Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016

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Theobetley

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #20 on: 18 Sep 2016, 11:10 pm »
So Vinny could I use the microrendu power out of the DHT to drive the Rendu and a Regen simultaneously?

Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #21 on: 19 Sep 2016, 12:22 am »
So Vinny could I use the microrendu power out of the DHT to drive the Rendu and a Regen simultaneously?

Hi Theobetley,

The microRendu power output (on the LIO DAC module) is only for driving the microRendu.  Also, I don't think you
need to use the Regen between the microRendu and USB input, as the microRendu already has this built in.  Feel
free to check in with Sonore regarding this.

If I'm wrong, please correct me, but let's do it in another thread in the VR forum as this thread is for the DHT Tube Tour and
impressions.

Best regards

Vinnie

Theobetley

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #22 on: 19 Sep 2016, 03:28 pm »
Thanks Vinnie. I have heard some folks get a sq pop from using a Regen between the uRendu and the dac and it would have nice if the Rendu voltage output had enough current capability to handle.

tme110

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #23 on: 20 Sep 2016, 12:29 pm »
wrong thread.

jriggy

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #24 on: 22 Sep 2016, 03:04 pm »
One interesting thing I have noticed is the difference in sound between different tubes of the same make and model, as well as —and as mentioned by Vinnie— people getting different synergy results based on their systems needs.

For instance, the Gold Lion 300b tubes that are on the tour have some age to them and were on the soft side. I heard a new pair of them and they were quite different. Seemed to have more detail and better separation —but Ill have to check 'em out again to give any more deets…

Also, for example, the stock tubes… After discussing with a few people, if you have large or long-throw bass drivers in your speakers, a bass hump may be heard, but for me, with smaller  8” tight & short-throw bass drivers, this character is a good fit.

So just a couple things to consider when listening to the tour tubes and when taking tube advice or deciding what you like.

I wish we could figure out a way for a few of us to try a few of the more expensive DHT’s. To many choices over the $750 mark ! !

Happy swapping!!

olegausany

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #25 on: 22 Sep 2016, 04:30 pm »
Hi jriggy

Quick question how many hours of use new pair has?
Cause stock 2A3 require at least 150 hours of burn in to reach their great sound

jriggy

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #26 on: 22 Sep 2016, 04:46 pm »
Plenty of hours on my stock pair of 2A3's. Its the newer pair of EH 300b's I heard that might of needed more hours on them.

matthewpartrick

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #27 on: 2 Oct 2016, 03:00 pm »
Where is the Tube Tour currently?  Trying to get an idea of when they'll be showing up at Casa Partrick...

zybar

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #28 on: 2 Oct 2016, 04:53 pm »
Where is the Tube Tour currently?  Trying to get an idea of when they'll be showing up at Casa Partrick...

They just reached a new person on Friday and he will have them for a week.

I'll shoot you an email later today with your projected date.

I do know that you aren't next.

George

matthewpartrick

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #29 on: 2 Oct 2016, 10:21 pm »
Good times thanks.

zybar

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #30 on: 3 Oct 2016, 10:15 pm »
Good times thanks.

Matthew,

You are targeted for mid-November as of now.

Can you please email or PM me your email address?  I seem to have misplaced it.

Thanks,

George

BobRex

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #31 on: 14 Oct 2016, 08:55 pm »
I finally have the time to sit down and write up my tube rolling adventures.  But before I start, I’ll give a little history.  My LIO replaced a Joule Electra LA100 and Wellborne Moondog (2A3 SET) combination.  This drives a pair of VMPS RM30s with the powered bass option.  My source is a TTWeights GEM with VTA pod and modified Jelco 12” arm, Van Den Hul Colibri, Choir Audio / Hashimoto SUT (HM-3), into the LIO MM phono stage (tried the internal xformers, the Hashimoto is a better match to the Colibri.)  I also have a Herron PHMC-1 that will eventually go up against the internal phone stage.  The LOI uses (used, more later) the AVT tube stage and SS amp. I do very little digital at home – mostly around the holidays for background listening.

To keep thinks repeatable, I used the following albums for testing:
Oregon – In Performance (Elektra original pressing)
Miles – Sketches of Spain ( Classic Records 200g)
Weather Report – Heavy Weather (ORG re-release 45RPM)
Clannad – Fauim (Topic original pressing)
Fleetwood Mack – Rumours (Japanese pressing)

My first impression was that while very, very good, the LIO lacked the tonal refinement and overall palpable presence of the all tube / SET system.  Yes, it could play louder, and possibly deeper, but overall 3 dimensionality and just plain “humanity” was missing.  The soundstage was also slightly constricted.  So I decided to try some tuber rolling. 
First up was a pair of Telefunken 7dj8s:  Transients were faster and brighter.  In Drum Solo (Oregon), you could almost sense Wolcott’s fingers on the drum heads and the differences in impacts on each drum.  Towner’s 12 string on Icarus was rich and bright.  But Moore’s bass was a little thin, and McCandless’ woodwinds (mostly oboe) wasn’t as rich as I was used to.  This turned out to be a fundamental problem with these tubes – they opened up the high end, but leaned out the rest in the process.  Not my cuppa.

Up next were Mullard CV2942s.  Okay, this is better.  Tones are richer and more developed.  Soundstage gained some more dimension and I have some palpability.  I used this configuration for a few months, and while it still wasn’t as good as my SET system, it was so close.

Enter the DHT
The installation of the DHT modules went quickly and without incidence.  I fired the unit back up and let it sit overnight.  Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.  The soundstage expanded, tonality was almost where I wanted it, and images gained palpability.  As others have written, once you hear the DHT stage, you can’t go back.  Going back to the Oregon album, side two opens with George Schutz walking to a mike and introducing the band.  This part was recorded in Carnegie Hall, and you can hear the hall ambience as he speaks.  Drum Solo sounds more spread out than before, the hits are just as defined, but everything is more integrated into the whole.  Rumours takes on a more tense feeling – there really is a lot of bitterness on this album, and much of it gets glossed over on many systems.  You can also hear the mic colorations on Sketches.  When the horn chorus comes in on Concerto it is too bright and brash.  I’m thinking this could be the new 2A3, the brightness may diminish as the system burns in.

A little after a week of listening I received the DHT tube package.  So I spent the next week going through these tubes.  This is what I heard:

EML Mesh Plate – These had the best sound stage and cleanest, most refined highs of all of the tubes.  Tonality was as good, McCandless’ oboe was rich and nutty, and Towners 12 string gained a body.  Schutz’s voice resounded through the hall.  Birdland (Heavy Weather) gained depth and sonority, while the horn chorus on Concerto lost the brashness.  Now you could really hear the tension on The Chain (Rumours.)

300B – I was predisposed to not like this tube – most of the 300Bs I’ve heard sounded restricted compared to 2A3s.  This was even the case with a WAVAC amp that I heard.  I’m going to chalk that up to the tube’s use in an output stage.  As a driver, the tube is a completely different animal.  No, it’s not as extended as the EML, but it did the 3-D psychedelic stuff that Rosenberg used to write about.  This was palpability in spades, and it was good!  I wish I could have spent more time with this tube.

SV-811-10 – Umm, I need to spend more time with this tube (I have a pair downstairs).  There was nothing wrong with the sound, but nothing stood out either.  That’s either good or bad depending upon your POV.  I didn’t hear any additional color; the 300B might be the king with that.  The filament glow is kinda funky.  I wish I had more to say.

CX-301A – The trick with this tube (and maybe the 811 too) is that is has a different gain structure.  You need to pull the volume up a few dB to match the 2A3 and 300B. Once that is done, this is a good tube, but again, nothing stood out.  Again, maybe more time is needed.

Shugang Treasury 2A3 – These were the last tubes in my Moondog; they’re probably around 4 years old.  I thought I’d add them to the survey since I have them and will be using them.  First off, they are not as good as the EMLs, not quite as extended, and not quite as quiet.  But damned close.  They also sound similar to the 300Bs in that 3-D psychedelic way.  This made me do some checking, because the EMLs don’t pop out images in quite the same way.  Examining the Treasury, the 300B and the “stock” EH tubes, I’m seeing a lot of similarities.  The filaments look identical, as do the top and bottom spacers.  Even the plates have the same basic shape (the 300B plates are slightly larger).  I’m thinking that these are not “true” 2A3s, but are instead 300Bs with a lower filament voltage.  That would explain the similarities in sound. 

The Shuggies are now my standard tube; they are better than the EHs, and my wife will kill me if I attempt to drop over 600 on a new set of tubes right now.

Vinnie and George, thanks for setting up the tour.  Now I just have to play with the phone stage…..

Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #32 on: 18 Oct 2016, 05:15 pm »
Hi BobRex,

Thank you very much for posting your LIO DHT Tube Tour impressions here!

Very informative post about your personal experiences with these different DHTs in your
system, and great to see that you added the Shugang Treasure 2A3 to the list!

 :thumb:  8)

Vinnie

ThomasKott

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #33 on: 30 Oct 2016, 03:11 pm »
This was my first time tube rolling.  My impressions won't be nearly as complete as the others that have commented.  However, I though I'd still give some basic feedback on my listening experience.

My setup:  CAPSZUMA running HQPlayer (with everything up-sampled to 5.6 DSD) --> mRendu -->LIO DHT Integrated --> Salk HT2-TL.  The weak point of my system is speaker wire.  I'm just using $50 generic speaker wire.  I need to seriously start looking at speaker wire options!

Listening impression:
Since this is the first time tube rolling, I found that I had really gotten used to the EH2A3 stock tubes.  In the first time through, all the other tubes were less enjoyable to me than the stock tubes.  However on the second round, I started to understand what the others excelled at.  Most of my explanation will be in comparison to the stock tubes.

EML Mesh Plate - This tube brought a higher sense of realism and tonality.  I found that the high end was a little muted compared to the standard tubes.  On pop music that isn't produced the best, the stock tube outperformed the EML.  However, on well produced music with good instrument separation, the results with this tube really excelled.  Listening to Bill Evans or Miles Davis, the system just disappeared and the instruments were just clear and lifelike.  Also, there is a clear step-up in dynamics. The dynamics with the EML draw you in, in a way that the EH's don't.

Gold Lion 300B - This tube excels with the level of detail and the mid-range and high end.  However, it is at the expense of the low end.   

SV811 & Cunningham 301A - Both of these tubes had a soundstage that was collapsed (vs the EH stock tube).  Given that, I didn't spend much time listening to them.

Overall, of all these tubes, it really came down to the EML and EH's.  I'm not sure if my ears just gravitate to the 2A3 tubes, or what!  If 100% of my listening was to well produced instrumental music, the EML would be a no-brainer.  However, I also enjoy listening to rock/folk/country music and I often found the lack of high end on the vocals problematic with the EML's.  In contrast, the high-end clarity on the EH's is just fantastic.  The stock tube is really a well balance option.  However, now that I've heard the beautiful tonality that a tube like the EML can  provide, I'm on the hunt for a tube that combines such beautiful tonality with a clear high end.  I would love to hear the KR PX4 or RCA 2a3. 

As always, results and listening impressions are influenced by the listeners preferences and equipment used.  However, the LIO just continues to impress!  I'm continuing intrigued by what the LIO brings with the stock tubes, and it's great to see what else it can bring with other tubes.

Thanks to Vinnie and George for offering and managing the Tube Tour! 



Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #34 on: 31 Oct 2016, 04:44 pm »
Hi Thomas,

Thanks for posting your impressions / DHT tube-rolling experiences here.

Quote
As always, results and listening impressions are influenced by the listeners preferences and equipment used.  However, the LIO just continues to impress!  I'm continuing intrigued by what the LIO brings with the stock tubes, and it's great to see what else it can bring with other tubes.

This is an excellent point!  As we are seeing from the generous feedback of those who have participated in the DHT tube tour, users are reporting different experiences with rolling various tubes.  I expected this would be the case.

I think the lesson here is that there is no "best sounding" DHT except for the one that you find that sounds best in your system, located in your particular room, listened to by your own ears and with your music preference, etc.

Many have found this flexibility to fine-tune the sound to be invaluable.  Others are pulled deep into the music at the first song they play by simply using the stock 2A3s, and don't want to change a thing afterwards.  :singing:

Cheers!

Vinnie

matthewpartrick

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #35 on: 3 Dec 2016, 11:19 pm »
Tubes are going out tomorrow to the next person.  I'm going to Orlando for the week and don't have much time to write now, but the short version is:

Most listening done with side one of Wish You Were Here hot stamper LP from Better Records on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Ortofon 2M Red.

EML: Nice, very microphonic, 2nd favorite
Svetlana:  Outstanding, my favorite by two standard deviations
Gold Lion:  Equivalent to the Electro-Harmonix, nice but not different enough
Cunningham: Ehh.  Not bad, but not special.

Will discuss more later!

Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #36 on: 7 Dec 2016, 03:56 pm »
Hi MP,

Thanks for posting.  Sounds like you got drawn in by those 811's  :thumb:
Looking forward to reading more of your impressions!

I also want to give a big thanks to Zybar again for managing
this DHT tube tour!   :notworthy:

Vinnie

matthewpartrick

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Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #37 on: 11 Dec 2016, 10:51 pm »
I'll try to elaborate a little, specifically on the EML and the Svetlanas, since I liked them the most.

Due to severe time constraints with packing, house renovating, and travel, I didn't have a ton of time with the tubes, which is my own fault.  That said, I did the vast majority of listening with both the new Pink Floyd LPs I got in the mail about the same day.  I also pulled up some Rush and Dire Straits.

The formula was simple.  Side 1 of Wish You Were Here, set to fairly deafening levels so I could hear every detail of the background.  The EML was more microphonic and certainly a little noisier than the Svetlanas, picking up some noise that I didn't hear with the Svetlanas.  I liked them just a little more than the stock tubes.

The Svetlanas were about as silent as I could hope for, and when cranked I really got the magic of LP, tube, and stereo to demonstrate to the neighbors.  Super holographic soundstage and a really fun listen.

I'll definitely be purchasing a set of each of these tubes early next year, but I figure it can wait until I move into my new house, which may not be until April.

Stay tuned for a full write-up on my blog which, if it's OK with Vinnie, I'll link here later.
« Last Edit: 19 Dec 2016, 06:40 pm by matthewpartrick »

Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #38 on: 13 Dec 2016, 04:46 pm »
Stay tuned for a full write-up on my blog which, if it's OK with Vinnie, I'll link here later.

Sounds good, Matthew!  Thanks!

Vinnie R.

Re: Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamp Tube Tour 2016
« Reply #39 on: 3 Jan 2017, 04:49 pm »
All,

I just received this from a LIO DHT PRE customer:

Quote
The LIO with Takatsuki 300B sounds significantly better than the EH 2A3. Wider, more extended, sweeter and more organic. Worth the investment. Problem is that it's a one way street. Once you walk this path you cant go back.

Expensive tubes, but sooner or later I will need to try them  :drool:

I'll be looking into some new DHTs to bring to the 2017 audio shows, and will be able to easily roll DHT tube families for those
who are interested in this. 

I also want to thank George (Zybar) again for running the DHT PRE Tube Tour... and for everyone who posted their findings here!

Vinnie