Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion

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hagtech

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #20 on: 18 Sep 2019, 05:09 am »
Lately I've been using HD600, DT990PRO, SR125e, and Sundara... 

The OTL amps were of my own design; prototypes being tested in the lab.  I don't recall a lot of specifics, as this was 2007, when I ended up selecting an OPT circuit instead, using a 6H30.  Great tube for the job! 

The problem I mention is specific to cathode follower type circuits.  Don't get me wrong, I use them all the time.  Every one of my tube phonostage designs employs one!  I loved the SRPP in my linestage too.  But you have to be careful, as they do tend to go unstable if not operated properly.  Hence, my lengthy diatribe.  Some designs will be better implemented than others.

If you want to see / hear what I am talking about, put a capacitor (say 0.001uF) on the output of your OTL amplifier.  It will be an exaggerated condition, but useful to demonstrate what happens with difficult loads or a marginally stable circuit design.

jh

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #21 on: 18 Sep 2019, 11:39 am »
jh,

Interesting....and thanks....I will try the cap experiment when I get the time.

Alex


wushuliu

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #22 on: 19 Sep 2019, 08:15 pm »
Surprised you haven't tried the Project Sunrise III/Harmony amps. My Sunrise has been up and running for about a month or so and am very impressed. I have a bunch of 12bh7s laying around so I figured it would be a good fit without having to spend money tube rolling. Stock it sounds very good but I did my own little tweaks and parts selection. Depending on the tube the presentation is similar to the T2, APPJ PA1502A, or Asgard 3, even in between. I consider it better than all 3. Currently using EH 12bh7 which seems to have lower noise and better linearity than my NOS versions and the stock 12AU7 it comes with. Some great guitar crunch and drive. ZZ Top never sounded better!

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #23 on: 19 Sep 2019, 08:26 pm »
Ha!

I have looked at this but it never went anywhere!! Well after I heal up spending $999 on Focal's I will have to revisit this one!!

Always room for another amp or two!

Thanks for the info, better than all three!! Thats a strong testimony for sure....

I think you like it!

Alex

 :lol:

Unison845

Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #24 on: 20 Sep 2019, 03:29 am »
My DHT 845 tube amplifier, for driving the STAX Electrostatic Headphones.







adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #25 on: 20 Sep 2019, 12:46 pm »
Gosh thats a beautiful site!!

All those tubes!!!

Big Smile here!!

Alex

jawks

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #26 on: 27 Sep 2019, 03:02 pm »
I've owned a Decware CSP2 for about 5 years now.  I bought it used for the original owner and use it mainly with my vinyl setup, which is also tube amp driven.  I unfortunately haven't done as much listening to vinyl on headphones lately, but I hope to change this in the weeks to come.  I really like the CSP2 and it functions nicely as a preamp, too. 

Albert

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #27 on: 28 Oct 2019, 11:43 pm »
Well back to the Bottlehead Mainline in the Alex Amp Rotation Series!!

I did a few comparisons with some solid state amps, with careful level setting with the SPL meter..

and its amazing how close the tube Mainline is in sound to other SS amps....

For a tube amp its using some VERY linear tubes (when properly biased) and has a marvelous sound stage.

Very silent...great articulation.....Cowboy Junkies stuff sounds so eerily good...haunting guitar sounds to die for...

Its one of the few amps that I can use the balanced outs to the Focal Clears....

This amp I just noticed (and posted in the hot deals) is dropped from $1299 to $999 they indicate they have only 2 left??

Its a more complex build but not that bad...just lots of wires and cables to trim to length and lots of multi ganged switches in the stepped
attenuator etc...easy to screw up if your not paying attention..

This is one amp I would call a statement amp or even a reference amp IMO..its that good and one I would never part with willingly!

Love to build another one just for the exercise!

Alex




brooklyn

Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #28 on: 20 Nov 2019, 05:28 pm »
I recently purchase a tube amp I had on my short list for a while, the Woo Audio WA2.. I purchased a preowned unit with an extra set of tubes that supposed to work really well with this amp. I’m afraid when it comes too tubes, I’m ignorant even though I’ve had tube equipment over the years.. I haven’t had to change a tube since owning a Conrad Johnson pre-amp way back when.. Lord knows, I’m not a tube roller so I guess this will give me a chance to get my feet wet.. I haven’t installed the better tubes as I’m still using the factory tubes at this time. I wanted to hear what the amp sounded like before I start the tube rolling process.

So far this amp is sounding like it has a live intimate sound quality to it, almost like you’re sitting at a venue with the musicians close by. The sound tilts just slightly to the warm side. The bass is tight the way I like it and the highs are extended but not harsh or overdone. I first had a problem with a hum for a couple of days until I moved the amp to a new location. I think it was a little to
close to my WiFi unit, now the amp is dead quiet.. 

I’ve now tried the WA2 briefly with all three sets of headphones but most listening has been with the Senn, HD800S their sound is a little more holographic then the others.. This amp put a smile on my face and quite a few hours of very happy listening..  :D

Jerry



« Last Edit: 25 Nov 2019, 04:24 pm by brooklyn »

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #29 on: 29 Nov 2019, 12:33 pm »
Nice amp!

You can spend lots of time and dollars in chasing tubes.....its fun and there are differences but not as much as one would think....IMO ...

Its good the stock tubes work so well.....this should tell you something!

I will have to take a look at the specs on this amp, I came close to buying a WA6SE but went with the Mainline, price, and DIY...

Enjoy your new amp!!

All the best
Alex

hibuckhobby

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #30 on: 29 Nov 2019, 03:22 pm »
Loved the WA2!  I sold mine thinking that I could improve on it.  I was wrong  :duh:
I'm pretty much done buying now...but if I come across a nice used one, I may just
jump on it.
regards,
Hibuck...

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #31 on: 29 Nov 2019, 05:38 pm »
From what I read this is an OTL amp and they state on the WooAudio site its a good with cans 100 ohms and higher...so YMMV with lower impedance headphones.
This is true for most OTL amps...like my BH Crack...

Other than that its a very nice tube amp!

Should really work very well with Senns and Beyers!

Alex
« Last Edit: 30 Nov 2019, 02:31 pm by adydula »

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #32 on: 30 Nov 2019, 04:51 pm »
Reading at another site this morning there is quite a stir over the new Schitt Magni's....and I found a post from a person I really respect in the industry, a guy who goes by the
name of atomicbob...

He has measured many headphone amps, dacs etc...and is very well versed with the methods and how to measure stuff accurately and its hard....so many variables...

But the point of what I read this morning made me smile"

After many, many posts by the main admin of the other site, atomicbob posted a set of specs measured with his AP analyzer, that he stated that has provided him with thousands of hours
of listening pleasure....and the measurements were....well....ho-hum...

Folks asked what it was....

A few posts later it was a Bottlehead Crack !!

Goes to show old stuff can make you smile as well as new stuff and even if its tubes!!

Alex

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #33 on: 7 Dec 2019, 12:52 am »
Back to the tubes this week!!

I am listening this week with the Bottlehead Mainline....with the Focal Clears, using the balanced cable and taking advantage of the Mainlines balnaced out...using its low gain setting with the balanced output.

Gosh its been awhile since I have really listened with this amp in the rotation, I did a comparison with the Tuba, but its not here at the moment...and I was wondering how well it would work with the Clears at 55 ohms.

More than enough power, painful levels easily obtainable!!

This non-OTL amp has absolutely has a great tonality that matches with the Clears so very well. Piano notes are staccato, and crips...beautiful harmonics. Much more laid back than the THX 887 recently acquired. Both stellar
but very different...the THX 887 is so quiet and clear....squeeky clean that allows everything to come thru. the Mainline is so "musical" and life like..Makes the soundstage seem wider than with a SS amp.

The nice thing with the mainline there is no real NOS tube chasing!!!  The driver tubes are very linear and there are only a small few choices and its really Russian or EH branded tubes but they are they same electrically.

THe 6C45pi is a single tube triode about $40 - $60 a pair or $140 for a gold pin pair from WooAudio, matched. WooAudio uses these tubes in their really near Fireflies amps. Wouldnt think there would be any real difference in the output.

The Mainline has to have its bias set via two pots underneath the metal  top plate, a  bit of a chore and I do this every 4-6 months depending on how much I have used the amp. Have to be careful doing this and not to short
out your leads etc....takes some attention to detail here...

Its not as clinical as a SS amp, but isnt as warm to me as other tube amps, like the Bottlehead Crack..but what a difference in price. $300 vs $1200 etc....but the Crack is stuck with high impedance cans....

Before I listen to it I turn it upside down and look at the goodies underneath that makes the magic happen!  ...and I am amazed that "I built this!"  LOL!

There arent that many Mainlines out there compared to all the rest of the tube world, but its a standard in its class for sure....

A keeper here..

All the best
Alex



 
« Last Edit: 7 Dec 2019, 12:44 pm by adydula »

hagtech

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #34 on: 7 Dec 2019, 02:10 am »
Quote
This OTL amp has absolutely...

Typo?  I'm pretty sure Mainline uses output transformers (like the Tuba) in order to drive low impedance cans.

j

adydula

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Re: Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifiers - Discussion
« Reply #35 on: 7 Dec 2019, 12:46 pm »
Yup that it was Tom!!

Good Morning to you in Hawaii!!

Hope your Tuba is doing well...its a special tube amp for sure...

Alex

adydula

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