New Member old? question

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 426 times.

dox1000

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
New Member old? question
« on: 17 Sep 2021, 04:58 pm »
Hi all,
I am a new member here and I wanted to introduce myself.  Additionally, I had a question right off of the bat.  I purchased the most recent Abyss Phi Headphones and the recommended solid state eleven audio (XIAudio) amp to go with it (figured the manufacturer would know what to match with it) and I love it.  My DAC is a Qutest, but I am getting the recommendation to try the Primaluna DAC with it, which is a tube DAC.  Obviously, it comes down to preference in sound when listening, but my question is if I am using solid state, doesn't a tube DACthe right piece?  I am sure that mixing and matching is fun, but I have always thought that tube is one sound and SS is another, but mixing them was not really a good thing.  Am I thinking about this wrong?  Thanks in advance for your replies.

ArthurDent

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 14080
  • Don't Panic / Mostly Harmless
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #1 on: 17 Sep 2021, 08:10 pm »
Greetings & Welcome to AC dox1000   :thumb:  Can't speak to the headphone aspect, but mixing tube with SS seems pretty standard with lots of folks here. As you noted, it's about your preference on the sound. 

Phil A

Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #2 on: 17 Sep 2021, 09:16 pm »
Welcome!

FullRangeMan

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 17616
  • To whom more was given more will be required.
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #3 on: 17 Sep 2021, 09:37 pm »
but I have always thought that tube is one sound and SS is another, but mixing them was not really a good thing.  Am I thinking about this wrong?
Welcome to AC  :thumb:
but I have always thought that tube is one sound and SS is another,
Its very common to use tube pre-amp with the SS power amp.
In my experience a tube DAC always have a sweeter sound useful with bad recordings.
but mixing them was not really a good thing.
It all depends on the synergy of each set of equipment.
With phones what made a big improvement in sound quality are the balanced XLR connection.
« Last Edit: 18 Sep 2021, 04:10 am by FullRangeMan »

SlushPuppy

Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #4 on: 17 Sep 2021, 09:40 pm »
Hi all,
I am a new member here and I wanted to introduce myself.  Additionally, I had a question right off of the bat.  I purchased the most recent Abyss Phi Headphones and the recommended solid state eleven audio (XIAudio) amp to go with it (figured the manufacturer would know what to match with it) and I love it.  My DAC is a Qutest, but I am getting the recommendation to try the Primaluna DAC with it, which is a tube DAC.  Obviously, it comes down to preference in sound when listening, but my question is if I am using solid state, doesn't a tube DACthe right piece?  I am sure that mixing and matching is fun, but I have always thought that tube is one sound and SS is another, but mixing them was not really a good thing.  Am I thinking about this wrong?  Thanks in advance for your replies.

I owned the Primaluna DAC for a year and loved it! It sounded natural on all types of music and had none dryness I experienced with my previous Mytec DAC. I only sold it because of an overseas move where the power is sketchy or I would be listening to it now.


Good luck!

Slush

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 10321
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #5 on: 18 Sep 2021, 11:59 am »
Adding a tube to a DAC is simply adding a tube buffer to flavor the sound or hide a deficiency.

Rusty Jefferson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 716
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #6 on: 18 Sep 2021, 09:01 pm »
The Chord dacs can be quite revealing of the source, and initially the clean crisp transients can be gratifying, but with some time it can be a little edgy. I have several friends using Chord dacs with tube amplifiers and getting good results. Nothing wrong with mixing and matching tubes and SS, but just because it has tubes doesn't automatically mean it'll sound.....toobie.

That looks like a really good headphone setup and is deserving of a high quality dac. It doesn't have to have tubes to sound smooth and be engaging however. See if you can demo some different dacs with your headphones and amplifier at friends, or a dealer, or even people here if mentioned where you live. That's more productive than getting on the dac merry go round.

dox1000

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #7 on: 3 Jul 2022, 12:36 pm »
Sorry for the long time between posts to some of the replies here.  Moving, COVID, job change, etc... :-)

Rusty brings up a point that I should have thought of on my own, which is finding some of the other psycho...erm...audiopaths/philes in the greater Philly region and get together to mix and match toys.  I do not know of any local shops that sell the Primaluna DACs, so I guess I will ask if anyone wants to figure this out together.  Just to sweeten the pot, I also have a Focal Stellia for my closed back listening with either the Focal Arche SS amp or the Feliks audio tube amp (with some very interesting/rare tubes I have sourced).  Anyone want to mix and match who has experience with tube/SS mixed listening systems?  Anyone have the primaluna DAC in this region that is willing to connect?  I figure it is long shot, but why not put it out there.  Also happy to get together locally and discuss/listen to your endgame setup, or share headphones and quibble about whose is better.

That being said, my other question is about tubes in general.  Am I the only one who doesn't use some of my best tubes because I cannot get anymore of them, so I am afraid to burn through them?  I will generally only use tubes that I have a backup set of, or lesser tubes because I can still get them.  My setup of current tubes is brilliant, but my Popes sit unused, since I will probably never see another set of those again.  The idea of losing rare tubes to use makes me sad, so I don't put them into use other than once in a rare while as a treat.  How do people reconcile this?

This brings me to my big hangup with buying the Primaluna DAC.  Apparently, there is a tube hardwired to the clock (I will admit I do not know exactly what this means), which I feel is the Popes tube problem magnified.  How long till my multi thousand dollar DAC is a paperweight because that tube on the clock dies off?  I am sure that it can be replaced, but that sounds a bit crazy to me if that is happening ever year or two with heavy use.  Maybe I am just not cut out for tubes, or am I a philistine for questioning this.  How do others think through this tube problem?

Thanks for reading.  Stay well.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 10321
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #8 on: 3 Jul 2022, 01:37 pm »
Have dipped my toes into tubes over the years, with very limited success (mostly no difference when added or just added warmth to everything - not what I wanted).  Tubes can blow without warning and they do age.  So their sound can change with time.  But they can be repaired.  What I was after but never found was palpability (solidification of images and tonal depth).  Have heard it in my home once, but was with a borrowed integrated amp that was underpowered, bloated bass, and had massive distortion problems fresh from the manufacturer's repair job. 

dox1000

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #9 on: 5 Jul 2022, 07:49 pm »
So what you are saying JLM is that there is still hopes for tubes :=)  So many people I trust swear by them.  I will admit that I do love my Felix over the Abyss setup now and again.  Others who come and audition the system often like the tubes better.  I guess I am just more of that purist.  I want to hear what they want me to hear.  If the music should sound better, I should not have to use tubes to make that a thing. 

Rusty's comments about the Chord being revealing is dead on.  Sometimes that is bad, but I think that is the engineers fault, not the solid state components.

JLM, you speak of repairing tubes.  I have not heard of this witchcraft you speak of.  Please tell me more.  As in, how would one perform this sorcery?

toocool4

Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #10 on: 6 Jul 2022, 07:32 am »
That being said, my other question is about tubes in general.  Am I the only one who doesn't use some of my best tubes because I cannot get anymore of them, so I am afraid to burn through them?  I will generally only use tubes that I have a backup set of, or lesser tubes because I can still get them.  My setup of current tubes is brilliant, but my Popes sit unused, since I will probably never see another set of those again.  The idea of losing rare tubes to use makes me sad, so I don't put them into use other than once in a rare while as a treat.  How do people reconcile this?

Just use it and enjoy it, you can’t take it with you. Better to have enjoyed it for what it’s designed for.
This reminds me of the people that use to buy LP’s and record it on first play and never play it again, because they don’t want it to wear-out. I don’t understand what they are saving it for, the next person that buys it after they are gone? Use it and enjoy it.

I have been into charity shops and picked up LP’s for peanuts and they look like they have not been played much, probably owned by someone who did not want it to wear-out. Well, their loss is my gain. :lol:
« Last Edit: 6 Jul 2022, 04:00 pm by toocool4 »

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 10321
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #11 on: 6 Jul 2022, 12:34 pm »
So what you are saying JLM is that there is still hopes for tubes :=)  So many people I trust swear by them.  I will admit that I do love my Felix over the Abyss setup now and again.  Others who come and audition the system often like the tubes better.  I guess I am just more of that purist.  I want to hear what they want me to hear.  If the music should sound better, I should not have to use tubes to make that a thing. 

Rusty's comments about the Chord being revealing is dead on.  Sometimes that is bad, but I think that is the engineers fault, not the solid state components.

JLM, you speak of repairing tubes.  I have not heard of this witchcraft you speak of.  Please tell me more.  As in, how would one perform this sorcery?

Sorry to tease you with tube repairs, but couldn't easily find the link:  Vintage Tube Services.  Best to contact Andy by phone: (616) 454-3467

I ordered from him as a last gasp effort to try tubes and one of them blew.  I shipped the other 3 back to him and he said why didn't you include the blown one?  Andy is an excellent resource for audio tubes.

tomytoons

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: New Member old? question
« Reply #12 on: 6 Jul 2022, 01:33 pm »
Just play on and enjoy!
Too much analisim on everything but the enjoyment.