Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:48 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Markham, ON, CA
Cyrus, I just wanted to thank you for your post and detailed review; this is exactly the POWER of these forums; the ability for the rest of us to benefit from your experience. Thanks!

I was literally reading this thread when a friend's wife called and gave me a budget to purchase a new phono pre for my buddy.....talk about Karma..... :lol: PJL have been contacted.

EDIT I have placed an order for one. Unfortunately through Fleabay....and they're promising a delivery for the third week of January...which sucks because this was going to be a Christmas gift...I have (again) emailed Pat to see if we can speed the process up. I LOVE trying new gear, especially when my buddy's wife is paying the bill :lol:

Best, Tom


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
brownslane wrote:
Cyrus, I just wanted to thank you for your post and detailed review; this is exactly the POWER of these forums; the ability for the rest of us to benefit from your experience. Thanks!

I was literally reading this thread when a friend's wife called and gave me a budget to purchase a new phono pre for my buddy.....talk about Karma..... :lol: PJL have been contacted.

EDIT I have placed an order for one. Unfortunately through Fleabay....and they're promising a delivery for the third week of January...which sucks because this was going to be a Christmas gift...I have (again) emailed Pat to see if we can speed the process up. I LOVE trying new gear, especially when my buddy's wife is paying the bill :lol:

Best, Tom


That's great Tom! Did you decide upon the Retro Edition, or the Vinyl Edition? I don't know if my new speakers are continuing to break in, or if the PJL is continuing to break in as well, or perhaps it is my ears becoming more accustomed to the new sound. But, analogue playback is getting better and better each week it seems. My brother came over for a listening session last night, and was very impressed with the PJL (he has a $2,200 Fosgate Signature). This was the second time he has come over for an extended session, and he was certain that my system sounded considerably better than it did a few weeks ago. I had written in my initial review and posting that the Sugden was stronger in terms of that (somewhat elusive) "presence" over the PJL. Interestingly, the PJL has surpassed the Sugden considerably in this regard. We connected the Sugden mid session (after perhaps 2.5 hours of listening with the PJL in place), but quickly realized that we had lost much of the ambiance and "life" of the old recordings. It was a fun evening of primarily late 50's cheesy lounge (including south pacific/Hawaiian lounge) and the recording qualities were excellent, most being original heavy pressings of the era.

I have ordered two 1959 Baldwin Organ labelled Sylvania 12XA7 tubes, and I am expecting them to arrive around January 8. I'm really looking forward to hearing the PJL with these tubes.

As with most new gear, the PJL does seem to evolve and improve over time. As said, there may be other factors going on here, but my analogue playback has certainly improved over the weeks since acquiring the new stage. I can conclude that at least some of this improvement is attributed to the stage, as it has surpassed the Sugden's stronger qualities as noted in the initial comparison. So, I think it is important to stay the course for a few weeks to permit for a full break in period. I estimate having perhaps 30 hours on the stage now, and it is sounding very nice indeed. Please follow up when you and your friend receive the new stage. I am very interested in hearing your initial thoughts, and then another follow up after a month of regular use.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Markham, ON, CA
Cyrus, I ordered the retro edition. I was hoping for Christmas (it was a present), but no soap...I have yet to hear from him. But we waited way too long ( I am buying this on behalf of a friend's wife) so we will wait. He has a clearaudio (branded a Marantz) with a Denon 110, so it will be interesting when it arrives.

Currently he is also borrowing a pair of my Elacs....new speakers are next on the list.

I am quite impressed with the owner of PJL; seems a responsive, caring sort of guy. The jury (of course) is out until he builds the amp.

I will report once the amp arrives and is in use.

Have a Happy New Year!
Tom


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Markham, ON, CA
Well, an update is in order. I just spent the better part of today setting up a new sound room and installing the PJL for my friend. He is using a DL-110 on a Clearaudio, powered by a Carver into a pair of Elac B5's. His previous phono pre was a Cambridge Audio 551.

First off, the unit arrived via USPS in about 6 working days, well packaged and supplied with a complete set of wiring prints. Nice touch. I let it warm up to ambient temp before powering up.

The sound was uninspiring, but in a different way from the CA. What was missing was the highs and lows...there was just a big blob of midrange ...nice warm midrange, but not much else. It was like a bed sheet was hung in front of the speakers. I found myself straining to hear what must be missing. It appears everything was there, but subdued and muffled. We played both sides of Calyxta...and by the end of the second side, the veil began lifting. Next album was Ricky Lee Jones. Hmmm something is happening here. Now all those sounds I was feeling were missing were now appearing...and sounding good. Next was Norah Jones....on "come away with me", the veil was lifted....and the already present midrange found form and definition. Truly pleasant, composed and complete. The highs were becoming clean and rich, the bass started growing in presence and immediacy.

I left after 4 hours of straight listening with the strains of Roger Water's voice in my ears. In this short time the PJL had warmed up and started producing some really non-fatiguing pleasant sound. You know you are onto a good thing when the couch is covered with a selection of favourites, each waiting for their turn on the platter.

To summarize, at first blush the PJL is well engineered, nicely built and attractive piece of kit. There is zero flash or showiness; just a plain, steel box with a button and knob. If you are looking to show off your tubes, look elsewhere; but if you are looking for an economical tube front end for your vinyl, this may be a great choice. Pat (the owner) worked with me to match impedances and output so both the cart and amp got what they needed. A quality experience.

I'll follow up after a 100 hours or so of use; given the stack of albums on the couch, that might be in just a few days.

Tom


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:31 pm
Posts: 325
Location: Southern, ON, CA
Always enjoy learning of a new company, in North America no less, thanks for posting your review, it is appreciated.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
That's great to hear Tom. The Retro is a simple design that uses good parts, and often this is a recipe for good sound with audio components. I ordered a pair of Sylvania made Baldwin Organ 12ax7 tubes from the late 50's/early 60's and installed them into the PJL two weeks ago. The jury is still out. The Baldwin's do present the mids in a more up front and organic way, however I am realizing that some of the inner detail (primarily with live venue recordings) has been muted somewhat. The top is also softer and a little more rolled off with the Baldwins which can be nice with harder, bright recordings. However this may also contribute to the slight loss of detail and the live ambiance/presence that I value. Yesterday I replaced the Baldwins with the stock Electro's and they definitely did sound a little more open and lively.

So, the PJL responds to tube rolling. I am not completely sold on the Baldwins, but I will swap them in and out for tube rolling fun now and again. This has also motivated me to try other tubes, both vintage and newer release.

Does anyone have suggestions for my next foray into 12ax7 tube rolling?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:02 am
Posts: 244
Location: Milton, ON, CA
cyrus,

I have first hand experience with and can recommend JJ ECC803S / 12AX7 http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/JJ-Electronics/JJ-ECC803S-12AX7 if you don't mind new production tubes.

Audiois1st

_________________
Digital Front End > Stereo & Multi-Channel > Tubes > B&W & Cerwin Vega Speakers > Acoustically Treated A/V Cave

Check out My Streams: http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/userprofile.php?user_id=39933


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 1069
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

Note to cyrus: I sort of lost track of this thread until today. Regarding your previous question about that Gold Note Valore 425 Plus TT I bought two years ago - well, it is wonderful - now - after the tone arm was replaced by Tri-Cell with a new unit. I love it. Also, as I explained on another CAM thread the purchase of an Audio Sensibility Impact OCC phono interconnect cable was a revelation. It is hands down the best cable upgrade I have ever witnessed (and this from a cable skeptic) and many others agree.

Regarding other phono-preamps - I like the Graham Slee preamps, but I have long hankered for an E.A.R., and then I shudder at the price. But I suppose I ought to reward Tim de Paravincini for his genius.

Lastly, I had a real near-field setup for a while on my workshop bench with NHT Super Zeros about 3 feet from my ears. I loved the sense that you were listening to headphones without wearing them. You can really fall into the image and even though the bass may be limited in terms of visceral impact the mid-bass detail and bass harmonics are so compelling that it hardly matters. This was the reason for the mid-bass bump that was intentionally built into the LS3/5a designs and all their descendants. The console jockeys in those BBC mobile recording vans were sitting right on top of the speakers.

One powered speaker that I have heard that is a near-field winner is the Morgan 11, available only by on-line ordering from the UK. I heard a pair in Windsor a few years ago. They were definitely keepers.

Note to brownslane: Glad you could confirm the impressions of cyrus. New tubes just need some hours on them before rendering a judgement.

I have a bag of mixed 12AX7s sitting around. They vary widely in performance and it all depends on intended use. In a guitar amp (pre-amp section) you are usually looking for a creamy overdrive, which is a result of over-driving the tube into saturation. In a phono pre-amp you want the inverse of this; resolution and definition and tonal rightness. Some of the best tubes I ever had for phono pre-amp service were the branded tubes that Dynaco used in their PAS3X, which were of course built by somebody else. I don't know who but I suspect Phillips. I used them in a Conrad-Johnson PV5 that I ran for years until they finally gave out. Just a suggestion but you might check the web-sites to see what CJ and Audio Research used for tube brands in their earliest models like the SP3a. When they both got bigger they started selling their own branded tubes, which, of course, they did not build.

PS: A poster just recommended JJ which is an option. I find them a bit bright but in some systems that is needed.

Cheers,
Daviud Neice

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


Last edited by buybye88 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:02 am
Posts: 1191
Location: Brandon, MB, CA
cyrus wrote:
Does anyone have suggestions for my next foray into 12ax7 tube rolling?

Although pricey (US$129/pr), the Shuguang Treasure 12AX7 are killer tubes: http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/shuguang-custom-12ax7-lx-special-edition-pair-low-noise-triple-mica/

I use them in my Croft phono stage.

_________________
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." (Aristotle, 384-322 BCE)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Audiois1st wrote:
cyrus,

I have first hand experience with and can recommend JJ ECC803S / 12AX7 http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/JJ-Electronics/JJ-ECC803S-12AX7 if you don't mind new production tubes.

Audiois1st


Thanks for the suggestion Audiois1st, appreciated. Did you use these tubes for a phono stage? I'm open to trying new tubes as well, not just NOS. I like the idea of vintage tubes in my system, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter, as long as I enjoy the sound.

Thanks David for your input and suggestions, and to you too Nordic. This is what CAM is all about chaps. Two years since your new TT purchase David? Good lordy, where has the time truly gone?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:12 pm
Posts: 699
Location: Waterdown, ON, CA
buybye88 wrote:
Hi,

Note to cyrus: I sort of lost track of this thread until today. Regarding your previous question about that Gold Note Valore 425 Plus TT I bought two years ago - well, it is wonderful - now - after the tone arm was replaced by Tri-Cell with a new unit. I love it. Also, as I explained on another CAM thread the purchase of an Audio Sensibility Impact OCC phono interconnect cable was a revelation. It is hands down the best cable upgrade I have ever witnessed (and this from a cable skeptic) and many others agree.

Regarding other phono-preamps - I like the Graham Slee preamps, but I have long hankered for an E.A.R., and then I shudder at the price. But I suppose I ought to reward Tim de Paravincini for his genius.

Lastly, I had a real near-field setup for a while on my workshop bench with NHT Super Zeros about 3 feet from my ears. I loved the sense that you were listening to headphones without wearing them. You can really fall into the image and even though the bass may be limited in terms of visceral impact the mid-bass detail and bass harmonics are so compelling that it hardly matters. This was the reason for the mid-bass bump that was intentionally built into the LS3/5a designs and all their descendants. The console jockeys in those BBC mobile recording vans were sitting right on top of the speakers.

One powered speaker that I have heard that is a near-field winner is the Morgan 11, available only by on-line ordering from the UK. I heard a pair in Windsor a few years ago. They were definitely keepers.

Note to brownslane: Glad you could confirm the impressions of cyrus. New tubes just need some hours on them before rendering a judgement.

I have a bag of mixed 12AX7s sitting around. They vary widely in performance and it all depends on intended use. In a guitar amp (pre-amp section) you are usually looking for a creamy overdrive, which is a result of over-driving the tube into saturation. In a phono pre-amp you want the inverse of this; resolution and definition and tonal rightness. Some of the best tubes I ever had for phono pre-amp service were the branded tubes that Dynaco used in their PAS3X, which were of course built by somebody else. I don't know who but I suspect Phillips. I used them in a Conrad-Johnson PV5 that I ran for years until they finally gave out. Just a suggestion but you might check the web-sites to see what CJ and Audio Research used for tube brands in their earliest models like the SP3a. When they both got bigger they started selling their own branded tubes, which, of course, they did not build.

PS: A poster just recommended JJ which is an option. I find them a bit bright but in some systems that is needed.

Cheers,
Daviud Neice


David. Telefunken tubes were standard issue in both dynakit Pas 3's as well as the factory made units.
The original ARC SP-3 used all telefunken 12ax7's. The later version SP-3a-1 and SP-3a-2 were shipped with Amerex [Herleen production]


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:02 am
Posts: 244
Location: Milton, ON, CA
cyrus wrote:
Audiois1st wrote:
cyrus,

I have first hand experience with and can recommend JJ ECC803S / 12AX7 http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/JJ-Electronics/JJ-ECC803S-12AX7 if you don't mind new production tubes.

Audiois1st


Thanks for the suggestion Audiois1st, appreciated. Did you use these tubes for a phono stage? I'm open to trying new tubes as well, not just NOS. I like the idea of vintage tubes in my system, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter, as long as I enjoy the sound.

Thanks David for your input and suggestions, and to you too Nordic. This is what CAM is all about chaps. Two years since your new TT purchase David? Good lordy, where has the time truly gone?

cyrus,

No I'm not using them in a phono stage so I can't comment on how well they work in that situation. They are currently in the input stage of my Line Magnetic 518IA. I've also used Baldwin 12AX7's that sound good but I will also say that my JJ's still need break-in time.

Audiois1st

_________________
Digital Front End > Stereo & Multi-Channel > Tubes > B&W & Cerwin Vega Speakers > Acoustically Treated A/V Cave

Check out My Streams: http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/userprofile.php?user_id=39933


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: PJL Tube Phono Stage
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 1069
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

eclectique wrote: 'Telefunken tubes were standard issue in both dynakit Pas 3's as well as the factory made units.
The original ARC SP-3 used all telefunken 12ax7's.'

Wow. Terrific information. That clears up a forty year old mystery for me. Kudos and thanks for passing it on.

Cheers,
David Neice

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


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group