Matched and lovin it [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : Matched and lovin it



Enochrome
05-24-2010, 09:04 PM
Wow!!

I just switched carts on tables and now I am loving it.

Put my OM-20 on my Luxman to see if I could match a fast cart with details in the highs, with a smooth and robust sounding table. I then spent last night listening to a lot of seventies electronic music (Michael Jarre) and it put me in a trance. I took the weight out of the cartridge and set tracking force at 1.75 and that thing smokes!!! I heard details in the highs that was crazy and the bass was so tight and smooth, while never bleeding into the midrange.

Here's a crappy pick
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4020/4637533045_8bb2c4b81f_b.jpg

Then, I put the Grado Blue on the Dual 505 because I knew it would not have any hum issues. Man, I think those two were made for each other!! It sounds much better than the Luxman pairing. Granted, I spent a good part of the afternoon setting both tables up, and I think that really made difference for the Grado. Classical music sounds great on the Dual set up, and acoustic music is equally satisfying.

Another crappy pick
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4638162396_9db6e4cc5c_b.jpg

**(man I can't get these pics to come out large)**

I have both tables running through my Pioneer SX-650 with the Luxman running through the 650 phono stage and the Dual through the Aux with the AT-PEQ3 preamp.

Life is good :)

poppachubby
05-25-2010, 02:38 AM
Sounds great Eno. It's almost indescribable, that sound. More importantly, the great feeling that comes with it. In this hobby it's equivelant to climbing a mountain. I think the fact that you hung in patiently for an afternoon is what netted you the results.

Proof positive that great synergy takes the place of super high end components.

How do you find that little AT? I've always been curious. Honestly there was a point where I had about 5 external stages, silly really. I now use a Creek OBH-18 in my main system, which I am REALLY enjoying and a Kenwood Basic C1 with my computer. I sold or traded most of what I had. There's a swap meet coming up where I will sell what's left hopefully.

Still no Flickr account huh?

frenchmon
05-25-2010, 09:48 AM
Eno...nice to see you are really getting into it. I've been away from Vinyl for 20+ years due to the invention of CD and some other reasons I wont go into. Now in 2010...as much as I love my CD's and SACD's... im discovering that Vinyl is a more warmer sound with less analitical effects. I think I will be buying Vinyl as apposed to CD's for a while seeing I hve hardly any Vinyl...most of my dads stuff was really worn, I only managed to save about 30 albums and I need to clean those 30 asap.

cheers.

Enochrome
05-25-2010, 09:50 AM
Thanks Poppa!

I like the AT: it is completely neutral, but I would gather not as deep and revealing as higher stages. I think Stereophile gave it a good review because of it's confident neutrality at such a cheap price ($43.00!!!) It sounded almost like the SX-650 phono stage, except a little less smooth and not as much output.

For the pics, I used my flicker account. I right clicked on the image in the main page in order to get the image url, as required by the audio review forum site, and it always comes out small. I tried getting the url address from the image page that is bigger , but it does not give me that option. Grrrrrrr :(

I've always wanted to try one of those chinese tube stages that you see on Ebay. I like the one that has both inputs for phono and cd, that way I can warm up my cd's :)

Enochrome
05-25-2010, 10:08 AM
Frenchmon,

I agree with you on the sound and the new buying direction. I have been exclusively buying vinyl for the past couple of months (to the disgust of my friends who want to burn my purchases but realize they can't).

I got tired of burning, downloading, and file swapping: it just became all to impersonal. I thought about how music when growing up was such an event. I have always bought a lot music ever since I was 10 years old, and I loved that feeling of buying a new album. That, in some way, has been lost when my friends give me 3 gigs worth of music and half of songs come out label "Track 1 - 50".

Plus, I recently required some Mono Lp's that I an diggin that you can't not get on CD.

Frenchmon, I spend a lot time cleaning records, because I have a lot of good luck at the thrift stores ( where I have found all my Mono purchases, at record shop they would be astronomical) I feel you on the need to clean those records.

Have fun!!! and watch the bank account !! ;)

poppachubby
05-25-2010, 10:40 AM
I've always wanted to try one of those chinese tube stages that you see on Ebay. I like the one that has both inputs for phono and cd, that way I can warm up my cd's :)

Eno, I wouldn't bother with too many buffers and such. Better off with a proper tube pre. Using the tape out, you can actually wire them up to be dedicated "buffers". There's a great recipe for taking a vintage American tube pre, like an EICO per se, and converting it into a dedicated stage. Taken from Arthur Salvatore's site...


If you already have a line stage, and are now looking for just a phono stage, and also want excellent quality without paying "big bucks", there is an easy solution that you will never read anywhere else;

Just find a top notch used tube preamplifier from the 1980ís or 1990ís at a bargain price!

Confused?...

All you have to do is take the audio signal from the preamplifier's "tape outputs", which automatically bypasses the preamplifierís entire line stage and all of its controls, except the selector switch.

More good news...

There are plenty of excellent choices;
Audio Research Corp. SP-8, SP-6 (later models), SP-10 & SP-11;
Conrad Johnson (not quite as desirable as ARC) PV-5, PV-7, PV-2, PV-1, Premier Two and Premier Three (check the circuit boards carefully for deterioration);
Counterpoint SA-3 and SA-5 series (very desirable);
Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 (all versions);
MFA-Magus and Audible Illusions Modulus II or III series.
The various Melos, Music Reference and the older Paragon and Precision Fidelity models (C-4, C-7, C-8, C-9) are also excellent choices.
If you are on a real tight budget, a Dynaco PAS-2, 3 or 3(X) will work very well.

All of these units can and should be modified (with superior coupling capacitors etc). There are undoubtedly a number of other models that are also worthy of consideration, which I have either overlooked or forgotten, for now.

FURTHER- I have CRITICAL information for those of you who are using the phono stage section of a tube preamplifier (through its Tape Output), while also bypassing its line stage. Since I've advised using this procedure for years now, here's the latest advice I learned (from Tom Tutay) about optimizing the performance of these components. It's quite simple...

While the Selector Switch is obviously on the Phono input, you should also make certain that the Tape Monitor switch, if there is one, is always set to "Tape" or "On". When you do this, the output signal of the dedicated phono stage goes directly to the Tape Output ONLY, while none of the signal goes to its internal Line Stage, which would further load it down, thus weakening it. Keep in mind: ANY weakening of this already delicate phono signal will be detrimental to it, so this procedure is mandatory if you want to optimize the inherent capabilities of the phono stage. This procedure may also help transistor phono stages.

Also, do NOT remove the tubes in the now unused line stage. Put "junkers" in the tube sockets if you have to. Why? Because the heater voltages may otherwise become too high for the remaining tubes still in the phono stage, which may both compromise their performance and even reduce their operating life.


And here Eno is the recipe to be given to any astute tube tech. I may want to eventually convert my EICO this way. Ideally I will sell it and my Creek to fund an ARC SP9....



Dr. Stanley Lipschitz's RIAA Equalization Curve
(The most accurate I'm aware of at this time)

Personal Note- A number of readers have asked me for this over the years. So here it is:

Overview- The signal goes (backward) from the output (plate) of the second RIAA tube to the cathode of the first RIAA tube, both of them are 12AX7s. Here's the formula and instructions, step by step:
1. A 1.21m ohm resistor and a 2,640 pf cap, which are in parallel, are soldered to the second RIAA tube plate. This output signal is, in turn, soldered, in series, with;
2. A 100k ohm resistor and 750pf cap, which are also in parallel;
3. The output of this is finally soldered to the cathode of the first RIAA tube.

So, in effect, you have two separate resistor/capacitor "couples", with the signal going first through one of them, then the other (in series), finally ending at the cathode of the first tube, and becoming the RIAA equalization feedback.

frenchmon
05-25-2010, 02:21 PM
PoppaC...you may have solved my problem! You see...I love my RC1090....it is a very good preamp but its SS. Not edgy but not tubes...know what I mean? I Thought about a tube buffer, but sorta decided against it. So are you telling me I can use a tubed preamp as sorta like a buffer runing through the tape outs of the tubed pre? Sounds good, but how would this be different from a dedicated buffer?

02audionoob
05-25-2010, 03:16 PM
For the pics, I used my flicker account. I right clicked on the image in the main page in order to get the image url, as required by the audio review forum site, and it always comes out small. I tried getting the url address from the image page that is bigger , but it does not give me that option. Grrrrrrr :(

To post a pic, left-click it on the main Flickr page, left-click "all sizes", left-click your choice of sizes, like "Medium" and look at option 2 below. That's the image url you want to post.

Enochrome
05-25-2010, 05:06 PM
Thanks noob. That did the trick, even though now the pictures are huge, but that is because I thought it was my camera at first and changed the file size to large.

Check out that dusty Grado.

I took the weight out of the OM20 partly because those bolts are huge. Those bolts make my OM20 look like it is behind bars :)

Enochrome
05-25-2010, 05:35 PM
Poppa,

Let me get this straight: Are you saying to use a tube receiver as a buffer and plug in the cd player to the tape in/out? I know I am not understanding this. Because the alternative is buying a tube pre?

Enochrome
05-25-2010, 05:45 PM
Poppa,

I reread that post about the preamp buffer and basically from what I understand is that you plug all your components into the pre and then run it through the tape outs, thus bypassing any equalization and then plug it into the phono stage of your receiver for the RIAA equalizing? I also looked at some of those recommended old choices are still really expensive. I can always dream.

02audionoob
05-25-2010, 07:25 PM
Thanks noob. That did the trick, even though now the pictures are huge, but that is because I thought it was my camera at first and changed the file size to large.

Check out that dusty Grado.

I took the weight out of the OM20 partly because those bolts are huge. Those bolts make my OM20 look like it is behind bars :)

When you're in Flickr, you should see smaller versions that you can choose from, like the "Medium" I mentioned.

poppachubby
05-25-2010, 09:03 PM
Sounds good, but how would this be different from a dedicated buffer?

I can't give you a full technical answer, because I don't have one. Basically a buffer is like a pre-amp without any controls such as gain, etc. It has fixed values.

For the most part, buffers are fakin the funk. They will give your signal some desired effect, but there can be impedance issues depending on your source and where in the chain you are putting it. Some are good, but some won't change things as much as people think.

Guys like E-Stat can better answer this. It's not just buffers, but alot of products that are aimed at giving a tube sound by adding a tubed circuit are not always the real deal. I have read that by attenuating the signal combined with a buffer can produce better effects.

Check out my post to Eno, I think the topology of a proper tube amp modified to a phonocentric concept is the way to go.

poppachubby
05-25-2010, 09:21 PM
Poppa,

I reread that post about the preamp buffer and basically from what I understand is that you plug all your components into the pre and then run it through the tape outs, thus bypassing any equalization and then plug it into the phono stage of your receiver for the RIAA equalizing? I also looked at some of those recommended old choices are still really expensive. I can always dream.

Eno, you are looking at Salvatore's choices. But consider this, if you could find a cheap or defunct EICO, Dynaco, etc. and use this concept, you would have a sweet azz, powerhouse phono stage for a song.

A busted azz tube pre might cost you $50. Here's an Ebay example...http://cgi.ebay.ca/DYNACO-PAS-2-TUBE-PREAMPLIFIER-PARTS-OR-RESTORATION_W0QQitemZ380235169924QQcmdZViewItemQQp tZVintage_Electronics_R2?hash=item5887c84084 A tube tech would charge you probably $200-300 to mod it to your specs and bam!! The great thing with the 12AX7 pre's are that they don't cost a fortune to tube. Even the Jolida JD9 can't be had for that cheap, and you would have something that could make the Jolida blush.

OOOOoooooo, an unassembled kit, real sweet! http://cgi.ebay.ca/Vintage-Dynaco-PAT-4-Preamplifier-Kit-Unassembled_W0QQitemZ250638261598QQcmdZViewItemQQp tZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a5b345d5e

As an example, here's a guy I found near you...http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/msg/1755737250.html

If he charges too much find a guy who doesn't. I bought my EICO HF-85 for $100 fully functional with original tubes. So working or not, a tech can mod it and make it into a real gem for a reasonable price.

As for the tape outputs I think he explains the reasons pretty good. With a phono signal you want as much noise isolation as possible.

Here's a wacky guy who may be able to help you...http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/ele/1747537692.html

I don't see alot of stuff for pre amps, BUT, here's an example of a tubed piece for a decent price in working condition, also he says he has more. Why not call him??....http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/ele/1759512683.html

Essentially you would be putting out a marginal amount of cash for a piece that would perform well out of it's range. Apologies about the rambling post. If it were me, I would buy that unassembled kit and give it to a tech who in turn could build you something really sweet.

poppachubby
05-25-2010, 10:05 PM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4638162396_9db6e4cc5c_b.jpg



Eno I love that hi-fi hair. Do you find it accents the highs?

Enochrome
05-26-2010, 08:40 AM
Poppa,

That cleans the groove before the stylus gets to it. I only deal with audiophile accessories that are "precise" ;)

poppachubby
05-26-2010, 09:37 AM
Dude, any thoughts on the whole stage thing?

frenchmon
05-26-2010, 09:46 AM
I have a guy here not to far from me who owns the Musical Concepts/Designs audio company. He sells and manufactures SS and Tubed amps and preamps. He also does modes...I think I will call him up to see if he will restore old gear.

frenchmon

poppachubby
05-26-2010, 10:48 AM
I have a guy here not to far from me who owns the Musical Concepts/Designs audio company. He sells and manufactures SS and Tubed amps and preamps. He also does modes...I think I will call him up to see if he will restore old gear.

frenchmon

Great idea! And ask him the questions, he will have the answers. Glad I've grabbed your interest. See what he thinks about any of the old 12AX7 stuff with a rectifier. Ask him if he thinks that there's anyway that a buffer could touch a pre with a 6X4 rectifier.

Enochrome
05-31-2010, 09:36 AM
Poppa,

Getting back to using an old tube preamp, I actually acquired that 1962 Pioneer receiver and thought that I could use that as an alternative. Is that the same as what you were discussing? Here's some (gigantic) pics:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4655977073_26502cc6f8_b.jpg

So what your saying is I can run it through the phono stage, here (love the tonearm graphics):

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/4655978183_a4ac1aaa73_b.jpg

and then run out of the tape outs here? :

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4655976789_61e6985f7e_b.jpg

then plug it into my receiver's aux inputs so as to act as a preamp?
I think this is what I am understanding.

Regardless, I think the 12AX7 tube is blown, and one or two of the 6's.
Do you have any recommendations for a good tube and a place to get them.

Anyone else chime in also!!!!

poppachubby
05-31-2010, 09:42 AM
Wow, cool Eno. Yes you could do it that way, but why not use the power section also? Looks like it's in good shape! 12AX7 selection is infinite. Top notch would be some NOS Amperex or Mullard. For new I have read good things about the Electro-Harmonix.

For NOS I think this guy is the best, you should drop him an email. Very accessible and helpful. His site also has lots of great knowledge.

www.audiotubes.com

For new stuff I would look at this. They are in Canada however.

www.thetubestore.com

Enochrome
05-31-2010, 10:40 AM
Thanks Poppa! I only have one pair of speakers and would still like to use my SX-650. Would that compromise the sound of the tubes too much if I use it as strictly a preamp? Thanks for those links, the Tubestore seems the best for my budget.

poppachubby
05-31-2010, 01:00 PM
. Would that compromise the sound of the tubes too much if I use it as strictly a preamp?

Not at all. Might as well try. If that's your only goal I would reccomend nice tubes for the low gain output and "cheapies" for everything else. It's bad to have no tubes in any of the inputs.

Enochrome
05-31-2010, 02:12 PM
ok, thanks. I won't mess with it until I get those tubes.

Thanks for the advice again, you are great help!!!

poppachubby
05-31-2010, 05:59 PM
No prob. You'll have to figure out which tubes are for the low gain. Generally in those pre sections there is a pair of 12AX7 for low ouput like phono and a pair for high output. Then you might have another single tube as a final output stage, sometimes combined with a rectifier. The larger tubes will be for output power for the amp section. Plug into the phono input and remove one pair, if it plays those are your low output, if it doesn't play anything you've removed them.

Enochrome
06-01-2010, 10:17 AM
I took an inventory of the tubes. There are:
1 = 12ax7,
4 = 6BA6
4 = 6BMB (which i believe is for the amp),
1 = big 5AR4 (power output?)
2 = 6BE6 ( part of the phone section?),
2 = 6A9(?)8

The 12AX7, 1 6BE6, and 1 6BA6 are not lighting up. One of the 6BMB looks like it is running hotter than the others.

Are the 12AX7 and the two 6BE6 part of the phono section? By the way, is it dangerous to mess with these tubes?

poppachubby
06-01-2010, 12:10 PM
Not sure. What's the amps model number again? Are you a member of Audiokarma? Might be a good idea to join there or at the Tube/Vintage Asylum. Both have great forums with knowledgable members.

I'm not familiar with some of those tubes, therefore the topology is baffling to me. Give me the model number and we'll find something.

What do you mean by mess with them? Taking them out is no problem at all. In fact, you will want to clean the pins on any you plan to use. Use that Deoxit you love so much.

Enochrome
06-01-2010, 05:40 PM
Pioneer SMB-200A. I could not find much online. I found info on most of the tubes except the 6BE6. I read online a couple of times that you should be cautious when handling tubes because of the voltage.

Enochrome
06-01-2010, 05:44 PM
I tried running it through the tape outs and it worked, but it did not have any warmth to it or much power, which I think is due to the absence of the 12AX7. I still get sound, while the 12AX7 is not lighting up, so I assume that some of the other tubes are doing the work. It sounded very clinical and flat.

poppachubby
06-01-2010, 05:49 PM
Eno, you should pay a tech for a diagnosis at the very least. Well worth it.

Enochrome
06-02-2010, 07:09 PM
Good advice. I think I am going to over to Brooks Brendan, and have them take a look, they are building a hi-fi museum, so they should know.

Do tubes generally give you a more flat tone with a little warmth or a completely warm and smooth sound? Maybe I am not use to the sound, since I have never heard hi-fi tube audio, besides guitar amps.

poppachubby
06-03-2010, 02:01 AM
Generally really smooth and warm mids. Depends on topology, and I'm not familiar with yours. For example my Golden Tube is very detailed with exceptional mids. This extends to the upper bass and lower highs, it rolls off in the extreme dynamics. I have heard some Eicos and Dynacos which fall short on detail compared to the SE40.

Take it in and get the run down. You need to know what each tube is doing in the circuit. Most definitely find out which pre tubes are driving the low gain output. Those are the ones you'll want to replace with something nice.