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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:16 am
Posts: 125
Location: london, ON, CA
I recently got some reissue Gold Lion KT77s off a forum member here. I'm liking them so far. They fall somewhere between the Shuguang Treasure KT88s and the Xf2 Mullard EL34s I got off Ebay. They have more detail and high-end sparkle than the KT88s, but they're smoother than the EL34s. You can tell the glass is not nearly as thick as the Mullards, as they're lighter, and they're also more sensitive to vibration.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 206
Location: toronto, ON, CA
Does the MP-301 have a bias pot?


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 759
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

I am going to say a couple of things here that are going to sound like heresy to many on CAM but I am saying them anyway. I ran tubes, mostly EL34 designs for forty years and I could never tell that there was any appreciable difference between output tubes from various suppliers. Of course, you can spend lots of money tube rolling and if you believe the new ones are going to be better, then you will likely confirm that belief. Driver tubes do, I think, shape the final sound of an amp more significantly than output tubes. Of course output 'tube types' sound different, within limits, as you found with the KT88s.

What also makes a difference, at least to my ears, is if the output tubes test strong and if the bias is set correctly. I have a B&K tube tester to cover off the former and multimeters to set the bias. Running strongly tested output tubes at the lower end of the bias setting will make an amp sound a bit softer, and at the upper end, a bit more definition is available and somewhat lower levels of total distortion but at the price of reduced tube life.

There are significant differences in the sound signature of 'tube types' and 'tube amp design types', but for me that is it. If you are hooked on a tube type it is hard to change. If you you like the EL34 soundscape you might want to look into the upcoming (long promised but never actually arriving) Audio Note Cobra push/pull design. Andy Grove who is the amp designer at AN is an acknowledged genius and he has likely squeezed every particle of musicality out of the EL34. We hope this will be the case, but hope springs eternal.

Cheers,
David Neice

_________________
Chinese Proverb: 'Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, waits very, very long time'.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:29 pm
Posts: 670
Location: toronto, ON, CA
Hey there, congrats on the amp, and on your foray into building something.

I was hooked on tubes and for a while was studying math, electronicsand circuit design, thinking about an apprenticeship with an eye toward tube amp construction. life moved on.( cant remember a thing i learned, I cant even do the math anymore) but the sound can be so good.

my 2 pips to add to this are that spending so much on tubes is fun and interesting, but greater gains can very likely be had for less.

Id strongly suspect that 2 to 300 bucks on tubes could instead buy caps, resistors, and various other components that would make a much bigger difference, and which also would be a relatively stable and unchanging improvement, rather than a constantly diminishing one as tubes will be.

not to say dont use good tubes, or that they all sound alike, but spending that much on them means you arent spending it in places it can make a more permanent and substantial difference.

good tubes, yes. but before emptying your account, have an eye toward other components you can get for the price.

(reducing compromises can yeild benefits. eg. hardwiring. if your amp/pre/source/speakers had no connectors between them it would make quite a large improvement and be a pain in the ass also. But you can reduce the pita and still get big gains from hardwiring it half way- from your preamp, bypass the connectors and solder ics for your power amp and your sources directly in, for instance. you can sell your ics and spend the extra dough on quality parts for your adaptation, and you only need half the connectors.

you could look at the interstage caps or even fit trannies. roon treatments, crossover caps, you get the idea.(even hookup wire. see dazed2s threads on his f5, or eriks threads on modding his phase linear. it all matters (Erik come back to us!)

Likely the best systems are thoroughly selected, honed and set up for a specific purpose, sound and vision, and all possibly compromises removed bit by bit. dumping many hundreds on tubes will yields results but is not the most efficient use of the money, is what im using a million words to say.

also it sounds like youre having fun- congrats and dont let that ever cease to be the case.

good luck!

(


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 5:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:16 am
Posts: 125
Location: london, ON, CA
phowell1 wrote:
Hey there, congrats on the amp, and on your foray into building something.

I was hooked on tubes and for a while was studying math, electronicsand circuit design, thinking about an apprenticeship with an eye toward tube amp construction. life moved on.( cant remember a thing i learned, I cant even do the math anymore) but the sound can be so good.

my 2 pips to add to this are that spending so much on tubes is fun and interesting, but greater gains can very likely be had for less.

Id strongly suspect that 2 to 300 bucks on tubes could instead buy caps, resistors, and various other components that would make a much bigger difference, and which also would be a relatively stable and unchanging improvement, rather than a constantly diminishing one as tubes will be.

not to say dont use good tubes, or that they all sound alike, but spending that much on them means you arent spending it in places it can make a more permanent and substantial difference.

good tubes, yes. but before emptying your account, have an eye toward other components you can get for the price.

(reducing compromises can yeild benefits. eg. hardwiring. if your amp/pre/source/speakers had no connectors between them it would make quite a large improvement and be a pain in the ass also. But you can reduce the pita and still get big gains from hardwiring it half way- from your preamp, bypass the connectors and solder ics for your power amp and your sources directly in, for instance. you can sell your ics and spend the extra dough on quality parts for your adaptation, and you only need half the connectors.

you could look at the interstage caps or even fit trannies. roon treatments, crossover caps, you get the idea.(even hookup wire. see dazed2s threads on his f5, or eriks threads on modding his phase linear. it all matters (Erik come back to us!)

Likely the best systems are thoroughly selected, honed and set up for a specific purpose, sound and vision, and all possibly compromises removed bit by bit. dumping many hundreds on tubes will yields results but is not the most efficient use of the money, is what im using a million words to say.

also it sounds like youre having fun- congrats and dont let that ever cease to be the case.

good luck!

(


I couldn't agree more. And, even though I started this thread and have posted in here quite a few times, I am working in other areas.

With a few exceptions, rolling tubes seems to make only a subtle change, especially once you decide what sound you want and then start playing around within the even smaller confines of that preference. I don't have too many tubes yet, although I am still adding to the pile because there are still highly touted options I haven't yet tried. Rolling tubes is undeniably fun, though, isn't it?

Speaking of caps and other improvements, see this thread for an idea of some of the other things we've been up to. The MP-301 mods in that thread made far more difference than any tube swap. Thanks again Peter!

Beyond that, I've been working on the acoustics of my listening area, which has already made more of a difference than any equipment change. Next time I get some spare time, I'm heading to Lowes for another car load of Roxul to continue stuffing the walls and ceiling, as well as making acoustic panels.

Good sound requires a holistic approach, I am finding. There's nothing that holds the whole solution, no matter how much money you spend. Thanks for your input, phowell1. We can all use a few words of wisdom now and then. :D


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