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Thread: Triode mode Prima Luna

  1. #11
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    OK, I was told back around 1996 when I bought my first valve amplifier that if one was using eight Ohm or higher loudspeakers then one should be using the four Ohm output tap. I have always done this as good measure without completely understanding why but yes, it makes sense that it would reshape the frequency response. I have quite clearly heard a difference in sound between triode and ultralinear but I do not think this is just down to frequency reshaping. What I hear is not just down to effects in frequencies as if that were the case then the same result could be had by using a graphic equaliser. What I have here is a clear improvement in bass clarity and presence. There is so much more detail in the way the bass guitar is being played. Yes, there are also differences that are clearly frequency based as the top is more rolled off and there is less edge to vocals. I just find all of this extra detail and texture mesmerising.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  2. #12
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    OK, read the article, well the grey bits and understood some of it. There appears to be quite some difference with all of its various operating modes. I can't agree about the triode sound being more 'tubey' as I have only found that sound being more traditionally EL34 in sonics as I remember them from decades ago. For my amplifier though in my system triode mode is just so much more sublime than ultralinear. I remember hearing an Audion Sterling ETSE back around 2003 and its midrange was to die for. Yes OK, it was single ended but Jesus that midband was fantastic. I now have a bit of that sound. By the way, I use the four Ohm tap as my speakers dip down to around 3.9 Ohms in the bass.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  3. #13
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    Oh bugger it ! Just played Gary Numan's Savage album in triode mode and it has done it no favours at all. This really doesn't work very well. I'm guessing that synthesised bass just doesn't have the complexity of a stringed instrument and therefore the subtleties of triode mode just do not come across.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  4. #14
    Join Date: Sep 2014

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    I'm John.

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    I think that's the reason Primaluna give you the option to switch between the two, pick which sounds best for the music.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

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    I'm Justin.

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    FWIW I had a pair of Ayon Orthos XS monos for a few months which were triode/pentode switchable. 250W and 400W respectively using KT150s.

    Driving a revised and much better built Apogee Duetta design, there was remarkably far less difference in the two modes than I expected. Pentode mode on the 4 Ohm taps is where is remained, because it just sounded fractionally better IMHO. 250W in triode mode is easily enough to drive the speakers to a good volume level, so there's no reason triode mode should have been much of a disadvantage power delivery wise.

    That said I could get them to shut themselves down in triode mode, and so could a Diva owner who tried them later He ended up with the new ARC 250 monos.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    John, yeah I guess that is the reason they provide the option. I would say that most of my choice of music would be better with ultralinear. Justin, I am indeed using the four Ohm outputs but I have tried the eight Ohm ones and not really heard a difference.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    John, yeah I guess that is the reason they provide the option. I would say that most of my choice of music would be better with ultralinear. Justin, I am indeed using the four Ohm outputs but I have tried the eight Ohm ones and not really heard a difference.
    I believe what you have said BTW Shaun. I was just saying with that particular amp not much difference. The point is it isn't a hard and fast rule that triode mode is always better, as you have worked out for real Same goes for taps. Sometimes the tap that is supposed to work best doesn't - when you hear a difference that is.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    OK guys there just seem to be so many bloody variables ! I have also tried KT88's and though they sounded much better, my amplifier didn't seem to like them. There was a strange cracking sound every time I switched off. Putting the EL34's back in, no problems at all.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jun 2015

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    Reading this has induced me to try triode mode again with my new speakers (BKS 128 ribbon hybrids). I've got them sounding pretty good by restoring the tonal balance of ultralinear by pushing them nearer the wall (rear ported) and toeing them out a bit.
    Btw, I always switch my amp off to switch the mode, do you know if I actually need to do this?

    Sent from my NEM-L51 using Tapatalk

  10. #20
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

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    I'm Shaun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    Reading this has induced me to try triode mode again with my new speakers (BKS 128 ribbon hybrids). I've got them sounding pretty good by restoring the tonal balance of ultralinear by pushing them nearer the wall (rear ported) and toeing them out a bit.
    Btw, I always switch my amp off to switch the mode, do you know if I actually need to do this?

    Sent from my NEM-L51 using Tapatalk
    Sorry Lawrence, I don't know but I know that I don't have to. It does make a gentle tick through the speakers but nothing to worry me. Now my speakers are also rear ported so maybe I could do a bit of experimentation with the rear wall also.
    They are currently about three feet from the wall and sound OK but my room is around 20 feet long and maybe 13 feet wide. I find with my speakers that toeing them in slightly helps the imaging by giving more focus to the centre and I also found that they sounded best with my current speaker cables having tried a few different types.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

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