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Thread: Valve amps, great with Jazz, shit with everything else.

  1. #331
    Join Date: Apr 2011

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    I'm matt.

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    It will be interesting to hear what others think of the recordings. I suppose it could be a combination of the recordings and the room.

  2. #332
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    Just had a listen to the Donald Byrd album. It's a good quality recording with good dynamic range. After the first couple of tunes I couldn't detect any issues at all so I cranked the level right up beyond what I would normally listen at and played the rest of the album like that.

    I used an Oppo universal player into a Soncoz SGD1 DAC into a Krell KSA100 Mk2 into JM Lab Electra 926' - volume controlled via the DAC.

    But I couldn't hear any issues, it did not sound 'up front'. There was no break up on any instruments at any time.

    Have to say I would not expect to hear any break up on a professional recording like this. It's a multitrack, they are not live takes so if there was a problem with overload on one track they'd just re-take, they wouldn't use it. Bear in mind if there was any overload then it would sound even worse on direct playback in the studio than it does playing the finished product at home.

    I d be interested if anyone else who has this album or access to it would try and see if they can hear the flute issue.

    Anyway - Caveats - The power amp is on the smooth/warm side of neutral, and my room is well damped with some treatment in one corner. There were a couple of occasions with the trumpet where I could imagine that in an underdamped room with a lot of hard surfaces, it might be too much and there'd be some ringing.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* SoncozSGD1 * Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


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  3. #333
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

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    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyTD View Post
    Good that you have at least eliminated that Mike!
    A...
    Yeah, and put it in the attic.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  4. #334
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,810
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    So having got my digital shit sorted today I decided to have a listen to some of the tracks Mike has raised as having issues, and here are my findings.

    Firstly all the tracks I listened to were either at CD SQ or higher so I should be getting at least the same or the full monty compared to your CD's

    John Coltranes - 'favourite things', a very interesting one this, on QOBUZ there are 32 different albums with it on:-

    Coolnote release sounds quite laid back and Coltrane was back in the mix, not nice overall
    music manager 2011 was very odd to say the least, Coltrane sounded like he was in another room(horrible),
    release 2010 by Pheonix USA was weird - in fact horrible
    release 2012 by Black Sheep Music was certainly the best so far all instruments sounded natural, Coltrane though had moved from centre stage to right speaker, even on the very high notes his sax were not harsh
    Release 1998 Rhino Atlantic (hi-res) this was virtually same as above, same mix I would say this is from the master tape, mixed to Stereo and sympathetically done. Very nice.Even at 7:40 for about 30 secs the high notes in the solo are clear, slightl edge, but I think this is the way it is.
    Release 1960 BNF Mono - this is the original mix(I think)!. The detail is not as good as above and slightly edgy on the high notes, interesting.
    Release 2014 AVID Entertainment - Remastered, this has had some quite serious sound processing to clean up the recording and get the best from it, it is the most open sound of all so far, Sax is very clear, 7:40 very high pitch notes are clear, no noticeable harshness
    Sinetone AMR 2011 this is a clear mix, the sax is clear and they have obviously tried to get it how it sounded originally, at 7:40 the very high pitched do have some edginess

    So the above is a can of WORMS IMO, the original recording I would say is rather dull and sounds a bit lifeless, which is why there are so many re-releases trying to clean it up. The Sinetome AMR and Black Sheep Music were my favourites, but I would say there is some edginess in places, but having played in a few amateur jazz bands I recognise it as just how a sax can sound when on the edge of control, so I think it is how it is.

    Horace Silver - 'Pretty Eyes' some lovely trumpet on this, beautiful control, there is the odd bit of edginess at 3:15 to 3:32, but I think it is natural. By the way I have played that one.

    Horace Silver - 'Bonita' interesting one this, at the beginning I think that there are two trumpets, or brass instruments, which are deliberately causing harmonic dissonance which sound right, it's deliberate, and very hard to do. At 4:30 the sax solo up and down the scale has some end note edge which is how it is IMO.

    Eddie hendricks - Sunburst, there are some very high trumpet notes on this and some challenging synth at 38 to 45+ secs, at times you could say because of the mix the high pitched notes are in your ears big time, not exactly harsh but getting towards piercing on the ear. I think it is how it is!

    Donald Byrd - street lady, get on down and boogie to this, a very up front mix, at times the riffing guitar and the horns harmonically sound slightly off pitch with each other, in places there are a lot of high notes from different instruments together, the flute in particular sounds as if it has been very closely mic'd up, and can sound a little harsh at points. the trumpet solo immediately after the flute has some very forward in the mix parts, its either the mix or the player got too close to the mic. Actually I can now hear the in the second solo he/she sounds too close, I think he/she may have been pushing the mic to its limits, or the recording was clipping.

    Donald Byrd - Miss Kane, now this does have some very high and squelly cymbals, this mix has lots of high stuff all together so sounds a bit strident overall.

    So there you have it, I enjoyed listening to them although I became bored with JC and 'Favourite Things"

    IMHO I think the tracks do have some quite challenging high end content, some more than others, I have tried to be as objective as possible when listening. My Allnic 300B amp is pretty neutral IMO, and the Wilson Benesch Vectors are considered to be very accurate in the mid to top end, and they produce some good bass. So I think it was worth listening and letting you have my thoughts.

    So I think the bottom line is that nearly any system will be challenged with these tracks, and actually some will never sound smooth or without some edge to them, purely due to the recording, musical content and/or mixing.
    I have an Atlantic cd issue of favourite things, I love Coltranes version, but agree its a bit tonally grey.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  5. #335
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,810
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    It will be interesting to hear what others think of the recordings. I suppose it could be a combination of the recordings and the room.
    Must be my room, I should move flats.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  6. #336
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,810
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Just had a listen to the Donald Byrd album. It's a good quality recording with good dynamic range. After the first couple of tunes I couldn't detect any issues at all so I cranked the level right up beyond what I would normally listen at and played the rest of the album like that.

    I used an Oppo universal player into a Soncoz SGD1 DAC into a Krell KSA100 Mk2 into JM Lab Electra 926' - volume controlled via the DAC.

    But I couldn't hear any issues, it did not sound 'up front'. There was no break up on any instruments at any time.

    Have to say I would not expect to hear any break up on a professional recording like this. It's a multitrack, they are not live takes so if there was a problem with overload on one track they'd just re-take, they wouldn't use it. Bear in mind if there was any overload then it would sound even worse on direct playback in the studio than it does playing the finished product at home.

    I d be interested if anyone else who has this album or access to it would try and see if they can hear the flute issue.

    Anyway - Caveats - The power amp is on the smooth/warm side of neutral, and my room is well damped with some treatment in one corner. There were a couple of occasions with the trumpet where I could imagine that in an underdamped room with a lot of hard surfaces, it might be too much and there'd be some ringing.
    I just played it as well, sounding better in my system now, still a few passages with spiky treble though. Since I changed all the valves to Gold Lion and put the speakers right back in the corners, more bass balances out the harsh treble I was getting, although with some music sounding a bit too warm/syrupy, leading to a sound which could be clearer. Overall though with jazz its better. I'll experiment with finer adjustments with speaker positioning and cable. What size is your listening room? I would consider moving flats, but where I live I have a lot of freedom to play music as much as I like at decent volume as I have so few neighbours.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  7. #337
    Join Date: Oct 2020

    Location: Plymouth

    Posts: 20
    I'm Stephen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Must be my room, I should move flats.

    I feel I must remind you why you started this thread:-
    Valve amps, great with Jazz, shit with everything else

    You have acknowledged the issue is your room. I just want to be clear that this whole exercise has been a wast of time. Do you think possibly that you should adjust the title to "room acoustics can really suck"
    Sources:
    Turntable - Rega P2 (Modified).
    Streamer - Cambridge Audio Azur 851N.
    Reel to Reel - Akai GX635D.
    NAS - Thecus N4200 Pro.

    Amplification:
    Phono Pre - QUAD Twenty Four P.
    Pre Amp - QUAD QC - Twenty Four.
    Power Amps - 2 x QUAD 11 Forty mono blocks.
    Headphone Amp - QUAD PA - One.

    Rack:
    Blok Stax 400 and Blok Stax 300

  8. #338
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,810
    I'm Mike.

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    To recap, all valves in S500 now Gold Lion, mains regenerator in the attic, soon to be seen in the classifieds ('makes a huge difference'!). Audionote confirmed the old versions of the AN J I have are fine in corners, so I shoved them reet back in there, along with the spiders, and its great to get them out the way. Sofa - which I've always - silly me - had reet back up against the wall, now out about 2 feet into the room, this was a slight improvement, i could tell the moment I did it, bass less boomy. As usual it will take a few weeks to see whether I really like these changes, as I haven't had my TT set up for a while, don't know how that will sound, most of my rock is vinyl based too, so see how that sounds as opposed to just jazz (90% of my cds). In time I can see myself trying other speakers, and keeping the valves, but who knows.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  9. #339
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,810
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnuckleDragger View Post
    I feel I must remind you why you started this thread:-
    Valve amps, great with Jazz, shit with everything else

    You have acknowledged the issue is your room. I just want to be clear that this whole exercise has been a wast of time. Do you think possibly that you should adjust the title to "room acoustics can really suck"
    I'll tell you when I've played some rock, haven't any on cd, and my TTs have been out of action for a few weeks. I'm an amateur by the way, this is my first valve amp. I know naffffing.
    Current system - Garrard 401/Mayware F4 in progress! 1210 GR/Jelco 750/Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Audio Note J's / QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  10. #340
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 102,067
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Never mind this bollox, have you fitted that SC35C and NOS stylus yet?

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


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