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Just SET ing here enjoying the music.


jbsl
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First I want to thank Kevin for selling the amps to me.

Second I want to thank Erik for taking so much of his time to look over the amps and make sure they were okay after shipping.

I have had the Welborne Moondogs for a week now and decided to post my impresions.

These are the first SET amps I have owned and I have been very pleased with the performance of these amps! This is a hobby for me so I wanted to try SET amps and if I did not like them I would know for myself.

But SET amps have specfic requirements and conditions from the owner.

If you do not seriously review your room size,how far back do you sit from the speakers, speaker DB, bass requirements, volume level while listening to music and what type of music you llike you will probably not like SET amps. But if like me your situation meets the requirements then SET amps can be great amps. I want to clarify that I really like the Moondogs but plan on keeping my Cayin TA 30 tube amp 35 watts and have VRDs on my list of stuff to get. Moondogs for late night listening and the Cayin TA 30 for day, weekends, and home theater so I have the best of both worlds!

I am going to ask anyone replying to my review remember this is a review in my house, my system, my music and my ears. I am not saying these amps should replace all other amps but some people could enjoy SET amps. So please lets not make this a SET vs PP vs SS arenea battle! If any of you want to argue about SET vs PP then send each other emails or PM, thanks!!

My living room is 15 x 15 x 8 and the midrange horns are 13 feet apart.

I sit 10-12 feet back from my 2004 La Scalas which are 104 Db.

I have never been a bass hound, sure I like music to have good bass but I don't have to have speakers or subs that can go down to the bottom really low bass. Plus I listen to 70% of my music from 3:30-7:00 AM and I do not want the sherrifs dept knocking on my door in the middle of the night.

Even during the day or on weekends when if I want to crank it up I can I don't go that loud. My living room is small and when I go beyond moderate volume levels the sound goes from great to a physical wall of sound that sounds terrible. If I had a larger living room I would have not bought the Moondogs.

Volume: so in MY living room the Moondogs provide more watts to my La Scalas than I can use. With my Cayin 35 watt tube amp I turn the volume knob to 9:30-10:00 and that is as loud as I can take in my living room and almost never go that loud. With the Moondogs I passed that volume level. The Moondogs can play louder than I listen in my small living room. Take my system and speakers and put them in my best friends larger living room and it would not be loud enough. To give you a idea if you were sitting on the couch next to me you would be talking at the top of your voice almost yelling so I could hear you.

BASS: My Moondogs do not have the bass that my Cayin has, period.

But that does not mean the Moondogs have no bass at all. The Moondogs does have bass but the design of the amp will not allow it to have bass like PP or SS amps, it does what it is designed to do which is excellent midrange, excellent detail. The bass it does have satisfies my early morning needs and I'm listening to them now with Norah Jones and she sounds great!

Again it goes back to your bass needs. I am sure there are SET amps that have worse bass or better bass than my Moondogs.

On albums like Norah Jones or Jack Johnson, Jazz vocalist, great vocals with acoustic instraments, the moondogs really sound good.

I am not going into how the midrange sounds, about how detailed it sounds. I am not good at that type of review all I know is I really like both and with some tube rolling they could even get better.

Kevin sent a Pair of Sovtek 2A3 and a pair of Electro Harmonix 2A3 tubes plus four Jan Phillips 6SN7s, two Mullard GZ37. The Sovteks 2A3 sound smoother but still detailed and I like them better than the EH 2A3.

Any 2A3 SET owners I would appreciate suggestions for different tubes on all 3 tubes used in the Moondogs.

If your answers to the amp requirments were similar to mine a SET amp might be a interesting experiment for you. I would suggest finding someone with some SET amps and listen to them first. I took a chance and bought these amps cause of their reputation as excellent SET 2A3 amps and knew I could resell them if need be.

So my experience with these SET amps has been a very positive one.

post-13699-13819283995174_thumb.jpg

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what a great review! Although I run 300Bs instead of 2A3s (which I would really like to audition!) I too am an addict to the SET sound..have been for years. I also do NOT want to make this an amp war..just agreeing with your views on SET. I just sold off a brand spanking new McIntosh MC275 tube amp in favor of my lowly SET amp..just because I preferred the sound. I wanted to experience the difference, and definitely liked the SET better. But like I have stated before, I am not the norm here.

Congratulations! It's YOUR ears, and your preference! Enjoy!

Steve

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Welcome to the SET world of music! I too have new LaScalas and enjoy SETs (Wright 3.5)

I find I also prefer the Sovtek to the EH, especially on classical and acoustic instruments. The EH seem to be more extended in the bass and treble, but they don't get the overall balance and harmonic structure quite right to my ears.

Although there is much out there about the different power tubes the Sovteks are considered excellent. Many beleive that the critical tubes are the drivers, more so than the power tubes.

https://www.tubeworld.com/6sn7.htm

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James:

My pleasure!

I'm glad that they are working well for you, and I agree with what you said about room requirements and listening preferences. The GZ37s you have are excellent tubes, as are the others Kevin included with the amps. The rectifiers (GZ37) did test a little low, but all voltages were still fine. However, you may need to replace them in the not too distant future. There are a few different 5 volt rectifiers that will work in the Moondogs, and I can send you a list of some things to try, as well as some additional sources for tubes.

There are Moondogs owners who have experiemented with many more 6SN7s than I have, and they might contribute here, too. The Sovtek 2A3s are really outstanding regardless of their very reasonable cost, but it's possible to pay quite a bit for some vintage 2A3s.

Thanks for the review,

Erik

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I was looking at the prices for some of the vintage 2A3 tubes and I would have to hear them before spending that much money.

The Sovteks seem to be very nice sounding 2A3 tubes so I will experiment with the rectifier and 6SN7 tubes. Then maybe later try a different 2A3 tube.

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Great review! Told in plain English without all those descriptive audiophile jargons such as bloom, synergy, cohesion, and liquidity!

I've had great luck with my NOS RCA 6SN7GTB black plate drivers...I hear those from Sylvania to be equally impressive as well. For great varieties of 6SN7s, try this site: http://www.tubeseller.com/

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Congratulations on the Moondogs. Nice amp. The Sovtek 2A3 is about as

good as it gets. The old RCA's probably do a tad better, but it's not

by much. I have the same RCA 6SN7 driving my Sovtek that Jim mentioned

above. I also have the Sylvania, which I like to pair with the RCA

2A3s. I've had the Sovtek/RCA pair in there for months and have no

motivation to change them. Enjoy.

Leo

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Hey, those are handsome amps!!!

I found the Moondog circuit to be responsive to changes to the 2a3 and 6sn7. The rectifier change didn't do all that much other than look pretty.

I'm glad that you are enjoying the amps. When you have a chance, you may wish to investigate the more expensive of the modern 2a3 offerings from TJ, Emission Labs and (if you can find them) AVVT (JAC music has a few matched mesh pairs left). These are pricey to be sure, but I found them to add a bit of muscle to the Moondog - especially the TJ 2.5v 300b (drop in for the 2a3 amps). They sacrifice a bit of the midrange magic, but you may find that they give you a better balanced amp.

Have fun!

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First I want to thank Kevin for selling the amps to me.

Second I want to thank Erik for taking so much of his time to look over the amps and make sure they were okay after shipping.

I have had the Welborne Moondogs for a week now and decided to post my impresions.

These are the first SET amps I have owned and I have been very pleased with the performance of these amps! This is a hobby for me so I wanted to try SET amps and if I did not like them I would know for myself.

But SET amps have specfic requirements and conditions from the owner.

If you do not seriously review your room size,how far back do you sit from the speakers, speaker DB, bass requirements, volume level while listening to music and what type of music you llike you will probably not like SET amps. But if like me your situation meets the requirements then SET amps can be great amps. I want to clarify that I really like the Moondogs but plan on keeping my Cayin TA 30 tube amp 35 watts and have VRDs on my list of stuff to get. Moondogs for late night listening and the Cayin TA 30 for day, weekends, and home theater so I have the best of both worlds!

I am going to ask anyone replying to my review remember this is a review in my house, my system, my music and my ears. I am not saying these amps should replace all other amps but some people could enjoy SET amps. So please lets not make this a SET vs PP vs SS arenea battle! If any of you want to argue about SET vs PP then send each other emails or PM, thanks!!

My living room is 15 x 15 x 8 and the midrange horns are 13 feet apart.

I sit 10-12 feet back from my 2004 La Scalas which are 104 Db.

I have never been a bass hound, sure I like music to have good bass but I don't have to have speakers or subs that can go down to the bottom really low bass. Plus I listen to 70% of my music from 3:30-7:00 AM and I do not want the sherrifs dept knocking on my door in the middle of the night.

Even during the day or on weekends when if I want to crank it up I can I don't go that loud. My living room is small and when I go beyond moderate volume levels the sound goes from great to a physical wall of sound that sounds terrible. If I had a larger living room I would have not bought the Moondogs.

Volume: so in MY living room the Moondogs provide more watts to my La Scalas than I can use. With my Cayin 35 watt tube amp I turn the volume knob to 9:30-10:00 and that is as loud as I can take in my living room and almost never go that loud. With the Moondogs I passed that volume level. The Moondogs can play louder than I listen in my small living room. Take my system and speakers and put them in my best friends larger living room and it would not be loud enough. To give you a idea if you were sitting on the couch next to me you would be talking at the top of your voice almost yelling so I could hear you.

BASS: My Moondogs do not have the bass that my Cayin has, period.

But that does not mean the Moondogs have no bass at all. The Moondogs does have bass but the design of the amp will not allow it to have bass like PP or SS amps, it does what it is designed to do which is excellent midrange, excellent detail. The bass it does have satisfies my early morning needs and I'm listening to them now with Norah Jones and she sounds great!

Again it goes back to your bass needs. I am sure there are SET amps that have worse bass or better bass than my Moondogs.

On albums like Norah Jones or Jack Johnson, Jazz vocalist, great vocals with acoustic instraments, the moondogs really sound good.

I am not going into how the midrange sounds, about how detailed it sounds. I am not good at that type of review all I know is I really like both and with some tube rolling they could even get better.

Kevin sent a Pair of Sovtek 2A3 and a pair of Electro Harmonix 2A3 tubes plus four Jan Phillips 6SN7s, two Mullard GZ37. The Sovteks 2A3 sound smoother but still detailed and I like them better than the EH 2A3.

Any 2A3 SET owners I would appreciate suggestions for different tubes on all 3 tubes used in the Moondogs.

If your answers to the amp requirments were similar to mine a SET amp might be a interesting experiment for you. I would suggest finding someone with some SET amps and listen to them first. I took a chance and bought these amps cause of their reputation as excellent SET 2A3 amps and knew I could resell them if need be.

So my experience with these SET amps has been a very positive one.

I have to say this is the very best well rounded review of the strengths and weakness of SET I have ever read here on this forum. I say GREAT JOB !!

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xman,

Like youself I am new to the SET camp.I enjoyed your thoughts on the sound.I have had SET's in the system for about 4 months and have found different tubes can make a difference,especially the driver tube.You might want to try some tube dampers as well.I find they add a clarity to the sound.

http://electronics.search.ebay.com/tube-dampers_Tubes_W0QQbsZSearchQQcatrefZC6QQcoactionZcompareQQcoentrypageZsearchQQcopagenumZ1QQfclZ3QQfgtpZQQfposZ52404QQfromZR2QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQftrtZ1QQftrvZ1QQlopgZQQsacatZ64627QQsadisZ200QQsaprchiZQQsaprcloZQQsargnZQ2d1QQsaslcZ2QQsbrftogZ1QQsofocusZbs

I found the price of these the best.Some can be quite expensive,and these are a fairly economical way to check them out.

Greg

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Wonderful review, thanks for taking the time to post,

good thing you have a sub with those LaScalas to get the mid (40s) and lower bass,

I too love the 2A3 SET sound,

room acoustics is probably the only thing you could do next...[H]

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Wonderful review, thanks for taking the time to post,

good thing you have a sub with those LaScalas to get the mid (40s) and lower bass,

I too love the 2A3 SET sound,

room acoustics is probably the only thing you could do next...[H]

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  • 3 months later...

More reviews should be like that, it's more about what sounds right to you the listener.

I to have SET amps one 2a3, and one 300b. The 300b is a better amp than my 2a3, but it sounds pretty good to me for what it is. As far as tubes I have the same ones you have and they are just fine. If you want to spend alot of money the vintage RCA'S are better, butI don't think they are that much better. Just my opinion. Bye the way I almost got the same amps you have, but chose the 300b instead. No regreats, at all.

Jay

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