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    My new SP13!

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    corndog71

    Posts : 444
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    My new SP13!

    Post by corndog71 on Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:30 am



    It has been quite a journey to get here but I finally finished it!

    Back in January I bought the main pcb with parts, 12x4 tube, and power supply.  Picked up a Hammond box because I just like them.  They're easy to use and still decent looking.  I have a bunch of caps laying around so I put them to work.  Output caps are V-Cap.  C6 is Clarity Cap ESA and C5 are the big, blue Clarity Cap TC series on the left.  TC caps are high voltage film caps so no need for a bypass.  Main tubes are a set of 6GU7 tubes from RAM Labs.

    I only got to listen to it for about 20 minutes last night.  At first I thought it sounded nearly identical to my Bottlehead Smash preamp.  As different tracks played and it warmed up details started standing out.  Stereo imaging was wider.  Separation of instruments and vocals was more distinct.  Great stuff!


    Last edited by corndog71 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Tube Nube

    Posts : 603
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:58 pm

    Congratulations on successfully finishing one of Roy' latest and greatest. I'm delighted to hear it betters the Bottlehead competition.

    I've got the octal version, of which I'm deeply fond. It proved better than my earlier sp10, and Grounded Grid pre amps.

    I look forward to hearing more impressions as it breaks in, and you get to know it better.

    corndog71

    Posts : 444
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:08 pm

    Just a quick update. My tubes should've been matched but it turns out one channel was about 4dB louder than the other. I had been balancing them by ear but with allergies constantly messing with my sinuses I really needed to take my ears out of the equation. I spent an hour or so checking my channel balance and measuring the steps for each channel. Once I got the channels properly balanced and my subs readjusted it was a whole new ballgame!

    The sound I'm now getting is ridiculous! More kudos for the excellent VTA SP13 and ST120!

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:47 am

    Corndog,
    Congrats on your build. It looks superb and I'm sure sounds equally sweet. I think the -13 is one of Roy's best designs. His only bummer was being unable to find a way to integrate a phono preamp into them without chasing away some hum. With the right tubes the SP-13 is right equal to the top-of-the-line -14. I've lived with both so speak with some experience. I went eventually for the fatter-tubed SP-14 just because I like the selection of newly-made octals, had to indulge the OCD thing, but, truth be told, it's a Ford-Chevy thing. The SP-13 will make your socks roll up and down once the caps settle in. Just feed it some good NOS tubes.
    Again, a fine-looking build.

    corndog71

    Posts : 444
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by corndog71 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:04 pm

    deepee99 wrote:Corndog,
    Congrats on your build. It looks superb and I'm sure sounds equally sweet. I think the -13 is one of Roy's best designs. His only bummer was being unable to find a way to integrate a phono preamp into them without chasing away some hum.  With the right tubes the SP-13 is right equal to the top-of-the-line -14. I've lived with both so speak with some experience. I went eventually for the fatter-tubed SP-14 just because I like the selection of newly-made octals,  had to indulge the OCD thing, but, truth be told, it's a Ford-Chevy thing. The SP-13 will make your socks roll up and down once the caps settle in. Just feed it some good NOS tubes.
    Again, a fine-looking build.

    Thanks! You haven't even seen the front. I made it fancy! (sort of)




    pmarcin

    Posts : 131
    Join date : 2009-01-20
    Age : 68

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by pmarcin on Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:59 am

    Nice work! I, for one, prefer the novals to the octals. I find the octals 'interpret' the music too much. Ed Schilling of Hornshoppe(r) agrees with me. As for the phono stage, you can add Roy's separate or any other separate like Brodie's. I don't have good enough, golden ears to tell the difference at my age. Congrats again on buying Roy's fine pre.

    corndog71

    Posts : 444
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: My new SP13!

    Post by corndog71 on Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:20 am

    pmarcin wrote:Nice work! I, for one, prefer the novals to the octals. I find the octals 'interpret' the music too much. Ed Schilling of Hornshoppe(r) agrees with me. As for the phono stage, you can add Roy's separate or any other separate like Brodie's. I don't have good enough, golden ears to tell the difference at my age. Congrats again on buying Roy's fine pre.

    I currently use Bottlehead's Reduction phono preamp.


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