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Pez 7th January 2010 05:05 PM

Tubelab SE vs Simple SE
Has anyone built both these amps and compared them? I am contemplating building a Tubelab SE and currently have a Simple SE. I was thinking about just building a simple again, but wanted to get peoples opinion on the Tubelab SE. I have never used a DHT amp in my setup and was just curious to get others experiences with sonic preferences.

SGregory 7th January 2010 09:57 PM

Tubelab SE sounds good to my ears. Not fair for me to compare it to my Simple SE as the simple SE has budget OPT's right now. I do like the simple SE enough that I will be putting decent OPT's on it as well some time in the near future.

Easy to tweek the Tubelab SE however. I Like That!

Ty_Bower 8th January 2010 01:31 AM

I first built a Simple SE. Then I decided I want a DHT, and eventually built one. It ended up being a design other than the Tubelab SE. I will say that I have a slight preference to my single ended DHT amp (6B4G) over my Simple SE, despite the DHT amp having significantly cheaper output transformers on it. I still enjoy my Simple SE, and use it on a regular basis.

Based on my roundabout experience, I'd guess the Tubelab SE is probably a worthwhile improvement over the Simple SE. Maybe someday I should built one myself...

rknize 8th January 2010 04:24 AM

I have both.

I prefer the Tubelab SE for detailed, serious listening (me alone sitting in the "spot"). I prefer it most with 45s. My speakers are quite sensitive, so that is a factor. But for more casual listening at generally higher volumes, the extra omph of Simple SE is also nice. So they both have their merits.

On my setup, the SSE with SED EL34s approaches the detail level of the TSE when setup with 300Bs. Not quite there, but close. The two have very different OPTs too, so that is a major factor.

Pez 8th January 2010 07:40 PM

Thanks for the response guys, I knew this was going to be a tough question to field. Way too many variables, for instance rknize uses SED EL34s and I use KT88s. Though I have tried the exact tubes you have most KT88s are just a lot better to my ears, way more detail. If anyone else has anything to add it would be greatly appreciated.

rknize 8th January 2010 08:14 PM

Well, I've used a huge variety of tubes in the SSE. Mine is built with tube rolling in mind. The SED EL34s happened to sound the most detailed to me, at least they did the one time I tried to compare the two amps. I ranted on about it in this post:

urmoo 8th January 2010 08:23 PM

Thanks, Pez, for initiation this thread- I am also very interested in opinions about subject. My Simple SE uses KT66. Why? Because of this review: John Templeton's KT66 Tube Reviews . Honestly- Simple SE with massive EDCOR CXSE25-8-5K transformers I have nothing left on "wish list", its just perfect! Therefore I wonder, if something better (Tubelab SE) can beat the perfect one :)

Pez 8th January 2010 08:24 PM

Interesting read. I've tried the KT88 and the EL34 you mentioned. If you want a really amazing KT88 try the Penta KT88 SC they are very very good. Also the Gold Lion KT66s are very good, but not as detailed as the Pentas. However the absolute best I have heard period are the Shuguang Treasures these tubes are in a class of their own. They are very pricey, but worth every cent IMO.

SGregory 8th January 2010 09:38 PM

The nice thing about both of these amps is being able to play with things. I am also interested in driver tubes and bias points for a particular tube. PEZ have you adjusted these to see how the different tubes perform?

Pez 8th January 2010 09:49 PM

I have used various driver tubes, Phillips 7062s and various 12at7s, ultimately I find Mullard 12at7s to be the best in almost any category. I have always been partial to Mullards so no surprise there. I know a lot of you guys are using 12bh7s with good results. As far as bias, I have not tried any changes there.

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