Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?

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Tyson

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #20 on: 30 May 2022, 03:01 pm »
I've heard the LTA amps several times and they are the least 'tubelike' sounding tube amp I've ever heard.  Personally I am not a fan but then again tons of people that I respect a lot love them.  So what do I know? 

I think the people that love these amps really like the fact that they are fast, transparent and detailed, but still have a touch of that 'tube magic'.  For me, I need more tube magic, and I'm willing to sacrifice some of that other stuff to get it. 

Mr. Big

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #21 on: 31 May 2022, 01:36 pm »
I've heard the LTA amps several times and they are the least 'tubelike' sounding tube amp I've ever heard.  Personally I am not a fan but then again tons of people that I respect a lot love them.  So what do I know? 

I think the people that love these amps really like the fact that they are fast, transparent and detailed, but still have a touch of that 'tube magic'.  For me, I need more tube magic, and I'm willing to sacrifice some of that other stuff to get it.

Excellent point! In the end, the absolute sound is the sound that I enjoy and for me only, I know from the early days in this hobby and hearing so many fine systems back 30 plus years ago is the sound that I still strive for in my personal enjoyment and the way the recordings were made matters no matter the formats.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #22 on: 5 Jun 2022, 06:35 pm »
Some updates on the Z40+ integrated.

I've been listening to it a lot. It certainly is more SS sounding but it's growing on me. I'm going to keep listening and probably get the EL34s to see if I can get it to sound a bit more tube like.

What's strange is that some days it sounds more full and other days it seems more SS thin like. I can say that the speed, clarity and separation are pretty dang amazing.

dvican

Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #23 on: 5 Jun 2022, 07:45 pm »
hi Daryl -
i'm driving my M3 sapphires with he same amp and am really enjoying it. I’ve gotten great results by also rolling the driver/input/preamp tubes - the stock tubes the amp came with were a bit “cold/analytical” leaning compared to the amperex set i’m on now :  )
david

aniwolfe

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #24 on: 6 Jun 2022, 12:35 pm »
Some updates on the Z40+ integrated.

I've been listening to it a lot. It certainly is more SS sounding but it's growing on me. I'm going to keep listening and probably get the EL34s to see if I can get it to sound a bit more tube like.

What's strange is that some days it sounds more full and other days it seems more SS thin like. I can say that the speed, clarity and separation are pretty dang amazing.

I have tested all the Modern EL34's tubes and the best one was NON Russian. The JJ EL34L!!!...I actually prefer it over the Mullard Xf2 I have. I use to own the Zotl 40...but now I am using a Primaluna Evo 300.

Mr. Big

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #25 on: 6 Jun 2022, 02:43 pm »
I have tested all the Modern EL34's tubes and the best one was NON Russian. The JJ EL34L!!!...I actually prefer it over the Mullard Xf2 I have. I use to own the Zotl 40...but now I am using a Primaluna Evo 300.

Primaluna is sweet gear. I grew up on tubes, so I say that with experience. IMO if you want tubes then get gear where the tube "sound" shines, not those that sound like solid-state in most ways, then buy solid state which I use today due to my own need to turn them on and enjoy and not worry about tubes going or decaying sound quality, but I love tube gear made to sound like tube gear, I may go back one day. I loved EL34's say what you want about them but they sound musical and tone and color like real instruments sound. If I go back Primaluna is at the top of the list, reliable to boot. Tube designs should have all tubes including tube rectifiers, with NO solid-state mixed in, the tube rectifier is part of what gives a tube amp its sound, Primaluna does it right.
« Last Edit: 8 Jun 2022, 01:45 pm by Mr. Big »

bbybaudio

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #26 on: 7 Jun 2022, 04:43 pm »
With the X5s I started with the Primaluna HP Premium integrated produced in late 2017 after the cap upgrade. Then upgraded all tubes and the sound was amazing. Since last March I have had the Don Sachs Valhalla in the system and as good as I thought the Primaluna was, it is no contest. The DS has more grunt, body, 3 dimensionality just about everything is better with the DS. I believe the sonic differences are due to Don's engineering skill and experience with parts that sound right as well as using 6SN7s up front. Only disadvantage with the DS compared to the PL is that I can't use KT150s in the DS and I can't switch from triode to ultralinear with the DS. Bottom line, to me, you would have to pay considerably more than the Valhalla to better the sound. I am not going to, very happy with the DS. Like Geerock and DS before the Lampi's I too use the MP-D2 DAC.

doggie

Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #27 on: 7 Jun 2022, 05:03 pm »
Some updates on the Z40+ integrated.

I've been listening to it a lot. It certainly is more SS sounding but it's growing on me. I'm going to keep listening and probably get the EL34s to see if I can get it to sound a bit more tube like.

What's strange is that some days it sounds more full and other days it seems more SS thin like. I can say that the speed, clarity and separation are pretty dang amazing.

I am using an LTA Ultralinear Plus Integrated with my X5's and the sound is spooky good. Remarkable detail and realism. Tube rolling can really dial the LTA amps in.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #28 on: 7 Jun 2022, 07:43 pm »
I am using an LTA Ultralinear Plus Integrated with my X5's and the sound is spooky good. Remarkable detail and realism. Tube rolling can really dial the LTA amps in.

What did you do for tube rolling?

geerock

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #29 on: 7 Jun 2022, 11:24 pm »
With the X5s I started with the Primaluna HP Premium integrated produced in late 2017 after the cap upgrade. Then upgraded all tubes and the sound was amazing. Since last March I have had the Don Sachs Valhalla in the system and as good as I thought the Primaluna was, it is no contest. The DS has more grunt, body, 3 dimensionality just about everything is better with the DS. I believe the sonic differences are due to Don's engineering skill and experience with parts that sound right as well as using 6SN7s up front. Only disadvantage with the DS compared to the PL is that I can't use KT150s in the DS and I can't switch from triode to ultralinear with the DS. Bottom line, to me, you would have to pay considerably more than the Valhalla to better the sound. I am not going to, very happy with the DS. Like Geerock and DS before the Lampi's I too use the MP-D2 DAC.

Bbybaudio
Several people I know who have changed from Primaluna to DS Valhalla or Kootenay and DS pre have all said that there is just no contest.  Even Clayton has a Valhalla and loves it with all models of Spatials.  When you are using the MP D2, the DS Pre and Kootenay, or the Valhalla you are getting a lot of tube magic.  For me, I tried out the LTA reference 40 plus and it gave me some detail that I enjoy.  Then I found a quad of my favorite power tubes the EL34.  Some Mullards from the early 60's and some NOS in the signal tubes and that was it for me.  I will tell you this....you know the way the change was so dramatic from Prima to DS?  That's exactly the wonderful change I got when I got my Lampizator Big 7.  The first night I played it I kept just laughing I was so overjoyed. Amazing change to tunes I had heard hundreds of times.  Mind you it's not cheap, but the level of performance the Lampi line of DAC's gives is incredible. 

doggie

Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #30 on: 8 Jun 2022, 11:55 am »
What did you do for tube rolling?

Most of my tube rolling has been with my relatively new Lampizator Baltic 3 DAC. I currently use a Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifier, a pair of 12SN7WGTs and a pair of Philips Miniwatt "SQ"E80CCs  on the output. My DAC was ordered with a switch that allows me to use 12v 6SN7 variants which are much cheaper. Previously I used a pair of Telefunken 12AU7 smooth plates on the output. The E80CCs and the 12AU7s sound pretty close.

I will need to look up what I settled on for the LTA Ultralinear but I know that I used Mullards for some of the small 12AU7/12AX7 signal tubes.

Tyson

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #31 on: 8 Jun 2022, 02:26 pm »
If it can use 6L6GC's (most EL34 amps can), then the black plate RCA's are very good.   For pure EL34's, then the 1960's and 1970's Mullards are great.  For modern tubes, the best I've heard, by far, is the Psvane EL34-PH. 

morganc

Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #32 on: 9 Jun 2022, 01:51 am »
Off topic but what the heck as it's my thread :), Wow, I upgraded this week to an Auremder N100 and  I know realize the Auralic was a massive weak link in my chain.  I also now have a ZOTL 40 with the Mullards and my system is finally starting to shine !  I Will rotate my other amps through as well and report back in the next week or so.  Anyone roll input tubes in the ZOTL ? 

geerock

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #33 on: 9 Jun 2022, 03:31 pm »
I use NOS JAN / Phillip's ecc83 and Telefunken ecc82 in my reference 40 plus amp.  Nice increase in tone and dynamics from stock.

lazbisme

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #34 on: 9 Jun 2022, 07:44 pm »
I have not heard any of the amps being discussed here. I am using Decware 25th anniversary ZEN SET that is rated 2.3watts/channel. It plays my X3s far louder than I can comfortably listen on most music. Due to the extreme dynamics of symphonic music it does begin to run out of headroom on the louder, more dynamic sections. I do have a second one on order for series connection to have 6watts. Have no desire and feel no need for anything more powerful here. My room is 12 x 30 x 8. Speakers are 8 feet out from wall and I am about 10 feet from them.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #35 on: 10 Jun 2022, 12:51 am »
If it can use 6L6GC's (most EL34 amps can), then the black plate RCA's are very good.   For pure EL34's, then the 1960's and 1970's Mullards are great.  For modern tubes, the best I've heard, by far, is the Psvane EL34-PH.

I'm still trying to figure out whether I need to roll the input/preamp tubes or the power tubes.
Too many choices. The little tubes are kinda costly too is you go for good NOS stuff.

geerock

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #36 on: 10 Jun 2022, 05:59 pm »
Call Andy at Vintage Tube Services.  Honest and will give you good info.  If the tube doesnt give you what you want just send it back.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #37 on: 11 Jun 2022, 02:18 am »
Tried calling, no answer.

I've been listening for a few hours (I've had a busy week for work) and I realize that part of the issue is the quality of the recording. Newer stuff sounds much fuller and I don't really want to mess too much with the good parts of the amp.

I've decided to order the NOS Mullard EL34s to see if they will give me the sound I want.

More to come.

radarnyc

Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #38 on: 11 Jun 2022, 02:59 am »
I'm still trying to figure out whether I need to roll the input/preamp tubes or the power tubes.
Too many choices. The little tubes are kinda costly too is you go for good NOS stuff.
Well I’ve always been told that you’ll see more difference on rolling tubes on the input stage

Daryl Zero

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Re: Top Tube Amp pairing with X3's?
« Reply #39 on: 11 Jun 2022, 04:06 am »
Well I’ve always been told that you’ll see more difference on rolling tubes on the input stage

With my Rogers High Fidelity V65-2 amp, I heard a huge difference between EL34s, KT-77s and 6CA7s.
So either this will work or I will have more tubes for the Rogers.