Belles 21a preamp

anyone looking for a Belles 21a tube preamp?
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisa7d85-belles-21a-tube
I am not connected to the sale.
Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2, Gabriel Gold Reckoning
Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
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Comments

  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,351
    Wow, looks nice. Tempting.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,351
    Looks like it went quick
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    Damn! Need to wake up earlier...
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    Sorry fellas! Thanks for the heads up, Marvda1!
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • Gerres26Gerres26 Posts: 742
    Damn, should’ve bought it while I was at work...dumb for me to wait til quitting time :/

    Congrats @dr1978 !
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    Do you know if it's the stock version or the Auricap version?
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 4,296
    this is a great preamp, i owned one before i moved up to a DeHavilland ultraverve 3.
    when you first turn it on, nothing works until the tubes warm up.
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2, Gabriel Gold Reckoning
    Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • xsmixsmi Posts: 1,576
    I bought my 22a from someone on the forum and I have to tell you, it ain't going NOWHERE!😁 The only thing I may want to try at some point is a Parasound 21 power amp.
    2-channel
    Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable, Pro-Ject Phono Box MM, Magnepan LRS, Polk Audio SDA-SRS, AudioQuest Cable throughout. Pro-Ject RPM 5.1 (soon)
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,351
    dr1978 wrote: »
    Sorry fellas! Thanks for the heads up, Marvda1!
    dr1978 wrote: »
    Sorry fellas! Thanks for the heads up, Marvda1!

    Congrats!
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • Gerres26Gerres26 Posts: 742
    xsmi wrote: »
    I bought my 22a from someone on the forum and I have to tell you, it ain't going NOWHERE!😁 The only thing I may want to try at some point is a Parasound 21 power amp.

    Hmmmm, I may remember that 22a ;)
  • xsmixsmi Posts: 1,576
    Gerres26 wrote: »
    xsmi wrote: »
    I bought my 22a from someone on the forum and I have to tell you, it ain't going NOWHERE!😁 The only thing I may want to try at some point is a Parasound 21 power amp.

    Hmmmm, I may remember that 22a ;)

    You should. 😁
    2-channel
    Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable, Pro-Ject Phono Box MM, Magnepan LRS, Polk Audio SDA-SRS, AudioQuest Cable throughout. Pro-Ject RPM 5.1 (soon)
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    Check out my discussion when I got mine.

    https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/189047/belles-21a-tube-pre-in-the-house

    Can't really recommend a tube because my review was based on different amps and I modded my 21a. Your DNA's are a totally different animal than the B&K 's I have (which are also modded) but could be a similar signature as my Belles 350a Reference.
    I have some RCA clear tops that you may like with what you have. PM me if you want to give them a try once you get up and running.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,113
    Try some Brimar 13D5’s in it,, you can thank me later :)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 4,296
    I second the 13d5's and also like the mullard cv 4003.
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2, Gabriel Gold Reckoning
    Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 9,174
    For a 12AU7-family tube I always liked the 5814's, and the early 1950's CBS 5814's are a favorite. Not cheap but really nice.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,269
    Yea I've been on the hunt for some CBS 5814, true CBS not GE made. Original CBS/Hytron are very underrated.
    So far it's been crickets...
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Do you know if it's the stock version or the Auricap version?

    Stock. I've never attempted any audio DIY, so I'd be leery, but it sounds like the results are nice.
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    marvda1 wrote: »
    this is a great preamp, i owned one before i moved up to a DeHavilland ultraverve 3.
    when you first turn it on, nothing works until the tubes warm up.

    Ha, thanks for the heads up, that probably would have got me! About how long does it typically take to warm them up? I keep my SS power amps on all the time. I'm guessing that wouldn't be advisable for a tube pre?
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    edited January 5
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Check out my discussion when I got mine.

    https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/189047/belles-21a-tube-pre-in-the-house

    Can't really recommend a tube because my review was based on different amps and I modded my 21a. Your DNA's are a totally different animal than the B&K 's I have (which are also modded) but could be a similar signature as my Belles 350a Reference.
    I have some RCA clear tops that you may like with what you have. PM me if you want to give them a try once you get up and running.

    There are a handful of good threads on the site for 21a's, that was one that i bookmarked!

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on tubes. I'll have to start doing some research and tracking down prices. I can spend a bit, but I might need to wait to get the cream of the crop. First I need to get my eyes on this unit and see what tubes are even in it, I never asked.

    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 9,174
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Yea I've been on the hunt for some CBS 5814, true CBS not GE made. Original CBS/Hytron are very underrated.
    So far it's been crickets...

    Correct, the CBS 5814 up to 1955 IIRC are what you want. After that, they are GE and not worth it.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,269
    You will not harm it keeping it on 24/7. The tubes will just wear a bit faster. Honestly unless you're using super rare and expensive tubes then yea understandable. On and off cycles also can be detrimental to tubes so it's 6 of one half dozen of the other. Many tubes can go thousands of hours. It may be safe to say 5000hr or maybe more since I've seen 10,000hr tubes. Mullard and others made 10m tubes(10,000) so honestly its your call. I leave mine on from Friday to Monday most times.

    As for warming up, I turn my tube pre on and 10min later I'm sitting it the sweet spot. My pre actually has a limited start up as it will not allow signal to pass until it switches to high voltage after about 1 minute or so. At that point supposedly the tubes are good to go.
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    Sounds good, appreciate the info
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 4,296
    when you plug the preamp in you will hear a small click inside the pre, so there is some power sent to the preamp. when you hit the power switch it will take about a minute before anything works. it got me the first time as i kept trying to use the volume control on the remote.
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2, Gabriel Gold Reckoning
    Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    The tubes on the 21A are on all the time only with low voltage. When you power up they have about a 2 minute delay as they warm up to full voltage. The Raytheon long black plate halo getters I use marked "Baldwin" are reasonable and at least on my system are sublime! They have an excellent holographic quality that brings the music forward and all around you. Not sure how that would match with a system that's already forward but it's an inexpensive option to consider. I liked them so much I bought extras for backup.

    As for upgrading your caps, it is a worthy challenge but then again I regularly restore cars/boats etc. so... If you're up for it let me know and I can walk you through what needs to be done.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,113
    I had a 20a that I should have kept,, with that said,, pop some auricaps in it and roll some tubes,, my favorite were the Brimars,as the Belles is somewhat dark and the caps and tubes just made it sparkle. Good luck,, it is a great pre,,enjoy!
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    Thanks everyone. Good news, it finally shipped and the seller said he included a few extra tubes! Didn't ask what kind...I'll give ID'ing them myself a shot, but I'd expect to see a reply here at some point Wednesday night! I'll post some pictures either way.
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 355
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Do you know if it's the stock version or the Auricap version?

    Full disclosure, I only assumed it was stock because there was no mention of Auricaps in the description. As I'm counting down the days until Wednesday, I decided to take another look at the picture. Well well well, looky here....

    ytnqk4r0h6kd.jpg
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    Nice!
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 4,296
    edited January 11
    @dr1978 open that puppy up. here is an internal pic with auricaps. i recall david belles saying you don't have to replace that fifth cap up front.903resltswlh.jpg
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2, Gabriel Gold Reckoning
    Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,178
    The Auricap (and Audioluvr) upgrade eliminates the crappy Daytons and bypass caps. ;)
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
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