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Tubes for the MLB (Read 1153 times)
haroT3k
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Tubes for the MLB
10/16/09 at 18:09:02
 
Hi,

I recently go my hands on a used Decware MLB, and was told it was very similar to the CSP2.  The first thing I noticed about the MLB was that it was VERY bright, and lacked all the bass response that I had (and loved) from my JVC DX1000.  I've been rolling some tubes to try to bring back the bass (currently using RCA 5U4G and Russian 6N1P-EV).  I was wondering if there are other combos that would bring back the punch of bass that I love?
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Lon
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Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #1 - 10/16/09 at 19:56:16
 
Well, brightness is a hallmark of Decware products I think, but you should have some bass.

Are your headphones a good match, "impedance-wise", for the MLB?  Have you tried any other headphones?

You may want to try a 6922 in place of the 6N1P (NOS American or English seem to be less bright to my ears in general than Russian or Chinese).
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #2 - 10/16/09 at 21:14:05
 
Hi HaroT3K,

Welcome to the forums!  Brightness is NOT a hallmark of Decware products. The MLB is a transformer coupled headphone amp capable of driving AKG and other hard to drive, lower efficiency phones. Therefor it has a lot of gain on more efficient phones. Still, this is neither here nor there when it comes to bass response. Assuming you've tried both positions on the impedance switch (located on the top at the front), my guess is something is actually wrong with it.  If you don't discover something silly that explains the results you're getting, send it to me. Include the phones if you like. We'll get to the bottom of it. The MLB is a great headphone amp.

Steve
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« Last Edit: 10/16/09 at 21:14:28 by Steve Deckert »  
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7684
Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #3 - 10/16/09 at 22:36:06
 
Well, in my defense, I'll say I find Decware products to have an inherent brightness, not necessarily what people complain about when they say brightness, but a clarity and a sunshiney effect.  I've had my ears checked and I still have lots of high frequency hearing, and I hear a lot of high frequency from Decware products. Possibly for my listening material too much. Every single Decware product I have exhibits this.

Steve knows his machines, you should follow his advice.
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« Last Edit: 10/16/09 at 22:50:47 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2425
Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #4 - 10/17/09 at 18:02:07
 
Below are two definitions of " Bright " from audiophile dictionaries:

Bright: Listening term. Usually refers to too much upper frequency energy.

Bright - A sound that emphasizes the upper midrange/lower treble. Harmonics are strong relative to fundamentals.


Both would indicate an imbalanced frequency response, both would indicate the response is tipped up in the treble.

Naturally I'm going to tell you that Decware products have flat frequency response, because they do. In fact, they have by audiophile definition, a perfect frequency balance.

What Decware products have that the vast majority of main stream hi-fi gear does not, is nearly perfect transparency that of course extends well out into the top end. Listening to these other products, many of which have negative feedback, would have less transparency, less detail and would by comparison thereby sound veiled, softened, or dumbed down a bit. Pleasantly filtered would be another way of putting it.  

Comparing Decware gear to the 20% of hi-fi gear that's left, and has similar transparency, one would conclude that our gear is far more palpable and less fatiguing because there is no grain in the top end... a common side effect of miss-guided power supply regulation and a multitude of other things.

Bottom line is that the sound you hear from our products is honest. You get out whatever you put in. For example, during the fest this year the ZCD player was demo'd for 50% of the event, with not only our amplifiers and speakers, but non-Decware amplifiers and speakers too. Not one comment from anyone about it being "Bright".

I have a Blueray player as well, Lon, it's a top of the line Pioneer unit and it sounds very pleasant. It is just soft enough that I can play my "less than audiophile" recordings - mainly 50's jazz, without becoming mortified at the result. Put one of those recordings into the ZCD and you'll be twitching around on the couch. On the flip side, one night I listened to a Jeff Beck concert using my DAC and nearly came to tears during a particular female vocal part.  Her voice was incredibly complex and it was really doing things to me.  I talked about it for days around here until finally I decided to play it for everyone else.  I put it in my Blueray player and we proceeded to listen to the cut. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts, because her voice was not only nothing special, but not even that good. I (rather surprised) agreed. The complexity, detail, timbre, harmonics, were simply gone. I later redeemed myself by playing it back on my DAC and everyone got it that time, in fact we watched the entire thing.

For music lovers who don't let recoding quality dictate what they'll listen to, you need some way to manipulate the playback.  Either by having two systems, one low resolution, like the old Macintosh gear, or extra warm, like Conrad Johnson, or if you run super transparent gear, a treble control will make these recordings listenable.

Sorry, but even though you've stated that you don't mean "bright" in the typical sense, you're going to have to work on the language so that the word bright isn't even written.  

If you find all recordings exhibit this characteristic brightness, then really start looking at the acoustics in your rooms, or if you're certain that's not the problem just say you have very high sensitivity to treble and leave it at that.  

If it were just me it would be my opinion against yours which would be a wash.  But I've got 13 years of talking to customers about over 3000 Decware amps, who's feedback has confirmed what I think I'm hearing and given me tremendous confidence in my ears and our equipment.  

I too have an elevated sensitivity to treble, in fact it's way more than most people I've listened with in my lifetime.  Hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting there secretly wondering how they can stand to listen to that, much less think it sounds good.  I am excruciatingly picky about midrange and top end and can not tolerate either one being even the slightest bit over-emphasized and or artificially featured.  Basically I can't stand things that sound "characteristically bright" and I know for a fact that my products are not that.

I also would not have responded to this post this thoroughly if at all except that I know people who read the forums who have not owned Decware gear and like me can't stand characteristically bright sounding equipment, would find and read only your post... because that's Murphy's Law.
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« Last Edit: 10/17/09 at 18:12:32 by Steve Deckert »  
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #5 - 10/17/09 at 19:07:04
 
Okay, well I have quite a bit of experience listening to systems, and using amplification to make and record music, and let's just say I beg to differ.

That's okay with me.

I do have problems with acoustics in my room which I won't address for reasons. And I do have a sensitivity to treble. But I've listened to a number of other products in the room and the Decware products are bright in comparison.  And tilted frequency somewhat.  Even though you say they aren't, I know they are subjectively to me.  And the other products aren't muddy or overly dark.  I'm listening to a full Decware system right now, Dylan's new Xmas cd through the ZCD, the only thing non-Decware is a rack and one power cord. I'm calling it bright. I prefer these Decware products to any others I've owned, but I still say they are characteristically bright.  In more than one room.  In more than one house.

Let's just beg to differ, and I know you're protecting your turf.  I know you have your prideful certainty and you should.  I have my own certainty and bright is the right word to use is my take.  Since my pre-Revision A Zen amp, it's always been that way. You don't agree.

And that's okay.
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« Last Edit: 10/17/09 at 19:30:30 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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haroT3k
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Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #6 - 10/19/09 at 05:40:01
 
Thanks for the replies, I've been playing around the MLB some more over the weekend, settled on the 6n1p up front with two amperex 6922 and the 5y3gt in the back.  The bass is very tight, but its still very lean and missing most of its slam.  Going back to my X-Can V8 it was very evident both with the JVC DX1000 and the Denon D5000.  I'm also discovering a significant amount of hum.  The upper end is very airy and detailed, which is what the love, but the lack of lower end saddens me.

Steve, I would love to send the amp in for a check up, however, I live in Canada, and I fear that sending it back and forth would be too much of a hassle/expensive.  Is there any preliminary checks I can perform on my end? Thanks again.
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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Re: Tubes for the MLB
Reply #7 - 10/19/09 at 18:31:25
 
Increasing the coupling caps in value will bring more bass.  There are no preliminary checks per say for hum problems other than the article I wrote called troubleshooting hum problems which apply to all electronics.

Steve
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