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Simple se listening impressions

mchrismag

Member
2015-02-25 11:52 pm
Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the sound of my sse. I bought the small fostex kits from madisound to use with it. I am listening in nearfield, about 3 feet away in triode mode with no feedback. I am amazed with how the midrange sounds! I am enjoying my music collection more than I ever have. Especially vocals and acoustic guitar. Wow! Sounds life like! I've been wanting to build a tube amp for years and I finally did it. Wish I had done it sooner. This amp flat out embarrasses my ss receiver especially with vinyl. Many thanks to George Anderson for designing this amp and making it available to us. Sometime in the future I will be building a simple pp and I have no doubt I will love that amp, too!
 

wdecho

Member
2014-10-28 11:45 am
I also recently finished building the SSE amp. I am using JJ tubes throughout. Specifically the EL34's to start. Outstanding sound and this is my 4 SET build. I also have a 6CB5A amplifier designed by Thomas Mayer, the cheaper build version, and after a very short comparison I would say they are about equal in sound. My tubes need some more hours on them for a fair comparison. Outstanding example of the SET sound.

I mostly listen to MP3 files of a computer and I did notice my bass tightened up and was sharper using a SS pre or maybe a SS buffer. I am just guessing but I will attribute this to some kind of impedance mismatch or maybe the long distance between the computer and amp. When I first compared the amps the 6CB5A bass was much better but the 6CB5A has to have a pre and I am using the BA-3 pre I built for this right now. I decided to make the test equal so I decided to listen to the SSE with the pre also. Big difference, the bass tightened up and now sounds equal. I also have a B1 buffer and I have plans to try the SSE with it.
 

mchrismag

Member
2015-02-25 11:52 pm
Sounds good...is that the intent of those speakers from Madisound? To be for near field listening?

I think, probably that's the intent. I haven't tried them in the far field yet. They don't have much bass and I'm sure that if I listen further away they will have even less. They really need a pair of subwoofers to truly be full range. For what I am using them for they are perfect. Nearfield, low to medium volume levels. A lot of my listening is at night so I can't play them too loud anyway.
 

wdecho

Member
2014-10-28 11:45 am
My Simple SE amp has become my favorite over the other 3 SET's I own. I decided to try some different coupling caps in my SSE and switched from a decent poly to a Dayton film which was about the same sonically to my ears and then I tried a couple of Orange Drops. All I can say is WOW. Tube Depot has them for $2.25 apiece with fair shipping. Unless you have some of the boutique coupling caps you should try some of these Orange Drops. A electronic repairman friend agrees with Orange Drops or Wima MKP coupling caps sounding about the same. I have not tried the Wima's but I trust what my friend says.
 
Orange Drops aren't bad at all. I work on guitars and guitar amps frequently and so I've always got some around. Although hesitant to try them at first, I was pleasantly surprised after I popped them in as coupling capacitors for a little RH84 (12at7+EL84 single ended). I've used them in other "hifi" items since, too.

Cornell Dubilier 940C series are also good, economical, and readily available at Mouser and Digikey in tube amp voltages and values (up to 4.7uf).
 
How does it compare to 45/2A3/300B tube amps with rectifier tubes?
I can honestly say i have owned several of both types including a TSE and a SSE. The 300b DHT type have a mid range presence thats breathtaking however the SSE has more punch and is more dynamic with about 90% of the DHT mid range . I built 2 TSE's and was underwhelmed when both when compaired with my AN 300b amps but my SSE in triode with KT88's or EL34's is quite enjoyable to listen to.