LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp

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SonnyB

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #60 on: 25 Sep 2019, 10:39 pm »
 :thumb:

Looks great. I really do like the look.

Visual triumph.

If it sound as good, as I'm sure it will, you must surely be onto a winner.

tortugaranger

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I often get questions on whether the cost of upgrading to higher quality output coupling caps is worth the money. Our stock caps are decent commercial grade high quality metalized polypropylene caps which do a fine job. But we offer options to upgrade these to VCAP ODAMs (oil damped advanced metalized polyprop) for $440 more and then there's the VCAP CuTF copper teflon caps for a whopping $1024 adder.

I just spent some time listening to one our production LDR3000T Tube Preamps with the CuTF upgrade. Physically these are heavy because there's so much copper foil in them that they feel like a roll of quarters in your hand. For this reason we chose to tie each one down with its own substantial tie-wrap.

One way to describe the benefit of these big heavy caps is they're like driving a Lexus.There's no mistaking the bigger, better, smoother, tighter and more solid ride of Lexus car. Is it worth the $ 20-30k premium? That always comes down to a personal judgment but there's no mistaking that you're in a better car. That's what listening to this preamp is like with the VCAP copper teflon output caps. Everything just sounds better, more real, more present, more involving. The mids and highs are especially more alive and natural.

Whether you're looking for that last  bit of performance or simply believe that big, heavy and expensive is better, these VCAP CuTF do not disappoint. Wow!  :thumb:
 

SonnyB

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #62 on: 1 Oct 2019, 03:02 pm »
They even look good. :)

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #63 on: 4 Oct 2019, 03:15 pm »
Update on shipping initial orders for the LDR3000T. We've shipped about half of the initial orders. Typical of initial production things moved slow initially as we worked out the kinks in the production process. That phase is behind us now. At this point I expect to have the balance of existing initial orders fulfilled by this time next week.

Tubeburner

Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #64 on: 12 Oct 2019, 12:45 pm »
Has anyone received their new LDR3000T.V25 Preamp? Initial impressions? Pictures? :D

konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #65 on: 12 Oct 2019, 02:52 pm »
I received mine 2 days ago. Will install in my system tomorrow.

glynnw

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #66 on: 12 Oct 2019, 03:29 pm »
Dear Konut - You mean you did not call in sick so you could play with it immediately?  We may have to revoke your AudioCircle membership.   :D

konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #67 on: 12 Oct 2019, 03:55 pm »
I gotta keep working to pay for this kitchen remodel which has gone waaaaaay over budget.

konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #68 on: 13 Oct 2019, 10:26 pm »
Just a short post to inform that the 3000T is up, running, and sounding great. The slight hum I had with the original Tortuga is gone, although that might be due to the visit I had from the cable company yesterday informing me that there was interference originating from my home. Upon inspection there was paint inside my cable connecting to the cable box. The connector was replaced. He also took off my Jensen isolation transformer. When I fired up the 3000T there was a loud hum. The Jensen went back in and the hum was gone. Now just glorious dead silence even at max volume. The remote is going to take some practice for me to master. I keep the  V25 - OLED Display Controls web page handy to aid me .

https://www.tortugaaudio.com/support/product-documentation/?section=oled-v25-control-menu

As I become more familiar with the adjustments and audition more, I will post a more detailed review.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #69 on: 14 Oct 2019, 01:02 pm »
Just a short post to inform that the 3000T is up, running, and sounding great. The slight hum I had with the original Tortuga is gone, although that might be due to the visit I had from the cable company yesterday informing me that there was interference originating from my home. Upon inspection there was paint inside my cable connecting to the cable box. The connector was replaced. He also took off my Jensen isolation transformer. When I fired up the 3000T there was a loud hum. The Jensen went back in and the hum was gone. Now just glorious dead silence even at max volume. The remote is going to take some practice for me to master. I keep the  V25 - OLED Display Controls web page handy to aid me .

https://www.tortugaaudio.com/support/product-documentation/?section=oled-v25-control-menu

As I become more familiar with the adjustments and audition more, I will post a more detailed review.

Cable/Hum/Jensen - I had a similar problem when I had my TV audio tied into my main audio system. The cable grounding was not done properly at the cable box outside the house so there was a significant ground loop between main house power ground/earth and the cable ground. Like you, a Jensen isolation transformer solved that problem.

VCAP/ODAM Cap Break-in - Figure on it taking roughly 2 weeks to get those VCAP/ODAM caps to break in although they sound pretty darn good right out of the box.

Controls/Input-Switching - By default the controls are set up to allow the left/right buttons on the remote to adjust left/right channel balance. However, you can easily change this by scrolling down to the menu item "Vol Display" (to change the default Volume Display options) and select "Input" instead of the default "Balance". Once you've selected "Input" you can then use the left/right buttons to change input instead of balance. To change balance you now have a new menu item called Balance whereas the old default menu item Input is no longer active. This is part of the dynamic menu structure for the OLED display. It probably sounds confusing reading this but once you've tried it and figured it out it's actually quite intuitive.

SonnyB

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #70 on: 14 Oct 2019, 03:37 pm »
Update on shipping initial orders for the LDR3000T. We've shipped about half of the initial orders. Typical of initial production things moved slow initially as we worked out the kinks in the production process. That phase is behind us now. At this point I expect to have the balance of existing initial orders fulfilled by this time next week.

So did you manage to ship all the initial orders by the end of last week in the end?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #71 on: 14 Oct 2019, 04:28 pm »
So did you manage to ship all the initial orders by the end of last week in the end?

Almost. A few to go yet. This week for sure. We're trying to be extra careful to make sure everything is just right before releasing each build. New production ramp-up ALWAYS takes longer than planned. One day I hope to prove that statement wrong.  :thumb:

SonnyB

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #72 on: 14 Oct 2019, 10:45 pm »
Almost. A few to go yet. This week for sure. We're trying to be extra careful to make sure everything is just right before releasing each build. New production ramp-up ALWAYS takes longer than planned. One day I hope to prove that statement wrong.  :thumb:

Well to be fair you started shipping the week you said you were aiming for, and I don't believe you ever put a firm date on how long it would then take you to get them all out. So I think it fair to say you did hit your target. :)
 

konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #73 on: 17 Oct 2019, 01:43 pm »
Just another short update. I am enjoying the 3000T. Pretty much just letting it break in before exploring the impedance options and doing any really critical listening. Getting used to the interface which, so far, have not had any issues with. 

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #74 on: 17 Oct 2019, 06:03 pm »
Had a chance to compare 3 tubes. On the left is our standard 6H30 monsters - built like tanks. In the center is a "Telefunken" Black Diamond ECC88/6922, and on the right is a JJ ECC88/6922. These retail for roughly $36, $54 and $28 each.

A close visual inspection confirms that the Telefunken and JJ tubes are essentially identical. I could not find a single physical feature internally that was not exactly the same between them. Small surprise since JJ makes the Black Diamonds. The Black Diamonds do have gold pins but I noticed that after just one insertion/play that the gold on the Black Diamonds was tarnished relative to the 6H30's which have been in/out of sockets dozens of times over a 2 year period and are still... well....golden.

I will say the Telefunkens sounded awesome. Very smooth and organic - what I usually associate with that "vinyl sound" that vinyl lovers love. I tried the JJ's as well and if there's a difference between the plain JJ's and and the JJ's disguised as Telefunkens I couldn't tell but this was not an exhaustive audition. Just a few tracks played ad hoc between building/testing LDR3000T's.

I'd say that if the 6H30's prove to be bit too neutral for your taste, the Telefunken's will lush things up nicely, perhaps better even than the Genalex Gold Lions.


Randy

Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #75 on: 17 Oct 2019, 09:29 pm »


I will say the Telefunkens sounded awesome. Very smooth and organic - what I usually associate with that "vinyl sound" that vinyl lovers love. I tried the JJ's as well and if there's a difference between the plain JJ's and and the JJ's disguised as Telefunkens I couldn't tell but this was not an exhaustive audition. Just a few tracks played ad hoc between building/testing LDR3000T's.

I'd say that if the 6H30's prove to be bit too neutral for your taste, the Telefunken's will lush things up nicely, perhaps better even than the Genalex Gold Lions.



Morten, glad to see you confirm what I thought about the "Telefunken" tube.

Randy

konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #76 on: 30 Oct 2019, 08:44 am »
Another short update. Due to the ongoing kitchen remodel, and other projects(I helped put together a sauna yesterday), I have not done any "critical" listening. My listening room is also my living room, which is also the 'staging area' for items going into the kitchen remodel. As I've moved items in and out and around the room, the balance control has shown itself to be highly effective. For instance, there was a roll of cork underlayment to the left of the left speaker which addressed the asymmetry(on one side is a doorway to the kitchen, on the other is a window with velour drapery) of the listening room, allowing the the balance to be perfectly centered. Without it there the highly granular control of the 3000Ts  allows precise adjustment.

My casual listening has been either online radio( Radio Swiss Jazz) or FM tuner. I'm getting more texture of instruments and longer reverb and echo tails than with the original Tortuga. Good recording sound spectacular and less well recorded material laid bare. I'm also getting a sense of smoothness reminiscent of the solid state McIntosh amplifier I used to own. All for now.     

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #77 on: 14 Nov 2019, 03:10 pm »
Received a nice note from new customer with extensive hi-end audio experience regarding the LDR3000T.

Quote
"...after only four days of hands-on experience, your preamp is definitely the cleanest, clearest, and purest that I have ever owned. Thanks for your work.."


konut

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Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #78 on: 14 Nov 2019, 03:33 pm »
I don't have "extensive hi-end audio experience" but I would echo that comment.

Tubeburner

Re: LDR3000T.V25 Tube Preamp
« Reply #79 on: 14 Nov 2019, 03:57 pm »
Extensive high end experience, which caps, ext. are installed?