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JohnW

Decware SE84C Zen Triode?

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21 hours ago, JohnW said:

I wish I had a frame of reference for how loud these things can get.

Lust object for the day: Jolida Fusion 3502p. A bit pricey though.

I had an SE84 for awhile.  Nice tone, but it did not stay in the system long and I'm running khorns which I feel are a bit more efficient than the Cornwalls I had.  That EL84 tube is nice on the Cornwall though.  I have an ST 35 that puts out a stout 17 wpc with push pull EL 84s and it sounded fantastic and had tons of grunt.  The one power transformer in the ST 35 are heavier than the whole  Decware.  I got my ST 35 with the Gillespie mods and fully serviced for $550 delivered.  My experience with tube amps is you should be patient and wait for the right one to come along.  Keep your powder dry so you're ready to jump.  Keep an eye on here.  Great stuff routinely gets posted for deals.

 

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The Reisong is rated really good from a number of reviewers. There is a difference in sound between a SE vs PP in an amplifier. Personally I like the SE sound most all the time. I have multiple examples of both kinds both tube and SS to judge by. I have found 5 watts to be the sweet spot for music in a SE tube amplifier. Personal taste and music preference along with room size has a lot to do with whether a 5 watt SE tube amplifier will be a good choice for you. For me if I had only one amplifier it is what I would want to hold on to. Good luck with your choice. 

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5 minutes ago, Godataloss said:

I had an SE84 for awhile.  Nice tone, but it did not stay in the system long and I'm running khorns which I feel are a bit more efficient than the Cornwalls I had.  That EL84 tube is nice on the Cornwall though.  I have an ST 35 that puts out a stout 17 wpc with push pull EL 84s and it sounded fantastic and had tons of grunt.  The one power transformer in the ST 35 are heavier than the whole  Decware.  I got my ST 35 with the Gillespie mods and fully serviced for $550 delivered.  My experience with tube amps is you should be patient and wait for the right one to come along.  Keep your powder dry so you're ready to jump.  Keep an eye on here.  Great stuff routinely gets posted for deals.

 

That looks like a sweet amp.

Hope I didn't go overboard. I bought one of these with the 6550 tubes: https://www.jolida.com/product/fusion-3502-p

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1 hour ago, JohnW said:

I am. I thought about playing it safe with the Reisong A10--I can always send it back if it doesn't do anything for me, but given it's only 6 watts per channel, I could listen to Nora Jones all day, but when it comes to an action movie, I might be SOL.

So I've been googling brands: Nobsound, BoyuRange, all Chinese, mostly great reviews, but quite a few reviews describing smoke, funny smells...hmmm...

Then there were the Fishers and Scotts, and some old Magnavoxes that have been pulled from consoles...and their reputation is good...the stereo I started listening to was my parents' Magnavox console...perhaps that might stir something deep in my musical psyche...but it looks like this gear takes a bit of maintenance, and while I'm certain I could teach myself how to do it, I'm not inclined to. Then there's the whole curb appeal issue (I'm happily married).

Went down the ST70 rabbit hole...that kept me up late in bed until the power died on my iPad last night. While I'm curious, it's a lot of money for used gear that always seems to have the original tubes. You know, from 1963. Now I've nothing against 1963, I'm from 1963 myself, but bits of me are wearing out and I know I don't sound as good as I used to, so...

Then I looked at Jolida. Couple of them were available on OfferUp and FB Marketplace...like I said, I missed the boat on a JD302B on Ebay, and there's a Jolida 801a for $1000, but the ad is two years old and the guy who posted it isn't responding.

Then I found an open box
Fusion 3502P at Music Direct for a good price...it's the right color for my rack (black with blue leds), and of the few reviews I've been able to dig up on Jolida, it seems the gear is an incredible value.

So I bought it. Hopefully it's the last amp I'll need for a while. I'm confident that the quality won't be questionable, and that it has more than enough power to meet my needs, so it really comes down how much I like listening to it. Which is what I was after in the first place: a good starting point in the world of tubes.

60 day money-back guarantee (shipping's on me if I'm not satisfied).

So, all things considered (and there's a LOT) this seems like the best choice, and the only one worth making so far.


https://www.musicdirect.com/power-amp/Jolida-Fusion-3502P-Power-Amplifier-6550-Black-OPEN-BOX

 

 

My buddy just took delivery of that very same amp (in silver) this past week.  It's his first tube amp and he loves it.  He's driving a pair of KG 3.5 (apartment).  You know you will need a preamp of some sort, don't you?  

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3 minutes ago, Godataloss said:

 

My buddy just took delivery of that very same amp (in silver) this past week.  It's his first tube amp and he loves it.  He's driving a pair of KG 3.5 (apartment).  You know you will need a preamp of some sort, don't you?  

Was planning to use the preouts from my Marantz SR7013.

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Just now, JohnW said:

Was planning to use the preouts from my Marantz SR7013.

Duh, yes that should work nicely.  Music Direct ships super fast too.  You should be enjoying tubes with your turkey this week.

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I had a decware for a while... Not one of the highend units... It didn't really speak to me and I moved on.

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9 hours ago, henry4841 said:

The Reisong is rated really good from a number of reviewers. There is a difference in sound between a SE vs PP in an amplifier. Personally I like the SE sound most all the time. I have multiple examples of both kinds both tube and SS to judge by. I have found 5 watts to be the sweet spot for music in a SE tube amplifier. Personal taste and music preference along with room size has a lot to do with whether a 5 watt SE tube amplifier will be a good choice for you. For me if I had only one amplifier it is what I would want to hold on to. Good luck with your choice. 

So the Reisong is your amp of choice?

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For it's price it is one that I would buy. I am a diy'er and it has been many years since I have bought a retail amplifier. Right now I have over 20 functioning amplifiers. This is one review from a well known and respected audiophile.   

 

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Also I am familiar with the excellent EL34 tube and SE amplifiers and I like the sound of both. A few years back I bought 2 Chinese amplifier kits and assembled them and was impressed with the iron supplied with the kits. Both worked and sound really good of which I still have. Five watt amplifiers were the norm in the 40's and 50's.

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If you happen or plan to shuffle through a fair amount of gear I’d highly recommend brands that have name recognition or a rabid cult following and can easily be turned. Sometimes buying the latest and greatest model reviewed on the interweb doesn’t best serve you in the second hand market. And ironically enough the recognized brands are just that for being well built and good sounding. Of course be prepared in spending a few more dollars for the “name” brand goods — 

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I agree with you say Richie but not everyone can afford name brand products. Also I much prefer to by American. That being said there is a good value in sound with the Chinese offerings. I am old enough to remember when Japanese products were thought much the way of Chinese products. Now they are highly prized.  

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6 hours ago, henry4841 said:

For it's price it is one that I would buy. I am a diy'er and it has been many years since I have bought a retail amplifier. Right now I have over 20 functioning amplifiers. This is one review from a well known and respected audiophile.   

 

Yes, that Steve Gutenberg video was a huge influence a few days ago. 

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5 hours ago, richieb said:

If you happen or plan to shuffle through a fair amount of gear I’d highly recommend brands that have name recognition or a rabid cult following and can easily be turned. Sometimes buying the latest and greatest model reviewed on the interweb doesn’t best serve you in the second hand market. And ironically enough the recognized brands are just that for being well built and good sounding. Of course be prepared in spending a few more dollars for the “name” brand goods — 

I hope I’ve chosen a good balance of all those qualities in the Jolida. It was open box, cost a hair over $1k. So, not cheap, but not ridiculous...actually comparable to a lot of restored ST70s, but purchased from a dealer, so it’s returnable. A reputable company that’s been in business for a while. Enough wattage for any situation plus a bit of headroom. Not a ton of reviews available, but all of them positive. 
 

but listening to my Parasound this morning...I’m wondering how good Cornwalls+tubes can sound, because this sounds REALLY good right now.

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3 hours ago, JohnW said:

 

but listening to my Parasound this morning...I’m wondering how good Cornwalls+tubes can sound, because this sounds REALLY good right now.

If you are going to use a receiver preamp section to drive an ultralinear tube amp, you're not going to get the whole "tube " experience. I'm not saying it will sound bad, but it may not sound much different than your Parasound setup. To experience a tube setup at it's best, you need a tube preamp and amp (or an integrated tube amp). You can run a tube preamp with a solid state amp, or a solid state preamp with a tube amp, and they may all sound good. Then there's the whole single ended tube amp vs the push-pull, or ultralinear tube amp. I have all the above, and most serious tube amp fans will say that a single ended tube system sounds the best, or at least, has the sound most people associate with the tube sound.

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10 minutes ago, kevinmi said:

If you are going to use a receiver preamp section to drive an ultralinear tube amp, you're not going to get the whole "tube " experience. I'm not saying it will sound bad, but it may not sound much different than your Parasound setup. To experience a tube setup at it's best, you need a tube preamp and amp (or an integrated tube amp). You can run a tube preamp with a solid state amp, or a solid state preamp with a tube amp, and they may all sound good. Then there's the whole single ended tube amp vs the push-pull, or ultralinear tube amp. I have all the above, and most serious tube amp fans will say that a single ended tube system sounds the best, or at least, has the sound most people associate with the tube sound.

That makes sense. So ideally, you'd have an all-analog signal path? Vinyl or tape to a tube preamp into the amp?

Running digital files through my Marantz, even in Pure Direct mode, really won't give me a true sense of "the tube sound?"

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Looks like I need to figure out the difference between SET, push-pull, and ultralinear. I thought ultralinear was a kind of push-pull, but hell, if SET is the way to true "tube sound," maybe I shoulda slowed down and tried that Reisong in the first place.

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So if SET is the way to go,  what's the point of having a push-pull or ultralinear when you could go solid state?

People like the glow?

This guy seems to have a pretty good lay explanation:
 

 

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