Thinking about going tubes

245

Comments

  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,333
    edited January 18
    tonyb wrote: »
    Try a tubed Pre with the SS amp you have now. No need to buy 2 pieces off the bat.

    I think you should have said, you need to buy 2 pieces that are BAT. (see above post). ;)
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 760
    Very happy with my Rogue Cronus Magnum II. If there is nothing wrong with the Cronus that is advertised on CL, that would be a smoking deal.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    stangman67 wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    16187794927_269abfcf2c_b.jpgDSC_0132 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    This picture makes me want to go tubes all the more. The cool factor is just out of this world

    Well, that was (of course) my intent; my work is done here :)

    This being said - the amp and preamp shown would not be a good match for your loudspeakers. It's a single-ended 2A3 amplifier (3.5 watts per channel) with no negative feedback. :p
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,420
    stangman67 wrote: »
    scubalab wrote: »
    Zach, did you see this?

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/ele/d/rogue-audio-cronus-integrated/6461473490.html

    A little dusty, but seems like a good price...

    I did not see that. I texted the guy and hit him at 800, if I can get it for that I think it would be worth it either way, even if I did not like it in the long run

    Looks like the seller dropped the price to $800 Zach. Hit him up again!

    I used to have family in Wall, NJ. Though I wouldn't trust them to ship a brick, let alone a tube integrated, LOL!
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I did speak to him. I offered 800 and he agreed but then told me he was very unsure of the operational state of the amp and I got a little weary. If it is still around this weekend, I may take a quick trip up there and take a look at it
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,918
    stangman67 wrote: »
    I did speak to him. I offered 800 and he agreed but then told me he was very unsure of the operational state of the amp and I got a little weary. If it is still around this weekend, I may take a quick trip up there and take a look at it

    Keep in mind, it may need to be re-tubed. NOS tubes is where it's at brotha. ;) If you have a small set of bookies and some short extra speaker wire, bring 'em to test it out with.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
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    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
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    Tad 803 speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    edited January 19
    I don't know much about this particular amplifier (the Rogue) but, by and large, the vacuum tube amplifiers are phenomenally simple devices -- easy to troubleshoot & repair (and very forgiving of things like power surges). As long as the transformers are all OK, there's not much to be afraid of in terms of buying an iffy amplifier.

    Now, this isn't to say that any needed repairs will be inexpensive -- but they should be straightforward.

    As to tubes, yes, there are many ills (some pretty serious) that can be caused by tired or bad tubes. This said, even modern production vacuum tubes are pretty robust little gizmos (despite anti-tube marketing used in the 1960s to sell the consumer the benefits of glorious transistor sound). The output tubes can certainly get tired -- especially if a given amp runs them "hard" (near, or past, their specified operating limits). And tired/bad output tubes can have a multitude of effects, from audible degradation to damage of other components. But they're also easy to change (if not necessarily cheap)!

    The small signal tubes (phase splitters, preamp tubes, and voltage amp/driver tubes) - again, given prudent circuit design - can and should last for thousands (even 10s of thousands of hours).

    Especially for small signal tubes, if an amplifier has, e.g., one weak channel, or noise in one channel, an easy & valuable troubleshooting tool is to simply swap tubes between channels, and see if the "trouble" follows a tube, :)

    This approach can also work for power amp tubes, but in some amplifier circuits, rebiasing may be required. I don't know what bias scheme the Rogue amps use, sorry.

    I hope this soliloquy is reassuring and not just incomprehensible ;)

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Oh, two things about testing "unknown" tube amplifiers.
    1) Always connect a load to the outputs -- either test speakers or dummy loads (8 ohm power resistors, ideally noninductive ones). Transformer-coupled amplifiers don't like open circuits, and output transformers tend to be expensive. :(

    2) Be on the lookout for red plating output tubes. A number of pathological conditions can result in one (or more) output tubes dissipating way more power than they're meant to. In such a case, the tube's plate structure can get red hot. This is a sign of pretty severe trauma; don't operate an amplifier with a red plating tube (or tubes)!
    The problem could just be a tired tube that cannot hold bias, or a bad coupling capacitor, or issues with the bias supply circuit (or the bias level, if adjustable) -- but it's bad, bad, bad. :|



  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    It's a little hard to take a good photo of a red-plating tube; here's a pretty good one from a guitar amplifier (via Google) :)

    ih7e29trbjmg.png

    The EL34 on the left is red-plating pretty severely; it's push-pull pal on the right is also red-plating, though not as much.

    This is an unhappy amplifier.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,918
    Geez Doc, the poor lad just wants to go look at a Rogue. :) :p
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,931
    edited January 19
    9qofls03bhyf.jpg

    6h7x6krnjnzt.jpg

    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    tonyb wrote: »
    Geez Doc, the poor lad just wants to go look at a Rogue. :) :p

    Hey, I was trying to encourage him! :)

    And I was gettin' caffeinated for the day...
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    9qofls03bhyf.jpg

    6h7x6krnjnzt.jpg

    That's a lotta mica and rods and stuff -- looks like a ballistic missile grade toob to me.

    :)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    edited January 19
    a cheap Chinese generic brand 2A3
    9600350716_c905c0a509_b.jpgDSC_0002 by icouldbeahero, on Flickr

    Decware Zen SE-84B (single-ended EL84 stereo amp)
    9835310886_91c5aa0e29_b.jpgDSC_9988 by icouldbeahero, on Flickr

    The back office of a McIntosh MR-67 tuner
    16587281698_590b64bfc7_b.jpgDSC_0255 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    The first two photos were taken by our son:
    http://icouldbeahero.blogspot.com
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I'm getting real jealous over here. I'm going to listen to a few integrated amps over the weekend from Primaluna and LM. Kevin from upscale audio says the Focal and Primaluna combo is magical and he seems to be someone with a wealth of knowledge.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    stangman67 wrote: »
    I'm getting real jealous over here.
    Mission accomplished.
    ;)
    I'm going to listen to a few integrated amps over the weekend from Primaluna and LM. Kevin from upscale audio says the Focal and Primaluna combo is magical and he seems to be someone with a wealth of knowledge.

    Sounds good!
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,568
    SUCKER!!! Down the hole he goes :)
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    Next stop:

    ewu8cmjzigrw.png

    arm2pczpm82h.png

    vuez7vrb8ulq.png
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 3,492
    Where does it end? I am halfway done building my first headphone amp:

    wk4u4y6qcq7r.jpg
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    direct coupled.
    sweet.

    :|
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    BTW, I can vouch for the sonic performance of all three amps (OK, four, but two are identical) in the photos above. Two are the products of local gurus; the pair in the rack are Langevin theatre amplifiers.
  • WardswebWardsweb Posts: 791
    edited January 20
    You can always check out your local Craig's List. Just saw this in San Antonio $500 with extra tubes.

    https://sanantonio.craigslist.org/ele/d/yaqin-mc-13s-tube-amplifier/6450075562.html

    988rtf0d8avl.jpg
    Living room:Maplenoll turntable, Clearaudio Champion II turntable, Sonic Euphoria pre, EAR 834P phono pre, Shanling CD-T1500 sacd, Auralic Altair DAC/server, PS Audio Quintessence power, ASL AQ1006 845 DT MKII mono block amplifers, DIY Altec/JBL speakers
    Sun room: Roksan Radius 5 turntable, Lounge phono pre, DIY Class A 6H30 linestage, DIY 2A3 amp, Krell CDP, JBL C50 Olympus speakers with custom Smith horns, Klipsch Cornwall III
    Den: Onkyo TX-NR929 receiver, Oppo BDP-103 player, Panamax M5400-PM power, SST Ampzilla 2000 mono blocks, Behringer EP 4000 sub amp, Electrovoice DX-38 active, Klipsch Jubilee speakers, Martin Logan Cinema center, JBL SAT2 surrounds, Danley DTS-10 sub
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    Got my ears on a few amps today. I went down to Command Performance AV in the DC area. The guys there were awesome and they had a lot of cool stuff. I went because I saw they were a line magnetic dealer, but they didn't have anything in stock. They were also rogue and primaluna dealers which I was not expecting.

    They had a set of Focal 926's setup in a room and I was able to listen to the Primaluna Prologue Premium which was initially one of the three integrated amps I was considering. I was initially very impressed, seemed like it matched perfectly with the Focals as I had heard (read: no brightness to speak of). I liked the tonal quality and the imaging/soundstage was impressive. I very much enjoyed the hour or so I listened to this combo. The big drawback and in the end the reason I will not be getting this amp is the lacking bass. I was obviously expecting this vice when I heard the focals with 300 watts on tap but it was a bigger difference than I was prepared for.

    I then made the mistake of listening to the Primaluna Dialogue HP which has 80 watts per channel (and a 4500 price tag :o ). All the qualities of the prologue that I liked were still present with much more defined and ample bass. I only listened to a few songs as this amp is well outside of my price range and I didn't want to be tempted to do something stupid.

    So with this I now know that a 30ish WPC tube amp probably won't be able to satisfy my listening tastes. So I am keeping my TEAC for the time being and will be mulling over Tube Pre/SS amp or maybe saving for something like the Dialogue HP. I really want to find a combo I will love for a long time. That may still be the Teac, just need to give it a chance with the Focals, or I may give Mike's SLP-03 a shot when he is ready to let it go
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    If you really want to torture yourself, go to Deja Vu Audio in McLean, VA :)

  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,074
    If you really want to torture yourself, talk to Skip about the tube amps Matersound sells hehehehe.....
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I've spoken to him about mastersound and I don't necessarily think they are a great option for me. I'd need to get my ears on them before hand
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    I know nothing about your loudspeakers -- is biamplification an option?
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    Nope. Focal doesn’t believe in biamplification
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,352
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Nope. Focal doesn’t believe in biamplification

    Too bad. Biamplification wouldn't be a bad way to get the best of both worlds if you're set on keeping the loudspeakers.

    Heck, even I use soiled state amplification for the subwoofer.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,918
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Got my ears on a few amps today. I went down to Command Performance AV in the DC area. The guys there were awesome and they had a lot of cool stuff. I went because I saw they were a line magnetic dealer, but they didn't have anything in stock. They were also rogue and primaluna dealers which I was not expecting.

    They had a set of Focal 926's setup in a room and I was able to listen to the Primaluna Prologue Premium which was initially one of the three integrated amps I was considering. I was initially very impressed, seemed like it matched perfectly with the Focals as I had heard (read: no brightness to speak of). I liked the tonal quality and the imaging/soundstage was impressive. I very much enjoyed the hour or so I listened to this combo. The big drawback and in the end the reason I will not be getting this amp is the lacking bass. I was obviously expecting this vice when I heard the focals with 300 watts on tap but it was a bigger difference than I was prepared for.

    I then made the mistake of listening to the Primaluna Dialogue HP which has 80 watts per channel (and a 4500 price tag :o ). All the qualities of the prologue that I liked were still present with much more defined and ample bass. I only listened to a few songs as this amp is well outside of my price range and I didn't want to be tempted to do something stupid.

    So with this I now know that a 30ish WPC tube amp probably won't be able to satisfy my listening tastes. So I am keeping my TEAC for the time being and will be mulling over Tube Pre/SS amp or maybe saving for something like the Dialogue HP. I really want to find a combo I will love for a long time. That may still be the Teac, just need to give it a chance with the Focals, or I may give Mike's SLP-03 a shot when he is ready to let it go

    Said this early on....ss amp, tube pre. You get the bass slam of the SS muscle and the tone and air of the tubes. Makes for an enjoyable experience with any genre of music.

    Look for a Joule would be my suggestion. Cary is nice also, depending on the model. My opinion though, is for the price Joule's go for on the used markets, you'd be hard pressed to do better. Down the line, add a Butler amp and I can't imagine anyone not liking that combination.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I think that is the direction I'll be eventually going. I've heard very mixes reviews on the SP-03 but for a grand it seems to be a decent deal. Add something like a B&K reference amp for now or find a Mccormack and I'm in for the around the same price as the integrated I have. What Joule models should I be looking for? a quick perusal of Audiogon shows nothing out there at the moment.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

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