Tubes in the house !

Well a few hours after I left to visit my grandson on friday the Fed Ex lady hobbled up my driveway with my xmas present to my self. I think she was over joyed to have my son meet her in the yard to take it from her. My Silk Audio MS-38 arrived just as I crossed the line in to SC. Well after several days of lusting for it and drooling over the photos my son sent me just to make me squirm I am listening to my first tube amp. I warmed it up for about 15 minutes at zero volume and tweaked the bias a tad and now I am running playlists off Tidal to start the burn in process.91m243ghaowc.jpg


  • pumpkinman
    pumpkinman Posts: 7,826
    edited January 2015
    Really beautiful

    Because I am The Pumpkinking

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  • CoolJazz
    CoolJazz Posts: 559
    edited January 2015
    Man, that's outstanding! An amp after my heart! Not one...but TWO places to set your coffee cup to keep it warm! Sweeeeeet! >:)

    Love that meter too!

    A so called science type proudly says... "I do realize that I would fool myself all the time, about listening conclusions and many other observations, if I did listen before buying. That’s why I don’t, I bought all of my current gear based on technical parameters alone, such as specs and measurements."
  • Mikey081057
    Mikey081057 Posts: 7,128
    Very Nice

    is there a link to specs?
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  • Very Nice

    is there a link to specs?

    The MS-38 is a Mc-30L with a redesigned front plate. Ray did not like the look of the original so he had them add the VU meter to the front to give it a more vintage style look.
  • Congrats, looks great! I've been waiting for at least a year to see what this amp was going to look like as Ray from Silk Audio has been working on it (it's a modified and rebadged Yaqin MC-30L). Thumbs up for the VU meter! I really like the sound of my MC-30L and I'm pretty confident you won't be disappointed with the MS-38.

    My 2 cents, give the amp a listen for a few months to get a baseline of how it sounds with the stock tubes. I did what everyone suggested at the time I bought mine "get rid of the stock tubes!" so I rolled 60's era Tesla EL34's (had to turn the bias pot quite a ways to get it to 400V and even then they didn't have the great punch and midrange sweetness of the Shuguangs) and Svetlana Winged C's (the "good ones") and meh, same result as the Tesla. The Shuguang EL34-B's sounded better, hands down, no doubt about it.

    Can't wait to hear your impressions of it.

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    Yaqin MS-20L integrated tube amp
  • Very Nice

    is there a link to specs?

    No direct link but since it's basically a 30L it's 50 WPC in Ultralinear mode and 25 WPC in triode mode.
    SDA SRS 1.2TL's
    SDA 1C's w/Clarity Cap ESA; PA, Mills, RD0194-1's
    SDA 2B TL's w/RD0198-1's
    Yaqin MC-30L integrated tube amp
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated tube amp
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,665
    Nice!!! Love the looks of it also!
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  • Faustin
    Faustin Posts: 1,063
    Really like the redesigned look of the amp. Do you have it powering your 10's?
  • oldrocker
    oldrocker Posts: 2,438
    Mercy goodness, I do not need to look at that.
    Holy Cow, awesome!!!
  • Faustin wrote: »
    Really like the redesigned look of the amp. Do you have it powering your 10's?

    Yep the little beast is powering my 10a's. I have to say I am quite happy so far. I was so used to the sound of my Onkyo that I was a bit worried about how I would like the new amp. I never tweaked the tone controls of the old Onkyo as I did not need to. The highs and lows were just fine with the tone controls on zero. The new amp does not have any tone controls and so far it gives a sound very similar to what I had. I find the longer I listen to it the more I like it. I was concerned it would be lacking in the bottom end but that has not been the case. I have been listening to some Tidal and some mp3 and flac files I have on the pc through the Dac Destroyer from Hot Audio that aso arrived at the same time. I plan on hooking up the cd player tonight and giving that a whirl for a bit.

  • xsmi
    xsmi Posts: 1,653
    I think you're going to like the package I'm sending you with this amp. I have the 30L as well. It powers my SRS 2's to levels that scare me. The soundstage is wide and deep and the imaging is spot on. Enjoy!
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  • drumminman
    drumminman Posts: 3,396
    That's a beautiful piece.
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  • headrott
    headrott Posts: 5,477
    Nice amplifier. Tubes are excellent. Enjoy your new amp.
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    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....

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  • factorz
    factorz Posts: 353
    Wow looks great! Happy to hear everything worked out and your enjoying it. Ray had mentioned to me about the change so it's cool to see it. I have to agree with the comment about getting a baseline before rolling in some new tubes.
  • DSkip wrote: »
    What generally kills a tube amp's performance is a really tough load. They don't like severe impedance drops, so as long as your speakers aren't notorious for needing big power behind them, tubes should make them sing.

    Well while I do not think the Monitor 10a's are extremely efficient I do not see them as being a tough load.

    factorz wrote: »
    Wow looks great! Happy to hear everything worked out and your enjoying it. Ray had mentioned to me about the change so it's cool to see it. I have to agree with the comment about getting a baseline before rolling in some new tubes.

    I plan on running these for quite a bit before I try fixing anything. Money is tight so I guess I am lucky because I am a terrible hobby addict and suffer from GAS syndrome very easily. I have read so many different opinions on what works best and which tubes to change first. I may try changing the front tubes first as they are cheaper. Those power tubes can get expensive very quickly.

  • voltz
    voltz Posts: 5,384
    Super congrats Bro :) looking really sweet!!
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  • cnh
    cnh Posts: 13,286
    She's a "beauty"! Now if you want to be condemned by the GODS like Prometheus, etc. Drop Brock a line and begin the Sisyphean task of rolling the RIGHT, NO the "perfect" tube! lol

    If nothing else you'll have a few HUNDRED back up tubes and spend 1000s of hours scouring ebay, etc.!



    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

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  • Mike Reeter
    Mike Reeter Posts: 4,099
    Beautiful Amp. Tube power is the Gateway Drug of choice, N'joy!
    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • vcwatkins
    vcwatkins Posts: 1,989
    Gorgeous. Congrats!
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  • rikm
    rikm Posts: 23
    I see this is an older thread but I just started looking at this amp, do you still have it, and can you say anything about your time with it?
  • MrBuhl
    MrBuhl Posts: 2,419
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  • Simplyrandom
    Simplyrandom Posts: 119
    rikm wrote: »
    I see this is an older thread but I just started looking at this amp, do you still have it, and can you say anything about your time with it?

    I run it 6 to 8 hours a day and I am loving it. I check bias once a month and and its rock solid. I tried swapping out pre and power tubes but I did not find much difference with them. I am running the originals currently in the power section and some GE 5654W in the pre section. I mainly listen to Blues, Jazz and singer songwriter stuff.
  • rikm
    rikm Posts: 23
    Hey Simplyrandom, thanks for the reply and glad to hear you're still happy with it...based in part on your posts, went ahead and ordered it from the same guy in Chicagoland...should be here this week.

    And by coincidence also ordered a set of the same signal tubes...had read elsewhere that the stock 6J1's were not impressive, and the NOS GE's had multiple thumbs-up and were cheap enough...

    ...have also read that the blue glass bottles are mostly well thought of, but there are a lot of EL34-family tubes out there, so may want to play with those options down the road. What was the other power tube you tried? ...kind of like to hear what KT77's would sound like someday...

  • Simplyrandom
    Simplyrandom Posts: 119
    I have heard mixed things about using the KT77's in these. I tried a set of el34's but to be honest I liked the 6CA7's better. I have not spent a ton of money on vintage 34's but I would run her like it is for a bit before pouring money down the hole. Ray ships pretty quick and the packing is excellent. Good luck and enjoy!
  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 7,672

    While tube amps do not like tough loads, they also do not like NO loads.

    Whatever you do, do not unplug the speakers from a powered "on" tube amp - removing that load from certain amps can damage them....

    Some tube amps handle the lack of a load fine... like my FE.

    Treat it like a baby... these guys are not built like our SS amps.

    But yeah - congrats!
    Joey's Gear:
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  • rikm
    rikm Posts: 23
    thanks Joey_V

    ...just got it yesterday afternoon, all good so far...may be too much amp for the office...was thinking it would replace the small EL84 amp that drives the old M7's in there, but having heard it am going to have to try it out on the 707's in the big room...

    Those are on chips now, old NAD stuff, and they sound fine, but this thing is great...any thoughts on the relatively low tube power driving the big speakers?

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,322
    You should be fine on the 707's, you may not get the spl's of a good SS amp, but certainly enough for music listening. Congrats btw....she's a looker.
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  • rikm
    rikm Posts: 23

    thanks tony_b,

    ...and well they sound great...have to say the amp is pretty amazing for the price, even with the relatively low output power next to the chips, the sonics are seriously well defined.

    May have to re-think the old NAD 2200's that run as a bridged pair in the house system, there is plenty of power of course but they sound almost flat next to the tubes... had heard that comment made before WRT the general sound character of some mono-blocs, but didn't credit it before now...can anyone comment on the 'dual mono flatness' thing from experience?

    ...going to have to move a different chipset into place just to see if a single 2-channel amp sounds more lively...or maybe just reconfigure one of the 2200's back to stereo and test it that way...

  • pa7c70II
    pa7c70II Posts: 3
    Newbie here. I just bought the Silk Audio MS-38 thanks to lurking on this forum for awhile. I just wanted to reaffirm what the others are saying. This is a great tube amp for the money. I've got about 15 hours on it so far. Does anybody know what the 8 little red rubber caps that came with the unit are for? They are about the size of valve stem caps.