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Thread: Nearly there....just added some petite Sonus Fabers..

  1. #21
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Mark,

    Welcome to AoS. Lovely system - I'm sure that it gives you many hours of musical pleasure!

    If I were you, I'd think long and hard before changing the CDS2 for something 'better' with valves... I owned a CDS2 for years, and it's a superb piece of kit - far better than the majority of CDPs produced these days. If you're looking to genuinely upgrade from it, you'll need to spend quite a few grand, so I hope that your pockets are deep!

    I can say from experience (as a valve 'nut' myself), that the majority of CDPs, using valves in the output stage, are a huge compromise, and that valves are introduced merely as a 'bandage', in order to tame the rather 'spikey' top-end of most modern CD players and induce some euphonic coloration, which may produce a pleasing effect in some systems.

    My advice, unless you have at least 3k to spend on a new CDP, is to leave well alone and instead upgrade those horrible Electro-Harmonix valves inside your (lovely) GRAAF! Trust me, you can do so much better, and replacing them with something like some nice NOS Brimars/Teslas/Mullards, etc, depending on taste, will provide you with a much more significant sonic upgrade than you're likely to get by replacing the CDS2 with your average valve-based CDP.

    Just my 2p worth, mate, but it's based on considerable experience. Anyway, whatever you do, enjoy the music!

    Marco.

    Hello Marco,
    Thanks very much for the advice on better tubes. Looked at the mine of information of the web, Watford valves etc and now thoroughly confused! Do the makers you have recommended produce a certain 'tonal sound'? Or are each model they produce different? I like a warm but focused soundstage particularly the vocal range, maybe the low bass could do with a slight tighten...? if anything springs to mind.. thanks very much for your advice.

    Mark
    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 7,137
    I'm Josie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Mark,

    Welcome to AoS. Lovely system - I'm sure that it gives you many hours of musical pleasure!

    If I were you, I'd think long and hard before changing the CDS2 for something 'better' with valves... I owned a CDS2 for years, and it's a superb piece of kit - far better than the majority of CDPs produced these days. If you're looking to genuinely upgrade from it, you'll need to spend quite a few grand, so I hope that your pockets are deep!

    I can say from experience (as a valve 'nut' myself), that the majority of CDPs, using valves in the output stage, are a huge compromise, and that valves are introduced merely as a 'bandage', in order to tame the rather 'spikey' top-end of most modern CD players and induce some euphonic coloration, which may produce a pleasing effect in some systems.

    My advice, unless you have at least 3k to spend on a new CDP, is to leave well alone and instead upgrade those horrible Electro-Harmonix valves inside your (lovely) GRAAF! Trust me, you can do so much better, and replacing them with something like some nice NOS Brimars/Teslas/Mullards, etc, depending on taste, will provide you with a much more significant sonic upgrade than you're likely to get by replacing the CDS2 with your average valve-based CDP.

    Just my 2p worth, mate, but it's based on considerable experience. Anyway, whatever you do, enjoy the music!

    Marco.
    Top brass!

    Yep. I agree entirely... The GRAAF is a lovely amp. Get those valves rollied.
    Preamplifier: Croft Epoch Elite - Dual external PSU & Upgrades
    Amplifier: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp No. 5 using KT150's
    Digital: Raspberry Pi & ALLO Piano DAC & KALI - IQAudio DAC with SBooster Linear BOBW PSU & Trio DP700 CDP
    Turntable: Thorens TD124 MkII - Schopper refurbished
    Tonearm: SME 3009 S2 None Improved - Audio Origami modified
    Cartridge: Ortofon SPU GT
    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Majors with Tannoyista Spec 3 crossovers
    Cables/Mains: Mark Grant Black Series mains cables & 6-Way power bar
    Cables/IC's: Mark Grant HDX1 Pure Copper + Custom made Silver/Gold interconnects
    Mains Other: Tube Distinctions/Mark Grant 'The Power Works' Digital noise mains power filter TD2414-MG - Nick Gorham DC Blocker unit constructed by Mark Grant

  3. #23
    Join Date: Nov 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 756
    I'm paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by purplepyramid View Post
    Thanks for the information Loo. I'll look into the input valves and the driver valves, with the makers Marco recommended.
    I was looking around maybe for a valve Phono stage but I am guessing the Linto is a hard act to beat with the Linn front end.
    If a GM70 comes up on Ebay....
    Hi Mark your welcome, a GM70 would be nice also BAT make some very nice all valve fully balanced phonostages that would be sublime with the Graaf and the Sondek for that matter .Good luck with the 6922 search nos valves can command silly prices one of my personal reasonable cost favourites is the Sylvania 7308 but even those are getting rarer.
    Enjoy it as it is its still one of the best valve intergrated amps period
    Paul

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

    Default

    Thanks for all the comments guys. Looking forward to rolling some tubes. It sure is a weird world in tube land - cryo valves and new old stock from before the war...at amazing prices, some of them.
    Added some Yter cable recently, that I bought second hand, which has improved the overall sound markedly.
    Maybe I haven't quite finished....

    Cheers
    Mark
    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

    Default A few more valve pics

    Took the opportunity to take some photos inside the Graaf before I replaced the 6922 valves:







    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

  6. #26
    Join Date: Nov 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 756
    I'm paul.

    Default

    Hi Mark, looking nice , have you bought some 6922's for the Graaf or just starting the hunt
    Paul

  7. #27
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

    Default New 6922 valves

    Hi Paul,

    After much looking through forums etc I went for some 1960's 'white labelled' Dutch Amperex ECC88 matched quads (!). I hope they will be okay. Haven't had time to sit down and listen but will do some serious listening at the weekend....

    Cheers
    Mark
    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

  8. #28
    Join Date: Nov 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 756
    I'm paul.

    Default

    You got good taste
    They should be great ,
    A great place for technical advice for your amp is twitter, Graaf maintain a page and are usually very prompt in answering questions , far better than their email
    enjoy those valves
    Paul

  9. #29
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

    Default Well that went well....not

    Started warming up the new Dutch valves then promptly caught flu for a week. Blocked up ears and elephant stampede on head effect.

    First listening post germs was stunning compared to the original EH tubes. The sound was clean, the soundstage was massive in comparison and the transparency was in a different league. So far so good. However on extended listening I felt the female vocals especially has a prominance and felt a bit thin. This seemed to be common through the upper mid / low treble and drew attention to it. Sax had a great rasping edge but didn't have as much body as I would have liked. The other downside of the Amperex was the significant increase in surface niose (on vinyl) - something I just don't like.

    Luckily I had some Tesla E88CCs to swap in and although they didn't have the massive sound stage, clarity or transparency of the Amperex, they sounded richer and gave a lower vinyl surface noise.

    I'm still keen to try out some Mitchum made GB 2493 Mullards as they are said to be the richest sounding tubes around so I'm on the hunt....finding matched quads isn't going to easy, especially at a reasonable price.....

    Thanks Paul for the Twitter advice re Graaf I guess I thought they were a bit moribund. Their curious new ss GM400 amp (anyone heard it?) seems to be on a totally new web site and the old site hasn't been updated at all

    Cheers Mark
    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

  10. #30
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 23
    I'm Mark.

    Default The Sonus Fabers grew a little and then some...



    When I said I was nearly there - I think i really meant to say I had a little way to go...

    The Graaf I sadly said farewell to (swapped for a Radikal) and replaced with the muscle bound McIntosh MA2275. Then added a MC152 for more power...Oh and the CDS2 and Elipsa Auditors had to go to Ebay heaven.... sorry guys...

    I have a horrible feeling this post will come out in the wrong order in the thread..apologies if it does
    Equipment: Linn Sondek LP12 Valhalla, Radikal, NBB, Mana Soundframe, Ittok/Syrinx PU3, Kimber Silver Hybrid arm cable, Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue
    Naim HDX + XPS2 , EAR 88PB: V1, V2 Mullards PCC88/V3, V4 Brimar P88CC, McIntosh MA2275 / MC152, Sonus Faber Guarneri Momentos, Yter speaker cable.

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