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    Just bought an SP14 and PH14

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    Tube Nube

    Posts : 641
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:06 pm

    Dramatic improvement from the Sp10 to the 14. Deeper, tighter bass. More "slam" to the sound. More detail. A lusher, fuller sound. I was happy with the 10, and didn't expect such big changes, though I believed Roy when he said there were noticeable improvements.

    After installing my 14 in the system I never went back for further comparison. It was way better, and I never looked back. Again not a complaint against the SP10. Im keeping it for my son.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by tubes4hifi on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:53 pm

    Dave,
    heed the advice of Tube Nube! in fact, you may want to put a diaper on (bad joke from old Stereophiles).
    There is a HUGE HUGE difference in sound quality. The SP10 is a $1000 sounding tube preamp.
    The SP14 is a $5000 sounding tube preamp - you got a deal, enjoy the music!!

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:20 pm

    I hear ya. I may have to brace myself 'cause I think my SP/PH10 sounds incredible. Really, really good.

    As soon as my NOS tubes get here, I'll be firing it up.

    I've been upgrading since about 1968.
    " />

    Tube Nube

    Posts : 641
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:50 pm

    I can't say that Roy exaggerates in his description. You will probably want to laugh yourself silly at the difference.

    You might check out Don Sachs' website, where he compares the performance of the sp14 against some high buck boutique pre amps with which he's intimately and expertly familiar.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by tubes4hifi on Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:35 pm

    Dave,
    for some more Hi-Fi humor, and the original comments from TubeNube on his SP14, check this old link . . .
    http://dynacotubeaudio.forumotion.com/t1178-vta-sp14-preamp-part-2-does-your-jaw-drop-to-the-floor-or-do-you-wet-your-pants
    also, read my comments on post 12 & 14 of that old thread
    Doc (TubeNube) you'll get a kick out of re-reading that old post from 4 years ago. My how time fly's!
    Meanwhile, close to 200 SP14s out there now, causing incredible musical pleasure.
    Shame, Shame, Shame, to anyone who isn't enjoying either an SP14, SP13, or SP12.
    The SP8 & SP10 were nice, but not something you'd never think of replacing if something better came along.

    Tube Nube

    Posts : 641
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Tube Nube on Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:14 am

    Is it 4 years already? That was fun to re-read.

    After living with this amp for these 4 years, I can say I didn't overstate anything I initially said about the amp, and I stand by those sentiments entirely.

    I can add that no one has heard my stereo that didn't have a strong positive reaction. People usually say "wow!" or something similar. This is the SP14 and the VTA ST 70.

    It doesn't surprise me why this pre amp is selling so well!

    deepee99

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

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:13 am

    tubes4hifi wrote:Dave,
    for some more Hi-Fi humor, and the original comments from TubeNube on his SP14, check this old link . . .
    http://dynacotubeaudio.forumotion.com/t1178-vta-sp14-preamp-part-2-does-your-jaw-drop-to-the-floor-or-do-you-wet-your-pants
    also, read my comments on post 12 & 14 of that old thread
    Doc (TubeNube) you'll get a kick out of re-reading that old post from 4 years ago.   My how time fly's!
    Meanwhile, close to 200 SP14s out there now, causing incredible musical pleasure.
    Shame, Shame, Shame, to anyone who isn't enjoying either an SP14, SP13, or SP12.
    The SP8 & SP10 were nice, but not something you'd never think of replacing if something better came along.
    While I'm now the proud owner of one of Don Sach's iterations of the SP-14, I must say after two years' use that the SP-13 pre-amp is/was the most under-rated (or under-priced) of Roy's offerings. Throw some quiet switches and pots in an SP-13, along with a decent stock of NOS RCA 6CG7s, and you're just as well off as with some $10k offering from Mac or ARC. Troy Madden built my SP-13 and truth be told, I wish I'd kept it for the man-cave. It was absolutely quiet, better than any s/s gear you'll ever hear.

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:04 pm

    More questions. Thanks for bearing with me...

    I opened up the SP 14 so I could install the NOS GE 6SN7's in the critical spot (as per Kently) and I noticed that many of the white wires were clipped. I'll post a few pics.

    My guess is that these are grounds and as the outputs are grounded to the AC line and the board (see black wire) already, it was discovered that these many grounds were causing a loop and were deemed redundant and clipped. Pics....

    " />





    Many of the white wires going to the front panel pots were also clipped but (mostly) shrink tubed at the connection.
    Also, do you see any thing on the board that maybe should/could be upgraded? I think those white caps say "Sonicaps".



    Thanks for continuing to help out on this project.

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Kentley on Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:19 pm

    https://mikeriversaudio.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/grounds_and_shields_revised1.pdf

    This is "one-end-only shielding". It is intentional.

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:59 pm

    Well, I opened up the PH 14(?) and it already had some decent JAN Philips 6922's installed so I hooked everything up.
    First thing I played was a new pressing of Electric Ladyland (side III). This is definitely an improvement over the SP/PH 10 (which I thought was killer).

    I've been running each Gain at 75% and the Master at 50%. That's plenty loud (I'm typing this from another room while some Italian Western soundtrack LP is playing and even from here it sounds like a small orchestra in my living room (Who knew harmonicas could sound so good?).

    Power amp is a VTA ST 70 running Mullard EL34s from the late '60's/early '70's.

    This is just an initial impression but I don't think I'll be using that small Audio Control EQ much anymore. I think I know what "tightening up the bass" means now.

    No noise, very quiet. I'm a believer.

    [url=[url=http://s199.photobucket.com/user/kurzman/media/newgear_zpswo1jlitd.jpg.html]

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Kentley on Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:16 pm

    You're one step closer to Heaven on Earth, buddy. Looks great. Bet it sounds great too!

    novisnick

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2016-03-23

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by novisnick on Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:25 pm

    Sweet, enjoy! So jealous,,,,,,not really,,,,just really happy for you.

    Such a nice looking pair! That a huge compliment coming from a guy that looks at stainless steel all day long. I much rather have any other color for that reason. Yep! Im that razy! Very Happy

    deepee99

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

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:55 pm

    Izzat a Bob Carver Audio Control EQ I see in the background?
    Great little alternative to tone controls.

    novisnick

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2016-03-23

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by novisnick on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:24 pm

    I guess Im stupid,,,,,,,,,

    Are you talking about an external volume control?
    Wouldnt that add trouble,humm?buzz?,

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:26 pm

    Yep, it the Audio Control you recommended on eBay. It's in the loop with the Yaqin buffer. I use the Audio Control output to go to my CD recorder. Works perfectly.
    Hey....how's about those cool 25 cent vibration pads that Bob noted. I bought a bunch of them. Saved $5.75 each over Mapleshade!

    novisnick

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2016-03-23

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by novisnick on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:31 pm

    Could someone post a link to the product mentioned?

    What reason did you add a Yaqin buffer? I am ye of little knowledge in this area, please bare with me. Thanks

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:38 pm

    Here's the link to the discussion we had about me hooking up the CD burner and the impedance mismatch problem (that the Yaqin solved).

    http://dynacotubeaudio.forumotion.com/t2378-connecting-a-cd-recorder-to-my-sp-ph10

    The Audio Control EQ is an ancient (1982) consumer EQ box. They show up on eBay. It's a 520B. deepee pointed them out originally.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by tubes4hifi on Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:56 pm

    way back to post 33 in this thread (I'm on vacation so a few days delay) yes, as Kentley pointed out, the grounds are connected on one end only, otherwise you've have a dozen++ ground loops in the preamp causing all kinds of problems and noise.
    As for upgrades, the SoniCaps are very good, but Mundorf EVO silver oil (about $25 a pair) or best Mundorf silver oils (around $90 a pair)
    would make a significant improvement in sound quality.

    Also, many people do have cheap CD or cheap DAC sources that don't have an output buffer.
    Within the next week or two I'll have tube output buffers available as a separate product,
    also JFET output buffers which will be high quality but at a MUCH lower price level than possible with tubes.

    audiobill

    Posts : 270
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by audiobill on Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:47 pm

    Those buffers should be a big hit in the marketplace!


    Last edited by audiobill on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

    deepee99

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

    Re: Just bought an SP14 and PH14

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:17 pm

    I'd like a pair of them buggers (buffers), too. Keep us posted Roy.

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