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Thread: New Valves for phono stage

  1. #21
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 23,435
    I'm Geoff.

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    Nice result Marco. It's always fun experimenting with valves, they certainly do vary in character.

    I'm thinking of resurrecting my valve amplification. Not used it for a long time .
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  2. #22
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,905
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Cheers, mate. You defo should.

    I've yet to hear any SS gear (as good as it can be sometimes) usurp my valve kit. However, this experience with the Raytheons has certainly hammered how just how much better the best NOS varieties are compared with their modern counterparts, which quite simply, sound broken in comparison...

    This is one area of audio where I can confidently say: 'They don't make 'em like they used to'!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 23,435
    I'm Geoff.

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    Funny you should say that really. I stopped using the valves 'cos the Class A + TVC simply sounded 'right' with the Tannoys. But a revisit can't hurt!
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,905
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Revisits can sometimes be revealing and rather rewarding...

    However, just go with what you think works best. I'm not 'married' to one way of doing things, by any means. It's just that *so far* in my listening experience, valves done well outperforms SS done well - but I do 'go the extra mile' [somewhat an understatement] with valves and associated equipment, in order to get the best possible sound.

    Both the Croft and Copper amp are the result of years of tweaking and fine-tuning. Neither is remotely a standard commercial product!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,728
    I'm James.

    Default

    Good call on the valves Marco, glad they hit the spot and brought something new and worthwhile to your amplification.

    Nice how you can have fun with valves and experience different flavours and emotions. Certainly can't do that with SS amps!
    Just when you think you have got the best out of you kit it's a nice surprise to find something that can lift your listening pleasure and give you a different flavour of what you already have if you know what I mean.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  6. #26
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,905
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Exactly, mate. It's all part of the fun!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  7. #27
    Join Date: Nov 2012

    Location: North Bham - West Mids

    Posts: 128
    I'm Manny.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Btw, as a small aside, I also replaced the CV449/85A2 voltage regulator valve in the Croft, as part of my 'freshening up' programme. I know that these shouldn't make a difference as, technically, they're not in the signal path, but I always find when rolling them that subtle improvements (or not) can be heard between different types.

    So I ordered one of these English Electric ones from Colomor Valves:



    Details here (89 more available, so plenty in stock): http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3707918656...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Turns out this company has some history and were taken over by GEC in 1968, see here: http://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_herst...ompany_id=8417 The valves themselves are fully NOS, and come beautifully packaged in their original boxes. I suspect that they're 1970s vintage.

    Anyway, how do they sound? In a word: wonderful!

    In comparison with the NOS Sylvania CV449 I was using beforehand, the English Electric produced a notably more open and 'liquid' midrange, with gorgeous tonal textures and increased detail retrieval. Furthermore, the soundstage/imaging of the Croft seems to have become even more 'widescreen' than before, with music, and particular female vocals, now enveloped in a 'cavernous chasm of clarity', thus increasing their 'intimacy' and believability accordingly.

    Honestly, for £6 this is an instantaneous quick, cheap, and very effective tweak for all Croft preamps featuring the use of this particular voltage regulator valve. Highly recommended!

    Marco.
    Hey Marco,
    Nice heads up, just ordered a pair to try, I have tried a few 85A2's and briefly spoke about them with Glenn last year (around July I think), he then sent me a pair of Tesla 85A2 which I thought were just ok. I've personally found that the regular Mullard 85A2 are just great.

  8. #28
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,905
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi Manny,

    No worries, mate. Those little regulator valves do make a difference, sonically, and the English Electric one is the best I've heard so far. Let me know what you think when yours arrives.

    Interestingly, since you've bumped this thread, I've just won a nice matched pair of pretty rare NOS La Radiotechnique ECC83, from 1959, one of which will be used in the Croft's power supply:



    As you can see they've been measured on the seller's valve tester, and they're not only matched, in terms of output, but both have perfectly balanced triodes! Hard to find like that. Not the cheapest at £190 for the pair, however, but these are top-notch and amongst some of the best ECC83/12AX7s available.

    La Radiotechnique was the French arm of Philips Holland, who also owned Amperex and Mullard. Therefore, these tubes have a plate structure similar to Amperex Bugle Boys, which are renowned in tube circles, but many consider the RTs as superior (and rarer). These ones were released by the French Army, where aside from being tested, have been sat at the seller's premises since 1959 - and now they're winging their way to me!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  9. #29
    Join Date: Nov 2012

    Location: North Bham - West Mids

    Posts: 128
    I'm Manny.

    Default

    When you say power supply, you do mean the regulation stage? My X uses pairs of 85A2 & ECC83, I've rolled many and the Mullard M8137 pair are sonically perfect for me, and replaced Tesla E83CC.

  10. #30
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,728
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
    When you say power supply, you do mean the regulation stage? My X uses pairs of 85A2 & ECC83, I've rolled many and the Mullard M8137 pair are sonically perfect for me, and replaced Tesla E83CC.
    I think the 85A2 is voltage regulation tube?
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

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