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Old 29th October 2011, 01:10 AM   #1
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Default Frank's Pre Still In Vogue?

Hey All!

Is Frank's 6SN7 preamp still in vogue? I bought a lot of 6CG7, 6CG7/6FQ7, and 6FQ7 tubes (yea yea, they're the same, etc... ) and have been looking around at circuits to build.

I'm torn between the Aikido circuit and Franks'... both seem to be excellent!


Help me make up my mind! Please?



Thanks!!
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Old 29th October 2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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Have you listened to both?

We can't be the ones to make up your mind as that is something you will have to do based on Your opinion. Personally I have a few AIkido's and I also have Franks 5692 line stage. I like them all.

I favor the Aikidos because they have less or no noise because of the design.
My Franks line stage I used VR tube regulation for each channel. Making a line stage isn't that expensive. Surely one could muster up the money to make one and six months later make another line stage.
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Old 29th October 2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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In vogue doesn't matter- performance does. It's a good, basic design.
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Old 29th October 2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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The Aikido topology interests me in that it canceles out the power supply noise while also amplifying a desired signal, which sounds like it would be a very quite preamp. But I've never worked with VR tubes before, so that might be a fun thing to play with. In my mind, Frank's, with a dual-mono layout, 'feels' like it would be a better sounding preamp due to the robust power supply.

I have heard neither circuit.

I'm a student, and as a result what I can and can't do is limited by the time between classes and the space in my bedroom--I could build both, it may take me a couple years to get each up to snuff, but in the end one would be dismantled and I have serious attachment issues with things that I build.

I'm curious: if the sections of a tube, or tubes across pairs, were not well matched, how well does the Aikido design hold up? (conjecture, worst case scenario)


I was being facetious, however I guess you could say it's akin to how the Marantz 7 was once popular, despite the fact that there were better circuits out there to listen to. My question was one of inquiry into whether I missed a better trick or not.

This was call-out for members who have heard both and who could chime in on the subject (thank you, 6BG6GA!) and voice their opinions. Yes, it does matter on what tubes you use; a Telefunken sound can vary wildly from the signature of an RCA, but it's just a feeler. The 'in vogue' bit was more a of question for information about a better circuit.



Apologies if the wording of this reply feels somewhat awkward, I had a better reply typed up but then the page refreshed itself and my message was gone.
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Old 29th October 2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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In the years I have practiced with tubes I have made in the neighborhood of a dozen and a half line stages. I have heard probably at least 50 or so others. In my opinion Franks and the Aikido are tops. Yes, I have heard the Marantz also but was never impressed with it. Have played with a number of the Aikido's have 6sn7/6sn7, 6au6/5687, 6fq7/5687 just to name a few. Have done pc boards and point to point. Did Franks 5692 with a primitive power supply and it sounded great. Went several steps up from there and it sounds good. I'm not going to mention any names but both the Aikido and Franks design will blow away line stages costing several thousands of dollars.

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I'm curious: if the sections of a tube, or tubes across pairs, were not well matched, how well does the Aikido design hold up? (conjecture, worst case scenario)

Never bothered to match the sections. In the real world I don't think most will take the time to go thru 50 or so tubes to come up with something close. Haven't had anything that I popped into the socket sound bad yet. Have auditioned some of the most coveted 6SN7's out there. The 5692 which most will say sound the best. The Russian 1578's will blow everything to the curb in my opinion. I've kind of formed the impression that the good circuits do not seem to change sound much when high dollar components are used but then again there are those that will argue the point. The better the power supply the better the sound in my experience with most designs. The Aikido on the other hand does not need something special in the way of the power supply in order to sound good Just my .02

Last edited by Original Burnedfingers; 29th October 2011 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 29th October 2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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So if I wanted to do up an Aikido with Frank's PSU, it would be a wasted effort? What I'm getting at is that if the tube is trying to cancel out noise while amplifying a musical signal, there must be a point where some really, really noise PSU hinders the performance of the preamp!

(by design, the Aikido doesn't want/need a fansy shmancy PSU, but thought I'd ask)


Don't underestimate the value of two cents; thank you for your most-valuable input, 6BG6GA.


*edit* One more question! How would you treat the 1578 tubes when building the Aikido? I have a document that outlines the circuits' resistor and capacitor specs on a per-tube basis... would I build the circuit setup for 6CG7/6CG7?

Last edited by thefragger; 29th October 2011 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 29th October 2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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quote:
One more question! How would you treat the 1578 tubes when building the Aikido? I have a document that outlines the circuits' resistor and capacitor specs on a per-tube basis... would I build the circuit setup for 6CG7/6CG7

I use the same setup with the 1578's as I do 6SN7 or 5692. The 6CG7/6FQ7 is supposed to be the same as the 6Sn7.

It would be interesting to see if there were any gains to be made using a regulated supply such as Frank has. I think in this application with an Aikido that you might not be able to hear differences because of the power supply rejection capabilities of the circuit.
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Old 29th October 2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Hi,

You guy's are talking phono (MM, MC) preamps or just line stages here?

TIA,
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Old 29th October 2011, 10:53 PM   #9
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragger View Post
So if I wanted to do up an Aikido with Frank's PSU, it would be a wasted effort? What I'm getting at is that if the tube is trying to cancel out noise while amplifying a musical signal, there must be a point where some really, really noise PSU hinders the performance of the preamp!

(by design, the Aikido doesn't want/need a fansy shmancy PSU, but thought I'd ask)


Don't underestimate the value of two cents; thank you for your most-valuable input, 6BG6GA.


*edit* One more question! How would you treat the 1578 tubes when building the Aikido? I have a document that outlines the circuits' resistor and capacitor specs on a per-tube basis... would I build the circuit setup for 6CG7/6CG7?

Your instinct is telling you something, isn't it?

Ciao,
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Old 30th October 2011, 04:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdegrove View Post
Hi,

Your instinct is telling you something, isn't it?

Ciao,
Hi Frank!

It's telling me that I'm an engineering nerd, by wanting to combine the two complex bits of each build!

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