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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 29, 2020 2:23 am 
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The gold plated maintain good conductivity over extended periods of usage. However the jacks ought to be likewise for maximum reliability. And they look pretty. Who hasn't had to clean the gray crusty stuff off of old fashioned cad plated RCA jacks and plugs? Yuck. I once had a GAS preamp from the 70s and it had a deck full of those on the back. I replaced them all with gold plated jacks rather than fuss with cleaning them all up. Not the high dollar versions they make now, though.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 29, 2020 5:30 pm 
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"There you go again..." Not to be too harsh but IMHO the original supposition is pointless.

After 50 years in the audio hobby, including writing and editing "Vacuum Tube Valley Magazine, the Classic Electronics Reference Journal" run by good friend Charlie (RIP), owning & using almost every piece of the venerated vintage gear, most Mc's, legendary MI200s, Marantz 2, 5, 8B , 7c, nearly every Fisher, Scott, Pilot, Fairchild &c &c: in the final analysis: when operating to proper spec there's little/no audible differences among any quality-made amplification components, no objective "Best". A properly restored integrated Scott tube amp, '70s Phillips or Dual turntable, moderate priced modern Klipsch speakers, imo sounds every bit as good as any of the hyped stuff. I've had $200 Sansui receivers that many would turn their noses up at that were imo darn good, what IS best even?. TETO.

Transducers like speakers and cartridges make far more of an audible difference, and the idea that cables, power cords, speaker stands, even tubes within certain operating roles and parameters, significantly affect audible sound to a hear-able degree is dubious. However many fortunes have been made peddling audio snake oil to the "Golden Ears" crowd!


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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 29, 2020 6:22 pm 
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I think a good set of gold plated metal knobs makes any stereo sound better. You can almost feel the power.....

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 29, 2020 7:10 pm 
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I remember the blind tests which showed the inability of people to distinguish amplifiers. When I bought a system in 1984, I focused on the speakers, and bought a nice, but not super expensive Yamaha amplifier.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 29, 2020 8:11 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
I think a good set of gold plated metal knobs makes any stereo sound better. You can almost feel the power.....
Absolutely. Love it !!! :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 30, 2020 4:47 am 
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pauls.ironhorse wrote:
Barry H Bennett wrote:
I think a good set of gold plated metal knobs makes any stereo sound better. You can almost feel the power.....
Absolutely. Love it !!! :D :D :D

ROTF

:lol:

if the edges of the knobs are diamond tipped, the highs will just sparkle.

if the knobs are polished and have no corners, the midrange will be extremely smooth.

:D

steve

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Jan Fri 31, 2020 11:33 pm 
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In the "main" system, I run a Mac C-20, a pair of factory built Dyna Mark 3's, rebuilt powered by an NCR ATM power line conditioner, a pair of inexpensive Fisher speakers with 15 inch woofs, the cabinets modified with MUCH fiberglass. The aux equipment consists of a Mac MR-55, rebuilt by me, and an HH Scott 335 MPX adapter, a CD player, 3 head cassette deck, AT-120 TT that I use for LPs and 78s. The $$ outlay was minimal, and it fills a 12X24 room to concert hall levels and beyond, and will reproduce organ with few problems, so I'm happy with my "junker" system. Then there are the basement systems... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Feb Sat 01, 2020 3:00 pm 
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You should build yourself a nice bass cabinet using dual 15" woofers, and 8" solid cement block, lined with 2" of concrete. Reinforced if you feel like it. To power that, I'd scrounge up a few Phase Linear 750s....

You may have to reinforce the room a little as well. And perhaps extend the foundation a few feet deeper.......

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 03, 2020 8:28 am 
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There has been only one significant breakthrough in tube amp design since the 50's ultralinear design - the input bandpass filter to keep anything that can't be played by the amplifier, out, say, 18 Hz - 16 KHz, nice and gently 1st order to avoid any significant phase shift. That allows a lot of other improvements.

Almost everything else has been an evolution, mostly just optimizing the transformer size (which leads you to about 35 watts as the biggest practical amplifier without other compromises), or, big mistakes or steps backwards, like SETs, Futtermans.

The good news is that you can buy the best tube amp ever made for about $1600, right now, ready to run, or modify a ST-70 to similar performance for about $500+ a clapped out ST-70.

Solid-state is in about the same boat, no significant improvements have been made since the late 80's, and hybrids are closing in on the same situation, with none of the limitations of pure tube electronics, and power to the point almost everything else, including one's eardrums, are the limiting factor on the dynamics.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Feb Fri 28, 2020 6:08 pm 
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Marantz 8 maybe but a McIntosh, for sure. My Mac 60w mono blocks are as potent as my 300w/ch solid state monster and slightly more pleasing to listen to.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Feb Sat 29, 2020 4:21 pm 
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As I may have said before, the type and quality of the speakers is much more important than the amplifier, assuming that it is also of good quality. Tube-type pro audio gear has been around for more than 90 years now, and any "magic bullet" in design would have been found, and marketed by now. More than anything else, the biggest limitation of a tube amp is the output transformer.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Sun 01, 2020 1:02 am 
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Tim Tress wrote:
As I may have said before, the type and quality of the speakers is much more important than the amplifier, assuming that it is also of good quality. Tube-type pro audio gear has been around for more than 90 years now, and any "magic bullet" in design would have been found, and marketed by now. More than anything else, the biggest limitation of a tube amp is the output transformer.



Thank you.

I have always advised people to buy the best sounding (to them) speakers that they can afford then build the rest of the system backwards from there. You can play a transistor radio through an older Altec Voice of the Theater (which was the standard for recording studio monitors) or Klipsch speaker, and get room filling volume. We used to do it just to shock people who didn't believe it was possible. Of course, you need a decent amplifier to get the best fidelity and good bass response comes from the size of the output transformers.

If someone wants to spend $10,000 on vintage McIntosh tube amps and preamps, more power to them, it's not bad sounding stuff but perhaps overrated today due to all the hype over the past 60 years or so. You can sometimes do the same for $1000 or less in other brands that aren't the flavor of the month with prospective buyers. The "other" ST-70, sold by Eico, is all the amp you need, or its equivalent in a dozen other brands, provided you have decent and very efficient modern speakers.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 8:41 pm 
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pixellany wrote:
jimbenedict wrote:
I owned rebuilt Scott 340 with paper/oil coupling capacitor upgrades. It is an accurate sounding receiver and a little laid back (mellow).

Now you've done it!! paper in oil caps were discussed here some time ago and loudly debunked. We asked the standard question and got no answer:
"Provide a link or citation describing a properly executed double-blind test."
Failing that, provide the technical analysis that would support the claims.

My conclusion at the time: The Russian military had a big surplus of these caps, and someone figured out how to market them to gullible audiophiles.

You are poorly informed and spreading this bad info to others- sad! See the performance for yourself here.
https://diyaudioprojects.com/mirror/mem ... 2/cap.html

What this member does is ask for an impossible situation such as wanting 50 members have a blind test in a video and when you cannot find such a thing, he is automatically right. Unbelievable.


Last edited by jimbenedict on Mar Mon 02, 2020 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 8:46 pm 
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pixellany wrote:
jimbenedict wrote:
My conclusion at the time: The Russian military had a big surplus of these caps, and someone figured out how to market them to gullible audiophiles.

Even more rubbish from this person. I bet he never even heard K40Y-9, does not compare capacitors or even owns a high quality amp to clearly hear the differences. BUT, he has an opinion!
The K40Y-9 capacitor is the best sounding capacitor I ever heard. At $2 to $3 each, incredibly inexpensive. Most audio caps of lesser sound quality start at $10 each and many go past $40 each. Few K-40Y-9 in 400 and 600 volt are available now because most stocks sold out. Geez.......


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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 9:56 pm 
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jimbenedict wrote:
I am an audiophile. ...
So what is the best? Marantz model 8 and believe it or not an Allied 333 receiver. .......


I guess that explains why your previous user name before the "jimbenedict" name was "allied333" ??

This "best audio amplifier" debate is a bunch of baloney. People's hearing is like fingerprints ... nobody is the same. What works for one person won't necessarily work anyone else. There is no "best". No question that there is junk out there, but once the systems get to a certain level of quality in the engineering and construction I doubt that more than a very few people could tell one system from another especially when they are played thru' the same speakers.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 11:31 pm 
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Sooooo ......capacitors have a sound, do they? It makes me wonder what tube sockets and pop rivets sound like. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 11:52 pm 
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i make sure all my tube sockets have "matched" rivets.

the rivets must be from the same manufacturer and their packages must look the same.

if there are different colored rivets on the on the same tube socket, the sun will NOT come up tomorrow and the amp just won't sound right. it will be just too "off color".

just like the tubes, the rivets MUST look the same. that is what makes tubes and rivets "matched", don't ya know ?

:roll:

steve

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 03, 2020 1:38 am 
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John Bartley wrote:
jimbenedict wrote:
No question that there is junk out there, but once the systems get to a certain level of quality in the engineering and construction I doubt that more than a very few people could tell one system from another especially when they are played thru' the same speakers.

Not true. Everyone in my auditions could easily hear difference in my auditions with about five attending. What is best is of personal taste as you stated.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 03, 2020 2:15 am 
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In my experience, anyone who wants to hear a difference, can hear a difference. The only true test is an absolute blind (or deaf) test. I highly doubt anyone has conducted one of these to determine the sound of a given capacitor. Or knob. Or if the magnetic fields in the room influence the speakers' performance. Or sunspots... or any other item one could care to dream up.

Oh, did I mention that capacitors do not make a sound? Unless you count the one that happens when one explodes, or when one hits the trash can.

Any capacitor that has specifications based on laboratory testing (generally by the manufacturer) will "sound" the same as any other with the same specifications. The audio frequency range is not exactly difficult to work with from the perspective of a coupling capacitor.

Now, a case could be made for the sound actually LOOKING better with some specific capacitors... but that's another story. You'd also need a clear-as-glass, electrically conductive chassis to fully appreciate the silky highs and low low lows in these cases....

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years of vintage Tube Stereo Amps- Which is Best?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 03, 2020 3:19 am 
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Barry H Bennett wrote:
In my experience, anyone who wants to hear a difference, can hear a difference. The only true test is an absolute blind (or deaf) test. I highly doubt anyone has conducted one of these to determine the sound of a given capacitor. Or knob. Or if the magnetic fields in the room influence the speakers' performance. Or sunspots... or any other item one could care to dream up.

Oh, did I mention that capacitors do not make a sound? Unless you count the one that happens when one explodes, or when one hits the trash can.

Any capacitor that has specifications based on laboratory testing (generally by the manufacturer) will "sound" the same as any other with the same specifications. The audio frequency range is not exactly difficult to work with from the perspective of a coupling capacitor.

Now, a case could be made for the sound actually LOOKING better with some specific capacitors... but that's another story. You'd also need a clear-as-glass, electrically conductive chassis to fully appreciate the silky highs and low low lows in these cases....

Sound the same? You must have 'tin' ears. Not according to the link I provided above. they do not measure or sound the same either. Folks, ignore this post,.


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