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About doogie44

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  1. One is envious just looking at your 'audio den' and it's well-loved shelves... GLWTS
  2. Very fine high-efficiency speakers. I traded in my Magneplanar 1.7's for these (partly because I wanted to run speakers with SET amps). Not disappointed! GLWTS
  3. Best photos of a 'For Sale' item in SNA this year!
  4. I note you're driving Yamaha NS-1000M & Tannoys, so a relatively low-powered amp would be OK. Ittaku is spot-on with the Elekit! Fabulous suggestion. Lots of fun rolling tubes too + triode/pentode switch. Like buying 6 amps in one. Also, I see that Bill McLean has a greatly reduced Line Magnetic 218IA 845-based amp for $2,798! [He also sells the wonderful Leben CX and Leben CF integrateds but I'm not sure if the price would be low enough for your budget.] I own the sibling LM-518IA (also 845-based) and it's a real beauty. This is my end-game amp. In the last 6-12 months a terrific selection of valve amps have come through SNA. A Primaluna Prologue Premium Integrated Amplifier with KT120, KT77 and EL34 Tubes sold for $2150 recently, and a Dialogue before that for $3000. I suppose you have to have a good idea of what you want first (topology, output, valve type) and then pull the trigger quickly... Don't forget Eric McChanson on eBay, the Aussie who offers hand-made amps of all kinds e.g. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1x-McChansons-25W-6L6GC-EL34-others-PP-UL-timE-Amp-Tube-Valve-integrated-NEW/113870599687?hash=item1a83377607:g:MsgAAOSw5wJcFXG7 and in the same vein, Earl Weston: e.g. Topaz KT-120 (he makes 4 amps within your budget) http://www.westonacoustics.com/service4.html. EW has a great reputation here on SNA--for good reason. If you know anybody with a valve amp who would bring it over, it's nice to get a feel for what they can offer in your own system if possible. There's a lot of debate about triode vs pentode for example, but in the end it's a well-executed circuit with great valves that will bring a smile to your face. Hope this helps
  5. If the amp overheats from poor ventilation then you are not treating it with the respect it deserves...of course it might malfunction and THAT will affect the sound! I'm not sure if this is what you meant by the question. If you're noticing a degradation in sound good ventilation and adequate tube bias and tube life is the first thing to think about (assuming you've isolated the issue to the amplifier)
  6. If you are sticking with EL34 valves then there are some wonderful options in that range, including the direct equivalent 6CA7 types. Depending on the amp's circuit (presumably optimised for EL34) you will likely hear why there is all the fuss about NOS types. For example, the original Mullard EL34 valves, while pricey, have a very airy and detailed mid-range that is quite addictive. The Psvane 6CA7 is also a fine tube in my particular amp's circuit. Sometimes the amp allows valves from the 6L6 family (including KT-66, KT-77 and 6L6GC) so there is scope for finding your particular 'preference'. But--it's expensive to be a tube-roller! Your amp looks like a Hovland. Here the input tubes are 12AU7; you 'might' find that replacing these with Mullard NOS (famous for midrange warmth) or some of the 1960's era NOS tubes (Siemens, Brimar, Tungsol, RCA, Sylvania) allows you to change the sound of the output to your taste quite a bit. And more cost-effectively than changing power/output tubes. Here is what Brent Jessie states about the 12AU7: http://www.audiotubes.com/12au7.htm...and about the EL34: http://www.audiotubes.com/el34.htm Very often in my rolling career I look back and see that the most rewardingly musical configurations were the best NOS-type valve I could afford for the particular amp. Spending money on modern valves is OK but I rarely find that they come up to the standards of NOS. Currently Psvane and some Shuguang tubes (Chinese), as well as the new Genalex and Sovtek (Russian), are generally very good indeed, so things are changing. I notice many modern amp manufacturers use (carefully selected) JJ electronics tubes. A 'different' sound is not necessarily a 'better' one.. Hope this helps
  7. I use mine as a tuner-preamp at the heart of my desktop system (and solo for computer sound) Very good indeed. GLWTS
  9. I ordered the Light Grey to match the music room decor. My wife selected it...I didn't tell you I was devious. This was my first attempt at importing. After employing a Customs Agent and schlepping the speakers home in a borrowed van the landed cost was an extra $1473. This was more than I was expecting but you can see from the many charges that GST is also levied--AND RE-LEVIED-- on every single item (it adds up) For those who are interested in importing Customs clearance 10%=18.50 185.00 Document retention 10%=1.58 15.75 CMR fee 10%=4.75 47.50 Infrastructure levy 10%=4.83 48.25 AQIS Zero Rated 90.00 Terminal charges - Schenker 10%=54.52 545.18 Customs Charges for your Information only GST Amount 374.87 Quarantine Processing Charge 33.00 Declaration Processing Charge 50.00 Import GST Zero Rated 374.87 Customs Disbursement Charges Exempt Rated 83.00 Please contact us within 7 days should there be any discrepancies. SUBTOTAL 1,389.55 ADD GST 84.18 TOTAL AUD 1,473.73 Oh well
  10. Yes, you're right--the 'combining' is the trick, electronically and such? All I can say is that it works a treat
  11. They are certainly detailed but not over-detailed at all. I'm very pleased with 'the midrange'--but it's easier to understand if I say you hear all the instruments and the human voice without once thinking something is 'wrong'. Eric A is on to something here. It reminds me of the line arrays of tweeters on the older Infinity speakers and Bob Carver's long tall speaker (the Amazing Line Source speaker). I think the many tweeters are all propagating sound 'differently' (according to his patent) except the one in the middle--the true tweeter. I don't know if the 60 day trial is valid in Oz but after dealing with Eric and Karma his assistant, I would think it is. They are two of the nicest and most professional people I have encountered. Of course it would cost a lot to send them back! My guess as a satisfied owner? That would never happen if you value the things I value in a speaker. If you needed to sell them in Oz you could, I imagine. Just like any other trade.
  12. In case members are interested I submit my amateur review of my new speakers that I imported unheard and unauditioned from the USA recently. The Tekton Design speakers are generally the subject of many glowing reviews: https://www.tektondesign.com. The designer, Eric Alexander has enormous practical experience and several radical ideas. He is keen on a concentric array of tweeters to form a 'virtual midrange' driver. This gives his speakers a 'mad scientist' look but doesn't bother me. The Perfect SET speaker was designed for low-powered valve amps with a high sensitivity and high impedance. My model is the second iteration with a 15 inch woofer, around 98dB sensitivity and 8 ohms impedance (without sudden dropoffs). I'm showing a pic from the website as the blue colour makes it easy to see clearly. I requested the upgrade package (better caps; Cardas wiring; grilles) and the final cost was $US 2632--including International Shipping to Mascot (Sydney) I am extremely impressed. I've shared this review with Eric A and also the Audiokarma Forum. Review Of Tekton Design Perfect SET 15 Speaker After a lot of soul-searching I decided to buy a pair of Perfect SET 15 speakers from Eric Alexander at Tekton Design. Because I was unable to audition these speakers myself I relied heavily on the reports from the Audiokarma Tekton Owners forum. Of course in principle this was not such a good idea – but I went ahead anyway! Having owned Spatial Hologram M3 Turbo speakers for several years (and Magneplanar 1.7 planars before that) I was quite satisfied with their sound, but I needed more efficiency because I have a collection of low-powered triode and pentode amplifiers. Very unfortunately I was unable to purchase the Triode Master modified M3 from Spatial. Now I was in the market for a speaker with efficiency in the high 90s dB and a benign/high impedance too. Serendipitously, Eric had made two versions of his tweeter array and large bass driver speaker specifically designed for triodes. Ostensibly they are some 98dB efficient with 8 ohm-type impedance A note about my musical preferences: I play guitar and piano and attend concerts regularly. I am a music lover before I am an audiophile. Although I listen to every kind of music, my preference is for instrumental classical music, all singing, and chamber jazz. I am a lover of tone and timbre above all else, so no wonder I am attracted to what tubes can do for the reproduction of music. My system ‘must’ get the sound of the human voice as correct as possible. Over several decades I have owned hi-fi systems based on vinyl and tubes. I am a late convert to digital since it rarely gives me goosebumps! Despite that, there is plenty of new music in that digital world. Eric and Karma at Tekton were very efficient and professional. I collected the speakers from Australian customs and set them up in my lounge room on 9 July. They were well packaged, and in some 45 minutes I slotted them into my main system. They made music immediately. Because I was listening analytically I noticed some harshness in the upper midrange and a slight metallic quality in female voices. I decided to play them continually for a number of hours and hooked them up to an 80W chip amplifier playing Internet radio. The sound continued to settle down and manifested a ‘front-row’, direct and clear presentation. There was plenty of information listening at low levels. I was immediately impressed by the quality and quantity of bass, and all kinds of percussion. After about 50 hours I hooked the speakers up to my Leben preamplifier, Elekit KT88 single- ended pentode amplifier, Audio Note CD-2 player, Naim NAT-01 FM tuner, Cambridge Audio CXN streamer and my Clearaudio Performance turntable + Maestro Wood cartridge. There are also two REL Storm 5 subs in the room. The better kind of recordings now sounded full and vibrant. I began to listen through songs to the ineffable beauty of music. I found myself playing recordings right through because of their musicality. I started to feel the relaxation that comes when you give up enquiry and comparisons. Nevertheless, things were not perfect. Some of the muddiness in the sound was because I was consistently playing music too loudly – I don’t know why. Probably I just got too excited. Possibly the speakers were more sensitive than I was used to. Certainly I could hear every little detail on all my favourite recordings. Very often I would note new details in old familiar recordings (this was thrilling). I also began to suspect that my room needed some work to support these new speakers properly, so I adjusted everything that I thought would help. I played around with the toe-in of the speakers. I also confirmed my preference for analogue over digital recordings (generally speaking), as a violin sound could sound harsh at times in digital recordings. Sometimes there was still congestion and “muddiness” in the sound—I found myself sliding back into critical and analytical thinking about that. More break-in required? I began to think about the upstream components all over again; I embarked on a cleaning marathon of all connections, checked my cartridge, checked my tubes. I cleaned my ears of wax (don’t laugh, you should try it if you know what you are doing, or get your nurse/doctor to help). At about 100 hours’ playing time I found that most of my favourite recordings were sounding as they ‘should’. There was plenty of atmosphere and depth in a lovely sound field. At about 200 hours I decided enough was enough – and that I was happy. The tonality and the timbre was very good. No system is perfect. Break-in is probably the time that it takes for your processing brain to get used to the newness/differences of the equipment. This acceptance lets you focus on the music as you should. Naturally at this stage I was not regretting my purchase! I was very pleased when I looked up my Line Magnetic 3W single-ended EL 84 pentode amplifier to the Tektons. There was plenty of drive with an excellent presentation, particularly in the bass. I don’t know the exact efficiency of the speakers but they must be well north of 95 dB as my similar Spatial Hologram speakers found 3W a little underwhelming (they do have an impedance that dips to 3 ohms so it’s not a fair comparison). I was even more pleased when I hooked up my Line Magnetic SET with 20W output from two 845 tubes: this is a wonderful combination in every way. I preferred it to my 300B SET amp. Now the speakers are giving me the kind of enjoyment that I am used to. The kind that I am very willing to spend money for (but not ‘silly money’ because I don’t have any of that). Did I mention that the speakers are most reasonably priced considering what they can do? Even importing them to Australia for 40% more cost represents a bargain in my opinion. I gather that some critics have found intellectual/technical fault with the circular design of the tweeters that form a ‘virtual midrange driver’. I am not one of those critics. As a result of my listening I’m not a critic at all. The speakers sound terrific to me. Eric Alexander has kicked a massive goal, as we say in Australia. I find their sound now to be as elegant and refined as the recordings I prefer. It’s quite the equal of the two kinds of speakers I owned previously over recent years – so they are in very good company. When it’s called for they can really perform, with terrific bass power. They have a very involving, musical sound field. There is plenty of good drama in such a sound. I am still surprised at the amount of depth and detail – especially in recordings that I know extremely well. Vocals are smooth and involving. They are a wonderful companion for low-level listening too. While quite revealing of differences in my setup, amplifiers, tubes, and recordings, this is as it should be in a high-end system. I am thinking that some of my early difficulties were related to this capacity for revealing subtle differences and distortions, in that I had to rebalance my whole system. I don’t know if the speakers do require extensive run-in, but in my system and in my room a couple of hundred hours was a major benefit (although they sounded ‘OK’ right away). I continue to notice positive changes. I consider that the Tektons take on the essential character of your system, and the recordings, more than I expected—such that when everything is balanced, they take up position as true performers for your musical delight. I don’t find that they impose; rather, they get out of the way of the music and give you plenty of that enjoyment. They do everything well for me and are easily the best value component I have bought (considering the importance of good speakers in a system). I like to own components that are at the very top of the ‘middle range’ of audio quality or at the bottom of the ‘top range’. Ideally I can buy them used, to save money while other people upgrade in search of Nirvana or a cure for audio nervosa. I have bought my Tektons new; I think of them as great speakers—and every day I am reaping the sonic benefits because for me they are at the ‘bottom’ of the very top range of hi-fi gear. When your system is in good shape and the music is flowing you are in good shape. Happy days!
  13. Yes, I do get your point; my REL subs, however, do cut off 'roughly around' 30Hz when I use the LFE inputs from my preamp. I know they do go much lower by design. The 20Hz plugs only deprive me of certain bass info--which is very hard to integrate into the sound from vinyl alone (in my system). I have found that the SQ of the system playing vinyl is better with the plugs...still as atmospheric and airy as I'm used to. Other inputs/gear without that filter don't seem to have superior bass response in my system. The plugs were a compromise but one that I find quite acceptable. I'm enjoying vinyl without any niggling worries about the very large woofer excursions that were a regular event in the old days (despite heroic levelling efforts and fine-tuning of the table)! I remain open to other ideas naturally...
  14. I use these RCA-based subsonic filters on my turntable output cables: https://www.parts-express.com/harrison-labs-fmod-inline-crossover-pair-30-hz-high-pass-rca--266-248 Also available in 20Hz and other cutoff frequencies. Harrison Labs FMOD Inline Crossover Pair 30 Hz High Pass RCA What is an FMOD? The FMOD is an active crossover simulator. It is better than a much more expensive electronic crossover that requires power to operate. FMODs are packaged in pairs and can be combined with other FMODs to obtain bandpass ranges or with other types of crossovers to change the slope and crossover frequency point. FMODs feature a 12 dB per octave crossover slope and are compatible with all RCA type input amps...simply place the FMOD in-line with the patch cable running between the source (head unit) and the amplifier. 24 kt gold over brass construction, 10 volts maximum RMS input. One-year manfacturer warranty. Made in the U.S.A. This fixed all my subwoofer and speaker woofer flapping while playing some vinyl records
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