What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?

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CCJ

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Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #120 on: 19 Nov 2017, 04:09 pm »
Hi,

just wanted to share some of my tube rolling experiences with the DHT while we wait for Vinnie to report back on the Tak TA-300b

I use the KR-PX4 about 80% of the time it truly is the jack of all and master of most. It can be used with about all music genres and is very quiet. A lot has been written about the KR-PX4 with this forum and would agree most that has, so won’t repeat. Other to say if I had to pick one it would be it.

I will instead will talk about my experiences with the EML 45-mesh. I got this tube pair early this summer and was initially disappointed as the first time I had it in the DHT, there was an audible hum at volume position 1. It was a baseline hum that didn’t increase with an increase in volume. If I could ignore the hum while listen, I thought the sound otherwise was pretty in general organic/natural sounding more so than other tubes.

However, I could not really get past the hum, and was contemplating return or putting them for sale, but then it dawned on me that maybe if I could shield them in some way. The only thing handy was a pair of large stainless-steel cocktail shakers. They worked and cut the hum down by 70%, but they are still pretty sensitive to EM or RF fields. Anytime I walk by the LIO DHT and I have or a record on the nearby turntable is carrying a static charged they hum increased.

Recently a couple of months ago, I was using a Zerostat on a record near the DHT and the hum evaporated, hmmmm? You can Question the wisdom of it, but I use the Zero stat about 24 inches away but pointed at the tubes and the hum is dramatically reduced to my indifference point nearly every time. Usually equalize the field before turning on the LIO

Subsequent, to the that day have been using them more and have a better idea what they can do. To my ears, the 45-mesh is very similar to the EM 2A3-Mesh but more transparent, detailed, better separation and open with better good base extension and soundstage. It is mild but the 2A3-M seems some veiled when comparing to the 45-M. Comparing to the Kr-PX4, the 45-M lacks the body the PX4 has, but is little more nimble and detailed. I prefer 45-M for small ensembles jazz, vocals, and small orchestras, but prefer the PX4 for all other music.

In summary, the 45-mesh is a bit “high maintenance” tube with use in the DHT due its sensitivity to EM and RF fields and its baseline hum may put people off, but if can manage to reduce it hum by tube covers or placement away from obvious sources of EM fields, it has rewards particularly when listening to jazz.

CCJ

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #121 on: 20 Nov 2017, 07:34 pm »
Hi flkin,

Thank you for your post.  If the sockets AND tube pins are not clean, you *will* hear it with this highly revealing DHT PRE design. 
It is also very important to keep the socket connections tight so they make good contact with the tube pins.  Well worth the 5 or 10
minutes to clean and tighten them all every once in a while (depending on how much tube rolling you do) for best results!

Hi CCJ,

Thank you for posting about your experience with the KR PX4 and EML 45s.  I was curious about those 45s!

Quote
Recently a couple of months ago, I was using a Zerostat on a record near the DHT and the hum evaporated, hmmmm? You can Question the wisdom of it, but I use the Zero stat about 24 inches away but pointed at the tubes and the hum is dramatically reduced to my indifference point nearly every time. Usually equalize the field before turning on the LIO

Interesting find!  I will try this and see what happens. 

Vinnie

sfox7076

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Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #122 on: 20 Nov 2017, 08:36 pm »
Filament noise is a real phenomena with DHT tubes.  More so the tubes than the sockets I find.  A little deoxit works on newer tubes. I have had the issue with my radio tubes and had to use fine grit sandpaper (the tubes are from the 20s-30s, so you can expect there to be some corrosion).  Once you hear it a few times, you can identify it vs. other hums.  It's hard to explain, but you will hear the difference.  The cathode of these tubes is directly connected to the filament (usually the negative side), so any noise issue on the filament translates to noise. 

Zerostat reducing the hum seems odd to me.  The two types of hum should be different.  Is the Lio near something that might be magnetically charged?

Shawn

CCJ

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Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #123 on: 21 Nov 2017, 02:17 am »
Shawn,

The system is about 3-4 meters from the kitchen vertically and about 3-4 meters from washer and dryer horizonally both in separate rooms. The hum is was more/less consistent even when the system was 5-6 meters away from both. My turntable is a adjacent to the LIO, but I limited by the length of the cables and the  TT is grounded, but maybe a source of the charge.

None of my other tubes hum in the current LIO location ie. 811, 2a3 mesh or EH, 300b. i just attributed the hum to the 45-m's sensitivity. It could be also the specific to my pair of 45s one channel seems to hum more than the other.

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #124 on: 30 Nov 2017, 05:00 am »
All,

TAK TA-300B's are here, but I won't have time to do some serious listening until this weekend.  In the meantime, they will burn-in.   :flame::idea: :idea:

I want to post more on the VR forum, but I am intensely busy with LIO orders and working on plans for 2018 (I'll get into that later).  I'm still amazed by how quickly 2017 has passed by!  :hyper:

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #125 on: 12 Dec 2017, 04:59 pm »
Arrghhhh - I've been seriously too busy and have not yet had time to carefully listen and compare the TAK 300B's to the KR PX4's. :banghead: 

I should finally have time this weekend of all the planets and stars align.

Back to work

Vinnie  :xmas:

decur

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 36
Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #126 on: 16 Dec 2017, 02:46 pm »
Looking forward to your impressions (comparison)vinnie,
Especially in the bass quality department! An area where pretty much every 300b i have heard,has come up short....
The kr px4 for me is a true “jack of all trades” and works really well with the lio dht"...

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #127 on: 16 Dec 2017, 08:29 pm »
Looking forward to your impressions (comparison)vinnie,
Especially in the bass quality department! An area where pretty much every 300b i have heard,has come up short....
The kr px4 for me is a true “jack of all trades” and works really well with the lio dht"...

I'm listening both days this weekend and will be reporting my findings soon!  :singing:

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #128 on: 19 Dec 2017, 01:28 am »

All,

This weekend I was able to listen for a few hours each day to LIO DHT Integrated Amplifier fitted with Takatsuki TA-300B tubes DAC 2.0.  I burned them in for a total of about 100 hours last week.  I’m not sure if they will get even better (they might!).  Ok, here we go:

Takatsuki TA-300B

I am excited to say that I found that the TA-300B fully realizes what I set out to achieve with the LIO DHT PRE design.  It simply excels at delivering a vast, holographic soundstage beyond what I have heard with any other DHT at this point.  It truly is an incredibly open and spacious sounding tube!

It also offers amazing nuance and layers of texture that lets you hear deep into the recording.  A handful of other DHTs provide excellent detail, but TA-300B has a crystalline quality and seems to pull it all off without a hint of hardness or glare.  It is hard to put it into words – and while I do not want to be cliché and just say, “there is this magic going on,” but it is something like that.  :singing:

The TA-300B gives a healthy dose of richness to the sound, but not overly rich or “thick."  Therefore, attributes such as speed and transient attack are fast and snappy and never rounded out or sluggish sounding.  Notes on pianos, guitar strings, cymbals, etc. have awesome decay after the strike/pluck, and remarkable precision.

Vocals are simply natural, breathy, and tangible.  :drool:

In terms of bass response, the TA-300B has clean, tight bass.  It’s quick and very well defined, but I can see how one might prefer the bass of the KR PX-4, which seems to have a little more weight (see below), or an SV811-10 (even weightier).  But listening to the TA-300B, I never once felt the bass was lacking in quantity. 

So are these TA-300B’s “perfect?”  It is hard to say for sure how others would find their sound – especially with a different speakers, rooms, positioning, etc.  In the past when we had the DHT Tube Tour, the impressions of the same tubes in the LIO DHT PRE varied quite a bit from person to person, so I would imagine the same could happen here.  For me, the TA-300B is the most perfect of any of the DHTs that I have heard so far with LIO DHT PRE.  This comes at a high price (MSRP is $2500/pair). 

TA-300B vs KR PX-4

So are the TA-300Bs ‘significantly’ better the KR PX-4?  No, not significantly.  Some might actually prefer the KR PX-4’s slightly weightier bass and richer tone (I love those qualities, too!).  But in terms of clarity, openness, air, speed, texture, and delicacy, the TA-300B does these things like no other DHT that I have heard so far in this circuit topology.  It is remarkable, and just to emphasize what I mentioned above, the TA-300B is not lacking at all in bass or tonal richness.  It is only when you compare them side-by-side to the KR PX-4 that you notice it.

TA-300B is a quiet tube that has lower microphonics and self-noise than the KR PX-4.

So am I selling off my KR PX-4’s?  No way!  I love them and will continue to enjoy them and bring them to the shows.  For under $1k/pair, I say they are the ones to beat.  But from what I heard over this weekend, TA-300B now becomes my reference tube for LIO DHT PRE.

  :bowdown:  :notworthy:  :eyebrows:

Vinnie

ebag4

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #129 on: 19 Dec 2017, 04:06 am »
Just ordered my DHT Pre today.  I will be trying the Elrog 300b, the EH 2A3, 300b, and the JJ 2A3.  The Elrog and the JJ have been my favorites in my Bottlehead amps. Merry Christmas to me! :xmas:

Happy Holidays to all!

Best,
Ed

yardbird4

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Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #130 on: 19 Dec 2017, 05:48 am »
I know it is a big ask but .... Tour, Tour, Tour :lol: :thumb:

genjamon

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #131 on: 19 Dec 2017, 06:15 am »
Thanks for sharing your impressions, Vinnie. I was lucky enough to snag a used pair of Taks a couplebyears who for $700. Enjoying them in my Lampizator Big7 DAC, I’ve had a very similar impression as you. You may or may not fully enjoy the 300b flavor, but the refinement of the sound of the Taks is off the charts. A whole other level than the KR stuff or any other DHT I’ve tried IMO. Although I haven’t heard a vintage Western Electric...

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #132 on: 19 Dec 2017, 04:46 pm »
Just ordered my DHT Pre today.  I will be trying the Elrog 300b, the EH 2A3, 300b, and the JJ 2A3.  The Elrog and the JJ have been my favorites in my Bottlehead amps. Merry Christmas to me! :xmas:

Happy Holidays to all!

Best,
Ed

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your order, and I hope to ship your DHT PRE kit for your LIO by the end of this year.  I look forward to your impressions of those Elrog 300B's (I have not heard them yet).

Hi yardbird,
Quote
I know it is a big ask but .... Tour, Tour, Tour :lol: :thumb:

If I get another pair of TA-300Bs, then I will consider doing it again.  :green:

Quote
the refinement of the sound of the Taks is off the charts.

Hi genjamon,

It sure is! 

I had another late-night, dark room listening session with the TA-300Bs in the LIO - stunning!

I also have never heard the legendary vintage Western Electric 300B in the DHT PRE.  One day...

Vinnie

trcks

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  • Posts: 15
Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #133 on: 19 Dec 2017, 08:55 pm »
Hi Vinnie,
you mentioned "clarity, openness, air, speed, texture, and delicacy" for the TA-300B.
How does it compare with the EML 2A3mesh which shares these characteristics, I believe?
Any differences in microphonics, noise etc.?
Thank you, Tom

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #134 on: 19 Dec 2017, 09:18 pm »
Hi Vinnie,
you mentioned "clarity, openness, air, speed, texture, and delicacy" for the TA-300B.
How does it compare with the EML 2A3mesh which shares these characteristics, I believe?
Any differences in microphonics, noise etc.?
Thank you, Tom

Hi Tom,

Good question!

The TA-300B does all of those attributes even better than the EML 2A3 Mesh, and with lower microphonics and noise.

TA-300B is more holographic, and has a more natural / refined / and delicate sound.   

NOTE:  While I'm not selling my KR PX-4s, I have two pairs of EML 2A3 Mesh Plates that I am open to selling.  They have only
been used in LIO DHT PRE (so they never were used to drive speakers), so they are as good as new.  I have the original box.
Email me if interested.

Vinnie

yardbird4

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Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #135 on: 20 Dec 2017, 02:51 pm »

Hi yardbird,
If I get another pair of TA-300Bs, then I will consider doing it again.  :green:


Understood! :green: :icon_lol: 8)

decur

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 36
Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #136 on: 21 Dec 2017, 01:27 am »
Awesome review vinnie,look forward to hearing the taks some day!
Fyi,i have heard original western electric 300b’s and the chinese clones of this tube out there do not come close to original in sound quality(missing the magic,and the tonality)....

genjamon

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #137 on: 21 Dec 2017, 01:50 am »
There are a few scattered comments over on Audioshark in the Lampizator threads of a few guys who have vintage WE 300b’s who have also heard the Taks. If I recall correctly, the consensus was the Taks weren’t quite the equals of the WE, but they weren’t far off.

Vinnie R.

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #138 on: 21 Dec 2017, 07:05 pm »
Quote
If I recall correctly, the consensus was the Taks weren’t quite the equals of the WE, but they weren’t far off.

So the NOS WE300Bs are considered to be even be better than TAK TA300B?  Hard to imagine, but for
the cost, I will have to stick to imagining for now.  :green:

$5k for a matched pair:
https://www.tubedepot.com/products/nos-western-electric-300b-black-plate-1952-matched-pair

It looks like they are back in production, but I'm not sure how they compare to NOS WE 300B. 

http://www.westernelectric.com/products-300b.html

Quote
Awesome review vinnie,look forward to hearing the taks some day!
Fyi,i have heard original western electric 300b’s and the chinese clones of this tube out there do not come close to original in sound quality(missing the magic,and the tonality)....

Good to know, Decur, because Psvane WE300B replicas are not cheap (I think I've seen them going for around $800/pair)

Vinnie

genjamon

Re: What tubes do you plan to use in your DHT?
« Reply #139 on: 21 Dec 2017, 07:20 pm »
This is the second re-start of WE production.  Consensus was that the first restart (in the 90's, I think?) didn't nearly hit the mark.  Good, but not great, and probably not even as good as the current production Taks.  I haven't seen any threads yet about the new WE's.  Though I haven't really been looking at DHT threads for a while.  I've settled on the Taks, some Lampi KR 45's, and Psvane WE101D replicas, which offer a nice palette of sonic attributes to choose from.  Haven't heard the PX4's, though, and would like to at some point given all the praise you all have for them.