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    Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

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    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:58 pm

    Can one have too many tubes in the signal path? (You certainly can't have too many in the tube bin, of course.)
    But the question occurs, for those of us who have VTAs and tubes4hifi lash-ups: are additional tubes in the input signal path, such as a tube-buffered CD player or DAC really necessary and at what point might one be inducing too much distortion?
    Tubes distort, but in a nice way. I liken it to the streets here in Wallace, Idaho, now that the snow has fallen and compacted. The snow fills up the chuck-holes so you get a much smoother ride (analogue) versus the (digital) slamming of your tyres and axles into every little bump in summer.
    The VTAs et. al seem to act like the snow in the pot-holes, smoothing out the rough spots while preserving the ride.
    I'm running a s/s Rega CD player into the SP-13 and Holgerized M-125s. (In the den running sand amps, I use a tube-buffered CD player (Ah!Tjoeb)).
    Just wondering what advantage, if any, would be obtained by arming the VTA rack with tube CD/DAC inputs. Philosophically, I think it's overkill. Thoughts?
    -d-

    corndog71

    Posts : 451
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by corndog71 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:28 am

    Can one have too many transistors?

    Yes!

    I say the more tubes the merrier. I don't have a tube CD player or DAC but if someone made a decent tube DAC on the cheap I would consider it.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1310
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:43 am

    Only one other for me, and that's the 5670 output in my Maverick TubeMagic DAC. Rolling that with several in my collection can make for major differences in what I hear.

    Example ... the 5963 drivers I was using with the KT120's were a bit too dark, so I boosted the high end with a Tesla 5CC42 in the DAC. Perfect! Now that I'm using the TAD KT88STR's, that combo was too bright. Swapped the center tube on the ST120 with a tasty lil tellie, and changed out the Tesla for a TungSol 2C51. Back to tasty, and maybe even better than any other combo I've tried.

    Just gives a few more possibilities for fine tuning the flavor is all. I've got a few others I could try, but quite happy with what I'm hearing right now.

    And ya ... you can never have enough tubes!

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts : 1286
    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by tubes4hifi on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:06 am

    more tubes . . . ? get ready for the upcoming fully balanced line preamp and phono preamp on the way next month!!
    twice the tubes, half the noise (theoretically). These are for tube freaks and money no object people only!!
    For you SP14 people, that's TWO BIG boards, each a near twin to the existing SP14 !!
    Anybody got fully balanced sources besides DACs? I'm sure sKiZo has something . . .

    zx

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2011-08-05

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by zx on Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:39 am

    Some time Tubes can get a little dark..... sounds like a killer pramp coming up....Best fully balanced sources I have ever owned was a phono cartridge.....gets a lot of noise out of any vinyl....for those still into such.....do you have a price?.................thanks




    thanks for the site Bob.................

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1310
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:14 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:  I'm sure sKiZo has something . . .

    Other than "pro" musician stuff, only balanced box I got is a Yamaha EQ ... I don't use it anymore since upgrading to a Technics SH9010 parametric.

    Now that I think on it, I don't use the Technics anymore either since going to a software solution - at least on my digital sources. I still use it for vinyl. Not that I play a lot of that anymore.

    PS ... I modded the Yamaha to look like the Big Mac amp ... I don't use that anymore either.

    I gotta have me a garage sale one of these daze ... clown

    Cubdriver

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2014-01-21
    Age : 51
    Location : Southeastern Litchfield Co, CT

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by Cubdriver on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:54 pm

    I'm in the northeast and it's winter. The more the merrier.

    -Pat

    dougmon

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2013-11-04
    Age : 60

    Re: Too many tubes? Can one go overboard?

    Post by dougmon on Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:45 pm

    As far as more tubes....

    I have the VTA ST-70 and an SP10. With digital, that's all...but when I play vinyl, I add the tubed phono preamp to the mix, and that's three 12AX7 tubes. And as you might guess, vinyl sounds way better than digital. But I would guess that's the medium as well as the extra tubes.

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