Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 8328 times.

nature boy

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #60 on: 10 May 2017, 07:10 pm »
Thanks guys!  Yes, sounds very good out of the box.  Using the SET setting just gives added dimensionality and expanded the soundstage depth & width.  Vocals are getting there, I expect this area will improve once burn in has been completed.  Money well spent!

NB

atsq

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #61 on: 23 Jun 2017, 03:48 am »
Sounds like this might be just the thing for my HD800 setup!

006.9

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #62 on: 27 Oct 2017, 04:00 pm »
Tyson, I'm hoping to get your feedback here.

I have a very simple, generally enjoyable system for mostly classical chamber music, acoustic jazz, and the occasional big orchestra, opera, big band jazz, or thumping pop tune.

I play standard CDs using this path:

NAD 516BEE optical out > Emotiva DC-1 DAC as DAC and preamp > Electron Kinetics Eagle 2 amp upgraded to 100,000 pF of power supply capacitance > Vandersteen 2C speakers on lead-filled stands.

I'm thinking about adding an iTube2 between the DAC and the power amp mostly out of curiosity since I'm already happy with my sound. Will any of its settings make a string quartet sound more lifelike? Piano, bass, drums, and tenor sax? The choir and vocal soloists in a Bach cantata?

I'm a working musician and music teacher who has invested much more of my money in my instruments than in my hi-fi. I know what real instruments sound like up close, far away, played well, played badly. I can tell when a trumpet section is using their C trumpets and when they're using their B-flat trumpets with my eyes closed.

Will any of the settings on the iTube2 make my simple hi-fi sound more lifelike?

I welcome anybody's input, but especially Tyson's because he is obviously an enthusiast with regard to this little unit.




Tyson

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #63 on: 27 Oct 2017, 04:15 pm »
Tyson, I'm hoping to get your feedback here.

I have a very simple, generally enjoyable system for mostly classical chamber music, acoustic jazz, and the occasional big orchestra, opera, big band jazz, or thumping pop tune.

I play standard CDs using this path:

NAD 516BEE optical out > Emotiva DC-1 DAC as DAC and preamp > Electron Kinetics Eagle 2 amp upgraded to 100,000 pF of power supply capacitance > Vandersteen 2C speakers on lead-filled stands.

I'm thinking about adding an iTube2 between the DAC and the power amp mostly out of curiosity since I'm already happy with my sound. Will any of its settings make a string quartet sound more lifelike? Piano, bass, drums, and tenor sax? The choir and vocal soloists in a Bach cantata?

I'm a working musician and music teacher who has invested much more of my money in my instruments than in my hi-fi. I know what real instruments sound like up close, far away, played well, played badly. I can tell when a trumpet section is using their C trumpets and when they're using their B-flat trumpets with my eyes closed.

Will any of the settings on the iTube2 make my simple hi-fi sound more lifelike?

I welcome anybody's input, but especially Tyson's because he is obviously an enthusiast with regard to this little unit.




Yes, it'll definitely help, because it improves tone.  I have a theory that I've developed over many years of listening and being a pretty hardcore audiophile.  When music is recorded (especially with modern, digital, solid state equipment), even order harmonic information is stripped out due to the nature of the equipment capturing and recording the music.  So when we play it back on our systems, it never sounds quite 'right' especially compared to live instruments. 

Which means that striving to reproduce the recording as faithfully as possible is never going to be satisfying, because the recording itself is flawed.  But you know what brings back that even order, nice tone?  Tubes!  And thus the value of the iTube2.  The beauty of something like the iTube2 is that its less faithful to the original recording, but is MORE faithful to how things sound in real life. 

The thing that lets us, as humans, hear differences between instruments and voices is 2 fold.  Location and tone.  Location is the ability of your system to create a good soundstage and imaging, which lets you hear that the instrument is located 'right there'.  The iTube2 won't help much with that, since that tends to be a result of overall system resolution, and room/speaker setup.  But, tone is maybe even MORE important.  Hearing the difference between double basses, cellos, violas and violins when all hell is breaking loose in Mahler or Shostakovich - not so easy if your system isn't excellent with tone.  I've never heard an all-Solid State system that was great at tone.  And this is the true value of the iTube2 - it gets you better tonal balance and tonal shading. 

006.9

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #64 on: 27 Oct 2017, 05:14 pm »
Thanks, Tyson. Appreciate your thoughts.

brj

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #65 on: 27 Oct 2017, 06:09 pm »
I've never heard an all-Solid State system that was great at tone.

In another post, I saw you mention a preference for the BA-3 from among all of the Pass Labs amps, which I believe lets you adjust the level of 2 and 3rd order harmonic.  (Going from memory...)  How close did that get you?

The iTube2 would be fun to try, but alas, they only offer a single-ended version and my system has evolved to be fully differential.  Maybe a Pro version will show up some day...

Tyson

Re: Tyson's iFi iTube2 Review
« Reply #66 on: 27 Oct 2017, 06:43 pm »
In another post, I saw you mention a preference for the BA-3 from among all of the Pass Labs amps, which I believe lets you adjust the level of 2 and 3rd order harmonic.  (Going from memory...)  How close did that get you?

The iTube2 would be fun to try, but alas, they only offer a single-ended version and my system has evolved to be fully differential.  Maybe a Pro version will show up some day...

Yep, the reason I settled on the BA3 is that it lets you adjust the even order harmonics (2nd order dominant).  You can adjust it so that 2nd order is about twice as high as 3rd order (turned all the way up) or you can adjust it so that 2nd order harmonics are virtually non-existent (turned all the way down).  You can't adjust the odd order harmonics at all (which are pretty low, actually). 

So yeah, with the even order harmonics turned all the way up, combined with a very, very simple circuit, fully class A output and copper/beeswax/paper input caps, it's as close to tubes as SS gets.  My system is hyper sensitive to noise, and the BA3 is one of the quietest amps out there.  If I could find a super-quiet tube amp I'd use that instead.  But in my system, all tube amps are too noisy.  And that's why I go with a great tubed preamp combined with the BA3, and a warm/musical type DAC like the iFi iDSD Micro.