|Tubes / Valves All about our sweet vacuum tubes :) Threads about Musical Instrument Amps of all kinds should be in the Instruments & Amps forum|
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|3rd August 2008, 10:26 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2008
What do you use? Not Techicnal but relative
Some outstanding and awsome work here.
This is not a technicial question, for a change. But I'm wondering, what other input/outputs do you use with your amps?
For example, do you use turntables, CD Players, Tape, Preamps, Tuners or what?
Also, are these units also tube or ss? does it bother you to have constructed an excellent amplifier only to utilize a digital/ss CD Player for example.
Im aware the differences between a fine CD DAC but not everyone can afford one.
Do you think a basic (But good) turntable is adequate)?
I am curious as I have just aquired a new PP amp.
Thanks in advance
|3rd August 2008, 12:21 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2002
Blog Entries: 2
Both CD and phono here. No, the digitization doesn't bother me- I think the main advantages of tubes comes in very low level, high dynamic range circuitry like phono and in power amps. The "in the middle" stuff is frankly not as critical and much easier to do well. Unlike phono, the levels and bandwidth of CD are quite tightly defined.
A basic-but-good turntable will do very, very well for you, but make sure you've got things optimized to get the most out of it. That means mechanically (cartridge alignment, turntable siting) and electrically. Most phono systems fall down badly at the phono preamp portion, and here's where a good tube setup, with proper cartridge loading and good overload characteristics, will really shine.
“Just as soon as we get our opposable thumbs on an interesting concept, the rest of our chimp brains hijack it for a drunken joyride down the interstate.”
|3rd August 2008, 03:14 PM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2008
I have a multi disc CD player, a vintage Pro-Ject 1.2 turntable and my big screen tv running through my Lafayette 224A. I did connect a subwoofer as well, but it's modern solid state (I only use it for the movies).
I am considering mod'ing my CD with a tube preamp, there are a few kits out there, it bypasses the audio path giving you a better sound (or so I am told) , but thats down the road aways, when I get motivated.
Building my own 30 P-P is my first priority.
|3rd August 2008, 06:03 PM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Re: What do you use? Not Techicnal but relative
Personally I would quite like to try an 'old fashioned' reel-to-reel with tapes from 'The Tape Project', but finances do not allow. So does it 'bother' me by having to stick with records and CDs? Not for a second... entertainment is entertainment... sometimes relaxing... sometimes dancing around... but never 'bothered'.
Must go... need to flip sides...
|3rd August 2008, 06:58 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: big smoke
Phono, DAC, tuner and .....computer (the latter using Gentoo linux to stream movies from a server.) When it comes to turntables you live in good times. The recent revival means a vastly superior kit can be had for less in equivalent dollars than the ~$125 I paid in the early Seventies for an AR XA & Shure M91ED. If you have a decent collection of vinyl it's worth it.
Ears aren't microphones.
|3rd August 2008, 07:37 PM||#6|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Blog Entries: 6
My system is an odd mix of tube and solid state, but it would not have been that way 10yrs ago...
Let's see, three digital sources:
A Sony SCD-777ES sacd player that I have heavily modified, audio output is from a single pair of differential I/V converters (LM4562) per channel driving UTC A-20 line/mixing transformers - output is balanced or unbalanced as I choose..
A media server and a "Shigaclone" transport driving my custom dac loosely based on some boards and a receiver module from Twisted Pear Audio - differential I/V converters using the THS4131 driving UTC A-21 line/mixing transformers, both balanced and unbalanced out as I choose.
These digital sources are both transparent and not overtly solid state sounding..
FM Tuners - A couple of tube tuners and a Mitsubishi DA-F10 which is all solid state. Frankly my favorite tuner at the moment is the DA-F10..
Records - Handled by a restored Thorens TD-125/SME 3009 Series II/Grado and the riaa amplifier is my own D3A/5842 based design.
Tape - I just got an Otari MX-55-T-M mastering recorder I am integrating into the system. (10.5" reels, 2 track, Dolby HX Pro, NAB or IEC EQ., and up to 30 ips operation.)
No plans to support cassette tape now or in the future.
Line Stage - Transformer coupled line stage with 26 dhts..
Power Amplifier - 300B DHT SE two chassis
My designs generally have tightly regulated tube power supplies and simple audio paths.
I have no problem (any longer) mixing and matching for the best overall sound. Eventually I plan to replace the LM4562s in the sacd player with THS4131 on adaptor boards I've yet to make.
I have had all tube analog paths in several d/a and cd players I've tinkered with and frankly my current approach with d/a converters provides me with better overall performance than my older tube designs. (These days I would use 5687/5842/D3A and similar types - old designs used 6SL7, 5751 and 12AU7A and sounded nice, but just a bit euphonic, they had neither the speed nor resolution of my current approach.)
Speakers are homebrew Onken cabs with JBL horns on mids and tweets.
Mix and match I say with the aim of getting the type of sound you are looking for and whatever level of convenience you need..
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan
|3rd August 2008, 08:32 PM||#7|
Join Date: Jul 2007
A collection at this end too:
- Sota TT w/Sumiko FT3 arm rewired with pure silver and Adcom VdH SXC
- other cartridges about... Decca Gold, Sumiko BluePoint and others
- Kenwood KD500 with Infinity Black widow - still about, not used for 15+ years
- Otari MX55 deck
- Dyna FM3 tuner (hardly used as FM in South Florida not worth listening to)
- Marantz Pro Portable cassette deck
- Tascam Pro DAT machine
- Apogee PSX 100 24/96 workstation converter
- Mytek Digital Workstation 24
- Mytek Digital Stereo96 DAC
- Mytek Digital AD2021 ADC
- Mytek Digital DDD-603 Mastering Meter
- RME Digi/96 for computer I/O
- Digigram VX/Pocket for laptop
- Digidesign Mbox2 for laptop
- Simple Toshiba DVD deck using SPDIF output
- Custom XLR Pro to Consumer RCA interface using Jensen transformers
- Windows and Apple computers with pro audio software
- customer vacuum tube unit designed and built in the latter 80's
- McIntosh C22, not currently functioning
- Dyna Mk-III rebuilt with better parts
- Dyna ST-70 custom built with better parts and improved PS
- Dyna ST-70 custom built with Audio Research kit with upgrades, DC balance
- Dyna ST-35 rebuilt with better parts
- McIntosh MC240, not currently functioning
- Custom built 45 triode amps using MQ iron
- Custom designed/built 45 triode amps using Hashimoto iron - premium parts
- Custom designed/built 2A3 triode amps using Hashimoto iron - premium parts
- more stuff en route... WE300B and larger 2A3 amps with single-plate tubes
- Quad ESL-63 US Monitor rebuilt/upgraded in Arcici stands
- Fostex F120A in ported enclosures
- Feastrex D5nf in BVR
- Hornshoppe Horns
- other Fostex units around, Decca London Ribbons, Kef units too
- mostly homemade using Mogami cable (if it's good enough for studios...)
- some older Monster high-end stuff, line and speaker
More stuff if I start digging about... but that takes time
|3rd August 2008, 10:25 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jul 2008
WOW!!! Great response!
Thank you all very much.
I’ve just had a look and am surprised at the amount of replies.
I’m also very surprised at the context of the replies. Computers and TV’s? I would never have thought.. It is very eye opening to me. I had thought that tubers were just that and avoided mixing it up. I suppose there are those out there but as people in here have related, it’s all in the final sound you hear and what combination sounds best to you.
I currently have:
Kenwood KR5200 receiver
NAD 7030 Receiver
Pioneer PL 550X Turntable
Luxman D102 CD
Polk Monitor 5A’s on stands
And a MA6P1 10watt pc PP due in about one week.
I plan to do away with the receivers and acquire a tuner as there are some decent radio stations in this area. This is about my zillionth sound system, as I move around the world a lot and tend to leave things behind. However, this will be my first tube amp. I want to build one sometime fairly soon and depending on what 10 watt PP sounds like will help in the decision of what I chose to build.. I’ve gotten some great ideas from this forum, also from the “Audiofool Websites” of which I plan to “Stop doing immediately!!!”.
|4th August 2008, 05:53 AM||#9|
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Adelaide South Oz
10 Watt per channel should be fine for those Polks.
I have driven these with a 7 watt per channel 6GW8 push pull amp (design is posted here somewhere) and they sounded stunning.
|4th August 2008, 11:42 AM||#10|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Grand Rapids
I use the passive version of the RAKK DAC - PCM1794 DAC hooked to a Lundahl transformer. That's about it really.
I am planning a future turntable and phono stage, but its on the bottom of the list right now.
System is in flux right now:
6N6P DIY linestage or Nelson Pass Zen DIY linestage
Dynaco Mark IIIs with tubezone Poseidon and SDS boards
UREI 813As or KEF Q30s(!)
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