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Old 25th January 2013, 09:25 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
On another note, how many of you are aware just how ridiculous the prices for amps can be?
Never noticed.

jeff
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Old 25th January 2013, 09:30 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by vinylkid58 View Post
Never noticed.

jeff


I figured there where some seriously expensive "audiofool" amps out there, but I had no idea just how foolish it gets.

The people who buy the amps on the first page are the same people who make jokes about starving people while they enjoy their Christmas dinner.

I've witnessed it.
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Old 25th January 2013, 11:55 PM   #73
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I just had a pleasant surprise.

I had assumed the I-25 came with generic (unmarked) Shuguang EL34 tubes.

Just now I discovered the "Psvane" and the "peacock logo" on the back of each tube!

They're not the black bottles, but the "Hi-Fi Series" EL34 (Quad) | Psvane Audio Tubes, Caps and Amps

So, this $400 amp comes with $100 worth of EL34s, and another $40 worth of 12AX7 and 12AU7.

So the amp is $260 ?

Crazy!
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Old 26th January 2013, 12:38 AM   #74
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... Floyd - Zabriskie Point Session. Screaming good! I'm there!
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Old 26th January 2013, 01:28 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
Someone will buy it.
You know, I took some time and looked at some of the amps. There were a few that I liked, but forget the price. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just can't see what's so special about some or those amps from the sales pitch.

I can see an honest to god high end tube amp costing $20-25K tops, no ripoff. I would think that you could market a stellar tube amp for $10-12 K with 50% markup. Are my figures close?

I am intrigued by some esoteric designs but for everyday use and my hard earned money I just don't see the value in them.

I have been experimenting with (mostly) cheap and common parts, tweaking and optimising them. I built a "zero budget" power amp out of salvage parts and applied some simple and obvious tweaks. The results were so good that I actually put it in a box, which was salvaged from an ancient project. I have learned so much since then that I am going to rip it apart and make it better with $25 worth of parts from Mouser.

My point is that clever design and implementation can get you (at least) 90% of what a budget breaking uber amp will give you for 10% or less of the price.
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Old 26th January 2013, 09:26 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
Matt sounds like a truly dedicated tube guy! Wow! You are lucky to know him!

When you talk about the differences between tubes, however, are you talking about technical differences, or the sound of the tubes? Technical differences, what Matt has spent a lifetime testing, cannot be argued. They are empirical data. But how much does Matt say about the subjective evaluation of tubes?

The reason I ask is because I do feel I can tell the difference between some tubes. I have rolled about 5 different kinds of tubes through my Grant Fidelity B-283 Tube Buffer (no longer in my system after installing the I-25), and there were noticeable differences. So much so that I ended up settling on a favourite - NOS Mullard 4010 - and gave the rest away to a fellow forum member (although I did keep a pair of NOS Sylvania 6AK5, since there is something very nice about them, too.)

Maybe I won't be able to tell the difference between Electro Harmonix EL34 and the Shuguang EL34. Maybe I will. Either way it is a win-win, because I will need more tubes eventually anyway and in the meantime I get to find out if I can hear the difference.

Regarding interconnects; we're on the same page. Not dollar store specials, not the $500 jobbies. Just something decent. Last time I needed an interconnect, I dug through one of my "parts n' wires" boxes and ended up finding a nice quality RGB component video interconnect. It sounds great, but I wonder if I should have used the green and blue, rather than the green and red
I appreciate your opinion on cap sound differences. I tend to not believe anything anyone says unless I can imagine why there would be a difference. So often there are other variables at play. Some caps are more inductive than others, thereby affecting phase margin in high feedback amps. Tubes of the same number will have different plate resistance and linearity. Even of the same brand. I've seen it vary widely within the two sections of a dual triode. The Rp variation would theoretically affect the low end cutoff of the coupling cap, which could be audible. it seems like these variables go on and on, and I never hear people talk about them, so I remain a skeptic. Matt has been telling me for years that different caps of a given dielectric do sound significantly different. I guess I need to do some listening for myself. When the dielectrics measure the same, and the physical construction is minimally inductive, it's hard for me to imagine why there would be an audible difference. Matt says they resonate while acting as transducers. That could be I guess. Humans are very good at convincing themselves that they hear a difference when there actually isn't one. Linkwitz has elaborated on this a bit, even referencing articles about it. Knowing someone who sells speaker wire for $11,000 per pair of 20 ft. wires (Jenlabs here in Portland Oregon) makes me a bit cynical all around. Sorry if I put out that vibe.
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Old 26th January 2013, 09:31 PM   #77
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Update: $14,000 for two 10 foot speaker cables at Jenalabs:
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WTF...
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Old 27th January 2013, 12:25 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitech View Post


I figured there where some seriously expensive "audiofool" amps out there, but I had no idea just how foolish it gets.

The people who buy the amps on the first page are the same people who make jokes about starving people while they enjoy their Christmas dinner.

I've witnessed it.
I've heard a few expensive systems; for example one built around Mcintosh electronics (forgot the speakers they used), one around Nagra electronics paired with top of the line ProAc speakers; a top Naim system with top KEF speakers, one with Jadis tube electronics and magneplanars. Indeed, very high total system prices but in these cases I thought that the sound of each of these systems was sublime.
Also great results from Voxativ fullrange speakers and Avant Garde horns. And, systems around the almost reasonably priced on the 2nd hand market Quad ESL 63 can also be magical.
On the other hand I didn't care at all for a good number of other expensive systems.
My opinion is that some of these systems, while ridiculously expensive, are indeed incredibly musical. I won't judge people who buy them, just as I don't judge people who buy Ferraris.
My favourite system from all the above? Nagra electronics with big ProAc towers. Fabulous, truly fabulous.
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Old 27th January 2013, 06:46 PM   #79
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How speakers interact with listening room acoustics is perhaps the weakest link in any system. Those who have played with calibrated mics much are likely to understand this.
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Old 28th January 2013, 02:34 PM   #80
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Shuguang = Psvane (now).


Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
I just had a pleasant surprise.

I had assumed the I-25 came with generic (unmarked) Shuguang EL34 tubes.

Just now I discovered the "Psvane" and the "peacock logo" on the back of each tube!

They're not the black bottles, but the "Hi-Fi Series" EL34 (Quad) | Psvane Audio Tubes, Caps and Amps

So, this $400 amp comes with $100 worth of EL34s, and another $40 worth of 12AX7 and 12AU7.

So the amp is $260 ?

Crazy!
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I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
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