The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Share

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:23 am

    This is probably a sacriligious topic for a Dynaco Tube Audio Forum, but there's got to be a few bottle-heads who keep a solid-state preamp and amplifier on hand for emergency listening purposes. Once you get spoiled on tubes it's difficult to imagine a "great"-sounding sand amp, but are there ones out there sufficient to prevent high-fidelity withdrawal? McIntosh and Bryston come to mind; I'm partial to Bedinis, but there must be others.
    Reason for asking is that I may "bench" my M-125s this summer and re-wire them with silver, replacing the tube sockets with something more tube-roller friendly -- realizing full well that this probably voids whatever explicit or implied warranties attach to Bob's fine kits -- and there will be a hole of silence that needs to be filled with something approximating music.

    peterh

    Posts : 680
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : gothenburg, sweden

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by peterh on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:59 am

    deepee99 wrote:This is probably a sacriligious topic for a Dynaco Tube Audio Forum, but there's got to be a few bottle-heads who keep a solid-state preamp and amplifier on hand for emergency listening purposes. Once you get spoiled on tubes it's difficult to imagine a "great"-sounding sand amp, but are there ones out there sufficient to prevent high-fidelity withdrawal? McIntosh and Bryston come to mind; I'm partial to Bedinis, but there must be others.
    Reason for asking is that I may "bench" my M-125s this summer and re-wire them with silver, replacing the tube sockets with something more tube-roller friendly -- realizing full well that this probably voids whatever explicit or implied warranties attach to Bob's fine kits -- and there will be a hole of silence that needs to be filled with something approximating music.
    The wast majority of copper is in the transformers. Are you replacing that too?

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts : 1292
    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by tubes4hifi on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:55 am

    white wine VS red wine?

    PeterCapo

    Posts : 386
    Join date : 2008-12-05

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by PeterCapo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:36 pm

    deepee99, sounds like a fun project you have in store for your M-125s. I have a Parasound A21 and JC 2 here. They sound great in a different way from my tube gear. I’ve understood that Odyssey Audio is a good value, and, last time I checked, they build to order and can tweak the sound to your liking.

    Maintarget

    Posts : 209
    Join date : 2013-02-10

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Maintarget on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:15 pm

    Deepee99 brings up a good question,
    Is there a consensus on this subject copper VS silver wire and other designer components that could be used to say build a cost no object ST-70 or ST-120 not to see who can spend the most money but rather gain improvement in sound quality?
    What would be on the list of upgrades and why?

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Laminarman on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:50 pm

    I was going to sell my nearly mint MAC1900 that I never use (and bought from Audio Classics for $175 fifteen years ago), until I fired it up and played it. Sounds pretty nice. That will serve as my 40 year old backup.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:08 pm

    Maintarget wrote:Deepee99 brings up a good question,
    Is there a consensus on this subject copper VS silver wire and other designer components that could be used to say build a cost no object ST-70 or ST-120 not to see who can spend the most money but rather gain improvement in sound quality?
    What would be on the list of upgrades and why?

    I think it's a fair question. A friend re-wired his old Phase Linear 700 with silver and swears by the improvement it made, although he also replaced the zip-cord power cabling with something a tad more substantial while he was at it. Has anyone done an A/B listening test on otherwise identical components?


    "The wast majority of copper is in the transformers. Are you replacing that too?" Gee, PeterH, hadn't thought about it, but maybe I should. Shocked  And I seem to remember from an article in The Absolute Sound that a heavy 24k gold plating on the chassis has salutary effects as well, plus making them too heavy to steal.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1312
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by sKiZo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:22 pm

    Real simple for me, as I drive the main amp with a full featured receiver.



    Just move the speaker cables is all, and I'm good to go on benching the amp. The Sui quad sounds very respectable all by itself, but obviously wouldn't have the punch of one of the big uns. Still, I expect I could survive using just that.  tongue 

    PS ... I originally expected the ST120 to be a decent backup for my McIntosh MC2205, but that seems to have gone all bass ackwards once I got the kit built and in the system ...  Eventually I plan to give the Big Mac the TLC it deserves, as it does have "issues" due to age, but that also seems to have taken back burner status ... it's still sitting in the system rack, so it's also available for backup. Mostly burned out lights and a bit of crackling in one channel due to aging capacitors, but very capable.

    I should plan on doing the work on the MC2205 soon - while I can still carry it to the bench. 90 pounds does give one pause for thought ... mostly thoughts like "where did I put that back brace", and "OMG this is gonna hurt if I drop it on my foot" ...

    ***

    As to the silver vs copper wire ...

    ... eh ...

    It's already been mentioned, but all the point to point wiring doesn't amount to a high percentage of the copper in the circuit. I'd think that as long as your connections are clean and strong, it wouldn't make all that much difference. Best way to ensure that is to go with top quality solder and a good solder station as well as quality tinned hookup wire.



    You've probably guessed I'm a fan of Cardas Quad ... and it's got silver in it!  cheers

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1312
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by sKiZo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:27 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    Maintarget wrote:I seem to remember from an article in The Absolute Sound that a heavy 24k gold plating on the chassis has salutary effects as well, plus making them too heavy to steal.

    Heavier, but more incentive, yes?  pirat 

    Speaking of gold ... I swear by adding DeOxit Gold here and there to improve connectivity. A drop to the tube pins, ground connection screw posts and cable connections can work wonders ... easy enough to do, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

    Zimmer64

    Posts : 113
    Join date : 2013-01-29
    Age : 52
    Location : Switzerland

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Zimmer64 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:20 am

    I have built a gainclone and a chipamp as backup and also kept my commercial  sand amps that my ST70 had replaced.

    Pictures here

    Michael

    PeterCapo

    Posts : 386
    Join date : 2008-12-05

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by PeterCapo on Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:55 am

    How does your gainclone sound? I've read somewhere in between solid state and tubes..?

    Zimmer64

    Posts : 113
    Join date : 2013-01-29
    Age : 52
    Location : Switzerland

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Zimmer64 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:00 am

    It is very difficult to describe sound. All I can say is that I still like it after the “honeymoon” period was over. The sound is clean and neutral. There is no harshness and also no lack of bass, very pleasant. Is it tube sound? No, but it is not hard or unpleasant. The power is sufficient for all of my speakers (lowest being 82db). My main system’s speakers have a min of 3.2 ohms, which also is no issue. I used Peter Daniel’s LM3875 premium kit, which is very minimalistic and very good. I can recommend it and would buy it again. There are people that even solder the few parts directly to the chip’s connectors to even further reduce the length of the signal path.

    The LM3886 kit from chipamp.com is also nice. Their PSU is a bit more sophisticated. The sound is a tiny bit “harder” and closer to a transistor amp. I currently use it to drive the bass drivers of my open baffle speaker project.

    corndog71

    Posts : 454
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by corndog71 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:34 pm

    deepee99 wrote:This is probably a sacriligious topic for a Dynaco Tube Audio Forum, but there's got to be a few bottle-heads who keep a solid-state preamp and amplifier on hand for emergency listening purposes. Once you get spoiled on tubes it's difficult to imagine a "great"-sounding sand amp, but are there ones out there sufficient to prevent high-fidelity withdrawal? McIntosh and Bryston come to mind; I'm partial to Bedinis, but there must be others.
    Reason for asking is that I may "bench" my M-125s this summer and re-wire them with silver, replacing the tube sockets with something more tube-roller friendly -- realizing full well that this probably voids whatever explicit or implied warranties attach to Bob's fine kits -- and there will be a hole of silence that needs to be filled with something approximating music.


    I have a Class D Audio SDS-258 amp for back up duty.  I just sold my Dynaco MkIV's which were my other back ups.  


    As a long time fan of cables I've built several projects over the years with copper and silver wire.  Honestly, I don't think you'll hear much of a benefit replacing the short runs of wires in your amps.  It's up to you of course.  I think you'll find a greater benefit from a better power cord, speaker cables and interconnects.  

    The power cord acts as a filter for the AC coming into the amp and helps clean up any grunge on the power line.  Shunyata has some fascinating research on the subject although most of their products are way out of my budget.  One of the easiest tweaks you can do is get a good 14AWG shielded power cord and reterminate it with new plugs.  The factory molded connections tend to increase resistance and restrict current delivery.

    For signal wire I've been playing with Homegrownaudio.com cotton-insulated wire and find them to sound really good.  They can be a pain to strip as it involves unraveling the cotton strands but I think they just sound cleaner and seem less restrictive of dynamics vs PVC or even teflon insulated wires.  I've even made 3-wire braided interconnects out of it to good effect.  Using cotton also helps to keep capacitance low which reduces the tone control effect some cables have.  

    Tom

    Posts : 166
    Join date : 2011-04-04

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Tom on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:14 am

    My "chimp-amp"  Razz
    cheap (er) and easy to build
    sounds good to me
    think I got enough heat sink in there?
    (they were lying around)
    Very Happy


    Sponsored content

    Re: Sand Amps to sub for Tube Amps?

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 4:48 am


      Current date/time is Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:48 am