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Which input tube for a splash of seduction? (Read 9577 times)
will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #50 - 07/11/11 at 22:20:53
 
This is just an observation, as I do not know the details electronically. But I think that with the big VRs, the general signature remains relatively similar with the different lettered/voltages of A,B,C,D.

In you case, as you change them, since your start is the lowest key one....as the grid voltage increases, the sound of the tubes downstream of the VRs becomes more.....sort of across the spectrum, but particularly notable is weight, body and bass. I think this is why Steve talks about using them to tune the bass in particular.

In my case, with various editions of my room/system, I used VRs to tone down the VRs from the stock OA3 to OB3 or OC3W, resulting in a slightly lower key presentation overall, less weight/bass, and a resulting sense of more midrange openness.

Lately I use either the OB3 or OA3, and for me when I don't want to use the OA3s, it is because, in that set, they tend to be a little in my face....good stuff but a little pushy. My system/room/tastes though. I'll be interested to hear yours.
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« Last Edit: 07/11/11 at 22:22:10 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #51 - 07/12/11 at 02:55:33
 
I am almost afraid to take my new Torii out of its plastic wrap. I know that, once I do, my own tube rolling insanity will commence. My 1950s NOS RCA 5U4G rectifiers showed up today, too, so I am set there (with NOS Svetlanas as backups on the way), and I have a number of VR tubes as alternatives. Inputs for the Toriis are the Ediswans, and the outputs are the Treasures. but I am still planning to break in those V-caps using the stock tubes.

My ERRs are all but done, so they will be here soon. My Ultra has been in QC testing for some time now, but I expect it to ship soon as well. The net of all this is that they will all be breaking in together, I guess.

FWIW, and it's worth a lot to me, the woodworking and craftsmanship on the Ttorii are just beautiful. Built like a tank. And gets a lot of "wow" from everyone who sees it. Grin
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #52 - 07/12/11 at 03:26:45
 
Duuddddeee!!!!! You are in for some fun. You are also reintroducing speakers and room! Incredible. I wish I could be a fly on your wall! Congratulations.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #53 - 07/12/11 at 03:30:54
 
I have been really impressed how smart and decisive your progression has been. No messing around, getting the stuff that is most likely to suit your tastes and setting. The ERRs are supposed to really work with less-than-perfect rooms = Smart....the Treasures have happy reviews from good ears and Steve offers them = smart....and so on and so on. I am really excited for you.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #54 - 07/12/11 at 03:58:11
 
Thanks for the good words Will. I hope it's smart. Wink I look at it as a big case of "doubling down." I heard the Taboo, compared it to my previous/reference rig, and having read the forums and Steve's papers, and the few reviews I could find, I concluded this stuff suited me. I made the decision to buy what would—if it delivered as well as the Taboo—make me very happy without leaving me with a case of upgrade-itis. While not cheap, in today's dollars, it's much less expensive than I have spent on the upgrade merry-go-round in the past.

True, I have way more tubes than I need, but if I feel the need to upgrade, I have plenty of tubes to roll. And by going ahead and getting the power cords, ICs, and speaker wire I need, I figure I can sit back, break it all in, and enjoy the music and home theater.

Bob has been kind enough to share in words and photos the builds of my ERRs. Absolutely fascinating. And to all of you who have been generous with your experience and your expertise, thank you.  
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C.E.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #55 - 07/12/11 at 04:30:09
 
Pale,

Congratulations on the new addition(s). Be patient with the V-Caps.

FWIW the RCA NOS 5U4G's (ST) are my "go to" rectifiers (big, juicy bass). I've had the Svet's for a while, but can't bring myself to try them...

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #56 - 07/12/11 at 05:27:55
 
And just for thoroughness—and in honor of Lon—I picked up a few straight tube 5U4GB pieces.
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #57 - 07/12/11 at 07:28:03
 
If they had a definition Tube-o-phile in the dictionary, I’m sure there would be a picture of PR. Cool

Please put the stock tubes in and give us your initial impressions.....
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #58 - 07/12/11 at 12:21:54
 
Thank Goodness you have a Torii at last! With the V-Caps you're reportedly in for a long haul before you're "broken in" but i suspect you'll have quite a bit of fun along the way. Smiley

I know you'll be keeping us updated, and I'm looking forward to your impressions.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #59 - 07/12/11 at 15:40:04
 
Lon, I think I am going to set up my first Torii with the stock tubes at the office, running off my headphone rig. I have a couple of spare Orbs that I can use for a speaker load. I can then schedule the Mac mini to play music for 5 hours at a time, take a break for 5 hours, and then resume. Over and over again. That way, I can accumulate several hundred hours before my Radials even arrive. This will help get the V-caps "out of the way."
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #60 - 07/12/11 at 16:23:25
 
Wow, can you schedule turning the Torii off too every five hours? Pretty cool. Good idea!
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #61 - 07/12/11 at 16:56:28
 
Yeah, seems like the ± 5hr heat up-cool down cycles are a big deal for settling caps.
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« Last Edit: 07/12/11 at 16:56:53 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #62 - 07/12/11 at 17:15:20
 
Turning the amp on and off on 5 hour cycles is not too difficult, but I do have a question: how significant is amplifier volume during the break-in process?
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #63 - 07/12/11 at 18:45:17
 
I don't really know, but it seems logical to flex the gear similarly to how we would be using it if we were in the room listening. So if your amp is hooked to resistors or to speakers seems like varying the volume levels as we would while listening makes sense???
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #64 - 07/12/11 at 19:11:45
 
Agreed. Seems logical, especially for the caps. I know when I received my Liquid Fire, the designer recommended another 150 hours of break-in, over and above the 50 they did before shipping, and he supplied a dummy load, and recommended that the volume be turned 3/4 up.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #65 - 07/12/11 at 19:26:45
 
The 3/4 thing makes some sense too I suppose...pushing the current through everything hard. Or maybe use a big push as part of the equation with more normal levels interspersed...

It would be interesting to get Steve's take on this. Called him lately?
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #66 - 07/12/11 at 20:00:29
 
Have not, but would like to get his take.
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #67 - 07/13/11 at 00:36:58
 
I got my Nationals today and popped them in after work.

First impression:  delicious! I don't normally enjoy tubes immediately, but without burn in this is more up my alley. Thunderous bass is back as is a little moisture--this amp has such palpable images...  just solid and holographic.

Very impressive.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #68 - 07/13/11 at 00:41:15
 
Great to hear Gopher!  I am putting the same tube in my Ultra, and will swap between them and the Ediswans in my Toriis.
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« Last Edit: 07/13/11 at 01:09:39 by Pale Rider »  

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #69 - 07/13/11 at 01:41:26
 
Happy day!

Since it is so good now, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts with more push from the coming VRs.
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« Last Edit: 07/13/11 at 01:42:53 by will »  

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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #70 - 07/13/11 at 19:37:03
 
Gopher,

Now that you've got the Nationals installed, how do you think the TORII compares with the Shindo gear?
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #71 - 07/13/11 at 21:47:52
 
Kind of a difficult question as my only Shindo experience was with a preamplifier rather than a power amp.  I can say the Shindo gear has some of the most beautiful tone I've heard with very lifelike dynamics and just a natural, intrinsically musical sound.

The Torii's sound is very masculine by comparison.  Really palpable images with supreme texture and BALLS for days.  It makes some really great bass with my Zu speakers that I didn't know they could produce and its dynamic characteristic is almost larger than life.  For grins I found myself listening to hip hop last night and the Torii obliged.

The Auregies-L preamplifier I had has a 5000ohm output impedance.  Would that be a horrible match for the Torii?  I'm thinking to mate their virtues and put a Shindo in front of the Torii (with slightly more room treatments) might be my audio nirvana.
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #72 - 07/13/11 at 22:26:47
 
Gopher,

Thanks for the feedback.

On your preamp question see:

http://www.decware.com/paper55.htm

A 5Kohms output into a 100K input should work, but based on your
source output voltage, do you need the extra gain from the preamp?
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #73 - 07/14/11 at 00:47:17
 
Now I really regret selling it before receiving my torii!  My sources have adequate gain, that shouldn't be an issue at all.
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #74 - 07/14/11 at 07:37:47
 
Seller's regret, a subject that lots of us long time Audiophiles have had to deal with.

I remember when my hand made Futterman mono amps went out the front door, but it seems that Decware has given us a second chance at
sonic salvation.

My TORII was shipped today. A showdown against my KWA 100SE and a pair of $70K monos awaits. Cool
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #75 - 07/14/11 at 19:42:39
 
Its not a super regret--they aren't THAT rare, but it may cost me a few hundred bucks to do the experimenting I should have as it appears I sold the Shindo for less then I could have as prices seem to be going up.

I've got my money on the Torii over the Modwright, but I haven't really been a fan of any MW equipment I've heard in the past...   SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLAR monos?  You, or your friends play in a very different league than I!  Which amps are those?  

As much as I'd like to cheer for the little guy, that is quite the price disparity...
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #76 - 07/15/11 at 16:53:59
 
I'm glad to report that the Torii with this tube compliment seems to be holding my attention!  I think things are just about right on the amp front.  

I'm getting urges to try a preamp as this is basically resolved, as my last experience with the Shindo brought a lot of additional emotion to the table, but what I have now is in itself an accomplishment.
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #77 - 07/15/11 at 17:01:51
 
I understand that temptation for a preamp, and also that it's not really needed.

I use a CSP2 in front of the Torii Mk III now, didn't used to, but it has convinced me. The CSP2 has gobs of gain and the gain output is adjustable and it amazes me how the sound can be tailored. Now it's hard to be without it. An amazing preamp for the money.

Though I do often run a source straight into the Torii and I'm totally satisfied with the sound. So I don't need it.

But I do.

No, I don't.

Yes, I do.

Hey I didn't come here looking for an argument, I swear. Smiley
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #78 - 07/15/11 at 18:05:19
 
LOL, Lon! You know, I debated this issue in my own assessment of the Ultra. I could see running amps directly from my Oppo BDP-95, but I saw not just gain, but sound management advantages to investing in the Ultra.  I see it in the ZSTAGE/Taboo combo as well. Steve's concept of "riding the gain" has many advantages.
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« Last Edit: 07/15/11 at 18:55:06 by Pale Rider »  

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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #79 - 07/15/11 at 18:41:01
 
Man, the Ultra makes absolute stunning sense for multi-channel use (and allowing you a killer two channel usage as well). The moment I digested what it could do I thought "This is among the best preamps possible for a multi-channel tube nut!" If I could I would go the route you've gone. . . .Maybe with a new home and a new salary I would in the future. It's going to be the bomb!
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #80 - 07/19/11 at 17:38:25
 
I got some pulls from PartsConnexion that sound very good to me. But their matching system is foreign to me and I am wondering if someone can translate so I can tell how "used" they are. Or more importantly, how much life is left!

Here is one of them:

Mu 29.3/29.4
Gm 3970/3810
Vn -81.5/-81.6

Thanks
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #81 - 07/21/11 at 17:46:16
 
It looks like I got my OA3s in the mail today and I'm looking forward to plugging them in and doing some listening tonight--I actually have the house to myself for the evening.

I pulled my Wywires speaker cables from my system to send them back in for an updating and in their place I put my Zu Mission speaker cables...  significant loss in harmonic foundation and texture--will be nice if this restores the balance for the time being...
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #82 - 07/21/11 at 19:18:02
 
Gopher,

What are they updating on your speaker cables?

Have you tried the Decware ZEN STYX?
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #83 - 07/21/11 at 21:01:40
 
Technically, the change has to do with the the new wire having twice the number of Litz conductors per leg and a smaller cross section for each conductor. Dielectric and connectors are the same.

No I haven't, and I expect the Decware stuff is probably pretty darn good, but I'm Wywired throughout and have no desire to change cabling.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #84 - 07/22/11 at 00:10:53
 
Should the OA3s need some burn in time?  I'm not liking the sound I'm getting with them plus the Zu Mission cables at all.

Harsh, shrill, and basically unlistenable.  I can hear some things are improved, like inner detail, but this is almost painful.  

I can't wait to get my speaker cables back!
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #85 - 07/22/11 at 00:46:04
 
Those may change a bit in break-in but the same character and nature would likely be there.

I haven't done any tube-rolling with that rectification tube; I am afraid to lose the sound that I have now with the tubes that the amp arrived with.
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #86 - 07/22/11 at 01:38:30
 
Well, I think its the combo of them with the Zu cable I don't like.  I am curious how they'll perform when I get my Wywires back.  

Worst case scenario, I go back to what I had--these were inexpensive anyway.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #87 - 07/22/11 at 01:58:59
 
Gopher, My experience with my stock OA3s (RCA coke bottle shape) does not quite sync with yours. But I have noticed that VR tubes have a sound for sure, depending on the tube, so who knows.

With the ones I have tried, it sounds to me like the individual tube sound difference (say different OB3 brands) is subtler than how the different voltages effect the grid voltage and therefore how the tubes that follow sound. And it is bound to be system dependent as is everything else.

What I hear from my OA3s compared to Sylvania OB3s and then some Westinghouse OD3s, all coke bottles, .....is a natural sounding progression....The OD3, pushing the other tubes less, is most spacious textural, and soft...leaner. On the other end of the spectrum, the OA3 has more push/intensity/density throughout, so the mid and upper mid push is there, but is balanced by the increased low mids and bass density in my setup. The OB3 has an intensity in between the others with less push/density than the OA3 and more than the OD3. The final sense for me if I don't like the OA3 in a tube set is more that I don't like this overall push/intensity with some tube combinations....

So depending on the tendency of your tube combination in the context of your system sound, I can imagine that the extra push of the OA3 might bring out the mid/upper mid too intensely tending to harsh.

But if you really like the OD3 and the OA3 is unlistenable, this is extreme by my experience in my system.

As to burn in, when I replaced one of my OA3s, I don't recall a notable sound difference from the one I had been using, but maybe the replacement was somewhat used/burnt in? It was certainly not unlistenably more harsh and shrill.

I guess you have compared the OD3s with these speaker cables in place..... And played with the treble and bass knobs with the OA3s in? This might help the decision to see if you even want to burn them in?



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« Last Edit: 07/22/11 at 01:59:50 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #88 - 07/22/11 at 02:22:01
 
I honestly don't want to touch the bass/treble knobs.  They took me a while to dial in and want them normal so that when my speaker cable comes back I can have a meaningful (as much so as auditory memory can be) comparison.  

I'm listening to Beck's Sea Changes now an old fav and its passable albeit unengaging, but I was listening The Dears earlier and it was laughably unlistenable and the kinds of volume I normally would.

Be mindful these aren't Torii criticisms, and I'm not even sure its tube criticisms--I think my speaker cables had me spoiled and that plays a large role too.

I think I'm going to pop the regular regs in to see where the preference is with these Zu cables... I know the cable change alone left me unhappy.  Maybe the OA3s are getting a bum rap unfairly.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #89 - 07/22/11 at 02:55:16
 
I put my old regs back in and I'm still not feeling my sound.  Its the speaker cables...   I guess I just gotta hang in there till they come back and do a proper evaluation with the oa3s
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #90 - 07/22/11 at 06:57:33
 
Gopher,

I'm surprised that your speaker cables make that big a difference.

When I look at speaker cables, I can't figure out why they cost as much or more than my amp.

I'm currently using shotgun runs of these:

http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?cablspkr&1314681047

which are similar to the ZEN STYX.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #91 - 07/22/11 at 14:58:19
 
Those are interesting cables over on Audiogon kana. If I didn't already have my ZenStyx on order, I would give those a try. They're in the right price range. I am willing to pay for good stuff, and the Decware cords, cables, & ICs are in that price spot that makes sense to me. Some of the prices for cables these days are just mind-boggling.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #92 - 07/24/11 at 02:34:42
 
I pulled my Torii and tried it at a buddy's house that has a fully treated room, and Daedlus Ullysses speakers and it held its own against a Shindo Auregies-L/TubeGuru F2a push pull mono setup.  

Ultimately the Shindo/TG had a little more body and better low end impact and a much bigger stage then the Torii.  This was strange to me as the Torii has the best harmonic development and bass I've ever heard with my speakers.  I did wonder if his crossover was part of the issue vs. my cross-less speakers.

I also was surprised to find, at least in his rig, we both preferred NOT having the Shindo in the chain...  Cleaner, more liquid sound direct from his tricked out Tranquility SE DAC.

I think this amp may benefit from a pre, but the urgency of my quest for one is significantly lessened--the Torii handled itself WELL.

Ohh, and we both felt the same way about the OA3s.  They were instant losers as soon as plugged in.  I will do my due diligence and try to burn them in some, but I dont' think they're for me.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #93 - 07/24/11 at 02:54:37
 
Interesting observations Gopher. Not suggesting this is the case, but I wonder if with the Torii, the sound stage, body and low end in your friend's rig might have been different had the room/speaker placement been tuned to the Torii rather than the Shindo/TG.

And what OA3 do you have? Were the problems shillness and harshness again? I get that OA3s may not be for you, as most of the time they are not for me either. But your thing may be as much a lack of synergy as anything else with the nationals and Shuguangs. In my general experience, with the RCA coke bottle OA3s I have, for me, perhaps the most notable change in my system is more body and bass.
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« Last Edit: 07/24/11 at 02:55:38 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #94 - 07/24/11 at 04:21:01
 
Will,

These are the OA3:  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280705099877&ssPageName=ADME:...

Perhaps they are just a garbage make and/or need burn in.  I was actually excited to throw them in as we were wanting for a touch more body and bass in my buddy's rig, but that is not what we got when we swapped 'em.

I'm not sure his speakers have changed their positioning in the last 4 amps my buddy has owned, but I think he's stayed pretty consistent with Sablon audio cables.  Today we did introduce some of my Wywires into the mix and found ourselves preferring mixes of both cables to only one or the other which is a major praise for the Sablon as my Wywires are exquisite

In addition his room treatments are pretty comprehensive, though done without measurements.  He's got a pretty  rectangular room and has GIK all around (this is the friend I shared the big used score with).   All reflection points are treated and he's experimenting with sprinkling in some diffusiors.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #95 - 07/24/11 at 06:12:04
 
Yes, definitely a very different looking tube. I wonder if burn in would help as much as it sounds like they need. Mine look more like this http://www.blujay.com/item/RCA-0A3-VR-75-Vacuum-Tube-Voltage-Regulator-8130100-1...

Sounds like some fun exploring!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #96 - 07/24/11 at 20:36:09
 
If you want to experiment, I'll toss you a couple on me.  Chances are I won't be using any of the six anyway at this rate.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #97 - 07/24/11 at 21:48:32
 
You two have inspired me to try some rolling on that tube type. I ordered a pair of GE OA3s, and bid on a batch that have RCA OA3s, GE OB3s and RCA OC3 pairs. May not win that, I'm not going to pay a lot.

Gopher, those you have look oddly like those I have stock from Steve.
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« Last Edit: 07/24/11 at 21:49:09 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #98 - 07/25/11 at 01:32:16
 
Ah ha, won the tubes on ebay, 7 tubes for 18 dollars total. Got lucky.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #99 - 07/25/11 at 01:34:35
 
Careful Lon! Wink

I will be interested if you find something you like! Please keep us informed!


Gopher, If you are up for sending a couple, it might be interesting to see how I respond to the same tube in a different setting/system, though you proved the new ones incompatible in yours and your buddy's. This is all so subjective and made weirder by semantics....it could be an interesting experiment though.

How are you feeling about the National 7DJ8s and RCA 5U4G-STs these days? I got some Mullard 6922 pulls from partsconexion and am liking them with some power tubes quite a bit.
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