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My tubed Christmas present to myself


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This is what I"m getting myself for Christmas. I bought a Cayin TA 30 two years ago from Paul at BizyBee audio and it has been a very good first tube amp and Paul is great to work with.

Now if I had the money I'd get some VRDs but those will have to wait. So I decided to upgrade the TA 30 and Paul did me right the first time so I'm willing to try the TAD-60. It is 60 watts or 30 in triode using EL34, KT 88, KT 90, 6550, or my favorite tube the EH 6CA7s.

There are reviews on it over at Audiogon. Many people bought the TAD-60 to replace their Cayin TA 30 and they felt the TAD-60 takes the sound to the next level. I use a 2004 Luxman int amp, L-505f, as a preamp and I love the sound and versiatility(yes bass, treble, and Loudness). I have tried 2 tube preamps and I feel the Luxman has a better overall sound than the tube preamps when used with the 3 different amps I had. With a pair of VRDs I might have liked the tube preamps better but I doubt it.

As the Rolling Stones like to say"You can't always get what you want(VRDs) but you get what you need(TAD-60)". So I'll let you know if the TAD-60 satisfies my needs but still leaves me wanting more. And maybe for a little while I can keep my "wants" under control, at least for a day, okay hours, 1 hour, allright minutes.



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The Triode(3) / UL(4) mode switch allows you to change how dynamic the amp sounds. The variable feedback knob allows you to perfectly match the amplifier to your speakers by ear for the most realistic in the room live sound.

The other knob allows the TAD-60 power amplifier to work as a single input integrated with a built-in volume control.

This amp should hold me over till I can get some tube monoblocks.

Stereo 60w/ch RMS maximum power
or with SuperbA Upgrade 45w/ch RMS maximum power
Frequency response: Flat 10Hz-20kHz, -3dB @ 50kHz
Large: 16"W, 14"D, 7.25"H
Heavy: 45 pounds
Stainless steel chassis
Heavy black face, blue light
Single pair of gold RCA inputs, L & R
Huge gold speaker binding posts, 4 & 8 Ohm taps
Triode Mode (3) / UL mode (4) Switches
Large heavy gold knob volume control - single input integrated
Large heavy gold variable feedback knob
Spring loaded vibration damping tube shields for small tubes
Input sensitivity full power: 1.25VRMS or more (adjustable)
Excellent huge Z-11 silica steel transformers with vibration damping
Normal US audio tube types
(4) EL-34, (2) 12AU7, (1) 12AX7
Accepts EL-34, KT-88, 6550 or KT-90 output tubes
Easy to use digital bias meter included
Huge dual power supply (glass/oil cap end) for wide accurate imagery

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I was just over at bizzybee's website considering his TAD-150 preamp. Having a remote would be nice. I don't really care for his "end of the year close-out special" that is $100 more than what they were selling for 3 mos. ago!! ...but that's just me. His gear does look nice though. Did you get the SuperbA upgrade for your >93dB sensitive speakers. If not, is there a hummmmmmmm?

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Well amp got here today and is powered up and running. On Dec 31 it will have been over a week so I'll start to really be more critical and try the triode mode and feedback control and then leave it for a couple of weeks.

Then pull out the Svetlana EL 34s and put in EH 6CA7s and see which I like better. Leave it for a couple of months and get some KT 88 and KT 90s.

Then I can compare it to the Cayin TA 30 and see which one I like better.



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I know Craig's rolling his eyes right about now [^o)], but I like it! Looks well built, and I'll bet it'll only improve in sound once you get into some serious tube rolling (especially with nice Telefunken drivers and NOS 6550s)! The only thing that distracts my eye are those darn tube shields...wonder if they're really necessary?

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Craig knows Paul and says they are good friends. Craig and Paul both know tube amps very well but they just went with different designs for their amps.

I plan to get some KT 88, KT 90s, and 6550 and try em all. The Svetlana EL34s in the amp are not burned in yet but I did not like them on my Cayin TA 30 so I do not think I will like them on the TAD 60. I used some EH 6CA7s that had much better bass and smoother midrange and treble on the Cayin. So once I give the EL34s and amp a chance to break in I will compare the two tubes.

I have La SCalas in a 15 x 15 x 8 living room so I'm not worried about the volume being loud I'm want excellent sound quality. The 6CA7s do a very good job of better bass with smoother midrange and treble than the EL34s in my system.

Are Telefunken drivers the brand of driver tubes? How much do 4 NOS 6550 cost? I think the tube sheilds can comm off but I don't know if they even improve the sound or not.

This will give me something to play with for the next couple of months.


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Duke the Elctro Harmonix 6CA7s sound much smoother to me than the Svetlana EL 34s but maybe a different EL 34 tube might be smoother than the Svets. To me the Svet 34s sound very forward and hard in the midrange. The EH 6CA7s have better bass and smoother midrange but everyone says the EL34s should be smoother but I don't hear it.

With the Svet 34s in my Cayin I could not turn it up very loud without felling like I was being overwhelmed by a unpleaseant wall of sound. I do not mean rock concert sound levels but loud listening levels. I had the 6CA7s and tried them for a couple of days and did not think much of them but I did not give them time to burn in. I put them back in about 4 months ago and let them burn in and they are much smoother when I turn up the volume so now no massive unpleasent wall of sound. I think the better bass with the 6CA7s blends better with the midrange and highs and gives a smoother sound, at least to my ears it does.

I would rather try some KT 88, KT 90, 6550 before I would spend anymore money on EL 34s I really don't like the sound from them.

Yes Johnny dB I did get the superbA upgrade and if I put my ear up to the midrange horn I can hear a little hiss. From a foot away I can barely hear hiss and nothing from 2 feet. So with no hiss with La Scalas the superbA seems to work very good!

I'm leaving the Svet EL34s in till the amp breaks in (I've got 12 hours on the amp now) and then I'll put the 6CA7s in and see if they still sound smoother with better bass in this amp. Then in a couple of months I'll get some other tubes.

Hope everyone has a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!!


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