pre's. To me, no difference from the Sylvania's. Tried clear top D-getter RCA's sounded a bit too bright-  so went back to the Sylvania's...

Yeah, that Brimar- WOW. Supposed to be better especially in the highs than Mullard. 

 

 

 

Oh man! I need to find a nice brimar then!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/7/2019 at 5:57 PM, jimjimbo said:

I disagree with most of the above (except the doing your homework part)  Vintage or used tube amps are, for lack of a better term.....a crap shoot. (UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN RESTORED BY A WELL KNOWN COMPETENT SHOP).  Tubes are a commitment, where you will likely need spares, you will need to learn the multitude of types, manufacturers and the intricacies of each.  All of that is of course fun, but can also be very frustrating and time consuming..  The other question would be as to whether you are looking for tube separates or a tube integrated.  So, having said all of that, I would recommend looking at FULLY RESTORED vintage Mcintosh MC30 monoblocks, Mcintosh MC240, or new Justin Webers products (ampsandsound.com), or new products from Dennis Had, which you can find on ebay.

 

I have/had experience with all of the above, so please feel free to PM me with questions.

 

I agree on Dennis' Inspire line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2019 at 11:14 PM, Could sound better said:

A Raytheon black plate 5814 is nice for the center position too!!

kt120’s gave me a taller sound stage.

Maybe I'll look for the 5814 down the road. The Brimar makes me very happy. KT120's have tight clearance w/ the Dynaco cage. 

Until I have my Chorus 2's up and running I'm holding off on more tubes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...