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Been really enjoying the sound I'm getting from my tube phono preamp (Project Tube Box DS), having previously been using the Phono input on my Marantz 1030, and I'm now thinking I wouldn't mind seeing if I can do something similar with my streaming setup.

 

Currently I just run my humble Sonos Connect into my Marantz. Any recommendations or words of warning for putting an external tube DAC in between them? Or maybe just a tube buffer? 

 

Thanks

Marcus

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It could be fun to do what you suggest. shouldn't be a problem. Happily for you there is an AMC tube dac/buffer in the classifieds right now. You won't find a cheaper one.

 

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1 hour ago, BlackCoffee said:

Been really enjoying the sound I'm getting from my tube phono preamp (Project Tube Box DS), having previously been using the Phono input on my Marantz 1030, and I'm now thinking I wouldn't mind seeing if I can do something similar with my streaming setup.

 

Currently I just run my humble Sonos Connect into my Marantz. Any recommendations or words of warning for putting an external tube DAC in between them? Or maybe just a tube buffer? 

 

Thanks

Marcus

Speaking of Pro-Ject Tube Box DS, I recently bought one here through the SNA classifieds.

During shipping the silicone rubber tube dampener came away from the valve.

I'm trying to work out what to glue it back on.

I'm thinking along the lines of a high temperate Permatex silicone https://www.repco.com.au/en/car-care-panel/adhesives-sealants/gasket-cements/permatex-high-temp-red-rtv-silicone-gasket-maker-85g-px81160/p/A5466471

I emailed Interdyn (the distributors) and they didn't have a clue as to what to use?

Any experience / suggestions out there?

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21 minutes ago, Mickstuh said:

It could be fun to do what you suggest. shouldn't be a problem. Happily for you there is an AMC tube dac/buffer in the classifieds right now. You won't find a cheaper one.

 

 

Thanks, yeah feels like it could be fun at least

 

I did see the AMC, looks great but I need something with a much smaller footprint sadly, probably something like Tube Box sized

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Look at something with a proper tube output stage.... My suggestion as always is Abbas Esoteric Audio though it really does depend on budget. It got me to give up on vinyl for goodness sake.

Edited by MattyW
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2 hours ago, Ozcall said:

I would recommend this https://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=97

Out of stock till the end of March but well regarded and very flexable.

I have the MP Tube Dac and must say it is pretty darn good, lots of upgrade potential but a real rabbit warren for 

tube and cap rolling. 

 

Sean 

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On 05/03/2021 at 3:33 PM, Pegasus said:

Speaking of Pro-Ject Tube Box DS, I recently bought one here through the SNA classifieds.

During shipping the silicone rubber tube dampener came away from the valve.

I'm trying to work out what to glue it back on.

I'm thinking along the lines of a high temperate Permatex silicone https://www.repco.com.au/en/car-care-panel/adhesives-sealants/gasket-cements/permatex-high-temp-red-rtv-silicone-gasket-maker-85g-px81160/p/A5466471

I emailed Interdyn (the distributors) and they didn't have a clue as to what to use?

Any experience / suggestions out there?

 

Please don't do anything of the sort to glue a tube damper back onto a tube. What you have suggested will ruin the tube socket. If the tube is in an upright position, the heat on the glass envelope will cause the adhesive to eventually flow into the tube pin sockets and cause significant damage.

 

Tube dampers aren't required. They are often used to 'mute ringing sounds' in a tube if microphonics become an issue. I would not recommend using them as they cause the sound to be anaemic.

Edited by xlr8or
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11 minutes ago, xlr8or said:

Tube dampers aren't required. They are often used to 'mute ringing sounds' in a tube if microphonics become an issue. I would not recommend using them as they cause the sound to be anaemic.

 

This matches with my experience.  If the tube is microphonic then replace it  :)

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@BlackCoffee What's your budget range? Some really good suggestions have been shared above. To add, you may want to also consider Audio Note DACs model numbers 1.1x or higher.

 

One of my favourites is the Audio Note 2.1x Signature (UK version). The Audio Note Kits equivalents with tube rectifier are equally as good.

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2 minutes ago, xlr8or said:

@BlackCoffee What's your budget range? Some really good suggestions have been shared above. To add, you may want to also consider Audio Note DACs model numbers 1.1x or higher.

 

One of my favourites is the Audio Note 2.1x Signature (UK version). The Audio Note Kits equivalents with tube rectifier are equally as good.

Some very good advice here for you 👍🤟

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41 minutes ago, xlr8or said:

@BlackCoffee What's your budget range? Some really good suggestions have been shared above. To add, you may want to also consider Audio Note DACs model numbers 1.1x or higher.

 

One of my favourites is the Audio Note 2.1x Signature (UK version). The Audio Note Kits equivalents with tube rectifier are equally as good.

@BlackCoffeeBryan at Audio Note in Sydney will be able to give you some good advice. 

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On 05/03/2021 at 6:06 PM, Sean Perth said:

I have the MP Tube Dac and must say it is pretty darn good, lots of upgrade potential but a real rabbit warren for 

tube and cap rolling. 

 

Sean 

Ditto!  Awesome dac for the $$ but one heck uva tweakers delight.   The stock tubes - 6H6ps are not bad, and I tend to go back to them after playing around.  The upgraded caps are a safe bet until you wanna get adventurous...

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On 05/03/2021 at 2:08 PM, BlackCoffee said:

Been really enjoying the sound I'm getting from my tube phono preamp (Project Tube Box DS), having previously been using the Phono input on my Marantz 1030, and I'm now thinking I wouldn't mind seeing if I can do something similar with my streaming setup.

 

Currently I just run my humble Sonos Connect into my Marantz. Any recommendations or words of warning for putting an external tube DAC in between them? Or maybe just a tube buffer? 

 

Thanks

Marcus

Forget tube buffers...they work but dont give you that full tube experience.. ultimately they always end up in the cupboard...at least for me anyways..

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14 minutes ago, MrBurns84 said:

Forget tube buffers...they work but dont give you that full tube experience.. ultimately they always end up in the cupboard...at least for me anyways..

Aye, it needs to be a full tube output stage.... The Abbas DAC's also use a tube DEM clock which is interesting 

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Thanks everyone, super helpful stuff. I really didn't know much about what options were out there at all so been great to learn a bit.

 

I think as it stands i'm looking for something for $200 or so that I can give a spin without being too committed or throwing the balance of my system out. Would rather not spend $500+ on a DAC when I could use that to upgrade my amp. Basically trying to recreate what I did with the Project Tube Box.

 

It may be that such a product/pricepoint isn't out there though. The AMC currently listed in the classifieds would be a great shout but I know I cant accomodate the size of it sadly.

 

Either way I'm really enjoying and appreciating the responses,  

 

 

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On 05/03/2021 at 2:33 PM, Pegasus said:

Speaking of Pro-Ject Tube Box DS, I recently bought one here through the SNA classifieds.

During shipping the silicone rubber tube dampener came away from the valve.

I'm trying to work out what to glue it back on.

I'm thinking along the lines of a high temperate Permatex silicone https://www.repco.com.au/en/car-care-panel/adhesives-sealants/gasket-cements/permatex-high-temp-red-rtv-silicone-gasket-maker-85g-px81160/p/A5466471

I emailed Interdyn (the distributors) and they didn't have a clue as to what to use?

Any experience / suggestions out there?

I don’t think they should be glued on? Any tube damper I’ve seen slides over the tube and that’s it.

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9 hours ago, BlackCoffee said:

Thanks everyone, super helpful stuff. I really didn't know much about what options were out there at all so been great to learn a bit.

 

I think as it stands i'm looking for something for $200 or so that I can give a spin without being too committed or throwing the balance of my system out. Would rather not spend $500+ on a DAC when I could use that to upgrade my amp. Basically trying to recreate what I did with the Project Tube Box.

 

It may be that such a product/pricepoint isn't out there though. The AMC currently listed in the classifieds would be a great shout but I know I cant accomodate the size of it sadly.

 

Either way I'm really enjoying and appreciating the responses,  

 

 

I understand your predicament.  Like others have mentioned, to get a 'proper' tubed dac, it needs to be tube rectified, and a tubed analogue output stage.  Most small dacs with tubes that i know off are solid state rectified, and most of their output stages are solid state with a tube buffer at the end of it.  It keeps the device small, compact, but has the 'tubes' look.

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On 06/03/2021 at 11:57 PM, BlackCoffee said:

.... Basically trying to recreate what I did with the Project Tube Box....

 

 

it could be the new phono simply outperforms the Marantz and the fact it incorporates tubes is only part of the equation 

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On 08/03/2021 at 10:38 PM, wasabijim said:

it could be the new phono simply outperforms the Marantz and the fact it incorporates tubes is only part of the equation 

Yes.

 

The other thing with your question is matching a DAC to your older 1970s amp. This comes in two parts:

  • watch that the output of the DAC isn't too high for the line inputs on your Marantz -
  • and you won't want to get a very "warm" DAC, which quite a few of the tube DACs can be, since your amp is already on the warm side. Well, you probably won't...🙂

I'm not an expert on tube DACs, but with the few I've heard, the ones with buffer stages are more likely to be warm, but of course, you can get ones that will avoid both of these possible headaches.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had a unity gain tube amp made by McChanson which gave me an audible tube presence when fed into my Redgum mosfet SS amp. You can get one from him for approx $500.

 

So you can keep your sources and amp, and just process the sound using a tube stage.

 

I've moved on since then, but it took me 6 years to get itchy - Eric's device was that good. Tube tone, SS power and dynamics. I only moved on because (a) a Weston amp became available at a good price (b) I  love how the Weston looks (c) I wanted to experience one of these amps, having read so many good reports...all of which I  can confirm now.

 

Now  I don't want more tubes than I have in the system, so I'm not keen on hybrid components adding more tube effects to the sound.

 

A lot depends on the synergies you can achieve. 

 

Hope this helps.

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I have a Maverick D1+ DAC with upgraded Op Amps & valve. This is an audiophile bargain, I paid $100 for mine secondhand. Not only is it a DAC but a rather competent Pre-amp & headphone amp as well.

 

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