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New-again-to tube audio (Read 846 times)
Hank
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Posts: 29
New-again-to tube audio
04/13/10 at 20:14:56
 
I’m a newly joined member, retired and living in Delaware.

My “tube audio” experiences started quite some time ago when my college roommate, an EE student, made me a scratch-built 30W mono integrated amp cobbled together with scavenged TV and radio parts with the help of the RCA amp manual.  Within a year I moved on to an EICO ST-40 integrated amp kit …. Wish I had it today!  Unfortunately, I went solid state in short order with several Heathkit projects, never looking back at tubes.

Until about a year ago when I came across a K-12G 8wpc tube amp kit, Bellari tube phono preamp, hooked to a pair of Audioengine P4 shelf speakers and my 30 year old Visonik DD turntable.  Have lots of vinyl I haven’t listened to in years, not to mention about 1500 CD’s all in the classical genre. If you don’t need teeth rattling base, sounds good to my ears.

Not going to be able to do much with listening area.  The two rooms involved (one or the other),  16x15 the other 12x12, 8’ ceilings.  The larger with wall/wall carpeting, the smaller with wood floors, 60% covered with an area rug.  The later is were most of the listing goes on.

At the stage of life I’m at, the prices are a little scary, given I will have to build the system from the ground up.  The quality, range and depth of the music is more the goal than volume.

Perhaps I should stop now and ask what should I be look at.

Regards and thank you,
Hank
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Decware SE84DIY amp, TABOO, CSP2, ZenHead, Mini TORII SE-X. SE84CKC SuperZen
Visonik HIFI DD-8300 Turntable.
Bellari Tube Phono Preamp
Technics SL-PD5 CD Player
Tekton 8.1en Speakers
Tekton 4.1 Desktop Speakers
Grado SR60i phones
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ski bum
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Posts: 177
Re: New-again-to tube audio
Reply #1 - 04/14/10 at 01:42:28
 
Hmm.  If you're retired and concerned with budget, you may want to consider many of the kit offerings here.  It's fun and frugal.

My only Decware gear is a pair of his SE84 amps, which I would highly recommend, with caveats.  They don't seem to play nice with many speakers, at least the speakers I own, but for those exceptions where they do play nice, the results are outstanding.    

I have no experience w/ Decware speakers, but have had very favorable impressions of some omnidirecitonal designs paired with Decware amps.  The Decware ERR's look very interesting.  If they are withinin budget, it seems like they be quite worthy of consideration for your smaller room.  You may need more than a SE84 for these.  Perhaps Lon or others with specific experience with those will chip in.

Good luck, Hank.  You're in the right place for relatively inexpensive yet superb sounding gear.  If you don't get enough feedback here you can always call Steve.  

 



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Lon
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Posts: 7397
Re: New-again-to tube audio
Reply #2 - 04/14/10 at 17:30:33
 
Well, welcome!  

I think if you read through the forum you'll find two schools of  system structure that seem to illustrate a number of the systems.

There are those using high sensitivity speakers and small powered Decware amps, and those that are using the speakers needing more power and using larger power amps.  

I've had the smaller amps and never really had them driving the right speakers, perhaps.  I love the sound of thsse speakers as much as the sound of tubes and so the priority was to find the tube amps to best drive the speakers. Over the years I've moved towards more powerful amps and fell in love with the Torii amps Mark II and Mark III. I also very much like the Integrated amp.  

I say read up, keep soliciting advice and slowly let yourself see if either one of these schools of approach seem the best for you. And then plan building a system bit by bit (?)
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« Last Edit: 04/14/10 at 17:32:26 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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Hank
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Posts: 29
Re: New-again-to tube audio
Reply #3 - 04/17/10 at 22:06:23
 
Thanks, lon, ski-bum for the advice.

Perhaps I should start with the speakers....the DM944 shelf speakers look interesting for the areas I would be using.  The smaller room is where most of listening goes on as well as fitting other constraints around where things get set up.

The choice in amps seems to be 2wpc (SE84*) or 6wpc (Taboo.)  Are these both compatible with the shelf speakers?

The SE84 kit seems a possibility, but it doesn't have the tube power section and I'm not that experienced at modding existing plans.

Regards,
Hank

Since my listening  is classical, how would you think these combo's would work?

Regards,
Hank
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Decware SE84DIY amp, TABOO, CSP2, ZenHead, Mini TORII SE-X. SE84CKC SuperZen
Visonik HIFI DD-8300 Turntable.
Bellari Tube Phono Preamp
Technics SL-PD5 CD Player
Tekton 8.1en Speakers
Tekton 4.1 Desktop Speakers
Grado SR60i phones
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7397
Re: New-again-to tube audio
Reply #4 - 04/18/10 at 00:10:50
 
Hank, I don't have any experience with those speakers but from what I read on this forum, they sound very good and would work well with most classical music.

There is one other option on the Decware amp field: the 25 watt Torii.
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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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