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  1. G/S, I've experience of the Mullard boxplate and a lot of NOS 6922s and for me the 6SN7 and 6F8G are better and like others I have found the reason to be - size and in the case of the round plates, construction.. Look at the size of the tubes in your preamp and the 6SN7, both signal types but the latter far bigger. Now look at output tubes, way bigger. The A/A thread shows you how prices have rocketed since the 90s'. For those in the know you could buy trays of the Russian 1578 for a couple of $2 each at the end of the 90s, I was lucky to buy 5 x Tung Sol 6F8G used for $70 in 2009 - I'm still using the first 11 years later. If you can get a chance to listen to a well designed preamp using these tubes you will hear the difference but anyway you now know why so many persist with tubed gear. For myself the only tubed gear that still persists for me is the preamp.
  2. Mike, insolation and isolation are two completely different things. Rigid walls - if walls were flexible then any weight placed upon them would make them collapse. Even internal walls have to be able to support their own weight or collapse, so walls have to be rigid or collapse,irrespective of the materials used. Using stud and plasterboard for internal walls is completely outdated both from a construction and cost base and most definitely from an acoustic point - I speak as some one who has worked in construction in 4 different countries and over time. There used to be a concert hall in East Anglia built using wood for the walls and ceiling - the sound was wonderful and so organic -the morons forgot to add smoke and heat detectors and it burnt down. The Germans spent huge amounts of money (€870 million) creating the new concert hall in Hamburg. Take a look online at the construction methods and materials they used. Via two TV channels Mezzo and Brava I have listened to concerts from there and the sound is wonderful. I have also, when living in the Netherlands experienced wonderful concerts in the Concertgebouw in A'dam, definitely not neutral but also wonderful. Long ago in the Netherlands a Dutch friend was converting an old salmon cannery into a recording studio using - the soft fibrous cardboard egg boxes - it worked a treat. The question has to be, have you listened to music in anything other than stud and plasterboard walled rooms and what was/is the construction of the ceilings. Cowboys use only one plasterboard skin, instead of two. I would choose to use t&g softwood and ideally oak for the floor - not neutral but a lovely organic sound.
  3. G/S, your obviously prepared to spend a lot of folding stuff. In that case I would look first at the best sounding preamp tubes and then find a well designed preamp that uses them. It's personal but I like the 3 tube designs that use a driver and 2 output tubes. The reason being that you can create a sound that is entirely personal. You will undoubtedly have done some research about different sounding tubes - if you havn't, you should do. If you have then you will know that some preamp tubes are head and shoulders better than others, you will pay but unlike o/put tubes, if you don't push preamp tubes to their limit, they will last for years. 6SN7/6F8G or their 12V equivalent have an amazing range of sounds, the 12AX7 types simply don't compete. My own favourites were an end game for me over 10 years ago. The Round Plates are something special, especially the Tung Sol ones. The Tung Sol R/P 6SN7 and 6F8G have to be heard, also the Russian mil.psec. 1578 (6SN7 equivalent) - the T/S as driver and the 1578 as o/put - for me an unbeatable sound. If you want an overwhelming emotional experience use 3 x T/S.
  4. KT88 - try Svetlanas, great overall sound, well made or try the Svetlana 6550, beautiful mids. For preamp tubes you have to go for NOS the current production preamp tubes simply can't compete.
  5. Sorry to say but your post doesn't make any sense. First - stud and plasterboard, even with rockwool will absorb all sound and transfer it to the other side of the construction and indeed will/can cause domestic problems. Bass or indeed all sound will be reflected by walls constructed of hard reflective material. Here in France and in Spain they use 3" red clay blocks that do just that. Neither the Spanish or the French use a bonding plaster, just a single coat of finish plaster - the result, their homes ring like a bell. The Regs. in both France and Spain are a joke. The last place we lived in Spain, an apartment block built just a few years before (2000) was typical, the flat next door had their bathroom/toilet next to our lounge - it was easy to tell whether a man or woman was using the toilet and as for rumpy pumpy - noisy beds a no-no, silent sex, no thank you. The old Georgian houses used very soft bricks for internal walls then a thick bonding plaster which contained a lot of horse hair and finally finish plaster nothing like the hard type used today. You can easily find info on aercrete blocks - www.xella.com. aercrete blocks have some excellent properties (1) environmentally friendly materials (2) fireproof (3) insect proof (4) thermally very efficient, so creating an efficient barrier between an internal and external environment (5) acoustically superb why? each precise block contains millions of air bubbles. The surface is soft so they need to be handled carefully but are structurally strong unlike the overpriced hemp blocks aka they are not reflective but sound is initially absorbed but not passed on/through, so privacy is another desirable point. I wouldn't dream of building my own home using anything else. I cannot believe that anyone in Oz who lost their home to the fires would consider using combustible materials in a rebuild but I'm sure that builders will try to persuade them to use the same old, same old, just plain crazy to even contemplate this.
  6. Hi Rob, just had an email from Chris and we are going to do a 'quid quo pro' so I should soon have a 2020 board. When I paired the early 2019 S/C with a modded Dark Voice, Beyer cans, Kenwood KD990 with an AT33EV cartridge the first vinyl I played was the 2014 copy of Joni's Hejira. Part of the magic was the quasi OTL D/V for sure and the silent Kenwood. The 33EV is such a brilliant all-round cartridge and played through a Talk Electronics MC3. The S/C allowed all these components to really come alive as a whole musical experience. Joni wrote this whole LP as a result of a 'road trip' from New York all the way across country to LA. Her voice - well it was like she was singing right in front of me and she was 3-dimensional through virtually the whole LP was that shaman, Pastorious, appearing/disappearing, weaving a mystical sound. Listening, I was right back then in that decade of so much bloody fantastic music, so intense - deja vu in reverse. I have no doubt that Rob has said it like it is. I have 2 Bada amps, a h/amp and a power amp, both have to be rebuilt. Both amps have the same preamp set-up of 3 6SN7 tubes - a driver and 2 o/put tubes. I was lucky to get the nod on the Tung Sol round plate 6F8G before they became super expensive. I also bought but not so cheaply the Russian mil. spec 1578 (6SN7). Well using the Tung Sol as driver and the 1578 as o/put tubes, that was it for me - an endgame. The only tubes I want in a system now are these 3 in combo. I wish I had the experience to design a preamp using these tubes with the S/C as volume control. Genuine mosfets, I have the real deal Toshibas as o/put - game over. I have a Parasound, a Hypex and a push/pull Kat88 power amp - I want to hear the 2020 S/C with these and my Heybrook Sextet Mk 1V speakers with externalised x/overs recapped and rewired - lock the door, bong ready - Joni/King Crimson/the Floyd/Pure Prairie League - time travelling back to the 70s.
  7. muon, spot on about a load, though I never damaged a valve amp when checking voltages without a signal, using a dummy load I made up. Chris - your proving the point about active x/overs very well. Why can't s/s amps be designed with the o/put exiting via active x/over boards which are populated to suit whatever speakers are being used then the system becomes entirely rational with the amp driving the speakers. The only reason I can see for commercially made speakers having the x/overs inside the cabinets is ease of boxing and transportation. I'm not sure whether sealed or ported is worse for 'affecting' the performance of internal x/overs and the internal wiring. The Sextets use 1.5mm wiring for the bass which is good but as usual the dialectric is airtight which means that there must be resonances/vibration affecting this wire as well as the x/over which is situated just above the port. I intend to remove the dialectric and use oversized FEP and over that tubing that is used for oxygen supply for patients - this should act as effective buffering of the bass wire. I've noticed that when deconstructing i/cs that silver and copper wire doesn't oxidise when enclosed. The only reason I used silver plated copper wire was to combat a problem that doesn't actually exist, so feel that I can use bare copper without the need to use something like Pro-Gold. Something I learned over 20 years ago - never make more than one change as you will not know exactly what change happened and where. So using the existing internal wiring will let me know how effective the component changes are, then I shall change the internal wiring. The other big plus with an external x/over will be the ease with which components can be changed to fine tune the sound. ps. Chris, I'm going to make up a batch of i/cs using 6N copper and thin wall FEP tubing and sheathed in cotton, .75cm and 1M, let me know what length will suit and I'll send you a pair to trial.
  8. This is for me a very timely thread as I am removing the internal x/overs in my Heybrook Sextet Mk4 s for external ones. I should say that it is my intention to one day replace passive x/overs for active ones having been influenced by Rob Elliots excellent articles on the same. My opinions are from purely empirical experiments rather than qualifications and theoretical arguments and they are based on 4 years spent building analogue interconnects. The difference between i/connects and speaker cables is surely one of current and voltage otherwise other factors are equal? gwurb raises many good questions and a few answers - heat is not a problem with i/connects but definitely is with sp/cables. Multi strand cables are a complete no-no unless separated by 'effective' dialectric. High purity is important, within a short time of starting my experiments with i/cs this became audibly apparent. This comment relates only to i/cs - as I abandoned 'accepted wisdom' so the sound improved - shielding distorted everything, very quickly abandoned. Number of conductors was a revelation - I ended up using 4 x for signal and return - 4 x 26AWG solid core = 1mm in total. Dialectric - hugely important. I simply cannot understand why Teflon is de rigeur, from the same fluoropolymer family, FEP is transparent in a way that Teflon simply cannot compete. If air is the best dialectric and coupled with Oliver Heaviside's unchallenged work on electric conduction that - electricity flows not only through a conductor but on the surface and around the conductor - oversized FEP tubing as dialectric was emphatically superior on first trial. Not mentioned on this thread are binding posts as antiquated and interfering with signal flow as are RCA,XLR and h/phone jacks - in need of serious updating and real change. Chris - zobel networks - surely interfering with signal flow. The mantra - KISS has for me always been a winner. Do you still find the i/cs I sent you worthwhile? gwurb raises a very good point - what about internal wiring. Continuity is totally abandoned why? there is a complete discontinuity between internal/external wiring - shouldn't external and internal be the same for continuity of signal flow. I have used the UBYTE 11 (TNT audio) for many years trouncing money wasted on commercial cables. Experimental construction is - 2 x 1mm solid core copper for signal and return inside oversized FEP (standard wall) tubing, straight runs no twisting, no connectors at either end, binding posts on amps but soldered to same gauge solid core wire on external passive x/over board suspended level with Tonigen tweeter level. With 4-5ft length so no contact with floor. Internal wiring - no problem with woofers or mid range, uncertain about the Tonigen tweeter. If the result is good I will then invest in 6N solid core copper. Anyone curious about FEP tubing - Adtech Engineering.
  9. For me it wasn't an actual piece of gear but seeing a thread on diyaudio about caps, specifically Russian mil. spec. K73-16. I had bought a Bada PH12 h/amp and changed the first 2 caps in the signal path - this completely blew me away (and I'm of dour lowland Scots heritage) These 2 caps completely opened up the sound in every way. Since then I have used these caps in amps/preamps and now am about to use them in my Heybrook Sextet speakers. Just before I bought my first purchase of these caps I had been persuaded by a Dutch friend to buy very expensive silver foil coupling caps. These caps are very good but simply don't compete overall with these ludicrously cheap Russian caps. I know many will not contemplate interfering in any way with their equipment but judicious use of the K73-16 caps and Vishay Z foil resistors in the signal path which is a shame as they would be a revelation.
  10. Colour choices are very personal - do you want a 'relaxing' room or a 'vibrant' one? You do know that Dulux like most modern commercial paints are carcinogenic. In fact painting is probably the most hazardous of the construction professions. In Denmark painter's dementia is a recognised problem. Vinyl paints give out toxins for quite some time. Check out natural paints and varnishes, they will cost more but are worth it. When I was working on redecs. on old Victorian houses I was careful to always wear a mask and use rubber gloves not from choice but because there are two reasons why most of the window frames were still in good condition was (1) the Victorians used properly seasoned softwoods and (2) because they used as much as 3/4 layers of lead primers. Are the walls in your living room reflective, if they are think about using 1200 or 1400 grade lining paper before painting. Lighting is also very important, with LED lights you can choose hard or soft ones and there are different coloured ones as well so that a white wall or ceiling can be changed into almost any colour you like. You like the idea of greys well pinks go very well together.
  11. I remember some one on another forum telling me how when he moved from an old Georgian house (in the UK) with pretty solid walls into a modern house with wooden stud and plaster board walls how they sucked out the bass dramatically so it looks like acoustic panels or something similar will definitely be needed. It seems that bad building products are everywhere. I remember very well on a UK audio forum someone was asking what materials to use for some internal walls in their home and I advised against using the out of date stud and plaster board method and to use aircrete blocks, much faster and really easy for someone without construction knowledge to do - they blanked the idea and went for the old way, stupid but not surprised. Here in France I'm surprised that anyone listens to music other than via h/phones because the houses are built using 3" clay block walls for internal walls, not only no privacy but awful acoustic effects, coupled with an obsession with tiled floors the resulting noise is terrible.
  12. I've had Kenwood KD decks for around 15 years I have no wish to use anything else. You do know that these decks were designed from the ground up. I daily watch NHK World, the Japanese public service channel. Their science programmes show just how open minded and innovative the Japanese are. The Kenwood engineers paid no heed to 'received wisdom' often turning out to be sclerotic and out of date. The arm was designed specifically for these KD/KP decks. Described by an industry professional as 'one of the best' of gimbal arms. The supplied headshell is a solid piece of aluminium as you will well know. One piece arms were rejected thankfully or your post would never have happened. Don't reject this h/shell, it does an excellent job at rejecting vibration and resonances that might get past the detachable nature. You can also use a minimal amount of blutac at the interface to kill any vibration travelling up the arm wand but the way the Kenwoods are built that is unlikely. I use an AT 33 EV MC. with the Kenwood h/shell. It was my first MC and it performs way above it's price, there is nothing to criticise from top to bottom and I play all kinds of music. Then came the AT ART 9 BUT there are too many stories of people receiving dodgy examples and there is the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC * which can be retipped by Soundsmith for a very reasonable price, read the shootout between the two cartridges on Audiogon. I would have bought the Soundsmith but Don't like being ripped off on the price difference between the USA and EU and it's not the 20% import duty alone but the greedy sellers in all EU countries. These 3 cartridges will all perform well on the existing arm as will the the Denon. I also wanted to increase the range of cartridges I could use by lowering the effective mass of the arm by using a lightweight h/shell. I also purchased both aluminium and nylon screw/bolt sets.. The nylon set will definitely have a better dampening effect as well. Years ago I bought a s/hand (virtually unused) Pickering 7500S cartridge. This is a LOMM and needs at least a medium to low mass arm. I have been able to reduce the mass using lightweight alternative fittings. With a one piece arm we wouldn't have the opportunity to experiment. Don't forget you have with the KD/KP decks the simple but brilliant end of side arm lift meaning you can think of removing the finger lift on a lightweight h/shell which removes a possible source of vibration.
  13. No rational person would use any of the products you mention on vinyl - cooking oil - hilarious. Plus evidence of their use would be evident on the inner sleeves. When I say the boxes were pristine, I mean just that. No matter how careful you are, especially with boxed sets, there will always be evidence of use. I havn't played them, they are not the kind of classical I listen to. One set has a value of around £250 and will only be of interest to an avid collector who would certainly relish cleaning and playing from new, though I would offer to clean the 6 LPs on my Moth RCM 2 and finish with distilled water as I do my own vinyl. The woman selling these sets had inherited them and I paid only €2 per set. I've been buying s/hand vinyl from the early 70s and I can tell if an LP has been 'skimmed' many don't even know what this means, let alone recognising it.
  14. audiofeline - very true and also a lot of 'received wisdom' which has been around for decades and never seriously questioned but accepted as gospel turns out to be pure unadulterated b/s. A few years ago visiting my local marche de jardin held in the streets, I spotted some boxed sets of classical vinyl. Couldn't believe it when I saw the boxes were in pristine condition - I had stumbled onto unplayed vinyl, all but one were from the 70s but just one was from 65. All the vinyl has a slick looking gloss which I'm guessing is mould release agents.
  15. Damn good idea, especially if you have lots of vinyl. Normally vinyl is stored edge on so you get a crick in the neck having to twist sideways and bend down to see the info on the edge. I wonder how footfall would change in record shops if punters had to contort themselves to see what was on offer rather than standing normally and flipping through the LPs face on. This design could do the same if the units were built on top of cupboards underneath.
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