EQUIPMENT FORUMS >> CSP3 >> CSP3 #001 - First photos

Message started by Rizlaw on 08/20/13 at 23:42:42

Title: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/20/13 at 23:42:42

As Steve promised, UPS just delivered my new CSP3, Serial No. 001. I haven't installed it into my system yet and I do apologize for the poor photos. Since there is no CSP3 forum yet, I decided to post pics here. 001 has all the options Steve offers. It is a very different layout from the CSP2+.

Notice the new headphone jacks. You can order it with dual phono jacks or dual XLR jacks, but not with a mix of XLR and phono (which is what I originally ordered). Steve says it doesn't look right with a mix and he is only going to offer it with one or the other, but not both.

That's it for now. Will try to listen to it very shortly.
PS. Can't seem to add more than 1 picture. Don't know why.
See this link over at head-fi for 3 photos:

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 08/20/13 at 23:56:16


I'm so impressed with my CSP2+ that I was planning to order another.

It would have been perfect if the new CSP3 could accommodate a mixture of single and XLR.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/21/13 at 00:02:55

Thanks, Lord Soth.
Yes it would, but alas, Steve says it doesn't look right and didn't work out to his satisfaction because of the type of high quality plugs he has chosen. I'm OK with it though.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/21/13 at 00:25:53

OK, I just hooked up the CSP3 with the stock tubes: three 6N1P-EVs and one Valve Art 274B.

Through my Omega 3E speakers it's dead quiet - no hum [thank you Steve !!!! :)]. Steve says he's incorporated an anti-hum circuit in the CSP3. With the new stepped attenuator it seems I have to turn it up to 12 out of 20 clicks to get a normal (but not loud) volume level on the "Game of Thrones" CD I'm listening to right now. It's too early to form a judgment about any improvments over the CSP2+ except to say that it sounds pretty damn good out of the box. I would also say that I do detect that it's more open and transparent sounding than the fully broken in CSP2+ I have been using.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 08/21/13 at 00:31:53

Did you have the stepped attenuator before? My CSP2+s have the stepped attenuator and the CSP2 did not, and I noticed an openness and clarity to the sound of the first CSP2+ I bought in comparison to the CSP2. Just a bit, noticeable.

I really want you to tell me that the CSP3 sounds exactly the same as the CSP2+ . . . :)  I love the sound of the CSP2+s I have and I won't upgrade.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/21/13 at 00:40:11


No. My CSP2+ was stock with the regular attenuator. I completely agree that the CSP2+ sounds wonderful now that it's broken in, but it remains to be seen if the CSP3 will best it and in what areas. Steve says the 3 is better sounding than the 2.  Much of it has to do with the Jupiter beeswax caps since the basic circuit has not been changed apart from a reduction in wiring and a physical layout change.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 08/21/13 at 00:43:53

Yeah, I can believe it will sound better with Jupiter caps, that sure has changed the sound of the Torii for the better! In my case in time I might want to send the CSP2+s in for cap replacement, and maybe the ZP3 too, in time. . . . I've spent way too much this year already!

Thanks for the info. You've lots of great listening ahead!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/23/13 at 00:02:16

Day 2: I've noticed that there is more depth and width to the overall soundstage as well as a certain overall sweetness to the sound. The overall imaging is slightly more 3D than the CSP2+. I'm also hearing a little more low level detail than I did with the CSP2+. I attribute these incremental sonic improvement to the new Jupiter caps and stepped attenuator.  While I listen mostly to flac downloads and rips of my own CD collection, my Amazon mp3 soundtrack collection (I know, I know ... mp3 ... uck) is starting to show more sonic "warts" with the CSP3. I sure wish Amazon would offer flac downloads of its entire music catalog; HDTracks doesn't offer a good selection of movie soundtracks in flac and the several hi-rez flac downloads from HDTracks (classical, jazz, pop and soundtracks) has left me less than impressed and feeling ripped off for the extra money.

I didn't notice this the first night I listened via headphones (Beyer DT-990s), but when I plugged in my LCD-2s today, the sound level of the speakers dropped quite a bit and I heard some distortion through my speakers. This, to the best of my recollection, didn't happen with the Beyer DT990s the night before; and it didn't happen with the CSP2+ at all. Steve tells me that the CSP2+ and CSP3 aren't really suited to the LCD-2/3, however, the DT-990/600 ohm HPs do sound exceptionally good with the CSP3. I will have to look into the LCD-2/CSP3 issue a little more to see if what I just head was a one time fluke event or just an out and out incompatibility between the LCD-2 and CSP3.

Edit: False alarm on LCD-2/CSP3 distortion problem noted above earlier this evening. On second listen to LCD-2 through CSP3, the LCD-2 sounds pretty good via the CSP3, but better yet through Taboo III. I'm wondering if it was just a momentary tube glitch with the new stock tubes?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 08/23/13 at 01:34:13

I've just ordered up a CSP3 to pair with my Taboo mk 3. Looking forward to this combo! I'm extremely happy with the sound of the Taboo on its own, so it should be a nice surprise to see where things go adding the CSP.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/23/13 at 01:56:16

You're absolutely going to love it with the Taboo III. Suffer through the wait and enjoy the eventual sonic rewards.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/26/13 at 23:54:12

I just added 4 silver Penn-Elcom 1/2" diameter knobs to my CSP3. It makes things very tight, but it easier to adjust knobs as opposed to shafts only. I just wish Parts-Express had 1/2' diameter aluminum knobs in black or gold; they don't and neither, it appears, does anyone else.  You'll notice I also put a little white sticker on the gold knob to tell me where the attenuator is (12 o'clock is 10 clicks out of 20). Here's a picture of what it all looks like:

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 08/27/13 at 00:58:40

Looks awesome! Great job.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/27/13 at 02:52:45

Thanks Lon,

Now, if I just had the guts to remove the pressure fit gold knob and replace it with a silver one so that everything matched. But, Steve said, in an earlier post somewhere about knobs, that this could damage the expensive attenuator.  To do it right, you need something like two butter knives to evenly pry the damn thing off. I tried to remove it with a little upward hand pressure, but the sucker is on there pretty tight and it seemed as if the steel plate moved up just a touch as I pulled on the knob.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 08/27/13 at 11:12:17

Yes, I imagine that comes off only with difficulty. I think it looks just fine as is!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by deucekazoo on 08/27/13 at 14:06:00

If you want your new knobs a different color you can find someone close that powder coats or they sell wheel spray paint at auto stores that is see through. So you can get black and paint them. That would give you that black chrome effect. Just make sure you clean them good with alcohol or similar cleaner. I think they also sell gold but not sure what that would look like.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 08/27/13 at 14:57:46


Thanks for the tip. I may just look into that, although I wonder how well and how long such a spray job would last without peeling or flaking off the existing base finish?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by deucekazoo on 08/27/13 at 15:41:57

That is why I mentioned the spray for wheels. Between brake dust and the elements the wheels see, you touching the knobs for adjustment should be nothing. Just make sure they are very clean and oil free before you paint.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 08/30/13 at 07:33:45

That's a pretty cool idea to add some knobs on the shafts. That's something I'll keep an eye out for....just the right knobs as a finishing touch!

I got an e-mail today fast my CSP3 is "on the bench" so the agonizing wait is creeping along.... :)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/05/13 at 02:30:11

Got mine today, and it already sounds amazing. Sort of mimicking the stock set, I am using a cryo'd Valve Art 274B, a cryo'd NOS Sylvania 7308 in front, and a pair of cryo'd 6N1Ps. I think this is the first new piece of audio gear that does not bother me in some way before burnin. Wow, I look forward to a couple hundred hours!

I am ignorant about the silver stepped pots....two near the front input tube and the other two, near each back 6N1P. Any advice on what exactly they do voltage-wise and perhaps thoughts on adjustments?



Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/05/13 at 03:29:27

The 2+ is such a great preamp it is no surprise that the 3 is. Congrats.

I am sure one set of pots controls the input gain, the other the output (you knew that). I've played around with these a lot and it all depends on the sources they're connected to and the amp. I find that the input just one click back from all the way up and the output six clicks from all the way works best for me (allowing me just a bit more than the loudest volume I need on my quietest source, the DVR (through the PWD Mk II).

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/05/13 at 03:32:15

Hi will,

Congrats on your new "toy"! ;)

The main volume knob is the one right in front.

There are 2 sets of other knobs which control the left and right volume for either

1. Headphone Impedance
The CSP was designed for high Ohm impedance headphones.
For my 600 Ohms Beyer T1, I crank it to maximum volume.
If you are using a 300 Ohms or 80 Ohms headphone, the CSP will sound better if this is turned down.

2. Preamp Output
If you are using the CSP as a preamp, this will control the voltage output.

The items listed in 1. and 2. above should be adjusted in combination with the main volume knob in front.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/05/13 at 17:08:54

Got mine today, and it already sounds amazing. Sort of mimicking the stock set, I am using a cryo'd Valve Art 274B, a cryo'd NOS Sylvania 7308 in front, and a pair of cryo'd 6N1Ps. I think this is the first new piece of audio gear that does not bother me in some way before burnin. Wow, I look forward to a couple hundred hours!

Will, congratulaltions on your new CSP3. You're using the same tube compliment that I'm using, except I have a Telefunken E88CC for the input tube. I tried an Amperex 7308, but I found the Tele sounded smoother, more detailed with a better 3D soundstage. I'm also finding that the Cryoset VA 274B seems to be holding up much better than the non-cryo'd VA 274B I originally got with my Taboo III (so far, after about 200+ hours, no arcing on both Cryoset VA 274Bs in the CSP3 and Taboo III).

So far, I have to say that I'm very impressed with the improvements in sound I'm hearing from the CSP3 over the CSP2+ (and I really, really liked the CSP2+). I'm still tormenting myself with whether Steve's silver  unshielded IC would make any meaningful difference over my current silver Audioquest Diamond ICs between my DAC and the CSP3 and the CSP3 and Taboo III.

I'm also impressed at just how much better my Beyer DT-990/600 sound through the CSP3 as opposed to my Woo WA2 (fully tricked out with all the options including Blackgate Caps). My WA2 cost 2x the CSP3 (fully loaded). Both are OTL designs, and yet, the CSP3 just sounds like it has more power, clarity and 3D soundstaging.  This audible impression also holds true, to a lesser extent, with my LCD-2 phones; they just sound better through the CSP3 and better still through the Taboo III (Lucid mode 1). I believe Lord Soth mentioned he was using T-1s with the CSP3, I'd be interested to hear his opinion of how they sound via the CSP3, since I was considering a new pair of Beyer T-90s (one step down from the T-1s).

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/05/13 at 17:39:35

Hi Rizlaw,

As soon as I receive my new CSP3 (Beeswax caps with stepped attenuator), I'll be able to compare it against the CSP2+ (non beeswax with stepped attenuator) which I'm currently pairing with my Beyer T1.

Will be using the same tube complement

1x Amperex E88CC Pinched Waist in Front
2x Siemens E288CC L/R
1x Brimar 5R4GY D Getter Rectifier

The 3D soundstage really opened up for me when I tried the E288CC in the CSP2+. This was a relatively new discovery for me.

To my ears, and as per Joe's tube lore, the E88CC Pinched Waist sounds the "best".
The only weakness was the slightly smaller soundstage, especially when compared against the Lorenz PCC88, which also deserves universal acclaim.

When I popped in the E288CC, there was a substantial expansion of the 3D soundstage and this complemented the weakness of the Pinched Waist E88CC.

To my ears, the CSP2+ with the Beyer T1 is perfect to my ears.

Just wanted to get another CSP2+, lo and behold, Decware just released the CSP3, so the timing was really fortuitous.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/05/13 at 17:56:02

Yeah, the CSP2+ is perfect to my ears and for my needs too and my only plan was in time to get the beeswax caps added.

And then lo and behold Steve sent around an email that he had three CSP2+ in white ready made to sell and one had the beeswax caps. I asked for stepped attenuators on it and should have it in a week or so. This will allow me to put one of my CSP2+ in my second system, and the trusty old CSP2 there in my Dad's system. I also just bought a used California Audio Lab cd changer (CL-10) for that system, these two additions should make a big difference. (I have to stop spending money!)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/05/13 at 18:07:28

Hi Lon,

I'm glad to finally join your special "club" of owning more than one of these CSP sonic beauties.

The sound is just awesome when used as either a preamp or as a headphone amp.

Sometime further down the road, I might even consider getting one more for my office.

By that time, I hope that Steve comes up with a CSP4 with tube regulation and meters thrown in. ;)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/06/13 at 00:35:37

Thanks all for your responses. This thing is great. When I commented earlier,  I was listening to the CSP3 with a Rachel I am auditioning. The synergy of the Rachel and CSP3 (with the tubes I had in) was crazy good. Beautiful, even with the CSP3 new. Dynamic yet very relaxed...dead quiet, very musical, but also very defined...gorgeous pacing.

Trouble is the Rachel is just not loud enough with my HR-1s, in my room, and for my tastes. It is awesome with easy music, but once there is a fair bit of bass energy and dynamics, I want to drive it to distortion.

So the big question...MkIV, or two Rachels Bridged? Both so good and so different! Now I am confused, but not about the CSP3!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/06/13 at 16:57:21

After looking at Lord Soth's tube setup for his CSP2+, in my CSP3, I tried some 5R4GY, now enjoying a Chatham 5R4GWY. I have tried multiple 6922s in the second position, and they make a repeated, terrible electronic tick sound. Same happens with different rectifiers, and with 6922 or 6N1P in the front postion.

Any thoughts?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/06/13 at 17:32:00


The second position (output tubes) for the matched pair of 6922s or 6N1Ps is, as Steve explained to me, very hard on marginal tubes because it's an SRPP circuit. My recollection is that Steve describes the SRPP in the CSP2+ design notes. You can also read about it here:

Steve says you need "strong" tubes in this position. Even tubes that test good might not be strong enough. I had a similar problem with a pair of premo Telefunken E88CC from Upscale Audio. In the output positions of my CSP3 the Telefunkens caused very loud noises through my speakers for several seconds after turn-on and then calmed down. The same Telefunken pair worked fine in my other tube gear. When I returned my stock or cryo'd matched pair of 6N1Ps the problem disappeared.

I have had no issues with the Phillips 5R4GYS rectifier in the CSP3, nor with 6N1P, 6922, E88CC or 7308 tubes in input (front) position. Unlike the driver positions, the input tube position should present no problems for a working tube.

As I previously mentioned, in my CSP3 I am currently using:

Rectifier -        Cryoset Valve Art 274B
Output tubes - Cryoset matched pair 6N1P-EV
Input tube -     Telefunken E88CC

The CSP3 is dead quiet and sounds wonderful.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/06/13 at 20:05:21

Thanks Rizlaw.

Interesting. I did some checking with my most apparently NOS and carefully matched 6922s, and no luck. I wonder if Steve has adjusted some part(s) of the circuit contributing to the improvements you are hearing over the CSP2+. I recall that 6N1Ps draw more current, something like 600mah as opposed to about 300mah for 6922. I have no idea what this might mean...but I can't find any of my many 6922s or 623NPs that work in the output postions.

Kind of hate to be bound to one tube type there, but the rectifiers, input tube, and pot adjustments are clearly good for tuning...

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/06/13 at 23:28:10


I wonder if Steve has adjusted some part(s) of the circuit contributing to the improvements you are hearing over the CSP2+.

Based upon what Steve previously told me over the phone and what I read others were told over the phone, the basic CSP3 has the same circuit layout as the CSP2+. However, the physical layout has changed resulting in some wiring being shortened and more space for the Jupiter Caps. The addition of the optional Jupiter Beeswax Cryo Caps, IMO, is what adds the major sauce for the improved sound over the CSP2+. The optional stepped attenuator also helps. I had a stock CSP2+ without these two improvements which I thought sounded great, but the Jupiter Caps and stepped attenuator take the CSP3 up a notch or two.

. . . but I can't find any of my many 6922s or 623NPs that work in the output postions.

Since Steve designed the CSP3 to work with the 6922 and 6N1P type tubes, I imagine that the 6922s you have on hand are simply not "strong" enough for the SRPP output positions. I certainly don't know enough about tube electronics to say anything more. Your best bet would be to call Steve and ask him what he feels would work in a 6922 type tube. I do know that my NOS matched pair of Amperex 7308s worked O.K., as did a NOS matched pair of National (Japan) 7DJ8s. The only failure (from a turn-on noise perspective) was my Telefunken E88CC pair; the most expensive NOS pair I have. :'(

Edit: Just found the post Steve made in which he talks, briefly, about SRPP circuit in the CSP2+/CSP3:

The CSP2 circuit consists of a gain stage with higher plate voltages driving a SRPP stage similar to the original MLB design.  The stages are direct coupled.  The SRPP stage drives the output capacitors.  The line level is taken directly off the outputs via a 100K precision trim pot.  The output impedance is about 10 times lower then the CSP so using line level outputs has no audible effect on the sound of the headphones.

Today, I ordered 3 pairs of Steve's silver IC cables. Steve says I should hear another improvement with these new cables. So far, he's been dead on with what he says I will hear which each piece I've purchased, so I'm anxious to hear the new cables.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/07/13 at 02:35:57

Hi Rizlaw and Will,

I think the reason why my E288CC works so well in the CSP2+ is because they are 2x the gain spec of a normal ECC88/6922 with current demands accordingly higher than normal. It is akin to a only slightly weaker version of the 6N1P.

But the silver lining is that you just need 1 super good tube in the frontal position to enjoy the sonic benefits. The Telefunken E88CC sounds superb too with a wonderful midrange.

Lon here is already having a blast with the Russian 6N1P-EV tubes and he has 3 CSPs now!!!
Steve also voiced the amp with the Russian tubes so anything else has to be treated as a gamble.

I will report back over here eventually on whether my existing tube complement can work equally well on the CSP3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/07/13 at 16:03:14

Lord Soth:
Lon here is already having a blast with the Russian 6N1P-EV tubes and he has 3 CSPs now!!!
Steve also voiced the amp with the Russian tubes so anything else has to be treated as a gamble.

Lord Soth,

I have to agree with Lon that the 6N1P-EV, in my case, cryo'd 6N1P-EVs, provide excellent results with the CSP3. I do believe that my super duper Telefunkens overall did sound better (after the turn-on thumping noise died down) but, I wasn't willing to risk damage to the tubes, speakers or equipment, so I removed them from the driver positions in the CSP3, and put one each into the input position of the CSP3 and the Taboo III. I still get most of the Tele's sonic benefits this way. At present, the sound of the CSP3/Taboo III via my Omega 3Es is so good that further tube rolling, for me, is unnecessary. When Steve's new Silver ICs arrive, I probably will be done fiddling (or so I hope).  I'll just sit back and enjoy the music....that is, until Steve drags me back in with a new toy. ;)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/08/13 at 01:22:58

Rizlaw, I look forward to your thoughts on the Decware interconnects. And thanks for your input from your research and listening to the CSP2+ and CSP3.

Lord Soth, that is interesting about the E288CC. I had not considered this tube and am glad to be introduced to it.

The 6922 type in the CSP3 output postion is mysterious to me. It sounds like from Rizlaws reading that the CSP2+ and CSP3 are basically the same circuit, so one would certainly think your current tubes would work LS.

On the other hand, apparently the 6922 types are not a real option in my CSP3. I have not tried them all, but have tried 10 pair that seemed promising with high scores and that seem truly NOS. None of my 6922, 6DJ8, 623NP or 7DJ8s work, including some hardly used National 7DJ8s premium matched from Upscale...perhaps close, but apparently not like Rizlaw's.

On the other hand, the four pair I have of 6N1P all work fine.

Steve and I touched briefly on this the other day, but my attention took us elsewhere before I fully understood it. If I got it right???? it does seem that the way the circuit uses two triodes (I think in series) to create the SRPP power output is where the rub is. It would be interesting to get the skinny from Steve what the tube requirements are in this case....what defines strong. I just get so jazzed talking with him about audio and Decware gear, I lost that track and moved to new territory.

Personally, the 6N1P has not been a fav, but it does seem integral to the tangible beauty the CSP3 brings to the table! And there is a lot that can be done with the input and rectifier. So I look forward to more breakin and exploration with this beautiful music tool.


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rivieraranch on 09/08/13 at 17:31:17

I am using some new old stock GE 6BQ7A tubes in my CSP2+. They were from bulk, marked Tektronics for use in their scopes. I bought a set of 10. Unfortunately, one of them was a dud when I first tested them. Another one after using it for a while started making a fuzzy noise. The other 8 I have work fine. They don't hiss, crack or spit in that SRPP circuit like some other tube types did. The 6N1P is very rugged and every one I've tried will withstand the SRPP circuit.  Since the 6BQ7 is electrically nearly identical ti the 6N1P it will withstand the rigors of the circuit.


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/08/13 at 17:49:22

I've tried 6BQ7 tubes when you pointed out to me that they are electrically very similar to 6N1P. However. . . I didn't prefer them to 6N1P in either the CSP2, CSP2+ or Torii. I stick with the supercryo'd 6N1P, the tubes that sound most "real" to me when listening to the recordings I made of bands I was in in the 'eighties.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/08/13 at 23:48:53

Thanks for the tip Rivieraranch, and for your thoughts on the 6BQ7A Lon. Unlike the E288CC, these are so cheap I just ordered a couple pair to check out for fun. I am actually really enjoying a 6N1P a bunch for the first time, so this may be unnecessary, but couldn't help it. I found some uncryo'd black plate 6N1P with a 17 in the diamond, and with a Sylvania 7308 in front and a 50's GE (RCA) 5U4G-ST (one with the lighter duty black plates in the T part where they go over the support rods) I have a truly great sound happening. Feels like this is in part the CSP3 breaking in more too... but it is good!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/09/13 at 00:18:13

Cool. I must have tried four different rectifier types and various brands in the CSP2 and CSP2+ and it's always an RCA 5Y3GT that ties it all together for me.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/09/13 at 02:19:10

Thanks for the reminder Lon. I tried my RCA and Hytron 5Y3GTs and found them a bit flat...but this was by comparison, and the RCA 5U4G, Valvo 274B and Chatham 5R4WGY are all quite dynamic and open seeming, which could be tricking me, their being more exciting as I burn the thing in. After I get it burned in, I may not prefer the bolder sound.

Based on your experience, I will definitely explore the 5Y3s when things are settled in. They do have a sweet warmth and texture that I love.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/09/13 at 02:33:09


Glad to see you seem to have the problem in hand and are now enjoying 6N1Ps. You're right, the Russian NOS 6N1P-EVs are significantly cheaper than the NOS 6DJ8 family of tubes; built to last a long time, and sonically not that far behind the best European and American NOS tubes.

I was doing a little more searching on the SRPP circuit and found these two sites which may or may not be of interest regarding the circuit:

Which circuit would I build? The latter, as it would provide the cleanest output, which would outweigh the need for extra parts in my judgment. (I would actually use a 6H30 instead of a 6SN7 and a 6N1P instead of the 6SL7.)
(emphasis added)


The ECC88, or its American equivalent, the 6DJ8, are the best sounding tubes in current production for utilization in a SRPP stage. The E88CC and 6922 also sound good and are known for a long life span under professional operating conditions. The 6922, produced for the American military, is exceptionally good, and its Russian counterpart also delivers excellent results. Other than a slightly higher heater current, the PCC88 is identical. Its high slope (12 mA/V) results in a low-impedance output, while the signal to noise ratio ,equivalent of 300 ohms, results in quiet operation, but its high amplification also amplifies noise.

It seems like the tubes you previously tried should have worked, too.
I may have to try a 5Y3GT just to see if I agree with Lon. I do agree with you about the 274B sound.
Enjoy the CSP3. :)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/09/13 at 09:04:19

The 5Y3GT rectifier by either RCA or Tung Sol is superb in the CSP2+.
The CSP was built based on the 5Y3 rectifier so as long as one replaces the stock Sovtek or Chinese rectifier with an Amercan one, it should put a big smile on your face. :)

It only costs US$20-25 for a NOS / NIB.

Whether you prefer one over the other is a matter of personal preference.

If I were stuck on a deserted island, I could happily live with just the Russian 6N1P-EVs and a NOS Tung Sol 5Y3GT in my CSP2+.

Have fun tube rolling and sorry about your wallet! ;)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/10/13 at 01:01:40

Rizlaw. I don't get those articles...I must be getting denser. I would have to do some translating of terms to begin to get it, not being electronically savvy, but I am convinced from tube play to just hang with the 6N1P for now, and this is good.  I would guess that the tube type in an SRPP circuit would likely determine different resistor and cap value latitudes though...

Anyway, I have been playing with tubes still and am currently staying with the GE/RCA 5U4G-ST, the black plate 6N1Ps, and now an ERR (Mullard) 6DJ8 in front. For me, just now, the 5Y3GTs are still a little too flat in dynamics, weight and power.

With the tubes I have in though, I love the dynamics, detail and textures within the lovely and musical cloak of warmth and body. What a pleasure this CSP3 is. I would never have guessed it would be this enjoyable. The way it solidifies the bass and weight on my somewhat errant Torii MkIII bass area is just beautiful. It does its magic everywhere actually! What a tool!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/10/13 at 01:52:30

Cool will, glad you are digging the preamp. As soon as I got a ZStage and put it into my Dad's system a bit ago I thought to myself "This is a neat component, but it's not a CSP2 or CSP2+, I bet will would really like one of those." And now you have one.

Over time I've learned that adjusting the gain can really be a great tool to fine tune the system; I find that the lowest gain I can use that allows me the max volume for the component with the weakest output really gets things balanced for me.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/10/13 at 02:26:27

Thanks for the gain tip Lon. I found your initial adjustment parameters very helpful. And you were right. Will really does like this thing!

It is interesting. Aside from adding another tube and the even order harmonics this provides, I find the Zstage with the Jupiter caps to be very transparent in the true sense of the word. It just does what it does beautifully without imparting color other than that of the tube you use, and weight and body from the gain riding. It is really good at providing whatever qualities the tube you use has. An excellent tool for tuning an amp with another very well implemented tube, and for tuning individual recordings with the riding.

I would not exactly call the CSP3 transparent, but I totally love what it does. And what it does, it does with such finesse that it has all the hallmarks of transparency....all the detail is there within its lovely warm (but not dark) signature, the bass is deep and solid, the mids and highs are musical, sweet and clear, and the punch and dynamics are pretty much any way you want. But transparent???? It feels that way, but I can't quite say that. But then I think - who cares! This thing is just a really good musical tool.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 09/10/13 at 03:32:02

Definitely a great musical tool. Transparent enough. It's musical, which is what any system really needs, a musical heartbeat.

I love mine. They sort have wormed their way into my affection and now I can't do without them. Can't wait to get my old CSP2 into my Dad's system, it will fly in there as soon as my new one arrives.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/10/13 at 05:00:49

My early does musical so beautifully that it renders purist transparency irrelevant. As you say...transparent enough! Quite!


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/12/13 at 00:01:52


I received Steve's ICs late yesterday and installed them last night. I have positive initial impressions but I am delaying writing about them until I fully burn them in. I rumaged through my closet and found my 1991 Duo-Tech Cable enhancer (no true audiophile should be without one. ;D ). The cables need to be connected for 48hrs minimum for burn in according to the instructions.

In the meantime, as I previously said I would, I ordered and received two RCA 1951/2 NOS JAN CRC 5Y3GT (military cream color boxs that look 50 years old with U.S. Navy anchor and other military related info) just to see if they make any improvements to the sound over my Cryoset 274Bs (as mentioned by Lon). However, I was very surprised when I saw just how small these 5Y3GTs are compared to the 5U4G family. They are less than half the size of the 274Bs. The small size of thess tubes really took me by surprise.

I do have a 2 questions about 5Y3GT tubes:

1. When I turned the CSP3 on, I noticed that the heaters on these tubes lit up just as fast as the 274Bs. As an indirectly heated, delayed turn on tube, it is normal for the heaters to light up immediately? Being new to indirectly heated tubes, I thought, after AC was applied, the heaters would only fully light up after several seconds had passed.

2. The 5Y3GT tubes have no silver oxide type coating anywhere inside the glass tube, unlike all of my other rectifiers and tubes.  Is this normal for 1950s tubes? These tubes cost me $34.00 each from KCA NOS Tubes in Virginia. Just want to make sure they are OK.

Thanks, anyone who can answer these two questions.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/12/13 at 02:35:11


I think you are fine with those RCA 53YGTs. At least the ones I have, I would describe similarly. They are very small relative to 5U4G-STs, not slow warm up, and there is no getter fuming from the bottom getter. The lack of silver getter fuming is not a 50s thing, but in this case, a tube type thing. I have some Heintz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTAs that have slow heaters, and the getters are on top. On these there is a silver getter sort of cap on the glass. I don't think the RCAs I have are slow heaters. Like yours, they light right up.

I suspect you are fine just try them and see if you like what they do.

Hope the Decware ICs are good for you. Nice you have a burnin tool for them. I can't recall how hard they were to burn in, but relative to many, I suspect they will be easy having mostly air dielectric.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/12/13 at 02:49:27

Hi Rizlaw,

The old 5Y3s do have the silver getter lining.
It is buried at the bottom of the glass tube near the base.

Most tubes (normal ones) have the getter on top, hence the source of confusion.

If you shine a torchlight down into the base of the glass tube, whilst looking down from the top, you should be able to spot the silver getter lining.

Suggest u give them at least 50 hrs of play before making any sonic judgements. Rectifiers take at least 50-100 hrs before they bloom.
My Bendix 5y3 - the super rectifier used in the US NIKE intercontinental missiles during the Cold War took at least 200 hrs of burnin before they gave acceptable sonic results.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 09/12/13 at 03:35:34

I just read your reply #27 and it was a revelation, as I have been
having trouble with tubes in the output positions on my 2+. I'll have
to spend some more time reading the link you posted. Now my mind
is at ease, except for the 67VDC heater voltage I'm measuring.  >:(

There's a link to a couple of black knobs below.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 09/12/13 at 03:41:07

Here's the link:

To pry off the stock knob, you can use two spoons. Place the tip of
each one under the knob on opposite sides and push down on the handles. You will probably need two fairly strong spoons.

BTW, this is the knob I'm using on my
CSP and Taboo II for volume.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 09/12/13 at 04:35:47

Lord Soth,

Thanks for the info on where to look for the silver getter material. It looks like you said: buried right down at the bottom of the base where the pins come out. It's hard to see, but I think I see it.

BTW, in you're opinion, are the Bendix 6101 sonically the same as the black plate RCA 5Y3GTs from the 50's or are they better? I ask because I found them at this Turkish link for $39.00 each and I'm wondering whether it's really worth spending another $80-90 bucks for another pair.
I'm sure I can find a U.S. retailer if it's really worth the effort.


That SRPP circuit is a tough baby for the driver tubes in the CSP2+ and 3. I think that's part of the reason Steve designed the preamps around the 6N1P-EV tubes. Amperex 7308s seem to work well, too. It seems that the Russian tubes and American/European 7308 class tubes are what's needed for the drivers.

Also, thanks for the link to the black knobs, I've bookmarked it for future reference. I could have used it before I got the 8 silver knobs from Parts-Express. :'(  I completely forgot to look at DigiKey. But, I am tempted.


My RCA 5Y3GTs light up fast like yours do and that's why I asked the question. I thought indirectly heated tubes were supposed to lite up slowly to protect the outputs tubes. By slowly, I mean several seconds (maybe 10 sec or more) so that full current isn't passed to the output tubes before they have had a chance to warm up/ fully turn on. I believe this is to avoid what's called "cathode stripping". However, in my readings I have learned that cathode stripping in audio gear is really a non-issue at the lower voltages we are dealing with in audio amps. I posted about it in the Taboo III forum.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 09/12/13 at 04:50:21

I actually bought 4 Russian 6N1P's, and three of the four are also
noisy. I guess I'll just stick with the stockers for now.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 09/12/13 at 05:53:49

Hi Rizlaw,

I believe that I burned in my Bendix 5Y3s for over 200+ hrs.
Mine were from the same Turkish seller u mentioned.
I bought 2 from NOS tube store some time back when I was still tube rolling the rectifier section of the CSP2+.

Sonics wise, the 5Y3 either Tung Sol or RCA sound much better in an organic way. The Bendix sounded too SOLID State too me. Maybe I have to burn them in for 500+ hrs?
Anyway I finally gave up on these tough critters.

At 200+ hrs, the Tung Sol 5Y3 still sounds much better in the mids.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 09/12/13 at 07:05:09

Rizlaw said:
My RCA 5Y3GTs light up fast like yours do and that's why I asked the question. I thought indirectly heated tubes were supposed to lite up slowly to protect the outputs tubes.

Sorry, I thought I was answering this, but realize it was obscure. I don't think the RCA 5Y3GTs you or I have are indirectly heated, whereas the Heintz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTAs are. These by the way are the same tubes as the Bendix from the NOStubestore, but the Heintz were cheaper not having the Bendix label.

I remember liking them a lot at one point, but last tube set I listened to them in, I would agree with LS for the most part. The RCAs in that test were more organic and textural. I tend not to use the 5y3s. I like their tonal qualities, but always lose out with their lower power and reduced dynamics compared to 5U4G, 5R4GY, and 5AR4s.

Once I get the CSP3 fully burned in, I will give them a good try though. Listening to it now in perhaps the third stage of burnin, I am happy with the sound of the Westinghouse (RCA) 5U4G-ST I have been using. With the ERA (MUllard) 6DJ8 input, and black plate "17" 6N1Ps outputs, to me, it has a nice natural sound, open and spacious, dynamic in a soft and musical way, warmth without darkness, really nice timbre...

I am really impressed with how tubes show up with the CSP3. It is fun to hear how clearly it reveals their qualities while keeping its special signature alive and well. The output stage is really something cool, and the Jupiter caps.....very nice.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 10/05/13 at 06:34:02

So I ordered up a matched pair of Genelex Gold Lion 6922 and a more premium graded one for the input tube. I popped the matched set into the output positions of my CSP3. ....and that's exactly what I got...POP POP POP POP POP.  :o

So then I check this thread and now I see there's been some discussion about the circuit needing really strong tubes. I guess the Gold Lion is on the "no good" list.

Question- Did I damage these tubes at all? The CSP was on for about a minute or two before I turned on the Taboo and heard the mayhem. I tried them in the input position and they seem fine....

So it's back to the 6N1P-EV stockers for now on the output.

Another question - Can anyone recommend a seller to get a nice matched, maybe cryoed pair of the 6N1P? Seems maybe a good idea to stick with that until there are some further recommendations here for a tube that creates a sonic improvement in the CSP and is strong enough to work in the circuit. I'm not into jamming more experimental, expensive tubes in there to listen to fireworks   :D

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/05/13 at 06:58:48

Hi thegrobe,

I got my super Cryoed 6N1P-EV matched pair from

I think Lon over here has dealt with this tube seller too.

Cryoset is one of the reliable non-bs kind of seller.
Although detractors of Cryoed tubes out there might beg to differ ..... ;)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 10/05/13 at 11:12:09

As LS has noted, I've dealt with cryoset, very favorably, for years. Excellent tube vendor. I use their "Super Cryo'd" 6N1P in my CSP2, CSP2+ and Torii Mk III components; 6N1P is the tube type that offers the most sonic improvement for me in my system, have tried most of the others that can be used and don't prefer therm.

The cryo'd tubes can take a few hundred hours to really be all they can be.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/05/13 at 16:43:26

I have bought loads of tubes from cryoset. Really good guy.

Also I have tried many 6922, 6DJ8, 7DJ8, an E188CC, and even had one pair of NOS Ediswan 6BQ7A make the dreaded popping, though some other 6BQ7As hum, and several work fine, especially if I lower the voltage going into the CSP3 below 120 and have a very quiet 6 type in the input. It seems that hum may be the almost works phase. The same tubes are fine in the Torii inputs so I assume it is the SRPP output circuit of the CSP.

I even got some NOS Siemens E288CC on LS's recommendation, and no popping, but I can barely get sound out of them. Any thoughts ...bad tubes? They fire up in a pretty quiet way, and really do look NOS.

I am not sure what constitutes a "strong tube" but with my CSP3, it seems to be a crap shoot at best to use anything other than the 6N1P in the outputs. I would love to hear more about "strong tubes". From my experience, only perhaps the 6BQ7A should even be referred to as an option on the output section, which luckily is an inexpensive tube, so if the pair does not work, it is not a great loss.

Any thoughts?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Francesco on 10/05/13 at 17:20:44

Hello all
Now I have in my CSP2 3 E188CC philips and one GE 5UAGT and everything is OK no noisy no popping and sound  very good.
Yesterday I receave a quad of 6N1P-EB from Russia they are from 1972 made in novosibriaski factory (20.00$ include shipping, I givve a try) (people said the best) I put in my tester and test strong.
Tomorrow I will try in my CSP and see.
Also I ordered A 5Y3GB Mazda/Belvu from France, this tube is indirect heathing, and are like a soft start, very good for the life of tubes, sonically they must very good, I will let you know
Have a nice day

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 10/05/13 at 17:41:01

Sounds like some really good tubes Francesco, great, let us know how they sound.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 10/05/13 at 17:48:00

Thanks Lord Soth, Lon, Will and Francesco for the flood of useful responses.

I have no experience with cryoed tubes, and therefore don't have an opinion formed on any sonic differences. However, the word from you folks that this a reputable source for a premium matched pair is good enough for me. I guess that the cryo process at least weeds out tubes that may be structurally questionable because I imagine anything kind of frail or questionable wouldn't survive the process.

I'm sure that getting a pair or two from cryoset and just using those in the CSP3 will save money in the long run, as I'm not burning up expensive sets of tubes. So I'll order some up. Thanks again.

Speaking of burning up tubes, sorry didn't get an answer but could my fresh matched pair of 6922's have been damaged? I hope not.

Francesco- I have a French Mazda 5Y3GB that I've been trying in the CSP3 for about a week. It seems to be a very nice tube, can't say for sure yet where it stands sonically but it seems nicely balanced. One thing I can say with certainty is that is a BEAUTIFUL tube. Not a great picture, but just look at that - -

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 10/05/13 at 18:12:31

Really pretty!

I would bet that your 6922s are fine.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 10/05/13 at 18:19:44

I thought I'd share my experiences with 6922/6DJ8 tubes in my
CSP2+. I bought mine used, and it came with a trio of Gold Lion
6922's. Bottom line is that they didn't work in the output positions
without noise, particularly in the right channel. I didn't get any popping sounds, but it was obvious  that they weren't the best choice for outputs. I have tried each one in the input position, and they worked fine, so no apparent damage.

I ordered a trio of cryo'ed 7DJ8's and tried them. The right channel was a bit noisy but I went ahead and used them. They were sounding
very good until, after about a half-hour into the session, I noticed the
balance shifting to the left channel. I sent the right channel tube back to be replaced. The seller called me and said that the tube had completely shorted, and it was the only one of that type that he had seen do that. He replaced the tube (NOS) under warranty, but said that he would not do it again due to the circuit being originally designed for a 6N1P.

At present I'm using the cryo'ed 6N1P's from Cryo Parts, which are the
exact same tube as the stockers (except, of course, they're cryo'ed),
and they are sounding great. I'm done rolling the outputs.

Sooooo, in my experience, the output positions are VERY tough on the tubes. Choose carefully if you decide to roll them.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/06/13 at 05:54:17

Hi Will,

I'm equally surprised to hear about your experience with the Siemens E288CC.
The choice of rectifier might have have something to do with it.
I'm using a 5R4GY which is stronger than a 5Y3 but weaker than a 5U4.

Maybe that is the cause?

My E288CC are a strong matched pair producing 30mA readings vs the usual 15mA reading for a typical 6DJ8 tube. (BTW, for any tube newbies reading this , this behavior is expected). I'm getting a louder output from my CSP2+, which is consistent with theory.
Maybe it's your tubes?

Or maybe the CSP3 does'nt play nice with the E288CC?
( according to Steve , the circuits for the CSP2+ and the CSP3 are supposed to be the same)

Just speculating out loud.

I'll expect to receive my CSP3 before the end of this month so I'll be able to confirm the usage ( or lack thereof) of the E288CC very soon.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/06/13 at 06:11:50

Thanks Lord Soth. I will experiment with rectifiers. I am using a 5U4G-ST now. Based on you explanation it is odd that these E288CCs are very quiet with this current setup...I will report back.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Francesco on 10/06/13 at 14:10:41

Hello people
I receave the 6N1p-EB from Russia they are beautifull, i put in my CSP2+
and no hum no noise, nothing.
I will wait a few days for the sound, but i thing tey will be very good
Bon week end

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/06/13 at 18:10:14

Sounds good Francesco. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Lord Soth.

I tried a Valvo 274B, a Westinghouse labeled RCA 5U4G-ST, a Philips 5R4GYS, a Chatham 5R4WGY, and a Heintz/Kaufman 5Y3WGTA. All no luck with these tubes labeled E288CC and claimed to be Siemens by the seller. They are cool looking a 6-type but 1/4 or so taller with the extended area above the pins, grey plates, and the hallow getter has two supports, angled a little outward, symmetrical, and passing through a shiny plate that is a bit above the top mica. One getter support has a silver "shield."  

They play very quiet at full volume on the Torii with the CSP3 set as usual, but also full on the volume pot. They act similarly in the input position of the Torii. Both channels act the same.

It will be interesting to see if your E288CC work in your coming CSP3. If mine is an accurate example, it is a great sounding pre to me, and good for tube changing, but with the output limited, not totally a tube rollers dream.

I am however getting sound I like quite a bit with some 6BQ7As. I like some 6N1Ps quite a lot in the output, but at this point, using them may lack a bit of character to me, particularly in subtler presentation of spaciousness and micro information. At least at my very green stage of exploration, I prefer the more delicate/complex sound of some European 6BQ7As.

BTW, the Ediswans that did the bad stuff on first try, are fine with a 5R4G or the 5Y3 in...have not checked it with the 5U4 yet. Or it may be to do with the input tube. All a little quirking to me. Oddly, at some times the same tube set with the Brimar 6BQ7As I have can sound noisier than at other times... the outputs appear to be quite touchy electronically.

For experimentation, I did have the CSP3 plugged into my Uberbuss, and that seems to keep a constant 120 volts by my meter. Edit: I tricked myself. Every time I checked the Uber over the last several days, it read 120. I just checked and it read 122.3! So the Uber does not likely control voltage, just happened the grid was consistant (at least at the moments I checked it). So voltage in does appear to be part of the quirkiness I am finding with some 6BQ7As. Then, to play with the voltage, I plugged a Variac into the Uber. Then an Audio Brickwall (modded with a good receptacle and AC plug) into the Variac. And finally the Torii and CSP into the Brickwall. Now I can play with the voltage on both at once. Lowering the voltage a bit so far seems to have some benefit on 6BQ7A noise.

I by no means have a handle on this pre yet. And of course it works flawlessly with 6N1Ps in the output positions. I just love the refinement one can get adjusting the sound with tubes, so I am messing around until I can get a call in with Steve.

Any thoughts?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 10/06/13 at 19:37:10

Soooo...does that mean it may be possible for me to try the Genalex 6922  in the output again with a different rectifier?

I was using the Philips 5R4GYS when they made bad popping sounds.

I have several rectifiers on hand, the Decware supplied Valve Art 247B and a 5U4G, then a Mazda 5Y3GB, RCA 5Y3GT, and the aforementioned Philips.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/06/13 at 20:27:23

It is all too mysterious for me...too close to some edge or edges. I am now back to the GE/RCA 5U4G-ST and the Ediswan 6BQ7As are being very civil, with just a little hum, ear close to the speakers.

My variables I can discern seem to be mostly voltage from the grid as far as I can guess at this point...but I wonder. When I first put in some Brimar 6BQ7As they too were noisy, but not that weird, repeating, building steam to popoff sound. Then they seemed to get better the next AM (perhaps the next AM voltage was lower???). I ran them a while, and all seemed well until late the next night when they got a bit noisy. This is when I thought of playing with the Variac/voltage. But maybe tubes that are close need some time in the circuit for some reason as well.

That said, different rectifier types sure effect the sound a fair bit, so are bound to be effecting the power to the other tubes in some way..voltage or amperage or both. So exploring the different rectifiers may help. I could not get a single 6922 to work in mine when I first tried it, but that was I think with the Valvo 274B in. I will give rectifier changing a try with some poppy tubes later and see.

Maybe Lord Soth (or another member) can educate us on the effects of rectifiers on the circuit???

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/07/13 at 00:17:00


So I put a barely used, high testing, well matched 67 Mazda/Dario E88CC/6922 in the output. This was with a very nice early 60s Siemens 6DJ8 input, and the 50s GE/RCA 5U4G-ST.

Steady Noise, but not the crazy stuff.

Then I put in some barely used Premium Telefunken PCC88s/7DJ8. The crazy noise stuff.

Then some cryo'd Sylvania 7308s. Similar noise to the Mazdas but a little quieter. I think this is an improvement, but no good. So presumably my voltage reduction is helping.

I left in the above tubes changing the rectifier. An early 50's RCA 5U4GB, Chatham 5R4GWY, RCA 5Y3GT, and Valvo 274B...all having a little different variation on the hum/noise, but noisy none-the-less.

I hope Steve will give some insight, but for now, I am sticking to 6N1Ps and 6BQ7As.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by marky on 10/07/13 at 00:42:29

Well we all  know that different rectifiers affect the overall sound even though they are used to do one job only and do not carry a musical signal. They supply the rectified ( ac ~ dc ) high voltage rail. I know there are some 600v caps in the circuit which the rectified voltage will pass through to take the rough edges, or ripple, off. The smoothing caps. Of course there will be a tolerance in the circuit where everything works ok even with small % above or below the desired V/A. Why some output tubes aren`t compliant with certain recs  can only be down to the tolerance being just to far exceeded for the particular output tube. A mismatch ? The tube data fineprint may hold more answers.
Until I read this thread I assumed the 3 signal tubes in/out would all be  one type, matched, which is what I use..7dj8 B Boys in the CSP2+. In the ZP3 there is no confusion as the in/out tubes are different.
Love reading about the tube rolling.  :)


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/07/13 at 05:40:17

Thanks Marky...I wonder now after my tests if the rectifier has much effect on this issue. Must be pretty much all about how the SRPP is configured. The oddity to me is that if the circuits of the CSP2+ and CSP3 are the same, why are some doing better with the 6922 types as outputs, and others not well at all.

I just had a really good Mazda E88CC/6922 blow in my Torii that was NOS and only used maybe 100 hours by me. This was a few hours in the Torii after trying to use it in the output of the CSP3 for a few minutes, where it worked, but with noise.

Like Funch, I am now worried that this circuit may be dangerous for some tubes. No technical knowledge to indicate this, and it may be a circumstantial quirk, but I am not putting in any more tubes in the outputs other than 6N1P and 6BQ7As until I know better.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/07/13 at 05:47:18

I believe Marky has provided a very good technical response.

The rectifier alters the supplied DC and hence the circuit . The same tube will sound different when supplied with a different current.

My experience with the CSP2+ is that the choice of input tube has a bearing on the final output sound too. Steve mentioned this too in one of his articles.
Tube synergy is very important which I found out at great $$$$ .
Yeah, tuberolling is expensive but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I've already have a working set of tubes for my CSP2+ Synergised for my current audio set-up.

I really can't wait to transplant the exact same set of tubes over in my CSP3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by clowkoy on 10/07/13 at 08:46:06

Here's a chart of various rectifiers with their corresponding voltage drops. It is this voltage drop that changes the operating point of the tube. The voltage drop represents the voltage at maximum current draw. You won't actually get a  60-volt drop from a 5Y3 since you are only drawing around 80ma max.

Note also the filament current draw for each tube. Your amp will run a little hotter if you are using 5u4g since it 's drawing 3 amps vs 2 amps for a 5y3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 10/07/13 at 20:07:38

All this is interesting stuff......:)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/08/13 at 00:12:25

Yes, very interesting. Thanks all. I need to study the chart more, but I am so ignorant, I may need to ask for some translation to figure out what does what sound-wise, and how these values effect the tubes down stream.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/08/13 at 02:47:04

By the way...Not yet sure why electronically, but after looking at that rectifier chart, I recalled some Sylvania "Fat Boy" GZ34/5AR4s hiding in the back of my cabinet. I rarely liked them in my Torii, but Not So in the CSP3. With some Ediswan (BVA) 6BQ7As, and a great Siemens ECC88/6DJ8....Insane resolution without any edginess, spaciousness, ambient transformation to the room being recorded, gorgeous texture, extended dynamics/black, rich but tight bass, and that crazy seductive thing when a big drum head gets hear/feel the speakers at all...something to do with brilliant speed. Same with string bass...totally in the room...Wow. Course this is with the tubes in synergy with the Torii tubes and everything else, but Wow!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Francesco on 10/08/13 at 13:43:23

Anybody try the 6106/5Y3 Bendix tube in the CSP 2+?
Any comments?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/08/13 at 16:19:00

I have tried it, labelled-Heinz and Kaufman, and I believe if you look back in this thread, you will find a post by Lord Soth about the tube, and I replied with a thought. I finally gave it a little listening time in the CSP3. It is a great quality, balanced, clean, transparent, and true tube, but not to my taste. I really prefer more spacious dynamics than the 5Y3s have to offer.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/08/13 at 17:07:19

Hi Franesco,

Will is correct.

I believe you are referring to the following

It was made by Bendix and is very rugged as it was a military tube used in the US intercontinental missiles during the cold war.

It is very clean sounding with Solid State sonics.

I prefer a warmer tube such as the RCA or Tung Sol 5Y3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/08/13 at 17:13:26

Hi Will,

Thanks for sharing your insights about the GZ34.

I also have a couple of those "hiding" somewhere in my tube cupboard. ;)

I never rolled them in my CSP2+ because the famous reviewer "Skylab" of the head-fi audio forum tube-rolled rectifiers before in the CSP2 and he concluded that the humble and much cheaper 5Y3 sounded way much better than the more expensive 274B or the GZ34.

Perhaps the new CSP3 will bring about a renaissance of the GZ34?

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Francesco on 10/08/13 at 17:56:07

Thanks Guys
Me to, I prefer a warm sound, so..I am go to pass for this

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 10/08/13 at 19:33:42


The other 5Y3s are pretty inexpensive too. Many seem to love them in their CSPs, I just have not gotten there myself. I used to roll 5Y3s in my Torii now and then. It always felt good at first, including the Bendix (excellent for bringing clarity to certain tube sets) but then something was always missing for me that I did not identify at first, but put back in some 5U4s anyway. By comparison to many 5U4G-STs, 5R4GY, and now with this particular 5AR4 back in, I think what it is with the 5Y3s I have is a sort of dynamic "veil" that I just can't get used to.

But this is just me...I love dynamic sound and if I feel a need to temper dynamics, I would rather do it elsewhere than the pre, or a Rectifier for that matter. Perhaps a little warmer, softer input tube in the Torii, or maybe in front of the CSP. And since I am using a Torii, I am guessing a little of that saturation-"smoothing" tends to be one of the characteristics EL34 lovers like and part of my sound anyway.

Lord Soth.

Could be just different tastes, and very likely a particular synergy...After the 5Y3, I bet that "Fat Boy" will be a bit big at first with all else the same. I find it a classic tube...deep, spacious...that big "tubey" sound revealing a lot in ambient areas (around instruments, and in the broader ambient decay), cradled in a little smooth warmth, and with bottomless seeming dynamics...I really am liking it. But I am a sucker for dynamics.

I look forward to your sense of it.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Francesco on 10/19/13 at 13:37:33

Hello all!!
Is two weeks now the 6N1P-EV from Russia are in my CSP 2 and they sound wonderfull, no noise at all no hum.
Here is my configaration
Input one E188 Siemens (the medium is present, in front of me, but no to much, good extention for hi frequency, not agressif)
2 6N1P-ev R and L chanels bass is thigt and all OK
I put the new 5Y3 GB Mazda indirect heathing and works very well
So I am Happy

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lon on 10/19/13 at 14:47:11


Being happy is what it's ALL about. Enjoy!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by thegrobe on 10/19/13 at 18:08:05

I've had a pair of 6N1P from Cryoset in the CSP3 for about a week. It' a solid pair and most importantly very quiet. No buzzing or humming, etc. And sounds great. Thanks folks for the advice. It's good to have a nice solid pair in there and I'm not going to mess with anything else in the output position. I find plenty of "tweaking" with just the signal tube and rectifier.

I thought it worth mentioning that the CSP3 really does well on it's own as a headphone amp, even with the LCD's. My Taboo 3 has been gone for a couple weeks, back to Decware for service. So I've been using just the CSP3.

I wasn't sure how it would go as the CSP is supposed to be for more high impedance or dynamic headphones. A/B comparison with the Taboo confirms this...I certainly prefer the Taboo.

Of course, the Taboo alone works better with the LCD' being designed with them in mind. The Taboo seems more dynamic and quick, light on it's feet for lack of a better description. Then...the CSP3+Taboo3 just is awesome. Very full, dimensional, and liquid sound with LOTS of fine tuning and tweakability with all the gain adjustments and tube options. It's pretty hard to beat.

Anyway, with the Taboo gone I've been using just the CSP3 with the LCD's. Happy to report that even though it's not an ideal match, it really isn't a slouch with the LCD's. With the Mazda rectifier and a JAN Sylvania 6922 in the front, I'm getting some very enjoyable listening sessions. A little darker and more laid back presentation than the Taboo, with a maybe a bit less dynamic punch and a bit less bass presence. Still nicer than any SS amp I've had.

I'd be pretty satisfied if I hadn't already been spoiled by the Taboo or CSP3/Taboo combo!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/28/13 at 17:50:04

Dear fellow audiophiles,

My CSP3 finally arrived today!!!

Some points I want to share.

1. The same tubes used in a CSP2+ can still be used.
I.e I confirm that
The 5R4GY Brimar rectifier
2x Siemens E288CC
1x Amperex 6922 (pinched Waist)
Can be used without any problems.
I simply transplanted the same set of tubes over from my existing CSP2+.

2. A fresh CSP3 (with beeswax) is at least 2 notches higher in all sonic departments vs a CSP2+ (Without beeswax) seasoned over 1.5 years.
Vocals have more "air" and emotion as a headphone amp.
I paired my CSP3 with a Beyer 600ohms T1 headphone.

3. Preamp is even more transparent and emotionally involving.
I connected my CSP3 to my SE based EL34 tube amp.
My SE tube amp can work as an integrated amp or as a standalone output amp.
Even my non-audiophile family members remarked to me that the sound sounded "clearer", I.e more transparent.
For an external preamp to be able to surpass the transparency of the built in preamp section of an SE tube amp is an audio engineering feat!

It also sounded "nicer and smoother", I.e more emotionally involving.

The midrange has more "presence".
I've played with tubes and the best analogy I can give is that the new CSP3 with beeswax has the glorious midrange of a Telefunken tube.
When used as a preamp, the music simply grabs your attention like a toddler grabbing an adult for his undivided attention.

4. If you are like me, moving to a CSP3 from a CSP2, do not assume that the same input and output settings apply.
On my CSP2+, I had to turn the input knobs to the maximum when paired with 600 Ohms headphones.
This does not apply to the CSP3.
I only had to turn the input knobs to the midway mark.
The CSP3 seems to have more leeway with the volume control.
In audiophile parlance, there seems to be more "useable power".

Kudos to Steve and the rest of the Decware team for taking the CSP to another higher level! :)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 10/28/13 at 20:05:17

Lord Soth,

I'm happy to hear you're enjoying your new CSP3 and, for what it's worth, I agree with all your observations and recommendations. The Jupiter caps certainly do make a big difference.

A few days ago, on the Head-Fi Forums, I had a PM from a member querying me about my opinions on the CSP3 and WA2 (since I own both). Basically, he wanted to know which of the two I preferred and why. After some explanation and the usual disclaimer (my ears are not your ears, etc.) I told him that while I could be happy with either, that I would ultimately select the CSP3 for it's versatility, clarity/transparency, sonic texture and power even though I think the WA2 is visually more appealing to me. The lifetime warranty and 30 day trial only make the decision that much easier.

I also think the CSP3 is no slouch when it comes to powering my LCD-2.1 phones, although I generally use my Taboo III for that purpose.

Had I purchased the CSP2+ (CSP3 didn't exist back then) before the Woo WA2, I seriously doubt I would ever have purchased the WA2.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/29/13 at 02:16:39

Dear Rizlaw,

Yes, the Jupiter Beeswax caps make a sonic difference and are worth the upgraded price.
I will send my CSP2+ over for the required upgrade in due time.

On a side note, I love the industrial look of the Woo amps.
They are all metal and solid and rugged.
They remind me of an American M1 Abrams tank. :)

Before I had ever heard of Decware, the Woo Audio tube amps were also on my short-list.
I then came across the CSP2 review by Skylab over at Head-fi.
He ranked the CSP2 as one of the top 5 headphone amps out of many amps including Leben, Schiit and Woo Audio amps.
I am really glad to have taken the plunge into Decware based on his recommendation.

I also look forward to receiving my Torii MK4 which is due to arrive around the end of this week.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/29/13 at 03:25:37

I also look forward to receiving my Torii MK4 which is due to arrive around the end of this week.


All you MK IV guys are making me antsy for my amp! I keep checking the list every couple days to see if Steve's worked his way through the MK IV lineup and started on the Mystery yet!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/29/13 at 06:34:00

Hi Lonely Raven,

I'm sure that your Mystery Amp will sound fabulous.
Congrats to you on your free Red NOS caps upgrade. :)

The waiting period will also have to include additional burn in of the new tubes and equipment.
I was fortunate to have a ready set of seasoned tubes for my CSP3, so I could enjoy the sonics of the New preamp immediately.

For my Torii MK4, it will probably take me another 2 weeks of normal usage before I can reliably judge the sonics.
It is likely that I'll just skip my originally planned tube-rolling experiment and just pop in my NOS GEC Gray glass KT66.
I trust Steve's judgement when he says that the KT66 is an upgrade over the EL34.
I'll just keep my metal base NOS Philips EL34s as a backup.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by marky on 10/29/13 at 16:02:37

" I'll just keep my metal base NOS Philips EL34s as a backup."   :P
Wonder if thats the first time in print for that quote?  
Quite a roll on the horizon !
Decware`s awsome !

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 10/29/13 at 16:50:47

Dear Marky,

Maybe the Mystery Amp MK2 version will use EL34s?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  ;)

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by gcos on 11/10/13 at 14:48:01

you can get identical gold plated knobs at you simply have to widen the hole from 3/16" to 1/4" with a drill.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 11/12/13 at 04:59:00

In case anyone is thinking of adding their own control knobs to the input and output adjustments.

The new CSP3 solo input tube is located very close to the 2 input adjustments. It might create difficulties in changing the input tube if you install any extra knobs.

In my case, on a new CSP3, the virgin tube socket is very tight.
Coupled with my large palm and fat fingers, I already have a slightly harder ( vs the CSP2+) time changing the input tube.
I therefore prefer to leave the input adjustments as they are.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 11/12/13 at 14:24:43


True, but as long as you stick to knobs that are no larger than 1/2" diameter, it's still usable. Too bad Steve wasn't able to allow more space between the input tube and three control shafts. I guess the circuit layout underneath, the dual headphone jacks and input selector toggle pretty much dictate cramped controls under the circumstances. :(  

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lord Soth on 11/12/13 at 16:00:14

Hi Rizlaw,

I'm definitely not cut out to be a brain surgeon. ;)

I had a rather hard time installing the input tube without trying to knock the fragile glass side against the input control shafts.

For this reason only, I prefer the spacious layout of the older CSP2+.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Digger on 11/17/13 at 21:40:12

I hope your wrong about the 1/2" diameter on the input knobs. I just received some knobs from parts express that are 3/4" in in diameter I figured I'd be able to get by with 3/8" from center of input shaft. Maybe I figured wrong. I guess I'll have to wait to get my CSP3 back from the shop to see if they will work. I guess my next try on knobs may have to come from Germany. Banzai music has some really nice knobs but  a lot of them are larger than 12-13 mm so it may also be a challenge. They have a few metal knobs that may very well work though. Here's a link:

Here is a volume knob that really would look nice on the black top of the CSP3. But diameter again maybe a problem just a bit over 3/4".

If you guys have a good source for knobs other than parts express please post it.



Sorry will not let me post links till I have 5 posted messages. Check out Banzai Music of Germany.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 11/18/13 at 00:08:25

Here you go:

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Digger on 11/18/13 at 01:55:17


     Thanks for the link. There are a bunch of knobs here. Should be able to find some thing you can live with there.


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by funch on 11/18/13 at 03:17:33


I use the ML's on my 2+; 1" for volume, and four half-inchers
for input/output trim. If I had it to do over, I would probably pick
knobs with lines on top instead of dots. FWIW

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Rizlaw on 11/18/13 at 13:26:24

Hi Digger,

I hope your wrong about the 1/2" diameter on the input knobs. I just received some knobs from parts express that are 3/4" in in diameter I figured I'd be able to get by with 3/8" from center of input shaft. Maybe I figured wrong.

My ruler measures just 1/4" space between two of three 1/2" diameter knobs I have in front of the CSP3 input tube. This is just enough space to get my fingers on the top of the knob to turn it without touching the tube or the other knobs. If you have bigger fingers, like Lord Soth mentioned, you might be hitting and jiggling the hot tube from time to time. I think the 3/4" diameter knobs would come extremely close to the tube making it that much more difficult to turn. They might even touch the tube.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Digger on 11/23/13 at 17:23:36

Here is what I found with the knobs that I purchased from Parts Express. Not to bad of a fit. Now saying that I don't have large chubby fingers so it may make a difference. The cost was a buck a piece for the input and output knobs the cost is 4 bucks for the brass gloss black knob on the volume control knob plus shipping. I wasn't sure if they would work after your post but these don't look to bad. My file sizes are to big to attach pics I guess and I'm not computer savy enough to reduce them. Anyway if you would like to see the pics just drop me an PM and I'll send them direct.

They actually do look pretty good on the CSP3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/23/13 at 18:26:29

I picked up two wood lathes this summer, one vintage one I'm restoring, and one modern one. Once I get them figured out, I might try my hand at making some knobs for our amps if anyone is interested.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Digger on 11/24/13 at 14:23:04

Lonely Raven,
If you get around to making some for yourself post pics of them. I may have an interest in one for the volume position. The basic black knobs I have on my input and output look pretty good and also have a fairly low profile that doesn't distract from the overall appearance of the CSP3.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/24/13 at 17:22:33

My speakers are cherry, and I'm probably making myself a cherry base for the Mystery Amp when it shows up, and my first knobs will probably be cherry.

I've never used a wood lathe before, and my shop is torn up for some renovation/rearranging so I can't give a timeframe. When I get these knobs done, I'll have them posted in the Classifieds.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Archie on 01/18/14 at 18:51:57

Hopefully this photo will post!  I was inspired by Rizlaw to put knobs on all of the pots on my CSP3.  I found some 1/2 inch diameter knobs that fit on the 1/4 inch shafts.  They give me easy adjustment of the pots with good visual reference to the settings.  I mess around with the knobs a lot and for me, the usability has increased tremendously.  I found that the walnut knob on the volume control was too big in diameter once I put the other knobs on.  I think functionality is more important than looks in this case.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/25/14 at 18:04:40

Great thread guys. I am learning what to expect with my CSP3/thanks. The wait as usual, will be worth it.

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/09/14 at 21:39:00

Wow! I have had my CSP3 on for all of an hour and Steve, wow...the DEFINITION I am getting pushing through the ZMA is blowing my mind! Top to bottom an especially the bass definition too.

All this, when obviously those wonderful transparent caps, the rest of your voicing & the tubes need some will only get better an maintain.   Thank You!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 04/10/14 at 02:29:34


These were pretty much exactly the first impressions I had! Seems the CSP3 is a hidden treasure.

From your post I am guessing you got the Jupiter cap upgrade? I sent mine back for them quite a while ago, and once returned, I put it in my workshop system to break in. About the same time, the MKIV had finished breaking in and was moved to the main system, so the time I had to listen, I did without the pre in order to learn and to optimize the MKIV. Then I got pulled away from home for the last 7 weeks stopping it all in its tracks. Now back, the last few days I am really loving reacquainting myself with the MKIV. It is good to come in fresh from no serious listening and see how things sound.

Long story short, I still have not listened to the jupitered CSP3 with the MKIV! I have really enjoyed getting to know the MKIV though, and it sounds amazing without the pre, so I am having fun. And I finally feel like I do have half a handle on the MKIV, so soon the CSP again! Your excitement has probably pushed that forward for me!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/11/14 at 15:26:10

Cool Will!  Put it in now........ .

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by Digger on 05/02/14 at 01:41:41


       Very glad to hear you like your CSP3. I was confident that you would. It is the core of my system I don't think I could enjoy my music without it since having. It seems to add so much clarity and flavor to every thing that I put through it almost unbelievable. It has been the best investment in stereo gear I have made. May have to add the Jupiter caps down the road after hearing you all talk about them. Just don't know if I could part with it long enough to get it done !!!!!!

Glad to hear your digging it!


Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 05/02/14 at 06:12:32

Hey Digger,

I understand your feeling about not wanting to let your CSP go for a time! The Jupiter caps are really good, but as your love of the CSP indicates, those stock caps have a magic to them that is really special. My memory is that they have more of a "sound" to them...becoming a really nice part of the signature... a good part. I am glad to have the more transparent, revealing and "organic" Jupiters, but I miss that original sound too!

Title: Re: CSP3 #001 - First photos
Post by will on 05/30/14 at 22:52:13

Having found a brilliant sound with my Torii MKIV, while intentionally not using the CSP3 in order to eek all I could from the MKIV first, I could not make the CSP make the MKIV better even with weeks of exploring!

The Jupitered CSP3 did those great CSP things, and sounded really good, but it was masking subtle information the MKIV was pulling beautifully from my Tranquility DAC.

I finally got sorted out after a lot of exploration, some of which only time (burnin) would solve. And this is subtle stuff. Without Decware I may not have even found it. The amazing MKIV nuance retrieval, especially with its reconstructive feedback circuit, is a big player here. It set up a interesting quest.

If you are interested the saga it is posted here:

Reply #4

Title: Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Post by stoutblock on 11/13/14 at 04:01:19

Just got my CSP3 today and I spent the evening listening to it and reading this thread.  I have owned a CSP2 for several years now.  Mostly used it to drive some Beyerdynamic DT880/600 phones.  After many hundred of hours and rolling many, many tubes I found out, like many of you have, that the output spots are tough to get right.  I ended up with a pair of Mullard CV2493 tubes.  These are exceptionally strong and fine sounding tubes.  Hard to find and far from cheap but I highly recommend them.  I discovered these originally when I owned a First Sound line stage a few years ago.  It was also demanding of tubes and these were one of the few that worked for me.  I own 12 of these that I picked up in Europe but am still on the first pair.  They still measure the same as when I got them and I must have a couple thousand hours on them by now.  Interesting that all 12 of these tubes all match within 2-3% of each other!  The CV2492 and CV2493 tubes are probably the highest grade tube in this family.  The CV2493 is basically a select CV2492.

For the input tube the CV2493 also sound fine but I favor the Amperex Orange globe or BB in this spot.  I have also tried a bunch of different rectifiers.   The Mullard GZ34 is a solid performer but I prefer the Phillips 5R4GYS overall.

Now I am trying to figure out the best effect for the output and input adjustment...

Title: Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Post by stoutblock on 11/13/14 at 04:17:30

With the upgraded tubes from the CSP2, so far the CSP3 is sounding certainly as good but probably better than the CSP2.  This CSP3 is used so it is mostly broke in.  It has the Jupiter caps and stepped attenuator which my CSP2 did not.  A little more detailed, a little more space between instruments and possibly some delicate softness to the detail in the higher frequencies. I bought this because I recently rotated my CSP2 into my main system as a preamp and I really, really liked the effect but I also missed it as a headphone amp in my office system.  I like it so much in my main system that I now have a ZP3 on order to place alongside it!

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