Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system

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shahed

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Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« on: 24 May 2013, 07:09 pm »
My speaker is Daedalus Ulysses. I use ModWright LS100 and KWA100 SE amp to drive it. The sound is the best I've ever had in my system.

I mostly listen to indie rock and pop. The sound signature of my system is really good for my taste. But I miss the sweet tube sound a bit. I was wondering as good as the LS100 tube preamp is - Can anyone recommend a tube preamp that would work well with Daedalus speaker and MW amp? Btw, I'd need balance in and out and max output impedance less than 500 ohms.

I've already asked in another forum for a tube preamp recommendation. I thought I'd post in Daedalus circle to hear from Daedalus owners what preamp they use and their thoughts.

Also, what are the different tube preamps Daedalus owners have been using in their system?

Edit: one daedalus owner pm'd me with the suggestion of keeping the LS100 and use a tube amp instead to have the tube sound. I'm open to everything. I changed the thread title to reflect it. Please suggest whether using a tube pre or a tube amp would be beneficial for my case.

« Last Edit: 24 May 2013, 08:20 pm by shahed »

Brad

Re: Tube Preamp with SS Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #1 on: 24 May 2013, 08:21 pm »
Sent you a PM too, but you might consider a tube amp 8) with the LS100.
The Ulysses look like a fairly easy load to drive.

Rogue maybe, with the KT120 tubes?  Something push-pull would work for rock/pop.



shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #2 on: 24 May 2013, 08:47 pm »
yes, I meant you. :-) Your transcendent OTL amp suggestion was intriguing. Btw, it takes a lot of tubes. Also, does it require any soldering skill as they are DYI.

figcon

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #3 on: 24 May 2013, 08:54 pm »
I own a pair of Ulysses and use both Rogue Apollo's and a Rogue Medusa, along with a Rogue Hera II preamp and both amps sound great with the speakers. Can't speak for the ModWright gear as I haven't heard Dan's stuff in white a while. I know Lou loves both pieces you own, so you aren't dealing with chopped liver there. Good luck and by the way, I've heard a bunch of different OTL's and haven't liked how they sound and yes, they use lots of tubes and keep a room very warm. Nothing wrong with transformers.

shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #4 on: 24 May 2013, 09:48 pm »
I'm very happy with the ModWright Daedalus pairing. Its just that I'm craving some sweet tube distortions. I wonder which would be a good way of injecting some - through tube amp or preamp.

Btw, awesome rogue gear you've there. How would you rate Medusa against apollo though?

rajacat

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #5 on: 24 May 2013, 10:29 pm »
I'm very happy with the ModWright Daedalus pairing. Its just that I'm craving some sweet tube distortions. I wonder which would be a good way of injecting some - through tube amp or preamp.

Btw, awesome rogue gear you've there. How would you rate Medusa against apollo though?
Why do you want to add distortion? When you hear live music, do you like it or do you wish that the musicians/ engineers would add a little more distortion? BTW I believe that adding tubes doesn't necessarily add distortion but may create a deeper, more holographic image instead.

mountain1

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #6 on: 24 May 2013, 10:34 pm »
I am using a First Sound tube preamp and modified Golden Tube SE40 mono-block amps with my Daedalus 1.1's.  The First Sound preamp is amazing.  I upgraded from a Conrad-Johnson CT5, which is also an outstanding tube pre-amp.  The First Sound is in a class by itself.

shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #7 on: 24 May 2013, 11:40 pm »
Why do you want to add distortion? When you hear live music, do you like it or do you wish that the musicians/ engineers would add a little more distortion? BTW I believe that adding tubes doesn't necessarily add distortion but may create a deeper, more holographic image instead.

By 'distortion' I really meant tube sweetness. And its widely believed by the audio engineers that the source of this tube sweetness come from - " It may be due to the non-linear clipping that occurs with tube amps, or due to the higher levels of second-order harmonic distortion".

shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2013, 11:49 pm »
I am using a First Sound tube preamp and modified Golden Tube SE40 mono-block amps with my Daedalus 1.1's.  The First Sound preamp is amazing.  I upgraded from a Conrad-Johnson CT5, which is also an outstanding tube pre-amp.  The First Sound is in a class by itself.

Thanks for the info. Which First Sound preamp do you use? DO you know the output impedance of the FS pre? I can't seem to find it online. Where/how did you get the Golden Tube S40 mod done?

jazdoc

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #9 on: 25 May 2013, 12:12 am »
I use an all tube phono stage (Experience Music Kahn) and line stage (Experience Music Kahn) with a hybrid amplifier (Einstein Light In Dark) with my Daedalus Ulysses.  It sounds wonderful. :D

shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #10 on: 25 May 2013, 12:18 am »
I use an all tube phono stage (Experience Music Kahn) and line stage (Experience Music Kahn) with a hybrid amplifier (Einstein Light In Dark) with my Daedalus Ulysses.  It sounds wonderful. :D

I'm jealous! Btw, how much was the line stage?

jazdoc

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #11 on: 25 May 2013, 01:53 am »
I purchased the phono and line stages together, so honestly don't know the stand alone cost of each.

dodgealum

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #12 on: 25 May 2013, 02:34 am »
Shahed:

I'm running the DA-1.1's with the AP crossovers and driving them with the Modwright KWA150SE. With this setup I have used the Modwright LS36.5 (single box), LS100 and now the Herron VTSP-3ARO2. Of the three preamps the LS100 had, by quite a large margin, the most "tubelike" character. The LS36.5 and the Herron have a more neutral presentation. I was using the Sophia Electric 6SN7's and a Mullard or Create/Synergy rectifier tube but even with the stock tube set the LS100 has the most tubelike coloration of the three. So, if you want even MORE tube character then you may need to go with tube amplification.

Berto

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #13 on: 25 May 2013, 02:47 am »
Tube Research Labs Dude pre and tonite just got a perfect companion a TRL stereo 100. I need a few hundred hrs on the amp but I have a feeling it will be a hard to beat combo. 100 watts pure triode.  Running KT-120 now but one can run many different tubes. Also got Ulysses on sistrum stands, as you can see what I use the maple platform for. First pic, so was not completely unwrapped.




vinyl_lady

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #14 on: 25 May 2013, 05:12 am »
Gill Audio Design Alana pre and a ModWright KWA 150 SE amp. The Alana is a great vacuum tube pre amp.

audiogoober

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #15 on: 25 May 2013, 11:37 am »
Gill Audio Design Alana pre and a ModWright KWA 150 SE amp. The Alana is a great vacuum tube pre amp.

 :thumb:+1

The Pass XA Amps with the First Sound tube preamp are another very nice combination as well.

wilsynet

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #16 on: 25 May 2013, 12:47 pm »
The LS100 is already on the warm side of neutral.

I would suggest a tube amplifier.  A KT-88 or KT-120 amplifier like the Rogue suggestion earlier is a good one, and also an EL-84 based amp like the Music Reference RM-10 would do the trick.

figcon

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #17 on: 25 May 2013, 03:04 pm »
The Rogue Medusa uses two 12AU7's on the input and modified Hypex on the output and sounds more like the Apollos in triode mode with my speakers. Still, the Apollo's with KT 120' s might be the most underrated amp on the planet. Both are excellent, but the hybrid amps are a lot less expensive.

However, if you are looking for the "Golden Glow" of tube amps of yore, I'm not sure the Rogues are for you as they are very linear sounding. They have the dynamics and delicacy of tubes, but aren't necessarily warm sounding.

Good luck.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #18 on: 25 May 2013, 04:43 pm »
Shahed, I have heard most of these systems and would say the First Sound with KWA150SE will deliver that sweet tube tone while being very clear, but it is an expensive setup ($12k for the pre).  the Golden Tubes amps when rebuilt are a find, they will also get you there. 
all the other gear mentioned in this thread is also top notch, each has a slightly different sound.

another point is that the KWA100 does have a bit of that SS sound where the KWA150SE sounds more like a very clear tube amp.  the two models really are different animals and I agree with the comment that the LS100 is already a very tube sounding pre, so possibly upgrading to the KWA150SE and rolling tubes in the LS100 may get you there?

glad you are happy with the speaker!

thanks,
lou


wilsynet

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #19 on: 25 May 2013, 06:44 pm »
Is the Ulysses sufficiently easy to drive with a SET amplifier?

I'm thinking a 300B based amplifier will do everything Shahed wants.

FYI: Shahed, you don't really need a balanced amplifier or preamp.  If you are happy enough with the LS100, turns out that its not a balanced preamp, it just has XLR connections.  Hence, neither the preamp nor amp are running balanced.  And if all you need is an XLR connection, then adapters will do the trick.