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What’s the expected hours on these tubes? 😀
Tyson. What made you decide on that particular amp? Given your speakers, that amp configuration would be a good match. I have owned a pp el84 amp and the sound was wonderful. It just did not image like a SET, or SE amp. Myself, I will try the Musical Paradise 501. While better than their 301, the 301 is no joke at all. Rocket Ronny
Tyson, how much extra did the upgrades set you back?
You might be asking, "Did you replace the IEC with a pure copper, gold plated Furutech today?" Why yes, yes I did.You might also be asking "Did you replace those brass generic binding posts with pure copper ETI Research cable pods today?" Why yes, yes I did:You probably are asking, "Wait, are those pure copper Miflex caps on that board now?" Why yes, yes they are.And you might want to know "Hey, did you replace the output wire with OCC copper/teflon wire?" Yep.Finally, "Did you dump the stock EH EL84 and replace them with NOS Russian military tubes?" Oh yeah.
What I thought of when I read this post.
Tyson-Any follow up thoughts on this amp after putting in new caps and wire?
Sweet! Thank you for the update.I was looking at the Tubes 4 hifi site the other day and noticed they're all sold out of these amps so word must be getting around. Does it compare at all to your First Watt amp?
Yes word is getting around! Just from memory I'd say it's every bit as good as my hotrodded BA3 First Watt amp. I really should pull the BA3 into the living room for some comparisons, but I'm just having too much fun listening w/the VTA ST35. I will also say this - I recently made some massive changes to the front end in my living room. Buh-bye to the Chromecast Audio streamer and the iFi iOne DAC. And hello to the Auralic Aries femto streamer and the new iFi Zen DAC. To say it's a massive improvement is an understatement. The cool thing is the amp is NOT a bottleneck at all, you hear these types of changes very clearly and the amp keeps up perfectly with it.
Tyson, great update.The new iFi One Dac - that is in their lower range but sounds like it must be really good if you are using in your living room system?Do you run the modded Klipsch Forte III's with this set up?
The iOne is not bad, but the new iFi Zen DAC is much better. Which is not surprising since they brought on John Curl to design the analog stages. Thorsten Loesch still does the digital design, of course (and he's a genius at it). And I know I shouldn't care about looks that much, but the full-metal brushed aluminum design of the Zen DAC looks so much nicer than the iOne's partial plastic design.Yep, running this with the modded Forte IIIs in the living room area.
Tyson,Looking good! One of my first loves was an Eico tube amp which was famous for the EL84 output tubes. Have fun!Best,Anand.
My bad - I meant Zen! Thanks Tyson for your comments.
For $130 delivered from Amazon, maybe the bargain of the century (so far).
You had the iFi micro iDsd before if I remember correctly? so that would be a good comparison,
Absolutely. A couple other changes. When I put in the MiFlex caps, the leads got pretty long because the caps are so big, and they started picking up ground noise from the power supply wires running underneath the signal board. So I had my tech tightly twist all wires coming to/from the power transformer. The output transformers already had twisted wires so those were fine.Also, when I put on the WBT RCA inputs, I had my tech remove the ground connection that tied them to the chassis and wired all signal ground to connect to a single point on the chassis. He also had some super cool input wire that allowed us to run signal wire, chassis ground and signal ground all on different wires. Normally I just use twisted pair for input wiring, but this amp has a very large amount of gain, so the wire he used is a better choice for keeping the input signal super clean. Before I put in the Miflex caps, the amp was actually pretty quiet. But the Miflex caused the noise to increase due to their long leads. After the additional changes above, it's even quieter now than when I first got it. So I am VERY happy about that. It sounds so good, I can't seem to get the damn thing out of my system. Yesterday I got some Sophia Princess 300b mesh plate tubes in the mail and I really should drop my 300b amp into my system & give them a listen. But I just don't want to. And I'm a huge SET fan. Oh, I did source some Tung Sol 6BL8s and Tung Sol EL84s from the 50's and 60's and they have certainly helped bring the sound up to the level it's at. Ah, one other thing - I think the amp runs a bit too hot with the cover on. Just not quite enough ventilation, especially for those oil-filled Miflex caps. I'm going to punch a couple more holes in the top near the EL84's to give them some more breathing room.Does that help?
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