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

  1. #201
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Maybe if it wasn't for all the reviewers pushing the idea that expensive equals better sound quality then the market for the silly priced stuff would disappear. You don't have to go far to see reviewers advising that 'You really need to move up to a DAC in the £5K price range to hear an improvement' or some such nonsense. You even see punters on the forums repeating this.
    Indeed (on all counts), the latter because they're simply ignorant and don't know any better, or too superficially/materialistically minded, and so believe that newest or 'most expensive' is always best

    But that's not all the fault of reviewers or dealers, but instead a notion that appears to be ingrained into the psyche of those who are either too lazy to think differently, or have more money than sense, and so are simply accustomed to taking the 'path of least resistance', towards obtaining a good sound (for them), whilst applying minimal effort.

    However, folk like that are most unlikely ever to own the truly best systems, as assembled by people who genuinely know what they're doing, put in the required effort, and don't just throw their wallets at it!

    Not that I think it matters any. I'd hardly describe it as a 'malaise of capitalism'. Rich people need to offload some of that surplus cash somewhere and it keeps people in jobs.
    To an extent, yes.

    It's just a pity that they didn't apply more thought or intelligence to how they disposed of their surplus cash, and actually bought things that were truly worth buying, rather than glorified trinkets, supposedly signalling to the world how 'important and successful' they are, when in reality all they're signalling is their gross insecurity and (not insignificant) stupidity!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tearsĒ - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  2. #202
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 8,329
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Indeed,
    And i have some sympathy for those who eventualy ended up going down the route of least resistance ie; Building Bling, once you witness first hand a certain type of mentality that will not allow one to appreciate something that is genuinely good, unless one has dumped a rediculous amount of money on it, you can eventualy get to the point where you just get fed up of banging your head against the wall!
    Don't get me wrong, you can improve on things no end by knowing where money is best spent, and there are absolutely fantastic systems out there costing more than most folk pay for their houses,however; i would like to think that many of those lucky enough to own such systems didnt acheive their audio nirvana just by throwing money at it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi mate,



    Indeed. It's just a pity that so many of those who can afford it are crass assholes with more money than sense, instead of genuinely discerning audiophiles, in the game for the right reason. I'm not exactly poor, but would NEVER EVER buy any expensive piece of audio equipment that wasn't expensive for the RIGHT reasons!



    Yup, you're absolutely right, and it's a sad state of affairs. TBH, you shouldn't get into producing or selling hi-fi equipment in a quest to make money, not only because it'll be a bloody hard slog, and therefore there are far easier ways of doing so, but because your *primary* motive/focus should be to make a positive contribution to the industry.

    Therefore, if you're a electronics designer, then you design something that you're PASSIONATE about and believe in, which in your opinion is better (or different) than anything else of its type, not just creating a 'cash cow' for a captive audience, and if you're a dealer, then your primary focus should be on providing your customers with a product range that you believe offers excellent SPPV and something that they will go onto own and treasure for the RIGHT reasons, whilst offering them impeccable levels of advice and service, for the duration of the time you're trading.

    However, in the real world, how often does that happen? Increasingly rarely, which is why the high-end audio industry is in the state it's in, with both manufacturers and dealers pandering to the lowest common denominator, in order to make a living, rather than striving for genuine excellence.

    However, it takes a desire for BOTH to WANT to improve matters, in order for things to change and improve - and that simply won't happen when, as you say, the majority of folk who can afford to indulge in the purchase of high-end audio equipment are more interested in its 'show-off factor', to their peers on forums or in real life, than in its sonic ability.

    Marco.
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla


    When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole... and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla, 1926
    www.tubedistinctions.co.uk

  3. #203
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,678
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Ok, I don't think your mains cables are an issue, and the Mission is noted for being quite a smooth sounding player. I'd defo check the valves in your amp, and note what make they are, and also what type?

    You really want quality NOS valves in any decent valve amp, not currently produced stuff, as the difference can significant. Do me a favour and take some pics of what you've got, so I can see what we're dealing with

    Marco.
    Here we gp, 5881's I believe?

    IMG_20201013_200139638 by IMG_20201013_162853993 by IMG_20201013_162843738 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/145505522@N02/

    The Soro has 4 transformers, its heavy!
    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. #204
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,678
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Hi Mike, Good that it is sounding good, what valves are in it?

    I used:-

    https://www.hotroxuk.com/12ax7-ecc83...gold-lion.html *3

    https://www.hotroxuk.com/genalex-gol...922-e88cc.html *2

    https://www.hotroxuk.com/genalex-gold-lion-kt77.html (EL34 straight substitute)

    Prior to the above it came with Electro Harmonix valves, they sounded good but the above gave more detail, definition and feeling of depth.

    If you want more grunt then instead of EL34's or the KT77's you could try 6CA7 pentode, https://www.hotroxuk.com/electro-harmonix-6ca7eh.html

    This might help as a guide on the EL34 output valves front, bear in mind the discussion is talking from a guitar amp perspective.

    You need 2 matched pairs of the EL34's or equivalents.
    These fellows.

    IMG_20200914_184254928 by IMG_20200914_184249374 by IMG_20200914_184302885 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/145505522@N02/

    Playing Robert Wyatt earlier, Sea song, was pretty good. Jazz still hurts a bit in the high notes on cd anyway, really need to sort my vinyl rig out, so I can get some sort of sweet spot for that.
    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. #205
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,566
    I'm Dennis.

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    "Building Bling, once you witness first hand a certain type of mentality that will not allow one to appreciate something that is genuinely good"

    IMO this is a problem in many areas of life, and is possibly a reflection on people's reactions to the pressures they are under, laziness, or a preoccupation with style over substance.
    Making clear decisions requires the time, effort, and a devotion to any subject, and many would rather not become that involved, often to their own detriment of course.

    I see so many people of my age whom it seems have bought into the marketing around cars, and have SUVs to pop down to the shops a mile or so every day. Lovely style, but appropriate?

  6. #206
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 8,329
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    "Building Bling, once you witness first hand a certain type of mentality that will not allow one to appreciate something that is genuinely good"

    IMO this is a problem in many areas of life, and is possibly a reflection on people's reactions to the pressures they are under, laziness, or a preoccupation with style over substance.
    Making clear decisions requires the time, effort, and a devotion to any subject, and many would rather not become that involved, often to their own detriment of course.

    I see so many people of my age whom it seems have bought into the marketing around cars, and have SUVs to pop down to the shops a mile or so every day. Lovely style, but appropriate?
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla


    When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole... and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla, 1926
    www.tubedistinctions.co.uk

  7. #207
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 6,779
    I'm Adrian.

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    [QUOTE=Mikeandvan;1227785]These fellows.

    IMG_20200914_184254928 by IMG_20200914_184249374 by IMG_20200914_184302885 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/145505522@N02/

    Playing Robert Wyatt earlier, Sea song, was pretty good. Jazz still hurts a bit in the high notes on cd anyway, really need to sort my vinyl rig out, so I can get some sort of sweet spot for that.[/QUOTE]

    Hi Mike,

    So here are some views not just mine but mainly from the dealer I auditioned an S500 from in Farnham and where I purchased my Snell J's in 1986/7 and the owner, Peter Qvortrup, of Audio Innovations in Brighton where I purchased my first S500 from directly. I did so because money was tight at the time and buying from AI meant I saved £200, the dealer knew but was fine about it. So about the dealer it was two chaps who were primarily audio fans and were just interested in getting a good musical sound, all they sold were Audio Innovations, Luxman, Snell and I think may also sold certain Tannoy speakers and some expensive large horn speakers, they were very selective and knowledgeable, I cannot remember what TT's they offered but only 2 or 3.

    There are several design issues with the S500 detailed on the net, mainly some quality issues on some resistors, switches and the volume pot, but I suspect you have had these sorted as your S500 has recently be fettled. So based on the my suspicion is the valves will be holding it back.

    If I recall correctly the S500 came supplied with Tung-Sol valves at the time, but I could be wrong. The dealer said that they were fine but more could be achieved with Electro-Harmonix, or the main recommendation for a purer tone and better control across the frequency range and bass was Golden Lion valves, they offered these as an upgrade at the time. I asked Peter Qvortrup about this when I purchased my S500 and he confirmed that the Golden Lions were very good in the S500, he also said that in his opinion running it in triode mode gave best results, and the drop of 6-7watts was worth it, he did this at no cost whilst I waited. He said Mullards offered a different tonality but some people did not like the richer tone and musical presentation, and were quite expensive anyway. So I purchased the amp with its standard valves, saved up and about 6 months later plugged in a full set on Golden Lions, these made quite a difference IMO as already stated. When I stupidly sold the amp I kept the Golden Lions and years later when I purchase another S500 they wen in it straight away.

    So let's talk about the JJ Tesla EL34s. These are Chinese valves and are an attempt to copy the original Tesla EL34(Russian) no longer made, and NOS are very expensive, if you look on ebay 2 x EL-34 TESLA MATCHED PAIR BROWN BASE TUBES! NOS! 1960s are anything form $120-200. See https://jacmusic.com/tesla/tesla-jj.html and if you read elsewhere the JJ Tesla's are generally considered to sound a bit harsh, can be unreliable and go out of spec quickly, so these may be hindering your S500. The same would apply to the E88CC's JJs. Real TESLA's are are different baby!

    I cannot definitely tell from the picture what the 3xECC83s are, but possibly Tung-Sol Re-Issue 12AX7, if so then these are ok but can be bettered, if JJs then "While not as harmonically rich as others I tested, they do provide high gain without the usual noise and microphonic problems you would expect." and http://6streetbridge.blogspot.com/20...cuum-tube.html as apposed to Golden Lion ECC83 "It is very smooth and pleasing to the ear. I attribute this to the broad midrange response. In audio or guitar equipment, grating highs and booming lows will give you listening fatigue or make you think your amp just sucks. The Gold Lionís voicing is such that the midrange response seems full, while the highs and lows are nicely controlled. This tube would be great if you are retubing one of those classic old radio consoles." see https://blog.thetubestore.com/review...on-ecc83-b759/

    A full set of Golden Lion for the S500 will set you back £330 from Hotrox

    and Electro-Harmonix (3*Electro Harmonix 12AX7 Gold Pin = ECC83) £66, 2* EL34EH £80 and 2 * Electro Harmonix 6922 Gold Pin - ECC88 £48 totalling £194

    Personally I would go for the Golden Lion.

    I hope this helps I have put the references to back up what I am saying, and so you know I am not talking out of my hat. I have also sent you a PM.
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes.

    Analog Inputs:
    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm
    Benz Micro LP-S, Michel Cusis MC, Goldring 2500 and Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridges
    Hitachi FT5500 mk2 Tuner

    Digital:-
    Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG
    RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC
    Buffalo NAS Drive

    Amplification:-
    LFD MMC special phono stage & Rothwell MCX SUT
    ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp
    Schiit MAGNI 3 Heresy amp

    Output:
    Wilson Benesch Vector speakers
    KLH Ultimate One Headphones

    Cables:
    Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable
    Eccose Conductor CA1
    Belden 8402 with Switchcraft 3502A Audiophile High-End RCA
    Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links


    I think I am nearing audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone.

  8. #208
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 8,329
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    I agree as far as the Gold lion re-issue re; being good sonicaly etc, As for your coments as to JJ being Chinese, jj electronic
    A. Hlinku 3, 022 01 ČADCA, Slovak Republic
    Phone: +421/41/4304120 Fax: +421/41/4304130

    I also did a lot of re-work, and modifications on the S500, and can say that the output transformers leave a lot to be desired, hence the reason i went down the route of getting my own made.
    All a long time ago now.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Hi Mike,

    So here are some views not just mine but mainly from the dealer I auditioned an S500 from in Farnham and where I purchased my Snell J's in 1986/7 and the owner, Peter Qvortrup, of Audio Innovations in Brighton where I purchased my first S500 from directly. I did so because money was tight at the time and buying from AI meant I saved £200, the dealer knew but was fine about it. So about the dealer it was two chaps who were primarily audio fans and were just interested in getting a good musical sound, all they sold were Audio Innovations, Luxman, Snell and I think may also sold certain Tannoy speakers and some expensive large horn speakers, they were very selective and knowledgeable, I cannot remember what TT's they offered but only 2 or 3.

    There are several design issues with the S500 detailed on the net, mainly some quality issues on some resistors, switches and the volume pot, but I suspect you have had these sorted as your S500 has recently be fettled. So based on the my suspicion is the valves will be holding it back.

    If I recall correctly the S500 came supplied with Tung-Sol valves at the time, but I could be wrong. The dealer said that they were fine but more could be achieved with Electro-Harmonix, or the main recommendation for a purer tone and better control across the frequency range and bass was Golden Lion valves, they offered these as an upgrade at the time. I asked Peter Qvortrup about this when I purchased my S500 and he confirmed that the Golden Lions were very good in the S500, he also said that in his opinion running it in triode mode gave best results, and the drop of 6-7watts was worth it, he did this at no cost whilst I waited. He said Mullards offered a different tonality but some people did not like the richer tone and musical presentation, and were quite expensive anyway. So I purchased the amp with its standard valves, saved up and about 6 months later plugged in a full set on Golden Lions, these made quite a difference IMO as already stated. When I stupidly sold the amp I kept the Golden Lions and years later when I purchase another S500 they wen in it straight away.

    So let's talk about the JJ Tesla EL34s. These are Chinese valves and are an attempt to copy the original Tesla EL34(Russian) no longer made, and NOS are very expensive, if you look on ebay 2 x EL-34 TESLA MATCHED PAIR BROWN BASE TUBES! NOS! 1960s are anything form $120-200. See https://jacmusic.com/tesla/tesla-jj.html and if you read elsewhere the JJ Tesla's are generally considered to sound a bit harsh, can be unreliable and go out of spec quickly, so these may be hindering your S500. The same would apply to the E88CC's JJs. Real TESLA's are are different baby!

    I cannot definitely tell from the picture what the 3xECC83s are, but possibly Tung-Sol Re-Issue 12AX7, if so then these are ok but can be bettered, if JJs then "While not as harmonically rich as others I tested, they do provide high gain without the usual noise and microphonic problems you would expect." and http://6streetbridge.blogspot.com/20...cuum-tube.html as apposed to Golden Lion ECC83 "It is very smooth and pleasing to the ear. I attribute this to the broad midrange response. In audio or guitar equipment, grating highs and booming lows will give you listening fatigue or make you think your amp just sucks. The Gold Lion’s voicing is such that the midrange response seems full, while the highs and lows are nicely controlled. This tube would be great if you are retubing one of those classic old radio consoles." see https://blog.thetubestore.com/review...on-ecc83-b759/

    A full set of Golden Lion for the S500 will set you back £330 from Hotrox

    and Electro-Harmonix (3*Electro Harmonix 12AX7 Gold Pin = ECC83) £66, 2* EL34EH £80 and 2 * Electro Harmonix 6922 Gold Pin - ECC88 £48 totalling £194

    Personally I would go for the Golden Lion.

    I hope this helps I have put the references to back up what I am saying, and so you know I am not talking out of my hat. I have also sent you a PM.
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla


    When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole... and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla, 1926
    www.tubedistinctions.co.uk

  9. #209
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,832
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    [QUOTE]Here we gp, 5881's I believe?

    IMG_20201013_200139638 by IMG_20201013_162853993 by IMG_20201013_162843738 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/145505522@N02/

    The Soro has 4 transformers, its heavy![/QUOTE].

    What's the full list of valves, Mike. The output valves, which you showed, look like 6V6s (Anthony could you confirm?) so what are the smaller driver valves in front - 6SN7s? And also the even smaller valve right at the front - a 12AX7/ECC83?

    Regardless, I think, should you wish to spend the money, you can defo do better in terms of the valves.

    If it were my amp, I'd replace the lot with (properly tested and measured) matched pairs/quads of NOS varieties. It might cost you a couple of hundred quid, but it would likely transform the sound and remove the strident edge you've said it currently has with certain kinds of music

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tearsĒ - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  10. #210
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 6,779
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyTD View Post
    I agree as far as the Gold lion re-issue re; being good sonicaly etc, As for your coments as to JJ being Chinese, jj electronic
    A. Hlinku 3, 022 01 ČADCA, Slovak Republic
    Phone: +421/41/4304120 Fax: +421/41/4304130

    I also did a lot of re-work, and modifications on the S500, and can say that the output transformers leave a lot to be desired, hence the reason i went down the route of getting my own made.
    All a long time ago now.
    Hi, yes silly mistake as my source was also talking about Chinese made EL34's which confused me.

    "The Russians sold NOS EL84 for 200$ per 1000, and from China you could buy good EL34 and ECC83 for incredible low prices, if you knew the way. It was by that time that TESLA decided to sell off their line of Audio tubes to JJ. In the last years, the TESLA ECC83 was sold for only 2 € in OEM quantities, by company in Austria, who claimed to be their exclusive distributor. From this you can see that the factory price must have been very low. After selling off the audio line, TESLA went on making transmitter tubes, and other devices like vacuum capacitors, and military devices, which they considered more profitable.

    So the TESLA tubes like ECC83, EL34, and KT88 were out of production now. The machines were moved out of the building and reinstalled at a factory of a man called Jan Jorgo, better known as JJ."
    from https://jacmusic.com/tesla/tesla-jj.html
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes.

    Analog Inputs:
    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm
    Benz Micro LP-S, Michel Cusis MC, Goldring 2500 and Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridges
    Hitachi FT5500 mk2 Tuner

    Digital:-
    Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG
    RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC
    Buffalo NAS Drive

    Amplification:-
    LFD MMC special phono stage & Rothwell MCX SUT
    ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp
    Schiit MAGNI 3 Heresy amp

    Output:
    Wilson Benesch Vector speakers
    KLH Ultimate One Headphones

    Cables:
    Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable
    Eccose Conductor CA1
    Belden 8402 with Switchcraft 3502A Audiophile High-End RCA
    Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links


    I think I am nearing audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone.

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