Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system

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shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #20 on: 25 May 2013, 07:04 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

Thanks for your recommendation Lou! I think I've found THE speaker for me. Now its just a matter of finalizing the associated gear. I really like the MW amp and pre. I'm looking after the sweet sound of the treble that only tube component can give. Btw, I think my system is tiny bit on the warm side of neutral, so I'm not looking for a warmer sound at this point. Perfectly happy with the bass, midrange and dynamics. Again, just looking to sweeten the high frequency.

dodgealum, Wilsynet, figcon and Brad all suggested to take the tube amp route for that sweet treble. I think thats quite an agreement coming from different folks. My only hesitation: I never used tube amp before, the short life cycle associated with tube amps and the heat generation etc. Also, I use the same setup for my home theater - which means everytime I'm watching a movie, the power tubes will be used. But I guess there are some trade offs I've to accept for the ultimate sound I'm looking for.

Upgrading to KWA150SE from 100SE is very interesting. But the price jump quite a bit from 100SE to 150SE and also the extra power will get mostly unused as I dont turn up the volume that loud. But its certainly an attractive proposition as I can have a SS amp.

But all the suggestion carries quite a price tag. May be except the rogue amps esp M150/Medussa etc.

Thanks everyone for their helpful replies.  :) I believe threads like this will always help the future Daedalus owners. I know it did help me a lot when I bought the Ulysses last year. I read  each and every piece of information I could find online.

shahed

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #21 on: 25 May 2013, 07:10 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.

Thank you for the suggestion!  :) I am quite ignorant about tube amps. I'll do some more research on 300B based amps. I'm happy with my MW gears, even the high frequency is great. I'd like to keep the sound as it is and only add the sweetness at the high frequency/top midrange.

Yes, the LS100 is not a balanced design. But Dan told me KWA100SE is a full balanced design - meaning, it'll operate in a balanced mode even when the input is through the single end. But the reason, I prefer balanced is because my dac sounds a tiny bit better through its xlr out and all my interconnects are XLR.

What is the general opinion of XLR to RCA adapter? Does it degrade sound if using high quality converter? If not, it actually opens up a lot of possibility as many tube pre and amp is single ended.

wilsynet

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #22 on: 25 May 2013, 08:37 pm »
Take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm just not much of a believer in boutique, high end audio cables.  I believe a well engineered cable does the trick, and any improvement made by boutique cables is marginal at best.  I'll happily take a blind test comparing speakers and amplifiers, but I consistently observe people who put a lot of value in cables refusing to do a blind test.  It's ok, I'm not saying there's no difference at all, I'm just saying the difference is small, or the money could be better used.

Anyway, cables made by Blue Jeans cables are good enough for me.   So good that you'd be better off taking the money you would have otherwise spent and allocating it to equipment or room treatments.

You can ask Blue Jeans to make you an RCA to XLR cable.  All they need to know is that the XLR configuration should be PIN 2 hot.  This will let you forget about the quality of the adapter because its terminated XLR right at the cable.  No extra bits to worry about, and no worse than the XLR connectors you're already using built into the LS100.

If you are planning to keep the LS100, and you're open minded about a non-balanced amplifier (almost all 300B amps are not balanced), then you don't even need the RCA to XLR interconnects.

Anyway, a few 300B amplifiers on Audiogon right now with varying prices.  My favorite 300B is the Coincident Frankensteins (although none on Audiogon right now).  They may be more linear than you're looking for, but I have to say that they are pretty spectacular.

If the speakers were even more efficient, I might recommend a 45 or 2A3, but I think a 300B or 845 would be more appropriate. Maybe someone here has experience with those and the Ulysses.



wilsynet

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #23 on: 25 May 2013, 08:48 pm »
deleted.

mountain1

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #24 on: 26 May 2013, 02:32 pm »
"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?"

To answer your questions:

I am using the First Sound Paramount Plus Mk III.  I initially had the entry-level First Sound Presence Deluxe Mark III which is also outstanding.  Here is a link to the First Sound website http://firstsoundaudio.com/products.html  Contact Emmanuel Go at First Sound to determine the output impedance.

My Golden Tube amps were initially modified by Sonicraft. http://www.soniccraft.com
Additional mods were performed by Maughnaudio@comcast.net in Denver.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #25 on: 26 May 2013, 03:40 pm »
Thank you for the suggestion!  :) I am quite ignorant about tube amps. I'll do some more research on 300B based amps. I'm happy with my MW gears, even the high frequency is great. I'd like to keep the sound as it is and only add the sweetness at the high frequency/top midrange.

Yes, the LS100 is not a balanced design. But Dan told me KWA100SE is a full balanced design - meaning, it'll operate in a balanced mode even when the input is through the single end. But the reason, I prefer balanced is because my dac sounds a tiny bit better through its xlr out and all my interconnects are XLR.

What is the general opinion of XLR to RCA adapter? Does it degrade sound if using high quality converter? If not, it actually opens up a lot of possibility as many tube pre and amp is single ended.

Shahed, given your clarification re: tone I would definitely recommend the KWA150SE, that sweetness in the treble is one of the big differences between the two amps, though there are many others...  there is a reason it costs so much more. you might also audition some of the Rouge amps.  as for adapters , the Cardas RCA/XLR adapters work great and would be a perfect fit for your DAC to Pre. another thought there is that you may find better sound from your DAC out with the XLR because XLR tends to be less critical of cables than RCA.

best,
 lou

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #26 on: 26 May 2013, 03:45 pm »
Wilsynet,  the Ulysses will do just fine with low watt SET if the amp is really good.  a couple years ago Galibier turntables used their Ulysses at RMAF with 1 watt SET's. I think they got best vinyl at that show from one of the big mags.  personally I think they should have 5 watts minimum. the caveat is the amps have to be well designed with a solid power supply etc....

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #27 on: 26 May 2013, 03:49 pm »
Shahed,
one more point on the 150SE, you mention it being more power than you need, but headroom is a wonderful thing! at moderate volume that amp is running class A.

jazdoc

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #28 on: 27 May 2013, 06:39 pm »
Wilsynet,  the Ulysses will do just fine with low watt SET if the amp is really good.  a couple years ago Galibier turntables used their Ulysses at RMAF with 1 watt SET's. I think they got best vinyl at that show from one of the big mags.  personally I think they should have 5 watts minimum. the caveat is the amps have to be well designed with a solid power supply etc....

I have actually tried a <1 Watt 45 amp.   Played at moderate levels but I agree with Lou...think you are looking at minimum 5-10 Watts with robust power supply.

Berto

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #29 on: 27 May 2013, 09:28 pm »
I almost pulled the trigger on some coincident but I tried the Sophia 300bs monos with Level 5 OPTs (also 8watts). Not enough power on the latter IMO. I think the coincident might pull it off but after my experiment i'm not sure. Size of the room and amps PSU and musical taste def play a part in this equation. I also tried a friends 16 watt 211 amp and that was magical although being a INT it was compromised on staging. I'm more in Lou's camp now , although 98db, the extra headroom of quality clean power presents quite a effortless sound, that like set is also very addicting!

Scottdazzle

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #30 on: 27 May 2013, 11:29 pm »
Take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm just not much of a believer in boutique, high end audio cables.  I believe a well engineered cable does the trick, and any improvement made by boutique cables is marginal at best.  I'll happily take a blind test comparing speakers and amplifiers, but I consistently observe people who put a lot of value in cables refusing to do a blind test.  It's ok, I'm not saying there's no difference at all, I'm just saying the difference is small, or the money could be better used.

Anyway, cables made by Blue Jeans cables are good enough for me.   So good that you'd be better off taking the money you would have otherwise spent and allocating it to equipment or room treatments.

You can ask Blue Jeans to make you an RCA to XLR cable.  All they need to know is that the XLR configuration should be PIN 2 hot.  This will let you forget about the quality of the adapter because its terminated XLR right at the cable.  No extra bits to worry about, and no worse than the XLR connectors you're already using built into the LS100.

If you are planning to keep the LS100, and you're open minded about a non-balanced amplifier (almost all 300B amps are not balanced), then you don't even need the RCA to XLR interconnects.

Anyway, a few 300B amplifiers on Audiogon right now with varying prices.  My favorite 300B is the Coincident Frankensteins (although none on Audiogon right now).  They may be more linear than you're looking for, but I have to say that they are pretty spectacular.

If the speakers were even more efficient, I might recommend a 45 or 2A3, but I think a 300B or 845 would be more appropriate. Maybe someone here has experience with those and the Ulysses.

The combination of the ModWright electronics and Daedalus speakers will make the sonic differences between cables very apparent.  This is no slam against Blue Jeans cables because they are good for the money, but you would be short-changing ModWright and Daedalus by not going with comparable quality cables.  I have heard big differences between cables with those brands.  And if you don't believe me, just ask Lou at Daedalus and Dan at ModWright.  Cables matter -- a lot.


vinyl_lady

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #31 on: 29 May 2013, 02:02 am »
The combination of the ModWright electronics and Daedalus speakers will make the sonic differences between cables very apparent.  This is no slam against Blue Jeans cables because they are good for the money, but you would be short-changing ModWright and Daedalus by not going with comparable quality cables.  I have heard big differences between cables with those brands.  And if you don't believe me, just ask Lou at Daedalus and Dan at ModWright.  Cables matter -- a lot.

I agree with Scott. In a system that includes ModWright electronics and Daedalus speakers, cables (interconnects, speaker and power) matter a lot and I too have heard the difference.

Berto

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #32 on: 29 May 2013, 02:20 am »
Wholeheartedly agree. In a very resolving rig everything makes a diff. Including every piece of wire and outlet that passes power and signal.  I've rolled 5 different outlets ( pretty annoying actually) but they all had very diff sound. To each is own how far you wanna take it, no wrong or right way as long as your happy.

DaveC113

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #33 on: 29 May 2013, 04:05 am »
Yup... last week I stopped by a friend's house with one of my ICs and a diy speaker cable made with a star quad of silver plated copper wire w/teflon insulation, surplus mil-spec wire. Bare ends as the the receiver has those crappy push-button speaker connectors, lol.

He has a modest system, Emotiva DAC > vintage Pioneer reciever > vintage ESS AMT-3 (really nice speakers w/Heil AMT tweeters... I'm building an outboard xover, and it's getting new mids and tweeter diaphragms.)

He also told me he doesn't think cables can make a difference, thinks his hearing isn't sensitive anyway and there's no way he would be able to tell a difference. We replaced his zip-cord and cheap ICs and he was shocked at the difference and proceeded to list the improvements he heard. That was $170 worth of cables, and he thought it was a great deal to get such large improvements for the money.

Blue Jeans is ok, but I agree this system deserves better. I like OCC copper wire and connectors with a pure copper center pin if going with RCA cables.

DaveC113

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #34 on: 29 May 2013, 04:06 am »
I've rolled 5 different outlets ( pretty annoying actually) but they all had very diff sound.

You should make a thread, I'd like to hear your impressions.  :thumb:

DaveC113

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Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #35 on: 29 May 2013, 04:16 am »
Wilsynet,  the Ulysses will do just fine with low watt SET if the amp is really good.  a couple years ago Galibier turntables used their Ulysses at RMAF with 1 watt SET's. I think they got best vinyl at that show from one of the big mags.  personally I think they should have 5 watts minimum. the caveat is the amps have to be well designed with a solid power supply etc....

That's really cool, might be a good choice for the OP since he doesn't push higher SPLs anyway. I'd also suggest an EL34 SET, mine gets close to 6 wpc before clipping (run moderately hard), and nearly double that with UL mode engaged. Decware makes an EL34 SET that looks pretty nice for about $1300, not sure if that one has a UL switch but they may customize. A good 300B amp would also be a great choice for the "sweetness" the OP wants, but most good 300B amps are going to be more expensive.

david12

Re: Tube Preamp or Amp in a Daedalus system
« Reply #36 on: 29 May 2013, 04:20 pm »
 I would make 2 comments. First on Tube power, the sensitivity of the speakers mean that a 5 watt amp will give a very nice sound. I still think you will appreciate a bit more power. One of my amps is a 20watt SET, Ayon Spark and it really drives the speaker to high volumes, has excellent grip. In the long term, 20 watts may be a good starting point for tube power, particularly if you like big orchestral music, opera, as I do

 Second, I was looking for new speaker cables, I got fed up with fighting with the Virtual Dynamic cables I had been using, so stiff and heavy. I took Lou's advice and tried his new wires made in conjunction with  Wywires. They really are very good, detailed very transparent, neutral sounding and a good price. I think he recommends the wirewires Silver interconnect with them